Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan

The Secretary-General met today in Juba with H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan.

The Secretary-General stressed that implementing the peace agreement reached in August 2015 must be a matter of priority for the Government, including the urgent formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity with newly appointed First Vice President, Opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar. In this regard, he welcomed the Government’s commitment to implement transitional security arrangements for Juba in accordance with a proposal put forth earlier in the week by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission. He urged the President to work with Dr. Machar, upon his return, to rebuild mutual trust and confidence from the people and the international community to set the country on a path to stability.

The Secretary General also strongly condemned the outbreak of violence at the UN protection of civilians site in Malakal during the previous week and called on the Government to conduct a full investigation and bring perpetrators to account. He reiterated the UN’s commitment to protection of civilians, both within established UN protection sites and elsewhere in the country, and urged the Government to allow unfettered access to UN personnel and humanitarian partners.

Juba, South Sudan, 25 February 2016

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan

Categories: AFRICA

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Combatting Slavery in Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity, DRLA-DRLAQM-16-059.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: Monday, April 25, 2016 at 5:00pm EST

A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for programs to combat slavery and assist with the reintegration of former slaves in Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal. DRL is soliciting proposals for up to three programs, including one for Mauritania (up to $1,000,000); one for Mali (up to $750,000); and one for Senegal (up to $750,000).

Individual proposals should address the following:

• For Mauritania, activities must include, but are not limited to: (1) addressing descent slavery and the potential loss of citizenship for disenfranchised populations due to the national registration process for applying for a national identity and reintegration of current and former slaves; (2) developing a media component with anti-discrimination messaging; and (3) providing training assistance to judges recently appointed to serve on anti-slavery courts.

• For Senegal, activities must include, but are not limited to: assisting talibes—students attending daaras (Koranic schools) run by teachers known as marabouts—forced to beg throughout Senegal.

• For Mali, activities must include, but are not limited to: (1) addressing descent based slavery and (2) addressing forced child labor.

All proposals must include: activities that are social, educational and/or vocational geared towards helping former slaves reintegrate into society. We strongly encourage small sub-grants component.

Activities could include, but are not limited to: providing reintegration services such as psychological counsel and socioeconomic support to current and formers slaves; increasing collaboration among civil society organizations working to promote the rights of current and former slaves; training to assist current and former slaves exercise their rights under existing laws; conducting public awareness campaigns focused on combatting slavery; engaging with key stakeholders to increase non-discriminatory access to services critical to reintegration of current and former slaves; and strengthening advocacy efforts to increase respect for their human rights and expand their public and political participation.

Unless otherwise noted, all proposed programs must be between 16 and 24 months in duration. Proposals must demonstrate awareness of similar donor-supported programming efforts and explain how the proposed program would complement ongoing efforts. Proposals that build on lessons learned drawn from evidence from past or ongoing work in target countries or other contexts are encouraged. Letters of support from potential sub-grantees or program beneficiaries are recommended. Cost-sharing is highly encouraged.

Projects should have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms, and should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources. DRL prefers innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. DRL also strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most vulnerable or at-risk populations.

Activities that typically are not considered competitive include:

• The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;

• English language instruction;

• Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;

• Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;

• External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;

• Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or that do not relate to security concerns;

• Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;

• Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;

• Activities that go beyond an organization’s demonstrated competence, or fail to provide clear evidence of the ability of the applicant to achieve the stated impact;

• Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately $2,500,000 available to support approximately three successful applications submitted in response to this NOFO: one for Mauritania (up to $1,000,000); one for Mali (up to $750,000); and one for Senegal ($750,000), subject to the availability of funding.

DRL may issue one or more awards resulting from this NOFO to the applicant(s) whose application(s) conforming to this NOFO are the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO. The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, (d) accept alternate applications, and (e) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

Applications should not request less than $650,000 and no more than $1,000,000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between August and September 2016 and the period of performance should be between 16 and 24 months.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the application’s risk factor, or the needs of the program, which is determined by the grant officer for applications that are successful. If it is determined to award a cooperative agreement, DRL expects to be substantially involved during the implementation of the cooperative agreement. Examples of substantial involvement can include:

1) Approval of the Recipient’s annual work plans, including: planned activities for the following year, travel plans, planned expenditures, event planning, and changes to any activity to be carried out under the cooperative agreement;

2) Approval of sub-award Recipients, concurrence on the substantive provisions of the sub-awards, and coordination with other cooperating agencies;

3) Other approvals that will be included in the award agreement.

C. Eligibility Information

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

For-profit entities should be aware that its application may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process and that the Department of State generally prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Project income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility requirement for this NOFO.

C.3 Other

Applicants must have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in‑country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and NGOs and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of an applicant’s race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status. DRL encourages applications from organizations working with the most at risk and vulnerable communities, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, members of ethnic or religious minority groups, and LGBTI persons.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM)(www.sam.gov) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR,1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR,1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Combatting Slavery in Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-16-059.” Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

1) All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any documents are provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);

2) All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;

3) All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,

4) All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

Complete applications must include the following:

1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B, as directed on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov; completed and signed SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities”(if applicable) (which can be found with the solicitation on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and on the DRL website at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm); and your organization’s most recent audit (A-133 audit, if applicable, or standard audit).

2. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.

3. Executive Summary (not to exceed two [2] pages in Microsoft Word) that includes:

a) The target country/countries and thematic area;

b) Name and contact information for the project’s main point of contact;

c) The total amount of funding requested and project length;

d) A statement of work or synopsis of the project, including a concise breakdown of the project’s objectives, activities, and expected results; and,

e) A brief statement on how the project is innovative, sustainable, and will have a demonstrated impact.

4. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to submit multiple documents in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe file, (i.e., Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).

5. Detailed Line-Item Budget (in Microsoft Excel) that includes three [3] columns including the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and total budget (see below for more information on budget format). A summary budget should also be included using the OMB approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample). Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for sub-awardees should be included in additional tabs within the excel workbook.

6. Budget Narrative (in Microsoft Word) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered. For ease of review, DRL recommends applicants order the budget narrative as presented in the detailed budget. Personnel costs should include a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of key staff, base salary, and percentage of time devoted to the project. The budget narrative should provide additional information that might not be readily apparent in the detailed-line item budget, not simply repeat what is represented numerically in the budget, i.e. salaries are for salaries or travel is for travel. Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

7. Attachments (not to exceed fourteen [14] pages total, preferably in Microsoft Word) that include the following in order:

a) Logic model – Page 1-2: Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

b) Risk Assessment – Page 3: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

c) Narrative of Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – Pages 4-5: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

d) Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table – Pages 6-9: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information. This section can be up to four pages long if necessary.

e) Roles and responsibilities of key project personnel – Page 10: Please include short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. This relates to the organization’s capacity. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.

f) Timeline of the overall proposal – Page 11: Components should include activities, evaluation efforts, and project closeout.

g) Additional optional attachments – Page 12-14: Attachments may include further timeline information, letters of support, memorandums of understanding/agreement, etc. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the projects implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

8. If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a .pdf file. This document will not be reviewed by the panelists, but rather used by project and grant staff if the submission is recommended for funding and therefore does not count against the submission page limitations. If your proposal involves sub-awards to organizations charging indirect costs, please submit the applicable NICRA also as a .pdf file (see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information on indirect cost rates). If your organization does not have a NICRA per 2 CFR 200. 414(f) the organization can elect to charge the de minimis rate of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68. The budget narrative should indicate what costs will be covered using the 10% de minimis rate.

Please note: DRL retains the right to ask for additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.

Additional information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award, may include:

1) Written responses and any revised application documents addressing any conditions or recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;

2) Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;

3) Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services if receiving DRL funding for the first time, unless an exemption is provided;

4) Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

Applicants must have an active registration in SAM (www.sam.gov) prior to submitting an application, must prove a valid Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, formerly referred to as a DUNS number, and must continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the U.S. government.

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to obtain a UEI number and register in SAM.

SAM requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM and to also maintain its active registration in SAM.

No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235).

DRL may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable UEI and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time DRL is ready to make an award, DRL may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

An exemption from this requirement may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

1. An applicant is a foreign organization located outside of the U.S., does not currently have a UEI, and the Department determines that acquiring one is impractical given the geographic location; or

2. If the applicant’s identity must be protected due to possible endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

Please note: foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code in order to register in SAM. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. (As of January 2015, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.)

NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of January 2015 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on Monday, April 25, 2016 on www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Combatting Slavery in Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal,” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-16-059.”

Grants.gov and Grantsolutions.gov automatically logs the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov that is outside of the applicants’ control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

If ultimately provided with a notification of intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization. No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance.

Project activities that provide training or other assistance to foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended(FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-Federal award costs; however, the grants officer may approve pre awards cost on a case by case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015.

D.6 Other

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov. Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and that an application has been received by GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for applicants not being registered before the due date or for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

GrantSolutions.gov is highly recommended for submission of all applications and is DRL’s preferred choice for receiving applications.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons.

Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable solicitation and these instructions.

GrantSolutions.gov Applications
All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via www.grantsolutions.gov.

Applicants using GrantSolutions.gov for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration” as soon as possible. This process must be completed before an application can be submitted. Registration with GrantSolutions.gov usually occurs directly after an applicant submits their registration. To register with GrantSolutions.gov, click “Login to GrantSolutions” and follow the “First Time Users” link to the “New Organization Registration Page.” There are different ways to register your organization, click on the link that fits best.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission, the GrantSolutions system will provide the applicant with a confirmation page indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission as well as an official Application Number. This confirmation page will also provide a listing of all items that constitute the final application submission. Please save this page for your records.

GrantSolutions.gov Help Desk:
For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

Grants.gov Applications
Applicants who do not submit applications via GrantSolutions.gov may submit via www.grants.gov. It is DRL’s preference that applications be submitted through GrantSolutions.gov.

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days.

Grants.gov Helpdesk:

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

Should an applicant experience technical issues, contacted the applicable helpdesk, and is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response after 2 days of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G, who may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk but an applicant should document their efforts in contacting the help desk. Also, applicants may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or grantsolutions.gov that may result in a late submission.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Criteria

Evaluators will judge each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. DRL prioritizes innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project will have an impact on its proposed objectives. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate. If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of sub-awardees, among other pertinent details. In particularly challenging operating environments, applications should include contingency plans for overcoming potential difficulties in executing the original work plan and address any operational or programmatic security concerns and how they will be addressed.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights projects, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.

Inclusive Projecting

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most at risk and vulnerable populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, members of racial and ethnic or religious minorities, and LGBTI persons. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and address considerations to support these populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific means, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. Applicants should provide strong justifications if unable to incorporate the most at risk and vulnerable populations within proposed project activities and objectives. Applications that do not include this will not be considered highly competitive in this category.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required and do not need to be included in the budget. Inclusion in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets however should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate its necessity, appropriateness, and its link to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget then the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people, workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes and engage in robust monitoring and assessment of project activities.

The quality of the M&E plan will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, who will be responsible for those related activities. Projects that are at least 24 months or more than $500,000 are strongly encouraged to include an external mid-term and/or final evaluation. Explain how an external evaluation (mid-term and/or final) will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in absence of one. Please see DRL’s PSI for Applicants, updated in July 2015, for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The M&E plan will also be rated on the M&E performance indicator table. The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and yearly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation; There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target the most at risk and vulnerable populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All applications for a given solicitation are then reviewed against the same seven criteria, which includes quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institution’s record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (which includes feedback from US embassies), as well as U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (which includes feedback from USAID missions). In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of discussion on an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL has funding available for, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted grants officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted grants officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via Grant Solutions to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities (for more information on these exceptions, see Chapters 5, Federal Assistance to Individuals, and 6, Federal Assistance to Foreign Public Entities Directive.) Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/Documents/2015DeptTermsAndConditionsForUSandForeignOrg.pdf.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in Grant Solutions on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as downloaded and then uploaded to the grant file in Grant Solutions. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in Grant Solutions must include page one (signed and completed) of the SF-PPR (Performance and Progress Report); a narrative attachment to the SF-PPR as described below; and the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the grants officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Statement. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

• Relevant contextual information (limited);

• Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;

• Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;

• Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;

• Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;

• Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;

• Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;

• Reasons why established goals were not met;

• Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year using the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer. Evaluation indicators from the Foreign Assistance Framework can be found at http://www.state.gov/f/indicators/ ;

• Proposed activities for the next quarter;

• Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipients’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.

DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this solicitation, please contact Emma Friedheim at FriedheimER@state.gov.

For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

For assistance with Grants.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

For a list of federal holidays visit:

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/#url=2015

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the solicitation period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the project evaluation requirements.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, www.grantsolutions.gov, and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL is the foreign policy lead within the U.S. government on promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure, and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl and www.humanrights.gov

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Combatting Slavery in Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal

Categories: AFRICA

Celebration of the International Women’s Day at the African Union headquarters

INVITATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

When: Tuesday 08 March 2016

Where: New AUC Complex, African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Who: Organized by the Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD), African Union Commission (AUC)

Objective: The objectives of the 2016 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration are to:

Secure measurable and achievable commitments to AU’s commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment by all stakeholders.
Recommit AU, its organs, Member States, RECs and AU partners to accelerate implementation of gender equality and women’s empowerment commitments in furtherance of Agenda 2063.
Raise awareness about the AU’s Project 2016 and secure commitment for its effective implementation by the AU and its organs, Member States, RECS and Partners and Civil Society Organizations.
Promote awareness and appreciation of gender equality and women’s rights within the AUC and other organs of the AU.

Participants: The 2016 IWD celebrations will be hosted by the AUC in collaboration with UN Partners such as UNWOMEN, UNDP, UNECA and OHCHR

BACKGROUND:

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8th March around the world. On this day, the African Union (AU) joins the international community to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also reviewing past progress of women’s development and looking ahead at future opportunities for women, especially in the African continent .

The IWD celebration creates an opportunity for women and men to come together, network and organize themselves for social transformation, anchored on values and principles that ensure enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. The commemoration of this day, therefore, accords nations the opportunity to marshal efforts to strengthen women’s rights and their participation in social, economic and political development.

This year, the United Nations has adopted two themes to guide the global IWD celebrations, namely: “Pledge for Parity” and Planet 50 – 50: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Following these guiding themes, the AU’s IWD commemoration theme will focus on “Agenda 2063: A Pledge for Gender -Equality and Women’s Empowerment. This year being the African Year of Human Rights with a specific focus on the Rights of Women, provides another opportunity to celebrate African women and share best practices, but also to remind the continent to implement its commitments to address persistent gender inequalities that hinder women from fully enjoying their human rights.

Journalists are invited to cover the official opening of the International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2016, at 09:00AM, New AUC Complex.

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

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Source:: Celebration of the International Women’s Day at the African Union headquarters

Categories: AFRICA

DRC: Sentencing of youth activists part of growing crackdown on independent voices

The sentencing of six Congolese youth activists to two years in jail on 24 February is a clear sign of the growing assault on independent voices and civil society, and brings into further question the independence of the justice system in the DRC, said Amnesty International.

“The six must be immediately and unconditionally released, as they should never have been arrested in the first place. It is their right to peacefully protest delays in election preparations,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The five men and one woman, Rebecca Kavugho, Serge Sivyavugha, Justin Kambale Mutsongo, Melka Kamundu, John Anipenda, and Ghislain Muhiwa, were arrested on 16 February – as they were preparing for a general strike called by opposition leaders and civil society organizations.

They are members of Lutte pour Le Changement (Lucha) a youth movement that was set up in 2012 in Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu.

The strike, dubbed Ville Morte, or Dead City, was called to protest what the opposition and civil society organizations say is President Joseph Kabila’s plan to extend his rule by seeking an unconstitutional third term or delay the polls.

In a recent report, Treated like Criminals: DRC’s Rush to Silence Dissent, Amnesty International documented how the authorities were using the justice system to crackdown on dissenting voices. This latest sentence is yet another example.

Amnesty International considers the six to be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Background

The six activists were convicted on the charge of attempting to incite public disobedience. Their lawyers say they will file an appeal.

President Joseph Kabila has been in office since 2001. The constitution limits a president to two consecutive seven year terms. As the November 2016 elections draw closer, calls for President Kabila to step down have intensified, as has the government’s crackdown on dissent.

LUCHA organizes sit-ins, demonstrations and other actions in its campaign for the authorities to observe the constitutionally-mandated electoral deadlines, and for the president to respect the term limits enshrined in the constitution.

The government has accused LUCHA of being a criminal movement, set up with the aim of disturbing public order. At least 19 of its members and sympathisers are currently in jail.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Amnesty International.

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Source:: DRC: Sentencing of youth activists part of growing crackdown on independent voices

Categories: AFRICA

UN report documents litany of violations and abuses amid chaos in Libya

A UN report* published on Thursday has documented widespread violations and abuses committed in Libya since the beginning of 2014. The report recommends urgent measures to fight against impunity and to strengthen and reform the justice sector.

“Despite the human rights situation in Libya, the country only sporadically makes the headlines. A multitude of actors – both State and non-State – are accused of very serious violations and abuses that may, in many cases, amount to war crimes,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

The violations and abuses documented relate to:

· Unlawful killings: Cases were reported in all conflict areas and by most major armed groups since 2014, including executions of people taken captive, detained, abducted or perceived to be voicing dissent.

· Indiscriminate attacks: Since 2014, many attacks appear to have been indiscriminate in nature, impacting in particular on highly populated residential areas, including in Benghazi, Tripoli, Warshafana, the Nafusa Mountains area, and in the south of Libya. Sufficient precautions have not been taken to protect civilians as well as people and objects given protection under international humanitarian law, including health facilities, ambulances and medical workers, and humanitarian workers.

· Torture and ill-treatment: Use of torture is widespread, particularly in detention facilities, with reports of beatings with plastic pipes or electrical cables, prolonged suspension in stress positions, solitary confinement, electrocution, deprivation of adequate food or water, threats of a sexual nature and extortion. Torture has resulted in the death of detainees in various detention places, including at several military police and military intelligence facilities.

· Arbitrary detention: Since the 2011 armed conflict, thousands of individuals remain in detention, the vast majority without any proper examination of their cases. Some have been held in secret or unrecognized facilities operated by armed groups. Given the limited functioning of courts, there has been little recourse to judicial review of the legality of these detentions and, even when available, court orders for release have not always been implemented.

· Abductions and disappearances: A number of disappearances have been attributed to State forces and armed groups.

· Gender-based violence and discrimination against women: There has been a series of attacks by armed groups against women activists since 2014. The assassination of well-known activists, such as Salwa Bugaighis, Fareeha Al-Berkawi and Intissar Al-Hasaeri, and the threats, harassment and assaults targetting many others appear designed to send a broader message that women should not be vocal in the public sphere. Reports of sexual violence have proved very difficult to document because of fear of retaliation, stigma, family pressure or trauma. In one case, a woman said she was abducted in Tripoli by members of an armed group, drugged and raped repeatedly over six months. She also provided information that six girls as young as 11 were subjected to sexual violence by members of the same group.

· Human rights defenders and journalists: Since 2014, human rights defenders have been targeted, through assassination, attempted murder, abduction, threats, surveillance, and raids on their homes and offices. The fear generated by such actions, the high profile of those targeted, and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators have forced many human rights defenders to go into hiding or to flee. Journalists have also been subjected to killings, death threats, arbitrary detention and abduction.

· Migrants: Particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by authorities, armed groups and smugglers, many migrants have endured prolonged arbitrary detention, torture, forced labour, extortion, trafficking and sexual violence. Sub-Saharan Africans have been particularly at risk, while migrant women have been facing sexual violence and exploitation both in and outside detention facilities. A large number of migrants remain in detention without access to judicial review, including at least 3,245 people in western Libya alone.

· Children: Cases of forced recruitment and use of children in hostilities by groups pledging allegiance to ISIL are also documented. Some were reportedly forced to undergo religious and military training, and to watch videos of beheadings, and some said they were sexually abused.

“One of the most striking elements of this report lies in the complete impunity which continues to prevail in Libya and the systemic failures of the justice system,” Zeid said.

“This report clearly shows that the justice system does not have the means or capacity to conduct prompt, independent and credible investigations or to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations or abuses,” the High Commissioner added.

Since 2014, judges and prosecutors have been subject to killings, court bombings, assaults and abductions. As a result, courts in Derna, Sirte and Benghazi ceased activities in 2014, with limited re-activation of courts in parts of Benghazi in 2015, and victims have had little recourse to seek protection or to an effective remedy. This impunity is facilitating further abuses.

“In the absence of proper protection, the judiciary cannot deliver justice,” says the report, which notes that the system for providing security is “inadequate and flawed,” as thousands of members of armed groups have been integrated into the Judicial Police with limited vetting.

Whilst recognizing the significant challenges facing the authorities, the report recommends urgent action to stop the proliferation of armed groups through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and a vetting programme to remove and prevent the recruitment of individuals responsible for human rights violations or abuses.

The report further calls upon the international community to ensure that the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over Libya, has the necessary resources to carry out its investigations and prosecutions.

The report also suggests a number of priority actions, which include:
· addressing the security threats to administration of justice
· reforming the Judicial Police
· establishing a robust victim and witness protection programme
· establishing a specialized judicial structure within the Libyan courts to focus on crimes under international law
· organizing a high-level meeting to bring together Libyans actors and international partners to discuss initiatives to increase accountability in Libya
· listing individuals responsible for planning, directing or committing acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses, under the Security Council sanctions regime, whilst ensuring that any imposed sanction is accompanied by rigorous procedural safeguards that guarantee due process standards

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: UN report documents litany of violations and abuses amid chaos in Libya

Categories: AFRICA

National Prisons Service of South Sudan Takes Unprecedented Steps in Updating Processes by Inaugurating New Vocational Training Workshop, Launching Personnel ID Cards and Releasing First Inmate Statistics Report

The National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) inaugurated their new vocational training workshop, launched prison personnel ID cards, and released the first-ever Inmate Statistics Report Thursday at Juba Central Prison. The function was enthusiastically presided over by Hon Acting Minister of Interior and Wildlife Conservation General Achuil Tito Madut, NPSSS Director General Gen. Henry Aguar Kuany, UNDP Country Director Balázs Horváth, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, development partners and senior officials from the prisons, police, organized forces and invited guests.

Vocational Training Workshop

The renovated, well-equipped Vocational Training Workshop will be utilized to train inmates in eight disciplines: carpentry, masonry, electrician, welding, vehicle mechanics, agriculture, hair dressing and tailoring. In the first batch, 134 (9 female) inmates will be trained across the eight trades, and 91 (21 female) prison staff will be trained as trainers. Vocational training for inmates aims to check recidivism by imparting technical skills to the inmates to enable them to earn their livelihoods and facilitate their rehabilitation in society when released.

The vocational training program is an innovative attempt to ensure sustainability and promote indigenous expertise. The project engaged the Ministry of General Education and Ministry of Labor to finalize the curriculum in-line with the approved curriculum being used in other technical schools in South Sudan. The line ministries also assisted in the selection of 16 trainers and two supervisors, making the entire staff South Sudanese citizens. Furthermore, NPSSS expects to market the products manufactured in the workshop to make the workshop self-sustainable.

“This is indeed a red letter day in the history of the NPSSS, of which the entire service can be justifiably proud,” said UNDP Country Director Balázs Horváth in remarks delivered at the launch. “UNDP is committed to supporting the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed in August 2015. Support to NPSSS will continue as envisaged in the Agreement under the overarching support to security sector reform.”

Prison Personnel ID Cards

“This exercise will help us determine the exact number of personnel on the rolls of the prisons and remove those whose details cannot be verified. This will also help in cleaning up the payrolls. I will recommend that henceforth personnel will need to produce their ID cards to receive their salary,” said Gen. Madut.

The prison personnel ID project was implemented in phases with support from UNDP and United Nations Police (UNPOL). Implementation of the project involved development of the database, establishment of 11 Personnel Registration Database Units at national and state levels, capacity development of staff, manual and computerized registration of all prison personnel, data validation and physical verification of the entire NPSSS rank and file. As part of the final phase of the project, ID cards are being issued to eligible prison personnel. UNDP has procured five ID card printing machines and accessories required to provide ID cards to all 18,000 prison personnel in South Sudan.

“It is heartening to see that the entire exercise is being led and conducted by the NPSSS,” said Gen. Kuany.

Inmate Statistics Report for 2014 and 2015

The data compiled in the Inmates Statistics Report can be utilized for planning and resource allocation and, more significantly, to improve inmate care. NPSSS is responsible for approximately 6,500 inmates in prisons in South Sudan at any point in time.

“With support once again from our UNDP partners, NPSSS standardized the process of inmate statistics compilation and analysis. Not only were the forms reviewed and NPSSS personnel trained in utilizing IT equipment provided for this purpose by UNDP, the statistics are now published as annual reports,” said Gen. Kuany.

Support for improving living conditions in prisons, creation of facilities for juveniles and improving the Prison Academy was requested by NPSSS.

“On behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom of Netherlands for their generous support to the prisons service,” said Gen. Madut.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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Source:: National Prisons Service of South Sudan Takes Unprecedented Steps in Updating Processes by Inaugurating New Vocational Training Workshop, Launching Personnel ID Cards and Releasing First Inmate Statistics Report

Categories: AFRICA

Statement concerning UNDP, Business Call to Action and Bidco Africa Ltd.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has received a petition from the Bugala Farmers Association in Uganda related to UNDP’s association with Bidco Africa Ltd., as a result of the company’s membership with the Business Call to Action (BCtA). The BCtA is an alliance of several donor and other institutions that challenges companies to use their core business to engage poor populations across their value chains, while contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Bidco Africa Ltd. became a member of the BCtA in September 2015. UNDP hosts the secretariat and is a member of the Donor Steering Committee of the BCtA.

In addition to the petition, a complaint was submitted to UNDP’s Stakeholder Response Mechanism (SRM) and Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU) (http://www.UNDP.org/secu-srm). This request is currently being reviewed for eligibility for either or both channels. The outcome of these reviews will be posted on the SRM Case Registry (http://www.APO.af/ztoHfg) and SECU Case Registry (http://www.APO.af/a3HHBf).

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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Source:: Statement concerning UNDP, Business Call to Action and Bidco Africa Ltd.

Categories: AFRICA

Special Envoy Perriello Concludes Visit to DR Congo

U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa Thomas Perriello will hold a press conference on Friday, February 26 from 11:00 – 11:30 AM at the U.S. Embassy’s JAO Compound, Public Diplomacy Auditorium.

The Special Envoy is concluding his weeklong visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo on a trip which included previous stops in Luanda, Angola; Johannesburg, South Africa; Bujumbura, Burundi; and will end in Arusha, Tanzania. The trip is focused on supporting regional efforts to resolve the crisis in Burundi, protecting democratic space, and supporting upcoming Constitutional elections in the D.R.C.

In the DRC Special Envoy Perriello met with government officials and civil society, visited a USAID-funded health project, and attended the Private Sector Investment Conference in Kinshasa.

Previous to his arrival in Kinshasa, the Special Envoy attended the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Summit in Luanda, Angola. The trip will culminate in Arusha, Tanzania, where he will meet with EAC members during their Heads of State summit.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: Special Envoy Perriello Concludes Visit to DR Congo

Categories: AFRICA

AUC Deputy Chairperson concludes a three-day official mission to Mauritius in preparation of the African Economic Platform

H.E. Mr Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) on 24 February 2016, concluded a three-day official mission to Mauritius. The high level AU delegation to the Republic of Mauritius discussed among other current issues, preparations ahead of the inaugural African Economic Platform (AEP) to be held in Port Louis, Mauritius from 14 to 15 April 2016.

The AUC Deputy Chairperson was accompanied by some officials of AUC and the AU Foundation (AUF), as well as the Ambassador and Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Mauritius in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Announced by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, during the just-concluded 26th AU Summit of Heads of State and Government, the AEP will contribute to fast track African economic transformation toward the realisation of Africa’s Agenda 2063.

During his visit, Deputy Chairperson Mwencha and his delegation held series of meetings with government officials to discuss and make necessary arrangements to ensure the successful hosting of the African Economic Platform.

He met with the Acting President of Mauritius H.E Monique Ohsan Bellepeau, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, H.E. Etienne Sinatambou, the Governor of Mauritius Central Bank, Mr. Rameswurlall Basant, the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and the Secretary General of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

They all expressed their respective support for the AEP, particularly as it will help to accelerate Africa’s economic transformation particularly as it will help to achieve the vision of Agenda 2063.

The participants expected to attend this first African Economic Platform will come from the public sector, led by Heads of State and Government; the African private sector, led by captains of commerce and industry; and the African higher education sector.

This is a strategic approach by the African Union to bring together these three sectors to engage in discussions on cooperation and collaboration deemed to be critical for the continent’s growth and tangible economic transformation.

This platform is expected to be an annual event following the outcome of a 2014 Ministerial retreat of the AU Executive Council among others.

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

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Source:: AUC Deputy Chairperson concludes a three-day official mission to Mauritius in preparation of the African Economic Platform

Categories: AFRICA

Minister for Africa speech at UK-Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Forum

Thank you Atam for your kind introduction. I am delighted to be here.

I would like to thank Developing Markets Associates, and all the sponsors, for organising this important event.

I have just had a meeting with Dr Kamara, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations. Our governments have worked closely for many years, but particularly so over the last two years to defeat the terrible scourge of Ebola. I was delighted when your country was declared free of the disease in November.

It is right that we acknowledge the tragic impact of that devastating outbreak on Sierra Leone and its people.

It is also right that we start to put this terrible episode behind us.

I remember visiting Sierra Leone in 2013 and it was one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. That was only three years ago. I hope Sierra Leone will return to hyper-growth rates and a thriving business environment.

This morning I am going to set out why the UK Government sees potential in Sierra Leone, what we believe is needed to realise that potential, and what opportunities we believe this holds for you as investors.

I lived and worked in Africa for many years. My experience was one of energetic entrepreneurs, burgeoning businesses, a rising middle class, potential and drive in equal measure. Doing business is in Sierra Leoneans’ DNA.

The UK Government is committed to supporting Sierra Leone’s recovery. We have pledged over £240 million over the next two years to support the President’s plans for recovery.

This assistance is a part of a wider picture, because we are committed to promoting trade, investment and prosperity right across Africa. I am delighted that Guy Warrington will be going out as our new High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.

We have created a new Prosperity Fund – worth £1.3 billion – to promote conditions for sustainable and inclusive growth. A significant proportion is earmarked for Africa.

This Government is also delivering on our commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on international development, of which Sierra Leone is a beneficiary. I have been working closely with Justine Greening at the Department for International Development, who has visited Sierra Leone a number of times, and my DFID counterpart Nick Hurd.

However, aid alone will not ensure Sierra Leone’s long term recovery. It needs investment too, and that means an improved business environment.

The government of Sierra Leone has drafted its plan for post-Ebola recovery. It has identified priorities for recovery over the next two years: health, education, social protection, infrastructure, energy, water, and the development of the private sector. These will all be critical in getting Sierra Leone back onto the path of sustainable development.

It is encouraging to see that the President and his Ministers recently proposed to include a new Governance pillar in the recovery plan. We support this step towards addressing some of the big challenges around procurement, payroll, and corruption.

We are working in partnership with the government of Sierra Leone to encourage them to create the business environment that will reassure and attract investors.

Some UK companies, such as Standard Chartered Bank are already there. They, alongside Herbert Smith Freehills and Prudential, helped Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak by producing the Investor Guide for Sierra Leone – a great example of the private sector coming together to help the country on its path to long-term recovery.

My parliamentary colleague James Cleverly, MP for Braintree and a fellow Essex MP, whose mother was Sierra Leonean, was recently in Sierra Leone. I hope to do more to work with the Sierra Leonean diaspora across the country.

It’s worth taking a moment here to recognise the country’s enviable natural advantages:

Its rich mineral deposits.
Its huge potential in renewable energy, in particular solar and hydro-electric – I should say here that Sierra Leone was one of the first countries on the continent to sign up to the Department for International Development’s Africa Energy Campaign which promotes access to solar powered electricity – which is now much cheaper, more accessible and reliable.
Its strategic shipping location on the Atlantic seaboard of West Africa, with one of the largest natural harbours in the world.
Its millions of hectares of forests and fertile agricultural land, and abundant fish stocks.

Sierra Leone is also well placed to benefit from the huge economic growth we expect to see across the continent. Consumer demand from its emerging middle class is growing and that trend is set to continue as Africa’s population is forecast to double by 2050 [UN Population Data].

So in conclusion I urge you to listen closely to what you hear today. Sierra Leone has put Ebola behind it. The UK Government is supporting trade and investment, reconstruction and prosperity. Doing more business provides taxation for the government. We should be proud of what we’re doing to help Sierra Leone back to double digit growth rates.

Sierra Leone has huge potential. Its government has a plan for recovery and has identified its priority sectors. From mining and renewable energy to project management and environmental services.

Finally, this country’s strong historic ties with Sierra Leone, our long-term friendship, together with the familiarity with English, present UK companies with a unique advantage. I urge you to seize it with both hands.

Thank you.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: Minister for Africa speech at UK-Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Forum

Categories: AFRICA

United Nations Emergency Fund releases $21 million to assist people affected by conflict in South Sudan

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced that US$21 million will be allocated from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to provide urgent humanitarian assistance for people in South Sudan.

“This protracted conflict and worsening food insecurity have resulted in the urgent need for life-saving assistance. Timeliness of this assistance is critical, as time lost will result in lives lost. These CERF funds will provide protection and relief to people affected by conflict in South Sudan when it is needed the most,” said the Secretary-General during his visit to South Sudan.

Approximately US$15 million of this will go towards assisting more than 250,000 people affected by conflict, many of whom are in areas that can only be reached by road. Prompt delivery of assistance by the United Nations and our humanitarian partners is essential now as there is only a small window of opportunity for the most vulnerable people to receive help before road access is restricted by the rainy season, expected to begin at the end of April.

A further $6 million will go towards the relocation of more than 76,000 refugees from the Yida refugee camp in Unity State, to a new camp in Pamir. UNHCR and humanitarian partners will coordinate the relocation and provide refugees with emergency relief services. The majority of refugees are from South Kordofan State, Sudan, where the conflict remains unresolved.

“This CERF allocation comes at a critical time, enabling an immediate response to the increasing humanitarian needs in South Sudan. However, much more is urgently needed to respond to the scale and urgency of the challenge. I call on donors to significantly increase their humanitarian funding to provide relief for those whose lives are most at risk,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien.

Since the crisis began in December 2013, CERF has provided more than $90 million in humanitarian funding for South Sudan. More than $100 million has also been provided to help South Sudanese refugees and host communities in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.

In his recent report for the World Humanitarian Summit, the Secretary-General called for the global community to ‘invest in humanity’, specifically to expand CERF to reach $1 billion so that it can better address humanitarian situations such as that faced by South Sudan. This expansion would reflect the current global need for humanitarian assistance and enable responders to access the necessary funds whenever circumstances arise.

CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to support rapid humanitarian response. The Fund pools donor contributions so that money is available to start or continue urgent relief work at the onset of emergencies and for crises that have not attracted sufficient funding. Since 2006, 125 UN Member States and observers, private sector donors and regional governments have supported the Fund. To date, CERF has allocated almost $4.2 billion for humanitarian operations in 94 countries and territories.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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Source:: United Nations Emergency Fund releases $21 million to assist people affected by conflict in South Sudan

Categories: AFRICA

Francis to meet the Patriarch of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia

On Monday, 29 February, the Holy Father Francis will meet with His Holiness Abuna Mathias, Patriarch of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia, who will be present in Rome from Friday 26 to Monday 29. During his stay the Patriarch will visit the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the tomb of the apostle Peter, and will celebrate Holy Mass with the Ethiopian community of Rome on Sunday 28 February in the chapel of the Urbanian College.

The Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia currently consists of 35 million faithful, and a large community exists in Rome. It enjoys cordial and increasingly close relations with the Catholic Church, especially following the first visit in 1993 of the then-Patriarch Abuna Paulos to Pope John Paul II.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Vatican information Service (VIS).

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Source:: Francis to meet the Patriarch of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia

Categories: AFRICA