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Archive for the category “Aid”

RDC: CERF allocates $10 million to the Ebola response in DR Congo (09.08.2019)

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UN boosts humanitarian appeal to help tackle Zimbabwe’s ‘worst-ever’ hunger crisis (07.08.2019)

The revised humanitarian appeal covers January 2019 through to April 2020 with a total requirement of $331.5 million need from this point onwards.

NEW YORK, United States of America, August 7, 2019 – With Zimbabwe now experiencing its “worst-ever hunger crisis”, the UN food relief agency has revised its humanitarian appeal to step up food assistance to people most affected by drought, flooding, and economic stagnation.

“Yesterday the humanitarian community launched an urgent appeal for funds to respond to the country’s very difficult humanitarian situation”, World Food Programme (WFP) Spokesperson Herve Verhoosel told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday. “WFP is set to increase aid, especially for drought-affected residents, but also to build community capacity to respond to climate shocks”.

Zimbabwe was once known as leading food producer in the region, one of the bread baskets of Africa, but its problems were exacerbated earlier this year when Cyclone Idai struck, affecting around 570,000 Zimbabweans, together with large parts of Mozambique and Malawi.

The revised humanitarian appeal covers January 2019 through to April 2020, with a total requirement of $331.5 million need from this point onwards.

‘Additional urgent assistance’ required

More than one-third of the rural population, or some 3.6 million people, will be food insecure by October, and by January the figure is expected to increase to 5.5 million during the inter-harvest season, according to WFP. Moreover, most of Zimbabwe’s 60 districts will exhaust their maize stocks by October.

“This accounts for 60 per cent of the rural population”, explained Mr. Verhoosel, adding that the UN agency is providing food assistance to 700,000 people in August.

And “when crop stocks decline, we will scale up for the season between harvests and help 1.7 million people in October-December and two million in January-April, but only if funding allows it”, he added.

WFP needs $173 million to implement its response plan in the next nine months consisting of a wide-ranging programme of humanitarian actions. The agency is asking the international community to quickly make the funds available.

Mr. Verhoosel flagged that following an emergency response, “we need to think about the long term and continue building local capacity”.

Citing that “the recent abandonment of the US dollar and other currencies for commercial transactions” has negatively impacted the economy, he said that while  the actual rates could be “even higher”, the official year-on-year inflation rate “reached 176 per cent in June, with food prices soaring by 252 per cent”.

“Climate shocks such as cyclones or drought also have an immediate impact, especially on the rural population”, underscored the WFP spokesperson, calling on the international community to “respond favorably to this request for funds to respond to this urgent situation”.

Opinion: Must be boring to fight the same fight for over 3 decades and fail!

The NRM struggled to usher peace in the country. Peace ignited infrastructure development. The remaining task is wealth creation mobilisation at household level. A person with a reasonable piece of land is able to handle any agricultural practice” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 5th August 2019 in Bundibugyo district

If there is anyone who promotes steady progress, must see the last three months as free-fall and as a weakness. The Museveni Wealth Creation Tour, which needed billions upon billions extra paid for, as he opened municipal roads built on donor funds and other projects, which is minor. But big enough for photo-ops.

The President usually came with the same swagger and talking-points, its sort of the same statements, as the citizens will create wealth on small farming with the usage of the right cash-crops. This has been spread to all sorts of initiatives and state sponsored agricultural benefits. Not that they have worked and have failed, one after another. Just like it was meant to be, than the state launches another one battling rural poverty, another donor funded enterprise and gets seedlings, tractors and whatnot to Gulu/Lira. Two years later, the whole cooperation is dead and the President has to come a revive the dead.

This is happening again and again. He comes with small donations, some insignificant changes, promise challenging different. Blames leaders, the Residential District Commanders, the Opposition politicians and even some of the locals ones get caught in the blender too. Until it makes a badly tasting stew, that he serves with a little bit of ignorance of the actual needs. Because, if he had cared about that, the President would have served that a long time ago.

The state has enough schemes, Operation Wealth Creations, NAADs and SACCOs, but none of these is cutting the chase. They are just not up to it and it seems they are there to create a money laundering operation. Because, the state is never up to it and seems to be keen to deliver. They don’t have the needed expertise, the allocations in time or even ordering the right type of crop for the right soil/climate or historical production in that area. It seems something fails, neither the hook or by the crook.

Therefore, it must be boring to scream the same message, that he has spoken of for 3 decades, the message and the promise of greener pasture. The promise, that if you follow me and plant these green seeds, your will grow profits. You grandchildren will eat and they will be able to sell. But we have seen how the state functions.

As the state supported the Soroti Fruit Factory, however, the local farmers produced the right type of fruits, but the factory couldn’t handle the amount and the fruits got wasted. Therefore, the state cannot manage to deliver or even compensate the lost investments of the farmers. Still, he comes around like a King and promises golden roads to heaven. If you follows him.

The same message, that if you grow the right thing as he says, it will pay off. That is his way of fighting poverty. Not educating their kids, not enlighten them with knowledge or skills for the future. No, plant the right type of coffee or sorghum and vote the NRM. This is what the President has spoken of, again and again.

It must be so sad. So brilliantly waste of time. That he speaks of the same, promise the same deliverance from poverty. Pledges the same sort of stories and with the same punchline. And don’t see the foolishness of it. That he has failed, time and time again. The President has had 33 years to fix this. Still, he hasn’t achieved it. His fighting the same fight, as he started in the Bush.

Clearly, the President haven’t managed, haven’t been as visionary or carefully crafting the ministries, the districts, the sub-counties and the agricultural welfare, to be able to follow up, upon the message that he spread since the inception of the NRA. The man of the mustard seed, the man who could conclusively state all the ills of the leadership in Africa. Has clearly lost his touch, his supposed brilliance and uniqueness.

Since, he got to recycle, got to go in circle and never ever win. He has got to use the same methods, the same sort of fight and not winning. Surely, his failed and a giant failure. The peasants are still peasants, they are not middle-class, they cannot afford Benz’s and Lexus, they can barely afford millet and matooki. That is how it is. Utter total failure of policy, of implementation and revision of it.

That can be said, because his track-record says so. If it was working so well, why would he bring the same remedy and same message all-over again? Peace.

Aiming for zero cholera in South Sudan (04.08.2019)

Miseducation of Yoweri: An insincere backslap by the President

“’I became a soldier not to acquire a profession, but because of the bad situation that existed in my country. I saw no reason why anyone should terrorize me with a gun, so I learned to use the gun and used it to immobilize the terrorist. Neither would I describe myself as a politician. I believe every Ugandan should be involved in politics in order not to be manipulated by clever people who call themselves politicians. I entered the sphere of political leadership in order to help eliminate manipulation from politics in my country” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (from a biography published by Uganda Investment Authority during 1994).

Here we go again. Another day, another backfiring quote from the fountain of honour. From the commander-in-chief and His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. It is like his forgotten himself and his own political career. Even in the midst of the bushwar, as journalists and such was following his trail in Luweero. Even then he spoke of economically liberating the peasants. Something, that sticks to me. Because this is his legacy, that he was supposed to deliver together with the 10 point programme.

Still in his bright mind, he speaks like this:  

“A serious person does not mix politics with the livelihood of the people, all leaders irrespective of their political inclination should go back to the people and awaken them to kick poverty out of their homes” – President Museveni on the 1st August in Kasese District (Daily Monitor – ‘Do not politicise poverty, Museveni tells Opposition groups’ 02.08.2019).

As we see, without further delay, he himself have not awaken people, he has had 33 years and counting to do so. The President has spoken viciously about this since the early 1980s and still not configured the details. Therefore, he doesn’t want others to intervene, because he lack control and leadership to figure it out himself.

That is why its ironic, that he said this 21 years earlier:

“What needs to be done is to educate these people, have them understand how to develop their economies in their own humble way. The people need to be politically educated to understand abuse by their governments” President Museveni at the Addis Forum on the 8th March 1998.

So, he has kept his same message, the Freedom Fighter, that was supposed to lecture and educate the public out of poverty. The man who was supposed to change, a fundamental change if you may, the correct line, the one vision out of financial distress. Still, this man has not been able or tried to do so.

Since, were in 2019 and he blames others for not doing it well. He blames the other leaders, not himself. Who has been at the helm and had all the opportunities in the world to make a difference and actually change things. Still, he hasn’t, because that hasn’t been his main concern. That he has pushed to the donors, the NGOs and whoever who could cover his basics. Not that he needed to look into it. If he did, then it would be a scheme where he get rich and his patronage too.

Therefore, he should start to educate himself, finds way out of the maze and not put blame on others; as his own record of accomplishment isn’t that brilliant. Peace.

One year into the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, city of Goma faces risk of spread (01.08.2019)

The city of Goma has seen its second confirmed death as the result of infection which could lead to the first active transmission of the disease inside the regional capital.

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 1, 2019 – One year on since the Ebola outbreak was first declared in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo the disease continues to spread with 2,690 cases and 1,803 deaths, a 67% case fatality rate. The city of Goma has seen its second confirmed death as the result of infection which could lead to the first active transmission of the disease inside the regional capital of an estimated two million inhabitants.

Andre Heller, Ebola Response Director at the International Rescue Committee, said, “The second confirmed case of Ebola in Goma is very alarming. This outbreak is far from under control. The IRC has been engaging in infection prevention and control in major health centers in Goma, scaling up in the city in an effort to stem the spread of the virus here as we do in other hotspots surrounding Beni and Butembo.”

The IRC has been responding to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu since its declaration in August last year working in more than 70 health facilities throughout Beni, Mabalako, Butembo and Goma and leading on infection prevention and control (IPC). The IRC is also working in women’s and children’s protection, and integrating Ebola-related protection concerns in areas where the IRC supports primary health care services.

The IRC has been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996 responding to the humanitarian crisis in the east. It has since evolved into one of the largest providers of humanitarian assistance and post-conflict development, with life-saving programming in health, economic recovery, women’s and children’s protection, and livelihoods.

WHO marks one year since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (31.07.2019)

As of 29 July 2019, the Ministry of Health of the DRC has reported 2687 cases (2593 confirmed and 94 probable) with 1803 deaths and over 770 survivors.

BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of the), July 31, 2019 – This week marks one year since the start of the 10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Following the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 17 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the government of the DRC, other United Nations (UN) agencies, partners and communities, is working on further scaling up response and preparedness measures.

As of 29 July 2019, the Ministry of Health of the DRC has reported 2687 cases (2593 confirmed and 94 probable) with 1803 deaths and over 770 survivors.

Since the first Ebola cases were confirmed in Mangina, in the North Kivu province of eastern DRC, on 1st August 2018, 175 000 people in the DRC and over 10 000 in neighbouring countries have been vaccinated against the Ebola virus. Fourteen treatment and transit centres have been set up and more than 140 000 contacts have been identified and monitored. Furthermore, 77 million people have been screened for Ebola at hundreds of screening points set up at official and unofficial crossing points along the DRC’s borders. In addition, tens of thousands of alerts have been received and investigated.

These responses have been achieved despite the difficult conditions in which WHO and partners are operating. Since the beginning of the outbreak, WHO’s response has continually evolved to adapt to the situation as it unfolds on the ground. Preparedness and vigilance are still key as WHO and partners redouble efforts as the outbreak enters its second year.

“I am immensely proud of the commitment and courage of everyone working in the field and what we have achieved together,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, “We have learnt a lot of lessons during the past year. We learn from our own experience, and from discussions with our partners. We also engage communities, listen to what they have to say and adapt our approaches. This is the only way we will end this outbreak.”

Violence and insecurity have plagued this region of the DRC for two decades. A weak health system and humanitarian crisis, including internal displacement, as well as security issues have complicated the Ebola response. Safely accessing those in need and gaining acceptance by communities, some of whom are distrustful of outsiders after years of conflict, have been the major challenges in this response.

WHO continues to lead the public health response to the Ebola outbreak and is calling for a more united approach where under the leadership of the DRC government, the UN and other partners take greater responsibility for areas of the response in which they have expertise. WHO is also providing technical leadership in the areas of surveillance, vaccination and case management. WHO has mobilised and deployed more than 700 international experts -71% of whom are from the African region – as part of the surge capacity needed to respond to the outbreak.

UNICEF must triple budget to combat Ebola outbreak in DR Congo; complex crisis impacting unprecedented number of children (31.07.2019)

The UNICEF expert said there were 2,671 confirmed cases of Ebola as of 28 July including more than 700 children.

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 31, 2019 -With an unprecedented number of children affected by the Ebola virus outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday said it would need to triple its budget to tackle the complex crisis, which included intensifying the overall public health response and launching measles vaccinations.

“This Ebola response is far more complex because it is in an active conflict zone,” Jerome Pfaffmann, a UNICEF health specialist, told reporters in Geneva, just back from his third visit to the country.

He underscored that “people in the (eastern Congolese) provinces of North Kivu and Ituri are facing humanitarian and public health crises,” and in addition, half the health facilities in Ituri had been damaged or destroyed over the last two years.

The UNICEF expert said there were 2,671 confirmed cases of Ebola as of 28 July, including more than 700 children, more than half of whom – some 57 per cent – were under five years of age.

“When I left, there were 12 new confirmed cases, five were alive and will have the chance to access treatment, but seven had died in the community. This is bad. Having this number of community deaths means we are not ahead of the epidemic,” he said.

“It is unprecedented to have such a [high] proportion of affected children,” Mr. Pfaffmann continued, adding that both provinces were also facing a measles outbreak.

So far, UNICEF has vaccinated more than 40,000 children against measles, but a massive scale-up was needed to protect them from various health risks.

With all this in mind, UNICEF planned to carry out a new strategic response plan to address acute humanitarian and social needs.

“UNICEF will need to triple its budget to respond to this crisis,” said Mr. Pfaffmann, stressing that “we need desperately the international community to back us up.” 

This budget would include about $70 million for epidemic control activities, $30 million to build community capacities in at-risk areas, and another $70 million to deliver essential services.

Meanwhile, the UN agency was continuing operations with “colleagues and communities on the ground who are fighting the outbreak tirelessly.” 

Just two days away from the one-year milestone of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the DRC, the UNICEF expert said it was critical to make the investment to keep the epidemic under control.

“This is a wake-up call. There must not be a second-year milestone,” Mr. Pfaffmann declared, stressing that community mobilization was critical to curbing the spread of the disease because “they are capable of best doing the things that matter.” 

Ethiopia, Somaliland and Puntland jointly plan for the synchronized HoA cross-border polio response (26.07.2019)

The overall objectives of this meeting were to review the 1st round implementation of synchronized cross-border activities between Somaliland, Puntland and Ethiopia.

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 26, 2019 – The second synchronized Horn of Africa cross-border polio coordination and micro planning meeting which was organized for district level health officials of Ethiopia and Somaliland and Puntland held from 16-18, July 2019 in Jigjiga city of Somali region in Ethiopia. The first synchronized cross border micro planning meeting was held in Hargeisa Somaliland from 12 to 13 June 2019 with great success where the lower level staffs were fully involved and engaged in the process of cross-border micro plan.This second synchronized cross-border meeting was attended by Ministry of Health National, Regional, zonal and woreda level officers, CORE Group, CDC, Rotary, WHO and UNICEF. The overall objectives of this meeting were to review the 1st round implementation of synchronized cross-border activities between Somaliland, Puntland and Ethiopia; to identify the gaps and challenges and discuss and develop the way forward to address the challenges; to review the preparedness activities of the cross border for the upcoming extended campaign of monovalent oral polio vaccine type2 (mOPV2) and to further update the cross border micro plans for both side of the borders to ensure all children would be reached.

The Somali Regional Health Bureau (RHB) Head, Dr. Yusuf Mohammed Ali in his welcoming remark said that “The RHB looks forward to continue working closely with the multitude of partners in Ethiopia and abroad, to make sure that every child is vaccinated to protect our children from Polio and other Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD).”

Dr Anand Saumya from UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) in his remark also underlined the importance of this joint planning meeting and the synchronized campaign for a better outcome.

Mr. Christopher Alexander Kamugisha, the Coordinator for the global polio eradication initiative (GPEI) Horn of Africa Office on his behalf congratulated the Ethiopia and Somali Region teams for the successful completion of the first round mOPV2 vaccination and urged to use this planning meeting as an opportunity to share lessons learned and discuss how best to get prepared for the upcoming next rounds.

On the first day of this meeting that intended to review the first round mOPV2 implementation, the Somali Regional heath bureau presented the first round mOPV2 campaign implementation activities, challenges and way forwards in Jarar and Dollo zones which was officially launched on both zones on 24 and 25 June respectively and followed by the Somaliland and Puntland teams’ response presentation.

The next two days will focus on reviewing and updating the synchronized micro plans for the cross border areas for the next campaign. Some of the outcomes expected from this meeting includes updating synchronized micro plan at border crossing points, to reach common understanding and agreement on the dates for the cross-border polio outbreak response, strengthening the cross border community based surveillance for AFP and other diseases surveillance and strengthen the mechanism for timely sharing of AFP surveillance data and other disease events.

Joint press release between Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization on the situation of Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic Of Congo (19.07.2019)

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