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Archive for the category “Aid”

UNMISS repairs 2500kms of roads to encourage economic growth and peace in South Sudan (13.06.2019)

Engineers from Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand and South Korea have spent six months working intensively levelling and grading roads.

JUBA, South Sudan, June 13, 2019 –

Engineers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan have repaired more than 2500 kilometers of roads to support economic growth and rapprochement so the conflict-affected country can build a peaceful and more prosperous future.

“When South Sudan gained its independence, it inherited infrastructure that was in a dire state with only about 250 kilometers of sealed roads. War and weather have also taken a toll over the years, leaving many roads impassable in the rainy season,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer.

“The efforts of our engineers to rehabilitate major supply routes will make a big difference to people’s lives.” Engineers from Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand and South Korea have spent six months working intensively levelling and grading roads as well as repairing supporting infrastructure, such as culverts and bridges. They have focused on major routes from Juba to Bentiu (940km), Juba-Bor-Pibor (400km) and Malakal (200km).

“We know that when people are able to travel to meet with each other, it is easier to build trust and confidence. In many areas where roads have been improved, we have seen a decrease in violence between groups and an increase in reconciliation and peace-building activities.”

“Many families are also beginning to have the confidence to return to their homes as the security situation improves. Better roads will enable them to travel safely and more easily,” said David Shearer.

“Improved access will also encourage trade, create jobs and economic growth.” “Importantly, humanitarian agencies will be able to reach communities in need and save millions of dollars travelling by road rather than relying on transporting aid by air. UNMISS will also be able to supply its bases and deploy peacekeepers to locations around the country more efficiently and effectively.”

“I would like to thank the countries that have sent their engineers to serve the people of South Sudan. Their efforts are improving people’s lives as well as the prospects of South Sudan securing a peaceful and more prosperous future,” said David Shearer.

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Opinion: [Shootdown] Museveni’s new magic bullet to beat poverty!

Museveni made the remarks yesterday Sunday while delivering his speech during the 30th Heroes Day commemorations held at Kasanje War Memorial Grounds in Wakiso district. He noted that the new program is set to be unveiled during the national budget reading session on June 13. Museveni explained that although there are many several other poverty alleviation programs running across the country, the new program will finally offer the magic bullet to get out of poverty” (URN – ‘Gov’t to introduce another poverty alleviation program’ 10.06.2019).

In the Republic there been many schemes to stop the rampant poverty in Uganda. However, for some reason none of them is working. There sometimes so many going on at the same time, you could think it was a public enterprise to get foreign funding to allocate funds for the projects.

In 1995 the state Entandikwa Scheme launched it and by 2002. The state then introduced the Rural Micro Finance Project was launched instead in 2004. This was not the final one of these, even if the Micro Finances are still viable, but not the main stay.

In next step was the National Development Plan again lasted between 2010/11 – 2014/15 and the Poverty-Environment Initiative. This has been extended by the National Development Plan II (NDP II), which has a lasting period from 2015/16- 2019/2020 and still succeeding to this day.

However, as you would be thinking this is enough? Well, the same state has launched National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) was launched as a scheme in 2002. The Youth Livelihood Programme was launched in 2013. Operation Wealth Creation was launched in 2013. All of these things was created for the same reason, to end poverty. Surely there are plenty more programmes, schemes and tricks of the trade to end poverty. Still, the government have not able to fix the issue.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have launched all of these and apparently the President haven’t delivered on this promise. That is why the President again launches a new trick of the trade. This here is just the new way they are trying to sell the end of poverty.

The NRM have tried this their way since the beginning of its reign. President Museveni have clearly tried and not succeeded.

This new scheme is surely just a way for his closest associates to eat. They just need to be revitalized and amended to fit the donors paradigm and the whatever they can reconfigure the budgets.

Museveni is shooting in the dark, his shooting fish in the barrel, he finally has the answer to the magic bullet that shoot JFK in Houston. Because, there is more likely finding the solution of that, than actually solving the issues around poverty. The second reason is that as long as the public and citizens stays poor. They will need aid and foreign donors. Therefore, the President will use all methods and schemes to beat it, but never get results.

That is why this newest scheme will end up like all the other ones. This President has found a new way to get funds, just another trick of his trade. That is what he does, Gen. Salim Selah will surely be involved in this one too. Just like he has done in the past. That is how this is ending. Don’t be shocked or surprised.

The President and NRM had 33 years to be able to do this. They have created all of these methods, but they are never working. That is why I don’t believe this one will do the cut either. Because there is no general will by the authorities to actually get rid of it. They want initially to keep people poor, to be able to get “free” money from the donors and not have to do their job as a government. Peace.

DRC: Local leaders help turn the tide on Ebola (11.06.2019)

So far there have been more than 2008 cases in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

CAIRO, Egypt, June 11, 2019 – Joseph Kakule, the community leader of the Vighole area, has become one of the most committed social mobilizers in a region ravaged by the ongoing outbreak Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kakule, 47, is a native of Butembo. He is one of the local leaders who are working to mobilize community engagement to combat Ebola. “Listening to my community, sharing its anxieties and trying to find a solution – that’s what motivates me,” he says.

Kakule and his deputy, 30-year-old Gervais Muhindo, form a duo resolutely determined to break the silence about the disease, and to end mistrust of Ebola health workers.

This week, they both feel happy that they have done their duty. They managed to persuade people who had come in contact with the most recent confirmed cases of Ebola to agree to be vaccinated. Located southwest of Butembo, Vighole is part of the Katwa health zone, which is considered one of the strongholds of community resistance. People here have turned a deaf ear to attempts to raise awareness of an epidemic that has continued to spread.

Every day for the past ten months, Ebola cases have been reported in Butembo – a city of more than one million inhabitants – and its immediate surroundings, including Binone, Kabondo, Kavisa, Kirimbere and Vuhunga. So far there have been more than 2 008 cases in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, including 1 900 confirmed and 94 probable, with more than 1 340 deaths.

To make sure that vaccination teams from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization could safely arrive on site to administer the Ebola vaccine, Kakule and Muhindo first toured the alleys of Vighole, meeting community members. Their goal was to conduct an in-depth door-to-door awareness campaign so that a vaccination site could be set up. They were targeting first and second degree contacts with people who had been diagnosed with the virus.

“It has been a long time since an Ebola response team could set foot here,” Kakule says, “but we are mobilizing against misinformation and lack of trust within our community, which itself is plagued by doubt and anger at the insecurity caused by armed groups.”

During the first six months of 2019, the Katwa area and the Butembo urban agglomeration experienced several attacks attributed to armed groups. These attacks included the looting and destruction of Ebola treatment centres, during which some health responders at the frontline and security forces repelling the attackers lost their lives.

Kakule remembers that, after difficult weeks of bitterness and misunderstanding following these violent incidents, he and Muhindo simply decided to organize community meetings to explain that the Ebola virus disease was a serious danger that threatened everyone without exception.

“Those who die of this deadly virus are our brothers and sisters. We cannot give up and watch the situation continue to deteriorate like this without doing anything,” Kakule says. The Vighole area was recently in uproar after a series of deaths occurred within a single family. First came the death of a 17-year-old boy suspected of having contracted Ebola, followed by the deaths of both his parents a few days later.

“I told myself that talking about Ebola to members of our neighbourhood is not a crime, even if other residents treat us like sell-outs bought by the response teams,” says Muhindo.

Muhindo says he often uses “the testimonies of those who are already healed from Ebola as a powerful argument to sweep away the doubt” of his neighbours in the Vighole area. He also talks about the importance of vaccinating or decontaminating affected households to prevent the disease from spreading further.

Combating misinformation

Teams of first responders to the deadly Ebola virus have often faced community mistrust, fuelled by misinformation spread by some parliamentary candidates in the general elections that took place in late 2018. This is one of the reasons why Kakule and Muhindo decided to fight misinformation about the epidemic, which is having an increasingly negative impact on their community.

“We talk to everyone – young, old and even children. We tell them that it is better to get vaccinated if you came in contact with a confirmed Ebola patient rather than wait a long time to develop the disease only to die later,” Kakule says.

On Friday, May 31, the response teams arrived in Vighole to begin vaccination in the field around the identified contacts. On the same day, the WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergencies and Health Risks, Dr Ibrahima Socé-Fall, visited the site and praised “the courage and commitment of these two community leaders,” referring to Kakule and Muhindo. Thanks to their hard work, their community, once resistant to response activities, is now mobilized to take ownership of the fight to get Katwa and its various neighbourhoods out of the chain of transmission of Ebola.

These response activities, coordinated by the Ministry of Health with the support of the World Health Organization and other partners, have generously received financial contributions from several donors, including Germany, the United States of America, the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), China, South Korea, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), DFID, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the European Union, Canada. Gavi, The Wellcome Trust and others.

Ebola update: In DR Congo, the outbreak continues to worsen while mistrust and violence show no signs of abating (06.06.2019)

Violent storm approaching the Makeke Transit Center: first true test of the sealing of our TC. There were corrections to be made.
Violent orage venant droit sur nous, CT Makeke: premier vrai test de l'”etancheite” de notre CT. Il y a eu des corrections a faire

After ten months into the outbreak, the number of Ebola cases continues to increase.

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 6, 2019 –  The high level of insecurity and the lack of trust in the Ebola response continue to discourage the population from seeking care in Ebola treatment centres, resulting in an increased likelihood of the virus spreading across the general & traditional healthcare system.

While the number of new cases being reported is high, the real number is likely to be even higher.

The lack of trust in the Ebola response and the (related) deterioration of the security situation has led to severe restriction of many Ebola-related activities, including the ability of teams to move quickly on the ground to investigate alerts and trace contacts. People are either dying at home or in general healthcare facilities. People dying of Ebola in the community presents a significant transmission risk and testifies once more to the persistent lack of trust in the intervention.

It will not be possible to end this outbreak if there is no trust built between the response and the affected people. We have to listen to the needs of communities, restore their choice when it comes to managing their health, and involve them in every aspect of the Ebola response.

About the epidemiological situation (4th June 2019)

According to the official figures provided by the Ministry of Health of DR Congo, 2025 cases have been identified at the moment, including 1931 confirmed and 94 probable cases. 1358 people have died from the disease and 552 people have been cured so far.

UNHCR warns of growing climate-related displacement in Somalia (05.06.2019)

An estimated 5.4 million people are likely to be food insecure by September.

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 5, 2019 -This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Ahead of World Environment Day tomorrow, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling for urgent additional support to help people affected and displaced by drought in Somalia.

Below average rains during the “Gu” (April-June 2019) and “Deyr” (October – December 2018) rainy seasons have caused worsening drought in many parts of the country. An estimated 5.4 million people are likely to be food insecure by September.

Some 2.2 million of these will be in severe conditions needing immediate emergency assistance unless aid is urgently scaled up.

The drought has also forced more than 49,000 people to flee their homes since the beginning of the year as they search for food, water, aid and work mostly in urban areas. People who are already displaced because of conflict and violence are also affected by the drought, at times disproportionally.

More than 7,000 people were displaced last month alone.

Three main regions of Somalia – South Central, Puntland and Somaliland – have been affected, despite marginal to average rains and flash flooding in some regions. The worst affected areas include the Sanaag, Sool, Awdal, Bari, Nugaal, Mudug, Galgadud, Hiran regions of the country.

The latest drought comes just as the country was starting to recover from a drought in 2016 to 2017 that led to the displacement inside Somalia of over a million people. Many remain in a protracted state of displacement.

UNHCR and humanitarian partners fear that severe climatic conditions combined with armed conflict and protracted displacement could push the country into a far bigger humanitarian emergency. Decades of climatic shocks and conflict have left more than 2.6 million people internally displaced.

To avert a humanitarian crisis, aid agencies launched a Drought Response Plan on 20 May, appealing for US$710.5 million to provide life-saving assistance to 4.5 million people affected by the drought. To date this is 20 per cent funded.

UNHCR has been working with partners and government agencies to assist those affected and displaced by the drought by providing emergency assistance in some of the most affected areas.

Worldwide, weather-related hazards, including storms, cyclones, floods, droughts, wildfires and landslides displaced 16.1 million people last year alone.

With climate change amplifying the frequency and intensity of sudden disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and tornados, and contributing to more gradual environmental phenomena, such as drought and rising sea levels, it is expected to drive even more displacement in the future.

UNHCR is calling for more international action to prevent climate-related disasters, scale up efforts to strengthen resilience and to protect people affected by climate change using all available legal frameworks.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for “reset” of Ebola response as cases surpass 2,000 (04.06.2019)

More than 1,300 people have died in what is now the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 4, 2019 – Aid organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) need to “reset” their response to the current Ebola outbreak and place more emphasis on understanding and addressing persistent community fears, mistrust and concerns.

Nicole Fassina, Ebola Virus Disease Coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:

The Ebola response effort has undoubtedly saved lives and helped prevent the spread of this disease beyond North Kivu and Ituri. We’ve now reached more than 2,000 Ebola cases and the numbers being reported have risen dramatically. We need to reset the response, and place communities at the centre of all of our efforts.”

More than 1,300 people have died in what is now the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. Worryingly, the number of Ebola cases has increased significantly in recent weeks to between 15-20 new cases per day.

This escalation is at least in part due to the precarious security situation in the affected area. Ebola responders do not only face resistance from communities but are also exposed to threats and attacks by armed groups. IFRC is concerned that partners limit their use of security or military support as much as possible. Increasing armed protection for Ebola responders may aggravate the tensions that already exist between communities and responders.

With the announcement last week by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee of a scale up of the Ebola response, now is the time to critically look at how we change our approach with communities.

We welcome the commitment of partners to scale up the response to this outbreak. But we need to ensure we do this in the right way,” said Fassina.

“As a humanitarian community, we need to invest more in locally-led response approaches. This outbreak will only end when communities are engaged and leading the response efforts themselves.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

République démocratique du Congo – Note d’informations humanitaires pour la Province du Nord-Kivu (30 mai 2019)

Update on Food Poisoning Investigations in Karamoja Region (27.05.2019)

Amid ‘unprecedented combination’ of epidemics, UN and partners begin cholera vaccination campaign in DR Congo (28.05.2019)

The campaign began in North Kivu in the restive east of the country.

NEW YORK, United States of America, May 28, 2019 –  Amid what global Vaccine Alliance Gavi is calling an “unprecedented combination” of epidemics, the UN and partners are supporting  the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s major new immunization campaign against cholera which began on Monday, targeting more than 800,000.

The campaign began in North Kivu in the restive east of the country, where armed groups hold sway over large areas, and the DRC’s worst-ever Ebola epidemic is still raging, having claimed well over 1,000 lives so far.

The cholera campaign will be implemented by the DRC’s Ministry of Health with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, and funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. A total of 835,183 people in Binza, Goma, Kayina, Karisimbi, Kibirizi, Kirotshe and Rutshuru areas will be vaccinated by a deadline of next Saturday.

A first dose will be given, and if all goes well, the second dose will be rolled out at a later stage to provide full protection. More than 10,000 cases of cholera have been reported in the country since January 2019, leading to more than 240 deaths. In addition, over 80,000 suspected cases of measles have led to over 1,400 deaths so far this year while a case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 was reported in Kasai province, earlier this month.

  “The DRC is confronted with an unprecedented combination of deadly epidemics,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “While the Ebola outbreak continues to cause untold misery in the East, measles and cholera epidemics are claiming the lives of thousands of people throughout the country.

That’s why we are stepping up our response,” he added, “through ongoing measles vaccinations in health zones affected by measles outbreaks, as well as through our continued support for Ebola vaccinations in both the DRC and neighbouring countries. We cannot allow this needless suffering to continue.” 

Campaign is ‘massive contribution’ – WHO

“Cholera is a preventable disease. Vaccinating people at risk in the most exposed health zones in North Kivu against cholera is a massive contribution and will protect hundreds of thousands of people against the disease and raise population immunity levels in these areas,” said Dr. Deo Nshimirimana, acting WHO Representative in the DRC.

The cholera vaccine doses were taken from the global cholera vaccine stockpile, which is fully funded by Gavi. Gavi is also supporting operational costs for the campaign.

Since the stockpile was launched in 2013, millions of doses have helped tackle outbreaks across the globe. In the fifteen years between 1997 and 2012, just 1.5 million doses of oral cholera vaccine were used worldwide. In 2018 alone, the stockpile provided 17 million doses to 22 different countries.

The Sudan – Impact of Early Warning Early Action (20.05.2019)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is developing innovative early warning systems to anticipate risks and intervene at the right time.

ROME, Italy, May 20, 2019 –  Climate-driven hazards are increasing in intensity and frequency, with weather‑related crises now occurring nearly five times as often as 40 years ago. At the same time, needs are expanding and resources are limited. New tools and ways of thinking and acting are essential to reduce the impact of these disasters as effectively as possible.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is developing innovative early warning systems to anticipate risks and intervene at the right time. The right time is often early – before a crisis becomes a humanitarian disaster. FAO’s approach is shifting from a reactive mind-set to one focused on mitigation and prevention.

When the state of Kassala in eastern Sudan experienced a dry spell in 2017 and 2018, FAO took steps early to protect the livelihoods of vulnerable agropastoralists. This study analyses the outcomes of FAO’s Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) approach in the Sudan. They complement and reinforce earlier findings in EthiopiaKenya, and Somalia which demonstrated that early actions have a significant return on investment and are an effective way to address drought in Africa’s agropastoralist regions.

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