UNODC Southern Africa, in partnership with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) recently launched SADCTIPNet (Southern Africa Development Community Trafficking in Persons Network), a new regional network for trafficking in persons in Lobamb…Read More
Illicit trafficking is among the most challenging forms of crime in Southern Africa. As an integral part of organised crime networks, illicit trafficking facilitates the spread of contraband and it generates considerable profits for individuals and gro…Read More
ADDIS ABABA, Collective actions are needed to respond in a timely manner to outbreaks with cost effective mechanisms in Africa, according to the Centre for Global Health (CGH) Director, Dr Rebecca Martin.Briefing African journalists in a telephonic med…Read More
Queries Raised about Consensus, Clarity on State Responsibility, Victim AssistanceThe Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons considered a new version of the draft convention today, following the read-through of…Read More
For a fifth consecutive year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch claims the top position on Institutional Investor’s EMEA Research Team Survey NEW YORK, June 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bank of America Merrill Lynch once again, seizes first place on the Emerging Europe, Middle East & Africa Research Team, Institutional Investor‘s exclusive annual ranking of […]Read More
BEIJING, June 24, 2017/PRNewswire/ — June 23rd, 2017, Lilith Games introduced Art of Conquest alongside Huawei HiGame in its global release. With this release, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian players will be able to experience the game and receive exclusive in- game gifts. Highlights, Rave Reviews and Endorsed by Apple, Google and Huawei. After 3 […]Read More
PÉKIN, 25 juin 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Le 23 juin 2017, Lilith Games a lancé le jeu Art of Conquest aux côtés de HiGame de Huawei, à l’occasion de sa sortie mondiale. Avec ce lancement, les joueurs du Moyen-Orient et du Sud-Est asiatique pourront découvrir le jeu et recevoir des cadeaux exclusifs dans le cadre du […]Read More
BRAZZAVILLE � More than 80,000 people have fled their homes in Pool province surrounding Congo Republic’s capital since the government began a military operation there last year, a joint U.N. and government statement said.
The campaign, involving occasional aerial bombardments, aims to curb what the government says is a resurgent rebellion led by Pastor Ntumi, an enemy of President Denis Sassou Nguesso from the oil-rich country’s 1997 civil war.
While it has been hard to confirm death tolls and the impact on residents, any clear evidence of escalating violence could be damaging to Sassou Nguesso’s ruling party, the Congolese Party of Labor, ahead of legislative elections next month.
The United Nations is seeking around $20 million in emergency funding to provide humanitarian assistance in the province, after a recent visit found widespread signs malnutrition, the statement released late on Friday said.
Many of the displaced remain beyond the reach of aid workers, it added.
“In non-accessible zones… there is reason to fear an even more complicated situation as the number of (displaced) continues to increase and living conditions worsen more every day.”
Source: Voice of AmericaRead More
Célébration de la journée de l’Afrique 2017 WASHINGTON, 23 juin 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Le Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (RRB/ITC) à Washington, DC s’est animé de musique, danse et cérémonies le jeudi 25 mai en célébration du 54e anniversaire de la journée de l’Afrique. Environ six cents participants, représentant les 55 pays de […]Read More
WASHINGTON � VOA’s Salem Solomon appeared on The Correspondents program hosted by Mil Arcega to discuss the ongoing food security crisis in Africa. Below are some of Arcega’s questions and Solomon’s answers, along with additional information about this crisis.
What’s the latest news about food insecurity in Africa? Where is the situation getting better, and where is it getting worse?
Answer: There has been promising news coming from Somalia and South Sudan. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) � a U.S.-funded body that tracks food insecurity around the world � releases regular reports on affected areas.
One highlight in their most recent update is the effectiveness of early detection of food insecurity and aggressive responses. Airdropping food to restricted places in South Sudan, for example, has helped decrease the death toll that would otherwise have occurred.
However, about 4 million people have been displaced because of conflict in South Sudan, and humanitarian organizations warn that 45,000 people in the two counties in Unity State where famine has been declared, Leer and Mayendit, are still in desperate need of food aid. This is an increase of 25,000 people since just last month.
If assistance doesn’t come, these areas could easily slip back into famine.
A similar phenomenon is occurring in Somalia, where rainfall in May was better than the previous month. Still, the overall rainy season was 30 percent to 60 percent below a typical season, and farmers are struggling to keep crops alive.
Overall, 3.2 million people in Somalia are at risk, 350,000 children are malnourished and 70,000 children are severely malnourished. Famine has been averted for now, but FEWS NET forecasts that much of the country will remain at Phase 4, which is defined as a food security emergency, through September.
In Northeastern Nigeria, it was learned earlier this week that approximately half of the much-needed food aid never reached the victims of Boko Haram who are so badly in need. This occurred because of diversion, according to a government statement, which is another way of saying it was likely stolen.
As a result, many of the 8.5 million people who need food assistance after fleeing the extremist group will be unable to get food.
Food prices continue to spike, and the country is entering what’s known as the lean season, which lasts through September. That typically means food hardship increases because the country is between harvests. The good news is that Boko Haram has been severely degraded, and attacks have decreased compared to the past few years.
It’s become common to call these man-made crises. How does conflict exacerbate the food insecurity in these countries? Are terror groups taking advantage of the situation?
Answer: All four of the countries experiencing the most critical food insecurity � Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen � are either at war or under attack by an insurgent group. In this context, both large-scale and subsistence farmers have been forced to flee their land. This harms the countries’ food supplies and makes what food is available that much more expensive. For example, a VOA reporter in Somalia determined that the price of a kilo of tomatoes nearly doubled within the span of one week. In the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, staple food items, such as rice, maize, millet and sorghum, are 50 percent more expensive than they were last year.
Both terror groups and, sadly, government forces in some places have used food and access to food as a weapon of war. In northeast Nigeria, Boko Haram insurgents have occupied farmland, burned crops and destroyed irrigation systems. In South Sudan, government forces have prevented food from reaching rebel strongholds to starve the local population into submission.
Meanwhile, in Somalia, the terror group al-Shabab has, in some cases, distributed food aid to people who are living in areas it controls. They have used this assistance as a way of recruiting young people and winning the hearts and minds of the local population. They want to be seen as the protector and use access to food to bolster this image.
Is the international community doing enough? What about the U.S.? How will budget cuts to foreign aid affect these efforts in Africa and Yemen?
Answer: The short answer is no, the international community is not doing enough. That’s according to the U.N., which said earlier this year that it needs $6.1 billion to avert a hunger crisis in the four affected countries. By the beginning of June, only $2.2 billion had been pledged by international donors.
In the U.S., there has been some good news recently. Nearly $1 billion was added to the 2017 fiscal year omnibus bill in emergency relief for famine. This money will help.
But globally, there is a lot of concern about a perceived shift by the U.S. away from playing a leadership role in international aid.
For example, the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget calls for cutting USAID funding by 31 percent and consolidating the program within the State Department. Some published reports have suggested that the budget would eliminate FEWS NET, which is the most important tool available worldwide for monitoring and sounding the alarm when food insecurity is about to occur.
In a hearing last week, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa discussed the famine response. Humanitarian groups voiced deep concern over the proposed budget cuts. In particular, Tony P. Hall, executive director emeritus at the Alliance to End Hunger, said he was very worried about the potential cuts.
But Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, a Republican who chairs the committee, said he was confident that these cuts will not happen as proposed. He stressed that Congress writes the budget, not the president.
What are the other factors that contribute to food insecurity across the continent? What role do climate change and weather events, such as El NiAo and La NiAa, play?
Answer: People in each region we’re discussing do not live with a safety net. That’s in the best of times. If a crop fails or a rainy season doesn’t come as expected, they risk starvation.
The effects of climate change have particularly impacted people in the Sahel region of Africa, which stretches from Senegal and Mauritania on the west coast to Ethiopia and Eritrea on the east coast. It has been well documented that the Sahara desert is expanding southward, and bodies of water, such as Lake Chad, are drying up. Countries are witnessing some of the hottest average annual temperatures on record.
On top of this, the El NiAo weather pattern event of 2015 and 2016 caused a massive drought in Eastern and Southern Africa. Following that, La NiAa, another weather pattern, resulted in worsening drought in some places and flooding in others.
What we’re seeing is people who are living on the edge, as many subsistence farmers in Africa are, being pushed over the edge by these climate events.
What has VOA done so far to report about this crisis? How is the Africa Division covering this issue?
Answer: In launching the Hunger Across Africa project, we hoped to provide a comprehensive look at one of the most important stories facing the continent right now. Months ago, we knew we would devote a good number of reporting and editing resources to covering this story. But we wanted to make sure our audience got the big picture along with the incremental coverage that we’d provide through our daily reporting.
We have focused on explaining how food insecurity works based on the work of FEWS NET. We also wanted to provide an easy-to-access archive of coverage. So, we categorized stories by type (for example, root causes and solutions) and by country. And we created an infographic that provides at-a-glance details from one country to the next.
Source: Voice of AmericaRead More
Africa Day 2017 Celebration WASHINGTON, June 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (RRB/ITC) in Washington, DC came alive with music, dance and ceremony Thursday, May 25th in celebration of the 54th anniversary of Africa Day. Approximately six hundred attendees, representing the 55 countries of the African Union (AU) and the […]Read More
Government loses revenue due to illegal gambling. Therefore, it is important for communities to gamble responsibly and legally. This was said by the Director of Gambling Law and Policy at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Mr Nkoatse Masha…Read More