World Health Organization (WHO) said it feared continued “intense transmission” of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where deaths from a nine-month-old epidemic is 994 and expected to exceed 1,000 within hours.
The WHO plans to introduce an unlicensed new Ebola vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, in addition to a Merck vaccine already being used, as “another tool in the toolbox”, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the Geneva.WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told a news briefing in Geneva.
However security incidents continue to plague the response to the outbreak, including a would-be assault on a facility, slowing vaccination and daily checks on some 12,000 people potentially exposed to the virus, Ryan underlined. Since January there were 119 separate attacks, and 85 health personnel either injured or killed.
Boko Haram jihadists have killed another kidnapped aid worker in northeast Nigeria, the government said, the news came a month after one of her colleagues was murdered.
Information minister Lai Mohammed did not identify the victim but described her killing as “dastardly, inhuman and ungodly”, and vowed to push for the release of two remaining female captives — an aid worker and a 15-year-old girl — held since earlier this year.
Three female health workers were kidnapped during a Boko Haram raid on the remote town of Rann, in Borno state, on March 1, during the same raid three other aid workers and eight Nigerian soldiers were killed.
The African continent is in vital need of energy investments, and Russia could become one of its key partners, according to President Vladimir Putin attending #BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. “I would especially like to underline that Russia is planning to step up its assistance in development of national energy in African states,” said the Russian president during the BRICS-Africa Outreach panel.
According to Putin, Russia is in talks with Angola, Mozambique and Gabon on implementing promising oil and gas projects. “In the field of nuclear energy, where Russia is the technological leader, we offer African partners to build an industry from scratch,” the Russian president said. These projects are crucial for Africa since about 600 million people on the continent live without electricity.
Energy is not the only sphere where Russia and Africa could cooperate, according to Putin. “Russian business shows interest in working with African partners in a wide range of areas, including agriculture, healthcare, the development of mass communications, geology and subsoil use,” Putin said.
President Putin mentioned Angola, where Alrosa company is interested in mining diamonds, a joint venture between Russia and Burundi on the production of lighting products for exports to East Africa, and agriculture projects in Senegal.
European Parliament president Antonio Tajani insists on work with African partners to address the root causes of migration flows. Tajani also continues to promote a “true Marshall Plan” to be part of the next EU budget in order to attract investment, infrastructure and to develop an industrial base while creating hope and prospects for the next generations of Africans. However he admits that only ensuring secure external EU borders one can keep Schengen legislation alive. Tajani also looks forward working with Austrian presidency of EU on challenges of migration from Africa. (Image: EP president Antonio Tajani – right, and Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz – left).
The EU leaders, gathering in Brussels for Summit (28-29 June) devoted to resolution of migration crisis, agreed to transfer 500 million euro from the 11th EDF reserve to the
EU Trust Fund for Africa. They called upon further contributions to the EU Trust Fund for Africa with a view to its replenishment.
Tackling the migration problem at its core requires a partnership with Africa aiming at a
substantial socio-economic transformation of the African continent building upon the
principles and objectives as defined by the African countries in their Agenda 2063.
“European Union and its Member States must rise to this challenge. We need to take the extent and the equality of our cooperation with Africa to a new level” – the endorsed document says.
This will not only require increased development funding but also steps towards creating a new framework enabling a substantial increase of private investment from both Africans and Europeans. Particular focus should be laid on education, health, infrastructure, innovation, good governance and women’s empowerment.
“Africa is our neighbour and this must be expressed by increased exchanges
and contacts amongst the peoples of both continents on all levels of civil society. Cooperation between the European Union and the African Union is an important element of our relationship” – says the Summit conclusion signed by the European leaders.
The European Council calls for further developing and promoting it.
This week the European Commission has announced €68 million in humanitarian assistance for vulnerable communities in Sudan and South Sudan.
The funding comes as millions of people across both countries are in need of assistance, with the conflict in South Sudan triggering an influx of refugees into neighbouring Sudan.
“The EU is stepping up its support as many people in Sudan and South Sudan face massive humanitarian needs. Our aid will provide essential supplies such as food and healthcare and allow our partners to continue their life saving work on the ground. Above all, it is crucial that humanitarian workers can deliver aid safely so they can help those most in need. Aid workers are not a target” – said Commissioner or Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
In South Sudan, €45 million will primarily target internally displaced persons and host communities, providing emergency food assistance, health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation as well as protection from gender based violence. Funding will also support measures to protect aid workers.
In Sudan, €23 million will ensure protection of displaced communities, treatment of undernutrition in the most affected areas, as well as food assistance and improved access to basic services such as health, shelter, water and sanitation.
To date, the Commission has mobilised more than €412 million in humanitarian aid for South Sudan since fighting erupted in December 2013. Since 2011, the EU has provided almost €450 million in humanitarian aid in Sudan for those affected by conflict, natural disasters, food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.
Today, in the margins of the European Development Days, Commissioner Mimica signed new support for Burkina Faso, together with President Kaboré.
“Today I have signed in the presence of the President Kaboré of Burkina Faso aid package of 50 million euro to support the efforts in security and development of the North of the country” – Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner said.
This week Burkina Faso was celebrated as a country abandoning capital penalty.