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Coronavirus – Critical Underfunding Exacerbated by COVID-19 Pushing Displaced People to the Edge

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Coronavirus

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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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British Embassy Reopens For Visa Applications

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United Kingdom Embassy in Nigeria Has Reopened For Visa Applications

The United Kingdom embassy in Nigeria has reopened for operation after shutting down about five days ago because of the #EndSARS protest.

Last week, the UK High Commission said “Due to the ongoing protest in Nigeria and for the safety of both staff and applicants, our Nigeria centres will be closed for 48 hours at a minimum. For applicants with booked appointments within this period, please you will need to reschedule your appointment for next week, from 26th October 2020.

“We will continue to post regular updates on this page, so please keep checking back for the latest information on reopening. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”

However, on Tuesday the embassy through its official tweeter handle @UKinNigeria said “Our TLS contact Visa Application Centres are now open in Nigeria.”

See the details below.

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FG Declares Thursday Oct 29 Public Holiday to Celebrate Eidul-Mawlid

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President Buhari

The Federal Government has declared Thursday October 29, 2020 as Public Holiday to mark this year’s Eidul-Mawlid Celebration in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

A statement signed on Tuesday by Mohammed Manga Director (Press & Public Relations) Ministry of Interior said the Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated the Muslim faithful both at home and abroad for witnessing this year’s occasion.

Aregbesola enjoined them to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which are the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.

The Minister admonished Muslims to follow the teaching of the Holy Quran in Chapter 4 Verse 59 which says: “O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger, and those from among you who are vested with authority; and if you are to dispute among yourselves about anything, refer it to God and the Messenger, if indeed you believe in God and the Last Day. This is the best (for you), and fairest in the end”

Aregbesola also urged Nigerians, particularly Muslims, at this moment, to abhor violence, lawlessness, wantonness and daylight robbery as witnessed across the country most recently, stressing that Nigeria is the pride of the black race and should provide responsible leadership for the greatness and development of the African continent and all black people.

While calling for a stop to all divisive tendencies across the country, the Minister urged all Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace peace and cooperate with the President Muhammadu Buhari led-Administration in its effort to build a virile nation, which all citizens can be proud of.

The minister, who described the youth as the hope and future of the nation advised them further to deepen democracy and not dampen it. For him, it is with more democracy that we can overcome our challenges, noting that the challenges of nationhood that we face are surmountable if we work through the democratic process.

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Hazard, Kepa, and Messi Lost €142 Million in Combined Market Value, Three Biggest Drops in 2020

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Market Value of Hazard, Kepa and Messi Drop By €142 million

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an enormous impact on the football industry, causing considerable drops in clubs’ revenues and their players’ market value.

According to data presented by SafeBetting, Hazard, Kepa, and Messi, top the list of the biggest market value drops in 2020. Statistics show the three famous footballers lost €142 million in combined market value since the beginning of the year.

Hazard`s Market Value Halved to €60 Million, the Biggest Fall This Year

Real Madrid’s left-winger Eden Hazard has witnessed the most significant drop in market valuation this year, revealed the TransferMarkt data. In June 2019, while the Belgian footballer played for Chelsea, his market value amounted to €150 million, the highest figure in the career. However, by the end of 2019, this value dropped to €120 million.

The year 2020 hasn’t been easy for the famous left-winger, bringing a new significant drop in his market value. Statistics show Eden Hazard was worth €60 million in October, a 50% plunge since the beginning of the year.

Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has witnessed the second-largest drop, losing 70% of his market value this year. Statistics show Kepa was valued at €18 million as of October, a €42 million fall since December 2019.

Lionel Messi witnessed the third-largest decrease in 2020, with his market value going down from €140 million in December 2019 to €100 million in October, a 28% plunge in ten months. The TransferMarkt data also indicate the FC Barcelona right winger’s market value has constantly been falling since May 2018, when it peaked at €180 million.

Antoine Griezmann and Dele Alli round the top five list, with a €40 million and €38 million market value drop in 2020, respectively.

Alphonso Davies Tops the List of Biggest Market Value Increases in 2020

Although many European football teams have witnessed immense market value drop since the beginning of the year, some footballers increased their value significantly in 2020.

Statistics show Alphonso Davies tops the list of the most significant market value growths this year. In December 2019, the famous Bayern Munich left-back was valued at €25 million. In September, this figure peaked at €80 million, a 220% jump in nine months.

FC Barcelona left-winger, Ansu Fati, ranked second with a €40 million increase and €80 million in market value as of October.

Borussia Dortmund’s center-forward player Erling Haaland also hit €80 million in market value this month, a €35 million jump since the beginning of the year. Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood follow, with a €30 million market value increase, each.

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