IMF Executive Board Approves US$642 Million Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Gabon

On June 19, 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Gabon for SDR 464.4 million (about US$642 million), or 215 percent of Gabon’s quota, in support of the authorities’ medium-term recovery program.

Today’s Executive Board’s decision enables an immediate disbursement of SDR71.43 million, about US$ 98.8 million.

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

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Approves US$642 Million Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Gabon

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Japan-UK Collaboration to Clear Landmines in Angola

Given that the signing ceremony of the contract between the UK and an NGO called the “Halo Trust” regarding assistance to clear landmines was conducted in Angola on June 15, by combining it with Japan’s assistance for the Halo Trust, Japan-UK collaboration to clear landmines in Angola has been realized.

1. Japan and the UK jointly provide necessary funding for a landmine clearance project in Huambo Province in Angola, implemented by the Halo Trust. Japan extended assistance of USD 550,000 through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects for expenses for personnel, equipment, etc. necessary for the project in March. The UK decided to provide assistance of GBP 50,000 for the project.

2. Angola’s civil war ended in 2002, but 35% of its landmass is still contaminated by landmines laid during the war. This has been hindering its economic and social development. Taking this backdrop into account, as a result of coordination between Japan and the UK, the two countries decided to collaborate to help clear landmines in Angola. This assistance by Japan and the UK is expected to reduce the number of casualties caused by unexploded landmines, secure the safety of land, and promote effective use of land for food production and other social and economic development projects, thus advancing the consolidation of peace in Angola. The project will clear a total of 191,692 square meters of land from landmines, benefitting more than 2,490 local residents. Japan and the UK also collaborated in providing assistance for a landmine clearance project by an NGO called “Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)” in Malanje Province in Angola last year.

3. This collaboration has been realized as part of the efforts to explore Japan-UK joint cooperation projects in Africa, including peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as agreed at the Second Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting (“2+2”) in January 2016. Japan and the UK share basic values, including the rule of law, and are the global strategic partners having responsibility in promoting global peace and stability, as well as the closest security partners in Asia and in Europe. Japan and the UK will continue to cooperate closely on a global scale including Africa to respond to the challenges of the international community.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

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Source:: Japan-UK Collaboration to Clear Landmines in Angola

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A children’s refugee crisis

As more than 1,000 children continue to flee South Sudan, on average every day in search of safety, the region’s refugee crisis has become a children’s crisis, UNICEF said today, on World Refugee Day.

Since violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, more than 1.8 million people have crossed into neighboring countries. In just one year the population of refugees in Uganda has more than doubled from 500,000 to more than 1.25 million, making Uganda now host to the fastest growing refugee emergency in the world.

“More than one million children have been forced from their homes in South Sudan, often amid horrific violence,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Pakkala. “Day after day, week after week, they are being received by countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. Despite great efforts on many fronts, the systems in these countries are tremendously stretched.”

Ahead of Uganda’s International Solidarity Summit on Refugees (June 22-23), UNICEF noted that 86% of all refugees in Uganda are women and children. Indeed, Uganda is now Africa’s leading refugee-hosting country, having jumped from the eighth largest refugee-hosting country in the world in mid-2016 to the third largest today, after Turkey and Pakistan.

The Government of Uganda, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP and other humanitarian partners on the ground are working tirelessly to respond to the more than 740,000 refugees who have arrived in Uganda since July 2016. Such dramatic numbers are placing excessive pressure on State and host community resources, especially social services that are critical to children’s well-being.

“The Ugandan Government has a progressive and generous open door policy to refugees,” said UNICEF’s Ms Pakkala. “This approach provides better prospects for refugee children in Uganda than in many contexts globally. The very real hope is that such a model is supported widely across countries.”

The Government of Uganda and the United Nations are appealing for $8 billion in funding for both emergency response and resilience interventions to Uganda’s refugee and refugee-hosting population over the next four years. Within this appeal, UNICEF in Uganda requires nearly $50 million in 2017 as well as $30 million in each year from 2018-2020 to provide critical health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, early childhood development, adolescent development, and child protection interventions, to both refugee and host community children.

For Ethiopia and Kenya, as part of their Humanitarian Action for Children’s Appeal for Ethiopia and Kenya, UNICEF requires $13.6 million to respond to the new influx of South Sudanese refugees in the Gambella Region of Ethiopia, and $7.3 million for the refugee response in Kenya.

On World Refugee Day, UNICEF is also reiterating its call to governments to adopt its six-point agenda for action to protect refugee and migrant children and ensure their well-being, which was launched ahead of the G7 Summit in Italy in late May.

While refugee children in Uganda enjoy the full existing legal, physical and social protection system as the host population and use the same social services as them, UNICEF said more must be done to fully operationalize this
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Source:: A children’s refugee crisis

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Africa: Attack on Hotel Kangaba in Mali

Press Statement by Heather Nauert, Department Spokesperson:

The United States expresses its condolences to the victims and their families of the June 18 terrorist attack at Hotel Kangaba “Le Campement” outside Bamako, Mali. We appreciate the efforts of Malian, French, and United Nations peacekeeping forces in responding to the attack and securing the compound.

The United States reiterates its firm resolve in the fight against terrorism worldwide and its solidarity with the government and people of Mali in that effort.

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: Africa: Attack on Hotel Kangaba in Mali

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