NOK 50 million to European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa

The Government will provide NOK 50 million to the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the EU’s trust fund for stability and addressing the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. ‘Norway is participating actively in European cooperation on migration and refugee crises. Working together with EU countries, we will intensify our efforts to address the root causes of today’s migration challenges, such as poverty, unemployment and poor governance,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Increasing employment opportunities, strengthening local communities, improving governance, enhancing conflict prevention and providing protection and assistance to vulnerable migrant groups are some of the EU Trust Fund’s key focus areas. Priority will be given to projects that strengthen the capacity of African countries to deal with migration, and to emergency projects in Libya and other countries in North Africa.

‘It is important that countries in Europe work with countries of origin and transit to address the challenges associated with migration and refugee movements. We must also fight organised crime and strengthen efforts to combat people smuggling and reduce the number of lives lost on the journey across the Sahara and the Mediterranean,’ Mr Brende said.

So far this year, approximately 120,000 people have come to Europe by boat from Africa. The largest migrant groups that have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy come from Nigeria, Bangladesh, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire.

‘In addition to a large number of economic migrants, there are currently a record number of people fleeing from war and conflict in different parts of the world. Norway is providing a substantial amount of humanitarian support to alleviate many of these refugee crises,’ Mr Brende said.

The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established at the 2015 Valletta Summit on Migration, which brought together leaders from European and African countries. Norway contributed NOK 30 million in funding to the EU Trust Fund in 2016, and is now providing a further NOK 50 million, of which NOK 20 million will go to projects in North Africa. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) are key partners in this context.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Royal Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum.

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Source:: NOK 50 million to European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa

      

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Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert:

As a longstanding friend, the United States applauds the people of Liberia for exercising their democratic right to vote in the historic presidential and legislative elections. This is an important step toward achieving Liberia’s first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected head of state to another in decades.

We salute Liberia’s success in holding free and fair elections in 2005, 2011, and 2014 and urge Liberians to build on that tradition by peacefully and patiently awaiting the official results from the National Elections Commission.

The United States stands by the people of Liberia in their efforts to continue building their country, its democracy, and its future. While challenges remain, we look forward to advancing our longstanding mutual interests in economic development, trade, security, health care, and the strengthening of democratic institutions.

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

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert

      

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Minister Lindiwe Zulu Unlocks Chinese Market for Small Businesses from South Africa

Minister of Small Business Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, has used her time in China to help unlock the Chinese market for South Africa’s small businesses and cooperatives. Minister Zulu is leading a South African small business delegation at this year’s China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF) which takes place in Guanzhou, China, from the 10th of October to the 13th of October 2017.

Minister Zulu challenged her Chinese counterparts and Chinese businesses to help open their markets to South Africa’s small and medium businesses. “Many SMMEs and Cooperatives have pointed out to us that their growth and sustainability is hampered by lack of access to markets. CISMEF must be a platform that opens the doors for many SMMEs to enter global markets”, said Minister Zulu.

The department has made a commitment to facilitate market access to small businesses. “The over thirty businesses that we have brought here and many others back home are looking for an opportunity to grow their businesses. Our participation at this year’s CISMEF is our practical effort to promote market access”, she said.

Minister Zulu said that her department is using CISMEF as a catalyst to unlock markets for small businesses and cooperatives. “We are here to show you a taste of what South Africa can offer”.

Minister Zulu urged small businesses to seek markets beyond the borders of South Africa. “The truth is that the walls separating nations are falling and the globe is getting smaller. However, the queues of the unemployed remain unacceptably long, especially in the developing world. CISMEF highlights the importance of global entrepreneurship that cuts across borders”.

Minister Zulu said that her department decided to be the co-hosts with China for this year’s CISMEF because government is committed to the goal of promoting and sustaining entrepreneurship.

“We believe that investing in small business will help us respond to the many socio-economic challenges that still stubbornly stare us in the face. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy and engine for economic growth and job creation.”, said Minister Zulu.

Minister Zulu is accompanied by Ms. Wendy Nelson, MEC for Finance, Economic and Enterprise Development in the North West province and Dr. Ben Malakoane, MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Economic Affairs in the Free State.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Millions displaced and at risk from stark rise in violence

Violence and repeated armed clashes in several provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are causing alarming levels of human suffering.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is particularly concerned about the 7 million people in need of emergency assistance, more than half of whom have been displaced by violence.

“People have suffered unimaginable difficulties, including displacement, separation from family members, abuse, looting, injury or violent death,” Patricia Danzi, ICRC’s Africa director, said while on a visit to DRC.

“We call for the international community to mobilize and respond to the needs of millions of people hard-hit by violence and armed conflict,” she added.

The violence facing civilians in the DRC has been off the world’s radar for some time. Funding from donor governments has gradually decreased, leading DRC to be one of the most underfunded countries the ICRC works in.

“This week I met a displaced family who returned to their village, which has been burnt to embers, because they were too destitute to rebuild elsewhere. They live in desperate conditions, and it’s heartbreaking to see the many similar stories here. More needs to be done to help those in need,” she said.

Violence is particularly prevalent in North and South Kivu, and more recently in Kasai and Tanganyika. In 2016, the DRC had the world’s highest number of people forced to leave their homes – nearly 1 million — and move elsewhere in DRC because of violence – more than in Syria or Iraq.

As part of its humanitarian operations, the ICRC, in partnership with the Congolese Red Cross, has assisted more than 352,000 displaced persons or residents in 2017. More than 10,000 civilians and military personnel have been educated about international humanitarian law (IHL), an effort in part to reduce attacks against civilians.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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Source:: Democratic Republic of the Congo: Millions displaced and at risk from stark rise in violence

      

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