A shortage of resources for humanitarian operations could have devastating impacts for millions of people around the globe
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has warned that millions of displaced people in need of protection and assistance, and their host communities, are feeling the pinch of massive underfunding, as the COVID-19 crisis continues to increase humanitarian needs globally.
The agency has so far received just 49 per cent (US$4.5 billion) of the $9.1 billion required for its global operations this year. The consequences of this funding gap are particularly devastating in low- and middle-income countries, which currently host more than 85 per cent of the world’s refugees. In many such countries, the pandemic has destabilized economies, exacerbated internal displacement and reduced access to asylum.
A report released by UNHCR today describes the COVID-19 pandemic as a ‘force multiplier’, increasing the needs of the displaced population, including refugees in many countries, while also making those needs more difficult to address.
A shortage of resources for humanitarian operations could have devastating impacts for millions of people around the globe –putting women and children in particular at heightened risk, and disrupting vital services including, health, shelter, water and sanitation, and many other essential relief programmes.
The report highlights 10 situations particularly affected by funding gaps: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Central Mediterranean route, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela. These situations make up 56 per cent of UNHCR’s annual budget.
While some instances of underfunding are due to new needs resulting from COVID-19, many others pre-date the pandemic and demonstrate the impact that chronic underfunding can have on the lives of displaced populations and host communities.
“As violence, persecution and civil strife continue to uproot millions, the coronavirus pandemic is destabilizing entire sectors of the economy, with millions depending on fragile incomes that are now at risk,” said UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Kelly T. Clements. “In these unprecedented times, the world needs to broaden its focus making sure displaced populations and their generous but under-resourced hosts are not forgotten. The time to step up support is now.’’
Underfunding has already brought many programmes to a halt. Other essential activities, such as child protection, support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, health services, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene activities are on the brink of being cancelled or scaled back if more funding is not forthcoming soon.
For example, child protection and psychosocial care services in Ugandan settlements hosting South Sudanese refugees had to be scaled down this year due to lack of funding. Further reductions in the number of case worker staff will result in at-risk children not receiving home monitoring visits.
Without adequate funds, UNHCR will also have to reduce or stop its winterization assistance to vulnerable displaced people in Syria and Syrian refugees in the region, which includes cash transfers and the distribution of relief items this winter.
Lack of funds already forced UNHCR to end its support to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan in March. A programme to provide medical equipment related to cancer treatment had benefitted both Afghan refugees and members of the host community.
As of September 2020, a shortfall in funding will prevent UNHCR from assisting Venezuelan families with emergency cash, vouchers and core relief items in key border and urban areas in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a US$223 million funding shortfall has forced UNHCR to cut programmes across a number of sectors. The provision of emergency shelters to internally displaced families in South Kivu Province stopped in January and planned construction of classrooms for Congolese refugee children in Burundi and Zambia has been put on hold.
As well as additional funding, UNHCR is calling for donor flexibility when contributions are made so that resources can be targeted to where the needs are the greatest.
Pastor Adeboye’s Son Dare Dies At 42
Pastor Dare Adeboye, the son of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Worldwide, Enoch Adeboye, is dead.
The media gathered that the 42-year-old, who is the third son of the revered cleric, died in his sleep on Wednesday in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, where he was based with his family.
Our correspondent gathered from reliable sources in the church that the deceased, who was the Assistant Pastor in charge of Region (Youth) 35, had ministered the previous day.
He was said to have retired to his bed and did not wake up.
His wife, Temiloluwa, was said to have raised the alarm.
“He was not sick and did not complain of anything before the incident. Pastors in the church were summoned to pray for him, all to no avail,” a source added.
The Head of Media and Public Relations, RCCG, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, however, confirmed the tragedy on Thursday morning.
He said, “It is true. The incident happened in Eket where he was based. I don’t have the details for now. Maybe before the end of today, we will issue a statement.”
Dare would have been 43 years old next month, June.
Last year, on his 42nd birth, his dad, Adeboye on a social media post described him as his first miracle child.
He wrote on his Facebook page,
“Our first miracle child. We pray that God will keep his miraculous working power in your life and all those who need a miracle today, will use you as a point of contact for their own in JESUS name. (Amen) love from Dad, Mom and the whole Adeboye dynasty.”
Dare was happily married with children.
AfriHeritage, IPCR-Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Advocates for Social Inclusion and Proactive Partnership with Leaders of Local Communities for Peace-Keeping in Nigeria
Africa’s leading think-tank and research institute, African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage) in collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs converged to deliberate on the way forward with the Nigeria’s national and human security challenges.
The plenary session, themed ‘Trends and dynamics of armed banditry: making sense of the problem,’ brought together industry captains, academicians, government representatives, and thought leaders in areas of security and peace keeping to deliberate and proffer innovative ideas for sustainable solutions to Nigeria’s incessant security challenges.
In his welcome address, Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, the Executive Director of African Heritage Institution stated that “after over six decades since independence, Nigeria is struggling to achieve basic human security needs of its people. Average Nigerians are consistently afraid of assorted security uncertainties. Nigerian parents and their children worry about personal safety at the markets, schools, churches and other places of worship. Even farmers worry about their personal safety because of reputed hoodlums or bandits as they attend to their farms or livestock.
“These challenges persist because Nigeria remains a country of culturally disparate and unintegrated people who are still finding it difficult to work together with the view to solve common problems. Sadly, effective national and human security usually require meaningful and inclusive participation and ownership by citizens. While Big Ideas Podium events convene stakeholders for effective collaboration on critical issues, it is with the view to proffer big and unbiased ideas that could help policy makers formulate impactful public policies”.
Also, the Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Bakut Tswah Bakut, Ministry of Foreign Affairs — represented by Mr. Andy Nkemneme (Deputy Director, Internal conflict Prevention and Resolution) — emphasized the need for all to work together in harmony to achieve and maintain peace.
“The Big Ideas Podium would not have taken place at a better time than now considering the devastating impact of the conflict that is closing in on the nation’s safety spaces. Armed banditry has become one of the biggest threats to peace and security in Nigeria. The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs exists to strengthen the adoption of peace and conflict resolution mechanisms in Nigeria and across Africa. The IPCR has played and will continue to play vital roles in peace and conflict resolution in Africa and we thank AfriHeritage for this impactful collaboration in entrenching peace and security in Nigeria”.
During his keynote address, Dr. Chukwumemeka B. Eze – Executive Director, African Network for Peace Building, Accra, Ghana stated categorically: “Moving forward, there is first of all the need to re-examine the existing strategies of mitigating the threat of armed banditry, identify the gaps and chart a new pathway towards sustainable peace. I want to state emphatically that armed banditry is not a problem that will be solved through the barrel of a gun. There is the need to revitalize activities that promote social inclusion and human security, which will provide prospects for transformative changes, peace and development in Nigeria”.
Dr Eze added that “We must all realise that every environment has its peculiarities. These myriads of social cleavages can only be effectively taken care of if we collectively fashion out an efficient strategy to meet them. This we believe strongly can only be actualisable through engagements like this. If you look around here we have women and men from all the six geo- political zones and who from their academia, CSO or hybrid has been a big player in the issues that confront us. I have no doubt therefore that we will be having stimulating discussions and the outcomes and conclusions would be contributory in designing and envisioning the future
we desire and deserve”.
Furthermore, the discussants reflected briefly on different dimensions of the subject matter and proffered ideas on relevant solutions for Nigeria. Anthony Odo Agbor of the Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, highlighted the impact of armed banditry on families, livelihoods, and Human Security; Dr. Kingsley Udeh, Esq. — Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu State on Education — outlined the impact of armed banditry on education and human capital development; and Eng. Umar Ibrahim of Kano Electricity Distribution Company explicitly highlighted the impact of armed banditry on communities, human life and socio- economic development.
Over the years, AfriHeritage has influenced transformative public policies in Nigeria by providing effective platforms like the Big Ideas Podium for objective discussions on salient issues that affect the public in Nigeria. The Institution remains deeply committed to bridging the ideas and data gaps in the formulation and implementation of transformative public policies in Nigeria and across the continent.
COVID-19: Nigeria Bans Travelers From India, Brazil and Turkey
Nigeria will deny entry to passengers who have visited India, Brazil and Turkey in the last 14 days to stop the import of coronavirus cases from the three countries.
The travel advisory will take effect on May 4 and is subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks, the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 said in a statement Sunday. The government will introduce fines of $3,500 per passenger payable by airlines that ignore the new rules.
Nigerian officials have expressed concern about the potential for a third wave of the disease in the country of 200 million, which would be worse than the first two. “These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in Covid-19 cases introduced to Nigeria” from parts of the world where the virus is running rampant, said the committee’s statement.
Indian hospitals, morgues and crematoriums have been overwhelmed as the country has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days straight. Many families have been left on their own to find medicines and oxygen.
In Brazil, new coronavirus cases have fallen off a late-March peak, but remain high by historical standards. Total deaths in the country are second only to the United States.
Turkey imposed a nationwide “full lockdown” on Thursday, lasting until May 17, to curb a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, with the world’s fourth highest number of cases and the worst on a per-capita basis among major nations.
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