"While the human rights situation has improved over the past year, Mali remains a fragile country facing numerous challenges relating to transitional justice, security reform, economic recovery, peace building, and reconciliation."
- US Human Rights Council Head of Delegation Paula Schriefer at Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali [Full Statement]
The Ambassador to the US Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna is in Africa! Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Department of International Relations and Cooperation Chief Director for UN Political Affairs, and US Ambassador Joseph Macmanus, met in Pretoria to discuss a range of issues, including support for IAEA projects in Africa that peacefully use nuclear technology to achieve development goals.

The Ambassador to the US Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna is in Africa! Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Department of International Relations and Cooperation Chief Director for UN Political Affairs, and US Ambassador Joseph Macmanus, met in Pretoria to discuss a range of issues, including support for IAEA projects in Africa that peacefully use nuclear technology to achieve development goals.

20 million people are at risk of food insecurity in the #Sahel and 2.5 million of them need urgent lifesaving #food assistance. Learn more about the 3-year Strategic Response Plan recently launched by the United Nations and humanitarian partners to provide aid to millions of people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

20 million people are at risk of food insecurity in the #Sahel and 2.5 million of them need urgent lifesaving #food assistance. 

Learn more about the 3-year Strategic Response Plan recently launched by the United Nations and humanitarian partners to provide aid to millions of people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

USAID ANNOUNCES RISE: A NEW INITIATIVE TO BUILD RESILIENCE IN WEST AFRICA’S SAHEL

Today, at the high-level launch of the United Nations’ Sahel Humanitarian Response Plan in Rome, Italy, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg announced USAID’s RISE (Resilience in the Sahel-Enhanced) Initiative. RISE commits more than $130 million over the first two years of a five-year effort to build resilience to recurrent crisis in West Africa’s Sahel, a region where chronic poverty, food insecurity, drought, and violent extremism collide—and some 18.7 million people faced food insecurity in 2012 due to severe drought for the third time in a decade. Learn More

Ambassador Samantha Power and the United Nations Security Council recenty made a 2-day visit to Mali to support the people as they stand up to extremists and pursue democracy. [Source: US Mission to the UN Facebook Page]

The U.S. airlifts over 800 Rwandan Peacekeepers to the Central African Republic in a new peacekeeping mission. [Source]

The U.S. airlifts over 800 Rwandan Peacekeepers to the Central African Republic in a new peacekeeping mission. [Source]

The Sahel has been briefly in the headlines these past few months because of the French intervention in Mali. But before there was a political crisis in Mali there was a region-wide humanitarian crisis. In many ways, the humanitarian crisis precipitated the political conflict that has befell Mali.

To help raise awareness about this other side the Sahel crisis, musicians David Guetta and Usher just contributed this song to the UN’s humanitarian efforts. Learn More

 

Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss
On February 19, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs along with the Office of Global Food Security and the Foreign Service Institute will host the conference “Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss.” Government officials, representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and foreign diplomatic corps will discuss the issue of postharvest loss, focusing on Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. [Read More]

Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss

On February 19, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs along with the Office of Global Food Security and the Foreign Service Institute will host the conference “Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss.” Government officials, representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and foreign diplomatic corps will discuss the issue of postharvest loss, focusing on Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. [Read More]

Finding a Lasting Solution to Instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo

On February 11, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted a conversation with Ambassador Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, on finding a lasting solution to instability in the DRC. Watch Video

Today is the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). An estimated 100 to 145 million women have undergone this brutal procedure, and about 3 million girls are at risk each year. Starting now, watch a live webcast of a panel of experts who will discuss successful efforts and solutions to address this issue. http://goo.gl/wX3xd 

Although many good projects in agricultural development make one hopeful for the future in Malawi, the country does still have some emergency situations that need attention. Dry spells and prolonged drought have created serious food shortages in some areas of the country. In coordination with the Government of Malawi, other UN agencies, and NGOS, the World Food Program (WFP) is providing emergency assistance to almost two million people in the country.. Of course children are at highest risk, and need special help. In the photos you can see a Food Distribution Center at Salima, and a Community based Management for Acute Malnutrition project at Mangochi Hospital where malnourished children are checked-in, weighed, assessed and provided with the necessary care and supplemental feeding.

The school uniforms are similar to the ones worn by kids in Tanzania, but this pilot School Feeding program at the Ching’Ombe school in Malawi is different. It is particularly effective because it not only draws children to attend school with the promise of a meal, it also provides incomes to local farmers. Instead of providing the school with food, the Malawi Ministry of Education and the WFP give the school funds with which to buy their food from local farmers. The schools sign contracts with the local farmers’ organizations to supply specific quantities of fresh food, and they design a nutritious school menu according to what produce is availble. This reduces transportations and makes for fresher, tastier meals, as we were able to attest –the lunch of rice, vegetables and even meat looked really tasty, with a fresh mango for dessert. After just two weeks the head teacher at Ching’Ombe school reported a 10% increase in attendance as the children enjoyed the fresh meals. The farmers say they are “interested in selling good vegetables and are glad that we can sell them to the school and our kids will eat them.”

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