Central Statistics Office (CSO) engagement mechanism under spotlight at high-level political forum

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
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With the meeting of the high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development now underway in New York, Africa is galvanising its position and speaking with one voice on the need to mobilizing adequate, predictable and additional financial resources to accelerate the implementation of the sustainable development goals in Africa

To this end, Mr. Oliver Chinganya, Director of the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) African Centre for Statistics, met with Mr. Stephen Chacha, Chair of the Interim Committee of Major Groups, CSOs and other stakeholders’ Regional Engagement Mechanism in the work of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) to explore important steps towards the institutionalisation of the engagement mechanism to ensure that no one is left behind by development on the continent.

Mr. Chinganya is also Officer in Charge of the Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Division of the ECA.

The meeting noted and reiterated the need for and mutual benefits of the mechanism to the ECA and the CSOs.

It was pointed out that a similar mechanism had already been established and is in operation for the ESCAP Region and the Africa mechanism, they agreed, should take lessons from the process of its establishment and operation. The ESCAP region engagement mechanism was already recognized at the level of the HLPF.

The meeting emphasized the need for an open, inclusive and transparent processes towards the institutionalisation of the engagement mechanism. It was therefore agreed that the Interim Committee continue with wide consultations with all stakeholders and come with an agreed and workable road map, including a harmonized and agreed structure of the mechanism building on the lessons and experiences of the ESCAP mechanism.

As such it was important to highlight aspects related to mobilisation of funding for the work of the mechanism.  The interim committee agreed to submit the revised road map by end of July 2019.

When fully institutionalized and operational, the CSO engagement mechanism will among other objectives contribute to filling the gaps in awareness raising, mobilisation, research, data, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and partnership gaps at national and regional levels.

It will also promote alignment and amplification of voices of African grassroots and marginalized communities’ expectations and realities on the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The CSO engagement mechanism will also ensure credibility and ownership of two development agendas; coordinating experiences and knowledge sharing among major groups, civil society organizations and other stakeholders so as to feed into national and regional learning on the two agendas; and reaching out and creating space for representation for all key constituencies and marginalized groups in Africa.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Source: Apo-Opa

UN State Liaison Functions Conduct a Workshop on Manual for Rural Courts, Access to Justice and Human Rights in north Darfur

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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From 7 to 8 July 2019, The Human Rights and Rule of Law components of the UN State Liaison Functions (SLFs) in north Darfur, in partnership with UNDP, conducted a two-day Training of Trainers Workshop for District Court Judges on use of the Manual for Rural Courts, Access to Justice and Human Rights. The training workshop, attended by 25 participants, was aimed at building the capacity of select district court judges to train rural court judges in the use of a guidance Manual for Rural Courts Judges in the mediation and adjudication of cases, in accordance with the laws of Sudan and to include human rights and rule of law principles in the mediation and conflict resolution processes of inter-communal disputes.

In her address at the closing ceremony of the Workshop, Ms. Esther Zana, representing the SLF’s North Darfur Human Rights Office, referred to past engagements between UNAMID, UNDP and local authorities, within the Joint Programme for Rule of Law which supported the Government in strengthening delivery, coherence and in maximizing the impact of United Nations support to the justice system in Darfur. Ms. Esther Zana further highlighted expected outcomes of the workshop as rural court judges who have rights-based approach to justice delivery, making robust rural court decisions including mediation and conflict resolution processes which consider human rights and rule of law principles to settle disputes among the Darfuri communities for peaceful co-existence and sustainable peace. We commend the strong participation of District Court Judges from El Fasher and other localities of North Darfur and their interest in workshop deliberations, which they demonstrated during the sessions,” added Ms Zana.

In his closing remarks, the Honourable Judge Samir Mohammed Said, Chief Judge of the North Darfur District Court described the workshop as instrumental in supporting the most important sector that plays immense role in Darfur, referring to the great role the rural courts judges play in the reconciliation and mediation process in Darfur. “We pledge to provide more related training to rural courts judges all over North Darfur for the benefit of the community in this area which has 75 established rural courts. Each rural court has 12 judges, bringing the total to around 900 Rural Court judges. Soon, we shall be opening ten more rural courts whilst we undertake the rehabilitation of Kabkabiya Rural Court and appreciate UNAMID efforts in this regard,” Judge Said commented.

Some of the topics covered by the facilitators at the Workshop included the Introduction to Human Rights Standards and Principles, Introduction to Rule of Law Principles, the right of access to justice for all with focus on vulnerable groups (IDPs, returnees, women and children, indigent persons/communities), along Introduction to criminal justice processes and the work of justice institutions in Sudan. Lectures on Manual for Rural Courts, focusing on Jurisdiction of rural courts and Procedure in the rural courts, jurisdiction of rural courts, including human rights and justice aspects and Adjudication and mediation and conciliation of cases in rural courts.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Source: Apo-Opa

Combatting pollution and its effects on the health of children in Madagascar

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
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The NGO Pure Earth and UNICEF conducted a sensitization workshop Wednesday on the problem of pollution and its impact on children in Madagascar.

Globally, air pollution alone is responsible for more than 7 million deaths. In Madagascar, it is estimated that more than one in five deaths are caused by exposure to pollution. The workshop was an opportunity to examine the multiple and major health impacts caused by pollution, especially on children.

In a congested city like Antananarivo, the most obvious form of pollution is that created by the city’s cars sitting idling in near-constant traffic jams. While air pollution caused by car exhaust is a real and serious problem, there are other forms of pollution that are even more detrimental to children’s health.

Indoor pollution caused by the use of coal stoves is responsible for a number of respiratory diseases. Bacterial pollution of water, largely caused by widespread open defecation, affects more than 86% of households in Madagascar according to a recent government survey supported by UNICEF. The contaminated water causes diarrhea and parasites in children which also contribute to chronic malnutrition with children unable to absorb sufficient nutrients.

As always, it is the poorest people who are most at risk.

The impact of pollution on children’s health is significant though often hidden. It contributes to respiratory diseases, stunted growth, premature births, malnutrition and diseases such as cancer. It also effects a child’s development by contributing to school absenteeism. More broadly, it contributes to poverty and undermines the development of countries such as Madagascar.

In addition to looking at the impact of pollution on health, the workshop examined the means of curtailing its level and effects. Awareness is key. An urgent first step is to improve the measurement of pollution, in particular of air quality, in order to better identify the sources and the means of countering them.

“The solutions begin with each of us”

Behaviors must also change, such as ending open defecation or making cleaner cooking stoves available. The government must take the lead, reducing industrial water, improving water treatment, phasing out the use of fossil fuels while introducing more sustainable energy sources such as solar. Reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, regulating the most polluting industries, accelerating reforestation and improving the response are also concrete ways of change.

“As we can see, the solutions begin with each of us,” said Drew McCartor, from Pure Earth. The forum on pollution was a first step. Progress will be closely monitored with the government being encouraged to make combatting pollution and its effects a national priority, allowing the children of Madagascar to grow and flourish in a clean and sustainable environment.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Source: Apo-Opa

“Join Africa50 to lay the foundations for a more prosperous Africa,” African Development Bank urges

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
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African governments must explore innovative technologies to drive transformation on the continent, board members at Africa50’s General Shareholders Meeting, held in Kigali heard on Wednesday.

Prime Minister of Rwanda Edouard Ngirente made the call at the opening of the shareholders meeting.

“Let’s explore these digital opportunities to move our continent forward,” the prime minister said.

Africa50 is an innovative fund for developing and financing African infrastructure, funded by the African Development Bank (https://www.AfDB.org/en), African governments and private and institutional investors.

In his opening speech, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, who is Board chair of Africa50, urged more African countries to join the institution, which he described as “the continent’s main investment vehicle.”

“Africa 50 is on track to launch a private sector third party fund to leverage $1 billion from private sector institutional investors. I encourage countries that have not yet joined Africa50 to do so.  Join us as we move towards a future of great promise for Africa. Join us as we lay the foundations for a more prosperous Africa,” Adesina urged.

Chief Executive Officer of Africa 50, Alain Ebobissé, noted that the organization had made significant progress over the years, and built an effective partnership with several African countries.

Africa50’s current membership now stands at 28 African countries and the firm will launch a private sector third party fund that will be used to leverage $1 billion into infrastructure from private sector institutional investors.

“A game changer in the infrastructure space in Africa will occur when enough decision makers acknowledge that the opportunity cost of delayed projects implementation is very high. Doing nothing or slowing down projects costs money and deprives citizens of services and economic opportunity,” Ebobissé said.

Adesina also made an appeal to investors to attend the Bank’s 2019 Africa Investment Forum, stressing that Africa is ready for massive investments – and offers an attractive investment destination. The Forum’s lead partners include: Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), African Export Import Bank (AfreximBank), Trade and Development Bank (TDB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Africa50, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), and European Investment Bank (EIB).

“If you are an investor, do not miss Africa Investment Forum 2019. Africa is ready for massive investments – and the environment is getting more attractive for investors,” Adesina said.

“One such investment is the construction of the bridge that will connect the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, a $550 million transaction being led by Africa50 in partnership with the African Development Bank.”

The recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area has opened possibilities for the world’s largest free trade area and an integrated single market for Africa, the attendees heard.

To enjoy the full benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Adesina said the continent needed to be connected through roads, rail, ports, airports, ICT backbones and energy corridors, “This will be crucial for spurring future economic growth in Africa,” Adesina stressed.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact:
Emeka Anuforo 
Communication and External Relations Department
African Development Bank
email: a.anuforo@afdb.org

Source: Apo-Opa

Statement by the Spokesperson on the situation in the Tajoura detention centre

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

European Commission
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The release of the detainees remaining in the Tajoura detention centre, hit by a deadly attack on 2 July, is a positive step by the Libyan authorities. All refugees and migrants have to be released from detention and provided with all the necessary assistance. In this context, we have supported the creation of the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli and other safe places in order to improve the protection of those in need and to provide humane alternatives to the current detention system.

We will continue to work with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) in the context of the African Union-European Union-United Nations Task Force to support and protect refugees and migrants in Libya. We call on all parties to accelerate humanitarian evacuation and resettlement from Libya to third countries. In particular, we are supporting UNHCR’s work to resettle the most vulnerable refugees with durable solutions outside Libya, with around 4,000 individuals having been evacuated so far. We are also working closely with the IOM and the African Union and its Member States to continue the Assisted Voluntary Returns, thereby adding to the more than 45,000 migrants returned to their countries of origin so far.

The European Union is strongly committed to fighting traffickers and smugglers and to strengthening the capacity of the Libyan Coast Guard to save lives at sea. Equally, we recall the need to put in place mechanisms that guarantee the safety and dignity of those rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard, notably by ending arbitrary detention and allowing the UN agencies to carry out screening and registration and to provide direct emergency assistance and protection. Through our continuous financial support and our joined political advocacy towards the Libyan authorities, the UNHCR and IOM are now able to better monitor the situation in the disembarkation points and have regular access to most of the official detention centres.

Libya's current system of detaining migrants has to end and migration needs to be managed in full compliance with international standards, including when it comes to human rights. The European Union stands ready to help the Libyan authorities to develop solutions to create safe and dignified alternatives to detention in full compliance with the international humanitarian standards and in respect of human rights.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of European Commission.
Source: Apo-Opa

Shoot, print and share selfies on the go with the Canon Zoemini S and Canon Zoemini C instant camera printers

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA)

Canon Middle East (www.Canon-CNA.com) announces the release of two instant camera printers, the Canon Zoemini S and Canon Zoemini C. Building on the success of the original Canon Zoemini which launched in 2018, the new product range of all-in-one instant camera printers are the perfect pocket-sized companions for encouraging creativity with easy to print, peel-and-stick photos on the go.

Amine Djouahra, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager – B2C, Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) commented: “The Canon Zoemini S is ideal for those wanting to capture, print and share their holiday adventures, a spontaneous selfie, photos with friends or an Instagram-worthy plate of food. Consisting of an eight-megapixel camera, front-mounted mirror, ring-light and remote shutter capability, the Canon Zoemini S is easy to use and will ensure its users are ready to take the perfect selfie in an instant.”

The Canon Zoemini S comes in three stylish finishes; rose gold, matte black and pearl white and fits seamlessly into the palm of a hand, pocket or backpack for exceptional portability.

Whether out shopping with friends, celebrating a birthday party or attending a music festival, Canon Zoemini S and Canon Zoemini C users can shoot and print mini photos in a matter of moments on 2×3-Inch (5 x 7.6cm) Zink™ sticky-backed photo paper. Capturing everyday moments has never been easier or more fun with these compact and lightweight gadgets, so friends can share their stories whenever the mood takes them.

The Canon Zoemini S is supported by the free-to-download Canon Mini Print App (iOS/Android), which enables users to print their images directly from a smart device using Bluetooth® as well as edit from an array of creative filters and frames. Users can also remove the challenge of capturing group selfies, simply by using the Canon Mini Print App’s remote shutter and self-timer function, so no one will be out of shot.

In addition to Instagram and Facebook, the Canon Mini Print app enables users connect with Google Photos and Dropbox, so they can print physical copies of treasured memories while out and about.

For those seeking a streamlined version of the Canon Zoemini S, the Canon Zoemini C is available without the Canon Mini Print App compatibility and packs a five-megapixel camera, a selfie supporting reflective mirror and a Micro SD card slot. The Canon Zoemini C is available in four eye-catching colours; bubble gum pink, bumblebee yellow, mint green and seaside blue for instant keepsakes on the go.

Both the Canon Zoemini S and Canon Zoemini C come with 10 sheets of sticky-backed, smudge and tear-proof Zink™ printing paper, making it easy to print and decorate anything from a bedroom wall to a fridge or smart device. Additional paper is available to purchase in packs of 20 or 50.

For more information or to locate your nearest retail outlet, please visit: 

Canon Zoemini S: Key Features

  • Eight-megapixel camera with a Micro SD card slot to capture, print and share from the same device
  • Available in matte black, pearl white and rose gold, this lightweight camera printer is the perfect portable companion and fits easily into a pocket or bag
  • A front-mounted mirror and ring-light ensures selfies are captured spectacularly, while the Canon Mini Print App operates the remote shutter function, simplifying group shots via the self-timer
  • Use Bluetooth® and the Canon Mini Print App to print images from your smart device, with filter and collage options
  • Prints and refills with ink-free Zink™ technology which delivers smudge-proof, tear-proof, water-resistant and sticky-backed photos to print on the move
  • Device comes with 10 sheets of sticky-backed 2×3-inch Zink™ Printing Paper

Canon Zoemini C: Key Features

  • Five-megapixel camera with a Micro SD card slot to capture, print and export photographs
  • A front-mounted mirror enables users to perfect poses and print their ultimate selfies
  • Available in four vibrant colours, the lightweight and portable Zoemini C is the perfect pocket-sized companion
  • Prints and refills with ink-free Zink™ technology which delivers smudge-proof, tear-proof and water-resistant photos on the move
  • Device comes with 10 sheets of sticky-backed 2×3-inch Zink™ Printing Paper, to print, peel and stick

What’s in the box:

  • The Canon Zoemini S/C* (available colours detailed above)
  • One pack of Canon Zink™ Photo Paper (10 sheets of Photo Paper and 1 SMART SHEET™)
  • Micro USB charging cable (USB A to Micro)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Regulation Sheet
  • Wrist strap

About Canon Mini Print App

A mobile device must be connected to the Canon Zoemini Photo Printer via Bluetooth® and the Canon Mini Print App, available for free on the App Store and at Google Play. Compatible with mobile devices running iOS 9.0 or later, and Android devices running Android 4.4 or later.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA).

Media Contact:
Canon Middle East
Jayashri Namdar
Email: Jayashri.Namdar@Canon-Me.Com

About Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA):
Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) (www.Canon-CNA.com) is a division within Canon Middle East FZ LLC (CME), a subsidiary of Canon Europe. The formation of CCNA in 2016 is a strategic step that aims to enhance Canon’s business within the Africa region – by strengthening Canon’s in-country presence and focus.

CCNA also demonstrates Canon’s commitment to operating closer to its customers and meeting their demands in the rapidly evolving African market. Canon has been represented in the Africa continent for more than 15 years through distributors and partners that have successfully built a solid customer base in the region.

CCNA will ensure the provision of high quality, technologically advanced products that meet the requirements of Africa’s rapidly evolving marketplace. With over 100 employees, it will manage sales and marketing activities across 44 countries in Africa.

Canon’s corporate philosophy is Kyosei – ‘living and working together for the common good’.

For more information, log on to: www.Canon-CNA.com

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Leading South African Microfinance Institution Selects Temenos to Deliver Personalized Digital Customer Experiences

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA


Temenos (SIX: TEMN) (www.Temenos.com), the banking software company, today announces that Barko Financial Services selected Temenos software to replace its legacy systems, in both core and front office, to offer a compelling and personalized customer experience. The microfinance institution will use cloud-native, cloud-agnostic Temenos T24 Transact, the next generation in core banking, and Temenos Infinity, the breakthrough digital banking product.

Barko Financial Services is in the process of applying for a banking license with the ambition to launch a retail bank that will challenge the status quo in South Africa by offering financial products aimed at better meeting the needs of lower-income South African consumers – Temenos will provide the technology to enable this strategy.

The microfinance institution has over 170 branches and caters for millions of modest-earning, but salaried South Africans such as government employees, mineworkers and civil servants. Currently, it takes Barko Financial Services 25 minutes to onboard a client and 10 to 15 for a new loan application. With Temenos' packaged, integrated software, Barko Financial Services will dramatically reduce the time to originate loans, targeting re-loan applications to be completed in under two minutes and new loan completion in under seven minutes. The aim is to give customers, who are mostly located in rural areas, a compelling digital experience using mobile devices, thereby eliminating the need to visit a branch.

By selecting Temenos' end-to-end digital banking platform, Barko Financial Services will benefit from accelerated project timelines and drastically reduced cost of deployment. The microfinance institution is expected to go live in six months. Cloud-hosted Temenos Infinity will allow Barko Financial Services to gain product agility and take new products and services to market faster. Temenos T24 Transact will enable the business to benefit from operational efficiencies at a lower cost of ownership.

Temenos has more than 25 years of global banking expertise and a local presence in Africa. Temenos consistently invests over 20% of its revenue into continually enhancing its packaged software, to develop the richest and deepest functionality in the industry.

Kobus de Wet, Chief Executive Officer, Barko Financial Services, said: “We are delighted to be working with Temenos as our strategic technology partner. Temenos has a worldwide reputation for robust, scalable banking software and an extensive presence in the African region. We selected Temenos' packaged and open banking software to transform our customer experience, offer personalized products and services and drastically lower our total cost of ownership. With Temenos, we will be able to launch capabilities faster, if we get approval to establish a bank, and provide innovative products which are simple to use and tailored to add value to our target customers. We wish to offer lower-income customers a personalized experience that is typically reserved for private clients.”

Jean-Paul Mergeai, Managing Director – Middle East and Africa, Temenos, said: “Technology is playing a pivotal role in making financial inclusion a viable option for everyone. We are delighted to partner with Barko Financial Services, which joins the Temenos family, and it can leverage our experience of serving over 220 microfinance institutions as well as our expertise in helping new banks to launch. By selecting our cloud-native, cloud-agnostic packaged software Barko Financial Services will benefit from a fast implementation. Barko Financial Services will be best positioned to leverage technology innovation to offer an outstanding customer experience at a reduced cost. We look forward to working with Barko Financial Services as it transforms the services that it offers to its customers.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Temenos.

Media Contact:
Jessica Wolfe
Temenos Global Public Relations
Tel: +1 610 232 2793
Email : press@temenos.com

Alistair Kellie & Andrew Adie
Newgate Communications on behalf of Temenos
Tel: +44 20 7680 6550
Email: allnewgatetemenos@newgatecomms.com

About Barko Financial Services
Barko Financial Services (https://www.Barko.co.za/) is a leading microfinance institution in South Africa, established in 1996. The group offers an ethical and innovative credit solution to formally employed and financially underserved employees. Barko Financial Services identified its market as being the millions of modest-earning, but salaried South Africans, Government employees, mineworkers and civil servants. Barko Financial Services has grown rapidly in the past years through innovative system enhancements to manage information and collection capabilities, resulting in a faster and more secure experience for the client. Barko Financial Services makes a difference in the social and economic landscape in which the business operates. Barko Financial Services empowers the communities where it has a presence.

About Temenos
Temenos AG (SIX: TEMN) (www.Temenos.com), headquartered in Geneva, is the world’s leader in banking software, partnering with banks and other financial institutions to transform their businesses and stay ahead of a changing marketplace. Over 3,000 firms across the globe, including 41 of the top 50 banks, rely on Temenos to process both the daily transactions and client interactions of more than 500 million banking customers. Temenos offers cloud-native, cloud-agnostic front office and core banking, payments, fund management and wealth management software products enabling banks to deliver consistent, frictionless customer journeys and gain operational excellence. Temenos customers are proven to be more profitable than their peers: over a seven-year period, they enjoyed on average a 31% higher return on assets, a 36% higher return on equity and an 8.6 percentage point lower cost/income ratio than banks running legacy applications. For more information please visit www.Temenos.com.

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‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

UN News

As UN Secretary-General António Guterres arrives in the southern African nation of Mozambique on Thursday for a two-day visit, he will be surveying the damage wrought by the deadly back-to-back cyclones earlier this year. UN News reports from the ground, on some of the extraordinary stories of loss, courage, survival and recovery, that have defined the months since then.

When the winds started blowing across Mozambique on the night of March 14, reaching a maximum speed of 195 kilometers per hour, the tin roof was the first thing to blow away at the home of the Mutizo family.

Inside the tiny coastal house, held together with pieces of plastic, cardboard, and bricks, 62-year Laurinda, her two adult children, Teresa and Ernesto, together with Teresa’s one-year old baby and the two teenagers the family adopted years ago, hugged and huddled together.

In a quick moment, Teresa’s hair salon, adjoining their house, simply flew away, she told UN News.

Moments later, it was Ernesto’s business shop, where the cyclone destroyed the copy machine and computer he had invested in, with the precious savings he had managed to put away, working as a barber.

The family hoped their remaining source of livelihood, the two little machambas where Laurinda grew rice, would survive, but in the morning, they found out that had been destroyed as well.

As the Mutizos realized their livelihoods had vanished, many other families came to the same conclusion. The deadly cyclones had left behind only debris where there had been businesses. According to UN, Cyclone Idai affected 1.85 million people in the provinces of Inhambane, Manica, Tete, Zambézia and Sofala. In the bustling coastal city of Beira in particular, 90% of all the infrastructure was damaged.

Pledging conference falls short

Just six weeks later, as people struggled to recover, a second devastating monster storm – Cyclone Kenneth hit the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula, affecting more than 400,000 people.

Both cyclones were then followed by weeks of torrential rains. At one point, a UN humanitarian worker described the flooded area as “an inland ocean” that was as big as Luxembourg – about 125km by 25km across.

Mr. Guterres will begin his mission on Thursday by meeting President Filipe Nyusi, and receive updated briefings from UN agencies in the field, before visiting some of the affected areas.

Last month, the country hosted a donors’ conference, hoping to raise $3.2 billion to facilitate the reconstruction of the affected areas. International donors pledged only US$ 1.2 billion.

At the time, the UN Secretary-General stated that “this is the moment to translate into concrete gestures our solidarity with a country affected by one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in African history.” For him, the disaster “also warns us about the urgency of tackling climate change.

Resilience, and building back

In Mozambique’s second-largest city, Beira, one of the places Mr. Guterres will visit, is the School 25 de Junho. It’s in the neighbourhood where the Mutizos live, although now they sleep in crowded classrooms and eating meals distributed by UN agencies and partners, until they can patch up their damaged home, and move back.

The principal of this school is Frederico Francisco. The school now hosts about 5,000 children, aged five to around 14. Organized in three shifts, starting at 6am, boys and girls dressed in dark and light blue uniforms, fill classrooms which take up to 90 students. 

“Before the cyclone, our priority was to build some bathrooms. We only have one toilet for boys and one for girls”, Mr. Francisco said this week. “But now the roofs are our main concern.”

The school has five different pavilions. One was completed last year, built by the community. Windows remain broken and the tin roofs have been blown away, with some pieces that got ripped off, which UN News observed was hanging over the students as they learn maths and sciences under the beating sun.

In the middle of the campus, one pavilion survived intact. It opened in February, one month before the cyclone, and was built by UN-Habitat, the urban development agency, with admirable consideration given to concerns for resilience to extreme climate events.

That’s where Ivanilda Samuel, 10 years old, is studying Portuguese, her favorite subject. She wishes her school had a new roof. But she’s also happy she was back in school after only two weeks. She said she was “very scared” during the cyclone and getting back in class, with all her friends, helped her not think of that night.

Back to life

As Ivanilda tried to get back to normal life, so have most Mozambicans. The Mutizos are preparing “bolinhos”, a fried butter pastry, which they sell on the street with other candy. Beira was cleaned up, with the help of more than 40 trucks made available by private companies. In the areas most affected by Idai, the distribution of emergency food is coming to an end, after a period of three months and some extensions. The same is happening at the end of July in the districts hit by Kenneth.

The World Food Programme (WFP) emergency coordinator for Idai, Peter Rodrigues, said the agency has reached about 1.6 million people so far. In the second phase of food distribution, which will last until next crop season, around March 2020, WFP will help “around 600,000 to 700,000 more vulnerable people”, at a cost of US$110 million.

Right now, all the temporary housing is being closed down. In Beira, there are around 46,000 people still living in 15 permanent resettlement camps. In the areas that have been badly affected by the second cyclone, there around 1,300 displaced in camps.

‘Nothing left to go back for’

Hortênsia Arnaldo Abreu Júlio, 26, and her three children are one of the families who are not going home. She lived in Mataquari, a neighborhood in Beira, but her house got completely destroyed. “I have nothing left to go back for”, she told us.

When the cyclone hit, she and her kids, ages 5 to 11, moved to her mother’s place. When that house became unsafe, they took refuge in her brother’s car for a couple of days. She then lived in a temporary shelter at a school and was then moved to one in a community center.

She says she “no longer had a way to find something to feed the children.” At these centers, she could “have something to feed them, at least a little bit of rice, flour, beans, something that we could eat.”

She was then given a permanent place to live in the Mandruzi camp, some 40 minutes north of Beira, along with some 375 other families. They live in tents given by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, International Organization for Migration, IOM, and other partners. Many come from villages that flood constantly and were deemed no longer safe to live in.

Hortênsia’s three children have started having classes again at the camp supported by the UN, but she worries it’s not “a permanent school”, where they’ll get a certificate for their studies and progress in classes. She shows us around, and her tent is perfectly organized, with a division in the middle, and clothes perfectly folded and organized in little piles: there are pots and pans by the entrance closer to the fire, which she lights a few times a day to cook the rice and beans she’s given.

Around the tent, she has been able to cultivate about a dozen different varieties of vegetable, in just a few short weeks. There are beans, sweet potatoes, onions, and she has even started harvesting some greens.

Dreaming of a house again

“A piece of land has always been my dream”, she says. She said she “cried a lot” after the cyclone, when her kids had to sleep with dozens of strangers in crowded rooms. “I prayed for a house and a piece of land. A place where I and my sons could be safe.”

At the camp, she started dreaming about a house again. She’s hoping for materials and then she would build it herself. It was also at the camp that she discovered she has the name of a flower, hydrangeas, and marveled at how pretty they are when shown pictures on a smartphone.

“Maybe one day I’ll plant them in front of my house”, she said. “Can you imagine, after all this, having a house and flowers? People wouldn’t believe it.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN News.

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In BBC interview, Tanzanian foreign minister says journalist Azory Gwanda is dead

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
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The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Tanzanian government to provide a detailed public account of the fate of freelance journalist Azory Gwanda after the country's foreign minister, Palamagamba Kabudi, said in an interview that the journalist is dead.

In an interview with the BBC's “Focus on Africa” program today, Kabudi said that Gwanda had “disappeared and died” in the country's eastern Rufiji region, and said that the government has since “been able to contain that kind of extremism” in the region. Gwanda went missing on November 21, 2017, after investigating mysterious killings and disappearances in his community, and the Tanzanian government has never delivered a promised investigation into his case, according to CPJ research.

“For a year and a half, Azory Gwanda's family and the Tanzanian media have pleaded with the government to explain what happened to their loved one and colleague,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney from New York. “Then suddenly the foreign minister mentions, almost in passing, that the journalist is apparently dead. This is wholly inadequate and distressing. The government must immediately share publicly all information it has about Gwanda's fate.”

Kabudi told the BBC that the Tanzanian government is not “proud” of the disappearances and killings in Rufiji, which he said also took the lives of police officers and ruling party officials, and said that the government was taking measures to make sure that citizens and journalists are safe. However, CPJ research shows that impunity in journalists' deaths or disappearances contributes to an environment that fosters violence against journalists.

CPJ's phone calls today to Kabudi and Tanzanian government spokesperson Hassan Abbassi went unanswered.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Source: Apo-Opa

UNSMIL congratulates the newly elected Members of the Supreme Judicial Council in Libya

11.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)
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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) congratulates the Supreme Judicial Council on the successful election of its members across Libya. These transparent elections are an example of democracy and peaceful transfer of power in Libya.  They reflect the independence and professionalism of the judiciary, which is a key institution enhancing the rule of law and human rights in Libya.  They also serve as a source of hope for the Libyan people during this time of conflict.

The mission highly values the existing partnership with the judiciary and looks forward for further cooperation with the new council towards upholding the principles of human rights and rule of law in Libya.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
Source: Apo-Opa