The European Union has congratulated H.E Taneti Maamau on his election as the new President of the Republic of the Kiribati. In his congratulatory message to the President-elect the EU Ambassador to the Pacific, H.E Andrew Jacobs expressed sincere wishes for his success in fulfilling the high responsibilities in his future mandate. As the new Head of State, Maamau’s commitment will be essential to ensure further progress for the Republic of Kiribati in building a prosperous and cohesive society.
Ethiopia is being hit hard by one the most severe El Niño phenomenon on record. Numbers speak for themselves – in the past year, the number of food insecure people has increased from 2.9 million to over 10 million at present, write Neven Mimica and Christos Stylianides.This is on top of the almost 8 million chronically food insecure people in the country (...) Since the winter of 2015, the EU has mobilised around €44 million of humanitarian aid to help the victims of El Niño in Ethiopia. In addition, we have just announced an additional €24 million to respond to emergency needs of over 730 000 refugees and some 400 000 Internally Displaced People.
Sugar production in Mozambique will decline this year because of the drought hitting sugar production areas in the south and centre of the country. According to Joao Jeque, the executive director of the Mozambican Association of Sugar Producers (APAMO), in 2015 the sector produced 3.3 million tonnes of sugar cane, but the drought guarantees that this amount cannot be produced in the current campaign. Jeque was speaking on Friday at an international sugar conference in Maputo, which was discussing how to improve the production and marketing of sugar
Cyclone Winston, the most powerful storm to make landfall in the southern hemisphere, killed more than 40 people when it ravaged the Pacific nation. The Uto Ni Yalo Trust, which owns the traditional canoe, sailed into Levuka where houses, schools and roads were destroyed. "Levuka was one of the worst-hit maritime communities in the Fiji group post Cyclone Winston," Uto Ni Yalo Trust secretary Dwaii Qalovaki said."Our task was to carry two tonnes of relief supplies to the community of Baba."
The Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) had the opportunity last week to listen to registered commodity farmer members on the challenges Tropical Cyclone Winston imposed on their respective commodities. The Farmers’ National Committee Association – Planning Workshop that was held in Suva turned into a needs assessment for the heads of national commodity associations and member farmers.
Top officials from global and regional agencies will gather in Brussels on 22-23 March, along with representatives from the 79 Member States of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, to accelerate work towards implementing the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. High level participants including European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Cañete, who will deliver the keynote address, UNEP Director Achim Steiner, UN FAO Director General José Graziano Da Silva, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Petteri Taalas and others, will join regional partners and ACP ambassadors to discuss concrete proposals for follow-up actions on the global agreement endorsed by world leaders in December 2015, at the UN Climate Change Conference COP21.
Tonga's new national climate change policy has been welcomed by the Pacific Community and the European Union. The SPC said the five-year policy aimed at achieving specific environmental, social and economic targets, and at increasing Tonga's resilience to the impacts of climate change by 2035. Over the past year Tonga's Department of Climate Change has been shaping the policy with technical assistance through the Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States initiative, supported by the EU and implemented by SPC.
The European Union is expected to provide more aid to help Fiji's sugar industry recover from Cyclone Winston. Up to 80 percent of the crop is reported to have been destroyed in the category 5 storm which hit Fiji ten days ago, killing 43 people. The EU's representative in Fiji Andrew Jacobs told FBC News work is underway to get funding specifically for sugar in addition to the 4-point-6 million US dollars the EU t has already pledged for relief efforts. The Fiji Roads Authority is working around the clock to repair roads and jetties around the country. The Fiji Times reports the agency is focusing on roads in southern Ra, Taveuni, Ba and northern Tailevu.
The European Union (EU) will provide an initial FJ$ 10 million through the Pacific Community (SPC) to complement the Fijian Government's efforts in relief, recovery and rehabilitation following the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston. The funds will immediately be made available from EU-SPC projects for communities and businesses in the most severely affected regions of Fiji. "The FJ$10M is a direct, practical short term response to the needs of Fijian citizens in the affected areas", says EU Ambassador for the Pacific Andrew Jacobs. "The EU and SPC have joined forces to identify other resources, whether it is through an existing joint programme or a new source that could be expedited and channelled towards re-building peoples' lives".
Driving through the western maize belt in the North West bordering Botswana, vast stretches of normally lush and green fields lie dry and brown. Farmers are battling the worst drought on record, which has transformed parts of agricultural lands into what looks like desert, says Wandile Sihlobo, grains economist at Grains SA. So far five out of the country’s nine provinces have been declared drought disaster zones, as crops fail and livestock perish. And it is not just SA. The whole Southern African region has been hit by an intense drought since early last year that was brought on by El Niño weather phenomenon. With SA being an important regional grain exporter, international food and aid agencies are fearing that millions of people will require humanitarian aid this year.