Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

Haiti is suffering from both a literal and figurative perfect storm of events: earthquakes, extreme weather, drought, poverty and hunger. Over 1.5 million of its inhabitants do not know where their next meal will come from. Nearly 3.6 million have to spend all of their money on feeding themselves, according to official data supplied by the World Food Programme (WFP). The island nation is still trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake and the WFP is in the midst of an emergency operation. The United Nations agency is hoping to help a million Haitians, but it has warned that it will need €63.4 million to deal with the effects of the drought up until September. Crop losses caused by three consecutive years of drought have been exacerbated by the devastating effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon; 2015 saw a 70% reduction in comparison to 2014. Basic commodities such as rice, corn and beans have become unaffordable to many families. As a result, some 700,000 people are reliant on aid to buy food and the WFP is trying to meet these needs. A further 300,000 people will receive a combination of both money and food. The European Commission has confirmed its economic contribution to this effort and the US has also agreed to provide funding. But it is proving to not be enough.

Source: euractiv

In a wide-ranging interview, Commissioner Neven Mimica tells EurActiv.com’s Matthew Tempest about the executive’s master plan for legal migration, as well as the limits of development aid to African states in the rough. With regards to the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (aimed at stemming irregular migration from Africa to Europe), can I put a simple proposition to you? That no matter how much you put in (currently €1.8 billion), these are some of the poorest countries on the planet, and it is not going to reduce the ‘pull factor’ of Europe."Yes, they are the poorest. 1.8 billion might not be the game-changer. But again, let us take it together with our overall development actions. 20 billion in Africa, mostly for the least developed countries in the world. 20 billion, plus 1.8 billion for the most vulnerable, fragile, countries in the world. What we have to do is change the mindset and approach to our projects in two aspects – making them as focussed to the route causes of migration as possible, and also making them as fast, as operational, as possible.

Source: euractiv.com

The Netherlands government has pledged 1,5 million euros to Zimbabwe as assistance towards fighting the effects of the El Nino-induced drought. This is part of the 8 million euros that was pledged to Southern Africa by the Dutch government. Speaking at the Netherlands National King's Day celebrations last Thursday, Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Gera Sneller said this would help enhance mutual relations between the two countries. "El Nino has hit Zimbabwe hard and the Government has been forced to declare it an emergency situation. "The Netherlands is among the countries that have responded to the request for assistance and recently my government pledged 8 million euros to WFP and FAO to help combat the current crisis in the region as well as increase the resilience of people and systems. Of this pledge, 1.5 million euros is earmarked for Zimbabwe," said Ms Sneller.

Source: allafrica.com

The British government on Thursday announced that it is suspending financial aid to Mozambique, in the wake of the scandal over undisclosed loans. Earlier this month, it became clear that almost 1.4 billion dollars worth of loans, guaranteed by the Mozambican government, had not been disclosed, either to the Mozambican public or to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The loans date from 2013-2014 and were contracted by the previous government, headed by President Armando Guebuza. Judging from the statement given by Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario at a Maputo press conference on Thursday, the Guebuza government did not inform its successor about these loans. A spokesperson for the British Department for International Development (DFID), cited in the British government statement, said "the existence of the loans, and the lack of transparency around them, is deeply disappointing", and warned of "serious implications for Mozambique's economy for the medium-term".

Source: allafrica.com

Monday, 02 May 2016

UK Parliament has appointed a Tanzanian businessman, Mr Ali Mufuruki, to be co-chair of its special team that is investigating efficiency of Britain's aid to Africa in expanding business, investment and international cooperation in the last five years. Mr Mufuruki is currently the chairman of the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania, a policy dialogue forum that brings together more than 100 CEOs of leading companies in Tanzania. This group engages regularly with the senior government leadership of Tanzania to find solutions for the country's economy.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The European Commission and the World Bank Group signed a Framework Agreement on Friday, 15 April 2016, to further their cooperation on the implementation of development projects across the globe. This agreement sets the terms under which the World Bank will disburse EU budget money on development projects on the ground. With this agreement, we're upgrading the strategic partnership between the European Commission and the World Bank to fight poverty around the world. We can accelerate delivery of our funds and increase the transparency of our joint projects for the benefit of people in the developing countries said European Commission Vice-President, Kristalina Georgieva, at the signing ceremony.

The EU is the world’s leading humanitarian aid donor. Together, the European Commission
and the Member States provide a major proportion of global funding for emergency relief. The
Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) is the EU’s principal actor in the field, funding relief operations implemented through different partners (nongovernmental organisations, UN agencies and international organisations) and coordinating Member States’ policies and activities. ECHO also supports effective humanitarian work across the globe.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The visiting British Minister for International Development, Mr Nick Hurd, on Thursday in Lagos, said that his government supported Nigeria's development programmes with 400 million pounds yearly. Hurd said the fund was meant to support the provision of basic services that would improve the lives of Nigerians. "Nigeria is a very important partner to the people and government of the United Kingdom. We annually invest about 400 million pounds in supporting the development of Nigeria, as well as improving the quality of life of the Nigerian people.

The United Kingdom has announced a further £32 million over the next three years to help deliver basic, life-saving assistance and protection to some of the estimated 7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance due to the conflict in north east Nigeria. The funds will be channelled through the United Nations (UN), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other humanitarian organisations, and will be used to provide support for critical life-saving areas including nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, and protection of civilians affected by the conflict.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Last week, the EU’s most senior foreign affairs, development and emergency aid officials travelled to Addis Ababa to pledge a further €122 million in European aid to head off the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the country from heading into a full-blown famine. It was a mark of the gravity of the El Niño weather phenomenon, a rising of surface sea temperatures, exacerbated by climate change, which has the contradictory affects of increasing both flooding, and – in large parts of East Africa and the Horn of Africa – droughts. Ethiopia – a country of some 100 million people – has been the worst affected, with more than 10% of its population reliant on food aid for survival.