WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 15 January 2021

• The emergency committee met this week and made a series of recommendations about the COVID-19 outbreak. With almost two million deaths, and new variants appearing in multiple countries, the emergency committee emphasized the need for governments to do all they can to curb infections through tried and tested public health measures. • I was pleased that the emergency committee put a major emphasis on rolling out COVID-19 vaccines equitably. I want to see vaccination underway in every country in the next 100 days so that health workers and those…

Read More

Refugee Numbers Soar as CAR Election-Related Violence Intensifies

GENEVA – The U.N. refugee agency is calling for an immediate stop to election-related violence in the Central African Republic that has sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries. Presidential and parliamentary elections in the Central African Republic on December 27 were meant to advance the peace process and unify the country’s warring factions. They have instead had the opposite effect. U.N. refugee agency spokesman Boris Cheshirkov says the situation has evolved for the worse as fighting among various armed groups has escalated, increasing instability in the…

Read More

Al-Shabab Threat Rising in Kenya’s Northeast

NAIROBI – Friday marked two years since al-Shabab terrorists attacked the Dusit D2 hotel in central Nairobi, killing 22 people. The anniversary comes as Kenya’s Mandera, a county bordering Somalia, is seeing increased attacks from the Islamist militants amid fears they are gaining control of the area. The county’s governor, Ali Roba, said Friday he can no longer be silent on the militant group’s activities in his area. “Why do I keep quiet when out of 295 primary schools, 129 are not literally open? How do I keep quiet when…

Read More

UN Slams Ethiopian Government for Blocking Aid to Conflict-Ridden Tigray

GENEVA – U.N. agencies are criticizing Ethiopian authorities for blocking most humanitarian aid from reaching civilians and refugees caught up in the fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray province. In early December, Ethiopian authorities struck a deal with the United Nations to allow unimpeded humanitarian supplies to reach the many people in need in Tigray. Unfortunately, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says most of that agreement has not been honored. OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke says the fighting in Tigray continues unabated and civilians continue to be killed…

Read More

COVID-19 impacts youth voices and hampers participation

COVID-19 has upended the lives of students and teachers, and everyone else. For young people the pandemic has impacted both their studies as well as their participation in society. Due to school closures, students have been unable to come together in physical spaces, massively affecting their communication between themselves as well as with teachers and communities. But the new modes of interaction, principally online, have also spurred innovation and empowered some students to find their voices. At the same time, in the pandemic’s social and education disruption, disadvantaged people are…

Read More

East & Horn of Africa COVID-19 Situation Report – #40, 13 January 2021 Update

EHoA SITUATION OVERVIEW The number of COVID-19 cases in East & Horn of Africa region continues to increase at the start of 2021. Migrants including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), are among some of the vulnerable groups most likely to be impacted by the pandemic. Migrants and IDPs are more likely to be exposed to the conditions and circumstances in which COVID-19 spreads, which includes living in poorer and makeshift conditions, and overcrowded settings. They are more likely to lack of access to medical care and hygiene, and have access to…

Read More

How to Spend It: New EU Funding for African Peace and Security – Africa Report N°297 | 14 January 2021

What’s new? In 2021, the European Union will introduce new ways of financing African peace and security. It will replace the dedicated fund that supported the African Union’s (AU) efforts to prevent and resolve conflict with successor instruments that give the EU more flexibility in choosing who and what to support. Why does it matter? The new instruments will allow the EU to directly finance both a broader range of African-led peace support operations and coalitions and direct training and equipment for national armies. Without careful implementation, however, Brussels could wind up…

Read More

How to Spend It: New EU Funding for African Peace and Security – Africa Report N°297 | 14 January 2021

What’s new? In 2021, the European Union will introduce new ways of financing African peace and security. It will replace the dedicated fund that supported the African Union’s (AU) efforts to prevent and resolve conflict with successor instruments that give the EU more flexibility in choosing who and what to support. Why does it matter? The new instruments will allow the EU to directly finance both a broader range of African-led peace support operations and coalitions and direct training and equipment for national armies. Without careful implementation, however, Brussels could wind up…

Read More