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Archive for the category “Aid”

United Nations Zimbabwe: Urgent need to scale-up assistance to drought affected people (27.04.2019)

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Somalia: Early warning signs of severe drought and a major humanitarian crisis (DG ECHO, OCHA, FAO, WFP, IGAD) (ECHO Daily Flash of 27 April 2019)

  • “Analyses show that rainfall levels through mid-April will likely be amongst the driest on record (since 1981)…” (IGAD, 17/4/2019). Current conditions are worse than in the same period of 2017 and are only surpassed by the drought of 2011. Much of the Somali population affected in the 2017/18 drought has had no opportunity to recover.
  • Significant deficit in 2019 Gu rainfall is forecasted to continue in May, already resulting in water shortages, increased commodity prices, deterioration of livestock and agropastoral conditions, and displacement of people.
  • Food security situation and nutrition outlook are deteriorating, particularly in northern and central Somalia. 4.9 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, of which 1.5 million are in acute food insecurity. Should the forecasted deficit in rainfall persevere, the number of people in need of immediate assistance is expected to dramatically increase through 2019. Early action is needed to avert food security and nutrition crisis by scaling up immediate life-saving assistance. However, only 15% of the needs defined in the 2019 humanitarian response plan (HRP) seeking USD 1.08 billion are currently funded.

More than 3,400 classrooms damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, says UN Children’s Fund (19.04.2019)

More than 305,000 children in Mozambique are losing out on lessons at school since the devastating floods caused by Cyclone Idai, which struck southeast Africa just over a month ago.

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 19, 2019 –  The latest assessment by UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, indicates that around 3,400 classrooms have either been destroyed or damaged, with 2,713 out of action in the Sofala area alone.

In some of the areas affected, schools will need extensive repair and rehabilitation after being converted into makeshift emergency shelters for children and families displaced by the huge storm, which barreled inland off the coast of Mozambique on 14 April, also causing damage and flooding across large areas of Zimbabwe and Malawi.

UNICEF is urging authorities to reconstruct schools in a more robust way, so they can withstand natural disasters in the future, and they are urging humanitarian partners involved in the mammoth recovery effort, to “continue working together to implement solutions” – such as establishing temporary learning centres – to get children back in school as quickly as possible.

“Any prolonged interruption in access to learning could have devastating consequences for children over both the short and long term”, said the agency. “Education is essential for helping children return to a sense of normalcy following a traumatic event, like a major cyclone, and for their long-term development and prospects.” 

UNICEF is also concerned that the disruption will compound what were already low rates of school enrolment and “learning achievement” in Mozambique. iwith less than 20 per cent of secondary-school aged children currently enrolled.

Dropout rates could increase if families whose property or livelihoods have been negatively affected by the cyclone are forced to send their children to work to make ends meet.

Teachers have also suffered because of the cyclone, the agency notes, proposing short-term financial support for educators affected by the disaster to help them re-build their lives.

The needs in Mozambique remain massive, with 1 million children in need of assistance. UNICEF has launched an appeal for US$122 million to support its humanitarian response for children and families affected by the storm and its aftermath, in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the next nine months.

In immediate response to the storm, more than 14 countries, including five from Africa, deployed more than 100 assets to support the aid effort, said UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, including $14 million released from the Central Emergency Response Fund by humanitarian affairs chief, Mark Lowcock.

Food has been distributed from the first day of the disaster response, and more than one million people have been reached so far. More than 800,000 have been vaccinated against cholera, and more than 117,000 have received emergency shelter.

World Food Programme reaches 1 million flood-affected people in Mozambique (16.04.2019)

World Food Programme (WFP) intends to assist a total of 1.7 million people requiring urgent food and nutrition support in the four most affected provinces (Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia).

BEIRA, Mozambique, April 16, 2019 –  One month on since Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique on March 14, the United Nations World Food Programme has reached one million people with food assistance and continues to expand its emergency response while launching recovery and reconstruction interventions.

‘’In the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, people were so very desperate.’’ said Lola Castro, WFP’s Regional Director for Southern Africa. ‘’Thanks to the hard work and resourcefulness of the many involved, the speed and scale of the response has transformed that desperation into hope.’’

Working in close coordination with the government and the INGC, the national disaster management agency, WFP intends to assist a total of 1.7 million people requiring urgent food and nutrition support in the four most affected provinces (Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia).

  • The successful scale-up to date has been made possible by the generosity of donors, including those who provide unearmarked, flexible funding. However, WFP still requires US$130 million to be able to fully implement its response through June.
  • People affected by the flood and cyclone are receiving up to 30-day rations of rice and maize meal, pulses, fortified blended food and vegetable oil. Where local markets are functioning, WFP distributions of food will increasingly give way to cash-based transfers (CBTs). Some 145,000 people are to receive support this way in April.
  • WFP has deployed nutritionists to the four priority provinces, begun moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) treatment at displacement centres and devised a six-month plan to treat at least 100,000 children and women.
  • An ongoing cholera outbreak, that has so far infected more than 5,000 people, threatens to worsen malnutrition. WFP is supporting three cholera treatment centers in Beira with food assistance.
  • As lead of the global logistics cluster, WFP deployed to Mozambique three MI-8 transport helicopters and a C-295 freight aircraft to support the broader humanitarian response. Two WFP amphibious vehicles (SHERPS), able to carry 1,000 kilos of cargo, are in service, carrying food and other essentials to otherwise inaccessible locations.
  • Drone mapping of damage and needs is a key element of WFP’s support to the INGC. WFP drone pilots are assessing damage to critical infrastructure – including hospitals, clinics, schools, roads and bridges. All 44 square kilometres of Beira and several towns and villages outside the city have been mapped so far.
  • Planting for a second 2019 harvest in October-November must be completed in the coming days. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has begun the distribution of maize, bean and vegetable seeds, and of tools, to 14,700 smallholder farming families in Sofala and Manica provinces. WFP is supporting the effort by providing food assistance to the families to ensure seeds are planted rather than consumed.
  • More than 700,000 hectares of crops – primarily maize – were washed away ahead of the main April–May harvest, deepening food insecurity. Other key sources of income, like livestock and fisheries, have also been badly affected.
  • Given the magnitude of the damage caused, Mozambique’s recovery needs too will be significant. WFP is working to ensure that a major government and World Bank-led post-disaster needs assessment that began this week will provide for improved food/nutrition security and social protection programmes.
  • The disaster has underscored how vulnerable southern Africa is to climate shocks, and the imperative of significantly increased investment in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, key elements of WFP’s pre-cyclone work with vulnerable communities, including subsistence farmers.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo (12.04.2019)

The rise in number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases observed in the North Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues this week.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 12, 2019 – The rise in number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases observed in the North Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues this week. During the last 21 days (20 March to 9 April 2019), 57 health areas within 11 health zones reported new cases; 40% of the 141 health areas affected to date (Table 1 and Figure 2). During this period, a total of 207 probable and confirmed cases were reported from Katwa (83), Vuhovi (41), Mandima (29), Beni (21), Butembo (15), Oicha (8), Masereka (4), Lubero (2), Musienene (2), Kalunguta (1), and Mabalako (1).

As of 9 April, a total of 1186 confirmed and probable EVD cases have been reported, of which 751 died (case fatality ratio 63%). Of the 1186 cases with reported age and sex, 57% (675) were female, and 29% (341) were children aged less than 18 years. The number of healthcare workers affected has risen to 87 (7% of total cases), including 31 deaths. To date, a total of 354 EVD patients who received care at Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) have been discharged.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has convened the Emergency Committee for a meeting on 12 April, to consider whether the current EVD outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and to provide recommendations.

Progress on the ground this week focused primarily on intensifying infection prevention and control (IPC) activities in and around outbreak hotspot areas. IPC teams are concentrating their efforts at addressing reluctance to decontamination activities amongst some local residents by actively engaging in regular direct dialogues with community leaders. Along with intensifying decontamination efforts, other IPC measures being undertaken include rapid evaluation of IPC practices in healthcare facilities and patients’ homes and identifying facilities at increased risk of contact with EVD cases. Results from these rapid evaluations demonstrated a range of IPC gaps depending on the type of facility, which were then promptly addressed through supplementary supervision. Reoccurring issues include limited knowledge of standard precautions, lack of triage and isolation capacity, insufficient supplies (e.g., of personal protective equipment), inappropriate waste management, and lack of capacity for decontaminating medical equipment. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining supportive supervision and mentorship at priority facilities throughout the response. WHO is confident that strengthening these IPC measures would be an integral means of slowing the spread of EVD in the outbreak areas.

WHO and partners in Risk Communication and Community Engagement are continuing with activities to build and maintain a trusting relationship between communities and the Ebola response teams. Dialogues with community committees are ongoing in the hotspot areas of Butembo, Katwa, and Vuhovi, and form a key part of a larger increase ownership of the Ebola response by the communities. Information about community disquiet are systematically collected and monitored to ensure that any misunderstanding leading to reluctance, refusal, or resistance of the Ebola response is followed up with and resolved as quickly as possible. This has been made possible by feedback from the community members, received through ongoing dialogue and various research activities within both the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and neighbouring areas.

In an effort to address the feedback received and specific concerns over the outbreak response, guided visits of the Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) in various affected areas have been organized. Students and community associations who attended these guided visits to the ETCs can see first-hand how EVD patients are treated and help stop the potential dissemination of misinformation surrounding EVD and the ongoing response efforts.

The security situation has remained calm for the past week as well. Provisional results released on 9 April by the Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante concerning the national and provincial legislative elections in Beni, Butembo city (North Kivu), and Yumbi territory (Mai-Ndombe) have caused no significant unrest or disruption to outbreak response activities.

The continued increase in cases this past week reflects the complex reality of conducting an effective outbreak response in a geographically difficult area with a highly fluid population, intermittent attacks by armed groups, and limited healthcare infrastructure. Despite these challenges, WHO and partners remain committed to limiting the spread of EVD amongst these vulnerable populations through the continued strengthening of our multi-faceted response efforts.

Opinion: If you can silence Museveni’s Guns, then you have a shot for succession!

There is a very obvious reason, why President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is going on a Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) Tour of late. That is to show his force, his power and his army. As long as the President has his army, has his security organizations like ISO, CMI, Flying Squad and the Special Force Command. Now even the LDUs and possible Crime Preventers. The President has so many outfits fighting his battles and defending him. He don’t have to care about the ballot or the will of the people. He has soldiers, spies and police officers fighting his battles anyway.

So, for the ones believing in the ballot, believing that the man of 1986 coup d’etat and never leaving the office. Will leave peaceful, because he suddenly overnight lost to Bobi Wine or Kizza Besigye. Better be smoking or drinking hard, it must be liquid courage, because it is not bloody brilliant. More mere ignorance of who they are fighting.

The President uses all means to stay in power. The ones he cannot compromise or pay-off, he challenge and intimidate, the ones he cannot sensitize and the ones he cannot convert. He kills off and silence. The ones that knows to much and been in to close relations will be kept on payroll, even if they got nothing in government to do. The same with former comrades who needs a pay-check even if their time is over. That is just the way it is.

The President will do whatever to stay in power. Making insults against him criminal, making staging rallies in the same area as him as crime. Making posters on top his a crime. Everything at opposes him is a felony and you will pay for doing so. It is just a matter of time, before you get apprehended and taken care off.

Therefore, the ones believing that the President are playing democracy and would initiate a transition. Is believing in their own juices and the own air their breathing. Because, that is far from reality.

The only way to get rid of Museveni is either by natural death. May, the almighty answer the prayers of plenty who has been suffering during his three decades and leave them be. Alas, it is up to God to know when he is soul is leaving his body. The only other way, except natural death is to do something as special as silencing his GUNS.

That is why he is so militarized. This is the only thing he got, that he does well. The only thing that he can command and actually follows every single word. The President control of the army, the security organizations and the intelligence operations. Are the reason for his steady control of the Republic. So, if someone takes that away from him. Then there is hope. Either a Popular Uprising, at levels where the whole state stagnates and stops functioning. Because, the public is demonstrating so heavy, barricading roads and closing the civil service. That the President and his administration have to step down.

The other way, which is in similar fashion. Is to get the Police, Army and other Security Outfits to do a mutiny, to lay down the weapons or decide to not follow his orders. That they are standing down. They are rebelling and becoming mutineers. That they are standing up for the public and helping to topple and control the government, by using the manners and techniques learned while being part of army, police and other security outfits.

Therefore, the need to SILENCE the GUNS. By any means. That is where the power of Museveni are and has been. Ever since he went to the Bush. His safe-guard, his partner and friend in crime and passion. Has been the gun, the rifle, the ammunition and the guerrilla warfare. That is what has been his staple, been his meal-ticket and his way of getting the Republic under his spell. Using enough of the weapons to silence them all. Fear and respect him, because he got the weapons and if you don’t follow him. You will be dealt with.

So, for you who believes in the ballot, trust me the bullet is his friend. He only ushered in the ballot, to get funding and loans, legitimacy and get great alliances with foreign forces, which could strengthen his grip. Something it has with training of the military, the ones assigned in foreign missions and even imports of army equipment. All, because of the steady need for ballots. Even, if all along, the only measure needed and his loyal weapon.

The GUNS would be there to save the day. The GUNS would there to save tomorrow and beyond. Peace.

UN’s emergency fund allocates $11 million to help displaced South Sudanese return home (04.04.2019)

Some 1.9 million people have fled their homes due to violence and conflict and now live in settlements and communities throughout the country.

JUBA, South Sudan, April 4, 2019 –  The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) announced an allocation of US$11 million to help 268,000 women, men and children who had been displaced by conflict within South Sudan to return to their homes.

“People who fled their homes with nothing are returning to nothing. They need urgent support. The CERF funding will ensure they have food, farming tools and seeds, shelter items and other basic necessities ahead of the rainy season starting in May, when access to most areas will be cut off,” said Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “They will need support to recover their lost livelihoods and rebuild their lives.”

Non-food items, including buckets and mosquito nets will also be provided in 10 priority areas. Healthcare, education, and clean water and sanitation facilities will also be strengthened in the areas of return, including to serve people with disabilities. Protection services will be provided as a central component of the plan.

Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, said: “Since the beginning of the year, we are observing an increasing number of population movements across South Sudan, including many people returning to their home areas. It is vital that they do this in a voluntary, informed and dignified way. Keeping people safe is central to our response and we will continue to put a particular emphasis on protecting women and girls from violence. This CERF funding, which is part of a larger humanitarian plan, is a strong start to help people find solutions after years of displacement. Additional funding is urgently needed to provide humanitarian support and essential services.”

Some 1.9 million people have fled their homes due to violence and conflict and now live in settlements and communities throughout the country. Many of these people have been displaced more than once since conflict broke out in late 2013. Another 2.3 million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries.

The 2019 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan, seeking $1.5 billion to assist 5.7 million people, is only 5 per cent funded. Life-saving assistance must be sustained.

WFP Statement On Access To Jet Fuel in Zimbabwe (03.04.2019)

Opinion: Gen. Otafiire is oblivious to how the NRA/NRM always been supported by foreigners since its inception!

Our enemies are those working for the colonialists. You have a quarrel with Museveni and run to United States to report; you get a misunderstanding with Mr Museveni you go to United Kingdom to report him. Do those people govern us? Are you a president for Americans or British, have you ever seen Mr Museveni going to UK to ask for forgiveness?” (…) “If you want to go to report Museveni to Europeans, when you go there, please keep there. You are coming to seek votes then after putting you into power, you use Americans and the British to lead us. No, we got fed up with that. That’s why we are praying that we can build a united Africa so that Africans can lead themselves” – Kahinda Otafiire on 1st April 2019 (FELIX AINEBYOONA & ALFRED TUMUSHABE – ‘Bobi Wine trying to bring back colonialists – Gen Otafiire 01.04.2019).

There is hypocrisy out going in the mean streets of the world. Especially among the ones in power, who think they can blindside people and make them oblivious to certain fact. One of the heads of this practice is General. Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister for Justice in the Republic of Uganda, the former National Resistance Army (NRA) official and later emerging politician in the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

When he says his enemies, it is the voice of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine who has an American Lawyer and such. However, the NRA/NRM wouldn’t exist to this date, if they didn’t get help. The almighty President and his people, wouldn’t have participated in the rigged election of 1980, if it wasn’t for the grand support of Tanzania and Julius Nyerere. That chapter might been forgotten by the Bush Warriors.

In addition, that the NRA got in secret deliveries of weapons and ammunition from Col. Muammar Gadhafi back in the day, that is direct Libyan intervention in the internal conflict of the Republic. This was during the 1980s bush-war, while Museveni and NRA was claiming to be self-sufficient. However, that was never the case.

Also, after taking power, if there was IMF/World Bank, no support from President Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. The President wouldn’t have gotten favourable agreements, loans and development funds to fund to rebuild the battle-torn Republic. The NRM will not claim that today, because that was their steady progress. Alas, the Western powers, bilateral agreements and direct donor aid funded lots of government portfolio back-in-the-day. So, Otafiire, better be silent.

This is just the start and not the whole picture even, as of today, the NRM couldn’t have managed doing infrastructure projects in major parts of the republic. If it wasn’t for loans from China or donations from Japan. They are still viable and the ones paying for the building of these. That is just the way it is. In addition, the major investment done by the United States in support of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), which wouldn’t been so modern and so well-trained. If it wasn’t for funding, training and direct support. This is well known, as well, as the agreements done with North Korea and others, who are outsiders, but when the NRM does it. It is apparently, patriotic and justified, but when the opposition does it. It is evil.

Therefore, when the NRM and their apologists uses colonists and foreign intervention as support of opposition. It is cool, as long as it happens to happen to them, but it’s a big, big problem, when the opposition does it. Because, the NRM is “Buy Uganda Build Uganda” , they are “Buy Chinese, Build Uganda”, but don’t tell Otafiire that. He will get shocked. Peace.

Humanitarian funds release US$45.7 million for life-saving assistance in Somalia (02.04.2019)

Despite improvements in the humanitarian situation in 2018, the food security situation in Somalia has deteriorated.

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 2, 2019 – The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) released a combined US$45.7 million today to scale up life-saving assistance in Somalia, where over 4.2 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance this year, including 900,000 acutely malnourished children.

“These allocations will enable humanitarian agencies in Somalia to deliver urgently needed food, clean water, health care and education support in the shortest possible time in areas where needs are the highest,” said Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “We will prioritise delivery to children, women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities, who have suffered terribly as drought and conflict continue to drive the crisis in Somalia.” The $12-million CERF allocation will boost the response in the worst affected parts of northern Somalia, where 823,000 people are facing severe food insecurity. The funds will be used for food assistance in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions, and nutrition, health, and water and sanitation and hygiene programmes in Sool, Sanaag and Bari regions.

The $33.7 million SHF allocation will scale up protection, education and shelter support in northern Somalia, and other life-saving activities in central and southern Somalia. Most of the funding will go to national and international non-governmental organizations, while $700,000 will go to the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which helps move essential humanitarian goods and personnel.

“Support from CERF and the SHF will enable aid organizations to scale up and sustain life-saving assistance in the worst-affected areas in the country as the Jilaal (dry season) persists,” said George Conway, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “This allocation is critical, but further generous donor funding will be needed to sustain aid operations and support recovery across Somalia.” The SHF allocation is the largest since 2012 and would not have been possible without early donor support. Germany has been the top donor to the Fund since 2017; other top donors are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Despite improvements in the humanitarian situation in 2018, the food security situation in Somalia has deteriorated, particularly in the north, and in some central parts of the country due to poor Deyr seasonal rains, the lingering effects of the 2016/2017 drought, conflict, displacement and evictions. The number of people facing acute food insecurity or worse has remained at 1.5 million since last year, but with a geographical shift in needs towards northern Somalia. Overall, 4.9 million Somalis are estimated to be food insecure.

The 2019 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan, seeking $1.08 billion, is only 12 per cent funded to date. With conflict, displacement and climatic shocks persistently causing high levels of humanitarian and protection concerns, life-saving assistance must be sustained alongside livelihood support.

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