Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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    Association calls WHO Chief to leave post

    AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization and world’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS care, called on United Nations (UN) Member States not to reappoint World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom to a second term.

    AHF made the call following a recent independent financial audit of the World Health Organization (WHO). The audit revealed “an increasing trend of cases of misconduct, especially relating to fraud, harassment, non-compliance to professional standards and sexual misconduct.”

    AHF has issued statements titled “Six Reasons Why WHO Chief Should Go” and “Ten Ways WHO Catastrophically Failed the World,” which outline additional arguments for not re-appointing Tedros to a second term as the WHO Director-General once his appointment concludes at the end of 2021.

     “We are astounded by the findings of the WHO audit. Financial malfeasance involving millions of taxpayer dollars is egregious enough, but when it’s happening in the middle of a pandemic, when millions of people are dying because they can’t get a vaccine, it’s nothing short of an outrage.” (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    Ethiopia finalizes updated NDC to address climate change

    The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission disclosed on Thursday that it has finalized Ethiopia’s updated NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) to address climate change through reducing emission according to the country’s circumstances and priorities.

    NDCs are actions that parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement Plan undertake to address climate change.

    Parties submit updated NDCs recorded in NDC registry maintained by the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change every five years, demonstrating progression beyond the country’s previous one and reflecting its highest possible ambition.

    Speaking at a half-day national validation workshop, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commissioner, Professor Fekadu Beyene announced that Ethiopia completed its updated NDC for submission to the UNFCCC before July 31, 2021.

    The updated NDC has set 2025 interim and 2030 final NDC targets, he said, adding that it has also identified 40 adaptation interventions in agriculture, health, urban, transport, energy, water, forestry, land use and natural resource management, among other sectors. (ENA)

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    Artefacts withdrawn from auction to return to Ethiopia

    The Embassy of Ethiopia in the Hague has secured possession of a set of historical objects, which had been due to go on auction at the Venduehuis der Notarissen in the Netherlands on June 25, 2021.

    The artefacts, which include three medieval illuminated Ethiopic manuscripts, dating before the 15th century, on vellum in their original wooden binding, and two Coptic textile fragments from an earlier period, have been donated to the Embassy by an anonymous intermediary and friend of Ethiopia.

    It is to be recalled that on June 18, 2021, the Embassy made a formal request to the Auctioneer to halt the sale of the items pending an investigation into whether the objects were procured and exported out of Ethiopia illegally.

    Following the request, the Embassy was informed on June 22 of the vendor’s decision to withdraw the items from auction.

    Million Samuel, ambassador of Ethiopia to the Netherlands, said: “The Embassy is delighted to receive these priceless artefacts on behalf of the people of Ethiopia. (FBC)

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    Gov’t to rehabilitate over 40,000 returnees from Saudi Arabia

    The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Job Creation Commission on Thursday announced that they jointly are working to rehabilitate over 40,000 returnees from Saudi Arabia.

    Labor and Social Affairs State Minister, Ayelech Eshete said that the ministry has been welcoming repatriated citizens and providing them with support.

    The ministry is ensuring their safe arrival to their localities and providing full information about the repatriates for regions, she added.

    According to her, the information provided for the regions will help to know about the returnees and find job opportunities for them.

    “We are working with stakeholders on ways to create jobs for our citizens returning from Saudi Arabia and we have prepared various programs and projects that would help citizens to work in their country and change their livelihoods,” the state minister said.

    The ministry will provide job training for the returnees to identify jobs based on their interests.

    Ayelech noted that most of the returnees need special attention as they are in bad conditions. (ENA)

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    Somalia to hold Presidential vote in October

    Somalia’s political leaders have agreed to hold a long-delayed presidential election on October 10, the Office of the Prime Minister said on Tuesday, following months of deadlock that turned violent at times.

    Mohamed Hussein Roble unveiled the timetable for indirect parliamentary and presidential elections in a statement on Twitter, saying stakeholders had agreed to a roadmap for a vote following two days of talks in the capital, Mogadishu.

    “I commend the leaders of the council and hope the election will be a peaceful and transparent one, based on the agreed-upon schedule and processes,” the prime minister said.

    President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the leaders of Somalia’s five states had been unable to agree on the terms of a vote before his term lapsed in February, triggering an unprecedented constitutional crisis.

    The political impasse exploded into violence in April when negotiations collapsed and the lower house of parliament extended the president’s mandate by two years, sparking gun battles on the streets of Mogadishu. (AFP)

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    Sudan protesters demand gov’t steps down over economic reforms

    Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum to demand the transitional government’s resignation over controversial economic reforms.

    Public discontent has mounted over the reforms, backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that slashed subsidies on petrol and diesel, more than doubling their price.

    “We want the fall of the regime” and “No to [IMF] policies,” shouted demonstrators who massed outside the presidential palace in Khartoum on Wednesday, a day after the IMF approved a USD 2.5 bln loan and debt relief deal.

    Sudan’s military-civilian administration has sought to keep the fractured country together and rebuild links with the West since longtime leader Omar al-Bashir was removed from power by the military in 2019 amid massive anti-government demonstrations.

    On Tuesday, the IMF cleared Sudan to begin to seek relief on about USD 56 bln in debt and civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok praised Sudan’s people for their “patience” and “endurance”.

    “We are on the right track,” he said in a televised speech after the IMF announced the debt relief deal. (Aljazeera)

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    South Sudan crude output plunges as blocks reach peak production

    South Sudan is experiencing a rapid drop in crude output as producing oil blocks hit peaks and have begun to decline, according to Ministry of Petroleum Undersecretary, Awow Daniel Chuang.

    Block three and seven in Upper Nile have fallen to 103,000 barrels per day from an initial 120,000 bpd. Blocks one, two and four have come down to 48,000 bpd from 53,000 bpd, he said by phone from the capital, Juba, on Thursday. Block 5A is yielding 3,000 bpd after production resumed, and is expected to reach 8,000 bpd by the end of the year.

    “The only potential is block 5A, which still remains capped,” he said adding “Today the production has dropped to 154,000 barrels a day from three producing areas.” It used to be as much as 180,000 barrels two years ago.

    Oil shipments account for almost all of the government revenues and declining reserves could spell doom for one of the world’s poorest economies. To reverse the downturn, the African nation’s government will aim to improve the recovery factor. (Bloomberg)

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    Lamu Port fortifies economic integration, people-to-people ties

    Development of Lamu Port will fortify people to people ties and facilitate economic integration in the region, said Ambassador Meles Alem, Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya.

    Meles told local media that for the growing population and economy, Ethiopia needs additional port alternatives to facilitate competitive economic activities. Implementing of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor projects will deepen the cooperation among the three countries.

    The development of additional alternative ports, like Lamu Port terminal, is key to facilitate economic growth and integration, he said.

    According to him, after the completion of infrastructure development in the area, the relationship and economic integration of the three countries especially Ethiopia, which has a growing economy and soaring population, needs additional port alternatives to spur its growth.

    The completion of LAPSSET Corridor projects, mainly the construction of LAPSSET’s (ports, pipelines, roads, and railways) will enable it to create vigorous marketing and attract businesses from the three countries, he stated. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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