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Monday, April 6th, 2020

 

World: Save the Children launches its biggest-ever $100 million appeal to protect children from COVID-19

Aid organisation seeks to raise $100 million in urgent race to help save millions of lives

Save the Children warns that the global coronavirus pandemic threatens to devastate children’s health and education, and cause unprecedented protection needs. In the largest appeal in its 100-year-history, the agency is aiming to raise $100 million to urgently keep children and their families safe during the global COVID-19 outbreak, the most serious threat to global health and security in modern times.

Since the start of the outbreak, Save the Children continues to respond to the needs of communities in countries impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including in China, the US and across Europe. As the Coronavirus pandemic now accelerates across lower income countries, with new cases expected to reach 10,000 across Africa this week, the agency is warning that failure to act now in countries across south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa could result in the loss of three million people’s lives.

Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children international, said:
*“We have all watched in horror as the COVID-19 outbreak has turned lives at home and overseas upside down. The pandemic is now spreading across the world’s poorest countries, further crippling fragile health systems where **children are already missing out on life saving treatment for malaria, pneumonia and malnutrition. It will leave many children without caregivers, out of school and in danger. **We only have a matter of weeks to take swift action, that will determine how many lives we can save.”*

With the funds raised, Save the Children will strengthen programmes so they can withstand the impact of the virus and protect the most vulnerable children in countries hardest hit by the virus, especially children living in poverty, refugees, displaced families, communities in conflict and crisis areas and girls. This includes increasing support for national health systems, standing by families facing loss of earnings caused by isolation measures, supporting unaccompanied children, and ensuring children can continue to get an education.

With confirmed cases in Syria and Afghanistan and looming outbreaks in Yemen and the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, concerns are growing over the spread of the virus across fragile communities which are ill prepared to manage an outbreak because of weaker health systems, food and economic insecurity or conflict.

Ali*, 14, is from a village in southern Idlib in Syria. He and his family were displaced more than two months ago, when their village was hit.
“We’re used to the war now. Even when it hits nearby, we hide in caves. But with this virus, we can’t hide.”

Save the Children warns the youngest generation will be deeply impacted by the outbreak. Already, an estimated 1.5 billion children and students are out of school with their chances of return diminishing each day closures continue. In many of the world’s poorest communities, as poverty deepens, children may be forced to work and adolescent girls forced into early marriage. Unsupervised children are at increased protection risks and, children who face domestic violence and abuse now face prolonged periods at home, whilst access to support services are reduced.

Over the past weeks, Save the Children has started ramping up its existing programmes worldwide. In the Rohingya refugee camps, host communities and other districts in Bangladesh for example, the agency is delivering critical supplies to health workers, restoring hygiene facilities, providing cash support to low income households, and providing families with information on how to protect themselves from the virus.

In Yemen, Save the Children is working in communities to raise awareness on prevention measures such as handwashing and hygiene. The agency has recently trained over 80 volunteers and 20 health workers to disseminate information locally into communities and health facilities.

Worldwide, Save the Children works with half a million community health workers in 44 countries to deliver vital health services – the agency aims to support them in recognising symptoms and preventing COVID-19, and to train another 100,000 in the coming six months. It will work with local communities to deliver training and protective equipment so that prevention measures can be ramped up, and cases can be identified early, referred for treatment and where possible, isolated.

Ms. Ashing continued:*
“This crisis will test us like we have not been tested before. As the world shuts down borders and fragile healthcare systems buckle under the pressure of the pandemic, preparedness and efforts to slow the infection rate will mean the difference between life and death. Families may not have access to healthcare, clean water, and may suffer language or literacy barriers. We must ensure they have the support and information they need to protect themselves. Children in the most deprived and marginalised communities play a more vital role than ever in reducing the rate of transmission. In the poorest communities, they may be caring for younger children, or adults, or be the only one in the family that can read or access information. This is vital for all, because no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

***Name changed for privacy reasons*

ENDS

To support Save the Children’s global COVID-19 emergency appeal, click *here.*

Note to editors:

  • To protect a generation of children from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, Save the Children has launched its Agenda for Action – a five point plan for a coordinated community, national and global action on five fronts to avert a catastrophe that could affect the lives of millions of children.
  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the African continent have been increasing rapidly since 10 March, according to figures from the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). With current confirmed figures on 6 April at 9,201 across 51 African Union Member States, it’s expected the continent will pass 10,000 confirmed cases by the end of the week.

Olympics decision good

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to subject athletes who had qualified for the Olympic Games in various disciplines to yet another qualifier for the quadrennial championships is timely.

Coming just days after the IOC postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision is welcome news for Kenyans who had qualified for the extravaganza.

After months of anxiety, the IOC and the Japanese government on March 24 agreed to postpone the Olympics, which had been scheduled for July 24 to August 9 to July 23-August 8 next year. But there still were fears that athletes would be qualified afresh.

Although the rugby sevens teams and the women’s volleyball squads and some local boxers had gone through by the time of the postponement, other Kenya teams were still fighting to qualify. In particular, Africa women’s beach volleyball qualifier tournament held in Nigeria in March was hit by low turnout after prevalence of coronavirus was reported in the West African country.

Kenya did not send a team to compete in the tournament. Only home team Nigeria and Zambia competed and the men’s qualifier tournament was subsequently put off.

The IOC’s assurance means that Kenya’s marathon teams, rugby sevens teams, women’s volleyball squad and the already qualified boxers can continue training on their own in preparation for the Olympics.

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In fact, they now have ample time to train rigorously and prepare well for the Games.

On the other hand, Kenyan teams that had not qualified have a chance to do so once the threat of coronavirus pandemic has been eradicated globally and it is then safe to compete.


Let’s stay safe to avoid painful total lockdown

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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The latest safety measures announced by the government are the surest signal yet that Kenya is headed for lockdown if the coronavirus spread escalates. More than ever before, citizens have a duty to stem the escalation and avert a calamity.

On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced new steps to contain the pandemic. Four counties have been put in partial lockdown.

Movement of people in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale have been cancelled for 21 days in a bid to check infections. Nairobi accounts for the single-largest number of infections, at 82 per cent of the 158 positive cases recorded, making it the epicentre of the tragedy.

PARTIAL LOCKDOWN

Although this is partial lockdown because movements continue within the counties, it is severe and bound to worsen the economic declines.

But all recognise that these are difficult moments that necessitate painful decisions. Curfew and health hygiene protocols enunciated before have not stopped new infections.

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In various parts of the world, governments have declared total lockdown, curtailing movement and confining citizens to their homes.

Our circumstances are grim and such declaration may be too harsh for the people. Majority of the citizens eke a living from informal businesses and casual jobs. Any declaration that stops them from going out any single day would be catastrophic.

To ensure the country does not reach that tipping point where government declares complete lockdown, citizens have a duty to do everything within their capability to avert the pandemic.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

For this reason, in addition to keeping personal hygiene all the time and at every place, other requirements, like wearing face masks, have to be observed.

We must all guard against mass infections as that would overwhelm the fragile health system. Since there is no known cure for the disease, having huge numbers affected and hospitalised would create an unmanageable crisis for the health sector. Prevention, therefore, as the adage goes, remains the best cure.
President Kenyatta also announced other plans to manage the crisis, including directing the National Treasury to release some Sh2 billion recovered from graft and redirect it to supporting the Covid-19 effort.

Similarly, the government has stopped all foreign and local official travel and directed that the respective budgets be channelled to dealing with the emergency. This is laudable and we urge that more resources be deployed to fighting the virus.

This is the closest the country has reached towards full shutdown and it is not in anybody’s interest that we get there.

Total blockade is extremely painful and has to be avoided at all costs. It is, therefore, incumbent on every citizen to avoid risky behaviour and play their part to avert new infections.


Why Kenyans will battle hard to achieve social distancing rule

Social distancing is probably the newest and most common phrase since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. It requires people to maintain a distance of not less than one and a half metres from one another.
The rule was popularised in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease. It is backed by professional advice that safe distance reduces the risk of infection as saliva or mucus droplets from an infected person cannot reach the other person’s mouth, nose or eyes, which have been identified as the virus acceptance membranes.
But Kenyans will find it hard to adapt to social distancing. The reasons include the following.
Novelty: The aspect of social distancing is new to Kenyans, more so the majority middle- and low-income earners. Almost all social activities they engage in require physical interaction and, the closer they are, the more interactive the activity.
Culture: Most communities have cultures that determine their way of life. Vigorous handshakes as a way greeting and spitting on the young ones and touching of foreheads as a way of blessing by the elders are hard to abandon. Others — like dowry payment, customary weddings, circumcision ceremonies and burial ceremonies — require close interaction. Kenyans are so accustomed to the cultures that it will take time for them to adjust.
Communal way of life: Kenyans are used to living as communities, whereby they have utmost trust to one another. They subscribe so much to the sense of belonging brought about by the community.
Forgetfulness: Due to the tightly held cultures, it is likely that Kenyans will forget at one time and shake hands, hence failing to adhere to the rule.
Reduced mobility: Social distancing tends to reduce mobility. Kenyans are an industrious people with the majority earning a living by moving from one place to another and interacting with others in different ways. The rule will gag that freedom of movement.
Reduced business: Most businesses take place in physical marketplaces with most of the goods being tangible. Social distancing makes it hard for some business transactions to take place. Examples include barber shops, salons, boda boda and the public transport sector.
The rule has, by far, reduced business activity. It is, thus, not so clear whether boda boda should be banned since very many people depend on them for transport and income. They have also created an avenue for online business platforms to thrive.
Carefree attitude: For their beliefs and trusting nature, Kenyans have developed a carefree attitude that the disease cannot be in our midst — just because we have not met is seen anyone infected with the virus
Change is the most difficult thing to handle, especially when accustomed to something a long time. But it’s not business as usual; things have changed. Let’s brace ourselves for a new norm.
Joshua Oyengo Onyino, Nakuru


Political power play disrupted as teams formed to lead pandemic war

JOHN KAMAUBy JOHN KAMAU
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As the coronavirus crisis deepens, President Uhuru Kenyatta appears to have used the opportunity to solidify the workings of the administrative state — having liquefied the political state for the last one year.
A look at who is who in the newly-formed National Co-ordination Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is an indicator of the people that the President hopes to rely on as the country goes through one of the worst health crisis in recent history.

Tracking coronavirus
With most of the politicians cut from the war against coronavirus, it is the government administration structure that has taken over, with regional commissioners being in charge at the county levels.
Internal documents indicate that President Kenyatta has given Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i powers to appoint several ad-hoc committees, which are working behind the scenes to contain the crisis.
Before the coronavirus gust disrupted the political stage and threw the politicos off-balance, Dr Matiang’i had become the dominant face of the administrative state — thanks to his position as the Interior CS and as the chairperson of the National Development Implementation and Communication Committee, whose mandate is to supervise the execution of government programmes.
Dr Matiang’i now has the mandate to chair the co-ordination committee on coronavirus. Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Treasury’s Ukur Yatani, Monica Juma (Defence), Peter Munya (Agriculture) and Joseph Mucheru (ICT and Youth Affairs) sit on the committee.
Others in this committee include Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki, Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe and National Intelligence Service Director General Major-General Philip Kameru.
Also sitting in the committee is Council of Governor Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.
On Monday while making the decision by the National Security Council on strict movement into and within Nairobi, Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa, it was apparent that Deputy President William Ruto, who ought to be a member of the council, was missing in action. He has not been included in any of the committees.
Again, the media briefings have been left to Mr Mutahi Kagwe, who is less confrontational with reporters and displays better command and control of the meetings.
At times, Mr Kagwe has been delegating the duty to the Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi with technical support from Dr Patrick Amoth, the director-general of Health.
Previously, the President had appointed a National Emergency Response Committee chaired by Mr Kagwe. It has now been expanded and in the new arrangement, Education CS George Magoha, a medical doctor, will now be sitting in this committee together with principal secretaries Belio Kipsang and Simon Wabukwesi.
Also brought in is Lt Gen Robert Kibochi, the vice-chief of the Defence Forces and Kang’ethe Thuku, the Principal Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Interior.
The inclusion of the military in the arrangement means that the coronavirus pandemic is turning to be a national emergency.
Also established is the National Economic and Business Response working group, which is mobilising resources and conducting household impact assessment. Already, chiefs have been mobilised in various counties to list down the vulnerable members, with fear that the pandemic will take its toll on the poor and the elderly.
The economic team is chaired by National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani and has among its members Industrialisation CS Betty Maina, Adan Mohammed East African Community), Najib Balala (Tourism) and Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge.
The President seemed to indicate that the war on corruption would go hand in hand with the fight against the coronavirus by instructing Treasury to allocate the Sh2 billion recovered by the Asset Recovery to the vulnerable within the community.
“Our fight in this area continues,” said the President.
Besides disrupting the political power play, the pandemic will also leave a major gap in the coffers and might mean that President Kenyatta’s Big Four legacy will be in trouble.


Côte d’Ivoire/Covid-19: les détails du Plan de riposte humanitaire connus «d’ici une semaine»

Publié le 06.04.2020 à 22h18 par APA

Les détails du plan de riposte humanitaire contre la maladie à Coronavirus seront connus « d’ici une semaine » en Côte d’Ivoire, a annoncé lundi à Abidjan, Mariatou Koné, la ministre ivoirienne de la Solidarité, de la cohésion sociale et de la lutte contre la pauvreté.«Tous les ministères sont prêts. Les partenaires aussi sont prêts. Il est question maintenant que nous nous accordons sur les modalités d’opérationnalisation de ce plan. D’ici une semaine, vous aurez tous les détails», a dit Mme Koné au terme d’une réunion des acteurs impliqués dans la mise en oeuvre de ce plan de riposte humanitaire.

Selon elle, en situation de confinement comme c’est le cas en raison du Covid-19, les populations vulnérables ont besoins de vivres et de non-vivres, mais aussi de prise en charge psychologique , notamment en cas de violences basées sur le genre.

 «Nous essayons d’anticiper pour pouvoir minimiser la vulnérabilité des personnes vulnérables. Oui,  il y a des disputes dans des familles. La promiscuité sur une longue période créé des problèmes dans certaines familles», a expliqué Mme Koné.

Avant elle, Philippe Poinsot, le Coordinateur résident du système des Nations-Unies en Côte d’Ivoire, a assuré à son tour que d’ici une semaine, des « propositions concrètes » seront faites pour la mise en oeuvre de ce plan de riposte humanitaire.

« Nous avons discuté aujourd’hui d’aide alimentaire, de protection sociale, de lutte contre les violences domestiques et nous avons dressé un petit panorama d’un certain nombre d’activités qui pourraient être menées rapidement. D’ici  une semaine nous espérons revenir vers vous avec des propositions concrètes», a promis M. Poinsot.

De son côté, Idriss Traoré, le Directeur général de la protection sociale du ministère de l’emploi et de la protection sociale, a souhaité l’amplification des actions qui sont déjà faites en faveur des personnes vulnérables pendant cette crise sanitaire dans le pays.

La Côte d’Ivoire a enregistré ce lundi 06 avril 2020, 62 nouveaux cas, portant à 323 le nombre de cas confirmés avec 41 cas guéris  et 03 décès.


Nafissatou N’diaye Diouf nommée directrice de communication par intérim de la BAD

Publié le 06.04.2020 à 22h18 par APA

Le Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement (BAD) annonce la nomination de Mme Nafissatou N’diaye Diouf au poste de directrice par intérim du département de la communication et des relations extérieures de l’institution, dans une note transmise lundi à APA.Mme Nafissatou Diouf, de nationalité sénégalaise, occupait précédemment le poste de cheffe de division au sein du Département de la communication et des relations extérieures (PCER) de la banque. Selon la note, sa nomination est en vigueur depuis le 1er avril 2020.

Elle remplace à ce poste Victor Oladokun, chef du département de la communication et des relations extérieures de l’institution, admis faire valoir ses droits à la retraite.

Pour Akinwumi Adesina, « Nafissatou Diouf est une professionnelle reconnue dans le secteur de la communication et des relations extérieures ». Il se dit « convaincu » qu’elle « saura diriger le Département PCER en cette période critique, où la banque prend des mesures nécessaires pour répondre à l’évolution rapide de la situation induite par l’épidémie de Covid-19. »

Nafissatou Diouf jouit d’un parcours universitaire de haut niveau et d’une expérience de plus de 20 ans dans les domaines de la communication d’entreprise, des relations publiques, du journalisme et du développement numérique et médiatique.

Nommée cheffe de division du département communication en 2018, Nafissatou Diouf a installé et dirigé une équipe internationale de rédacteurs, éditeurs et spécialistes du numérique et des médias afin de développer la couverture et la sensibilisation aux objectifs stratégiques de la banque.

Entre 2016 et 2018, Nafissatou Diouf était consultante en communication au sein du Complexe du secteur privé et de l’infrastructure de la Banque. Avant de rejoindre la BAD, elle a fondé et assuré la direction générale de l’agence 54 communication, à Dakar, au Sénégal, entre 2011 et 2017.

Durant sa carrière professionnelle, Nafissatou Diouf  a occupé le poste de directrice régionale des relations publiques pour Francophone Africa ZK Advertising, à Johannesburg, en Afrique du Sud, où elle a fait preuve d’une grande aptitude au leadership interculturel.

Cette experte en communication a géré des équipes composées de professionnels des relations publiques, de directeurs de comptes et de représentants de pays dans sept pays africains – Gabon, Niger, Tchad, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, République démocratique du Congo et République du Congo.

Avant de travailler dans la communication d’entreprise, Nafissatou Diouf a travaillé comme journaliste pour l’agence de presse américaine Associated Press (AP), couvrant les conflits et les crises internationales en Afrique de l’Ouest et centrale, notamment au Liberia, en Côte d’Ivoire, en République démocratique du Congo, au Niger, en Mauritanie et en République centrafricaine.

Nombre de ses reportages ont été publiés dans des journaux internationaux tels que le Washington Post, USA Today, le Boston Globe et le LA Times. Nafissatou a également travaillé en tant qu’agent chargé des logiciels « Open Source » pour le Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), une division de la Direction de la science et de la technologie au sein de l’Agence centrale de renseignement (CIA).

De langue maternelle française, Nafissatou Diouf est titulaire d’une maîtrise en interprétation et traduction de l’université de Salford au Royaume-Uni, d’une licence en linguistiques appliquées de l’université de Thames Valley et d’un diplôme en journalisme et presse écrite de la London School of Journalism.


Le ministre ivoirien de la Défense, Hamed Bakayoko, testé positif au Covid-19

Publié le 06.04.2020 à 22h18 par APA

Le ministre d’Etat, en charge de la Défense en Côte d’Ivoire, Hamed Bakayoko, annonce avoir été testé positif au Covid-19 suite à un prélèvement effectué dimanche mais ne présente aucun signe de la maladie, sur sa page Facebook, une information confirmée à APA par l’un de ses proches.« Ce lundi 6 avril 2020, j’ai été déclaré positif au test du Covid-19 suite à un prélèvement effectué dimanche mais ne présente aucun signe de la maladie », écrit M. Hamed Bakayoko, indiquant que le médecin lui a prescrit un confinement auquel il s’est immédiatement soumis.

« C’est l’occasion pour moi de rappeler à tous nos concitoyens que le Coronavirus est une maladie réelle qui se propage vite », lance-t-il, invitant les populations à respecter les mesures barrières pour empêcher la propagation du virus. 

 Le Premier ministre ivoirien, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, lui, a annoncé lundi être de retour au bureau, après 14 jours de confinement dû à un contact avec un cas confirmé positif au Covid-19. 

La Côte d’Ivoire a enregistré ce lundi 06 avril 2020, 62 nouveaux cas, portant à 323 le nombre de cas confirmés avec 41 cas guéris  et 03 décès.


RCA : un militaire français retrouvé mort dans le camp de M’Poko

Publié le 06.04.2020 à 21h56 par journaldebangui.com avec corbeaunews

L’état-major français des armées a annoncé le décès d’un militaire français au sein du camp M’Poko de Bangui en République centrafricaine.

L’état-major français des armées, dans un communiqué, a expliqué que l’adjudant Jean-Bernard Russon était engagé en République centrafricaine depuis le mois de novembre 2019 comme chef du dépôt de munitions du détachement d’appui opérationnel.

Le militaire était titulaire de la croix du combattant, de la médaille outre-mer avec les agrafes « Moyen-Orient », « Sahel », « Liban », « Tchad », de la médaille de la défense nationale échelon or, de la médaille de la reconnaissance de la Nation, de la médaille commémorative française avec agrafe « Afghanistan », de la médaille de la protection militaire du territoire avec l’agrafe « Egide ».

L’état-major explique qu’il a été découvert mort au sein du camp M’Poko de Bangui ce dimanche 5 avril 2020. L’adjudant RUSSON nous quitte prématurément en laissant l’image d’un soldat humble, unanimement apprécié et respecté de tous.


U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in ICU: COVID-19

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care after coronavirus symptoms worsen

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has been taken into the hospital intensive care unit for treatment for coronavirus after his condition worsened, his office said.

The British prime minister was admitted to St Thomas’s Hospital in London on Sunday night because his virus symptoms had not cleared up and he became more seriously ill on Monday afternoon, a government spokesperson said in an email.

“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital,” according to the statement. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will stand in for Johnson running the country, “where necessary.”

The post U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in ICU: COVID-19 appeared first on The Maravi Post.