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Archive for the category “Aid”

Opinion: Afraid we’re using a Swiss-Army Knife to kill a Dragon!

Again and again, we’re seeing the big-men proudly saying: “We are going to beat this Coronavirus”. We are seeing Ministry of Health and Doctors saying: “We are not having such and such equipment and medicine to heal our patients”. So the stories goes.

Than, again, the public is not social distancing. The Public isn’t following orders to stay, because they cannot afford to stay home. They need to make bread to eat, the food just fly on the plate by a tweet-y bird. No, they have to earn it and the state doesn’t sufficiently compensate the public to stay home.

Secondly, the electric isn’t trustworthy, there are streets upon streets without pipe-water or clean-wells. Neither, is there enough sanitary rooms or needed wash-areas. Thirdly, the public needs public-transports, because the major part of the public cannot afford private cars. Even as they live hand to mouth. They got to go from their homes into a business district or a central market to work.

With all of these obstacles, still the big-man claims the closure of schools, borders, bars, churches and other public gatherings. The public still got to get to points, where they meet and greet. Where they got to use all sorts of methods there. Going to the public places and being sort of social to live. Where the state haven’t done enough to secure their lives and livelihood.

It is with these sort of measures and realities, the poor, the ones living in poverty, the ones whose never counted, unless they are pieces of statistics comes in. They are usually good pawns to get Multi-National Organizations, United Nations Organizations and Bretton Woods Institutions for grants, loans and whatnot. These people will now be useful again for loans and grants to sufficiently patch the hurt after the painful procedure during the crisis.

The state hasn’t sufficiently fixed the Health Care Centres, Hospitals neither invested in medicine, stocks of food, gasoline and so-on. This is why from the get-go, the state couldn’t win. The re-issue why they will loose is the people cannot afford to stay home. Unless, the state suddenly wire funds to all homes and everyone with a cellphone. Doing something, as there not enough efforts to take another step to make a difference. The elites can afford to live in the suburbs and finer parts of town in their mansions and get workers to pick up their fruits. However, their labour can wait and can be done from home. However, the mechanic, the street-vendor and the boda-boda driver got to go to the “office”, the street and pass by areas which is dangerous.

The dragon is big, the dragon is powerful and the dragon could burn you. Still, you got to go. There is no other choice. While the government has only gotten a Swiss-Army knife, they don’t have bazookas, they don’t have missiles nor jet fighters to bomb the living hell out of the dragon. They got one soldier, one big-man and his Swiss-Army knife to beat the dragon.

The man is going to face the beast on a “one-to-one” battle. A fight where he has to use skills, use his intellect and the one tool he has. While the dragon can burn, can use all parts of his body to beat on person. He can even use his tail to break the bones of the fighter. His alone in this and doesn’t have training nor the equipment to win. If he does, it is on luck and hope.

The Swiss-Army Man got to do a MacGyver moves. Have some secret tricks. However, the public needs that. They need some powerful changes and help in need. The Swiss-Army knife towards the dragon isn’t cutting it. The damage, the hurt and the possible pain will be unbearable. Even if people try to stay home and not go out. At one point they need, because their pantry isn’t that huge and they are lucky to survive the first phase without any causes to worry.

So, what I am hoping and that more pressure does. Is that flexing and the big-men actually spends their own retirement, that they passes the funds they have siphoned to tax-havens and they actually does something brave. They actually govern. It is easy to close shops and to send the army to the streets to send people home. However, it is even more daring to actually revamp and get guidance to rebuild the failing health care industry and the hospitals, where the needs will be dire in the coming days.

The dragon is coming, the burns are coming and hopefully you give your fighter more than a Swiss-army knife. Peace.

Opinion: World Bank shouldn’t punish countries with a revamped SAPs

Countries will need to implement structural reforms to help shorten the time to recovery and create confidence that the recovery can be strong. For those countries that have excessive regulations, subsidies, licensing regimes, trade protection or litigiousness as obstacles, we will work with them to foster markets, choice and faster growth prospects during the recovery“ (Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass on G20 Finance Ministers Conference Call on COVID-19, 23.03.2020).

It is like the head of the World Bank didn’t learn anything from the past. His just saying he will re-issue old programs, which wasn’t effective. Unless, his earning his fortunes from the “Washington Consensus”. Because, instead of being able to make functional states, these states who are already in the dire need of loans and grants. Now, would need the IMF and WB if they got into a new period of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). Instead of trying to rebuild and actually make them work. His instead dismantling the institutions they do have and lack of fiscal support to build more.

This is reckless and irresponsible. It is disrespectful and a disgrace. That the World Bank didn’t learn from its mistakes and the reason for the peril of plenty of states. Since they drank the kool-aid and followed the plans of the past. Since they needed the funds and grants to be able to function as it was. Nevertheless, we needs to bring back more ills and more weakening of states, because that is how you create growth. More privatization and more elitism. Since, that is the medicine to the poverty and lack of social security. This is what I read from the man.

This is the lesson he never got, maybe because it didn’t hit home:

The past two decades of World Bank and IMF structural adjustment in Africa have led to greater social and economic deprivation, and an increased dependence of African countries on external loans. The failure of structural adjustment has been so dramatic that some critics of the World Bank and IMF argue that the policies imposed on African countries were never intended to promote development. On the contrary, they claim that their intention was to keep these countries economically weak and dependent. The most industrialized countries in the world have actually developed under conditions opposite to those imposed by the World Bank and IMF on African governments. The U.S. and the countries of Western Europe accorded a central role to the state in economic activity, and practiced strong protectionism, with subsidies for domestic industries. Under World Bank and IMF programs, African countries have been forced to cut back or abandon the very provisions which helped rich countries to grow and prosper in the past(Ann-Louise Colgan, Hazardous to Health: The World Bank and IMF in Africa, Africa Action, April 18, 2002 ).

So, why does this man want to punish the countries after the pandemic? Why scale the institutions and the states to salvage funds from the World Bank? Instead of helping them to increase and ensure better state functions. He wants them to take another round of Structural Adjustment Programs. Which has caused so much ills in the first place. More austerity and less investment in the states.

It is like the beacon was never set and the idea of it takes money to make money. That your only getting more with less. While the states will live on austerity, the reality is that the donors, the aid organization and multi-national organizations will never leave. The circle continues and we never get to build. There will always lack the need and the usage of foreign projects will only be short-term temporary measures, but not systemic relief. Which should be the basis for what the World Bank want to do.

Unless, they want states to hooked and also in need of them. Because, the SAPs creates this and make them addicted too it. Instead of actually becoming independent and also self-sufficient, which should be the goal of any developing agency. That is if they were sincere and wanted states to develop. Not only patch the hurt and move-on. Instead of building it, brick by brick. Peace.

Ethiopia: Three Points Proposal from the Government of Ethiopia to G20 (24.03.2020)

World Water Day and World Meteorological Day 2020 – Joint message (22.03.2020)

World Bank working paper reveals astonishing amount of aid money to the African continent going directly into tax havens!

The World Bank working paper named ‘Elite Capture of Foreign Aid – Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts’, which was finally released yesterday is a devastating read. Not because of the facts in it, but because of the extent of the misuse and theft of aid money. The World Bank are now proving by small samples how much of their loans, grants and funds, which is given by donors to the WB, which happens to be moved to tax havens by the regimes that needs it. That is eating of the plate of the poorest and living lavish on others people’s dime.

Just in the Annex, the truth really comes forward, where it is only a small samples, but showing the distasteful enterprise still. Like from table one. You can see that a certain amount of African countries have taken out huge funds into havens deposits and non-haven deposits.

The report explains this about the table one: “The table shows the 22 countries in our main sample and presents summary statistics for the main variables in our analysis. The sample includes all countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are equivalent to at least 2 percent of annual GDP on average. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).

Nation Haven (million USD) Non-Haven (million USD)
Burkina Faso 32 88
Burundi 103 19
Eritrea 8 11
Ethiopia 64 155
Ghana 76 446
Guinea-Bissau 8 16
Madagascar 193 232
Malawi 31 82
Mali 27 133
Mauritania 32 150
Mozambique 40 161
Niger 29 79
Rwanda 149 41
Sao Tome and Principe 4 8
Sierra Leone 32 82
Tanzania 145 437
Uganda 73 188
Zambia 117 306

When you add into the A6 Table of the modestly aid-dependent countries. You see yet more African countries, where the money a flowing out of the coffers. Where surely not all aid is going where its supposed too.

The report explains table A6 like this: “The table shows the 24 countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are between 1% and 2% of annual GDP on average. is the average of the 24 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. WB aid disbursements is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).

Nation Haven (million USD) Non-Haven (million USD)
Benin 42 96
Cape Verde 14 20
Central African Republic 18 53
Chad 11 91
Comoros 7 27
Democratic Republic of Congo 910 93
Cote d’Ivoire 387 787
Gambia 24 82
Guinea 54 114
Kenya 1277 1784
Lesotho 11 28
Senegal 253 487
Togo 82 146

Without going into deep technicalities of these operations, neither how the World Bank came through these numbers. We can see there is a staggering amount of funds that disappear and goes missing. Which was supposed to go to development or directly to support the state functions. Which happens to end up in tax-havens, surely by someone closely associated with the state or heads of state. Since, these sorts of amounts couldn’t have left the nations without the approval of the executive or head of state.

We can also clearly see, that some aid is directly feeding the rich and keeping tax-havens alive. Giving them financial stimulus and also covering the expenses of the elites in the respective places. There is certainly a mismanagement and a need for more oversight from the World Bank. But also more mechanisms to stop the misuse of aid. If it is supposed to help and not just create a very vastly elite in the nation in question. Because, with this sort of operations, they have clearly achieved that. Peace.

Somalia, UN seek humanitarian aid to avert food insecurity (04.02.2020)

The assessment notes that up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security and require urgent humanitarian assistance.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, February 4, 2020 – Somalia’s federal authorities and the United Nations (UN) are calling for urgent humanitarian assistance to avert an acute food insecurity situation that could threaten millions of people.The call was made during the launch of the post-Deyr (October – December) seasonal Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia on Monday.

The periodic assessment is conducted twice a year by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), both of which are managed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN, in collaboration with various partners and governments.

The assessment notes that up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security and require urgent humanitarian assistance. At the same time, more than 690,000 children below five years of age could become acutely malnourished by the end of the year.

The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said that humanitarian needs persist despite favourable Deyr rains that improved the food security situation across the country.

“Approximately 4.1 million people across Somalia will continue to face acute food insecurity through mid-2020, including 1.3 million people who need urgent humanitarian assistance. Over 962,000 children face acute malnutrition, including 162, 000 who could become severely malnourished through this year, if their needs are not addressed,” said Mr. Abdelmoula.

He also noted that although the recent desert locust invasion in Somalia had been limited and localised, it carries a high risk of damage to crops.

“These concerns add to what is already one of the biggest and most complex emergencies in the world today. About 2.6 million people remain internally displaced and highly impoverished. They need to be better protected and supported in finding durable solutions,” the senior UN official said.

Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Hamoud Ali Hassan, attributed the country’s humanitarian challenges to factors beyond seasonal weather variations.

“The problem in Somalia is not only because of rainfall. It is due to insecurity and lack of infrastructure, which affects the movement of people between member states. Insecurity is a contributing factor,” the deputy minister noted, further appealing for support from international partners.

The FAO representative in Somalia, Etienne Peterschmitt, concurred that the country has experienced multiple challenges, such as poor Gu rains (the season running from April to June) compounded by the recent invasion of desert locusts. Mr. Peterschmitt pointed out that this complex issue requires concerted efforts to contain.

“If the locust [invasion] does hit the cropping or grazing areas at the worst time, the damage can be huge, up to a 100 per cent,” Mr. Peterschmitt said. He added that, considering where the invasion is located at the moment, it would not necessarily mean that the plague will affect all parts of the country, but nevertheless reminded all partners to be prepared.

Daniel Molla, the FSNAU Chief Technical Advisor, noted that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) indicate that most parts of Somalia will register favourable Gu rains this year, except in northwest Somaliland, which may experience below average Gu rains that could negatively impact on crop and livestock production.

“We also have to consider the prospects for the Gu season rainfall that is ahead of us; and the forecast for the IGAD indicates that average and above-average rainfall is expected in most parts of Somalia,” Molla said.

Somalia: FSNAU-FEWS NET Technical Release – Despite improvements, up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security Crisis or worse outcomes (03.02.2020)

Government and donors enable WFP to assist 1.2 million refugees and build local economies in Uganda (31.01.2020)

KAMPALA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) commends the Government of Uganda and all its donors for helping it to contribute to the basic food needs of 1.2 million refugees and their host communities across the country in 2019.

Donors and the Government of Uganda supported WFP to meet the basic dietary needs of refugees through monthly food or cash transfers. In addition, donors funded the treatment and prevention of malnutrition among refugees and Ugandans living around refugee settlements.

WFP was also able to support smallholder farmers to improve their yields and incomes while reducing food losses.

“The partnership between government, donors and WFP is vital to fight hunger and malnutrition in Uganda,” said El-Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director. “The ability of donors to swiftly provide funding and entrust us to deliver assistance to those seeking refuge —often women and children fleeing unimaginable hardships—needs our heartfelt recognition.”

In 2019, WFP’s refugee operation received contributions from Uganda, Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the United States of America.

Donors enabled WFP to help boost economies within Uganda by purchasing food locally. In addition, WFP strengthened its food and cash distribution procedures, including using biometrics to confirm identities in order to improve the accountability and integrity of the refugee response.

The government and donors helped WFP to expand cash-based transfers, reaching 35 percent of all refugees assisted. Cash allows refugees to choose what food they buy and stimulates economic growth in and around settlements. Cash also boosts government efforts to enhance financial inclusion.

Through cash-based transfers, WFP injected US$35 million into refugee settlements in 2019.

At the end of 2019, Uganda hosted 1.38 million refugees— the highest number of refugees in Africa. More than 67,300 refugees arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan between July and December. Women and people under the age of 18 make up 83 percent of refugees.

They typically arrive in Uganda with little to no assets, leaving them heavily dependent on assistance. A WFP and government study in 2017 found that even while the government gives land and the UN and other organizations provide additional assistance, refugees remain vulnerable for years.

By meeting their basic food and nutrition needs, WFP and its partners enable refugees to begin a journey toward self-reliance and resilience in line with Uganda’s refugee policy.

Donors to WFP’s relief and development work in Uganda to support refugees and host communities in 2019 were: Canada (US$562,000), the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (US$16 million), Ireland (US$2.3 million), Japan (US$2 million), the Republic of Korea (US$7 million of oil and rice), Russia (US$1.5 million), Sweden (US$1.7 million), Uganda (US$2.7 million of rice), the United Kingdom (US$56 million), the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (US$3.5 million) and the United States of America (US$110.6 million).

Contributions also came from multilateral (US$2 million) and private donors (US$306,400).

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

UN strongly condemns the harassment of humanitarian staff and looting of humanitarian premises in North Darfur (23.01.2020)

Zalingei/Khartoum, 23 January 2020- “This emerging trend of harassment of UN and NGO staff and subsequent looting and vandalization of UN and NGO premises and assets is not only very disturbing but totally uncalled for. UN and NGO staff are in Darfur to provide critical humanitarian and peacekeeping support in the region and deserve the full support and appreciation from the communities they serve,” UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative/Joint Chief Mediator, Jeremiah Mamabolo stated in response to reports received about the wanton destruction of property in Kabkabiya, North Darfur.

On 22 January, a large crowd of men, women and children harassed staff from the International Organization of Migration (IOM) who were on mission to distribute non-food items to victims of flooding that occurred in Kabkabiya, North Darfur last October. The distribution commenced on 20 January at the premises of an implementing partner and was supposed to conclude on 22 January. However, towards the end of the distribution program, some looters attacked the IOM staff alleging that they were not included in the distribution matrix. It was later reported that the premises of five other local NGOs were also looted.

Later in the day, government security forces intervened whilst UNAMID’s Pakistan Contingent based in the area, also secured the World Food Programme (WFP) premises and four local staff remaining in the offices.

“We appeal to both federal and state government authorities to thoroughly investigate above incidents and bring all persons responsible for these unwarranted actions to book,” JSR Mamabolo added.

The Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, condemned the attacks on humanitarian offices, assets and looting of humanitarian supplies in Kabkabiya, North Darfur.

“I condemn these acts and call upon the Government authorities to launch a swift investigation and bring those responsible to account,” Ms. Son said. “Attacks against humanitarian actors and operations endanger lives, violate the protection of civilians, including humanitarian workers, under international humanitarian law, and jeopardize the provision of life-saving aid to people in need.”

Over the past year there were several other incidents of looting of humanitarian supplies in Darfur.

UNAMID continues to monitor the situation and will take taking appropriate measures to continue to facilitate humanitarian access in Darfur, in line with its protection of civilians’ responsibilities as mandated by the United Nations Security Council.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calls South Sudan to increase its public spending in education (20.01.2020)

2.2 million children do not have access to quality education in South Sudan, jeopardizing the future of the entire country.

JUBA, South Sudan, January 20, 2020 – South Sudan is not sufficiently prioritizing children’s education, UNICEF said today. While the internationally agreed international standard for education allocations is 20 per cent of the national budget, South Sudan only spends 5.6 per cent for 2019-2020, according the national budget. This is the lowest public education spending in East Africa, recent studies say.2.2 million children do not have access to quality education in South Sudan, jeopardizing the future of the entire country. As the country prepares for a new academic year, UNICEF is calling on the Government of South Sudan to prioritize education in its government spending.

“Education must be a top priority for the Government in South Sudan and sufficient allocations must be made to ensure every child in the country can go to school and learn,” said UNICEF Representative in South Sudan Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “By investing in the education of its children, South Sudan is investing in the future and development of the whole country.”

The call for more public spending on education in South Sudan, comes as UNICEF is launching the global report ‘Addressing the learning crisis: an urgent need to better finance education for the poorest children’. Nearly 1 in 3 adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world has never been to school, the report says – launched as education ministers from all over the world are gathered at the Education World Forum, ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting.

Poverty, discrimination due to gender, disability, ethnic origin or language of instruction, physical distance from schools and poor infrastructure are among the obstacles that continue to prevent the poorest children from accessing quality education. Exclusion at every step of education perpetuates poverty and is a key driver of a global learning crisis.

The paper notes that the lack of resources available for the poorest children is exacerbating a crippling learning crisis, as schools fail to provide quality education for their students.

In South Sudan, lack of public investment in education is contributing to the critical shortage of qualified teachers. An estimated 62 per cent of primary teachers and 44 per cent of secondary teachers are not qualified. Also, many teachers leave the profession due to salaries not being paid on a regular basis.

UNICEF calls the Government of South Sudan:

  • to progressively increase the education share of the national budget to the international agreed standard of 20 per cent.
  • to ensure salaries of qualified teachers are paid and paid on time to increase teacher retention.
  • to allocate adequate resources to pre-primary education to ensure children are starting primary school well prepared.

“With South Sudan’s academic year commencing in a few weeks, it is prudent to commit to realizing every child’s right to an education, by ensuring the education sector has the necessary resources,” said Ayoya.

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