Africa Region | Hunger Crisis – Operation Update #1 – Emergency Appeal (MGR60001)

Across the region, millions of people are living in poverty and facing multiple daily threats to their food security. An estimated 146 million people are facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. Climatic shocks, such as prolonged drought and recurrent flooding, conflict, desert locusts, and economic downturns, exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19, have combined to hit communities hard. The impact of global drivers is compounding the effect of pre-existing deep-rooted local drivers such as poverty and marginalisation.

The crisis has spread across all of Africa – from East Africa with the fourth consecutive failed rains in the Horn of Africa and extreme flooding for four successive years in South Sudan, to the Sahel region of West Africa plagued by insecurity and political instability, to Southern Africa where countries, such as Zimbabwe, are experiencing surging inflation. Unfortunately, this is not new and in 2010–2011, in spite of early warning signs that failed rains in East Africa would result in acute food insecurity and a loss of lives, the humanitarian response was too little and too late. History almost repeated itself in 2016–2017, but governments and humanitarian organisations mobilised a response sufficient enough to head off mass mortality.

Warnings of the current situation were given as early as 12 months ago when African Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies started to launch hunger crisis emergency appeals. So far, 17 African National Societies have responded to the hunger crisis across the region with the limited resources they have. However, to respond to the rapidly escalating humanitarian needs and scale up, for the National Society response, funding for the crisis needs to be urgently increased. The IFRC, in turn, must quickly and massively scale-up life-saving assistance to millions of people facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity, of which hundreds of thousands are at immediate risk of or experiencing catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity, but also to decisively address the root causes of this crisis through longer-term commitments.

The report details how the African Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies plan to scale up life-saving assistance to millions of people and the response efforts since the launch of the emergency appeal. At the same time, through longer-term programming, African National Societies will address the root causes of food insecurity. IFRC will build on our previous successes and work in support of government plans and frameworks to improve the resilience of the most impoverished communities, including displaced populations.

Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies

South Africa Fuel Tanker Blast Death Toll Rises to 15

The death toll from a fuel tanker explosion in a South African city east of Johannesburg has risen to 15, the health minister said Sunday.

“Yesterday [Saturday], the death toll was at 10 people and now we are sitting at 15 as of this morning,” Joe Phaahla told reporters at Tambo Memorial Hospital.

The tanker, transporting liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), was caught beneath a bridge close to the hospital and houses on Saturday morning in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

The minister said three hospital employees, two nurses and a driver, died later from severe burn injuries.

Thirty-seven people were injured, including 24 patients and 13 staff members who were in the hospital’s accident and emergency unit at the time of the blast.

They “sustained severe burns and have been diverted to neighboring hospitals”, Phaahla said.

Others were hit by shattered glass, he added, while some were hurt as they were in the parking lot or in front of the hospital.

Videos on social media showed a huge fireball under the bridge, which the tanker appeared to have been too high to go under.

It was carrying 60,000 liters of LPG gas, which is used especially in cooking and gas stoves, and had come from the southeast of the country.

The health minister said the blast severely damaged the hospital’s accident and emergency unit and X-ray departments, adding the roof was also damaged.

Source: Voice of America

Export Bahrain celebrates another award-winning year with two international accolades

Manama, Export Bahrain celebrates the addition of its 5th and 6th international awards – ‘Best SME Export Development Solutions – MENA 2022’ by UK based Capital Finance International and the ‘Most Innovative Export Platform Bahrain 2022’ by the International Business Magazine Award to its awards shelf.

The accolades come as a global acknowledgement of Export Bahrain’s diligent efforts and its tailor-made solutions for Bahrain based businesses since its inception. Over the last four years, Export Bahrain has launched a number of solutions to meet the needs of SMEs and facilitate their journey to international markets. The global awards echo Export Bahrain’s belief in the significance of the SME sector and their vital role in shaping the Kingdom’s future by diversifying its economy.

Since its inception, the award-winning national export entity has successfully facilitated the export of 65 products and services across 12 different sectors valued at over 300M USD to 68 international markets that include the GCC region, Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

It is noteworthy that the annual awards, which are exclusively presented to recognize excellence in finance, international trade, and other entrepreneurial enablers around the world, acknowledge the role of Export Bahrain in facilitating exports of Bahrain-based businesses, providing them with a range of diverse solutions to meet their needs and aspiration and ensuring to enable businesses in specific to unlock more potentials through exporting.

Commenting on the occasion, Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, stated: “We are pleased to receive the two respectable awards which come as a recognition of Export Bahrain’s exceptional role in supporting SMEs. The accolades endorse our ongoing commitment to providing SMEs with bespoke solutions tailored for every phase of their export journey and our endeavors to encourage a national export culture. We strive to build on our success and broaden our reach by maintaining our eagerness to assist Bahrain based businesses and developing innovative, high-quality services and solutions across various economic sectors.”

Commenting on the occasion, Export Bahrain Chief Executive Officer, Safa Sharif A.Khaliq stated: “We are extremely honored to see that the Export Bahrain’s efforts have been acknowledged on an international scale. This award reaffirms the company’s endeavors toward uplifting this vital sector by supporting SMEs and encouraging Bahrain based businesses to access international opportunities. This recognition represents the national acknowledgement of not only Export Bahrain’s devoted efforts towards SMEs, but also their well-deserved success around the world.”

Source: Bahrain News Agency