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Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

 

Bangladesh: Education Cannot Wait announces US$19 million in new COVID-19 education response for refugees and IDPs

ECW’s First Emergency Response allocations focus on refugee, internally displaced and host community children and youth

22 July 2020, New York ­– Education Cannot Wait announced today an additional US$19 million in education in emergency response funding to the COVID-19 pandemic across 10 crisis-affected countries. With this new funding, ECW’s total COVID-19 response now spans 33 countries and crisis-affected contexts, with US$43.5 million in funding approved so far.

“The time has come for decisive and game-changing measures to ensure that every refugee child accesses a quality education. Education Cannot Wait is taking such measures and we must scale up our support for this effort,” said the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of Education Cannot Wait’s High-Level Steering Group.

This new funding will be delivered in partnership with national governments, UN agencies and a significant number of civil society organizations in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

These First Emergency Response (FER) grants focus on refugee, internally displaced and host community children and youth: 876,392 in total, of whom 461,706 are girls and 405,886 are boys. In all, 25 grantees will implement the second phase of ECW’s COVID-19 education in emergency response. In the majority of countries, this response is being coordinated by respective governments and UNHCR.

“Children and youth displaced by armed conflicts and climate-induced disasters are especially at risk and doubly affected by COVID-19. This investment is dedicated to them, but much more needs to be done. We call on partners to contribute substantive financial resources for those left furthest behind as a result of brutal conflicts and punishing crises,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

68 per cent of the children and youth targeted through the investments are refugees, with 32 per cent being internally displaced and host community children and youth. With continuity of education disrupted by the global pandemic, ECW’s education in emergency response covers the entire 3-18 years of age spectrum with a holistic package of support. 23 per cent of the beneficiaries are at the secondary level to ensure their learning can continue. At the other end of the age-spectrum, 19 per cent of the beneficiaries will benefit from holistic early childhood development activities. In addition to access to learning, the investments include child protection, mental health and psychosocial support services, as well as expanded access to life-saving water and sanitation services.

These new grants build on the rapid response by ECW and its partners to the global pandemic, which has pushed well over a billion children out of school and is having broad, negative social and economic impacts globally. Before the pandemic, 75 million children and youth impacted by emergencies and protracted crises did not have access to the safety, hope and opportunity of an education. The pandemic now puts even more children and youth at risk, and ECW and its partners have issued an urgent global appeal to mobilize US$310 million to reach vulnerable girls and boys most at risk of being left behind.

ECW Second Tranche COVID-19 First Emergency Response

  • Bangladesh: US$600,000 allocated. Grantees: Norwegian Refugee Council ($300,000), Plan International ($300,000)
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: US$2.3 million allocated. Grantees: AVSI with AIDES ($900,000), Terre Sans Frontières (TSF), with Frères de l’Instruction Chrétienne-Dungu ($1.4 million)
  • Ethiopia: US$2.8 million allocated. Grantees: UNHCR ($1.86 million), Plan International ($440,000), Save the Children ($500,000)
  • Iraq: US$2.3 million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($580,000), People in Need ($430,000), Public Aid Organization ($430,000), Intersos ($430,000), Norwegian Refugee Council ($430,000)
  • Kenya: US$2.3 million allocated. Grantees: UNHCR ($1.84 million), Save the Children ($460,000)
  • Lebanon: US$2.8 million allocated. Grantees: Save the Children ($715,000), AVSI ($695,000), NRC ($695,000), IRC ($695,000)
  • Libya: US$1.5 million allocated. Grantees: UNICEF ($750,000), Norwegian Refugee Council ($750,000)
  • South Sudan: US$2.32 million allocated. Grantees: Lutheran World Federation ($1.5 million), World Vision International ($345,000), Across ($487,000)
  • Tanzania: US$1.5 million allocated. Grantee: International Rescue Committee ($1.5 million)
  • Zambia: US$600,000 allocated. Grantee: UNHCR ($600,000)

Notes to Editors:

  • ECW First Emergency Response grants announced on 2 April (learn more here)
  • ECW First Emergency Response grants announced on 20 May (learn more here)

Maroc : Le gouvernement impose de nouvelles mesures restrictives à Fès et à Tanger

Publié le 05.08.2020 à 00h18 par APA

Le gouvernement marocain a imposé une série de mesures restrictives au niveau des préfectures de Tanger-Asilah et de Fès et ce en raison de la forte évolution des cas d’infection et des décès dus à la Covid-19 enregistrés ces derniers jours.Ces mesures, qui prendront effet à partir du mercredi 5 août à 20 heures, portent sur l’obligation de disposer d’une autorisation exceptionnelle pour les déplacements de et vers les villes de Tanger et Fès, l’interdiction de toute forme de rassemblement et la fermeture des commerces de proximité, des grands espaces commerciaux et des cafés à 22h00.

Il s’agit également de la fermeture des restaurants à 23h00, des plages, des jardins publics, des salles de jeu, des salles de sport et des centres sportifs de proximité et de la réduction de la capacité d’accueil des transports publics à 50%.

Des mesures plus spécifiques seront appliquées au niveau des quartiers les plus contaminés des deux préfectures. Ainsi, il a été décidé de fermer toutes les issues menant à ces quartiers où seront érigés des barrages sécuritaires.

Pour y accéder ou en sortir, les habitants devront être munis d’autorisations spéciales délivrées par les autorités compétentes.

A cela s’ajoute la fermeture, à 18h00, des commerces de proximité et des grandes surfaces opérant à l’intérieur des quartiers concernés, alors que les marchés de proximité devront pour leur part cesser toute activité à 16h00.

Quant aux hammams et les salons de coiffures et d’esthétique, ils devront suspendre totalement leurs activités jusqu’à nouvel ordre.


Maroc : Vers la mise en place d’un pacte pour la relance économique

Publié le 05.08.2020 à 00h18 par APA

Le gouvernement se met à l’action pour mettre en œuvre les mesures annoncées par le Roi Mohammed VI dans son dernier discours prononcé à l’occasion du 21e anniversaire de la Fête du Trône.A cet effet, le ministre de l’Economie et des Finances, Mohamed Benchaâboun a tenu mardi à Rabat une conférence durant laquelle il a annoncé la mise en place d’un pacte pour la relance économique et l’emploi qui comprend des mesures transverses tout en tenant compte des spécificités sectorielles.

Fruit d’une ambition commune et partagée par l’ensemble des parties prenantes, ce Pacte ainsi que le contrat programme relatif à la relance du secteur touristique seront signés courant cette semaine, a-t-il fait savoir.

Il a, dans ce sens, expliqué que les mesures sectorielles spécifiques, concernant en particulier les secteurs les plus touchés par la crise, feront l’objet de contrats et de conventions qui seront signés avec les fédérations concernées (Contrat-programme 2020–2022 relatif à la relance du secteur touristique en phase post-covid-19).

Le ministre a également précisé que les 120 milliards de dirhams (1 euro = 10,8 DH) qui seront injectés dans l’économie nationale seront répartis sur les crédits garantis par l’Etat (75 milliards DH) et le Fonds d’investissement stratégique (45 milliards DH).

Il a, à cet égard, annoncé la création d’un Compte d’Affectation Spéciale dédié intitulé « Fonds d’Investissement Stratégique » qui aura une mission d’appui aux activités de production, d’accompagnement et de financement des grands projets d’investissement public-privé.

S’agissant de la généralisation de la protection sociale à l’ensemble des Marocains, qui sera sur une période de 5 ans, il a souligné que l’assurance maladie obligatoire (AMO) va être généralisée à partir du 1er janvier de l’année prochaine touchant tous ceux qui ne sont pas protégés aujourd’hui, a t-il dit, notant que cette généralisation vise à assurer à un ensemble de marocains les mêmes prestations de services médicaux et de soins peu importe leurs catégories socio-professionnelles.

Le ministre a évoqué à cet égard la nécessité de mettre en oeuvre certaines réformes notamment fiscale afin de garantir une contribution professionnelle unifiée permettant d’un côté aux commerçants et artisans de pouvoir contribuer en fonction de leurs revenus et d’avoir en retour cette protection sociale.

La partie généralisation de l’AMO va s’étaler sur 2 ans, a-t-il fait savoir, ajoutant que la généralisation des allocations familiales, en remplacement des systèmes existants, la mise en chantier de la retraite pour tous et l’indemnité pour perte d’emploi viendront juste après.

Pour ce qui est de la réforme principale en profondeur du secteur public, plus particulièrement des établissements et entreprises publics, une agence des participations de l’Etat va être créée pour plus d’efficience dans la gestion mais également pour agir à travers la suppression d’un certains nombre d’établissements, dans le cadre d’une optimisation du fonctionnement de l’Etat, et la création de pôles homogènes pour plusieurs secteurs (pôle pour l’énergie, pôle pour le transport..), a-t-il souligné.

Ces pôles, a-t-il dit, permettront de créer des ensembles plus solides qui auront plus facilement accès au financement à des conditions meilleurs que celles aujourd’hui et qui leurs permettront donc d’investir et à créer de l’emploi ce qui est leurs rôle premier.


La France offre plus de 131 millions Fcfa pour l’élection présidentielle en Côte d’Ivoire

Publié le 05.08.2020 à 00h18 par APA

La France a octroyé mardi 131,19 millions de Fcfa pour l’élection présidentielle du 31 octobre 2020, en Côte d’Ivoire, à travers une signature d’un accord de contribution avec le Bureau du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD) à Abidjan.Le paraphe des documents a eu lieu, dans les locaux du PNUD à Abidjan, entre la représentante résidente de l’institution, Carol-Flore Smereczniak, et le conseiller de coopération et d’action culturelle à l’ambassade de France, Patrice Thevier, en présence du président de la Commission électorale indépendante (CEI) de Côte d’Ivoire, Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert.  

Il s’agit d’une signature de l’accord de contribution de la France au financement du Projet d’appui aux élections en Côte d’Ivoire (PACE), a précisé la représentante résidente du PNUD en Côte d’Ivoire, Mme Carol-Flore Smereczniak. 

Cette contribution sera « essentiellement affectée au renforcement du mécanisme de traitement et d’acheminement des résultats électoraux, en vue du renforcement de la transparence et de la crédibilité des opérations de vote», a dit la représentante résidente du PNUD.

Ce fonds devrait notamment permettre à « appuyer le processus de compilation, de traitement et d’acheminement des résultats afin que ces derniers fassent l’objet de toute la transparence nécessaire et puissent être acceptés par les différentes parties prenantes », a souligné M. Thevier.

Plus spécifiquement, ajoutera-t-il, « ces efforts devraient permettre de mener des études de faisabilité sur les options de compilation à privilégier, à déployer des solutions informatiques adaptées, à élaborer des protocoles et des procédures de transmission » et des outils de communication adéquats. 

Ce don intervient après la signature des accords de financement respectivement avec plusieurs bailleurs dont les États-Unis, la Turquie, le Japon, la Suisse et l’Allemagne, qui ont déjà versé leur contribution au panier commun.

« Avec ces contributions, en plus des fonds alloués par le siège du PNUD, nous avons pu amorcer d’importantes actions », entre autres, l’identification des entrepôts pour la CEI, l’étude sur le traitement des données électoraux et l’acheminement des résultats, a fait savoir Mme Smereczniak.

Pour sa part, le président de la CEI a souhaité que « fasse le ciel que le 31 octobre, qu’ il y ait une élection acceptée de tous parce que ayant respecté les règles du jeu de la compétition électorale ». Car, un scrutin accepté de tous montre manifestement sa crédibilité.  

Le Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD) a annoncé mi-juillet 7,84 milliards Fcfa d’appui au système électoral ivoirien, sur une période de deux ans, en vue de l’organisation de  l’élection présidentielle du 31 octobre 2020 et des prochaines législatives.  

Cette aide au profit de l’Etat de Côte d’Ivoire fait suite à une mission d’évaluation des besoins électoraux du pays déployée en novembre 2019, après une requête du gouvernement ivoirien à laquelle le secrétaire général des Nations Unies a répondu « favorablement ». 


Muhammad Hassan Patigi: Witchcraft Allegations, ‘Healing’ and Human Degradation in Mokwa, Central Nigeria

Leo Igwe

Some days ago, a Facebook contact drew my attention to a case of witch-hunting in Mokwa, in Central Nigeria. Mokwa is one of the 25 local governments in Niger state. Video clips of this disgusting incident have been circulating on social media. After reading one of the posts, I asked for details of the incident. But I did not get any reply. I searched for some information online but only saw an academic article, On the Articulation of Witchcraft and Modes of Production among the Nupe, Northern Nigeria by Dirk Kohnert. Kohnert argues that accusations of witchcraft are linked to the dynamics of production among the Nupe. Rich peasants and traders are suspected of witchcraft because they accumulate their wealth without fulfilling their traditional obligations to the poor. This piece only provided some academic insight into Nupe witchcraft. However, the tension and strain that underly witchcraft allegations find ventilating channels in the activities of self-acclaimed exorcists and healers as in this case.

On August 1, 2020, I searched online for any report on the witchcraft exorcism in Mokwa. Lo and Behold, a link to a post on Naijaworld, The Despicable Acts Happening In Mokwa, Niger State, popped up. The post summarizes the shameful theatrics and atrocities. I shuddered at images of humiliation, torture, and abuse including a revulsive scene where a person, an alleged witch, was forced to urinate into the mouth of another human being. This piece on Naijaworld does not have full details of the author. The page only has a twitter handle-@cynthia.

The post reads like a lamentation from a helpless fellow from Mokwa: “I have about four horrible videos that were sent to me. Of women whose clothes were removed and made to fight each other. Some men were completely stripped naked too and made to throw sands in each other’s eye, one of them was forced to urinate in another man’s mouth and made to gulp the urine. All these people are accused of witchcraft by a guy that I suspect is mentally deranged. His name is Hassan, allegedly from Patigi, Kwara state. Another one is a naked man that was paraded and violated to confess and mention the people he has killed with witchcraft. There is another old woman who should be about 80 years old that was beaten and a stun gun was used to deliver electric shock on her to confess that she is a witch. These are some of the despicable things happening in my home town right now. I have taken screenshots from the videos and attached here”.

The text further explains the dubious faith healing claims that Hassan had made:

“The guy claims he cures people miraculously. If you are hypertensive, paralyzed, blind, or suffer from other eye-related diseases, have diabetes, or any kind of disease, he would cure it. The paralyzed ones would walk. The deaf and dumb would be made to hear and talk. Couples who have been unable to conceive would conceive even without having sex, and my people have fallen deeply for this scam. I have been personally involved in sending people to interview those he claimed were healed, and none is true. He even instructs some people to stop taking their medications if they want his miracles to work.”

The author of the post noted that thousands of persons gathered for Hassan’s healing and witch-hunting exercise at a time that the government was trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the end of the post, there was an appeal for help: “I call on all human right organizations and activists to intervene for my people who have fallen victim to this inhuman and deplorable act of violence against innocent people by Hassan and his enablers. I call on Niger State Government to intervene and arrest the ugly situation and ensure that Hassan and his enablers face the full wrath of the law”.

I rang up the police public relations officer in Niger state. He told me that he saw the video of the witch-hunting exercise, the way that I did. He asked me to call back the following week for more details. But I could not wait because from what I read on social media, the situation was urgent. I called the Commissioner of Police several times but he did not pick the call. I searched online for the contact of any institution, school, or NGO in Mokwa. After several attempts, I came across the contact of a study center in Mokwa. I called the number, and the person kindly directed me to the chairperson of the Mokwa Forum, Muhammad Kudu. The chairman of Mokwa Forum confirmed the authenticity of the video circulating on social media. He noted that some well-meaning person from Mokwa posted the video to draw the attention of the world to the abominable activities going on in Mokwa. He noted that attempts have been made to stop these abuses but the traditional ruler has frustrated the efforts. According to Mr. Kudu, over a month ago, one Hassan Patigi emerged claiming to be a healer and to have the power to make infertile women pregnant. He also claimed to have the power to expose witches and exorcise witchcraft. Thousands of people used to convene at a public square at the Etisheshi area in Mokwa as Hassan Patigi engaged in his ‘healing’ and witchcraft exorcism. He had some quack medical officers who conducted tests for women who claim to have become pregnant as a result of his ministration. Some people in the community reported the case to the director of primary health care who tried stopping the quack medical officers without success. The traditional ruler took Patigi and quacks to his premises where they continued to conduct pregnancy tests. The chair of Mokwa Forum further recounted that someone sent the video to the Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in Mokwa, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor of Niger state, the Human Rights Commission in Abuja, the Police Headquarters, the state security service and the Chairman of Mokwa Local Government Area. A meeting was convened and the DPO asked Hassan Patigi if he had official permission from Abuja to do what he was doing during the COVID19 period. And he replied in the negative. However, the traditional ruler stood up and defended him, noting that Hassan Patigi was his guest; that he was in Mokwa to heal sick people. Mr. Kudu made it clear that the support from the Ndalile of Mokwa, as the traditional ruler of the area is called, made it difficult for those at the meeting to sanction Hassan Patigi. So Hassan continued his healing and witch finding activities at the compound of the traditional ruler. I asked the chairman of the Mokwa Forum to send me the videoclips, and he did.

In the first video, Hassan Patigi was speaking from a podium before a crowd of people. The alleged witches were standing half-naked or completely naked. Patigi was speaking Nupe language and urging the people to come and see the disgraced witches; that the accused persons have been disgraced because they were witches. He further declared that Prophet Muhammad was guiding him to expose and disgrace the witches in the community. That all the accused persons were a shame to their families. In the second video, Hassan Patigi ordered the alleged witches to go and fight each other. Members of the local vigilante group were at the scene. A local source said that some military and police officers were there. Patigi’s thugs could be seen beating the alleged witches with whips and sticks and urging them to fight each other. Any of them who refused to fight was beaten and pushed to the front of the crowd. Hassan is up at the podium wearing a jersey and throwing sachets of pure water at the alleged witches. At a point, Hassan ordered two of the alleged witches to urinate on each other:

His thugs were beating the accused urging them to urinate on each other. And the two men took turns to urinate on each other.

In another video, Hassan Patigi orders two of the alleged witches to remove their trousers, and he ordered his thugs to beat them so that they could confess to witchcraft. He urged them to confess to killing their relatives. And when they refused to confess, his thugs would beat them. Patigi asked one of them if he was not the one who killed his brother, and he denied. And he insisted that he must confess to doing so. The alleged witch was quiet, and his thugs started slapping and urging him to confess. Hassan was up on the podium singing, and he asked the alleged witches to be dancing around naked, and he was throwing sachets of pure water on them so that they could confess. At a point, the two accused males tried to use their hands to cover their private parts, and his thugs were beating and ordering them not to cover their private organs. According to my informant, Patigi claimed that the sachet water that he was throwing at the alleged witches had healing powers. At the beginning of each day, he prays over sachets of pure, and his assistants would give the healing water to all sick persons including the blind, lame, and deaf. Two other videos captured scenes of witchcraft exorcism at the palace of the traditional ruler of Mokwa, Hassan Patigi accused a woman of witchcraft and the accused, sitting on the ground, could be heard shouting that she was not a witch. At some point, Patigi’s thugs started beating and coercing her to confess to witchcraft.”

I have never heard about Hassan Patigi. I searched online for information about this faith healer. I saw a link to a youtube video showing him being ushered into an arena. Journalists from Tswangi Television went to interview him. In the video, Hassan said that anytime he pointed to any sick person, the blind, deaf and dumb and the lame, the person would recover. A man came forward and testified that his son had been sick for the past 8 years but as soon as Hassan Patigi prayed for him, he regained his health. A woman said that she could not stand for years, but did so after Hassan prayed for her. The Facebook page of Tswangi Television contains posts and videos on the ‘healing’ activities of Patigi. One of them reveals that Muhammad Hassan Patigi has two wives and a son, and used to have mental issues. At some point, he disappeared from his village and then emerged in Mokwa, where he is “performing miracles in God’s name by healing the cripple, deaf, dumb, blind, etc., and it’s also said that he helps those with infertility to conceive”. The post further notes that there is divided opinion on the validity and credibility of his healing claims, “Some people believe he is not doing real healing but deceiving people, some say he associates with djinns while some say he is doing real healing and that all he does is to pray”. Others have offered suggestions on why people are convening in huge numbers for Patigi’s miracle performances. One of the users said:..the best way to address this issue, if you want people to stop going to this guy is to fix the hospitals and make them accessible to the masses. Nothing is working in this country and that’s why people indulge in anything that comes their way. You can’t stop people when the government has refused to do their path. If our hospitals were equipped today and people with different illnesses go there and get treated at affordable costs, tell me who will patronize all these people again”. Using the telephone number on its Facebook page, I contacted the director of Tswangi Television to find out his thoughts about Hassan Patigi’s activities. He made it clear that some people in Mokwa believed that he was a healer while others thought he was a fraud. He further stated: “We are in Africa, in Nigeria, and in Nupeland, people are very superstitious. Many have problems that defy solutions, and so they go to anybody who promises to help or heal them”.

As I was compiling this report, a local source sent me a Facebook post where people commented on photos where Hassan Patigi was kissing some women. Somebody commented describing Muhammad Hassan Patigi as a fraudster, an MMM, and ‘419’.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches calls for an immediate end to Muhammad Hassan Patigi’s witchcraft exorcism and fake healing sessions in Mokwa. What has been going on in Niger state is a national disgrace and a demonstration social and moral decay. It is disappointing to know that there were some state security officers at the scenes of such disgusting, barbaric, and obscene activities. Hassan Patigi is a charlatan parading himself as a healer. He is said to have a history of mental illness. And from all indications, Patigi needs to see a psychiatric doctor or be compelled to undergo some medical examination. AFAW calls for the arrest and prosecution of Muhammad Hassan Patigi, his quack medical/miracle accomplices, and all those involved in the beating and maltreating alleged witches in Mokwa. The police should ensure that Patigi and his thugs do not conduct any more witch finding and healing exercise anywhere in the region. The government of Niger state should sanction the traditional ruler of Mokwa, Ndalile Mokwa, who has been the enabler of these shameful and deplorable activities. There are unconfirmed reports that the mob killed some of the accused women. AFAW is working with its local contacts to authenticate the report, and help rehabilitate victims.

The post Muhammad Hassan Patigi: Witchcraft Allegations, ‘Healing’ and Human Degradation in Mokwa, Central Nigeria appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Scale and severity of acute food insecurity continue to rise in South Sudan

Key Messages

The scale and severity of acute food insecurity continue to rise at the July/August peak of the lean season in South Sudan. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are widespread, indicating that a high proportion of the population is experiencing either large food consumption gaps or engaging in severe coping strategies in an attempt to mitigate food consumption gaps. Escalating inter-communal conflict and recent economic shocks associated with COVID-19 and lower oil revenue, underpinned by deficit crop production, persistently poor macroeconomic conditions, and the protracted political conflict, continue to limit household food and income sources.

The need for sustained, large-scale humanitarian food assistance remains high across the country. Food insecurity is most severe in conflict-affected areas of Jonglei, Lakes, and Warrap, as well as in parts of Upper Nile, Unity, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, and Central Equatoria. FEWS NET anticipates that Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) is likely in areas of highest concern during the lean season, especially in parts of Jonglei and Upper Nile where outcomes are already severe and household coping capacity has been eroded due to the 2019 floods and/or recent conflict. In these areas, there are pockets of at-risk households with few productive assets and limited to no access to a functioning market who can experience rapid deterioration in acute food insecurity in between food assistance distribution cycles.

Levels of inter-communal conflict remain high in the border region of Warrap and Lakes and in Twic East, Duk, and Pibor of Jonglei. Of greatest concern is Pibor, where conflict caused large-scale displacement, disrupted food assistance delivery, and led humanitarians to evacuate. According to OCHA, 60,850 people have been internally displaced within Pibor since June. Additionally, an IRNA conducted in June confirmed 37,200 people were displaced from Uror to Nyirol and Akobo West. Key informants report looting of prepositioned food assistance in Gumuruk, Lekuangole, and Verteth payams in Pibor, while women, children, and the elderly fled to distant areas with limited or no access to markets or food assistance. Conflict during the main season rains, at a time when planting should be ongoing and access to livestock products should be seasonally increasing, raises the likelihood that food security outcomes will remain atypically severe during the post-harvest period. Urgent and sustained food assistance in the lean season and post-harvest periods is needed to save lives.

As of July 31, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 2,322 COVID-19 cases in South Sudan, with a case fatality rate of 1.98 percent. Most confirmed cases are in Juba and Eastern Equatoria state, though cases in rural areas are likely higher than known due to limited testing. While movement restrictions have not been re-instated within South Sudan, domestic trade flows and business activity remain below normal. In urban areas, poor households’ income from daily casual labor and petty trade remains atypically low. Food security partners in Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap, and Western Bahr el Ghazal also report that preventive measures continue to slow down their ability to deliver planned assistance, including distribution of agricultural inputs, in-kind food, and livestock vaccinations and treatment. Externally, Ethiopia tightened enforcement of cross-border movement restrictions at the Akobo-Gambella border due to rising COVID-19 cases among refugees in Gambella. Key informants reported in late July that South Sudanese refugees fleeing inter-communal conflict are still crossing informally into Ethiopia, but the situation requires continued monitoring.

Local currency depreciation, dependence on food imports, and increased transportation costs during the rainy season are driving high and rising food prices, despite improvements in cross-border trade compared to last year. Based on FEWS NET’s weekly cross-border monitoring data, trade volumes of sorghum from Uganda to South Sudan in the second quarter of 2020 were 9 percent above the first quarter of 2020 and 45 percent above the second quarter of 2019. Trade volumes of sorghum from Sudan to South Sudan dropped sharply by 68 percent from the first to second quarter of 2020, but were 18 percent higher than the second quarter of 2019. Nevertheless, available market price data show the retail price of a malwa (3.5 kg) of white sorghum in June ranged from 57 to 115 percent above June 2019 in key reference markets such as Juba, Wau, Aweil. Although prices were similar or lower than June 2019 in Rumbek Centre and Torit, prices were 74-88 percent above the five-year average. Sorghum prices are likely to rise further until the main harvest begins in September. However, food assistance and first-season harvests in Greater Equatoria will likely stabilize food prices in nearby markets like Juba and Torit.

According to WFP reports, WFP planned to reach 2.8 million people with double-ration distributions and 1 million people with a single ration in the June/July distribution cycle. Humanitarian food assistance remains critical to preventing more extreme food security outcomes at the county level. As of July 10, WFP had also prepositioned 83 percent of planned assistance for a six-month period in areas that are typically inaccessible during the rainy season. Due to multiple shocks, including needs associated with COVID-19, the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF) allocated 1.8 million USD to the Food Security and Livelihood Cluster to target 273,000 beneficiaries, particularly in urban settings or locations hosting IDPs or newly returned refugees, where the risk of spreading of COVID-19 and its direct or indirect impacts are highest.

In bimodal Greater Equatoria, the June/July first-season maize harvest is underway. Overall, the harvest is expected to be lower than 2019, but similar to the recent five-year average due to lower access to seeds that reduced planted area and damage from desert locusts in parts of Magwi and Torit of Eastern Equatoria. An impact assessment conducted by FAO in June found a varying degree of locust incidence and damage. In Magwi, desert locust damaged over 60 percent of assessed crop fields, while in Torit, only 12 percent of assessed crop fields were damaged. In Ikotos, there was no noticeable damage on crops. Available information from FAO indicates that the desert locust threat will persist in August, as swarms in northwestern Kenya are expected to migrate northwards through eastern South Sudan to summer breeding areas in Sudan.

June to September main rainfall season is 5-45 percent above average across most of eastern South Sudan and 5-30 percent below average in northwestern, southwestern, and northeastern South Sudan. In Fashoda and Manyo of Upper Nile State, the rainfall deficits forced some farmers to replant their sorghum crops. In the rest of the country, despite excess and deficit amounts compared to average, cumulative rainfall is broadly supporting normal crop development in unimodal rainfall areas. Based on lower access to seeds this season due to high seed costs linked to COVID-19, and ongoing inter-communal conflict and flooding in some areas, the main season harvest is likely to be lower than 2019, though similar to the recent five-year average. Given the prevailing forecast of above-average rainfall in eastern South Sudan, close monitoring of flood incidents remains critical. As of late July, short periods of high-intensity rain have resulted in a seasonal overflow of the Nile River in low-lying, flood-prone areas of Bor, Duk, and Twic East in Jonglei. The floods displaced approximately 1,800 households in Bor South and submerged crops in Duk. The NOAA/NCEP Global Ensemble Forecast System shows a sustained likelihood of heavy rainfall through August 10, 2020, in eastern South Sudan. Although the scale of flooding is lower in 2020 compared to 2019 so far, a consecutive year of flood-induced crop and livestock losses in low-lying areas along the Nile River and Pibor-Akobo-Sobat basin would exacerbate existing food insecurity into the post-harvest period. Additionally, the risk of Rift Valley Fever in July 2020 is high, especially for eastern South Sudan, which would affect both livestock and human health.


Le Parti écologique de Côte d’Ivoire annonce sa participation à la présidentielle d’octobre

Publié le 04.08.2020 à 23h18 par APA

Le parti écologique de Côte d’Ivoire (PECI), une formation politique centriste, a annoncé mardi à Abidjan, sa participation à la présidentielle ivoirienne du 31 octobre prochain. L’information a été donnée par son président, Claude Gohourou, lors d’une conférence de presse. «Cette année 2020, vous allez faire le constat de la marée verte en Côte d’Ivoire sur l’échiquier politique nationale. Cette marée verte sera constituée de tous les défenseurs de l’environnement en Côte d’Ivoire et nous allons prendre nos responsabilités lors de ces élections de 2020. En attendant, je suis candidat à la candidature dans mon parti», a indiqué M. Gohourou  aux journalistes.

Poursuivant, il a ajouté que l’investiture du candidat « des vert» à cette élection est prévue le 18 août prochain. «Aux écologistes et défenseurs de l’environnement en Côte d’Ivoire, rejoignez-nous, venez avec les vert pour qu’en 2020 nous ayons une autre offre politique à proposer aux ivoiriens», a invité M. Gohourou.

Dans la foulée, il a appelé le président ivoirien Alassane Ouattara « à faire quelque chose» pour décrisper l’atmosphère politique dans le pays. 

«  Agissez en mettant le consensus politique au cœur  de tout ce que vous allez faire dans les semaines à venir. Vous avez réalisé de grandes infrastructures, il faut préserver cela et ça passe par la paix sociale», a-t-il dit au numéro un ivoirien.

Plusieurs partis politiques ivoiriens sont en ce moment en campagne pour obtenir le parrainage citoyen (obtenir 1% de l’électoral local dans au moins 17 régions et districts autonomes du pays), l’une des conditions pour être candidat à la  présidentielle ivoirienne du 31 octobre prochain.


Nestlé accompagne la Croix-Rouge dans la lutte contre la Covid-19 en Côte d’Ivoire

Publié le 04.08.2020 à 22h18 par APA

Le groupe agroalimentaire Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire a remis mardi à Abidjan un chèque à la Croix-Rouge de Côte d’Ivoire pour accompagner les actions de cette organisation humanitaire dans sa lutte contre la Covid-19 en Côte d’Ivoire, a constaté APA sur place.Cet appui financier d’un montant de 12,4 millions de FCFA devrait aider la Croix-Rouge dans la construction et la réhabilitation de latrines et de pompes villageoises au bénéfice des communautés vulnérables à la Covid-19 dans plusieurs localités du pays dont Grand-Bassam, Noé et Agboville.

 « L’objectif de ce projet, c’est de faciliter l’accès à l’eau potable en situation d’urgence. Alors que la Côte d’Ivoire fait face à la Covid-19, il est important de mettre à la disposition des communautés vulnérables des dispositifs adéquats», a estimé Thomas Caso, le directeur général de Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire lors d’une cérémonie de remise de chèque.

Poursuivant, il a dit l’engagement de sa société à apporter son assistance aux populations pendant cette pandémie de la Covid-19. «Nous sommes déterminés à nous tenir aux côtés des communautés et des familles vulnérables », a assuré M. Caso.

Pour sa part,  Dah Léonce, le président national de la Croix-Rouge de Côte d’Ivoire a dit la gratitude de son institution à cette multinationale qui lui apporte son appui depuis 2007 pour un montant total d’environ 800 millions FCFA en treize ans.

« Nestlé a tendu sa main à la Croix-Rouge afin qu’elle soit dans sa mission d’alléger la souffrance humaine », a indiqué M. Dah qui dit être « soulagé » par cet appui.

De son côté, Dr Nanan Kouadio, le secrétaire général de la Croix-Rouge de Côte d’Ivoire a rappelé les grands axes du partenariat entre les deux institutions, affirmant à son tour que les appuis de cette multinationale ont permis d’intensifier les actions sur le terrain.


Côte d’Ivoire: l’élection présidentielle va coûter près de 65 milliards Fcfa (officiel)

Publié le 04.08.2020 à 21h18 par APA

L’élection présidentielle du 31 octobre 2020, en Côte d’Ivoire, va coûter près de 65 milliards Fcfa, a indiqué mardi à la Maison de la presse le président de la Commission électorale indépendante (CEI), Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert, face aux journalistes« L’élection coûte chère (…) je crois que l’élection va coûter près de 65 milliards de Fcfa », a dit le président de la CEI, Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert, qui était invité à la tribune du « Press-club » de l’Union nationale des journalistes de Côte d’Ivoire (Unjci).

Il a fait savoir que « la révision de la liste électorale, elle seule, a coûté 13 milliards Fcfa », avant d’annoncer que la période du contentieux se déroulera du 5 au 7 août 2020, invitant les populations à consulter les listings qui seront affichés dans les centres d’enrôlement. 

Concernant l’affaire du retrait, sur la liste électorale, des noms de l’ex-président ivoirien Laurent Gbagbo, de Charles Blé Goudé,  (un proche de M. Gbagbo), et de Guillaume Soro, évoqué ces derniers jours par leurs partisans, M. Coulibaly-Kuibiert a relevé qu’il y a trois raisons majeures de radiation.  

« On vous radie de la liste électorale, soit parce que vous êtes décédé, soit parce vous avez été condamnés, soit parce que vous avez été déchu de vos droits civiques et politiques », a expliqué le président de la CEI. 

Selon l’article 4 du Code électoral, ne sont pas électeurs les individus frappés d’incapacité ou d’indignité notamment, les individus condamnés pour crime, à une peine d’emprisonnement sans sursis pour vol, escroquerie, abus de confiance, détournement de deniers publics.

Cet article énumère également les cas d’attentats aux mœurs,  les faillis non réhabilités, les individus en état de contumace, ainsi que les individus auxquels les tribunaux ont interdit le droit de vote et, plus généralement, ceux pour lesquels les lois ont édicté cette interdiction.   

Ces trois personnalités politiques, notamment M. Laurent Gbagbo, Charles Blé Goudé et Guillaume Soro, ont été frappées de peines d’emprisonnement, à l’issue de jugement à Abidjan. Tous, se trouvent actuellement hors de la Côte d’Ivoire.  

« Si certains référents politiques se retrouvent dans ce cas et qu’ils considèrent qu’ils sont indûment dans ce cas, il leur est loisible à partir du 5 au 7 août de venir saisir les Commissions locales pour demander leur intégration sur la liste électorale », a déclaré M. Coulibaly-Kuibiert.     

A l’occasion de la révision de la liste électorale, « nous avons collecté 1.705.724 personnes envolées », comprenant ceux qui existaient déjà comme les nouveaux majeurs, a dit M. Coulibaly-Kuibiert. En 2018, l’on dénombrait 885.465 personnes. 

Après traitement, poursuivra-t-il, « nous avons finalement obtenu 1.645.693 personnes en 2020 contre 792.461 en 2018 ». Les nouveaux  inscrits sur la liste électorale, eux, sont au nombre de 904.956 pour 2020 contre plus de 276.000 en 2018.   

Le processus électoral est engagé. Depuis le 16 juillet 2020, est ouvert la phase de dépôt des dossiers de candidature comprenant le parrainage, une condition d’éligibilité du candidat à l’élection du président de la République.  

Le parrainage prend fin le 31 août 2020, a souligné le président de la Commission électorale indépendante. Pour le parrainage citoyen, le candidat doit avoir 1% de l’électorat local dans 17 régions du pays.  

« Nous avons décidé de nous engager sur la voie de la paix et dans l’antre de la loi », a assuré le président de la CEI, qui a mentionné que l’élection présidentielle du 31 octobre 2020 ne sera pas reportée et que rien ne justifie son un report.  


Malawi’s top crime buster Mtekama who interrogated former President Mutharika over cement importation scandal has died

Director of CID in Malawi Police Bob Mtekama no more

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—The Head of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Malawi Police Service, Bob Mtekama, has died today Tuesday at Blantyre seventh day Adventist hospital.

National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera has confirmed of the sad news but details surrounding his death remain sketchy at the moment as he declined to divulge more information.

Last week Malawi Fiscal Police led by Mtekama questioned former president of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on his role in the duty free importation of cement worth K5 billion when he was in power.

In the cement scandal, Mutharika’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) was used in importation of bags of cement.

Mutharika is denying the allegations that he was involved in the cement saga, saying some people were doing that without his knowledge.

There are no details on the questioning but two of his close aides – Norman Chisale, Mutharika’s ex-bodyguard and former director of state residences, Peter Mukhito have been arrested and questioned on the matter.

Newly appointed Inspector General (IG) of Police George Kainja appointed Malawi’s effective crime -buster and top-notch law enforcement detective Bob Mtekama to head the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and lead in the fight against crime at the National Police Headquarters in Area 30 after a major shake-up.

Bob Hamisi Stambuli Mtekama widely known for his professional traits was Limbe Police Station officer-in-charge and replaced Stain Chaima who had been moved as director of CID to Salima Police Station as officer-in-charge

Mtekama who was trained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in America and been doing his degree in Criminal Law at the University of Zanzibar, was the only police officer in Malawi trained in forensic science by the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine.

He was expected to spearhead investigations of some high profile cases that stalled during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.

Mtekama was also a fingerprint specialist and only handwriting expert in the Malawi Police.

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