Africa 

Ethiopia: ‘Heartbreaking’ devastation in Tigray, says UN humanitarian chief

“We need to change the circumstances that have led to the slow movement of aid – we need the conflict to stop”, Martin Griffiths, who also heads the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Tuesday evening. More than 5.2 million people across Tigray, amounting to more than 90 per cent of the region’s population, now require life-saving assistance, according to OCHA.   I’ve just concluded my first visit as ERC to Ethiopia. I held constructive meetings with authorities, including @AbiyAhmedAli. I also met with people in desperate need of aid in Tigray,…

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Africa 

UN ready to promote ‘win-win solution’ for Blue Nile dam project

UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, reported that recent negotiations under the African Union (AU) have yielded little progress.  The parties have been unable to agree a framework for engagement to settle outstanding issues, which include a dispute resolution mechanism as well as the management of the dam during protracted drought.  “The United Nations remains available to promote a win-win solution in supporting Member States in navigating this complex issue, where genuine political will, compromise and good neighborliness are essential,” he said.  [embedded content] Tensions increasing …

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Africa 

FROM THE FIELD: South Sudan’s displaced youth, help power change

Hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, were forced to flee their homes over recent years following civil war and widespread insecurity in the eastern African country. Thirty young men and women in the city of Wau, have recently undertaken vocational training on installing solar power systems supported by the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM). Read more here about how the energy and enthusiasm of South Sudanese youth is being harnessed to power their country.  UN Africa News

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Africa 

FROM THE FIELD: A flood of humanitarian needs for Burundi lake dwellers

Incessant heavy rains, followed by floods, landslides, and strong winds have led to farmland, dwellings, roads, markets and a wide range of businesses, disappearing under water. The lives of people across the entire sub-region including in Tanzania, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which also border Lake Tanganyika, have been disrupted, but Burundi is one of the least prepared countries to be able to deal with extreme weather events. Now IOM and other humanitarian agencies are supporting government efforts to respond to the “most urgent needs of the…

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Africa 

Rights experts condemn ‘dramatic rise’ in attacks on so-called slaves in Mali

Although Mali outlawed slavery in 1905, a system of “descent-based slavery” persists, where some people are considered slaves because their ancestors were allegedly enslaved by the families of so-called masters.  Attacks ‘unacceptable’  People born into slavery work without pay and are deprived of basic human rights and dignity, the experts said.    Those who reject the “slave” designation and try to stand up for their rights, as well as anti-slavery organizations, are regularly violently attacked by traditional or religious leaders and their allies, who sometimes include State authorities  Alioune Tine,…

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Africa 

COVID-19: Africa ‘third wave’ not yet over, while vaccine inequity threatens all

Cases on the continent fell by 1.7 per cent this week to nearly 282,000, largely due to a sharp decline in South Africa, home to the bulk of reported infections.  “Many countries are still at peak risk & #Africa’s unprecedented third wave surged up faster & higher than ever before. The Eid celebrations which we marked this week may also result in a rise in cases.” – Dr @MoetiTshidi #COVID19 — WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) July 22, 2021 However, removing the country from the data would show an 18 per…

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Africa 

First Person: ‘I’m not old enough to be a woman’ says trafficked teen

Some one thousand victims of human trafficking have been identified in Burundi since 2017, according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM). Elisabeth (not her real name) is one of the lucky ones. She survived the ordeal and received assistance from IOM to return home to Burundi. She told her story for the first time to IOM staff, ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons which is marked annually on 30 July. “My parents separated before I was born, and my mum remarried while pregnant with me. But her new husband…

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Africa 

COVID-19 vaccine shipments boost for Africa 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nearly four million doses of coronavirus vaccines from the UN-partnered COVAX initiative arrived in Africa last week, compared with just 245,000 for all of June.  Reminding that the continent is still “in the throes of the pandemic’s third wave”, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, told a virtual press conference with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, “we are not out of the woods yet”.  Left behind  WHO said that it hoped COVAX would ship 520 million doses to Africa by the end of 2021, in addition to more shots from other…

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Africa 

UN-African Union Mission in Darfur in final shutdown phase

Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, updated ambassadors on progress towards the mission’s closure and final liquidation, following the end of its mandate last December after 13 years protecting civilians uprooted by conflict.  The handover is part of UNAMID’s drawdown process as endeavors to build the capacity of designated parties who will continue to serve the host community after UNAMID’s full departure from the #Darfur — UNAMID (@unamidnews) June 22, 2021 Nearly 6,000 troops and police were repatriated from the Sudanese province ahead of the drawdown deadline of 30 June,…

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Africa 

Child malnutrition expected to quadruple in Southern Madagascar  

The number of acutely malnourished children is likely to “increase fourfold” since the previous assessment conducted last October, including 110,000 in severe condition whose growth and development will suffer “irreversible damage”, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said in a joint statement.  “What is currently happening in southern Madagascar is heart-breaking”, said WFP Representative Moumini Ouedraogo. “We cannot turn our backs on these children whose lives are at stake”.  Drastic deterioration  Four consecutive years of drought have wiped out harvests and cut off access to food.    More than 1.14 million people are food insecure in southern Madagascar and the number…

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