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Archive for the month “February, 2019”

Uganda Revenue Authority: Press Release – Temporary Diversion of Traffic to Mirama Hills-Kagitumba Border (28.02.2019)

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Urgent scale-up in Humanitarian Response required in Zimbabwe (28.02.2019)

An estimated 2.9 million people in rural areas and 1.5 million in urban areas are already severely food insecure, including 1 million facing emergency levels of food insecurity.

HARARE, Zimbabwe, February 28, 2019 –  UN humanitarian chief allocates US$10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund, says more is required with 5.3 million people in need of assistance following drought and prolonged economic crisis.

During a three-day mission to Zimbabwe, including a meeting this morning with His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock announced the allocation of US$10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help reach over 5.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance following drought and economic shocks. The mission will end tomorrow with a visit to Bindura to talk with people affected by increasing food insecurity.

“The CERF allocation will help us to rapidly provide critical food and livelihood support, education, health, and protection services for the most vulnerable people who are hardest-hit during crises, including children, women, the elderly, and people who are chronically ill or living with disabilities,” said Mr. Lowcock. “But the $10 million represents only a fraction of what is needed to meet the level of need across the country.”

The announcement was made during the launch of the Zimbabwe Flash Appeal today. Mr. Lowcock, UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli, and senior Government representatives launched the Appeal which requires $234 million to provide urgent food, health, water, sanitation, hygiene and protection support for 2.2 million people of the 5.3 million people in need over the next six months.

An estimated 2.9 million people in rural areas and 1.5 million in urban areas are already severely food insecure, including 1 million facing emergency levels of food insecurity. A further 900,000 people risk reaching crisis food insecurity levels if the humanitarian assistance they are receiving does not continue. In areas across the country, there are acute shortages of essential medicines, and rising food insecurity has heightened the risk of gender-based violence, particularly for women and girls.

While in Zimbabwe, Mr. Lowcock met senior government officials, NGOs and humanitarian organizations. He also visited the densely populated Harare suburb Epworth, where he met with families who are struggling to cope. “I heard from people living with HIV who are unable to take the critical drugs they need. They can’t take it on an empty stomach and many of them can only afford one meal a day,” Mr. Lowcock said.

During his visit, Mr. Lowcock saw first-hand how quickly UN agencies and NGOs have acted to adapt and scale up vital services, including food assistance, child protection and healthcare programmes in response to the rapidly evolving situation in Zimbabwe. He commended the essential role of NGOs in collaborating with the UN in helping the most vulnerable people.

During his meetings with senior government officials, including the President, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance, Mr. Lowcock echoed recent calls by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and urged the Government to find ways of engaging with people about legitimate grievances – including through national dialogue on the economic challenges the country is facing – and to investigate all reports of violence in a prompt, thorough and transparent manner. Mr. Lowcock stressed that the root causes of the growing humanitarian needs must be addressed.

“I have had extremely constructive and cordial discussions with the Government. I was pleased to be able to reinforce to them the UN’s total solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, and to thank the Government for the excellent collaboration the UN enjoys here,” said Mr. Lowcock.

From Zimbabwe, Mr. Lowcock will visit Malawi 1-2 March to see first-hand the humanitarian situation there and the efforts undertaken by aid organizations to respond.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo (28.02.2019)

Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern, while simultaneously, small clusters continue to occur in various geographically dispersed locations.

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 28, 2019 –  The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is continuing with moderate intensity. Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern, while simultaneously, small clusters continue to occur in various geographically dispersed locations. During the last 21 days (6 – 26 February 2019), 77 new cases have been reported from 33 health areas within nine health zones (Figure 1), including: Katwa (45), Butembo (19), Vuhovi (4), Kyondo (3), Kalunguta (2), Oicha (1), Beni (1), Mandima (1), and Rwampara (1).

Although there are decreasing trends in case incidence (Figure 2), the high proportion of community deaths reported among confirmed cases and relatively low number of new cases who were known contacts under surveillance could increase the risk of further chains of transmission in affected communities. Response teams must maintain a high degree of vigilance across all areas with declining case incidence and contact tracing activity, as well as in areas with active cases, to rapidly detect new cases and prevent onward transmission. Following attacks this week on the treatment centres in Katwa and Butembo, WHO is working with partners to ensure the safety of the patients and staff. These incidents are disruptive to the response on many levels and can also hamper surveillance activities in the field.

As of 26 February, 879 EVD cases1 (814 confirmed and 65 probable) have been reported, of which 57% (499) were female and 30% (264) were children aged less than 18 years. Cumulatively, cases have been reported from 119 of 301 health areas across 19 health zones. Overall, 553 deaths (case fatality ratio: 63%) have been reported and as of 19 February 2019, 257 survivors have been reported. There is ongoing cleaning of the case database to correct the number deaths and survivors discharged from Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs).

Public health response

For further detailed information about the public health response actions by the MoH, WHO, and partners, please refer to the latest situation reports published by the WHO Regional Office for Africa:

Ebola situation reports: Democratic Republic of the Congo

WHO risk assessment

WHO continuously monitors changes to the epidemiological situation and context of the outbreak to ensure that support to the response is adapted to the evolving circumstances. National and regional risk levels remain very high, though global risk levels remain low. This EVD outbreak is affecting primarily the north-eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo bordering Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. There is a potential risk for transmission of EVD at the national and regional levels due to extensive travel between the affected areas, the rest of the country, and neighbouring countries for economic and personal reasons, as well as due to insecurity. The country is concurrently experiencing other epidemics (e.g. cholera, vaccine-derived poliomyelitis, malaria, measles), and a long-term humanitarian crisis. Additionally, the fragile security situation in North Kivu and Ituri, further limits the implementation of response activities.

As the risk of national and regional spread is very high, it is important for neighbouring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities. The International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee has advised that failing to intensify these preparedness and surveillance activities would lead to worsening conditions and further spread. WHO will continue to work with neighbouring countries and partners to ensure that health authorities are alerted and are operationally prepared to respond.

WHO advice

International traffic: WHO advises against any restriction of travel to, and trade with, the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the currently available information. There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect people from the Ebola virus. Therefore, any requirements for certificates of Ebola vaccination are not a reasonable basis for restricting movement across borders or the issuance of visas for passengers leaving the Democratic Republic of the Congo. WHO continues to closely monitor and, if necessary, verify travel and trade measures in relation to this event. Currently, no country has implemented travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic to and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Travellers should seek medical advice before travel and should practice good hygiene.

*Data in recent weeks are subject to delays in case confirmation and reporting, as well as ongoing data cleaning – trends during this period should be interpreted cautiously.

Opinion: President Kenyatta’s corruption fight is like a mirage

If the sword of oppression be permitted to lop off one limb without opposition, reiterated strokes will soon dismember the whole body.” Alexander Hamilton

After the recent weeks and the new fancy scandals, you can pound and wonder, where is there no corruption, Mr. President?

The President, I am asking today is President Uhuru Kenyatta and his administration. The Jubilee has a special feature, they have a own slogan of fighting corruption, while amassing more of them at the same time. They are capturing the headlines nearly daily.

President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto are in the wind, they are battling a big monster, which themselves are contributing too. They are trying to play the card of battling it, while they are feeding it. The Cabinet Secretaries are usually implicated, the Principal Secretaries are as well.

The government are doing it all ways possible, by borrowing money for ghost projects like ghost-dams, which has been revealed recently. The state has taken giant loans from Eurobonds twice and still configured ways to siphon the funds away from the government. The Jubilee have eaten directly from the investment funds directed to youth employment. The Jubilee have been able to take away from health care procurement and waste funds there, instead of helping the sickly in dire need.

This is how we can go-on. This is a continued saga that never stops. While the Jubilee have a stark rise in corruption, at the same time, the state has taken out more and more debt. Therefore, the state is not only owning the creditors more money, but they are also wasting the loans. Which the state will pay back with interests after the grace period. This is will backfire on the next cabinets and next state officials, as they will have to clear the debts and find revenue to repay them. If not sell collateral- or assets. This will really be devastating.

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto will downplay the indirect bribes, graft and corruption done by their officials, they will say it is less or not really allocated. They will act a fool, but at the same time attack the cause and say they are dealing with it. By going after the minor cases or small fry, they are going after the chicken thief or the small businessmen who does it to be able to trade on the market. However, the ones who runs the market and runs the “monopoly” imports are in the pocket of the administration, and will will not be touched.

As long as Cheech and Chong is running this Republic. The growth of the corruption will continue to rise. As their businesses are growing, their empires are getting stronger. The two leaders are grabbing more land, more government tenders and even development projects. That is what the President and Deputy does. While the Jubilee says they are fighting it.

Therefore, as long as these two are running the government. Expect more graft, bribes, kick-backs, siphoned funds and ghost projects. There will ghost everywhere, the cronies will create straw/shell companies who siphon funds… this will occur again and again. The state will give- or loan for non-function development projects/organizations, whose supposed to do something, but in reality it will be a figment of imagination. It will be a make believe like a mirage. It will only be in the vision of the person hinging for water, but when the person arrives to the mirage. There will be no water, but only more hot-sand. This is what the Jubilee does to the public.

The Jubilee is offering a mirage to continue … and hoping no one is feeling the hot-sand, but believing in the mirage. Peace.

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the situation in Sudan (28.02.2019)

The EU is closely following the situation in Sudan. Measures being adopted under the newly declared state of emergency, the increased role of the military in governing the country, further curtail fundamental freedoms and undermine the recent offer of a new political dialogue. They create a permissive climate for the security services to act with impunity against peaceful protesters. The latest attacks against unarmed students in the University of Medical Sciences and Technology and against peaceful protesters in Omdurman, are deeply disturbing.

Genuine political dialogue requires an environment in which the Sudanese people can exercise their legitimate right to express their views. This will be essential to create the national consensus needed to find sustainable responses to Sudan’s deep political and economic crisis.

The EU expects the Sudanese government to release all journalists, members of the opposition, human rights defenders and other protesters in detention. Some of those with whom the dialogue is set to take place have been arbitrarily detained for over two months now. An independent investigation into the deaths and abuses should be undertaken with those responsible held to account.

The respect for these fundamental principles are at the core of the EU’s phased engagement with the government of Sudan. We will continue to monitor the situation and review the impact of the Government of Sudan’s actions on its relations with the European Union.

RDC: Ligue De Jeunes/UDPS/Lubumbashi – Declaration Politique (27.02.2019)

RDC: Communique Conjoint des Quatre Candidates de l’Opposition (28.02.2019)

RDC: Le Memorendum du Collectif de la Jeunesse du SANKURU (27.02.2019)

Rwanda Revenue Authority: Public Announcement on construction of a One Stop Border Post at Gatuna Border Post (28.02.2019)

LHRC: Statement on Suspension of the Citizen Newspaper (28.02.2019)

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