- More than 300,000 Liberians will be threatened by famine and thousands more waiting for repatriation will be unable to return to the post-conflict West African country from neighbouring countries, the UN warns today. Funding has been too slow.
A total of US$ 34 million in additional funding is needed to avert the upcoming crisis, the UN said in a statement today. The unusually clear statement said that this was needed urgently unless the international community wanted operations in Liberia to stall.
With one in six Liberians dependent on international food assistance, including 10,000 internally displaced persons at a camp in the capital, Monrovia, the World Food Programme (WFP) said it needs another US$ 11 million to buy food for the rest of the year.
From 30 June to 6 July, WFP distributed some 2,725 tons of commodities to over 63,500 internally displaced persons and 1,950 returnees. The UN agency also distributed 1,327 tons of commodities to about 267,000 children in 710 schools through the school feeding programme.
At the same time, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it faced a US$ 23 million shortfall for its repatriation programme, which was expected to start next October and end in December 2006.
Awaiting help are 300,000 refugees in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria, UNHCR said. This large amount of refugees is currently living off the limited resources in these neighbour countries.
The international community made great efforts to stop the civil war in Liberia and put an end to the dictatorship of ex-President Charles Taylor, who is held responsible for many of the West African region's wars. The response has however been limited when it comes to divert resources from the international community to Liberia.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.