Unprecedented level of food insecurity in South Sudan, UN agencies warn

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Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan – well over one-third of the population – will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country, three UN agencies warned today.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) stressed that while the deteriorating situation coincides with an unusually long and harsh annual lean season, when families have depleted their food stocks and new harvests are not expected until August, the level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, the three agencies and other humanitarian partners, 4.8 million people are projected to be in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance through July, up from 4.3 million in April. This is the highest level of hunger since the conflict in South Sudan began two-and-a-half years ago. This number does not include 350,000 residents of the UN Protection of Civilians areas or other camps for displaced people, who currently are entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance.

“We are very worried to see that food insecurity is spreading beyond conflict areas as rising prices, impassable roads and dysfunctional markets are preventing many families, even those in towns and cities, from accessing food,” said FAO Country Representative Serge Tissot.

Food insecurity and conflict are also forcing many families to leave South Sudan for neighbouring countries. In the last few months alone, an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese people have crossed into Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and this number is expected to increase to more than 150,000 by the end of June.

“The levels of malnutrition among children continue to be truly alarming,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “Since the beginning of the year more than

100,000 children have been treated for severe malnutrition. That’s a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and a 150 percent increase since 2014.”

Working with a large number of international and local non-governmental organizations, FAO, UNICEF and WFP will continue to deliver life- and livelihood- saving support under these difficult circumstances.

“We are now seeing sharp spikes of need in new areas, such as Eastern Equatoria or Western Bahr el-Ghazal, where malnutrition rates in some places are reaching dangerous levels. We have started ramping up food and nutrition support, but much more is needed to keep things from deteriorating even further during the lean season,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma.

In 2016, FAO is planning to provide emergency livelihood support to 3.1 million people in South Sudan. It is currently distributing over half a million crop and fishing kits and is assisting livestock production through the vaccination of some 11 million animals.

The dramatic rise in malnutrition rates, means that in the first four months of the year UNICEF has already treated 45 per cent of its planned 2016 caseload of 166,000 children.

WFP plans to assist 3.3 million people in South Sudan this year through a combination of emergency food assistance, lifesaving nutrition support for mothers and young children, community-based asset-creation projects where possible, and safety net programmes such as school meals.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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USAID Reaffirms Partnership with Ethiopian Government to End TB

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The U.S. Government, through the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health and implementing partners KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), today celebrated the transition from the HEAL-TB activity to Challenge TB.

Working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Amhara and Oromia regional health bureaus, USAID’s HEAL TB activity has helped the ministry to screen more than 16 million people for TB since July 2011. While improving TB services at 1,000 health facilities was the original target, the activity enabled the ministry to expand to all 2,200 health facilities in the two regions.

Implemented by MSH, together with its sub-partners ALERT, PATH, and the Kenya Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, HEAL-TB significantly strengthened the laboratory network for TB diagnosis and placed more than 250,000 people on treatment. Additionally, USAID created a model multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) program, integrated TB and HIV services and expanded TB expertise at zonal and local levels.

USAID Mission Director Dennis Weller noted, “We could not have achieved these results had it not been for our strong partnership and collaboration with the Ministry of Health and regional health bureaus.” He also commended MSH for their tireless work to register these impressive results.

Ethiopia remains among the world’s 30 high-burden TB countries, with close to 200,000 new cases estimated each year. Of these, only two-thirds are being identified for treatment. Ethiopia had approximately 1,300 new MDR-TB in 2014, with less than 45 percent treated. Supporting TB prevention and treatment in Ethiopia remains a priority for the U.S. Government.

The new activity, Challenge TB, is expected to substantially contribute to the Government of Ethiopia’s goal of ending TB throughout the country. It will build upon HEAL-TB, and expand in scope to support the Ministry of Health in nearly all regions of Ethiopia.

In alignment with the Health Sector Transformation Plan, Challenge TB will provide decentralized technical assistance to the Government of Ethiopia at all levels to improve the quality of TB services, referral links, data and reporting. It will also emphasize access to TB services by key populations. KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is the lead implementing partner, with MSH and WHO substantially involved in project management.

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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606th PSC meeting on the draft International Criminal Court Action Plan on Arrest Strategies

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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 606th meeting held on 20 June 2016, adopted the following decision on the draft International Criminal Court Action Plan on Arrest Strategies:

Council,

1. Recalls decision Assembly/AU/Dec.590 (XXVI) adopted by the Assembly of the Union at its 26th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa from 30 to 31 January 2016, requesting the Peace and Security Council to consider the Draft International Criminal Court (ICC) Action Plan on Arrest Strategies and make appropriate recommendations thereon to the next ordinary session of the Assembly, through the Executive Council;

2. Reiterates the AU concerns regarding the activities, including their erosive impact on stability in the continent, of the ICC in Africa, which have been the subject of various Assembly decisions;

3. Agrees with those States Parties to the Rome Statute that object to the inclusion of language in United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping mandates to assist in the enforcement of ICC arrest warrants, as this will affect the neutrality and impartiality of UN mandated peacekeeping missions and undermine the ability of member states of the UN to contribute troops to UN peacekeeping operations;

4. In light of the foregoing, Council recommends to the Assembly as follows:

i) to direct African States to the Rome Statute to ensure that during the adoption of the draft ICC Action Plan on Arrest Strategies, there is no provision that includes language requiring the UN Security Council to mandate UN peacekeeping missions to enforce ICC arrest warrants in Africa; and

ii) to mandate the Open-Ended Ministerial Committee on the ICC to include this issue in its engagement with UN Security Council, the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute and other stakeholders on AU concerns on the activities of the ICC in Africa;

5. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

– See more at: http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/606th-psc-meeting-on-the-draft-international-criminal-court-action-plan-on-arrest-strategies#sthash.JcG7iWXK.G0odjcZI.dpuf

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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President Michel sends message of condolence to Turkey following terrorist attack on Istanbul airport

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More than forty people have been killed and over 140 others injured in a terrorist attack in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey at the Ataturk International Airport. Following the tragedy, President James Michel has sent a letter of condolence on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Seychelles to the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

President Michel described the attack as a heinous crime against innocent and law abiding citizens. He furthered noted that it was an indiscriminate and criminal attack which targeted people of all races and creeds.

“In this holy month of Ramadan, a time for peace, reconciliation and compassion our hearts go out in these most difficult times to the Turkish people who have endured such abomination and especially to the victims of this callous act. Rest assured your Excellency that Seychelles remains steadfast in its support of Turkey and in the global fight against terrorism,” said President Michel.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Security Council Press Statement on the Central African Republic

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The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the killing of a peacekeeper from the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 24 June in Bangui.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, as well as to the Government of Sénégal and to MINUSCA.

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms all attacks and provocations against MINUSCA by armed groups. They reiterated that attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes and reminded all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The members of the Security Council called on the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSCA and the French forces that support it. They reiterated their strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for CAR, M. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, and for MINUSCA to assist the CAR authorities and the people of the CAR in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, as mandated by the Security Council in resolution 2217 (2015) which is extended by the UNSCR 2281 (2016).

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations – Security Council.

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Media Invite: Nairobi Launch of Housing, Land and Property Publication

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TO: Media Agencies based in Nairobi, Kenya

FROM: Norwegian Refugee Council, Horn of Africa, South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen

SUBJECT: Launch of Publication on Housing, Land and Property

You are invited to attend and participate in an official launch of a new publication by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Mission in the Horn of Africa, South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen, titled ‘Housing, Land and Property Rights for Somalia’s Urban Displaced Women’, 2016 report.

The publication documents a study conducted by Norwegian Refugee Council to identify the challenges faced by internally displaced women living in urban settlements in exercising the rights to decent housing as well as access to land and property.

On Friday, 1st of July at 9.30am at The Lord Errol Gourmet Restaurant*, Nairobi, the Regional Director for NRC in the Horn of Africa Region, Ms. Gabriella Waaijman will officially launch the publication in the presence of special guests and key practitioners in the field of housing, land and property rights for vulnerable populations in Somalia.

Special invited guests to the launch include:

Mr. Vebjørn Heines, the Deputy Head of Mission for the Norwegian Embassy in Kenya
Mr. Hassan Gamal, the Somali Ambassador to Kenya

Interviews can be arranged for specific individuals, photo opportunities are also available. Please plan to cover this significant launch to give it the positive publicity it deserves.

Thank you and looking forward to your presence

Distributed by APO on behalf of Norwegian Refugee Council.

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Statement by Minister Dion on death of Buri Mohamed Hamsa, Somalia’s State Minister for the Environment

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The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“I wish to pay tribute to Buri Mohamed Hamsa, Somalia’s State Minister for the Environment and a Canadian citizen, who was killed in the terrorist attack on the Nasa Hablod Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Saturday, June 25, 2016.

“State Minister Hamsa’s dedicated service to the advancement of Somalia and the protection of its natural environment, despite the well-known risks, and for which he made the ultimate sacrifice, is deserving of our utmost respect and commendation.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends, including those in Canada, as well as to those of all the victims of this heinous act.

“Canada condemns this horrific attack on innocent civilians in Mogadishu and reiterates its commitment to global efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism. Such acts of senseless depravity will not keep Somalia from moving forward. Canada continues to stand with the people of Somalia as they strive for a more stable, peaceful and prosperous future.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs Canada.

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Statement by Minister Dion on death of Buri Mohamed Hamsa, Somalia’s State Minister for the Environment

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The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“I wish to pay tribute to Buri Mohamed Hamsa, Somalia’s State Minister for the Environment and a Canadian citizen, who was killed in the terrorist attack on the Nasa Hablod Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Saturday, June 25, 2016.

“State Minister Hamsa’s dedicated service to the advancement of Somalia and the protection of its natural environment, despite the well-known risks, and for which he made the ultimate sacrifice, is deserving of our utmost respect and commendation.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends, including those in Canada, as well as to those of all the victims of this heinous act.

“Canada condemns this horrific attack on innocent civilians in Mogadishu and reiterates its commitment to global efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism. Such acts of senseless depravity will not keep Somalia from moving forward. Canada continues to stand with the people of Somalia as they strive for a more stable, peaceful and prosperous future.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs Canada.

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Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha pays official visit to China’s ministries of foreign affairs and of national health

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H.E Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), on 22 June 2016 met with H.E. Mr. QIAN Hongshan ,Assistant Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China and H.E. Ms Cui Li, Vice Minister of National Health & Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), during an official visit to China undertaken from 21-25 June 2016.

Mr. Mwencha was leading an African Union delegation at the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation held on 21June 2016 in Beijing, China, under the theme: “Win-win cooperation, common development”, in the presence of Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, Executive Secretary at The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). The AUC Deputy Chairperson met with several high official and was granted several audiences in various Chinese ministries.

The meetings focused on strengthening the relationship between the African Union and China as well as capacity building in various areas of interest in line with the implementation of the Africa Agenda 2063. Key projects such as the high speed train, the establishment of the Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC), agriculture, industrialization, ICT development, setting up broadcasting studios at the AU and digital transformation, were discussed among others.

While at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mwencha updated the Assistant Minister on the outcome of the China-Africa Media Forum. He said the media forum provided a platform to explore opportunities for future mutual development, and to contribute to promoting world peace, stability and the development of Africa and China. “Indeed we need to strengthen our dialogue, consolidate Africa-China traditional friendship, deepen strategic collaboration and enhance the mechanism of practical cooperation between us”, emphasized the AUC Deputy Chairperson.

Reference was made to the historical, political, economic, military, social and cultural connections between China and the African continent. Assistant Minister QIAN Hongshan underlined that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes on China’s developmental engagements with Africa, while also stating that China and Africa are making “joint efforts to maintain the lawful rights of developing countries and push forward

the creation of a new, fair and just political and economic order in the world. During the official visit of the AUC Deputy Chairperson to the Ministry of Health, Vice Minister Cui Li and her close collaborators made of highly qualified medical doctors, held a working session with the AUC delegation to discuss China’s technical support to the Africa CDC. She said her ministry is responsible for drafting laws and regulations for health and family planning as well as the development of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is also responsible for planning the resource allocation of medical care, public health and family planning services; establishing a basic medicine system to standardize drug prices; formulating China’s family planning policy; and supervising and administering public health, medical care and family planning services.

Mr. Mwencha also met with the Minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China (SAPPRFT) of the People’s Republic of China and co-organizer of the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation, H.E. Cai Fuchao, who reiterated his country’s readiness to boost cooperation in the media sector with African countries in order to develop a healthy and friendly China-Africa relationship. “We want our media houses to work with their African counterparts not only to broaden areas of cooperation, but most importantly to promote the strategic China-Africa media relations,” he said.

The State Administration of Press, Radio, Film and Television is in charge of China’s radio, television and film sector and it directly supervises China National Radio, China Radio International and China Central Television.

The official tour of the AUC Deputy Chairperson in Beijing concluded with a meeting with the Vice Minister of Cyber Space Administration of the People’s Republic of China Ms Wang Xiujun . The meeting focused on strengthening ties in the area of ICT and cyberspace. It covered topics that include e-Government and Cyber Security. Strategies of encouraging safe practices online were explored during the bilateral. “We need to find ways of analysing data to help us improve the protection of the vulnerable people online, focusing on women and the youth as well as encourage the cooperation between the African Union and China to push forward the digital development to benefit our respective populations ,” said Ms Wang.

Mr. Mwencha expressed appreciation to the Government of China for contributing to the economic growth of Africa at short, medium and long term. At the end of the visit, the AUC Deputy Chairperson offered a copy of the AU diary 2016 to the host Ministers and their collaborator as symbolic gift with content information about the African Union and highlights on the “Year of Human Right with particular focus on the Rights of Women”.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Climate Action Can Drive Sustainable Development in Africa Africa Carbon Forum 2016, 28-30 June 2016 Kigali, Rwanda

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Action on climate change in the form of green policy, finance and market approaches can drive sustainable development in Africa, government, business and civil society representatives heard on the opening day of Africa Carbon Forum.

“Just as the risks of climate change are immense, so too are the rewards of climate action if we invest in our people and our planet,” said Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Minister of Natural Resources.

In December 2015 in Paris, countries adopted a new comprehensive climate change agreement, central to which is nationally determined action and international cooperation. Driving it all will be private and public investment.

World Bank analysis has estimated that not addressing climate change could plunge 100 million more people into poverty by 2030. Of those 43 million would be in Africa.

“Turning challenges into opportunities requires concrete action, collaboration and commitment,” said Mr. Biruta. “I am sure we are up to the task.”

Africa Carbon Forum is an annual gathering aimed at spurring climate investment, through sharing information on policy, such as use of markets and mechanisms, financial opportunities, and cooperative initiatives arising from the international response to climate change.

What the organizers of Africa Carbon Forum 2016 are saying:

“Africa is going to play a critical role in the spread of markets under the Paris Agreement. Numerous regional governments are keen to leverage international markets to achieve their nationally-determined contributions, and support from both the private sector as well as policy leaders will be key to ensuring Africa can deliver on its targets. In the lead up to the Marrakech COP22 in November this year, the ACF2016 provides a strategic platform for these exchanges to take place.”

Dirk Forrister

President and CEO

International Emissions Trading Association

“Countries in Africa feel the dangers of climate change, but I’m confident they will also see the tremendous push that climate action can give to sustainable development. With the right climate policy choices, and by working together, countries can spur investment that benefits people and the atmosphere. In fact, action on climate is action for sustainable development.”

Daniele Violetti

Chief of Staff

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

“Trade can help African countries, individually and together, leverage the various co-benefits of climate policies. It can also help transfer innovations from market to market, within Africa and with the broader developing world. Without trade flexibility, the costs of climate change are projected to be higher, especially in some least developed and island developing countries that are most severely affected by climate change. It is thus important is to consider the large – and largely unexplored – role international trade can play as part of the solution.”

Bonapas Onguglo

OiC Trade and Environment Branch

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

“The very first Africa Carbon Forum in the post-Paris era will pave the way for actions that put Africa’s green and sustainable development at center stage. We are excited that this forum will provide the opportunity for a diverse audience of public and private sector stakeholders to meet and discuss how investments in climate actions can advance the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030. Once realized, an inclusive, low-carbon development pathway can have a truly transformational impact on the well-being of communities across the African continent.”

Jo Scheuer

Director for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction

Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

United Nations Development Programme

“The total funds needed in the region to tackle climate change is well over $3 trillion, as per the estimates African countries submitted in Paris last winter. This is a sizeable amount, but we’re committed to contributing our part, and already helping mobilize financial and technical support so African countries can move towards taking action on the ground. For example, our African Climate Business Plan aims to mobilize approximately USD19 billion as a contribution towards resilience.”

James Close

Director for Climate Change

World Bank Group

“The African Development Bank is committed to ensuring that the climate change issue is a developmental issue. Access to energy is critical to meeting Africa’s climate mitigation commitments and its needs for sustainable development. It is therefore imperative that adequate long-term finance is made available. We need to massively scale up Africa’s access to finance.”

Anthony Nyong

Division Manager, Environment and Social Protection

African Development Bank

“With the Paris agreement as the foundation, countries are now looking towards implementation. This will require accelerating existing initiatives and finding new solutions and building new partnerships, which can facilitate capacity-building and unlock new investments and finance for a climate resilient low-carbon development future for Africa. The opportunities for the Africa Region are indeed promising, and the Africa Carbon Forum presents itself as a much needed platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and new ideas which will benefit Africa and its people.”

John Christensen

Director

United Nations Environment Programme DTU Partnership

Distributed by APO on behalf of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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Source:: Climate Action Can Drive Sustainable Development in Africa Africa Carbon Forum 2016, 28-30 June 2016 Kigali, Rwanda

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Namibia Adheres to the International Monetary Fund’s Enhanced General Data Dissemination System

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Namibia has implemented the recommendations of the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e‑GDDS)—endorsed by the IMF Executive Board in May 2015—by disseminating a National Summary Data Page (NSDP). The page serves as a one‑stop publication vehicle for essential macroeconomic data—in both human and machine‑readable formats. It is now posted on the websites of the Namibia Statistics Agency, the Bank of Namibia, and the Ministry of Finance, and is accessible on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (http://dsbb.imf.org/Pages/GDDS/CtyCtgList.aspx?ctycode=NAM). This places Namibia in the first wave of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement the recommendations of the e‑GDDS.

Publication of essential macroeconomic data through the new NSDP will provide national policy makers, a broad range of domestic and international stakeholders, including investors and rating agencies, with easy access to information that the IMF’s Executive Board has identified as critical for monitoring economic conditions and policies. Making this information simultaneously available to all users will bring greater data transparency.

Louis Marc Ducharme, Director of the IMF’s Statistics Department, welcomed this major milestone in the country’s statistical development. “I am confident that Namibia will benefit from using the e‑GDDS as a framework for further development of its statistical system.”

Background

The e‑GDDS was established by the IMF’s Executive Board in May 2015 to support improved data transparency, encourage statistical development, and help create synergies between data dissemination and surveillance. The e‑GDDS supersedes the GDDS, which was established in 1997.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Namibia Adheres to the International Monetary Fund’s Enhanced General Data Dissemination System

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Namibia has implemented the recommendations of the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e‑GDDS)—endorsed by the IMF Executive Board in May 2015—by disseminating a National Summary Data Page (NSDP). The page serves as a one‑stop publication vehicle for essential macroeconomic data—in both human and machine‑readable formats. It is now posted on the websites of the Namibia Statistics Agency, the Bank of Namibia, and the Ministry of Finance, and is accessible on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (http://dsbb.imf.org/Pages/GDDS/CtyCtgList.aspx?ctycode=NAM). This places Namibia in the first wave of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement the recommendations of the e‑GDDS.

Publication of essential macroeconomic data through the new NSDP will provide national policy makers, a broad range of domestic and international stakeholders, including investors and rating agencies, with easy access to information that the IMF’s Executive Board has identified as critical for monitoring economic conditions and policies. Making this information simultaneously available to all users will bring greater data transparency.

Louis Marc Ducharme, Director of the IMF’s Statistics Department, welcomed this major milestone in the country’s statistical development. “I am confident that Namibia will benefit from using the e‑GDDS as a framework for further development of its statistical system.”

Background

The e‑GDDS was established by the IMF’s Executive Board in May 2015 to support improved data transparency, encourage statistical development, and help create synergies between data dissemination and surveillance. The e‑GDDS supersedes the GDDS, which was established in 1997.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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