August 2016
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EDITO
Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The European Union Tuesday announced that it was making available EURO 50,000 (One Euro =US$1.29 cents) to Belize in humanitarian funding following the passage of Hurricane Earl last week. The EU said that the funding to assist the most affected populations. The storm, which hit the country on August 4 as a Category One hurricane, caused widespread damage and the authorities are still assessing its impact. Schools, markets, airports and ports were closed, and water supplies affected in several parts of the country.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development is touring East Africa in an effort to demonstrate France’s willingness to reclaim its place as a key investor in Kenya and Tanzania. Here is a brief overview of his visit, which started August 1st. The former Prime Minister’s visit to the region is regarded as long-overdue. Indeed, the last time a French Minister of Foreign Affairs visited the region was 15 years ago. Ayrault stated that it was time that France recognizes the existence of an economic and technological boom in Nigeria and Tanzania thanks in part to the development of the renewable energy and mobile banking sectors.

British Government through the Department for International Development (DFID) has committed K50 billion humanitarian aid to address food shortage in the country. DFID Permanent Secretary Mark Lowcock disclosed this on Thursday during an audience with President Peter Mutharika at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe. Lowcock said the UK Government will continue to provide its both humanitarian and development support to the people of Malawi, as they embark on implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Calls for a post-Brexit return to the Commonwealth ignore the existing privileged EU-Africa trade relationship as well as the UK’s now diminished trade influence, argues Peg Murray-Evans. In a speech to the Institute of Chartered Engineers in February, David Davis MP – now Secretary of State for Exiting the EU – told the audience: ‘The only Commonwealth country to enjoy a free trade agreement with the EU so far is South Africa.’ In fact, there are free trade agreements either awaiting adoption or in force between the EU and 32 Commonwealth countries. Regardless of its accuracy, Davis’s assertion reflects a broader narrative put forward by the ‘liberal leavers’ in the Brexit campaign.

WFP has recently expanded its use of cash transfers to several other camps across Ethiopia, and, with the addition of the two new sites, now supports 10 refugee camps with cash. This increase has been made possible thanks to the valuable support of WFP's donors and, in particular, a new contribution of €85 million (approximately US$92 million) from the European Commission's humanitarian aid department, which will also help strengthen the resilience of Ethiopians affected by El Niño and support the WFP-led logistics cluster. "Despite the immense challenges posed by the worst drought in decades, Ethiopia has maintained its open-door policy for refugees.