Nigeria Hit by Deadly Cholera Surge Focused on North

KANO, NIGERIA – Nigeria has been hit by a surge in cholera cases in recent weeks, focused on the country’s north and adding to a public health crisis accompanied by a rise in COVID-19 cases. “In the last two weeks we had new and resurgence cases,” Dr. Bashir Lawan Muhammad, the state epidemiologist and deputy director of public health for northern economic hub Kano State, told Reuters. He said the rainy season was making it worse, while insecurity in the north, where the authorities have been battling Islamist militants and…

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US Official Says Getting Vaccines to Africans is ‘Top Priority’

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is in the process of delivering 25 million vaccine doses to African countries in a massive effort to help African nations beat the COVID-19 pandemic. VOA’s Hayde Adams, the host of “Straight Talk Africa,” spoke with Akunna Cook, the U.S. deputy assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, about how the effort is going. The interview was edited for brevity and clarity. VOA: These are difficult times all over the world In Africa, only about 1% of the continent’s population is fully vaccinated. Please tell…

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US Military Targets Al-Shabab in Somalia With More Airstrikes

The United States military has confirmed that it carried out another airstrike against al-Shabab militants, its third in less than two weeks. Sunday’s strike was in support of Somali government forces in the vicinity of Qeycad, in the central Galmudug state, according to the U.S. military. The Somali government earlier reported the strike was in an area where federal and U.S.-trained forces were fighting the militants. There was no word on whether militants were injured or killed. “This is another major blow to al-Shabab’s means to wage war against the…

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More Than 700 Saved From Mediterranean This Weekend, Aid Group Says

MARSEILLE, FRANCE – Rescue ships picked up more than 700 people trying to cross the Mediterranean in makeshift vessels this weekend, mainly off the coasts of Libya and Malta, a migrant aid group said Sunday. The latest figures came as United Nations migration officials repeated their calls for a fairer mechanism to share the responsibility of caring for them, rather than leaving it to the Mediterranean countries. SOS Mediterranee said that its vessel, the Ocean Viking, had carried out six operations in international waters since Saturday. In the last intervention,…

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Around 90% of Tigray’s People Depend on International Aid for Survival

GENEVA – A United Nations overview of conditions in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray province after more than nine-months of civil strife finds a society of staggering devastation, of ruined lives and livelihoods. Thousands of people have been killed and two million internally displaced since Ethiopian troops invaded Tigray on November 4 to retake the province from rebel forces. The United Nations reports millions of people are suffering from acute hunger, with some 400,000 on the verge of famine. Malnutrition is soaring, putting thousands of children’s lives at risk Spokesman for the…

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International Aid Cuts Could Affect Millions Across Africa

KAYA, BURKINA FASO – The COVID-19 pandemic has led to cuts in foreign aid from donor nations such as Britain, which this month slashed its aid budget by $5.5 billion. The funding loss is being felt in Burkina Faso, where it could shut down a group that helps thousands of survivors of gender-based violence and rape. Britain has cut its annual aid budget, and so have other countries, such as Australia, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The largest international nonprofits say the shockwaves of the cuts will be felt by people…

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UNICEF: 100,000 Children in Tigray Suffering Life-threatening Malnutrition

GENEVA – The U.N. Children’s Fund warns an estimated 100,000 children in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray province are at risk of life-threatening severe acute malnutrition over the next 12 months. This is a tenfold increase over the annual average caseload in this war-torn region. A UNICEF official who has just returned from Tigray says her agency’s worst fears about the health and wellbeing of children in this war-torn region have been confirmed. Marixie Mercado says the malnutrition crisis has worsened because of extensive systematic damage to the food, water, health care,…

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Millions in 23 Hunger Hot Spots Face Famine, Death, UN Agencies Say

GENEVA – The United Nations warns global hunger is increasing and urgent action is needed to stave off famine and death over coming months in nearly two dozen unstable, violence-prone countries. A report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program said more than a half-million people are experiencing catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity and 41 million are at risk of famine. The report from the WFP and FAO focuses on the particularly serious situation in 23 so-called hunger hot spots. Most of those countries…

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