United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Famine, Violence, and Forced Displacement

Today the United States announced more than $329 million in additional humanitarian assistance to provide urgently needed aid to the millions of people affected by food insecurity and violence in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. This additional funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for these four crises to nearly $1.2 billion since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017.

With this new assistance, the United States is providing additional emergency food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water, life-saving medical care, and shelter for those who have been displaced, both internally and as refugees, as well as protection for civilians. The United States is also supporting health, sanitation, and hygiene services to help stop the spread of preventable disease – a leading cause of death during food crises.

Tens of millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the man-made crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen – all of which are driven by violent conflict – and Somalia, where ongoing conflict is compounding the effects of severe and prolonged drought. These crises are forcing people to flee within and beyond their country borders, disrupting agricultural production and livelihoods, and severing families from their social support systems. Ongoing violence – including deliberate attacks on civilians and relief workers – continues to prevent aid from reaching those most in need.

The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in all four crises. The assistance we provide represents the best of America’s generosity and goodwill, while improving our national security by strengthening relationships with nations and people around the world. We will continue to work with our international and local partners to provide the life-saving aid needed to avert famine and to support surrounding countries that have been impacted by these crises. We commend the generosity of neighboring countries to receive refugees fleeing these crises, and urge other humanitarian donors to increase their level of support during this critical time of need.

For more information on U.S. humanitarian assistance for people facing famine, please click
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President Zuma to host the 2017 Africa Day Celebration

President Jacob Zuma will today, 25 May 2017, host the national 2017 Africa Day celebration at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, in Pretoria.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on 25 May within the African continent to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963 and the African Union in 2002 as well as chart the progress made by the continent since then to advance democracy, peace, stability and socio-economic development.

The details of the celebration are as follows:
Date: Thursday, 25 May 2017
Time: 12h00 (Media to arrive at 11h00)
Venue: Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, Pretoria

Members of the media should send their names ID/Passport numbers hlomanibaloyi@gmail.com or 083 276 1295. Members of the media are also advised to bring along their valid press cards and ID/Passport documents.
Note as well that nobody wearing jeans, T-shirts and takkies will be allowed into the venue. The dress code is strictly presentable in line with the decorum of the event and the venue.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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Preparations underway for mass mosquito net distribution to combat malaria in Sierra Leone

The National Malaria Control Programme of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation have pre-positioned around 4.3 million treated mosquito bed nets ahead of the planned nationwide mass distribution campaign on 1-10 June, 2017.

Sierra Leone is one of seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa where more than a quarter of the population is infected with malaria at any one time, according to World Malaria Report (World Health Organization 2016), with nearly three in ten Sierra Leoneans suffering from the disease. Malaria contributes to an estimated twenty per cent of child mortality, and is the cause of nearly four in ten hospital consultations country-wide. Pregnant women are at particular risk from malaria, which contributes to high rates of miscarriage, pre-mature births and low birth weights.

Four in ten children aged 6-59 months tested positive for malaria (via microscopy), according to survey data in the just published Sierra Leone Malaria Indicator Survey (2016). As stated in the Sierra Leone National Strategic Plan 2016-2020, all children under 5 and all pregnant women should sleep under a treated mosquito net every night to prevent malaria complications.

“Our aim is for Sierra Leone to achieve universal coverage when it comes to mosquito net use by July 2017, with a target of at least 80 per cent of families sleeping inside the treated mosquito nets,” said Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, Minister of Health and Sanitation. “Sierra Leone has made significant progress in malaria control, with an almost 30 per cent reduction in all new cases between 2010 and 2015, the highest reduction in West Africa.”

Guy Warrington, British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, said ‘‘We fully support the Government of Sierra Leone in their efforts to ensure more people are protected against malaria. UK aid in Sierra Leone has provided £5.7 million to procure half of the bed nets that will be distributed across the country during this campaign. This will save the lives of women and children in Sierra Leone and is part of our £240 million support to the President’s Recovery Priorities. The UK is also committed to tackling malaria on a global scale, our funding makes up 10% of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria’s.”

The nationwide bed net campaign is being funded by UK aid from the British people (also known as DFID) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, through UNICEF. In designing a robust campaign, the National Malaria Control Programme received strong technical support from the Alliance for Malaria Prevention, the World Health Organisation, the Leadership Management and Government Project, and UNICEF. Nationwide distribution and use of treated bed nets by every family will contribute significantly to the President’s Recovery goals of saving the lives of 600 women and 5,000 children.

Like the treated mosquito net mass distribution campaign in 2014, this distribution will be an integrated MCH (Mama en Pikin Welbodi) week campaign and will include vitamin A supplementation for children 6-59 months and deworming tablets (Albendazole) for children 12-59 months.

Distributed by APO on behalf of UNICEF Sierra Leone.

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UN Secretary-General’s Message on Africa Day

Africa Day 2017 comes at an important moment in the continent’s endeavours towards peace, inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

The international community has entered the second year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an all-out effort to tackle global poverty, inequality, instability and injustice. Africa has adopted its own complementary and ambitious plan: Agenda 2063.

For the people of Africa to fully benefit from these important efforts, these two agendas need to be strategically aligned.

Just last month, we held the first-ever United Nations – African Union Annual Conference, a unique opportunity to strengthen our partnership and establish a higher platform of cooperation. Our work is based on four driving principles: mutual respect, solidarity, complementarity and interdependence.

The UN partnership with Africa is also rooted in a deep sense of gratitude. Africa provides the majority of United Nations peacekeepers around the world. African nations are among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees. Africa includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

All of humanity will benefit by listening, learning and working with the people of Africa.

It starts with prevention. Our world needs to move from managing crises to preventing them in the first place. We need to break the cycle of responding too late and too little.

Most of today’s conflicts are internal, triggered by competition for power and resources, inequality, marginalization, disrespect for human rights and sectarian divides. Often, they are inflamed by violent extremism or provide the fuel for it.

But prevention goes far beyond focusing solely on conflict. The best means of prevention and the surest path to durable peace is inclusive and sustainable development. It is critical to continue building more effective and accountable institutions to address governance challenges, advance the rule of law and promote civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

We can speed progress by doing more to provide opportunities and hope to young people. More than three out of five Africans are under 35 years of age. Making the most of this tremendous asset means more investment in education, training, decent work, and engaging young people in shaping their future.

We must also do our utmost to empower women so they can play a full role in sustainable development and sustainable peace. I am pleased that the African Union has consistently placed a special focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

On this Africa Day, I reaffirm my commitment as a partner, friend and committed advocate for changing the narrative about this diverse and vital continent.

Crises represent at best a partial view. But from a higher platform of cooperation, we can see the whole picture – one that recognizes the enormous potential and remarkable success stories throughout the African continent.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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