Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2018
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Monday, 16 July 2018

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.

European Union aid aimed at encouraging regional integration in Africa is poorly managed and badly targeted, according to the by the European Centre for Development Policy Management. In a new report, the think-tank found that in such cases overseas aid is partly to blame for incentivising regional organisations to signal intent for integration that doesn’t exist and can lead to ‘agenda inflation’, adding ever more items on to regional ‘to do’ lists. It can also result in reduced ownership as the focus shifts to regional agendas and missed opportunities to strengthen institutional functions.

France’s development agency may double aid to Nigeria this year to 300 million euros ($340 million) with a focus on urban infrastructure, access to energy and small-to-medium-size business financing. The agency, known by the French acronym AFD, spent 145 million euros last year and is expecting to commit between 200 and 300 million euros this year, Olivier Delefosse, the agency’s country director said at a conference late Tuesday.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The sugarcane industry's plans to revitalise cane farming will hinge on the assistance that will be offered by the European Union, says Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan. The EU announced earlier this month its commitment of more than $47million over four years to aid the agriculture and sugarcane industry's post Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery efforts. However, what was not revealed was how the funds would be released, a timeframe for aid delivery and how much each sector would receive. "We are still talking to the EU and obviously they have said they will help agriculture and sugar," said Mr Khan.

The EU remains the biggest donor of humanitarian and development aid assistance in the world. But budgetary constraints faced by its member states, the refugee crisis and the deterioration of the international security context have put Europe’s international solidarity to the test.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The European Union (EU) has not made any decision to suspend financial aid to Tanzania, stressing that it is not the objective of the politico-economic union of 28 member states to cut support for the African country's progress. "We are not happy with what happened in Zanzibar. But as members of the EU, we have not reached a decision to suspend aid to Tanzania," the Head of the EU Delegation in Tanzania, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, told the 'Daily News' in an interview.

Monday, 11 April 2016

The European Commission announces €122.5 million to help Ethiopia deal with a deteriorating humanitarian situation caused by the El Niño extreme weather phenomenon. Today the European Commission has announced €122.5 million for Ethiopia to address the immediate needs of people affected by the worsening humanitarian situation caused by one of the most severe extreme El Niño weather phenomenon on record. This new support aims to combine a humanitarian response and early recovery assistance with initiatives that address the root causes of fragility and vulnerability

Friday, 08 April 2016

“Africa, as a young continent, must do all it can to retain its human resources, otherwise its future will be lost.” These are the words of the African Union Commissioner for Immigration, whom I met during my recent mission to Ethiopia (...) And this is the central issue for Africa. It is also the main reason why my political group, the European Socialists and Democrats, has made Africa a priority. Starting today, this whole week in the European Parliament will be devoted to the African continent. This is Africa Week. For too long, we in Europe and other continents have underestimated, and at times even scoffed at, Africa’s importance

Two Knaresborough Rotarians were so moved after witnessing the devastating destructive power of a storm in Fiji they launched a special relief effort. Peter Thompson and his wife Valerie were visiting their son, who lives in Fiji, and saw the aftermath of tropical cyclone ‘Winston’ first hand. Peter said: “My son and his family are in Fiji and they escaped serious damage because they weren’t in Winston’s direct path. “However many areas were much less fortunate. Having just returned to North Yorkshire we find that press coverage of the event has been very limited and the public perception is that this was simply a ‘passing breeze’ in a tiny Pacific island. It wasn't.”

The European Union has committed nearly $US27 million to Fiji's crippled sugar and agriculture sectors. The EU's Pacific Ambassador Andrew Jacobs says additional financial support is expected on top of the initial funding. Fiji's already struggling sugar and agriculture sectors were decimated by the category five cyclone Winston, which damaged much of the country when it swept through in February. Mr Jacobs says the EU has already made more than $US4.8 million available with a particular focus on farming communities, as well as the provision of 450,000 fruit and vegetable seedlings.