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Latest News May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

news From All Africa

  • Historical ecumenical prayer in Egypt for peace and unity

    Church leaders, led by Pope Tawadros II and Pope Francis, were gathered to pray for the people of Egypt, for unity, for peace and justice in St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, the chapel next to Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral that was bombed in December 2016, now restored.

    Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros entered in a short procession to the church where 29 people died and 47 were wounded on 11 December 2016. The World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit took also part in the procession together with church leaders from Egypt and from other parts of the world.

    Inside the small church, each of the eight Christian leaders seated before the congregation, with Pope Francis; Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople; Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa; Patriarch Ibrahim of the Coptic Catholic Church of Alexandria; Anglican Archbishop Mouneer Anis, Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East; Patriarch Gregory III Laham, of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem; and Rev. Dr Andrea Zaki, president of the Protestant Community of Egypt, and director of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services.

    Each of the church leaders read a verse each from the beatitudes in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II then said a few words in prayer, and everyone shared a sign of peace.

    Pope Francis prayed, “Lord Jesus, I ask you to bless us, to bless my brother Pope Tawadros II, to bless all my brother bishops who are here, to bless all my Christian brothers and to take us on the path of charity and to work together toward the table of the Eucharist. Amen.”

    With music and placing flowers, praying and lighting a candle at the site where so many of Coptic Orthodox Christians were killed by a suicide bomber last year, Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II paid homage to those who were killed for their faith. The ecumenical group prayed together in front of the photographs of the victims, and Pope Francis placed a bouquet of white and yellow flowers at the memorial wall in their honor.

    Tveit commented, “Praying together in the bombed and now restored St Peter’s and St Paul’s church in Cairo, with the marks of the bomb still very visible on the columns, and the images of the martyrs on the wall, we were deeply moved. We felt the tragic loss, the fear, and the hope of the Christians in Egypt.”

    “To pray together is a significant sign of being together. In prayer we are gathered by God’s grace, sharing the deepest concerns with one another in the prayer of the Church. “

    “The ecumenical prayer is a prayer with one another and for one another. It shows sympathy and togetherness as we struggle for justice and peace in the world, as we constantly pray ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.’”

    Just before the ecumenical prayer, in a historic and significant move toward greater Christian unity, Pope Tawadros II and Pope Francis signed a common declaration over the sacrament of baptism.

    The majority of the 82.5 million Egyptians are Sunni Muslims. Between 12-15 percent of the Egyptian population are Christians, most of them Coptic Orthodox, but there are Catholics, Protestants and other various Christian communities in the country as well.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of World Council of Churches (WCC).

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  • Angola: UNHCR airlifts aid to newly-arrived refugees from the DRC

    A plane carrying UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, core relief items arrived in Luanda, Angola, to assist over 11,000 people who fled a recent surge violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    The aircraft, supported by UPS, landed Sunday morning from Dubai, carrying 3,500 plastic sheets as well as 100 plastic rolls to provide shelter during the rainy season, 17,000 sleeping mats, 16,902 thermal fleece blankets, 8,000 mosquito nets, 3,640 kitchen sets, 8,000 jerry cans and 4,000 plastic buckets. UNHCR will be airlifting more relief items to Angola in coming days. 

    The brutal conflict in DRC’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016. 

    Humanitarian assistance to the most recent arrivals will be distributed in Dundo area where refugees have been accommodated in makeshift reception centres since early April. Refugees, including some 4,000 children, are arriving exhausted, many with visible signs of violence, and bringing very little resources with them. Conditions in over-crowded centres are extremely poor. 

    “Arrivals are in urgent need of life-saving assistance including food, water, shelter and medical services” says Ms. Sharon Cooper, UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Africa. “UNHCR is also procuring food locally to support the most vulnerable persons including children, pregnant women and elderly.”

    A UNHCR emergency team is present both in Luanda and Dundo to respond to the needs of the refugees as well as to coordinate the relief response with the Government, local authorities and partners on the ground. 

    The government is planning to allocate a new site in Nzaji, Camulo municipality some 90 kilometers from the border. The site was previously used to host internally displaced persons during the civil war in Angola. Preparations are underway to assess the site with a view to eventually provide shelter as well as to set up latrines, showers and water points to relocate the asylum-seekers. 

    The border is managed by the Angolan Army. The UN Refugee Agency has requested the Government to allow refugees to continue crossing the border, provide unhindered access to UNHCR to assist new arrivals, as well as not to return people fleeing the violence to the DRC. 

    Angola is currently hosting some 56,700 refugees and asylum-seekers, of whom close to 25,000 are from the DRC. 

    UNHCR Angola had an initial annual budget of USD 2.5 million to protect and assist some 46,000 people of concern. In response to the current emergency, UNHCR is appealing for a total of USD 5.5 million to provide immediate lifesaving assistance. 

    UPS is one of UNHCR's key global emergency partners. Every year, the UPS Foundation contributes logistical expertise, funds and services to support and enhance our emergency response to provide life-saving aid to families forced to flee. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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  • Multi-pronged approach key for effectively defeating Fall armyworm in Africa
    Tackling the menace of the tenacious Fall armyworm pest and avoiding economic hardship for smallholders across Africa requires quick and coordinated action, a massive awareness campaign, scientific innovation and multi-institutional collaboration, indicated scientists attending a the Stakeholders Consultation Meeting on the Fall Armyworm in Nairobi this week. 
    The Fall armyworm, a recent interloper in Africa widely prevalent in the Americas attacks more than 80 different plant species, including maize, a major food staple in sub-Saharan Africa on which more than 200 million people depend. 
    “The truly frightening risk of the Fall armyworm to food security in Africa must be recognized and tackled with a holistic integrated pest management program,” said B.M. Prasanna, Director of the Global Maize Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize. “We cannot eliminate the pest from Africa – now that it is
    here, it will stay, but we can provide support to farmers and provide options to manage their crops against the Fall armyworm.” 
    The female Fall armyworm can lay up to 1 000 eggs at a time and can produce multiple generations very quickly without pause in tropical environments. 
    A conservative estimate indicates the loss of Africa’s maize due to the Fall armyworm could cost the continent $3 billion in the coming year, according to Dr Roger Day, sanitary and phytosanitary coordinator at the Center for Agricultural and Biosciences International (CABI). 
    The Fall armyworm has been reported in all countries in southern Africa except Lesotho and the island states; plus most countries in eastern Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Burundi. It has also been reported in several countries in West and Central Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo and the island nation of Sao Tome Principe. 
    It is not yet clear how the pest got to the African continent or how it will adapt. In North America, cold winter temperatures halt its proliferation. This could explain why it has not been reported in Lesotho, which experiences colder winters than other mainland countries in Southern Africa. “We just don’t know how far this could go,” said Joe DeVries, vice president, program development and innovation at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). “Fall Armyworm is a very recently-introduced pest in Africa and even the experts are unsure what its long-term impact will be. We agreed on the urgency of enabling national plant protection groups to work with farmers in controlling the level of damage on their farms. Longer-term, though, only a truly collaborative effort between international and national agencies can provide a solution.” 
    Integrated Management 
    Among options explored by various governments is to provide emergency pesticides to smallholder farmers. However, this costly option can deliver only mixed success due to plant resistance to the chemicals used as well as poor application by farmers. 
    “The first step to an effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy is to survey and monitor pest movements, assess yield loss levels and to compile data using remote sensing equipment and at the field level,” said Gabriel Rugalema, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Representative in Kenya.  
    “Accumulated data can contribute to establishing uniform cross-continent government standards for identifying and fighting the pest”, he added. 
    “We need to act fast, failure is not an option,” Rugalema said, adding that adequate funding and taking a regional approach to controlling the Fall armyworm are vital.  
    Future Challenge 
    Scientists believe that the Fall armyworm may have spread and proliferated on the continent due to warmer global temperatures over the past few years. They suspect the pests may have travelled from the Americas in warm ocean jet streams or arrived by some other form of transportation.   
    Scientists fear the Fall armyworm could continue to multiply and become endemic across the continent. Professor Kenneth Wilson at Britain’s Lancaster University, who has extensive experience working on the African Armyworm, predicts the pest could potentially spread into the Middle East and eventually to Europe. 
    The moth has been known to fly distances of up to 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) in 30 hours, according to experts.  
    Learning from Brazil 
    Scientists noted that Brazil, a tropical country that has also battled the Fall armyworm could be a useful benchmark for understanding how to manage the pest in Africa, which typically does not have the natural control measure of freezing temperatures.  
    “We need to develop and deploy in a fast-track manner, improved drought tolerant, disease resistant hybrids adapted to Africa that are also resistant to the Fall armyworm,” Prasanna said. “This is possible in the medium-term of five to six years, while other effective integrated pest management options are scaled-up and delivered to the farming communities.”  
    Build Resilience 
    Despite the challenges, we are continuing to build resilience, increase agricultural productivity and regional coordination on agriculture, said Candace Buzzard, Deputy Mission Director at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kenya and East Africa. 
    “Resilience is the ability of communities, countries and systems to respond to shocks,” she said. Hopefully by building more resilience within all these systems, which includes early 
    warning, we can reduce the effects of these shocks and be more prepared for them.” 
    Some ideas for building resilience and combatting the Fall armyworm: 
    • Combination of cultural, biological and bio pesticide control
    • Develop host plant resistance (conventional and transgenic)
    • Low-cost chemicals, protective clothing, spraying equipment
    • Heat, drought, pest resistant hybrid crops  
    • Heat, drought, pest resistant genetically modified crops where  
    • Identification of predatory insects
    • Pheromone traps to lure moths to target and destroy eggs and larvae  
    • Use of bio pesticides for natural distribution by birds or other animals
    • Tool allowing farmer  to pluck pest larvae  out of plants
    • Build a strong communications network about the pest 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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  • MONUSCO statement following the signing of the Special Arrangements for the implementation of the 31 December Agreement on 27 April under the auspices of the Congolese Parliament
    The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Head of MONUSCO, Maman Sidikou, takes note of the latest political developments in the DRC and urges all Congolese stakeholders to work towards the swift and full implementation of the 31 December Agreement. He further notes that several but not all the signatories of the New Year's Eve Agreement signed the Special Arrangements. 
    The Special Representative reaffirms the provisions of UNSCR 2348 and urges all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to achieve greater inclusiveness in accordance with the letter and spirit of the 31 December Agreement.
    Maman Sidikou reiterates his readiness to support this process through his good offices, enshrined in resolution 2348, and in close consultation with leaders of the sub-region and the African Union, to enable Congolese stakeholders to focus, without further delay, on the organization of elections by the end of 2017, and thereby live up to their commitments under the 31 December Agreement.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO).

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  • ECA urges IPCC findings to support Africa’s quest for structural transformation

    The Economic Commission for Africa’s Director for the Special Initiatives Division(SID), Fatima Denton, says recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in their Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), should support African countries in their developmental trajectories.

    Addressing the IPCC’s Expert Meeting on Mitigation, Sustainability and Climate Stabilization Scenarios that ended today in Addis Ababa, Ms. Denton said it was also important for the panel to find ways of threading sustainable development and climate action, particularly mitigation, in the same needle to leverage climate action.

    “Many of our countries in Africa are striving towards achieving the sustainable goals and climate change is one of the greatest threat to achieving sustainable development,” the SID Director told the experts meeting ahead of IPCC’S scoping meeting that begins in Addis Ababa from 1–5 May 2017 to draft the outline of the Sixth Assessment Report.

    The meeting is bringing together 200 experts from some 60 countries.

    Ms. Denton said IPCC’s deliberations should also address the development challenges facing the majority of its 195 member states.

    “The challenges of achieving sustainable development will increase as the magnitude of climate change increases. For instance, effects of climate change on key ecological resources and systems can jeopardize sustainable development in systems closely dependent on natural capital,” she said.

    Ms. Denton said it was also important that IPCC recommendations support the planning imperative in developing countries, adding greening African cities is an opportunity to leapfrog the industrialization process.

    “Governments want to know how to arrive at sustainable cities, especially knowing that cities are generating 70 percent of carbon emissions,” said Ms. Denton.

    “I trust that your findings will find both relevance and a receptive audience in countries struggling with problems related to energy poverty and under-consumption yet want to genuinely make climate change action a priority but do not want to do so at the expense of their development priorities.”

    The IPCC’s AR6 is due to be completed in the first half of 2022. The scoping meeting in Addis Ababa will draft the outline and indicative coverage of the contents of the three Working Group contributions to the report, which will be released in 2021, for consideration by the IPCC when it next meets in September.

    A further scoping meeting is planned for November 2018 to draft the outline of the Synthesis Report, which will integrate the three Working Group contributions and the three Special Reports that are being prepared in this assessment cycle.

    “With this meeting we are taking a decisive step to advance the work plan of the IPCC. During the AR6 cycle we will see one or more policy-relevant reports released almost every year from 2018 until 2022.” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.

    AR6 will assess scientific findings that have been published since IPCC’s last comprehensive report, the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which was completed in 2014. AR5 provided crucial input into the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in December 2015. The AR5 report findings pointed to the fact that the world has the means to limit global warming and build a more prosperous and sustainable future, but pathways to limit warming to 2ºC relative to pre-industrial levels would require substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades.

    Prior to the scoping meeting, IPCC Bureau members and authors will present the findings and activities of the Panel in workshops for policymakers, academia, media and students as part of a two-day outreach event this weekend (29–30 April) which was organized by the ECA’s African Climate Policy Centre.

    The IPCC’s Working Group One deals with “The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change”, Working Group 2 with “Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” and Working Group 3 deals with “Mitigation of Climate Change”.

    IPCC is a UN body that assesses science related to climate change to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as recommend adaptation and mitigation strategies.

    Its assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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  • Statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General on Western Sahara

    Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General:

    We welcome the withdrawal of all Frente Polisario elements from the Guerguerat area, between the berm and the border with Mauritania, as confirmed by MINURSO observers on 27-28 April. Together with the earlier withdrawal of Moroccan elements from the area, in response to the urging of the Secretary-General, this action should improve the prospects of creating an environment that will facilitate early implementation of the Secretary-General’s determination to relaunch the  negotiating process with a new dynamic and a new spirit that reflect the Security Council’s guidance and resolutions, with the aim of reaching a “mutually acceptable political solution which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara”.

    We continue to call on the parties to adhere to their obligations under the ceasefire agreement and to respect both its letter and spirit, and to cooperate fully with MINURSO. The need to ensure that tensions do not erupt anew in the Guerguerat area remains vital. To this end, MINURSO intends to maintain the position it has held in the Buffer Strip since August 2016 and further discuss the Mission’s future monitoring of the area and the full range of issues related to the Buffer Strip with the parties.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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  • Awerial County South Team Wins “Wrestling for Peace” Competition in Mingkaman’s New Community Stadium

    On Thursday 27 April 2017, Awerial County South and Awerial County North wrestling teams participated in a tournament organized by Solidarity Ministries Africa for Reconciliation & Development (SMARD) with the support of UNDP’s Peace and Community Cohesion project (PaCC) in the new community stadium constructed in Mingkaman.

    The construction of this new facility is part of a project developed by PaCC, in partnership with SMARD (Solidarity Ministries Africa for Reconciliation and Development), to bring communities together to promote peaceful coexistence and interdependencies.

    “Activities in support of peace are an important part of the development work that UNDP is doing. The Community Security and Arms Control project is there to support local peace and reconciliation initiatives. We provide support to communities so that they can identify and address conflict drivers […] and connectors, things that bring them together, and to create safe spaces in which communities can interact. The wrestling ground is one of those safe spaces that has been created and the wrestling itself is one of the activities the local communities identified as a unifier. We believe wrestling and sports, in general, are very effective tools when it comes to peacebuilding. It brings communities together. It helps them to set differences aside and to work for a common goal,” said Julia Tope Odumuyiwa, a Peacebuilding Specialist with UNDP’s Peace and Community Cohesion project

    “Wrestling is a very popular sport among the people of Greater Yirol […] and gives the opportunity of bringing diverse people together. When people come together, they socialize more, their social relationships are cemented and this can lead to social cohesion at the community level. We are using wrestling to reach out to different members of the community, particularly young people working in the cattle camps, because they are the ones mobilized to take part in community violence. Instead, wrestling gives us the opportunity to talk about peace with them,” said Bernice Kitum, Program Coordinator with SMARD.

    More than 4,000 spectators attended the tournament, which consisted of 15 intense matches. Awerial County South won the competition, winning eight of the match-ups. Awerial County North won one match, and there were six draws.

    “I like that my fans can enjoy my moves and my skills, I like people coming to see me. I am happy to come here but we always look forward to hosting other communities to come and wrestle with us,” said one of the wrestlers from Awerial South.

    Youth participated in the competition as wrestlers and as coordinators of the event as part of the wrestling committee, peace committee and youth union of Awerial County, and were collectively responsible for making this event a reality. Their collaboration serves as examples of how the communities can work together for peace. The competition was held without major incidents in a collaborative environment and spectators showed appreciation for the competition and the facilities.

    “The play was good, even though Awerial North lost, one day [the team] will compete again and they will win. We are so grateful that the fence is now built around the stadium, now people are controlled and they cannot make chaos,” said a child who watched the matches.

    “Thanks to this wrestling competition I now have new friends. We can meet with them and next time they will come to Awerial South, so we are happy to see that we have made many friends here. Today Awerial South won, but in the future, Awerial North will win also so won’t be any problem and they will be happy as well,” expressed another spectator.

    UNDP will continue to support peacebuilding activities like this wrestling for peace competition, with a look towards building the nation’s vision of a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous South Sudan.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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  • South Africa and Zimbabwe hold a trade and investment seminar at the (ZITF)

    A close relationship between South Africa and Zimbabwe has laid a solid foundation towards advancing industrialisation and regional integration between the two countries and in the region. This was said by the Director of Export Marketing and Promotions at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Ms Seema Sardha during the Trade and Investment Seminar that was held on the margins of the 58th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF)

    Sardha said that even though trade between South Africa and Zimbabwe has been growing, we need to be cognisant of the realities and the slow paced growth in trade between the two countries.

    “To this end, we welcome the bilateral mechanisms instituted in steering our relationship including the Joint Commission for Cooperation and the Joint Technical Committee. In addition to these, during the State visit by President Mugabe to South Africa in 2015, the two sides agreed to elevating the engagements to that of a Binational Commission (BNC). This trade and investment seminar hence serves to demonstrate that South Africa is delivering on its commitments made during the BNC,” said Sardha.

    She encouraged businesspeople to utilise their inherent strengths to ensure that the two countries’ competitive and comparative advantages were realised.

    “In addition to this it is imperative that we take full advantage of amongst others our geographic juxtaposition, skilled and abundant resources, technological know-how and vast natural resources in changing the rhetoric as it relates to our poor trading relationship. In this regard, I believe we have the key role players here with us today and task you with giving meaning to changing the story line that has unfortunately negatively labelled us since time immemorial,” said Sardha.

    Speaking about the Zimbabwe Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (IEE) Policy, the Permanent Secretary in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Dr Desire Sibanda said that the policy was specifically designed for the mining sector by ensuring that indigenous Zimbabweans also achieve ownership and benefit from the exploitation and utilisation of the country’s natural resources, and not to discourage investment into the country as is currently perceived.

    “The general spirit was the recognition that even though political independence had been achieved, economic independence had not been fully attained. The rest of the economic sectors such as the textiles sector and Information and Communication Technology to mention a few, are permitted 100% ownership of their investment,” he said.

    Dr Sibanda further clarified that the IEE Policy was conceptualised following the recognition of the need for creating a business environment of equal opportunities for all as a regardless of race.

    The aimed of the Trade and Investment Seminar was to create a platform that will afford business representatives from South Africa and Zimbabwe the opportunity to further cement the close historical, economic and political ties that have bound the two economies since the times of South Africa’s liberation struggle.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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  • Senior UN Official warns of destabilizing consequences in increasingly overlooked crisis in Mali

    Following a three-day mission to Mali last week, the Director of Operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, today drew attention to the complex emergency in Mali and the deteriorating humanitarian situation as a direct result of the conflict.

    Humanitarian and development needs are escalating across the country, with the greatest vulnerability in the conflict and violence-affected areas of northern, and now increasingly, central Mali. The conflict has created a humanitarian crisis caused by increasing violence. People are cut off from access to basic services, including water, health and education, prompting an intensification of needs.

    Since February more than 10,000 people have been displaced, reflecting the deteriorating security in central Mali. Radical groups threaten teachers and communities, and as a result 507 schools have closed across central and northern Mali, leaving 150,000 children out of school; this is 70 per cent more schools closed than at the same period in 2016.

    “Nearly two years after the signing of a peace agreement, Mali is again at a critical turning point with devastating implications for its people and the region,” said Mr. Ging. “As an international community, we must intensify our engagement.” This year, nearly one in five Malians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 3.8 million people are expected to be food insecure in the coming lean season as violence reduces access to land. Malnutrition rates are on the rise due to decreased access to food and the country now exceeds the alert threshold for global acute malnutrition.

    Mr. Ging, accompanied by several key donors, visited Mopti in Central Mali. There the delegation met with the Governor, and visited a nutrition unit for acutely malnourished children, a primary school, and a community health center. During the visit the delegation observed first-hand how isolated life has become for people in the center of the country. “The most alarming thing is the plight of Malian women,” said Mr. Ging. “Nine in ten women between the ages of 15-49 have been subjected to the horror of female genital mutilation. We must do much more to protect innocent girls from this brutality.”

    “The resilience of the communities themselves is remarkable,” Mr. Ging remarked. “In Mopti, we visited a school that was built and paid for, half by the local community, and half by the international community, for 300 children. This is a true partnership but the international community must continue to fulfil its part.”

    In meetings with officials, including Prime Minister Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga, Mr. Ging emphasized that a comprehensive response is required to tackle Mali’s growing challenges, not just a security response. Mr. Ging encouraged authorities to engage more closely with affected communities and work to re-establish basic services.

    Mr. Ging called on the international community for an urgent increase in funding to humanitarian action, noting that the steady decline in funding to support vulnerable communities is costing lives and immeasurable needless humanitarian suffering. The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017 for $293 million is only 11.6% funded.

    “We must raise the visibility on Mali’s complex emergency at this critical juncture. The focus and support for the security sector alone will not solve Mali’s crisis. The key is to support and empower the people of Mali. We must meet the immediate humanitarian needs, strengthen resilience, empower Mali’s women, invest in children’s education, and reopen schools before this generation is lost to the conflict.”

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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