Niger Deaths Add to Growing Toll of Migrant Fatalities within Africa

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IOM notes the shocking discovery this week of the remains of 34 migrants near the Algeria-Niger border which brings to 471 the number of deaths and disappearances recorded on the African continent this year by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project.

“At least 250 migrants have died in Libya and Sudan alone, many due to exposure, starvation or dehydration in the Sahara Desert,” explained Julia Black, a researcher with IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin. She added: “There is also an alarming trend of violent deaths for migrants in North Africa, with dozens of cases of physical and sexual abuse of migrants directly leading to their death. It is likely that many more cases go unrecorded.”

The 34 victims this week were reported to have died in Niger, after being abandoned by their smuggler. These are the only deaths recorded by IOM in Niger, where IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) operations estimate the passage this year of at least 120,000 migrants since January. Temperatures along migration routes through the Sahara frequently reach well above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), and this most recent incident indicates that smuggling practices can be extremely deadly for migrants. The dangers of the heavily used route through the Sahara indicate that these deaths may be only a fraction of the true number of migrant fatalities across North Africa.

In addition to this week’s tragedy, the Missing Migrants Project estimates 85 of the 342 deaths in North Africa this year were of migrants headed to Spain’s Canarias archipelago off the coast of Morocco. It is likely that many go missing and are unreported on this oversea route, as well, “as it is a very long distance to travel to a very small group of islands,” Black explained.

Missing Migrants Project also has recorded 80 deaths in the Horn of Africa this year; 60 of those were drownings in the Straits of Yemen, a sea route many Somalis, Eritreans, and Ethiopians travel to reach the Arabian Peninsula. The remaining 21 deaths were recorded on land, as migrants travelled towards Sudan. Almost half of these were violent deaths, many at the hands of migrant smugglers. The mixed nature of flows through this region means that the precise numbers of migrant deaths are, again, underreported. Indeed, security officials in Djibouti – which hosts the principal land route connecting Ethiopia to the Straits of Yemen – told an IOM delegation earlier this year that sea deaths may account for around 25 percent of migrant fatalities in their country, with the vast majority occurring either from dehydration or vehicular accidents long before many migrants reach the coast.

In Sub-Saharan Africa (i.e., Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa excluding the Horn), Missing Migrants Project data is very sparse. Nonetheless, IOM has recorded 49 deaths in this region so far during 2016 – an average of more than two per week. Of these, 20 were Somali migrants who were discovered Wednesday after suffocating in the cargo bay of a truck in Zambia.

In nearly 18 months since the start of 2015, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 678 deaths of migrants across the African continent – Horn of Africa: 176; North Africa: 407; Western, Central and Southern Africa: 95, with 70 of those deaths occurring just in the past two weeks.

“These tragedies are in addition to the thousands of Africans who have died after successfully arriving at one of the many coastal launching zones, yet who fail to reach their destinations,” Black said.

Giuseppe Loprete, Chief of Mission for IOM Niger, this week said the deaths reported were of the 34 migrants found near the city of Arlit, a desert crossroads near Niger’s border with Algeria. He noted the discovery that most of the 34 victims were women or children which indicates that these are migrants from villages in southern Niger. “Women and children among the migrant group almost always mean migrants bound for Algeria,” Loprete explained.

A total of 20 were children under the age of 18, as well as nine adult females and five adult males, the IOM Niger chief added.

He said the cost of travel on this route – about USD 300-500 per person – runs about half the cost migrants currently are being charged to reach Libya from Niger. The Algeria route attracts poorer migrants, Loprete explained, migrants who may be exploited and forced into the sex trade and begging (especially minors) once they reach their destination. He added this route also may be even more dangerous than the path to Libya.

“Many more die that are not even reported,” Loprete said.

Learn more about Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Niger Deaths Add to Growing Toll of Migrant Fatalities within Africa

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IOM notes the shocking discovery this week of the remains of 34 migrants near the Algeria-Niger border which brings to 471 the number of deaths and disappearances recorded on the African continent this year by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project.

“At least 250 migrants have died in Libya and Sudan alone, many due to exposure, starvation or dehydration in the Sahara Desert,” explained Julia Black, a researcher with IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin. She added: “There is also an alarming trend of violent deaths for migrants in North Africa, with dozens of cases of physical and sexual abuse of migrants directly leading to their death. It is likely that many more cases go unrecorded.”

The 34 victims this week were reported to have died in Niger, after being abandoned by their smuggler. These are the only deaths recorded by IOM in Niger, where IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) operations estimate the passage this year of at least 120,000 migrants since January. Temperatures along migration routes through the Sahara frequently reach well above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), and this most recent incident indicates that smuggling practices can be extremely deadly for migrants. The dangers of the heavily used route through the Sahara indicate that these deaths may be only a fraction of the true number of migrant fatalities across North Africa.

In addition to this week’s tragedy, the Missing Migrants Project estimates 85 of the 342 deaths in North Africa this year were of migrants headed to Spain’s Canarias archipelago off the coast of Morocco. It is likely that many go missing and are unreported on this oversea route, as well, “as it is a very long distance to travel to a very small group of islands,” Black explained.

Missing Migrants Project also has recorded 80 deaths in the Horn of Africa this year; 60 of those were drownings in the Straits of Yemen, a sea route many Somalis, Eritreans, and Ethiopians travel to reach the Arabian Peninsula. The remaining 21 deaths were recorded on land, as migrants travelled towards Sudan. Almost half of these were violent deaths, many at the hands of migrant smugglers. The mixed nature of flows through this region means that the precise numbers of migrant deaths are, again, underreported. Indeed, security officials in Djibouti – which hosts the principal land route connecting Ethiopia to the Straits of Yemen – told an IOM delegation earlier this year that sea deaths may account for around 25 percent of migrant fatalities in their country, with the vast majority occurring either from dehydration or vehicular accidents long before many migrants reach the coast.

In Sub-Saharan Africa (i.e., Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa excluding the Horn), Missing Migrants Project data is very sparse. Nonetheless, IOM has recorded 49 deaths in this region so far during 2016 – an average of more than two per week. Of these, 20 were Somali migrants who were discovered Wednesday after suffocating in the cargo bay of a truck in Zambia.

In nearly 18 months since the start of 2015, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 678 deaths of migrants across the African continent – Horn of Africa: 176; North Africa: 407; Western, Central and Southern Africa: 95, with 70 of those deaths occurring just in the past two weeks.

“These tragedies are in addition to the thousands of Africans who have died after successfully arriving at one of the many coastal launching zones, yet who fail to reach their destinations,” Black said.

Giuseppe Loprete, Chief of Mission for IOM Niger, this week said the deaths reported were of the 34 migrants found near the city of Arlit, a desert crossroads near Niger’s border with Algeria. He noted the discovery that most of the 34 victims were women or children which indicates that these are migrants from villages in southern Niger. “Women and children among the migrant group almost always mean migrants bound for Algeria,” Loprete explained.

A total of 20 were children under the age of 18, as well as nine adult females and five adult males, the IOM Niger chief added.

He said the cost of travel on this route – about USD 300-500 per person – runs about half the cost migrants currently are being charged to reach Libya from Niger. The Algeria route attracts poorer migrants, Loprete explained, migrants who may be exploited and forced into the sex trade and begging (especially minors) once they reach their destination. He added this route also may be even more dangerous than the path to Libya.

“Many more die that are not even reported,” Loprete said.

Learn more about Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: Niger Deaths Add to Growing Toll of Migrant Fatalities within Africa

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East Africa Donors’ Coordination meeting encouraging Geothermal Investment commences at the African Union Headquarters

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The East Africa Donors’ Coordination meeting commenced on Monday 13th June 2016. H.E Dr. Elham M Ibrahim, AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy met with Ambassadors, Gary Quince the Head of the EU delegation to the AU, H.E Mr. Bruce Shepherd of New Zealand, H.E Mr. Thomas Terstegen, Deputy Head of Mission of Germany, Deputy Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Ministers responsible for energy and Ambassadors of the East African Rift System (EARS) countries, representatives of donors, representatives of development partners, experts of Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) beneficiaries ‘and countries, public and private sector. To encourage further geothermal investments and improve access to equity or other funding sources and thus play a catalytic role in establishing geothermal energy as a strategic option in power expansion planning of Eastern Africa.

As it was the first meeting of its kind ever to hold at the African Union, Commissioner Elham Ibrahim expressed her warm regards to delegates present and to the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) team for organizing a gathering that thrives to encourage public and private investors to develop geothermal prospects for power generation in Eastern Africa. Dr. Elham noted that it is more than ever important to increase the deployment of geothermal projects so as to increase the rate of energy access in Africa especially with the growing population. This she said can be achieved with reliable and competitively priced modern energy such as geothermal.

Dr. Elham also highlighted Agenda 2063 and the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) noting that on the road to achieve an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, the first ten year plan where energy is taken to be one of the major enabling aspects has been elaborated

”It is our responsibility as a continent to work together join hands and coordinate our efforts to develop our short , medium and long term plans to efficiently exploit the resources thereby satisfy the continents energy needs”; she concluded

H.E Mr. Bruce Shepherd Ambassador of New Zealand to Ethiopia spelled out New Zealand’s contribution to East Africa as countries in the region seek to strengthen their domestic and renewable energy generation and sustainably develop one of the world’s most significant geothermal resources. On this he said that New Zealand will make available its well-developed policy, hard and soft tools, and cutting edge technology as well as expertise of over 60 years in Geothermal energy,

Ambassador Bruce also underscored the African Union Code of Practice for Geothermal Drilling, a product which is the result of a unique collaboration between New Zealand and the African Union. The Code of Practice will allows for explorations of new modes of sustainable energy, particularly in this era of climate change

Ambassador, Gary Quince the Head of the EU delegation said that Geothermal is a course strong potential contribution to renewable energy development in Africa. With the growing population he said that geothermal energy is a unique option as it provides base load alternative with high capacity factor to fossil fuel based electricity generation thus deemed environmentally friendly

He noted that the aim of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility is to reduce barriers for investment while attracting public and private partners to invest in geothermal power

Deputy Director General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called upon the 11 eligible countries of the Risk Mitigation facility for energy which are Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, and Zambia to strongly consider geothermal investment saying that if utilized to full potential , it can provide sustainable energy system for these countries

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

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EU States’ dangerous approach to migration places asylum in jeopardy worldwide

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The medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced today that it will no longer take funds from the European Union and Member States, in opposition to their damaging deterrence policies and intensifying attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores. This decision will take effect immediately and will apply to MSF’s projects worldwide.

Three months into the EU-Turkey deal, which European governments are claiming as a success, people in need of protection are left counting its true human cost. On the Greek Islands, more than 8,000 people, including hundreds of unaccompanied minors, have been stranded as a direct consequence of the EU-Turkey deal. They have been living in dire conditions, in overcrowded camps, sometimes for months. They fear a forced return to Turkey yet are deprived of essential legal aid, their one defense against collective expulsion. The majority of these families, whom Europe has legislated out of sight, have fled conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“For months MSF has spoken out about a shameful European response focused on deterrence rather than providing people with the assistance and protection they need,” said Jerome Oberreit, International Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontières. “The EU-Turkey deal goes one step further and has placed the very concept of “refugee” and the protection it offers in danger.”

Last week the European Commission unveiled a new proposal to replicate the EU-Turkey logic across more than 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East. These deals would impose trade and development aid cuts on countries that do not stem migration to Europe or facilitate forcible returns, rewarding those that do. Among these potential partners are Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan – four of the top ten* refugee generating countries.

“Is Europe’s only offer to refugees that they stay in countries they are desperate to flee? Once again, Europe’s main focus is not on how well people will be protected, but on how efficiently they are kept away,” said Oberreit.

The EU-Turkey deal sets a dangerous precedent for other countries hosting refugees, sending a message that caring for people forced from their homes is optional and that they can buy their way out of providing asylum. Last month, the Kenyan Government cited European migration policy to justify their decision to close the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, sending its residents back to Somalia. Likewise, the deal does nothing to encourage countries surrounding Syria, already hosting millions of refugees, to open their borders to those in need.

“Europe’s attempt to outsource migration control is having a domino effect, with closed borders stretching all the way back to Syria. People increasingly have nowhere to turn,” said Oberreit. “Will the situation in Azaz where 100,000 people are blocked between closed borders and front lines become the rule, rather than the deadly exception?

The EU-Turkey deal’s financial package includes one billion euros in humanitarian aid. There are undoubtedly needs in Turkey, a country which currently hosts close to three million Syrian refugees, but this aid has been negotiated as a reward for border control promises, rather than being based solely on needs. This instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid is unacceptable.

“Deterrence policies sold to the public as humanitarian solutions have only exacerbated the suffering of people in need. There is nothing remotely humanitarian about these policies. It cannot become the norm and must be challenged,” said Oberreit. “MSF will not receive funding from institutions and governments whose policies do so much harm. We are calling on European governments to shift priorities – rather than maximizing the number of people they can push back, they must maximize the number they welcome and protect.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

* UNHCR Mid-Year Trends Report 2015 available online at: http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/unhcrstats/56701b969/mid-year-trends-june-2015.html

MSF has been providing assistance to people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since 2002. In the last 18 months alone MSF medics have treated an estimated 200,000 men, women and children in Europe and on the Mediterranean Sea. The organisation is currently caring for refugees and migrants in Greece, Serbia, France, Italy and on the Mediterranean as well as in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

MSF’s activities are mainly (92%) privately funded. Nevertheless, the organization is also involved in some financial partnerships for specific programmes with institutional donors. In 2015, funding from EU institutions represented 19 million euros, while funding from Member States represented 37 million euros. MSF also used 6.8 millions euros received from the Norwegian Government. In 2016, in addition to ECHO, MSF is involved in partnerships with nine European Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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

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EU States’ dangerous approach to migration places asylum in jeopardy worldwide

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The medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced today that it will no longer take funds from the European Union and Member States, in opposition to their damaging deterrence policies and intensifying attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores. This decision will take effect immediately and will apply to MSF’s projects worldwide.

Three months into the EU-Turkey deal, which European governments are claiming as a success, people in need of protection are left counting its true human cost. On the Greek Islands, more than 8,000 people, including hundreds of unaccompanied minors, have been stranded as a direct consequence of the EU-Turkey deal. They have been living in dire conditions, in overcrowded camps, sometimes for months. They fear a forced return to Turkey yet are deprived of essential legal aid, their one defense against collective expulsion. The majority of these families, whom Europe has legislated out of sight, have fled conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“For months MSF has spoken out about a shameful European response focused on deterrence rather than providing people with the assistance and protection they need,” said Jerome Oberreit, International Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontières. “The EU-Turkey deal goes one step further and has placed the very concept of “refugee” and the protection it offers in danger.”

Last week the European Commission unveiled a new proposal to replicate the EU-Turkey logic across more than 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East. These deals would impose trade and development aid cuts on countries that do not stem migration to Europe or facilitate forcible returns, rewarding those that do. Among these potential partners are Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan – four of the top ten* refugee generating countries.

“Is Europe’s only offer to refugees that they stay in countries they are desperate to flee? Once again, Europe’s main focus is not on how well people will be protected, but on how efficiently they are kept away,” said Oberreit.

The EU-Turkey deal sets a dangerous precedent for other countries hosting refugees, sending a message that caring for people forced from their homes is optional and that they can buy their way out of providing asylum. Last month, the Kenyan Government cited European migration policy to justify their decision to close the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, sending its residents back to Somalia. Likewise, the deal does nothing to encourage countries surrounding Syria, already hosting millions of refugees, to open their borders to those in need.

“Europe’s attempt to outsource migration control is having a domino effect, with closed borders stretching all the way back to Syria. People increasingly have nowhere to turn,” said Oberreit. “Will the situation in Azaz where 100,000 people are blocked between closed borders and front lines become the rule, rather than the deadly exception?

The EU-Turkey deal’s financial package includes one billion euros in humanitarian aid. There are undoubtedly needs in Turkey, a country which currently hosts close to three million Syrian refugees, but this aid has been negotiated as a reward for border control promises, rather than being based solely on needs. This instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid is unacceptable.

“Deterrence policies sold to the public as humanitarian solutions have only exacerbated the suffering of people in need. There is nothing remotely humanitarian about these policies. It cannot become the norm and must be challenged,” said Oberreit. “MSF will not receive funding from institutions and governments whose policies do so much harm. We are calling on European governments to shift priorities – rather than maximizing the number of people they can push back, they must maximize the number they welcome and protect.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

* UNHCR Mid-Year Trends Report 2015 available online at: http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/unhcrstats/56701b969/mid-year-trends-june-2015.html

MSF has been providing assistance to people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since 2002. In the last 18 months alone MSF medics have treated an estimated 200,000 men, women and children in Europe and on the Mediterranean Sea. The organisation is currently caring for refugees and migrants in Greece, Serbia, France, Italy and on the Mediterranean as well as in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

MSF’s activities are mainly (92%) privately funded. Nevertheless, the organization is also involved in some financial partnerships for specific programmes with institutional donors. In 2015, funding from EU institutions represented 19 million euros, while funding from Member States represented 37 million euros. MSF also used 6.8 millions euros received from the Norwegian Government. In 2016, in addition to ECHO, MSF is involved in partnerships with nine European Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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

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Source:: EU States’ dangerous approach to migration places asylum in jeopardy worldwide

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EU States’ dangerous approach to migration places asylum in jeopardy worldwide

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The medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced today that it will no longer take funds from the European Union and Member States, in opposition to their damaging deterrence policies and intensifying attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores. This decision will take effect immediately and will apply to MSF’s projects worldwide.

Three months into the EU-Turkey deal, which European governments are claiming as a success, people in need of protection are left counting its true human cost. On the Greek Islands, more than 8,000 people, including hundreds of unaccompanied minors, have been stranded as a direct consequence of the EU-Turkey deal. They have been living in dire conditions, in overcrowded camps, sometimes for months. They fear a forced return to Turkey yet are deprived of essential legal aid, their one defense against collective expulsion. The majority of these families, whom Europe has legislated out of sight, have fled conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“For months MSF has spoken out about a shameful European response focused on deterrence rather than providing people with the assistance and protection they need,” said Jerome Oberreit, International Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontières. “The EU-Turkey deal goes one step further and has placed the very concept of “refugee” and the protection it offers in danger.”

Last week the European Commission unveiled a new proposal to replicate the EU-Turkey logic across more than 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East. These deals would impose trade and development aid cuts on countries that do not stem migration to Europe or facilitate forcible returns, rewarding those that do. Among these potential partners are Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan – four of the top ten* refugee generating countries.

“Is Europe’s only offer to refugees that they stay in countries they are desperate to flee? Once again, Europe’s main focus is not on how well people will be protected, but on how efficiently they are kept away,” said Oberreit.

The EU-Turkey deal sets a dangerous precedent for other countries hosting refugees, sending a message that caring for people forced from their homes is optional and that they can buy their way out of providing asylum. Last month, the Kenyan Government cited European migration policy to justify their decision to close the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, sending its residents back to Somalia. Likewise, the deal does nothing to encourage countries surrounding Syria, already hosting millions of refugees, to open their borders to those in need.

“Europe’s attempt to outsource migration control is having a domino effect, with closed borders stretching all the way back to Syria. People increasingly have nowhere to turn,” said Oberreit. “Will the situation in Azaz where 100,000 people are blocked between closed borders and front lines become the rule, rather than the deadly exception?

The EU-Turkey deal’s financial package includes one billion euros in humanitarian aid. There are undoubtedly needs in Turkey, a country which currently hosts close to three million Syrian refugees, but this aid has been negotiated as a reward for border control promises, rather than being based solely on needs. This instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid is unacceptable.

“Deterrence policies sold to the public as humanitarian solutions have only exacerbated the suffering of people in need. There is nothing remotely humanitarian about these policies. It cannot become the norm and must be challenged,” said Oberreit. “MSF will not receive funding from institutions and governments whose policies do so much harm. We are calling on European governments to shift priorities – rather than maximizing the number of people they can push back, they must maximize the number they welcome and protect.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

* UNHCR Mid-Year Trends Report 2015 available online at: http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/unhcrstats/56701b969/mid-year-trends-june-2015.html

MSF has been providing assistance to people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since 2002. In the last 18 months alone MSF medics have treated an estimated 200,000 men, women and children in Europe and on the Mediterranean Sea. The organisation is currently caring for refugees and migrants in Greece, Serbia, France, Italy and on the Mediterranean as well as in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

MSF’s activities are mainly (92%) privately funded. Nevertheless, the organization is also involved in some financial partnerships for specific programmes with institutional donors. In 2015, funding from EU institutions represented 19 million euros, while funding from Member States represented 37 million euros. MSF also used 6.8 millions euros received from the Norwegian Government. In 2016, in addition to ECHO, MSF is involved in partnerships with nine European Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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

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The African Union moves towards operationalisation of the Africa centers for disease control and prevention

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H.E. Mr Erastus Mwencha, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Mr. Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China have signed an MOU between the AUC and the Ministry of Commerce of China on the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Through the MOU, signed on 15 June 2016, China will support the realization of the African Union’s “Agenda 2063”, to inter alia, improve the public health disease control system, integrate medical resources, gradually establish disease prevention, surveillance, detection mechanisms including rapid response to epidemics and pandemics, and build capacity among African Union Member States.

In the meantime, on the same day, a tripartite meeting to discuss the operationalization of the Africa CDC was held between the African Union Commission (AUC), the United States Mission to the African Union (USAU) and the delegation of the mission of the People’s Republic of China. The discussions also aimed to strengthen the tripartite cooperation between the AUC, China & U.S. on the Africa CDC.

Addressing the partners, H.E. Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs of the AUC reaffirmed that the AUC welcomes the collaboration with China and the US and is confident that in this spirit the three parties can together change the trends of the health development challenges in Africa. As China and the US are aware of Africa’s pains, struggles and trials in lifting the continent’s people from the quagmire of infectious and other diseases, Dr Kaloko said the Commission welcomes this partnership, and hopes that it will enable the three parties to accelerate efforts in building and rebuilding health systems and enhanced disease surveillance and response.

H.E Mr. Zhang Xiangchen restated China’s strong collaboration with the AU, with emphasis on health. In addition, Mr. Xiangchen applauded and appreciated the efforts of the AU in the development of the Africa CDC so far. “China commits to work with the AU and US throughout the process of the establishment of Africa CDC” Mr. Xiangchen concluded.

Mme. Kary Hintz-Tate, Deputy Chief of the US Mission to the AU, underscored that the US is excited about the cooperation to establish the African CDC “We are getting close to officially launching the Africa CDC”. Mme. Hintz-Tate appreciated the AU and the governing board of the Africa CDC for their efforts and overcoming several obstacles throughout the process.

The tripartite discussions follow on previous engagements between the AU and the two partners. In April 2015, the Chairperson of the AUC Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and Mr John Kerry, U.S Secretary of State, signed an MOU on public health. Both China and the U.S. also added the item of cooperation on the Africa CDC into the MOUs on development and cooperation they signed in September 2015.

The cooperation has registered progress since then. For example, the Chinese government provided two (2) million USD cash aid to the Africa CDC, while the U.S. committed ten (10) million USD and is fully supporting installation of equipment for the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) of the Africa CDC. Furthermore, both China and the U.S. held a successful joint training program for the Africa CDC fellows this year, contributing to capacity building.

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

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The African Union moves towards operationalisation of the Africa centers for disease control and prevention

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H.E. Mr Erastus Mwencha, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Mr. Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China have signed an MOU between the AUC and the Ministry of Commerce of China on the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Through the MOU, signed on 15 June 2016, China will support the realization of the African Union’s “Agenda 2063”, to inter alia, improve the public health disease control system, integrate medical resources, gradually establish disease prevention, surveillance, detection mechanisms including rapid response to epidemics and pandemics, and build capacity among African Union Member States.

In the meantime, on the same day, a tripartite meeting to discuss the operationalization of the Africa CDC was held between the African Union Commission (AUC), the United States Mission to the African Union (USAU) and the delegation of the mission of the People’s Republic of China. The discussions also aimed to strengthen the tripartite cooperation between the AUC, China & U.S. on the Africa CDC.

Addressing the partners, H.E. Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs of the AUC reaffirmed that the AUC welcomes the collaboration with China and the US and is confident that in this spirit the three parties can together change the trends of the health development challenges in Africa. As China and the US are aware of Africa’s pains, struggles and trials in lifting the continent’s people from the quagmire of infectious and other diseases, Dr Kaloko said the Commission welcomes this partnership, and hopes that it will enable the three parties to accelerate efforts in building and rebuilding health systems and enhanced disease surveillance and response.

H.E Mr. Zhang Xiangchen restated China’s strong collaboration with the AU, with emphasis on health. In addition, Mr. Xiangchen applauded and appreciated the efforts of the AU in the development of the Africa CDC so far. “China commits to work with the AU and US throughout the process of the establishment of Africa CDC” Mr. Xiangchen concluded.

Mme. Kary Hintz-Tate, Deputy Chief of the US Mission to the AU, underscored that the US is excited about the cooperation to establish the African CDC “We are getting close to officially launching the Africa CDC”. Mme. Hintz-Tate appreciated the AU and the governing board of the Africa CDC for their efforts and overcoming several obstacles throughout the process.

The tripartite discussions follow on previous engagements between the AU and the two partners. In April 2015, the Chairperson of the AUC Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and Mr John Kerry, U.S Secretary of State, signed an MOU on public health. Both China and the U.S. also added the item of cooperation on the Africa CDC into the MOUs on development and cooperation they signed in September 2015.

The cooperation has registered progress since then. For example, the Chinese government provided two (2) million USD cash aid to the Africa CDC, while the U.S. committed ten (10) million USD and is fully supporting installation of equipment for the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) of the Africa CDC. Furthermore, both China and the U.S. held a successful joint training program for the Africa CDC fellows this year, contributing to capacity building.

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

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Source:: The African Union moves towards operationalisation of the Africa centers for disease control and prevention

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Alexander De Croo meets with Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo met in Brussels today with Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso. Minister of Homeland Security Simon Compaoré, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Alpha Barry and Minister of Economy, Finance and Development Rosine Sori-Coulibaly also attended the meeting.

Minister De Croo congratulated President Kaboré for the democratic transition in Burkina Faso. Local elections took place in Burkina Faso in May. They were held in a quiet environment, as were the parliamentary and presidential elections of November.

Minister De Croo also discussed with President Kaboré the progress of the new cooperation between Belgium and Burkina Faso. Last year, the federal government decided on the proposal of Minister De Croo to include Burkina Faso as a new partner country of the Belgian Development Cooperation. With this decision, Belgium would support the democratization process in Burkina Faso, improve human rights and contribute to the socioeconomic development of the country and of the Burkinese people.

Kickstart of the bilateral cooperation

The new Belgian-Burkinese cooperation will have two phases: (1) a start-up program and (2) a cooperation program. This approach should ensure that the new cooperation will bring rapidly concrete results for the Burkinese people.

At the end of February, two interventions were signed in the framework of the start-up program: a drinking water project in Fado N’Gourma in the east of Burkina Faso (10 million euro) and an initiative to strengthen the sexual and reproductive rights of women, implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The second phase of the cooperation is currently under preparation. It concerns in particular the development of a substantial cooperation program, to be signed next year and valid for a 4-year period (2018-2021).

Situation Sahel region

Minister De Croo and President Kaboré also discussed the security situation in the Sahel. Belgium is heavily involved in the region. With a contribution of 10 million euro, our country is the second most important donor to the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. This Fund has been set up by the European Commission to promote economic opportunities, security and development in the Sahel region amongst others, with the aim of tackling the root causes of forced and illegal migration.

Next week, Minister De Croo will bring a visit to Mali and Niger, two other countries in the Sahel region.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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Source:: Alexander De Croo meets with Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso

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The British High Commission Accra awards Mawuli Secondary School

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The British High Commission in collaboration with the European Union in Ghana together with the Embassies of France and Norway, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana, awarded the winners of a joint National Schools Drawing Contest on Climate Change.

Mawuli Senior High School in Ho,Volta region received the prize for First runner up for the national school climate change drawing contest as part of the joint recognition of the COP 21 initiative. Launched in September 2015 as part of the European Year for Development 2015 and ahead of the Conference on Climate to be held in Paris (CoP 21), the National Climate Change Drawing Contest was organized under the theme “Seed for Change – Plant an idea to deal with climate change in Ghana”.

More than 800 schools submitted drawings in the 10 regions across Ghana after participating in information sessions run by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on the impact of climate change in every region. The imagination and creative skills of the winners were praised by Former President of the republic of Ghana, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change, in a congratulation speech.

The British High Commission Accra congratulated the winning school with a sustainability workshop and sponsored an installation piece designed by Hipsters of Nature, a Ghanaian based organization dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability through creative art solutions. The installation termed the ‘Sankofa’ bottle is a word in the Twi language of Ghana that translates as, going back to take what is forgotten. The Sankofa bottle will be housed on the school’s ground and will serve dually as recycling cannon for plastic bottle waste and as a reminder of the benefits recycling and sustainable living. Similar installations are located at the Alliance Française centre and at Lycee’ International school in Accra. The collected bottles are thereafter recycled by Skyplast Company and reused by Hipsters of Nature to demonstrate multi-storey gardens to students and households in Nima.

The adjoining workshop offered Hundreds of students of Mawuli Secondary School the opportunity to look at the practical methods they could adopt to address recycling and sustainable living solutions. Students engaged with artists and environmental specialists of Hipsters of Nature who taught them ways of transforming waste materials found within their community. This included recycling old pieces of clothing into new practical items and turning waste products such as in plastic carrier bags, plastic sachet and bottles into arts and crafts.

For more information, visit the Climate Action
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Source:: The British High Commission Accra awards Mawuli Secondary School

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Concern over clashes on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border

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Following reports of clashes, James Duddridge, Minister for Africa, said:

The British Government is concerned over recent reports of fighting between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces along the border near Tsorena.

The UK calls for both countries to exercise restraint and to adhere to the terms of the Algiers Agreement. Ethiopia and Eritrea should engage meaningfully in political dialogue to seek a resolution to the ongoing border issues.

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

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Concern over clashes on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border

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Following reports of clashes, James Duddridge, Minister for Africa, said:

The British Government is concerned over recent reports of fighting between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces along the border near Tsorena.

The UK calls for both countries to exercise restraint and to adhere to the terms of the Algiers Agreement. Ethiopia and Eritrea should engage meaningfully in political dialogue to seek a resolution to the ongoing border issues.

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

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Source:: Concern over clashes on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border

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