Africans Rescued in Mediterranean

Italy’s coast guard Friday found eight bodies, including the body of a pregnant woman, on a migrant vessel that was attempting to make the journey across the Mediterranean from Tunisia to Italy.

 

The bodies were unloaded on Italy’s Lampedusa island, the first stop for many migrants on the journey across the sea.

 

Dozens more Africans were aboard the vessel, according to ANSA, the Italian news agency.

 

Survivors of the journey told officials that three other people had died at sea, ANSA reported. They said a women died and fell into the water with her 4-month-old son, who drowned. In addition, survivors said a man passed out and fell into the water.

 

The Guardian reports that authorities on Malta had been alerted to the migrants’ situation at sea, but no rescue was dispatched. Prosecutors in Sicily have launched an investigation, the newspaper said.

 

 

Source: Voice of America

Ten killed in boat accident; 10 missing, 80 rescued

KANO, Ten bodies were recovered Wednesday after a boat carrying more than 100 women and children broke apart on a river in northern Nigeria, a local official said.

 

The vessel, ferrying passengers returning from a farm on the River Niger, broke in half as it approached Samanaji village in Koko-Besse district.

 

It had been overloaded with passengers “beyond its capacity,” said Yahaya Bello Koko, the political administrator of the district.

 

“We have recovered 10 passengers with the help of local divers while searches for 10 others still missing” continue, said Koko.

 

“The 10 missing are presumed to have drowned, considering the long hours they have spent in the river.”

 

More than 80 passengers were rescued, he added.

 

In May 2021 around 100 traders drowned when their boat ruptured because of overloading and sank in the same river, according to Kebbi state officials.

 

Source: Nam News Network

UN says US$51.5 bln aid campaign hopes to help 222 mln hungry people

UN humanitarians said 222 million hungry people top the target list the US$51.5 billion aid campaign for 2023 aims to help.

The 2023 Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO), launched by the United Nations in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and other partners, paints a stark picture of what lies ahead, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

“At least 222 million people in 53 countries will face acute food insecurity by the end of 2022,” the office said, adding that 45 million people in 37 countries risk starvation.

The humanitarians also pointed out that the goal of US$51.5 billion is not just for the hungry.

Public health is under pressure due to COVID-19, vector-borne diseases, mpox and outbreaks of Ebola and cholera, OCHA said.

The World Health Organization earlier this week renamed monkeypox “mpox.”

The UN humanitarians said OCHA and their partners also face the challenge of climate change which is driving up risks and vulnerability. By the end of the century, extreme heat could claim as many lives as cancer.

Another challenge is ending discrimination against women and girls.

“It will take four generations – 132 years – to achieve global gender parity,” the GHO said. “Globally, 388 million women and girls live in extreme poverty.”

The response plans in the GHO detail how aid agencies working together around specific types of aid – including shelter, food, maternal health, child nutrition and protection – can save and support the lives of a combined 230 million people worldwide, OCHA said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

QRCS launches Warm Winter Campaign 2022-2023 [EN/AR]

Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has announced the launch of its annual “Warm Winter” winterization campaign. Under the theme “Humanity First: We Give Them Warmth”, the new drive is aimed at providing QR 13.5 million worth of winter projects/aid for the benefit of 261,300 people in 14 countries.

Ali bin Hassan Al-Hammadi, Secretary-General of QRCS, said, “Too harsh is the winter for those families afflicted by the ‘downs of life’!

They find themselves forcibly displaced to escape with their lives and children, suffering cold nights and hard days. For them to feel human, we need to show our humanity first. In anticipation of the painfully cold winter, here is our new ‘Warm Winter’ campaign, which seeks to ensure the warmth and protection of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people. All humane donors are invited to be part of this noble humanitarian endeavor, helping to alleviate the impact of the severe winter on those in need”.

Under the project, a wide range of humanitarian aid will be provided, including heating materials; women’s, men’s and children’s coats; shelter kits (e.g., blankets, mattresses, carpets, straw mats, flashlights, electric heaters, and tarpaulins); winter medicines for common cold and fever; food parcels of local staples; and white flour for the production of bread.

In addition, QRCS will construct shelter units; install solar-powered water heaters; and construct water tanks.

The total number of people targeted with this winter aid is some 261,300 in numerous countries worst affected by the harsh winter conditions, as follows: Syria (40,830 beneficiaries), the West Bank and Al-Quds (13,752), Gaza (20,310), Yemen (35,879), Iraq (12,312), Lebanon (24,450), Jordan (31,600), Bangladesh (38,036), Afghanistan (22,890),

Sudan (6,545), Somalia (9,120), Albania (3,000), Kosovo (674), and Mongolia (1,920).

According to Youssef Mohamed Al-Awadi, Director of Resource Development Department at QRCS, there are many methods for donation to this humanitarian campaign, including QRCS’s website (www.qrcs.qa), donor service (66666364), home donation collection (33998898), and bank transfer to QNB (IBAN:

QA21QNBA000000000850020196062), Masraf Al-Rayan (IBAN:

QA18MAFR00000000000011199980003), QIB (IBAN:

QA51QISB000000000110575190014), or QIIB (IBAN:

QA66QIIB000000001111126666003).

Under license No. LC2022QRCR01-000212 by the Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities (RACA), QRCS designed donation packages to expand the impact of donations. These include:

“Give Food”: Provide food items for 60 beneficiaries at a value of QR 2,600.

“Give Warmth”: Provide heating materials for 24 beneficiaries at a value of QR 1,300.

“Give Medication”: Provide winter medicines for 24 beneficiaries at a value of QR 500.

Source: Qatar Red Crescent Society

Human Rights Groups, China Voice Strong, Opposing Reactions to UN Vote

Beijing highlighted the failure of a push by the United States and some Western countries to debate China’s human rights record in Xinjiang at next year’s U.N. Human Rights Council. Uyghur rights groups voiced strong disappointment.

In a statement Friday by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a spokesperson accused the U.S. and the West of “misinforming the public,” comments that came a day after the 47 member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council voted on the motion to debate China’s treatment of Muslim communities in the Xinjiang region.

The draft resolution was rejected with 19 against, 17 in favor and 11 abstaining.

The resolution drafted by the U.S. and co-sponsored by Britain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway, was presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Sept. 26, asking to discuss the findings of a U.N. Xinjiang human rights report at the next regular session of the council in March.

The 48-page U.N. report concluded in August that China’s human rights violations against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other Turkic ethnic groups in Xinjiang “may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.” The U.S. and some Western parliaments have designated China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang as genocide and crimes against humanity.

China’s response

Beijing said the countries that supported the draft resolution “propagated falsehoods” on the human rights situation in Xinjiang and used “U.N. human rights bodies as a tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs and to serve the agenda of using Xinjiang to contain” China.

“The issues related to Xinjiang are not about human rights. They are about countering violent terrorism, radicalization and separatism,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said.

Zhang Meifang, consul general of China in Belfast, posted a screen shot of the result of the vote. “Justice Prevails!” Zhang tweeted.

Rights activists disappointed

Uyghur rights organizations voiced a very different response to the vote.

Dolkun Isa, president of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, called the final vote “a missed opportunity by council members” to hold China to the same standard as other countries.

“We are really disappointed by the reaction of Muslim countries, we have witnessed once again how strong the ties of our so-called Muslim brothers and sisters are with China,” Isa told VOA in an email. “The international community cannot fail the victims of the Uyghur genocide.”

Many of the countries that voted against the resolution were Muslim-majority countries.

More than 60 Uyghur rights groups around the world released a joint statement, urging the U.N. and its human rights experts to “take concrete action according to their mandates” on the human rights situation in Xinjiang.

In the statement, Uyghur groups said that by voting against the motion, member “states have blatantly disregarded previously accepted principles of objectivity, dialogue, impartiality, non-discrimination, and non-selectivity” within the Human Rights Council.

“The road to justice is never an easy one,” Omer Kanat, executive director of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, said in the statement. “The Chinese government’s singular goal has been to silence even a discussion of the issue — we cannot allow this to happen.”

International rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also released immediate statements shortly after the resolution failed, calling the result a betrayal.

“Today’s vote protects the perpetrators of human rights violations rather than the victims — a dismaying result that puts the U.N.’s main human rights body in the farcical position of ignoring the findings of the U.N.’s own human rights office,” Agnes Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International, said.

“[T]he extremely close vote highlights the growing number of states willing to buck the pressure from China to remain silent, take a stand on principle and shine a spotlight on China’s sweeping rights violations,” said Human Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson.

Phil Lynch, director at the International Service for Human Rights, tweeted a chart of the vote.

The reasons some countries, even those that are predominately Muslim, abstained or voted against the resolution are complicated, analysts said. In Africa, observers say many countries do not want to “pick a fight” with China, the source of investments and loans on infrastructure projects.

China’s claim that it is fighting extremists and separatists in the Xinjiang region also resonates with some nations, according to analysts.

Source: Voice of America

Inclusive Development of Host Areas in Eastern Chad

A mission led by Philipe Chedanne, Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in N’Djamena visited the SILA (Goz Beïda, Koutoufou and Ngorloli), from September 23 to 27.

Its objective was to supervise the Inclusive Development of Host Zones in Eastern Chad (DIZA EST) project co-financed by AFD and the EU (prevented) in partnership with UNHCR.

This mission was made up of several AFD agents, including Martin Gerhards, fragility and conflict expert at headquarters, as well as the Director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Alexandra Roulet-Cimpric and the Project Coordinator of the NGO CONCERN WORLDWIDE, Pierre Maget.

The on-site mission also joined the national NGO APLFT, a member of the consortium responsible for implementing the project and present during all the visits of the mission.

Several visits to localities (cantons of Wadi Habile and Mouro), infrastructure and various interviews with local authorities and project beneficiaries have enabled a positive assessment of the achievements and support provided, which constitute a wide variety of activities, selected by beneficiaries and equally targeting the very numerous refugee and displaced populations in the project area.

It was also an opportunity to discuss the necessary developments and adjustments to be made for the 2nd phase of the project, the financing of which will also be provided by the EU and the AFD in coordination with the UNHCR, which is very present in the area.

During this new phase, the question, in particular, of the evolution of the status of these thousands of refugees and displaced persons and of the camps established for several generations will be at the heart of the work carried out on the spot with the authorities, the partners and the populations concerned.

Source: French Embassy in N’Djaména