- The Republic of Congo has received a $500,000 influx from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to boost health, nutrition and education initiatives to help ease the impact of the global economic crisis on the country’s most vulnerable people.
The nation is recovering from two civil wars that uprooted over 1 million people, and despite strides made since the 2003 peace agreement, over half the population of nearly 4 million currently lives below the poverty line.
“Women and children are the most affected by poverty,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said in the capital, Brazzaville, today.
One in eight children die before they turn five, largely from preventable causes, she said, adding that the country also has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the region.
While in Brazzaville, Ms Veneman visited the Life Savers national initiative which promotes 12 simple, easy-to-practice household behaviours, including breastfeeding exclusively for six months, sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito bednet, and washing hands with soap.
Life Savers also runs a 24-hour telephone hotline, which parents and caregivers can call when their children are sick.
In talks with Prime Minister Isidore Mvouba and other top officials, the UNICEF head commended the government’s efforts to improve access to social services and raised the issue of the treatment of indigenous people, or pygmies, especially the children who are marginalized and often face discrimination.
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.