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EDITO
Thursday, 26 April 2018

Almost all of Europe’s maritime trade with Asia passes within a few miles of the coast of the Horn of Africa, in particular the narrow straits of the Bab al Mandab, where the tiny African country of Djibouti is separated from Yemen by less than 30 kilometers of water. The Horn of Africa — which also includes Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan — has never historically defined itself as a region. It is diverse in physical and human geography, with extraordinary linguistic diversity, and with equal numbers of Christians and Muslims. Its peoples are linked to Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean — and more recently to Europe and America. But they rarely convene as the people of the Horn. Rather, the Horn of Africa has been defined by outsiders, particularly the world’s great powers, as a region that spells trouble (...) Out of desperation, the EU has started to overcome its scruples and provide development aid to Eritrea.

Source: opendemocracy.net

Over 50 world leaders and 5 000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders gather on 23-24 May, in Istanbul, to share responsibility to reverse the trend for increasing humanitarian needs and improve the effectiveness of response. The European Union (EU) and its Member States will jointly call for a global partnership for a more efficient and effective humanitarian aid system at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. As a major donor and key policy-setter, the EU and its Member States will play a leading role at the Summit on 23-24 May, where over 50 world leaders and some 5,000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders gather to shift from response to crisis towards effectively managing prevention and early action and supporting resilience and self-reliance. Worldwide, over 125 million men, women and children are in need of humanitarian assistance. Despite record contributions in recent years, donors cannot fully cover the growing humanitarian needs generated by today’s emergencies.

Source: europa.eu

On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Summit on 23-24 May in Istanbul, Turkey, Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the European Commission, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development and Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, have issued the following statement: "Every day, thousands of innocent people are the victims of natural disasters and conflict. Over 130 million men, women and children depend on humanitarian assistance across the world, and the needs are constantly growing. At this critical juncture, the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit has brought together the international community to seek ways to prevent and end crises as well as to strengthen and reshape the way aid is delivered. We welcome the political communiqué endorsed on this occasion. The European Union pledged individual commitments at the summit concerning policies, programmes and funds it is responsible for and is committed to strong progress on each of the five core responsibility areas, for which core commitments have been formulated by the UN (...)"

Source: europa.eu

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Despite the highest ever humanitarian spending globally, the exponential growth of the number of people trapped in long-term crisis has deepened the funding gap. This unprecedented discrepancy between humanitarian needs and the available funding translates into tragic losses in human potential. The European Parliament has stressed the urgency to reduce the gap and the need for 'globally coordinated, timely, predictable and flexible funding'. Hence during the two-year long preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), humanitarian financing has focused much attention. The UN High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, co-chaired by European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, has made several proposals. Among paths to enhance aid supply: the broadening of the funding base that would come from better involvement of emerging government donors and of the private sector; innovative ways of financing such as Islamic social finance or a voluntary levy, and more efficient use of money (local involvement, cash transfers, result-oriented funding).

Source: europarl.europa.eu

Africa is the continent that receives the most humanitarian aid. African countries are not big donors, but many of them host large populations of displaced people. The African Union (AU) has developed a framework outlining innovative humanitarian principles and tools to prevent and mitigate crises, and since 2010 more coordinated action from AU states has been taking shape. Nineteen of 2016's 33 humanitarian emergencies to date concern Africa. In 2015, humanitarian aid from AU states and the African Development Bank (AfDB) accounted for only 0.03% of global humanitarian funding. However, Sub-Saharan African countries host more than 17 million displaced people out of 60 million 'people of concern to UNHCR' in the world. This figure includes 4 million refugees and 10 million people displaced within their own country (IDPs: internally displaced persons). Refugee laws and principles are widely respected, in particular in Central and West Africa. But UNHCR has reported violence against refugees in South Africa and cases of refugees being sent back to Nigeria from Chad and Cameroon, and Kenya has announced plans to shut down all its refugee camps, which host around 600 000 people.

Source: europarl.europa.eu

Monday, 23 May 2016

The case for staying in the European Union has been made by many people representing different sectors already (...) One area where Britain really does have global influence through its EU membership is in international development. Britain is a leading player in the fight against global poverty. It is one of the few countries to reach the UN development aid target of 0.7% GNI, and has a strong and well respected Department for International Development (DFID). As a member state of the EU, Britain is part of the world’s largest development aid donor community which disburses some €12 billion per year, and is present in around 140 countries. As a result of its own strong development policy, Britain is hugely influential over EU development policy and how EU aid is spent. Equally, the EU benefits from working with DFID which is widely recognised for its expertise, experience and ability to deliver on its aid pledges.

Source: euractiv.com

The European Commission today announced two new actions worth €55 million. These programmes will provide direct support to the population, in the areas of health, food security and nutrition. Today, the European Commission announced two new actions to support the people of Burundi: access to healthcare, worth €40 million and a rural development and nutrition programme, worth €15 million. Both programmes will be implemented by non-governmental organisations and/or international agencies, following the EU Council Decision earlier this year which suspended direct EU financial support to the Burundian administration. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: " Burundians themselves are the principal victims of the current crisis – which has aggravated a situation that was already very fragile. This new 55 M€ package will help strengthening access to health services and improving food and nutrition. It shows the clear commitment of the EU to continue supporting the people of Burundi, despite the current political impasse. "

Source: europa.eu

The European Union is advocating better fiscal management and accountability in Pacific countries to allow it to provide direct budgetary support to the region's governments. Financial reforms in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu dating back to 2010 have made them eligible for EU budgetary support whereas Fiji and Papua New Guinea remain ineligible. The EU Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Leonidas Tezapsidis, said the case for more aid funding to be channelled through government budgets as opposed to project type funding is a strong one. Mr Tezapsidis said it reduces duplication, improves co-ordination and is more sustainable in the long-run. "We try to minimise the use of technical assistance to make short term assignments, to reduce the dependence of those countries on foreigners, on donors for their programmes. This is a kind of a risk," said Mr Tezapsidis.

Source: radionz.co.nz

At least 100 million euros were made available to Angola by a Finnish Fund to be used to implement various projects in the country, revealed last Friday in Luanda the chairman of the Angolan Agency for Investments and Exports Promotion (APIEX), António Henriques da Silva. Speaking to Journalists at the sidelines of Foreign Direct Investment Forum, António Henriques, said that the amount is already available, but, on the other hand, he said, the national businesspeople do not have projects to present to this fund. For this reason, the official pointed to the need for entrepreneurs to organise themselves better, in order to be able to meet the expectations that are generated when people speak about the potential of Angola ".

Source: allafrica.com

Switzerland contributed a grant and in-kind donations worth $2.4 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday, to support the programme's early recovery and safety-net activities aimed at improving household food security across Sudan. The contribution is split into a cash grant of $1.5 million and an in-kind donation of dried skimmed milk, valued at $933,489. WFP will use the funds to buy nearly 300 metric tons of special nutritional products in order to treat and prevent acute malnutrition. The programme expects this quantity to be enough to cover the needs of more than 33,000 pregnant and nursing mothers and children younger than five years, for three months. The 250 metric tons of dried skimmed milk will complement the regular hot meals provided to children through WFP's school feeding projects in North, South and West Kordofan states which benefit some 175,000 school children.

Source: allafrica.com