Deputy PS Dr. Raimo Naanda invited to Germany
Dr. Raimo Naanda, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, has been invited to participate in a group visit to Germany themed “The dual system of vocational training in Germany”. The visit takes place from 26 March to 1 April 2017 and is part of the Visitors Programme of the German Federal Government.Together with education and labour market experts, representatives of business associations, chambers of commerce and specialist and business journalists, Dr. Naanda will have the opportunity to familiarize himself with the German dual system of vocational training and the dovetailing of business and education. The programme will include visits to ministries, employer and employee associations, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, vocational colleges and the Standing Conference of the ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK). Examples of good practice in businesses will also be presented.On 27 February 2017, Mr Ullrich Kinne, Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy, presented Dr. Naanda with his letter of invitation at the embassy.Distributed by APO on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany - Windhoek.
The African Union denounces the terrorist attack in Niger
The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, denounces the terrorist attack against a Niger army patrol north of Tilwa in western Niger, on Wednesday 22 February 2017, which resulted in the death of at least a dozen soldiers and wounding several others.
The Chairperson of the Commission expresses the AU’s solidarity with the Government and people of Niger and offers her heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wishes speedy recovery to the wounded.
The Chairperson of the Commission reaffirms the AU’s strong rejection of all acts of terrorism and violent extremism. She commends the concerted efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against the Boko Haram terrorist group, which has been severely degraded. She reiterates the AU’s commitment to continue to work with the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin, and Benin, to completely eliminate the Boko Haram menace. The Chairperson further calls for enhanced global cooperation in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa and in the world at large.Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).
Comment by the Information and Press Department on the upcoming visit to Russia by Foreign Minister of Niger Ibrahim Yacoubou
From February 28 to March 2, Ibrahim Yacoubou, Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Abroad, will visit Russia at the invitation of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Russia and Niger maintain a political dialogue based on their similar views on current international processes, including the development of a polycentric world order as a fairer and safer system of international relations. The two countries also interact beneficially at the UN and in many other international formats.
During the talks that will be held at the Foreign Ministry of Russia on March 1, the foreign ministers will discuss key international and regional issues with a focus on the settlement of conflicts in Africa, in particular in Mali, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Libya, as well as in the Middle East. They will also hold an in-depth exchange of opinions on ways to stabilise the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa in light of the ongoing struggle against terrorism and extremism.
The ministers will highlight the importance of stimulating trade, economic and investment cooperation between Russia and Niger, including the development of mineral deposits in Niger, where Russia’s GPB Global Resources is working. Cultural cooperation, another vital area of mutual relations, includes the training of Niger’s students at Russian universities.
We hope that these talks will help determine the practical ways to further strengthen the traditional relations of friendship between Russia and Niger.Distributed by APO on behalf of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Sudan seeing significant increase in refugees arriving from South Sudan
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has seen a significant increase in South Sudanese refugees fleeing to Sudan since January this year. Initial expectations were that 60,000 refugees may arrive through 2017, but in the first two months alone, over 31,000 refugees arrived.
Refugees are fleeing South Sudan due to unrest and increased food insecurity. Famine has been declared in parts of Unity State in South Sudan in February, indicating a worsening food crisis.
Since December 2013, some 328,339 South Sudanese Refugees have sought refuge in Sudan, including some 131,000 arrivals in 2016. Many refugees have walked for 5 -7 days to reach Sudan, entering on foot exhausted and in poor health, and malnutrition.
“We are extremely concerned at people’s condition when they arrive, especially children who are suffering the most,” stated UNHCR’s Representative, Noriko Yoshida.
Initial estimates show that over 80% of the new arrivals are women and children, including unaccompanied and separated children. They are in need of immediate life-saving assistance, which UNHCR and its sister agencies are trying to address.
At entry points, new arrivals are being transported to sites further inland where they can receive assistance, including emergency food distributions, access water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as shelter and non-food items such as kitchen sets and jerry cans that allow them to cook and collect water to meet their basic survival needs.
UNHCR’s Representative expressed her profound gratitude to the Sudanese people. “What I witness in Sudan is a very generous welcome by local people for South Sudanese refugees. They have shared everything they have, even when they have little to offer.” She commended Sudan’s authorities for being quick to meet the needs of people arriving, and ensuring there is access to Sudan’s territory.Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
WHO scales up response in Somalia as drought-affected populations face difficult situation
The World Health Organization (WHO) is scaling up its response in Somalia to provide critical health services for 1.5 million people currently affected by severe drought conditions and a worsening food crisis. However, the Organization urgently requires US$ 10 million as part of the United Nations appeal for the first 6 months of 2017.
The humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate, and there is a high risk that the country will face its third famine in 25 years. More than 6.2 million people – half of the total population – are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, including almost 3 million facing a food security crisis. Nearly 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases, more than half of whom are women and children under 5 years of age.
Acute drought in many parts of Somalia has reduced the availability of clean water sources, and the food crisis has given way to malnutrition. More than 363 000 acutely malnourished children and 70 000 severely malnourished children are in need of urgent and life-saving support. According to United Nations estimates, if the current situation food and security continues, these numbers are estimated to double in 2017.
Drought conditions have increased the spread of epidemic-prone diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea, cholera and measles. In the first 7 weeks of 2017, over 6000 cases and 65 deaths by acute watery diarrhoea/ cholera have been reported, and a total of 2578 cases of suspected measles were reported as of September 2016.
“Somalia is now at a critical point as a result of this drought and environmental hazards and lack of basic services,” said WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Mahmoud Fikri. “Less than half of the population in Somalia has access to basic health services. WHO is providing all possible support to address the ongoing challenges and reduce the dire consequences of drought and pre-famine. WHO Regional Office rapid response teams have been deployed to reinforce support in the areas of emergency response, disease outbreaks, health systems and nutrition.”
WHO’s Regional Office has delivered medicines and medical supplies to health facilities in drought-affected areas. A total of 265 sentinel sites are providing enhanced surveillance for epidemic-prone diseases such as cholera and measles. Cholera treatment centres have been established in 40 districts to manage cases of severe acute watery diarrhoea/ cholera.
The United Nations has launched an appeal for US$ 825 million for the first half of 2017 for the pre-famine response, of which US$ 85 million is required by the health sector, including US$ 10 million required by WHO.Distributed by APO on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).