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COVID-19: Skyrocketing Food Prices May Cause Hunger In Nigeria2 minutes read

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has seen an increase in malnutrition rates among children in nutrition centres it supports in Nigeria.

The number of children treated by the outpatient nutrition program grew by 20%, while the number of severe malnutrition cases rose by 10%, compared to the same period last year.

The rise in the number of patients was registered despite the ICRC putting on hold its community outreach program due to the pandemic.

The outreach program, implemented in collaboration with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), is its most efficient tool to identify malnourished children.

“What we are seeing now is just the tip of an iceberg, and we are very concerned by the trend, especially in Maiduguri,” says Thomas Ndambu, ICRC nutritionist.

“I am certain that when Nigerian Red Cross volunteers resume their community outreach, the numbers will surge.”

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic put additional strain on the vulnerable communities in the North-East of Nigeria, where the decade-long armed conflict is severely hampering agricultural production and self-sufficiency of local farmers.

“Everywhere we work the food prices have gone up, in some places they doubled. It means that millions of people in the North-East of Nigeria do not have enough to eat,” said Ruth Mwakiuna Muriungi, economic security programs coordinator for the ICRC.

Almost two million people in the North-East are currently displaced and do not have access to their agricultural land and production tools. In many areas of the Lake Chad region, insecurity and movement restrictions have limited farmers ability to plant crops.

Kano, Nigeria’s major seeds producer, was among the areas hit the hardest by the pandemic during the planting season, which affected seed processing and transportation. As a result, many farmers could not obtain seeds or received them too late.

The ICRC, one of the major contributors to the agricultural sector in the North-East, managed to obtain less than 60% of the seeds it was originally planning to distribute to vulnerable communities.

With Nigeria depending on food import for a tenth of its food needs, border closures and restrictions on movement during spring and summer months have also affected the availability of food in the markets. Extreme weather is another factor influencing food production in Nigeria.

Between January and September 2020, one million people received food and livelihood assistance from the ICRC. The activities were carried out in close collaboration with the NRCS.

• 49,625 households received food rations (36,872 households), cash relief (7,252 households) and nutritious soya-corn blend (5,501 households).
• 30,769 households received seeds and tools.
• 11,501 households received cash to protect the seeds during the planting season.
• 36 herders benefited from the vet vaccination and 11,068 vet items were donated to the veterinary hospital in Maiduguri.
• 1,883 households participated in cash for livelihood activities and income generation programs.
• 120 people with disabilities benefitting from the microeconomic initiative program in Kano.
• 30,111 households received essential household items to improve their living conditions.

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ECOWAS Court Orders Senegal To Pay Belgian Woman $89,793.25

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The ECOWAS Court has ordered the Republic of Senegal to pay 50 million CFA francs (about $89,793.25) as compensation to a Belgian, Mrs Lays Ghislaine, for violation of her right to liberty while in detention in the country prior to her extradition five years ago.

Delivering judgment, Justice Januaria Costa held the Republic of Senegal is liable for the violation of Ghislaine’s right to liberty.

The court however held that the State did not infringe on her right to dignity, the second plea made in the initiation application.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the media unit of the Court, the Community Court of Justice also dismissed other reliefs sought by the Applicant, declaring them unfounded.

Ghislaine had in her initiating application in suit no. ECW/CCJ/APP/01/19 filed January 7, 2020, alleged she was arbitrarily arrested in September 2015 in furtherance of an international arrest warrant issued by a Belgian court and detained in prison by agents of the Respondent during which she was subjected to degrading treatment in the course of her extradition to Belgium.

The Applicant added that the process for her extradition exceeded the stipulated 30 days period provided for in the Senegalese law relating to extradition.

She averred that although the order for her extradition was issued on June 14, 2016, she was eventually extradited on Nov. 24, 2016 in contravention of Senegal’s law that provided that the victim if not extradited within 30 days should be released.

Her counsel, Mr Assane Ndiaye, claimed that his client also endured hunger strike and was wrongly diagnosed of cancer with the attendant fear and anxiety’

She therefore sought orders of the court declaring the Respondent liable for the violations, and the payment of 500 Million CFA francs as reparation, as well as the cost of litigation.

In response, the respondent did not counter the claims of the applicant on the applicable law concerning extradition but argued that the Applicant provided no evidence to back her claims of being detained beyond the stipulated time.

The respondent further argued that the hunger strike embarked on by the Applicant took place during the legal period of detention and that the medical report carried out by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) only suspected cancer.

The counsel added that the applicant did not prove how the disease was directly or indirectly related to her detention.

Also on the panel were Justices Gberi-Be Ouattara and Dupe Atoki.

In another suit, the court absolved the government of the Republic of Senegal of violation of the rights of another Senegalese, Mr Siny Dieng, who was tried and sentenced for money laundering and the funds seized by the government.

In the judgment also delivered by the Justice Costa, the court rejected the claim of the applicant that the trial and seizure of the estimated 100 million CFA, based on the order of a court violated his right to fair hearing and property as guaranteed by various legal texts cited in the initiating application in suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/50/19.

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Africa in 60 – October 27, 2020

In case you missed it, here are the stories across Africa that made the headlines on Tuesday October 27th, 2020, all in one minute.
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Do well to click on the link in our bio to read more on these stories and other stories about #Africa
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#AfricaFirst #AfricanNews

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South African Dies In Zimbabwe’s Plane Crash

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A South African national was found dead, and two others critically injured, in a crashed plane belonging to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZIMPARKS) in Zambezi Valley.

Local reports on Tuesday said that a fourth person, who was on the four-seat Cessna 182 light aircraft, is still missing.

It said a 25-man search team has been combing the Chewore Safari Area, Zambezi Valley, in northern Zimbabwe to find him.

The deceased is a South African researcher, who was conducting a game survey with a compatriot and two Zimbabweans, including the pilot, the newspaper said.

Rescuers found the pilot and the other South African researcher badly injured, about 48 hours after the plane disappeared from the radar.

Zimbabwean and Zambian authorities are jointly carrying out the search for the missing passenger.

ZIMPARKS spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo, confirmed the plane crash and said the injured had been taken to Kariba Hospital.

“It is not yet clear what caused the crash and investigations are still in progress.

“We have engaged authorities in Zambia to help in the search for the fourth person who remains missing.”

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