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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.

Somalia: Elections must be finalized amid worsening drought, Security Council hears

Somalia’s leaders must put aside their differences and urgently conclude a credible election process, the UN’s senior official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday, noting that national elections are now more than a year behind schedule and women’s representation remains significantly off-track. James Swan, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the

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Mali Humanitarian Response Plan seeks $686 million

The UN together with humanitarian partners on Monday, launched the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan for Mali, seeking $686 million from donors to help 5.3 million of the most vulnerable people in the country. The level of needs is higher than at any point since 2012, with an overall total of around 7.5 million Malians in

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Mozambique: Sexual and reproductive health services boosted in wake of Storm Ana 

Mozambique may have been spared by Tropical Cyclone Batsirai, but it is still reeling from the devastating impacts of Tropical Storm Ana. Humanitarians are continuing to support the country’s recovery, and the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA is focusing on fortifying their services to support women and girls.  Making landfall on 24 January in Angoche District

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South Sudan: Political violence on the rise, UN rights experts warn

UN human rights experts have warned of increased political violence and polarization between communities across the world’s youngest country, South Sudan, following a fact-finding visit there this week.  The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said on Friday that lack of progress in implementing key provisions of a 2018 peace deal contributes to

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UN’s top court orders Uganda to pay $325 million to DR Congo

Uganda must pay the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) $325 million in reparations related to the brutal conflict between the two nations from 1998 to 2003, the UN’s highest court ruled on Wednesday.  Delivering its judgement, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) broke down the compensation, awarding the DRC $225 million for damage to

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Ethiopia in ‘much better place’ to resolve Tigray conflict: Mohammed

On the last day of a five-day trip to Ethiopia, the Deputy Secretary-General said the East African nation is in “a much better place” to resolve the conflict that erupted 15 months ago in Tigray.  “There is much more conversation and dialogue and talk around the national dialogue itself and the way to peace”, Amina Mohammed told journalists attending a press conference at the airport, as she left

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‘Peace is indispensable’ says UN deputy chief in Ethiopia, hearing stories of conflict and hope

From survivors of rape to young women entrepreneurs, the UN Deputy Secretary-General has spent the week meeting some of those whose lives have been upended by conflict in Ethiopia, but also hearing stories of hope that point towards the “indispensable” value of a return to lasting peace across the African nation. Following the African Union Summit on Saturday, where she represented the Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed left on Sunday for Amhara, one of northern regions affected by the

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Tunisia: Dissolution of judicial independence body a ‘big step in the wrong direction’

Dissolving the Tunisian body that deals with judicial independence, known as the High Judicial Council, is a “clear violation” of the country’s obligations under international human rights law, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned on Tuesday. Tunisian President Kais Saied announced his decision to dissolve the Council on Sunday, which is mandated to ensure

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Guterres says Africa is ‘source of hope’ for the world

The UN Secretary-General on Saturday said that Africa was “a source of hope” for the world, highlighting the examples of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Decade of Financial and Economic Inclusion for African Women.  António Guterres also argued that, for the last 20 years, the African Union (AU) “has helped to bring this

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First Person: Hope and shelter, amid the fighting in Burkina Faso

For the last three years, a retired cook in northern Burkina Faso has been providing shelter for people displaced by armed attacks in the country, where the security situation continues to deteriorate. Recent unrest in the capital Ouagadougou surrounding the military coup, is just the latest example of instability in Burkina Faso, whose citizens have

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Ethiopia: UNHCR rushing aid to 20,000 refugees fleeing clashes

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and partners are rushing life-saving aid to more than 20,000 refugees after they fled clashes in Ethiopia’s Benishangul Gumuz region, bordering Sudan and South Sudan.   Fighting broke out on 18 January in the town of Tongo – reportedly between unidentified armed groups and federal forces – and the nearby

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Burkina Faso: Rising displacement adds to Sahel crises

Insecurity in Burkina Faso, particularly in the region bordering Côte d’Ivoire, is pushing more people to seek safety both within and outside the country, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported on Friday.  The crisis is causing additional strain in Africa’s fragile Sahel region, already plagued by political instability, widespread violence, food shortages and the climate

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Madagascar: Recovering from one deadly cyclone, bracing for another

Lives, livelihoods, and vital crops are at risk across Madagascar with Tropical Cyclone Batsirai expected to make landfall within hours. Meanwhile, the island nation off the coast of East Africa is still reeling from the impact of Storm Ana last month, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Friday.  “Frequent cyclones during the agricultural season

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DR Congo: More peacekeepers deployed in wake of deadly camp attack

Peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have stepped up their presence in the area around a camp for displaced people in Ituri province following a deadly attack this week, the United Nations said on Thursday.  UN chief António Guterres strongly condemned Tuesday’s assault by Coopérative pour le dévelopement du Congo (CODECO) militias –

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Africa needs to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination rate six-fold

The COVID-19 vaccination rate in Africa needs to increase six-fold for the continent to meet the 70 per cent target set for the middle of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.  Although vaccine supplies have risen significantly, the continent is struggling to expand rollout, with only 11 per cent of the population fully vaccinated. To

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DR Congo: At least 50 dead following militia attack on camp

At least 50 people, including women and children, were killed in an attack on Tuesday night at a site for internally displaced people in Savo, Ituri Province, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN said on Wednesday. According to the UN Mission in the country (MONUSCO), the attack was carried out by members of the so-called Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) – a

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Guterres asks for immediate cessation of hostilities in Ethiopia

The United Nations’ Secretary-General on Tuesday made the “strongest possible appeal” for all parties in Ethiopia to immediately end the fighting in Tigray and other areas, in the spirit of the General Assembly’s Olympic Truce which began just a few days ago. Speaking to journalists in New York, António Guterres said that it would allow for effective humanitarian access and relief to all affected populations throughout

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UN Lebanon mission becomes pioneer in gender-sensitive peacekeeping

The Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is taking advantage of a new initiative, to become the first UN peacekeeping mission to provide gender-sensitive housing and invest in better working conditions for women peacekeepers serving there. UNIFIL’s pioneering move has been made possible thanks to the Elsie Initiative Fund for Women in Peace Operations, a multilateral

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UN envoy on ‘good offices mission’ to Burkina Faso

A UN envoy will travel to Burkina Faso over the weekend on a “good offices mission” in the wake of the military coup last Sunday.  The visit by Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, was announced on Friday, just hours after regional bloc ECOWAS suspended the country

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Northern Ethiopia: A record 9 million now need food assistance

After 15 months of conflict in Ethiopia, almost 40 per cent of Tigrayans are suffering an extreme lack of food, according to data released by the World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday. Meanwhile, across all three conflict-affected regions of the north, more than nine million people now need humanitarian food assistance, the highest number so far, since

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In central Sahel, ‘needs are growing faster than generosity’

“Needs are growing faster than generosity” in the central Sahel, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs told a group of senior officials on Thursday, meeting to discuss the worsening humanitarian situation across the vast African region.  According to Martin Griffiths, nearly 15 million people in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, will need humanitarian assistance this year. That’s four

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UN assisting thousands affected by Tropical Storm Ana in Mozambique

UN teams are on the ground in Mozambique assisting thousands of people affected by Tropical Storm Ana, which made landfall in central and northern regions of the country earlier this week.  More than 45,000 people, including 23,000 women and children, are likely to need humanitarian aid, UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said on Thursday.  First map

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UN mourns ‘true pioneer’: Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu 

For the United Nations’ Secretary General, Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, who passed away this week in her home country, Ghana, was “a true pioneer.”  In a heartfelt statement released on Tuesday night, António Guterres said Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu “made history in peacekeeping as the first female Deputy Force Commander in the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in

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