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Through its unique capacities as the world’s premiere vehicle for international cooperation, the UN system plays a crucial role in coordinating assistance of all kinds — to help Africa help itself. From promoting the development of democratic institutions, to establishing peace between warring nations, the UN is present on the ground supporting economic and social development and the promotion and protection of human rights.

To advance its support for Africa even further, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa was established in 2003 to enhance international support for African development and security and to improve coordination of UN system support. It also works to facilitate global deliberations on Africa, particularly with respect to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) — a strategic framework adopted by African leaders in 2001. In 2019, NEPAD’s mandate was reformed. It is now serving as the first development agency of the African Union.

South Sudan ‘determined to never go back to war’

South Sudan is “ready to turn a new page” towards greater peace, development and prosperity, Vice-President Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior said in her speech in the UN General Assembly on Friday.  A decade after gaining independence from Sudan, the country remains “on a path of nation-building” and is working to implement a 2018 revitalized peace deal which led to the formation of a unity

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Deadly ‘invisible shipwrecks’ plague migrants bound for Canary Islands

A sharp increase in the deaths and disappearances of migrants at sea heading to Spain’s Canary Islands, along the West African coast, is a cause for “extreme concern” the UN’s migration agency, IOM, said on Friday. By the end of last month, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project recorded 785 people, including 177 women and 50 children, who had died or

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With peace restored, Burundi president says poverty is the remaining threat 

The President of Burundi said on Thursday that, 60 years after the country’s independence, “the restoration of peace, security, stability and social cohesion are a reality” in the African nation.  “The only enemy that remains a threat to citizens, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is common to all of us, is poverty,” Evariste Ndayishimiye declared.  The Head of State was speaking at UN Headquarters on the third

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South Sudan plagued by violence and corruption, Human Rights Council hears 

South Sudan continues to be “plagued” by violence and corruption, the Human Rights Council heard on Thursday, jeopardizing the young nation’s efforts to establish lasting peace and put it on the road towards sustainable development.  Delivering an update to the forum in Geneva, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al- Nashif, highlighted “staggering levels

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Somali President underscores need for COVID-19 vaccines for all

Despite the heavy impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Somalia has continued on the path to economic reform, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said in a pre-recorded speech to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Not only did reform efforts enhance trust between the Somali people and Government, he added, but international financial

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DR Congo President asks for materialization of ‘all the promises made to Africa’ 

The President of Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, asked for United Nations Member States to “materialize all the promises made to Africa in compensation for the sacrifices agreed to protect humanity against global warming.”  “There are less than six weeks left before COP26 and nine years before 2030. For Africa, the year 2030 will be marked by a drop in GDP of up to

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Africa faces 470 million COVID-19 vaccine shortfall this year 

Africa needs around 470 million doses to accomplish the global of fully vaccinating 40 per cent of its population by the end of the year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.   The international COVAX initiative aimed at guaranteeing global access to the vaccines, recently announced that it was being forced to slash planned deliveries to Africa, by around 150 million doses this year.   The scheme is now expected to deliver 470 million doses through the end of December. These will

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Torture, killings, lawlessness, still blight Burundi’s rights record

The people of Burundi continue to endure serious human rights violations including possible crimes against humanity, the majority committed by those with links to the ruling party, UN-appointed independent investigators said on Thursday. Despite a pledge by President Evariste Ndayishimiye to address the situation in the country after years of violent repression, crimes including arbitrary detention and

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UN sends Gabon peacekeepers home from Central African Republic, following abuse allegations

The United Nations announced on Wednesday that all Gabonese military units deployed to the peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, are to be sent home immediately, following credible reports alleging that unidentified ‘blue helmets’ had abused five girls. MINUSCA said that an immediate response team had been dispatched to the location where the abuse

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New South Sudan Parliament can ‘infuse urgency’ into peace process

South Sudan has made history with the appointment of two women to senior leadership positions within its Transitional National Legislature, the top United Nations official in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday, as he encouraged parties to build on these gains in efforts to overcome significant political and security headwinds. Nicholas Haysom, UN Special Representative

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UN mission responding to evolving needs in Sudan transition process

Despite setbacks and challenges, Sudan continues its transition towards democracy, the head of the UN special political mission in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday. Volker Perthes, head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), briefed on the authorities’ efforts to address violence in the volatile Darfur region and the

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Only 2% of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Africa 

More than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of them in Africa, said World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday.  The UN agency is urging every country to vaccinate at least 40% of its population by the end of this year, and hopes to help ensure that 70% of the world’s population is by the middle of next year.   At

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Multiple reports of alleged human rights violations in Tigray 

UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet on Monday deplored “multiple and severe reports of alleged gross violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law” committed by all parties to the conflict in Tigray.  In an update to the UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) on the situation in the northernmost regional state in Ethiopia, Ms. Bachelet said the conflict has “continued

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South Sudan: Cash shortage triggers food suspensions for 100,000 displaced

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday that beginning next month, funding shortages will force it to suspend lifesaving food assistance for more than 100,000 displaced people in parts of South Sudan until the start of 2022. In #SouthSudan 🍲7.24M people don’t have enough food🧒🏿1.4M children are malnourished👣Almost 2M people are internally displaced@WFP

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In Somalia, Deputy UN chief encourages progress on women’s political participation, and peaceful elections

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, visited Somalia on Sunday, to express her solidarity with Somali women’s calls for full and equal participation in political life, and the support of the international community for timely, inclusive, peaceful and credible elections. In her various meetings in the capital, Mogadishu, Ms. Mohammed highlighted the country’s

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Elections represent an opportunity for stability and unity in Libya

With just over 100 days until landmark elections in Libya, political leaders must join forces to ensure the vote is free, fair and inclusive, the UN envoy for the country told the Security Council on Friday.  Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) briefed ambassadors on developments ahead of

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Human Rights abuses intensifying in eastern DR Congo – UNHCR 

An alarming number of human rights abuses have been carried out against civilians this year by armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.  In the two most affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, UNHCR and its partners recorded more than 1,200 civilian deaths and 1,100 rapes, constituting a total

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National ownership critical, once guns fall silent, Security Council hears

Although UN peacekeeping missions can help put a country on the right track following conflict, only a commitment from national governments can keep it there over the long term, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a Security Council meeting on Wednesday to examine support for the transition towards lasting peace.   Mr. Guterres shared four lessons learned from the UN’s experience in peacekeeping

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Meningitis outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of the Congo: WHO 

A deadly outbreak of meningitis has been declared in a northeastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the World Health Organization (WHO) have been supporting health authorities to deploy an initial emergency response team.  More than 260 suspected cases and 129 deaths have been reported in Tshopo Province; a high case fatality ratio of 50 per cent, the UN health

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‘Unprecedented funding gap’ for 7 million facing hunger in Ethiopia: WFP 

The World Food Programme (WFP) is facing an unprecedented funding gap of $426 million for its operation in Ethiopia, as the UN agency ramps up delivery to meet the needs of up to 12 million people this year.  This month, WFP started delivering emergency assistance to communities in regions bordering war-torn Tigray. So far, the conflict has forced 300,000 people from their homes and 1.7 million into the nextdoor provinces of Afar and Amhara.   WFP is expanding its emergency

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Tigray aid situation worsening by the day, warn UN humanitarians 

The aid crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is worsening, the UN said on Thursday, with stocks of relief aid, cash and fuel “running very low or depleted”.  Since 12 July, less than 10 per cent of the trucks that should have reached desperate populations affected by months of fighting, have managed to get through, according to the UN aid coordination

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Catastrophe ‘unfolding before our eyes’ in Ethiopia’s Tigray region – UN chief

A military confrontation that started 10 months ago in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is spreading, with serious political, economic and humanitarian implications for the country and the broader region, the Secretary-General warned the Security Council on Thursday. “A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes”, António Guterres warned. “The unity of Ethiopia and the stability of the

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African countries commit to ending all forms of polio 

Although the African Region was certified free of wild poliovirus one year ago, after four years without a case, outbreaks of a vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) is spreading throughout communities where too few children have received the polio vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Vaccine-derived poliovirus is a weakened strain of the virus that has

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Bubonic plague putting young lives at risk in DR Congo

A resurgence of Bubonic plague in Ituri province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is putting young lives at risk, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, warned on Tuesday.  Poverty, conflict and displacement are contributing to the return of the centuries-old illness for the first time in more than a decade, and new

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Climate change and hunger in Madagascar

In the south of Madagascar, known as the Grand Sud, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from one of the worst droughts in the region in 40 years, the most senior UN official in the country has said, warning that the population is facing a severe humanitarian crisis. Issa Sanogo, the UN Resident Coordinator

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FROM THE FIELD: Extinguishing the practice of crop burning

Around the world, people are preparing to choke their way through what is called ‘the season of smog’, when farmers burn their fields to make way for new crops.  In Madagascar, many farmers continue to burn their fields in order to prepare for the next harvest. , by UN Environment/Lisa Murray This practice produces highly

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