Daily Archives: May 20, 2014

Africa: U.S. Pledges Additional Humanitarian Assistance to South Sudan

U.S. Pledges Additional Humanitarian Assistance to South Sudan

Media Note

Washington, DC
May 20, 2014

The United States today announced nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance to help the people of South Sudan who have been placed at risk by the conflict that began last December. The additional funding was announced at the Humanitarian Pledging Conference for South Sudan in Oslo, Norway where we joined more than 40 other countries in pledging support to help those displaced inside the country, as well as those who have fled to neighboring countries.

We continue to stand with the people of South Sudan and are working to bring an end to the conflict that has taken a devastating toll on the country and accelerated the humanitarian crisis. We are working with the United Nations and our partners to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the 1.3 million people displaced by the fighting and the million who are at risk of famine in the coming months.

With this new funding, the United States is responding to immediate food needs, ramping up the distribution of food items and specialty nutrition supplements for children suffering from malnutrition. This new assistance will also continue to support programs that address chronic food insecurity by providing seeds, tools and agricultural training to help South Sudanese farmers restart their livelihoods.

To prevent the spread of disease, the new U.S. assistance will provide safe drinking water, latrines and training on hygiene practices. It will also bolster emergency health services, provide medical and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence and fund emergency education for displaced children. The funding will also support programs in neighboring countries that are witnessing an influx of refugees with construction of camps, health and nutrition programs, as well as education and reproductive health activities.

With this announcement, the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to South Sudan in fiscal year 2014 is more than $434 million. The United States is the leading single donor of humanitarian assistance to the country. However, this aid can only be effective if the Government of South Sudan, opposition forces, and all other conflict parties stop fighting and remove obstacles to the delivery of life-saving assistance. It is crucial that both sides implement their May 9 agreement to end the violence and allow immediate, full and unconditional access for the United Nations and humanitarian organizations to reach those in need.

Statement by the Spokesperson of the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton following the second round of the presidential election in Guinea-Bissau

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, May 20, 2014 – In the context of the second round of the presidential election in Guinea Bissau, the Spokesperson of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice -President of the Commission Catherine Ashton, made today the following statement:

“The High Representative congratulates the people of Guinea Bissau, who have demonstrated once again their sense of responsibility and their commitment to democracy by voting peacefully and in high numbers in the second round of the presidential election on 18 May.

All political and military actors must respect the will of the people. The electoral process needs to run its course in full transparency and fairness. The High representative trusts that any disputes regarding the results will be resolved through the appropriate legal channels.

The European Union Electoral Observation Mission, headed by the Member of the EuropeanParliament, Mr Krzysztof Lisek, will shortly present its preliminary assessment on the election process.

These elections are a major milestone on the road to democracy and stability, as it is essential there is a legitimate government, endorsed by the people, to provide the stability for development to resume. The High Representative appeals to all parties to work together to pursue the necessary reforms to re-build and develop the country.

The EU is committed to supporting Guinea-Bissauans in pursuing this goal.

The EU re-affirms its full support to ECOWAS, the UN, the AU, the CPLP and other international partners, for their continuing efforts to help the country to move towards constitutional normalcy and political stability.”

SOURCE: European Union


NEW YORK, May 20, 2014 – The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General welcomes the generally peaceful and orderly conduct of yesterday’s run-off presidential election in Guinea-Bissau. Once again, Bissau-Guineans have demonstrated their commitment to peace and democracy by turning out in large numbers to cast their ballots. The Secretary-General reiterates his call to the candidates and their supporters to respect the official results once announced by the Supreme Court and to follow existing legal procedures to resolve any electoral disputes that may arise.

The successful conclusion of the elections will go a long way to restoring constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau. The Secretary-General calls on all Bissau-Guineans, their leaders and institutions to seize this opportunity to usher in and consolidate the stability that has eluded the country for too long. The United Nations remains committed to supporting Guinea-Bissau on its path to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future based on the rule of law.

SOURCE: United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General

Leaders in One Bangui Community Seek to Rebuild Shattered Infrastructure

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 20, 2014 – Community leaders from Bangui’s 3rd arrondissement met this weekend to identify and prioritize infrastructure projects to revitalize their district. Much of the community’s public infrastructure was destroyed or abandoned when the civil war broke out in the Central African Republic (CAR) in December 2013.

This was the first of several community meetings that will take place as part of an 18-month project funded by the European Union: “Community Stabilization and Retention of Mixed Communities.” The initiative aims to support mixed communities in Bangui and increase social cohesion and dialogue by facilitating the rehabilitation of community infrastructure.

The mayor of the 3rd arrondissement chaired the meeting, which was facilitated by IOM staff. A total of 62 representatives took part, including representatives from women’s associations, youth organizations, displaced people, religious communities and local committees from the arrondissement’s 29 neighbourhoods. Participants discussed and identified 22 urgent socio-economic infrastructure needs and voted to select six priority projects that correspond to the needs of the entire community.

Work will soon begin on the following infrastructure priorities: rehabilitation of a maternity clinic and the mayor’s office conference hall; installation of street lights and public garbage bins on the main thoroughfares; and repair of bridges. IOM will look at the feasibility of the proposed projects in coordination with the humanitarian clusters, local authorities and relevant ministries.

The “Community Stabilization and Retention of Mixed Communities,” project will target the whole of Bangui, but is focused on the 3rd and 5th arrondissements, which are mixed communities in terms of ethnic, religious and economic diversity. The project will involve some 10,000 beneficiaries and aims to support the most vulnerable people in the community.

Civil society organizations and local leaders, in coordination with IOM, will provide lists of community members who would like to participate.

The project officially began in April and already has over 400 direct beneficiaries. These are locally hired community members who work in mixed Christian and Muslim teams of up to 50 people to improve their neighbourhoods and clean the streets.

The street cleaning program was expanded on Monday to employ a total of 300 youths in the 3rd and 5th arrondissements. They carry out rehabilitation of markets, gutters and drains, and provide waste management support to sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the 3rd arrondissement. Community members and local merchants are appreciative of the clean streets and frequently cheer on the youths while they work.

Many participants in the street cleaning program were themselves displaced from their homes in December when conflict intensified in Bangui and continue to live in IDP sites. More than 135,000 people are displaced in Bangui, and over 560,000 nationwide.

SOURCE: International Office of Migration (IOM)

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the forthcoming elections in Malawi

NEW YORK, May 20, 2014 – The Secretary-General takes note of Malawi’s first tripartite elections, to be held on 20 May 2014, and urges all candidates, political parties, and state institutions to ensure that the polls are peaceful and inclusive. He appeals to the candidates, parties and state institution to adhere to the Lilongwe Peace Declaration of 10 May to ensure that the elections are free from violence.

The Secretary-General is convinced that a successful process of presidential, parliamentary, and local council elections will be instrumental for the consolidation of democracy in Malawi. The Secretary-General commends the work of the Malawi Electoral Commission and all national actors, as well as international partners, for their support to the electoral process.

SOURCE:United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General