High-Level Solidarity Seminar and Photo Exhibition on Western Sahara

INVITATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

WHAT: A High Level Solidarity Seminar and the photo Exhibition at the AU Headquarters under the theme: “40 FACES, 40 YEARS – A Lifetime in Exile.” – The events are aimed at highlighting the humanitarian socio-economic and human rights tragedy of the Sahrawi people living in exile for the last 40 years.

WHEN: Seminar – Monday, 25 April 2016

Exhibition – Monday 25 April 2016 to Thursday 28 April 2016

Closing Ceremony (Diplomatic Cocktail) – Thursday 28 April 2016

TIME: Seminar from 09:00hrs – 14:00hrs

Exhibition from 09.00hrs- 17:00hrs every day

Closing Ceremony (Diplomatic Cocktail) –17:00hrs – 18:00hrs

WHO: African Union Commission and Oxfam

WHERE: Seminar – Medium Hall, New Conference Centre, African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Exhibition – Lobby Area A&B, New Conference Centre, African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

WHY: Over the last four decades, the OAU/AU has made numerous calls to the international community and initiated efforts to resolve the Sahrawi crisis. This has included the appointment in June 2014 of former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique as AU Special Envoy to consult with the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Spain, as well as with the UN Secretariat, on how best the AU can support international efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict in Western Sahara – also calling for renewed international engagement towards the resolution of the conflict. The African Union’s efforts are within its mandate as Guarantor of the Peace Plan endorsed in resolution AHG/Res.104(XIX) of the 19th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa from 6 to 12 June 1983, which essentially served as the basis of the August 1988 Settlement Proposals that set into motion the peace process for Western Sahara.

The Event is open to the Public.

JOURNALISTS ARE INVITED TO COVER THE EXHIBITION

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

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Source:: High-Level Solidarity Seminar and Photo Exhibition on Western Sahara

Categories: AFRICA

President Michel conveys the condolences of the Government and people of Seychelles to Ethiopia following cattle raid tragedy

Following the cross border cattle raids in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia which has claimed the lives of more than 200 people and seen the kidnaping of 100 children; on behalf of the Government and people of Seychelles President James Michel has expressed his profound condolences in a message addressed to the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn.

“May all those touched by this calamity find the strength and courage to cope at this most difficult time,” said President Michel in his message.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: President Michel conveys the condolences of the Government and people of Seychelles to Ethiopia following cattle raid tragedy

Categories: AFRICA

UNICEF’s largest global purchase of Therapeutic Food for children in drought-stricken Ethiopia through donor support

Today, UNICEF thanked donors for their generous contributions and the Government for its strong leadership, which together have enabled a concerted response to the current El Niño driven drought in Ethiopia, particularly in treating children with severe malnutrition.

With support from donors, UNICEF has procured 543,631 cartons of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), which represents 22 per cent of the global order for 2015 and is one of the largest single purchases in UNICEF’s history. The donors include the Governments of Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States and partners including ECHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To date in 2016, UNICEF procured in 2015 a further 73,344 cartons of RUTF out of a global procurement estimated at 565,623 cartons, which corresponds to 13 per cent of the global supply. In addition to RUTF, other supplies including therapeutic milk, routine drugs and hygiene and sanitation commodities have been procured as part of the drought response. To accommodate this large volume of supplies and enhance preparedness for the drought response, UNICEF rented a new warehouse in the Gerji area of Addis Ababa, earlier this year.

“On behalf of the Government of Ethiopia and UNICEF, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the humanitarian donors for their timely and generous financial contributions to purchase Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food that will save the lives of millions of children diagnosed with severe malnutrition,” said Ms Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia. “I would also like to especially thank the Ethiopian Customs Authority, the Ethiopian Food Medicine and Health Care Administration and Akakas Logistics, this enormous supply chain operation would not have been possible without their active support. By accelerating our joint nutrition interventions, we can transform the lives of millions of children to become healthy citizens and reach their full potential.”

Ethiopia is experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades due to El Niño weather condition which continues to wreak havoc on the lives of children and their families’ livelihoods. According to the latest Humanitarian Requirement Document issued this year, 6 million children are at risk from hunger, disease and lack of water. Malnutrition rates have greatly increased – 450,000 children are expected to be treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) this year.

As part of the joint drought response coordinated by the Government, UNICEF is leading the Nutrition, Water Sanitation Hygiene, Education (together with Save the Children) clusters and the Child Protection sub-cluster. Together with other partners, UNICEF implements life-saving humanitarian responses including procurement and supply of therapeutic food and milk, drugs, other medical supplies, plus water/sanitation and education and child protection supplies.

UNICEF also supports the treatment of severely malnourished children through the community-based management of acute malnutrition, with training, quality assurance and coordination with other partners. Regular nutrition screening helps ensure that malnutrition in children is diagnosed and treated early, thereby reducing cases of severe acute malnutrition and life-threatening complications.

The supply of RUTF procured by UNICEF to date to respond to the current emergency is worth

US$28 million including freight and in-country distribution. With the continued effort of the Government and support from humanitarian actors, 350,451 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition in 2015.

Note to editors:

RUTF-Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (also known as to as Plump’nut which is a brand name):

A high protein and high energy peanut-based paste that tastes slightly sweeter than peanut better. It requires no water for preparation or refrigerator and has a two-year shelf life, making it easy to deploy in difficult conditions to treat severe acute malnutrition. It is distributed under medical supervision, predominately to parents of malnourished children where the nutritional status of the children has been assessed by a doctor or a nutritionist.

SAM-Severe Acute Malnutrition:

A result of recent (short-term) deficiency of protein, energy and minerals and vitamins leading to loss of body fats and muscle tissues. Acute malnutrition presents with wasting (low weight-for-height) and/or the presence of oedema (i.e, retention of water in the tissues of the body). Defined as a weight-for-height below minus three standard deviations from the median weight-for-height for the standard reference population, a mid-upper-arm circumference of less than 115 mm, visible severe thinness or the presence of nutritional oedema.

MAM-Moderate Acute Malnutrition:

Defined as weight-for-height between minus two and minus three standard deviations from the media weight-for-height for the standard reference population.

About UNICEF: UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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

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Source:: UNICEF’s largest global purchase of Therapeutic Food for children in drought-stricken Ethiopia through donor support

Categories: AFRICA

Looming hunger crisis in southern Africa: aid agencies should receive sufficient funding, say DROI and DEVE Chairs

Elena Valenciano, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the EP, and Linda McAvan, Chair of the Committee on Development in the European Parliament (EP), on the worrying situation in southern Africa:

“No fewer than six countries in southern Africa (South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia) are facing a major crisis due to the worst southern African drought in decades. According to the World Food Programme (WPF) over 10 million people across the region will need food aid in the coming year. The WFP estimates that more than 30 million people are currently food insecure and the WFP believes that these numbers are still going to grow.

It is our moral duty to ensure that there will be no loss of life due to starvation. We also need to take into account the huge social implications of food insecurity and its very negative impact on the economy, often resulting in social unrest.

The EU and its Member States must therefore make sure the WFP and other aid agencies receive the funding needed to sustain the huge numbers of people affected. We have already witnessed what aid agencies’ shortage of funds meant for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan who finally saw no option but to flee to Europe, and we should not allow such a shortfall in funding to happen again.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Parliament.

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Source:: Looming hunger crisis in southern Africa: aid agencies should receive sufficient funding, say DROI and DEVE Chairs

Categories: AFRICA

Libya completes first polio campaign since 2014

More than one million children in Libya have been immunized against polio in a 5-day national campaign concluding today. The campaign is the first to be held in Libya since 2014.

Approximately 2000 vaccinators in 600 health facilities around the country participated in the campaign which was conducted by the Ministry of Health’s National Centre for Disease Control, with support from WHO and UNICEF.

“This is a truly significant achievement in ensuring Libya maintains its polio-free status,” said Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO Representative for Libya. “Interruptions in routine immunization as a result of the conflict have placed children in Libya at prolonged risk of infectious diseases. Parents are desperate to keep their children safe and healthy, and the high level of demand was such that health facilities were overcrowded in the first days of the campaign.”

Ongoing violence in Libya has created challenges for the provision of health care services, including immunization services. Health facilities are faced with critical shortages of health staff and insecurity has restricted transportation and contributed to shortages of medicines and medical supplies.

“Despite the challenges faced, including extremely limited funding for the health sector, WHO and partners continue to ensure that urgently needed basic health care services in Libya are provided. This campaign is a positive step towards ensuring that with increased support, vulnerable Libyans have access to the health services they need,” said Dr Hussain.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).

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Source:: Libya completes first polio campaign since 2014

Categories: AFRICA

Uganda’s Makerere University Pilots Migration and Health Program

IOM is this week conducting an 8-day training of trainers workshop in Kampala for 20 Makerere University staff to pilot a 2-week certificate course in migration and health.

The course, which will target postgraduate students and senior government officials from key ministries, is expected to enable participants to gather, analyze, and disseminate the knowledge needed to conceptualize and implement health policies and programs related to migration and mobility in the Eastern Africa region.

“The migration and health course is the first multidisciplinary, university-based program in the region devoted to systematically studying the health consequences of local and international population movements and developing more effective strategies to address migration,” said IOM Uganda Chief of Mission Ali Abdi.

The certificate program will ultimately lead to the establishment of the Regional Centre for Migration and Health Studies in Makerere University’s School of Social Sciences. Makerere is one of the leading academic institutions in Eastern Africa and has carried out several research projects in partnership with IOM.

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

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Source:: Uganda’s Makerere University Pilots Migration and Health Program

Categories: AFRICA

Why Unaccompanied Egyptian Children are Migrating to Europe

“Egyptian Unaccompanied Migrant Children: A Case Study on Irregular Migration” is a new assessment published by IOM Egypt designed to shed light on the irregular migration of Egyptian children to Europe.

Based on IOM counselling interviews in Egypt and Greece, the report looks at the driving forces behind unaccompanied children travelling irregularly from Egypt to Europe and their vulnerability. It also provides insights into the modus operandi and characteristics of smuggling networks operating from Egypt.

Over a million migrants arrived to Europe by sea in 2015 and some estimates suggest that up to 20 percent of them may have been minors.

This report provides recommendations covering prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership for the development of a multidisciplinary response to address irregular migration of unaccompanied migrant children.

“The report addresses the significant information gap on the issue of irregular child migration and comes at a time where Egypt is the highest sending country of unaccompanied migrant children to Europe. We are working closely with the government to develop an integrated response and are seeking donor support,” said Amr Taha, IOM Egypt Head of Office.

Since 2011, the percentage of unaccompanied children among Egyptian irregular migrants reaching Europe has been remarkably high. In 2014, they accounted for nearly half of 4,095 irregular Egyptian migrants arriving in Italy. In 2015, Italy registered the arrival of some 1,711 Egyptian children – more than from any other country.

The report can be downloaded from: https://publications.iom.int/books/egyptian-unaccompanied-migrant-childr…

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

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Source:: Why Unaccompanied Egyptian Children are Migrating to Europe

Categories: AFRICA

Lake Chad Basin Displacement Affects Nearly Three Million People in Four Countries: IOM

Displacement due to the Boko Haram insurgency has now reached almost three million in four countries -Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad – according to IOM.

According to the Nigerian government-led Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), 2,241,484 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are now living in northeast Nigeria across 13 states, in camps and host communities.

IOM has directly assisted, as of April 2016, 229,082 affected people through the provision of emergency shelter and non-food relief items (NFIs), biometric registration, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) capacity building, psychosocial assistance and livelihood support.

In Niger, displacement figures compiled by the government and UNHCR show a total of 319,036 displaced people, 48 percent of them internally displaced 31 percent of them refugees from neighbouring countries and 21 percent of them returnees.

Some 137,121 people in Niger have received direct assistance from IOM through shelter, NFIs, cash for work projects, community cohesion programs and income generating activities targeting youth at risk to minimize the risk of recruitment by armed groups.

Cameroon is currently hosting 270,264 displaced people, according to IOM and UNHCR. Some 63 percent are internally displaced, 24 percent are refugees and 13 percent are returnees. IOM has directly assisted 29,599 people through providing emergency shelter, NFIs and agricultural support to combat high levels of food insecurity in the country.

In Chad, IOM, WFP and UNHCR has recorded a total of 109,633 displaced people – 74 percent of them internally displaced, 15 percent refugees and 1 percent third country nationals. The number includes WFP estimates of unregistered people and rapid multi-sectoral assessments conducted by the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster in host communities.

IOM has been directly supporting 71,368 people in Chad through various interventions, including emergency shelter, NFIs, voluntary relocation support and psychosocial support.

IOM has nine offices and sub-offices in the Lake Chad region: Nigeria (Abuja, Maiduguri, Yola and Bauchi), Niger (Diffa and Zinder), Cameroon (Maroua), and Chad (Ndjamena, and Baga Sola), with a total of 295 staff members.

IOM is co-lead of the emergency shelter, NFI and CCCM sectors or cluster/working groups in Nigeria, Niger, and Chad and implements DTM, in coordination with national governments in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

IOM’s work to provide assistance to 460,000 people in the region to date has been supported by USAID/OFDA/PRM, ECHO, CERF, the European Union and the governments of Italy, France and Japan.

“But we are currently appealing for USD 25 million for urgent humanitarian assistance in the areas of shelter, NFIs, camp coordination and camp management, and psychosocial support,” said IOM Regional Director for West and Central Africa Richard Danziger.

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

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Source:: Lake Chad Basin Displacement Affects Nearly Three Million People in Four Countries: IOM

Categories: AFRICA

Ingenico Group deploys a cashless Revenue Collection solution in Kenya

Ingenico Group (Euronext: FR0000125346 – ING) (www.Ingenico.com), the global leader in seamless payment, deployed, jointly with its local partner Tracom, a Revenue Collection solution in the County of Nyeri in Kenya.

This initiative was sponsored by Equity Bank and reinforces the emerging cashless-based culture by collecting County fees such as parking, land rates, business permits, market stall fees through electronic payment. Its benefits include stronger accountability for funds collected and effective cost reduction thanks to a fully electronic process.

People in Nyeri can now save time: instead of waiting in long queues, they can pay the County fees from the area of operations without wasting time commuting. In fact, County agents, equipped with Ingenico wireless smart terminals with a specific Revenue Collection application, can now simply collect payments when arriving at the business premises.

“We selected Ingenico Group and its local partner Tracom as they have shown a strong expertise in providing innovative solutions to strengthen cashless payment behaviors,” explained Andrew Wakahiu, General Manager-Agency Banking, Equity Bank. “This Revenue Collection program has been successful because it relies on a technology that is both simple and secure. No more paperwork, complex processes or cash management issues in the agent network; it’s a real game changer for the County administration.”

Equity Bank, a leading regional banking institution, has partnered with Ingenico Group and Tracom for the past few years to deploy cashless programs in East Africa. This has been part of a global strategy which aims to deepen Financial Inclusion among the local population. Equity Bank has been a pioneer in Branchless Banking where local merchants became trusted agents, offering the unbanked population a full banking portfolio (including account ownership and management as well as savings and credit) through a simple agency banking application on Ingenico iWL smart terminals.

“We are proud to be Equity Bank’s partner on this governmental program,” commented Luciano Cavazzana, Eastern Europe & Africa Managing Director for Ingenico Group. “We are demonstrating that our technology is not limited to traditional payment but is open to a wide range of new opportunities. Through this initiative, Tracom and Ingenico Group addressed administrative challenges by providing a quick and convenient fees collection solution to better anchor cashless habits in Kenyans’ daily lives.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ingenico Group.

Contacts
Ingenico Group
Coba TAILLEFER
External Communications Manager
coba.taillefer@ingenico.com
T./ +33 1 58 01 89 62

Ingenico Group – Africa
Mouna FOUILLADE
Africa Marketing & Communications Director
mouna.fouillade@ingenico.com
T. / +33 1 58 01 85 78

About Ingenico Group
Ingenico Group (Euronext: FR0000125346 – ING) (www.Ingenico.com) is the global leader in seamless payment, providing smart, trusted and secure solutions to empower commerce across all channels, in-store, online and mobile. With the world’s largest payment acceptance network, we deliver secure payment solutions with a local, national and international scope. We are the trusted world-class partner for financial institutions and retailers, from small merchants to several of the world’s best known global brands. Our solutions enable merchants to simplify payment and deliver their brand promise.
www.ingenico.com http://Twitter.com/ingenico

About TRACOM Limited
Tracom is a regional payments systems integrator with expertise spanning alternative banking channels technologies, banking automation software, automated cash management, card production, security and personalization, signature capture and e-Signing, among others. Our countries of operation are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kigali, South Sudan and Sudan.

About Equity Bank
Equity Bank is one of the largest Banks in Kenya, with branches in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Rwanda. Currently, Equity Bank has more than 8 million customers making it the largest bank in terms of customer base in Africa and having nearly half of bank accounts in Kenya. The company’s vision is “to be the champion of the socio-economic prosperity of the people of Africa”. Equity Bank’s business model has attracted both local and international recognition. On many occasions, the Bank has been invited to various international forums and bodies to share on its successes. Equity has also become a hub of other institutions worldwide keen on learning and exchanging insights on the Equity model of extending financial services to the low income segment and the un-banked population.

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Source:: Ingenico Group deploys a cashless Revenue Collection solution in Kenya

Categories: AFRICA

Readout of the Meeting between Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Ambassador Samantha Power

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

U.S. Mission to the United Nations

Abuja, Nigeria

April 21, 2016

Ambassador Power met today with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria. Ambassador Power expressed appreciation to President Buhari for his efforts to strengthen Nigeria’s military‎ and its recent progress in combatting Boko Haram. She underscored that the United States is committed to strengthening its partnership with Nigeria to bolster this campaign.

Ambassador Power emphasized the need to complement a robust military campaign with sustained efforts to develop economic opportunities and strengthen governance, political inclusion, and respect for human rights. She noted that this mirrored the Buhari administration’s priorities of security, economic growth, and democratic accountability.

‎Ambassador Power previewed her trip to northeastern Nigeria on April 22. She noted the acute humanitarian crisis in the area and stressed the importance of the government of Nigeria, backed by the international community, taking urgent action to address widespread malnutrition among displaced populations. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that conditions in northeastern Nigeria improve prior to efforts to facilitate the voluntary return of refugees.

Ambassador Power conveyed President Obama’s desire to strengthen the ties between the Nigerian and American people and to advance our bilateral relationship in critical areas, including trade and investment.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Source:: Readout of the Meeting between Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Categories: AFRICA

AU / EU / EISA Training of Long term Election Observers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia : 23 – 30 April 2016

A 5 day Training of Long Term Election Observers (LTOs) will start on 25 April 2016 for 25 French speaking observers. The training is in line with the African Union Long Term Election Observation (AU – LTO) Framework adopted in 2013.

This training aims at building the capacity of AU LTOs in different areas of election observation including electoral analysis, reporting and coordination, electoral administration, legal analysis and the understanding of international frameworks, obligations and standards, media and political analysis as well as gender analysis.

This training will help in improving the quality of data gathering, analysis and reporting in order to improve the overall quality of AU election observation and its report.

The Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit of the Department of Political Affairs is grateful for the gracious support extended by the European Union (EU) and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) for this project.

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

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Source:: AU / EU / EISA Training of Long term Election Observers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia : 23 – 30 April 2016

Categories: AFRICA

AU / EU / EISA Training of Long term Election Observers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia : 23 – 30 April 2016

A 5 day Training of Long Term Election Observers (LTOs) will start on 25 April 2016 for 25 French speaking observers. The training is in line with the African Union Long Term Election Observation (AU – LTO) Framework adopted in 2013.

This training aims at building the capacity of AU LTOs in different areas of election observation including electoral analysis, reporting and coordination, electoral administration, legal analysis and the understanding of international frameworks, obligations and standards, media and political analysis as well as gender analysis.

This training will help in improving the quality of data gathering, analysis and reporting in order to improve the overall quality of AU election observation and its report.

The Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit of the Department of Political Affairs is grateful for the gracious support extended by the European Union (EU) and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) for this project.

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

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Source:: AU / EU / EISA Training of Long term Election Observers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia : 23 – 30 April 2016