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Africa

Fossil Fuels Coals and Ecologically Damaging and Dangerous Ways of Doing Economics Are Dinosaur Economics: It Has No Part In the Future of a Clean Green Circular and Sustainable Economics Whose Functioning Maxim Is: Do No Harm to Anyone Or Anything: The Humanion

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A group of displaced Somali women residing at the Ifo Two Refugee Camp in Dadaab, Kenya, which is supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:UNHCR. Image: UN:Evan Schneider. ‽: 190516

Justice Carole Lewis
The Supreme Court 
of Appeal South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

University of South Africa

Africa Arkive

 

Africa is made of countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Réunion, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland:Eswatini, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Democratic Republic of the Congo: WHO Declared Its 10th Ebola Declared Over But Warns That Vigilance Against Flare-ups and Support for Survivors Must Continue

 

|| Monday: June 29: 2020 || ά. On June 25 marked the end of the 10th outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:DRC. This long, complex and difficult outbreak has been overcome due to the leadership and commitment of the Government of the DRC, supported by the World Health Organisation:WHO, a multitude of partners, donors and, above all, the efforts of the communities, affected by the virus.

WHO congratulated all those, involved in the arduous and, often, dangerous work, required to end the outbreak but, stresses the need for vigilance. Continuing to support survivors and maintaining strong surveillance and response systems in order to contain potential flare-ups is critical in the months to come. "The outbreak took so much from all of us, especially, from the people of DRC but, we came out of it with valuable lessons and valuable tools. The world is now better-equipped to respond to Ebola. A vaccine has been licensed and effective treatments identified.” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We should celebrate this moment but, we must resist complacency. Viruses do not take breaks. Ultimately, the best defence against any outbreak is investing in a stronger health system as the foundation for universal health coverage.” The outbreak, declared in North Kivu on August 01, 2018, was the second largest in the world and was, particularly, challenging as it took place an active conflict zone. There were 3,470 cases, 2,287 deaths and 1,171 survivors.

Led by the DRC Government and the Ministry of Health and supported by WHO and its partners, the more than 22-month-long response involved training thousands of health workers, registering 250,000 contacts, testing 220,000 samples, providing patients with equitable access to advanced therapeutics, vaccinating over 303,000 people with the highly effective rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine and offering care for all survivors after their recovery.

The response was bolstered by the engagement and leadership of the affected communities. Due to their efforts, this outbreak did not spread globally. More than 16,000 local frontline responders worked alongside the more than 1,500 people deployed by WHO. Support from donors was essential, as was the work of UN partner agencies, national and international NGOs, research networks and partners, deployed through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. Hard work to build up preparedness capacities in neighbouring countries, also, limited the risk of the outbreak expanding.

Work will continue to build on the gains made in this response to address other health challenges, including measles and COVID-19. “During the almost two years we fought the Ebola virus, WHO and partners helped strengthen the capacity of local health authorities to manage outbreaks.” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The DRC is now better, smarter and faster at responding to Ebola and this is an enduring legacy, which is supporting the response to COVID-19 and other outbreaks.”

As countries around the world face the COVID-19 pandemic, the DRC Ebola response provides valuable lessons. Many of the public health measures, that have been successful in stopping Ebola are the same measures, that are now essential for stopping COVID-19: finding, isolating, testing and caring for every case and relentless contact tracing.

In DRC, community workers were provided with training and a smartphone data collection app, that enabled them to track contacts and report in real time rather than fill in laborious paper reports. Even, when violence locked down cities, the community workers, many of them local women, continued to track and trace contacts using the application, something, that was crucial for ending this outbreak.

While this 10th outbreak in DRC has ended, the fight against Ebola continues. On June 01, seven cases of Ebola were reported in Mbandaka city and neighbouring Bikoro Health Zone in Equateur Province and an 11th outbreak was declared. WHO is supporting the government-led response with more than 50 staff already deployed and more than 5,000 vaccinations already administered.

WHO salutes the thousands of heroic responders, who fought one of the world’s most dangerous viruses in one of the world’s most unstable regions. Some health workers, including, WHO experts, paid the ultimate price and sacrificed their lives to the Ebola response. WHO thanks the many partners, who supported the Government-led response

WHO thanks the donors, who provided funding to WHO for the Ebola response under the Strategic Response Plans: African Development Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, China, Denmark, ECHO, European Commission, DEVCO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Paul Allen Foundation, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Susan T Buffett Foundation, UK DFID, UN CERF, USAID:OFDA, US CDC, Wellcome Trust, World Bank, World Bank Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

Several donors, also, provided funding to the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies in recognition of the critical role the fund has played in responding to the Ebola outbreak.

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South Sudan Has a New Government of National Unity: This Where Now Must Begin the Hardest of Task: To Deliver on the Details of Peace Translated in the Lives of the Ordinary South Sudanese People: That Conflicts Come to an End and a Process of Reconciliation and Rebuilding the Country Begin at Earnest

 

 

||Monday: February 24: 2020 || ά. fter an ever-going conflict, devastating the life of the ordinary people for such a long time, it is a relief, more than anything to see that, finally, that something, akin to the beginning on the long road to peace, has begun in South Sudan. It’s a story of two strongmen falling against each other and who would not give until now. On Saturday South Sudan witnessed the establishment of a Transitional Government of National Unity in whereby the President remains to be Mr Salva Kiir while Mr Riek Machar becomes the Vice President.

This beginning, is a big deal because it has taken such a long time, in which the South Sudanese people paid a heavy price for the ever-going conflicts, never showing any sign of coming to an end. In a statement, issued by his Spokesperson, the UN Secretary-General Mr António Guterres commended the parties for the significant achievement in the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.

Mr. Guterres also called on the Transitional Government of National Unity members to fully adhere to the letter and spirit of the Agreement, so that the people of South Sudan can finally realise the benefits of durable peace and stability they deserve. “The United Nations stands ready, in close coordination with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the African Union, to assist the parties in implementing the Agreement.” he said in the statement.

Saturday's ceremony took place just before the peace agreement deadline expired. UN Special Representative Mr David Shearer called it a thrill to witness the signing in of Vice President Mr Riek Machar and hailed it as a new chapter in South Sudan’s history.

“Often, the courage in peace is greater than the courage in war.” Mr Shearer, who, also, heads the UN Mission in South Sudan:UNMISS, acknowledged the courage of both President Mr Salva Kiir for taking the decisions, that he needed to take and Mr Machar for coming back after conflict and joining to make the Unity Government possible.

“I believe that after this signing and the forming of a transitional government we will see floods of people returning to their homes, picking up their lives and getting on with hope for what the future holds.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr Filippo Grandi welcomed that the former political rivals will now be working together for lasting peace. “The new government revives hope for a peaceful future for the people of South Sudan, who are suffering the consequences of this prolonged conflict”.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has been mired in instability and conflict for nearly all eight years of its existence. In 2018 President Mr Kiir and his former Vice-President and long-time political rival, Mr Machar, signed a peace accord with the hopes that it would end the crisis and improve the lives and safety of millions of South Sudanese. On Saturday, President Mr Kiir witnessed Mr Machar being sworn in as first Vice-President, sealing the peace deal at the State House in the capital of Juba.

Hopes are high that the new Unity Government will bring an end to the conflict, that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more. This where now must begin the hardest of task to deliver on the details of peace, translated in the lives of the ordinary South Sudanese people: that conflicts come to an end and a process of reconciliation and rebuilding the country begin at earnest.

::: Caption: South Sudan’s President Mr Salva Kiir, centre and Dr Riek Machar, the First Vice-President: Image: UN Photo:Isaac Billy ::: 

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Millions of Children and Families in Niger Are Struggling As Humanitarian Needs Mount: $59.4 Million Is Needed This Year For the Aid Agencies to Deliver Vital Assistance to Children Throughout the Country

 

||Wednesday: February 19: 2020 || ά. Malnutrition, disease, floods, droughts and displacement in Niger have put nearly three million people, more than half of them children, in need of humanitarian assistance, UNICEF said on Wednesday, calling for increased attention to their plight. Exacerbated by instability in the region, that has led to an influx of thousands of refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons and migrants, simultaneous emergencies are stretching the capacities of humanitarian partners to respond. In 2020, the UN agency and its partners will need $59.4 million to deliver vital humanitarian aid to children throughout the country. 

"In a context of constrained resources and limited social services, the communities, that host displaced populations, are showing extraordinary resilience and sharing the little they have., said Ms Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative, following a visit to the conflict-affected region of Diffa. "As more attention is now paid to the resurgence of armed violence in the central Sahel, it is equally important to pay the same attention to its impact on children and their families." she said.

And insecurity increases the already significant chronic challenges in Niger. Attacks against civilians in the Lake Chad region prevented 263,000 people in Diffa from returning to their homes. At the same time, growing insecurity along the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali has exacerbated needs in Tillabéri and Tahoua regions, where nearly 78,000 people have been displaced.

Moreover, deteriorating security on the border with Nigeria has caused tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in border villages of the Maradi region, in central Niger. Insecurity is spreading rapidly in the central Sahel region and women and children are bearing the brunt of the violence.

“In already fragile host communities, the burden of forced displacement increases the vulnerability of children and communities and, significantly, affects their health, protection, nutrition and education." She said. The sharp increase in insecurity, violence and military operations has further hampered humanitarian actors' access to populations affected by conflict.

“Reaching those in need is increasingly challenging. UNICEF calls on all stakeholders to respect humanitarian spaces, allowing safe and sustainable access to deliver humanitarian assistance to affected populations, including, women and children, wherever they are.”

UNICEF appealed for solidarity to help the Government and its partners to meet the urgent needs of the affected populations and provide vital assistance to improve their living conditions. As the situation worsens, attention has been oriented to the security dimensions, directly impacting access to education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, the basis of people’s resilience.

UNICEF is working in the country on several priority fronts to help those, affected by emergencies and conflicts. It is working with national actors and humanitarian partners to respond to acute emergencies, such as, population movements and strengthen national capacities to mitigate risks and respond to cyclical and chronic emergencies, including, flooding, malnutrition, disease outbreaks and epidemics.

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Central African Republic: Killings Sexual Violence and Displacements Continue Despite Peace Agreement

 

 

||Monday: February 10: 2020 || ά. As the Central African Republic:CAR celebrates the first anniversary of the Khartoum Peace Agreement, signed between the government and 14 armed groups, Ms Alice Banens, Amnesty International Legal Advisor, said, “Tomorrow’s first anniversary of the Peace Agreement in the Central African Republic must be another opportunity to strengthen efforts to protect the civilian population from violence and to bring alleged perpetrators of crimes under international law to justice.

“One year after the Peace Agreement was signed, violence against civilians has not stopped. Various armed groups continued to commit serious abuses against civilians, including, killings and sexual violence. The number of victims continues to grow, while victims of serious human rights violations and abuses committed before the Peace Agreement was signed, still wait for justice.’’ Ms Benens said. “The government, in co-ordination with the Special Criminal Court and the ICC where appropriate, should take all necessary measures to enable investigations and prosecutions of past atrocities.

In parallel, two former heads of State, Mr Francois Bozizé and Mr Michel Djotodia have recently returned to the country. Amnesty International has documented evidence of their alleged responsibility for atrocity in crimes.

CAR authorities are presented with unprecedented opportunity to investigate and, if, they document sufficient evidence, to bring them to court in fair trials. This will be a step towards ending the culture of impunity.”

Background: One year ago, on February, 06, 2019, the CAR government and 14 opposition armed groups signed a political agreement in Khartoum for peace and reconciliation, with the aim of ending a conflict, that has seen serious violations and abuses of international human rights since December 2012.

Despite the signature of this Peace Agreement, various armed groups continued to commit serious abuses against civilians, including, unlawful killings and sexual violence. More than 30 people were killed on December 25, in PK5 neighbourhood of Bangui. On January 26, 2020, 11,000 were displaced because of clashes among armed groups in the eastern town of Bria.

While significant efforts were made at national and international levels to bring to account suspected perpetrators of serious human rights violations and abuses in successive conflicts since 2003, there is still much to be done to address impunity.

Amnesty International has been calling for the investigation of Mr Bozizé and Mr Djotodia’s alleged responsibility in serious human rights violations, for years. In 2014, an arrest warrant was already pending against Mr François Bozizé for murder, torture and other charges. 

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South Sudan Launches a Nationwide Campaign to Immunise 02.5 Million Children Against Measles

 

 

|| Wednesday: February 05: 2020 || ά. With the aim of vaccinating 02.5 million children against measles, a nationwide vaccination campaign has begun today in South Sudan. The Campaign is a co-operation among the South Sudanese Ministry of Health, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organisation:WHO, UNICEF and some other partners.  In addition to the vaccine, the children will, also, receive vitamin A supplement and deworming tablets.

The Campaign is essential for children’s health in South Sudan, as the Country is still battling an unprecedented measles outbreak with over 4,700 confirmed cases and 26 deaths since January 2019 to date. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect children against this very contagious disease. Vitamin A and deworming are crucial for children’s immune system and ability to fight diseases in addition to prevent blindness.

“We need to boost the vaccination coverage to protect children against measles outbreaks.” said Dr Makur Matur Kariom, Undersecretary, Ministry of Health of South Sudan. “Unfortunately, in South Sudan routine vaccination coverage against measles remains low, at only 59 per cent. That means many children in our country are not protected against the disease. Hence, the importance of this vaccination campaign can not be over emphasised.’’

The Campaign will run in two phases. The first phase starts today and will cover, almost, 70 percent of the counties in the former Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Norther Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Warrap and Upper Nile, while the second phase will cover the remaining counties in Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity and upper Nile and end on March 17 this year.

“The Campaign will contribute to the reduction of illness and death due to measles. The measles virus is highly infectious. It can cause rashes, eye infection, respiratory infections, diarrhoea and, even, death.” said Dr Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative in South Sudan. “We are committed to support the Ministry of Health to attain over 95 per cent coverage to be able interrupt the prevalence of this deadly disease virus in South Sudan.”

Large proportions of the targeted populations are in hard to reach areas. Yet, the project partners have planned for vaccination posts throughout the country, including, areas, where access to health services is poorer.

 “Every child has the same right to health and no child is too far.” said Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya, the UNICEF Representative in South Sudan. “We know how important herd immunity is to fight measles and protect the most vulnerable people, that makes it, even, more important to reach the last child with this campaign. There is a lot of love in taking your children to the nearest vaccination post.”

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Nearly Five Million Children Are in Need Due to Rising Violence in Central Sahel: UNICEF Has Appealed For $208 Million to Support Its Operations on the Ground

 

 

|| Monday: January 27: 2020 || ά. A surge in violence in the central Sahel region in Africa means nearly five million children will need humanitarian assistance this year, up from 04.3 million, the UN Children’s Fund:UNICEF has warned. The Agency reported that children had been attacked, abducted or recruited into armed groups due to the spike in armed conflict and insecurity in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Since the start of the year alone, more than 670,000 children across the region have been forced to flee their homes. “When we look at the situation in the Central Sahel, we can not help but be struck by the scale of violence children are facing. They are being killed, mutilated and sexually abused and hundreds of thousands of them have had traumatic experiences.” said Ms Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

Attacks against children have risen over the past year, according to UNICEF figures. In Mali, 571 grave violations against children were recorded during the first three quarters of 2019, compared to 544 in 2018 and 386 in 2017.

UNICEF said that violence had had a devastating impact on learning, with more than 3,300 schools in the three countries closed or non-operational by the end of 2019.  Overall, 650,000 children and 16,000 teachers have been affected.

Children and their families, also, face barriers in accessing essential services and food, which can put young lives at risk. As a result, more than 709,000 children under the age of five will suffer from severe acute malnutrition and require life-saving treatment this year.

At the same time, access to safe water is dwindling, with some areas in Burkina Faso experiencing a decrease of up to 40 per cent. In addition to calling for an end to attacks on children, UNICEF is asking for safe access to all those, affected by the situation. 

UNICEF has appealed for $208 million to support operations on the ground, where it is working with partners in the areas of protection, education, health, nutrition and water and sanitation.

::: Caption: Boys play in a waterhole near the town of Kaya in northern Burkina Faso: Image: UN OCHA:Giles Clarke :::

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