Africa 

Coronavirus poses latest threat to battered health system in DR Congo

As the DRC has also been battling an Ebola outbreak in the volatile eastern region, UNICEF fears mounting cases of COVID-19 will further strain the public health system in a country that is among the most at risk in Africa. “Coronavirus will most likely divert the available national health capacity and resources, and leave millions of children affected by measles, malaria, polio and many other killer diseases,” said UNICEF Representative Edouard Beigbeder, speaking from the capital, Kinshasa. While the DRC has so far recorded nearly 100 cases of COVID-19 and…

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Africa 

First Person: False promises in Mauritania

Mauritania, where the job market has been tight in recent years, has seen many people fall prey to the patter of so-called hiring agents, who sell false promises of lucrative job opportunities abroad, and charge a hefty price for their services. Mouna*, a mother in her thirties, fell into this trap. A hiring agency told her that they had secured a secretary position for her at the ministry of foreign affairs, in one of the Gulf nations, with a $400 dollar per month salary. However, when she arrived, the reality…

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Africa 

Peacekeeping radio stations provide COVID-19 information to vulnerable communities in conflict-affected countries

Today, these stations are playing another vital role – getting the word out to vulnerable communities in conflict-affected states about the coronavirus pandemic and how people can protect themselves and others from getting the disease.  UN Peacekeeping currently has large, popular and trusted radio stations in four African countries: The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, which have already recorded cases of COVID-19; and Mali and South Sudan which have not.   The stations ability to reach both big urban centers and isolated communities in countries which…

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Africa 

UN in Nigeria strengthens COVID-19 containment and care, mobilizes $2 million for key support to Government

In light of the continuing spread of the coronavirus, the UN has stepped up measures to safeguard staff and all those using its offices around the world, while at the same time ensuring that the critical work of the Organization continues to deliver on key mandates, and provide lifesaving support to those in need.  Follow and like us:2 0

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Africa 

UN welcomes response by Libyan parties to calls for humanitarian pause

Secretary-General António Guterres, in a statement issued by a UN spokesperson, welcomed the responses by the Government of National Accord and the eastern-based Libyan National Army on 18 and 21 March respectively. “Given the already dire humanitarian situation in Libya and the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General calls on the parties to join forces to address the threat and to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian aid throughout the country,” the statement said. UNSMIL welcomes the positive responses by GNA & LNA to the calls for of a…

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Africa 

UNHCR delivers much-needed aid to Sudanese refugees in Chad

The aid – which includes blankets, jerry cans, mosquito nets and kitchen sets – arrived on Thursday from the UN agency’s Global Stockpile in Dubai.  “UNHCR is working around the clock to help people forced to flee their homes due to violence and persecution. This shipment will ensure thousands of vulnerable Sudanese families receive much-needed aid”, spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva.  More than 16,000 Sudanese citizens, mainly women and children, have crossed the border into neighbouring Chad following violent inter-communal clashes in El Geneina, West Darfur state, that first erupted in December.   They arrived exhausted, traumatized and often showing signs of malnutrition,…

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Africa 

UN rights chief urges South Sudan authorities to address inter-communal violence

The increased number and range of weapons used by rival clans, as well as the “apparent failure” by the authorities to respond, has contributed to clashes which have left hundreds dead and thousands displaced, while women and children have been subjected to sexual violence.  Expressing concern over the situation, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet stated that the formation of the transitional unity government in February had raised hopes for South Sudan’s citizens.   “However, for any durable peace to take hold in the country, intercommunal violence must be addressed, and the perpetrators investigated and prosecuted”, she said.  “It is also vital…

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Africa 

UN, an ‘ally’ in Kenya in fight against COVID-19: a UN Resident Coordinator blog

The number of coronavirus cases in Kenya has jumped to at least five [by 19 March] after the Government confirmed more cases. President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a raft of proactive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Barely three months into the COVID-19 outbreak, stock markets have plummeted, and global supply and production systems have wobbled. Across the world panicked shoppers have cleared shelves of hand sanitizer, soap and tinned food, as if preparing for a siege.  The message by UN Secretary-General António Guterres that ‘as we fight…

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Africa 

UN official applauds move by Central African Republic to prevent child recruitment

The National Assembly in CAR recently adopted the Child Protection Code, which criminalizes the recruitment and use of children, among other crimes.    “This Code is a strong step for the protection of children and the prevention of grave violations. It also brings hope to the victims and I encourage the authorities to continue to pursue accountability for perpetrators of crimes against children and bring them to justice,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba.   The Code stresses that children associated with armed groups…

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Africa 

Women plough the way to peace in South Sudan resettlement project

They have been given ox ploughs to work the land, as part of a campaign to resettle returnees in the Rumbek North area who were uprooted during intercommunal clashes last year.   “We realized that household food security is one of the key factors for return and reintegration to be sustainable,” said Caroline Opok, a representative of the peacekeeping mission.  Rumbek North has been greatly affected by conflict, displacement and food insecurity.  Due to persistent intercommunal violence, including cattle raids, revenge attacks and armed ambushes, many people in the region have been reduced to relying…

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