Nigeria Crisis – rare patient stories, video and crisis info update from MSF

MAKA, 55 year old grandmother

“We received barely 2 kg of food per week… Everybody got the same amount, whether you were alone or if you had 10 children.”

In late July, MSF teams referred 55 year-old Nigerian grandmother Maka for urgent medical care to Mora Hospital in Cameroon from Banki, a town 30 kilometres from the Nigeria-Cameroon border.

Maka is suffering from severe acute malnutrition, a condition rare in adults and proof of the acute food crisis the population of Banki has been experiencing for the last four months. She was accompanied by her five year-old grandson, as well as her niece who brought her own 11 month-old son. The two children were also suffering from very advanced malnutrition and needed to be admitted to hospital urgently for life-saving treatment.

Maka had lost her smile, she spoke very little and her emaciated face was devoid of any expression. Nine days after she was taken into care by MSF teams, Maka was getting better.

“I am originally from a village outside of Banki. Violent attacks forced us to leave our village, but four months ago my family and I became trapped in Banki, unable to leave the town. I lost track of some members of my family. For four months, we were unable to leave the town, we couldn’t do anything.

“Life became very difficult. We received barely two kilograms of food per week, and most of the time it was rice or corn. Everybody got the same amount, whether you were on your own or if you had 10 children. I had to ration the food, because if I had cooked enough for everybody to feel full, we wouldn’t have had anything left to last us until the next food delivery. We were entitled to one bucket of water a day, which wasn’t enough, as that one bucket of water had to be used for drinking and washing our pots and clothes. Sometimes, we didn’t even get that much. In terms of healthcare, occasionally the authorities sent in medical staff, but they never stayed in Banki for very long.

“I hope that my children who are still in Banki are still receiving at least the small amount of food they are entitled to. That’s what we were promised. But what worries me most of all is the lack of security.”

Today Maka’s face shows the hint of a timid smile, reflecting her sincere gratitude. However, she cannot help but worry about the future that awaits her and her family.

“I’m happy that my children and I can recover here in Mora. Once we are better, if we can get by and work a little so we can live, I will go back to my husband in Banki. But we can’t do anything. My wish is for my children and family who are still in Banki to join me here in Cameroon. We have some cooking equipment, a little food and we are fighting to survive in safety. We would also like to stay near the hospital. Even though Nigeria is our home, we are not free there and we are too scared to return.”

DAYO, 31 year old mother of four-year-old Barine

“There is nothing left in Banki.”

Dayo, 31, was referred to Mora Hospital in Cameroon in late July by MSF teams in Banki, Nigeria. She accompanied her sick four year-old son, Barine. The child urgently needed to be admitted to hospital as he was suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Before arriving in Mora, Dayo says her hunger had been so severe that sometimes she felt she was losing her mind. “When somebody spoke to me, I couldn’t even tell if it was a man or woman.” She had refused to take the rare medication that the medical teams in the area prescribed after a consultation. On an empty stomach, the tablets cause unbearable side effects.

Nine days after Barine was hospitalised, his health has improved significantly, even though he is not yet able to swallow the doses of therapeutic food required to treat his malnutrition. Unfortunately, two of the five children who MSF referred at the same time as Barine have since died. Despite being admitted to hospital, their condition was too severe.

Like Barine and his mother, over 15,000 displaced Nigerians have been living in catastrophic conditions for nearly five months in Banki. Devoid all activity and impossible to leave, Banki now resembles a ghost town.

“I come from a village 15 kilometres from Banki. One day, armed men arrived in our village and forbade us from working or travelling. They were violent and terrorised us. My husband, children and I fled into the bush, armed with only machetes and sticks. That’s when hunger set in. We cooked what dried millet and beans we were able to obtain. We could only cook during the day as at night, the fire would have attracted the attention of the people we were trying to hide from.

“Then our village was burnt down. I lost my mother, father and mother-in-law in the violence.

“We arrived in Banki with nothing, not even a plate or a pot, and I had only the clothes on my back. We couldn’t leave the town and there was nothing to do apart from wait for the delivery of supplies, upon which we were entirely dependent. Luckily, the authorities are distributing some food to the population, but it really is not enough. We receive barely two kilograms of rice or corn per week, and sometimes it has to last two weeks. If we need fuel, we take wood from sheds to burn, and you can find various objects and utensils in abandoned houses.

“In all the time I have been in Banki, I have yet to see any soap. In addition, we have to be really careful with water, given that the little we receive each day has to be used for drinking, hygiene and washing our clothes.”

Scared of going back

“Although Banki is my home, we are too scared to go back. I heard that in one night alone, three children and two women were kidnapped, along with all their food. I am so worried for my children there. I know that my younger brother is looking after them, but my other son is ill. Each time I get a meal in hospital, I think about the people who are still there.

“I want all my family to join me here. I would be happy to live with them underneath a tree, as long as it were here. I don’t want to return to Nigeria. There is nothing left in Banki.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Source:: Nigeria Crisis – rare patient stories, video and crisis info update from MSF

      

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Applications for 2017/ 2018 Chevening Scholarships now open

Applications for Chevening Scholarships, the prestigious global scholarship programme of the UK government, are now open.

The Scholarships, which are funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations, operate in over 137 countries worldwide, and this year will support about 2000 students. The Scholarships are awarded to exceptional individuals with leadership potential, who wish to study for a one-year Master’s degree at any British university, starting in September 2017. Some 160 talented Moroccans have benefitted from the programme since 1983.

The Scholarships aim to support UK foreign policy priorities by creating lasting positive relationships with future leaders, influencers and decision makers around the world. There are over 44,000 Chevening alumni world-wide who together form an influential and highly regarded global network. Chevening alumni have an excellent record of rising to positions of leadership across a wide range of fields: including politics, business, the media, civil society, religion, and academia.

The successful candidates from Morocco will be personally selected by the British Embassy in Rabat. The Embassy is looking for applicants who wish to study in one of the following areas:

  • Economic development (including sustainable development and environmental issues)
  • Good governance and Public Policy
  • Security and justice
  • Human rights
  • Media and communications
  • International relations

Karen Betts, British Ambassador to Morocco said:

“Chevening scholarships provide a fantastic opportunity to gain academic experience while experiencing life in the UK. Our previous Moroccan Chevening scholars have gone on to play impressive roles in all areas of Moroccan life. I encourage all talented individuals who have clear leadership qualities and the drive to contribute to Morocco’s future to apply for these scholarships.”

For more information on how to apply, candidates should visit www.chevening.org/morocco.

The closing date for applications from Morocco will be 12:00 GMT (midday UK time) on 8 November 2016.

Distributed by APO on behalf of British Embassy Rabat.

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Source:: Applications for 2017/ 2018 Chevening Scholarships now open

      

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The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 616 th meeting, held on 11 August 2016

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 616 th meeting, held on 11 August 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in South Sudan:

Council,

1. Takes note of the briefing provided by the AU Commission and the statements made by the representatives of South Sudan and Ethiopia in its capacity as the Chair of InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD);

2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan, in particular, Communiqué adopted at its 611th meeting held on 11 July 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda, as well as the decision of the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on the situation in South Sudan also held in Kigali, Rwanda on 18 July 2016;

3. Once again, expresses serious concern over the outbreak of fighting that took place on 7 July 2016 in Juba, resulting in loss of lives, dire humanitarian crisis and other tragic consequences on civilians and strongly condemns human rights violations, including sexual violence against women and girls. Council calls for necessary investigations to be carried out, in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

4. Commends the IGAD Plus for its continued leadership and unwavering commitment to the search for a sustainable resolution to the crisis in South Sudan. In this context, Council, welcomes the convening, on 5 August 2016, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, of the Second Extraordinary Summit of IGAD Plus on the situation in South Sudan and endorses the decisions contained in its communiqué, in particular,

i. the call for an urgent in-depth independent investigation by the AU on the fighting that took place in Juba and to identify those responsible with a view of ensuring that they are held accountable for their criminal acts;

ii. the request to the AU Commission, in consultation with the United Nations (UN), and building on existing regional and continental capabilities, to look into the best mechanisms for timely and effective action to address large scale mass atrocities in line with the relevant provisions of the Constitutive Act of the AU, the Protocol Establishing the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, and Chapter VIII of the UN Charter;

iii. the call for the UN Security Council (UNSC) to extend the Mission of UNMISS with a revised mandate including the deployment of the Regional Protection Force;

iv. the acceptance, in principle, by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan of the deployment of the Regional Protection Force; and v. the decision encouraging Dr. Riek Machar to re-join the peace process and the commitment by General Taban Deng Gai to step down upon the return of Dr Machar with a view to returning to the status quo ante in line with the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS);

5. Requests IGAD to provide an update to the PSC meeting scheduled to take place on 18 August 2016, on the outcomes of the meeting of the Regional Chiefs of Defence Staff, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, 12 August 2016 in Addis Ababa;

6. Commends the sterling efforts, in very challenging circumstances, of the AU High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konare and the Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), former President Festus Mogae and continues to encourage them to persevere in their work in support of the peace efforts in South Sudan;

7. Once again calls upon the parties to the ARCSS to embrace mutual trust, put the interest of their country and its people above everything else and to scrupulously implement the Peace Agreement;

8. Decides to dedicate a meeting, every month, on the situation in South Sudan with a view to monitoring progress on the implementation of the ARCSS and calls upon the AU Commission to remain fully engaged in consultations on the modalities for the deployment of the Regional Protection Force in South Sudan;

9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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

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Source:: The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 616 th meeting, held on 11 August 2016

      

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The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lagos and The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria / CIM invites you to a seminar on “Financing Renewable Energy III”

Programme:
09.00 am Mrs. Bärbel Freyer, Head of Energy and Environment Desk, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria: Introduction.
09.15 am Mr. René M. Siebenhaar, Commercial Attaché, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany: Welcome Address.
09.20 am Mr. Udo Wolter – Head of Thermal Power Plants Transmission and Distribution. “Development of a clean energy project in Nigeria including financing provided by a German Financial Institute”.
10.20 am Mrs. Baerbel Freyer / Mr. Michael Neulinger – CIM Experts and Head of Energy Desks, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Nigeria and Ghana. “Overview of Financing Options for RE Projects in West Africa”
11.20 am Mr. Sherafadeen Shittu – Relationship Manager, Financial Institutions – Commerzbank AG, Lagos. “Useful tips for approaching local banks for financing”
12.00 pm Networking
Moderation:
Dr. (Mrs.) Uzoamaka Egbuche, Nigerian Economic Summit Group
Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Participation will be free of charge.
Please confirm your attendance via email to: oghumah@lagos-ahk.de latest by Wednesday, 17th August, 2016.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lagos.

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Source:: The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lagos and The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria / CIM invites you to a seminar on “Financing Renewable Energy III”

      

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