African Development Fund approves COVID-19 Response grants for six Southern African countries and São Tomé & Príncipe

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund on Tuesday approved nearly $8.9 million in grant funding to bolster COVID-19-related control measures in six Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Separately, the Board approved $683,000 in grants to São Tomé & Príncipe, to support the two-island nation’s response to the pandemic and its impacts. The grant funding comes under the Bank’s COVID-19 Response Facility. The funds will facilitate the procurement of laboratory and medical supplies, including testing kits, personal protective gear and non-invasive ventilators in Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique,…

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Stranded for Three Months, 338 Malians Come Home Via Humanitarian Corridor

Bamako — On Tuesday (23/06), 159 Malians returned home on a charter flight thanks to a humanitarian corridor opened by the governments of Niger and Mali. The cohort had been waiting in transit centres in Niamey, Niger’s capital, since March owing to the border closures decreed by governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is this month’s second charter organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through European Union funding this month. On 4 June, 179 Malians returned. As COVID-19 shattered the hopes for an imminent return of…

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Domestic violence during COVID-19: are we asking the right questions?

By Elizabeth Dartnall, Anik Gevers, SVRI; Chandré and Angelica Pino The number of domestic violence cases reported to the South African police between March and April dropped by 69.4%. This figure makes it tempting to believe that in South Africa, unlike many other countries, lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic reduced family and domestic violence. However police statistics, call numbers to hotlines and counts of women accessing services during lockdown tell us little about the number of women and families actually experiencing violence at the hands of men. Many…

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Gender-responsive leadership is central to end polio

Dr Fiona Braka, Immunization Team Lead for WHO Nigeria, speaks about fighting polio outbreaks and toppling gender barriers. Dr Fiona Braka holds one of the highest-stake roles in the African regional polio programme — supporting the Government of Nigeria in their fight to defeat wild poliovirus. She is the first woman to hold her position in Nigeria, and before that was the first female polio team lead in Ethiopia. Fighting the last wild virus in Africa Dr Braka’s work involves leading the country team to strengthen routine immunization and maintain…

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Health & Nutrition Technical Brief: Channels of Hope (CoH) for Health and Nutrition

In Our Promise, Channels of Hope (CoH) is an enabling core project model, meaning that when implemented alongside other interventions, it can help achieve diverse outcomes across several child well-being objectives. CoH addresses deeply entrenched, long-lasting beliefs, convictions and culture that may contribute to harmful attitudes, norms, values and practices that hinder child and community development outcomes. Though laws may be in place to bar such harmful practices, laws do not change attitudes or socio-religious beliefs. However, faith leaders have considerable influence over culture and the behaviours encouraged or prohibited…

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Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: EU mobilises almost €100 million to support the most vulnerable in the Horn of Africa

The European Union is mobilising €97.2 million of additional funding for programmes in the Horn of Africa to support the creation of job opportunities, public finance management, and access to education for vulnerable groups, in particular refugees and displaced persons, under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has been key for addressing the needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in Africa, including women and youth. It has already supported nearly 190,000 beneficiaries…

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Children’s work in African agriculture: Time for a rethink

This article outlines a tension that plays itself out in rural areas throughout Africa. On the one hand, it is recognized that children throughout the world engage in economic activity, and this is particularly so in rural areas. On the other hand, is the policy, corporate and NGO focus on the elimination of child labour from the production of a small number of African export commodities. We argue that a key to resolving this tension and opening the door to more effective interventions to address children’s harmful work is to…

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