Libya: Scores dead at sea, Red Cross and Red Crescent assists survivors

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While scores are dying at sea in the dangerous Mediterranean crossing, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are helping survivors on both northern and southern shores. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) continues to call for governments and institutions to ensure the protection of migrants, and for all people to recognize their right to safety and dignity.

In the past two days alone, at least 3,000 people were rescued by Italian navy and Libyan coastal guards. While thousands survived, more than 80 are feared to have died in these latest Mediterranean tragedies.

Mr Elias Ghanem, IFRC regional director for the Middle East and North Africa stated: “Thousands of people are still risking their lives every day to reach Europe. Many are dying in the attempt”

Yesterday, Libyan Red Crescent responded to the urgent needs of more than 200 people who were rescued near the port city of Zuwarah. On arrival at the port, Red Crescent volunteers provided survivors with food, blankets and vital health and medical services. Red Crescent teams transferred survivors who required urgent medical attention to nearby hospitals.

“We urge all leaders to focus on providing safe routes for people seeking sanctuary and ensure protections for people who migrate. Local actors like Libyan Red Crescent are among the few who can help survivors of such tragedies,” added Mr Ghanem.

Despite the volatile situation in the country, Libyan Red Crescent branches continue to respond to the migration crisis along the country’s coastline as well as in other key locations throughout the country with support from the European Union (DG NEAR). Along with providing relief, psychosocial support, and medical assistance, Libyan Red Crescent teams also retrieve the bodies of people who have drowned, ensuring they are transported with respect and dignity before being buried.

As well as providing lifesaving relief, the National Society reconnects migrants with their families in their countries of origin with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) also works closely with Libyan Red Crescent to ensure those who want can safely return to their countries.

The central Mediterranean is now the main route taken by migrants aiming to reach Europe. With weather conditions set to improve, more people will risk the dangerous journey in flimsy boats. Without immediate action to protect migrants on land and at sea, the number of people killed while seeking safety, security and a better future is likely to increase.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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Categories: AFRICA

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in Guinea-Bissau

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The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the situation in Guinea-Bissau following the President of the Republic’s decision to appoint a new Prime Minister and the subsequent protests in opposition to the appointment. He urges all political stakeholders and their supporters to act responsibly, refrain from violence and avoid an escalation of the situation by settling their concerns through dialogue.

The Secretary-General notes that the prolonged political crisis in Guinea-Bissau is gravely affecting the functioning of the country’s institutions and undermining prospects for socio-economic development. He calls on all political stakeholders to urgently bring the ongoing impasse to an end in the interests of the people of Guinea-Bissau on the basis of the country’s constitution.

The Secretary-General welcomes the professionalism of the national armed forces in the fulfilment of their duties and urges them to continue to act responsibly.

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

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in Guinea-Bissau

Categories: AFRICA

Menstrual Hygiene Day

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WHAT: Saturday May 28th every year is celebrated as “menstrual hygiene day”. It is a day set aside to raise awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management for women and adolescent girls worldwide.

Theme: The theme for 2016 is “Menstruation matters to everyone, everywhere

WHY: The aim is to create a world in which every woman and girl can manage her menstruation in a hygienic way in privacy, safety and dignity. It is also to break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual management plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential. A lack of adequate menstrual hygiene management denies women and girls their right to education, right to health and right to work in favorable conditions.

What makes the intervention important?

Keeping girls in school longer matters – UNESCO showed that every additional year that girls can spend in school will reduce the infant mortality by 5 to 10%
Yet in Ghana, dropout rates for girls are 7% higher than boys by the end of junior high school
About 95% of menstruating girls in Ghana miss school days during their period[1]
Even though girls require privacy and water to maintain hygiene during their menses, only 2 in 5 schools in Ghana have water supplies and only 3 in 5 schools have toilets[2]. Many of those that have such facilities do not have changing rooms suitable for menstruating girls.
A recent UNICEF Ghana research report indicates that many girls are unable to afford hygiene materials such as sanitary pads to manage their menstruation. These and several other factors combine to keep girls out of school during their period.

Way forward


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Formal school and informal family and social teaching on menstruation that discusses the local context of taboos, prohibitions and myths will help girls better understand how to manage menstruation. It is also important for boys and men in the community to better understand menstruation to help break down some of the myths, taboos and prejudices
Greater priority is required from government, civil society and development partners to provide the necessary political, institutional and financial commitments to ensure that all schools in Ghana have access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and gender-friendly facilities with changing rooms to enable girls to be able to change themselves in dignity during school hours.

[1] Menstrual Hygiene Matters (WaterAid, 2012)

[2] Education Management Information System 2014/2015, Ghana Education Service (2015)


Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Categories: AFRICA

Mohamed Ibn Chambas reaffirms UN support to Burkina Faso and G5 Sahel countries

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After Niger, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, arrived yesterday in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, for one day visit, marking the second leg of his tour in the G5 Sahel countries.

During this visit, Mr. Ibn Chambas exchanged views with the national authorities of Burkina Faso on the various issues related to peace and security in the region, as well as an update on United Nations support, in particular through the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) which was established following the merger of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel (OSES).

Mohamed Ibn Chambas met with the President of the Republic of Burkina Faso, Mr. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, and the Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, Ms. Hadizatou Rosine Coulibaly. He also had a working session with the technical and financial partners.

During his meetings with national authorities, Mr. Ibn Chambas reiterated the support of the United Nations and its determination to speed up the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS).

“The establishment of UNOWAS is the expression of the will of the United Nations to redouble its efforts and strengthen its partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, including Burkina Faso,” said Mr. Ibn Chambas.

He also called the technical and financial partners to increase their support to G5 Sahel countries, to enable them to face the security challenges, without neglecting the needs for development, necessary for peace and stability in the region.

President Kaboré reiterated the commitment of his country to continue its efforts to play a leading role in the region, particularly in terms of development, peace and security.

Mr. Ibn Chambas will next travel to N’Djamena, Chad’s capital, for the third leg of his tour in the G5 Sahel countries.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

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Categories: AFRICA

African Union and Germany strengthen areas of Development Cooperation

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The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has pledged another EUR 55 Million in support of African Union (AU) programmes and joint strategic initiatives, concluding its bilateral negotiations with the African Union (AU) Commission. The focus of this year’s commitment is largely on agricultural development through enhancement of agricultural skills.

This year´s commitment particularly focuses on the support to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which will benefit from additional EUR 29 Million from Germany. The additional contribution mainly supports agricultural technical vocational education and training (TVET) in more than 10 African countries and with a special focus on women.

A new element of the cooperation between the AU and Germany is on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). Germany made an initial pledge of EUR 5 Million in support of the ongoing CFTA preparations and negotiations.

In addition, the AU Commission and Germany agreed to continue to cooperate in the areas of Peace and Security, Good Governance, the Pan African University, and Geothermal Energy, pledging a total amount of EUR 21 Million.

Head of the AUC-Delegation H.E Mr. Erastus Mwencha, in his remarks presented on his behalf by H. E. Mrs. Fatima Haram Acyl, Commissioner for Trade and Industry, African Union Commission, lauded the existing bond of partnership between the Federal Republic of Germany, the African Union and Africa as a whole. He particularly recognized Germany role and its support during the migration crisis. H.E Mr. Erastus Mwencha further stated “…Africa is looking forward to further collaboration to facilitate development in key areas, notably, Human resource development, skills development, technical training for women and youth, support in areas of Trade especially the Continental Free Trade Area, Geothermal energy, Peace and Security and the Pan- African University”. The African Union is keen on strengthened ties to further the Africa- Germany relationship.

With the new commitment, overall Germany’s total support to the African Union since the inception of this bilateral cooperation in 2004 exceeds EUR 500 million.

Mr Guenter Nooke, the German Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Head of the German Delegation stated: “Our interest is that Africa can better address its security challenges and its development agenda. We want to support the African Union in making substantial progress in the political and economic integration of Africa. Economic transformation, skills development and the creation of job opportunities are central to combat poverty and the root causes of forced migration. One central element of what we agreed with the AU Commission today is to jointly do more in the area of agriculture training and development.”

The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint Initiative of AU Commission, UNECA, African Development Bank, with the objective of improving land governance in Africa which is of crucial importance with regards to food security and economic development.
Germany intend to further support the African Risk Capacity (ARC). As an AU specialised agency, the ARC offers insurance against extreme weather events to AU member states and contributes to address the challenges of draught in Africa.
Another commitment was made to kick-start the African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI), promoting legal mobility and education through exchange of African and German youth.
Following the rising levels of migration and extremism particularly among the youth, the role religion plays in radicalization is therefore crucial. AU and Germany agreed to look into a joint initiative on inter-faith and religion, which is key for social transformation.

H.E. Mrs. Fatima Haram Acyl signed the Agreed Minutes on the Negotiations on the Development Cooperation as part of the continued annual political dialogue between the African Union and German government.

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

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Categories: AFRICA

IMF Staff Team Concludes the 2016 Article IV Consultation Mission with the Central African Republic and Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on an Economic Program Supported by an ECF Arrangement

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An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Samir Jahjah visited Bangui during May 17–27, 2016, to conduct discussions on the 2016 Article IV consultation. The mission also reached staff-level agreement with the authorities, subject to approval by IMF Management and the Executive Board, on an economic program that could be supported by a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.[1] Proposed access under the arrangement could total SDR83.55 million (about CFAF 68 billion), or 75 percent of the country’s quota in the IMF. Consideration by the IMF Executive Board is tentatively scheduled for July 2016.

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Jahjah issued the following statement:

“The IMF staff team and the Central African Republic authorities held discussions on a long delayed Article IV consultation.[2] The discussions focused on economic policies and structural reforms needed to bring back the economy on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth, improve competitiveness, and foster good governance, following years of a protracted political and humanitarian crisis that started in 2012.

“The transition government in place during 2014–15 implemented an emergency program aimed at restoring security, basic government functions, and fiscal discipline, as well as rebuilding administrative capacity.

“In 2015, the economy recovered and fiscal targets were met. Real GDP growth is estimated at 4.8 percent, reflecting a pickup in agricultural output, construction, trade, and services. Inflation averaged 4.5 percent due to lower import prices and improved security on the Douala-Bangui transport corridor. Good implementation of the tax and customs administration reforms and lower-than-budgeted expenditures resulted in an improvement in the primary fiscal deficit to 3 percent of GDP in 2015, from 5.1 percent in 2014.

“Despite commendable efforts under difficult circumstances, security remains fragile, the economic recovery slow, and domestic revenue largely insufficient to cover wages, pensions, and other priority spending. The economy remains saddled with deep-rooted structural rigidities that hinder a sustainable recovery.

“Looking forward, the challenges are significant and expectations high. The newly elected government will have to walk a fine line between restoring sustainable budget discipline and scaling up social spending and public investment. The medium-term economic outlook is favorable assuming continued improvement in security and the successful reintegration of ex-combatants into the society. Economic growth is projected at 5.2 percent in 2016 and at an annual average of 5.7 percent over 2016–21, reflecting the gradual removal of structural rigidities and the reconstruction of infrastructure. Inflation is projected to subside in line with the CEMAC convergence rate of 3 percent. A gradual reduction in the domestic fiscal deficit and gradual repayments of domestic arrears will contribute to a significant reduction in public debt to about 25 percent of GDP in 2021, from 48.5 percent of GDP in 2015. However, the external current account deficit is expected to remain somewhat high at an average of about 9 percent of GDP over the medium term, reflecting large reconstruction needs.

“The IMF mission reached staff-level agreement with the authorities on broad economic and financial policies that could be supported by a three-year arrangement under the ECF. With revenue at historically low levels, commitments under the program would place significant emphasis on tax and customs administration reforms and tax policy measures to mobilize additional domestic resources, reduce aid dependence over the medium term, and scale up priority spending.

“Other key elements of the reforms include policies to improve public financial management, including treasury management, to restore control and transparency in the execution of the budget. In addition, better control of the wage bill would allow new hiring in the health and education sectors. The authorities’ structural reform agenda comprises also measures to increase banking intermediation, improve the business environment, address corruption, and build capacity.

“The authorities have made progress to firm up financing assurances from their main bilateral donors and other multilateral institutions for the next twelve months. For the outer years, the authorities are planning to organize a donor conference in Brussels in November 2016 to help mobilize additional resources – in particular to support critical reforms in the security sector.”

The mission met with President Touadera, Prime Minister Sarandji, Minister of Finance Dondra, Minister of Economy, Plan and Cooperation Moloua, Minister of Defense Yakete and several ministers in charge of economic sectors, the National President of BEAC Chaibou, the President of the National Assembly and other senior officials, representatives of the financial sector, private sector, civil society, NGO and development partners. The mission team wishes to thank the authorities for their warm hospitality, excellent collaboration, and the high quality discussions.

[1] The ECF is a lending arrangement that provides sustained program engagement over the medium to long term in case of protracted balance of payments issues.

[2] The last Article IV consultation discussions took place in 2012.

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

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Source:: IMF Staff Team Concludes the 2016 Article IV Consultation Mission with the Central African Republic and Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on an Economic Program Supported by an ECF Arrangement

Categories: AFRICA

USAID and partners host first agriculture innovation investment summit

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners will host their first Agriculture Innovation Investment Summit from June 1- 2 in Washington, D.C. The Summit will connect investors with innovators to accelerate game-changing technologies that can help smallholder farmers improve their productivity and competitiveness, in line with the goals of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

Innovators from Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development; Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development; and Feed the Future’s Partnering for Innovation program will:

  • Showcase their innovations in TED Talk-style presentations;
  • Participate in a pitch competition;
  • Receive business acceleration support; and
  • Participate in “match-making” sessions with potential funders.

USAID Administrator Gayle Smith and representatives from the Swedish and German Embassies will deliver remarks on June 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. EDT. The Summit is co-sponsored by USAID, the Government of Germany, the Government of Sweden, the Government of the Netherlands, South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and Duke Energy. For more information about the summit, please visit the AgTechXChange.

WHEN:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 – 9:30 a.m. EDT to 5 p.m. EDT

Thursday, June 2, 2016 – 9:00 a.m. EDT to 5 p.m. EDT

WHERE:

Ronald Reagan Building

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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IMF Managing Director Approves Staff-Monitored Program for Somalia

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The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on May 16, 2016 a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) for the Federal Republic of Somalia, covering the period of May 2016–April 2017.[1]

Somalia is recovering slowly from nearly 25 years of civil war. Weak institutional capacity, complex clan politics, and a challenging security situation have complicated the country’s economic reconstruction. As a result, social and economic conditions remain dire. With continued support from the international community and key donors, the Federal Government of Somalia has initiated important reforms to lay the foundation for the country’s economic reconstruction. To help Somalia’s economic reconstruction efforts and establish a track record on policy and reform implementation, the authorities have requested an IMF SMP.

The SMP is geared toward reestablishing macroeconomic stability, building capacity to strengthen macroeconomic management, rebuilding institutions, and improving governance and economic statistics. Given Somalia’s weak administrative capacity, technical assistance is an integral part of the SMP.

Under the SMP, fiscal policy and reforms will aim to achieve a zero fiscal balance on a cash basis, while avoiding the accumulation of domestic arrears. The pursuit of these objectives will be underpinned by revenue measures, realistic pledged foreign grants, and prudent expenditure policy. Fiscal reforms will focus on strengthening public financial management, particularly by modernizing tax and customs administration, and budget planning and execution. Monetary and financial policy and reforms will focus on: (1) maintaining a floor on the central bank net foreign assets; (2) initiating the first stage of comprehensive currency reform; (3) strengthening the licensing, supervision, and regulation of the nascent commercial bank system and money transfer businesses; and (4) enhancing the framework for anti-money-laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), which is critical for maintaining the flow of remittances to Somalia.

Somalia’s external debt is high and virtually all in arrears, thus precluding access to external borrowing. In particular, Somalia remains unable to access IMF resources because of its continued arrears to the Fund. A strong track record of macroeconomic performance and implementation of reforms, together with a comprehensive strategy of arrears clearance and debt relief supported by Somalia development partners, is required for addressing Somalia’s high debt overhang.

The Federal Government of Somalia has established very good cooperation with the Fund since Fund recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia three years ago. The IMF Executive Board concluded the first Article IV Consultation for Somalia in more than 26 years in July 2015. In addition, the Fund has delivered more than 50 technical assistance missions (including training) since 2013, and will intensify training under the SMP to improve institutional capacity.

IMF staff will work closely with the authorities to monitor progress in the implementation of their economic program. Successful completion of this program and subsequent SMPs could pave the way to an IMF-supported program of upper-credit tranche quality. Continued support from creditors and donors will remain critical for a full normalization and resumption of financial assistance from the IMF.

[1] An SMP is an informal agreement between country authorities and Fund staff to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic program. SMPs do not entail financial assistance or endorsement by the IMF Executive Board.

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

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IMF Managing Director Approves Staff-Monitored Program for Somalia

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The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on May 16, 2016 a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) for the Federal Republic of Somalia, covering the period of May 2016–April 2017.[1]

Somalia is recovering slowly from nearly 25 years of civil war. Weak institutional capacity, complex clan politics, and a challenging security situation have complicated the country’s economic reconstruction. As a result, social and economic conditions remain dire. With continued support from the international community and key donors, the Federal Government of Somalia has initiated important reforms to lay the foundation for the country’s economic reconstruction. To help Somalia’s economic reconstruction efforts and establish a track record on policy and reform implementation, the authorities have requested an IMF SMP.

The SMP is geared toward reestablishing macroeconomic stability, building capacity to strengthen macroeconomic management, rebuilding institutions, and improving governance and economic statistics. Given Somalia’s weak administrative capacity, technical assistance is an integral part of the SMP.

Under the SMP, fiscal policy and reforms will aim to achieve a zero fiscal balance on a cash basis, while avoiding the accumulation of domestic arrears. The pursuit of these objectives will be underpinned by revenue measures, realistic pledged foreign grants, and prudent expenditure policy. Fiscal reforms will focus on strengthening public financial management, particularly by modernizing tax and customs administration, and budget planning and execution. Monetary and financial policy and reforms will focus on: (1) maintaining a floor on the central bank net foreign assets; (2) initiating the first stage of comprehensive currency reform; (3) strengthening the licensing, supervision, and regulation of the nascent commercial bank system and money transfer businesses; and (4) enhancing the framework for anti-money-laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), which is critical for maintaining the flow of remittances to Somalia.

Somalia’s external debt is high and virtually all in arrears, thus precluding access to external borrowing. In particular, Somalia remains unable to access IMF resources because of its continued arrears to the Fund. A strong track record of macroeconomic performance and implementation of reforms, together with a comprehensive strategy of arrears clearance and debt relief supported by Somalia development partners, is required for addressing Somalia’s high debt overhang.

The Federal Government of Somalia has established very good cooperation with the Fund since Fund recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia three years ago. The IMF Executive Board concluded the first Article IV Consultation for Somalia in more than 26 years in July 2015. In addition, the Fund has delivered more than 50 technical assistance missions (including training) since 2013, and will intensify training under the SMP to improve institutional capacity.

IMF staff will work closely with the authorities to monitor progress in the implementation of their economic program. Successful completion of this program and subsequent SMPs could pave the way to an IMF-supported program of upper-credit tranche quality. Continued support from creditors and donors will remain critical for a full normalization and resumption of financial assistance from the IMF.

[1] An SMP is an informal agreement between country authorities and Fund staff to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic program. SMPs do not entail financial assistance or endorsement by the IMF Executive Board.

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

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IOM, Partners Conduct Vaccination Campaigns to Combat Measles in South Sudan

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In response to an increase of measles cases, IOM South Sudan is teaming up with health agencies to vaccinate vulnerable people against the disease. IOM recently led vaccination campaigns for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bentiu and Malakal and additional campaigns are in progress.

Following several suspected cases of measles in the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in Bentiu and Malakal, IOM launched a vaccination campaign for children under five living in both sites. The campaigns vaccinated nearly 45,900 children in Bentiu and 7,300 children in Malakal, reaching over 90 percent of the target group.

The campaigns were implemented in collaboration with International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Médecins Sans Frontières, UNICEF, WHO and World Relief. Led by IMC, the Malakal campaign was also expanded to Malakal town, vaccinating 919 children against the disease.

“The success of these campaigns is due to intensive social mobilization, effective collaboration and leadership of the Health Cluster. But routine immunizations should be strengthened both within and outside of PoC sites to reduce the likelihood of further measles cases, especially among children,” said IOM Migration Health Emergency Coordinator Dr. Andrew Mbala.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can become life threatening if complications, such as pneumonia, arise. Children and displaced populations living in crowded areas are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of measles and other contagious diseases.

An IOM Health Rapid Response Team is currently on the ground in Yirol East and West counties to provide measles vaccines for another 46,900 children under five. Health actors have reported 31 suspected measles cases in the two counties this year.

At IOM’s primary health care clinics in Bentiu and Malakal, as well as in Renk, IOM clinics are providing regular vaccinations against common diseases, such as tuberculosis, cholera and polio. Last week, IOM vaccinated 575 children through routine vaccinations.

To date in 2016, 1,321 suspected measles cases have been reported by the Health Cluster and South Sudan Ministry of Health.

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

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Categories: AFRICA

IOM Records Over 60,000 Migrants Passing Through Agadez, Niger between February and April 2016

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Through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM has recorded a total of 60,970 migrants passing through the transit towns of Arlit and Séguédine in the Agadez region of Niger between February and April 2016. Of this total, 44,890 were recorded leaving Niger, while 16,080 were migrants entering the country. Niger is a transit country for West African migrants travelling to and from Algeria and Libya.

The results of the flow monitoring during this period shows that minors represent 2.9 percent of the flow through Séguédine, which is an increase in the number of reported unaccompanied and accompanied minors heading towards Libya. The proportion of minors through Arlit is 9.4 percent, which includes those coming from and going to Algeria.

The main nationalities of those surveyed heading towards Libya were Nigerians (32 percent), Nigeriens (21 percent), Senegalese (16 percent), Gambians (11 percent) and Ivorians (7 percent). The flow of migrants returning from Libya through Niger, consisted mainly of Nigerians (85 percent), Nigeriens (6 percent), Malians (4 percent) and Burkinabes (2 percent).

The DTM results also showed that flows to and from Libya have increased, with 8 percent of migrants transiting from Algeria through Arlit identifying Libya as their final destination. All migrants returning from Libya cited war and insecurity as their reasons for leaving, while those on their way to Libya and Algeria said that they were migrating for economic reasons.

The main nationalities of those travelling towards Algeria were Nigeriens (37 percent), Malians (13 percent), Cameroonians (10 percent), Burkinabes (10 percent) and Guinea Bissauans (6 percent). Of those coming into Niger from Algeria, the main nationalities were Nigerien (40 percent), Malian (11 percent), Cameroonian (8 percent), Burkinabes (7 percent) and Gambians (6 percent.)

For both transit points, the majority of migrants were men (Séguédine 91.3 percent and Arlit 87.1 percent.) In terms of the age distribution, the majority were between the ages of 18 and 59. Some vulnerable people were also identified, including children, female headed households and elderly people.

Over 70 percent of those surveyed paid more than USD 345 for their migration journey to the transit point in Séguédine and in Arlit. The average cost of migration was anywhere between USD 85 and USD 345.

The statistical information on migrant movements was collected on a daily basis, including a monthly deployment of survey teams to gather qualitative information directly from migrants.

The flow monitoring points in Arlit and Séguédine are part of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, which is a suite of tools and methodologies designed to track and analyse movement of migrants. Through this IOM is able to provide accurate and timely overview of migrant flows, routes, migrants’ profiles, drivers of migrant and migratory trends.

IOM Chief of Mission in Niger Giuseppe Loprete said: “Collecting data in these areas remains a challenge, but for the first time we now have reliable information and estimations on the migratory flows. The analysis of these trends is key to address the drivers of the migration through West Africa to North Africa and Europe and we will continue to reinforce our activities, especially in the most remote areas of Niger.”

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

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Source:: IOM Records Over 60,000 Migrants Passing Through Agadez, Niger between February and April 2016

Categories: AFRICA

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 194,611; Deaths 1,475

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IOM reports an estimated 194,611 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea in 2016, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain, through May 25. Fatalities – including some 100 still missing – IOM estimates at 1,475 through 26 May 2016.

Flavio Di Giacomo of IOM Rome notes that 37,363 migrants and refugees arrived on Italian shores through 25 May, including all rescued individuals brought ashore so far this week. That total will certainly climb today (27/5), as some 10,000 migrants and refugees have been rescued in the region since Monday, 23 May.

IOM Rome reports that over two days this week, 25 May and 26 May, dozens of migrants lost their lives in three separate accidents in international waters. One incident, occurring on Wednesday in Libyan waters, involved a steel-hulled fishing boat carrying over 600 migrants that capsized as the Italian navy ship “Bettica” was preparing to transfer the migrants. In cooperation with the “Bergamini,” another Italian navy ship, Italian authorities managed to rescue 540 migrants. They recovered five corpses.

The rescued migrants were taken to Porto Empedocle. According to eyewitness accounts of the incident, some 100 people are believed to be missing. Witnesses reported that the boat may have been carrying as many as 650 passengers. They added that the vessel set sail from Sabratha, Libya, on Tuesday evening. Witnesses said that the majority of migrants rescued are Moroccans.

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On Wednesday a group of 130 migrants, who arrived in Lampedusa, reported to IOM that seven passengers died on another boat, most likely due to fuel spills from the engine. Among the deceased was a Nigerian mother traveling with her 9-month-old daughter. The baby survived and is now in the care of doctors at the reception centre in Lampedusa.

Yesterday evening another shipwreck took place in the channel of Sicily. The Spanish ship “Reina Sofia,” which was patrolling the area in the framework of the EU’s Operation Sophia, spotted a capsized wooden boat. At least 77 migrants were rescued, while at least another 30 remain missing.

“These have been very difficult operations for the boats patrolling the Mediterranean,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome. “We commend the outstanding work of the rescuers involved in the operations carried out at sea. Thanks to them, more than 10,000 lives were saved between Monday and Wednesday in the Channel of Sicily and further rescue operations were carried out yesterday.”

Added Soda: “Despite peak arrivals registered throughout this week, the numbers are in line with last year’s trend: as of yesterday about 43,000 arrivals have been registered in Italy since 1 January 2016. Last year, at the end of May, arrivals were 47,400. What we are seeing today is not an emergency in terms of numbers: it is an operational emergency, since thousands of people are risking their life at sea and it is very difficult to save everyone. This year over 1,470 migrants have already died or gone missing at sea. This number would have been much higher without the rescue operations currently active in the Channel of Sicily.”

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic please go to:https://missingmigrants.iom.int/sites/default/files/Mediterranean_Update…

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about Missing Migrants Project at:
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Source:: Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 194,611; Deaths 1,475

Categories: AFRICA