UNHCR West & Central Africa COVID-19 Emergency Response, 10 June 2020

The West and Central Africa region has seen a 22% percent increase in new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last week going from 49,937 contaminations on 02 June to a total of 60,678 on 09 June 2020. Although countries in the region have started to relax restriction on movement to allow for socio-economic activities to restart, strict preventive measures are still being implemented. UNHCR Operations are pursuing their efforts to ensure continuity of assistance and basic protection services despite movement restrictions through remote assistance. Operational Context • Continuous increase of…

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COVID-19 Spread Speeding up in Africa, WHO says

The World Health Organization said the rate of infection of the novel coronavirus is accelerating across Africa. The WHO warned Thursday it took 98 days to reach 100,000 cases on the continent and just 19 days to reach 200,000 cases. South Africa, which has one of the highest coronavirus rates on the continent, is representative of the rapid surge in cases and deaths. Late Thursday, South Africa’s Health Ministry reported 74 more coronavirus deaths, and more than 3,157 new cases over a 24-hour period. The WHO said South Africa is…

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Cameroon Clinic Helps Victims Traumatized by Separatist Conflict

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – The ongoing separatist conflict in Cameroon’s western regions has created a growing humanitarian emergency that has affected close to two million people. Humanitarian experts say those displaced by the fighting need help resettling, but also psychological support. A clinic in Cameroon’s capital provides rare trauma therapy for those affected. Fifty-one-year-old Judith Ndome says rebels in Cameroon’s Southwest invaded her farm in 2018, demanding she give them money. When she refused, they beat her, took her farm and burned it to the ground. The attack left her traumatized…

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UNHCR Launches $186 Million Appeal for Sahel Displacement Crisis

GENEVA – The U.N. refugee agency is appealing for $186 million to protect and assist hundreds of thousands of civilians who have been forced to flee from escalating, increasingly brutal attacks from multiple armed groups in the volatile central Sahel region. The agency reports attacks by Islamist extremists and criminal gangs in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have crippled life in the border towns and areas, and forced people to flee their homes multiple times. The agency reports more than 3 million, including 831,000 refugees, are displaced in the region,…

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African Countries Call for Debate on Racism at the UN Human Rights Council

GENEVA – African countries on Friday called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to organize an urgent debate on racism and police violence, in the context of global mobilization after the death of George Floyd in the United States. In a letter written on behalf of the 54 countries of the African Group, of which he is coordinator for human rights questions, the ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United Nations in Geneva, Dieudonné Désiré Sougouri, asked the body to the U.N. to organize an “urgent debate on the current…

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Amidst COVID-19 challenges, UN ‘remains operational’ across Central Africa

The coronavirus pandemic has compounded increasing economic, social and humanitarian challenges facing States and regional institutions across Central Africa, the regional UN envoy told the Security Council on Friday. Despite the health crisis, Special Representative François Louncény Fall underscored that the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) “remains operational”. Noting that the region had recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 6 March 2020, and that to date, all 11 member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are affected, he maintained that UNOCA continues to…

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UN Agencies Warn COVID-19 Could Plunge Millions of Children into Forced Labor

GENEVA – A joint report by the International Labor Organization and U.N. Children’s Fund warns that millions of children are likely to be pushed into forced labor because of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The two agencies launched a report, titled, “COVID-19 and Child Labor: A Time of Crisis” to mark World Day Against Child Labor, June 12. Authors of the report warn the global pandemic is likely to reverse decades of steady progress made in reducing the number of child laborers. Over the past 20 years, the…

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