The U.S Secretary of State Michael Pompeo says the United States provided humanitarian assistance worth close to $907m to countries in Africa.
Pompeo, in a statement on Friday made available on the African Regional Media Hub, noted that the US provided nearly $152m to countries in the Sahel region as humanitarian assistance.
The countries in the Sahel region include Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Mali.
The U.S at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting also announced $108 million as humanitarian assistance for the people of South Sudan, and people of South Sudanese descent in neighboring countries.
Pompeo said the funding includes nearly $67 million from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration as well as more than $85 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.
Pompeo added that significant gaps in meeting humanitarian needs, in addition to environmental concerns such as major flooding across the region, were further heightened during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our assistance will provide critical protection, livelihoods, shelter, essential healthcare, emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services for refugees, internally displaced people, and vulnerable host communities.
Pompeo is of the opinion that the United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance, both in the Sahel region and globally.
“We appreciate contributions from donors to date, but recognise the significant needs that remain and call on current and new donors to make new contributions or to fulfill existing pledges to make this life saving assistance possible.
Today at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting, `A Dialogue with the World’s Top Ten Donors on Global Humanitarian Needs’, hosted by the United States, we announced nearly $108 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of South Sudan, including South Sudanese in neighboring countries.
“This funding includes almost $97million from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and more than $11million from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.
“It brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for response, including refugees and those affected by conflict and natural disasters, to nearly $907 million in Fiscal Year 2020 alone.
“… and close to $5.5 billion since the start of the crisis in 2014, including more than $64 million in supplemental humanitarian assistance to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region,” Pompeo said.
He added that heavy rains, fighting between armed groups, food insecurity, a deteriorating economic situation, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all compounded an already dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
The U.S. humanitarian assistance provided emergency food assistance, health care services, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, as well as assistance to survivors of gender-based violence in South Sudan.
According to him, U.S. humanitarian assistance also provides life-saving activities to the nearly 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries, most of whom are women and children, and to local host communities sheltering refugees.
He said the U.S. also provided country-wide support for the UN Humanitarian Air Service to transport humanitarian workers and relief supplies.
The secretary of state said that in the response to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, the U.S. “supports the operations of a network of nearly 30 non-governmental organisations, including faith-based organisations, and international organisations.”
He listed some of the organisations supported by the U.S. government as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Children’s Fund, and the World Food Programme.
Others are he identified are the International Organisation for Migration, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Pompeo said the U.S. remained the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance, both in South Sudan and globally.
`We will continue to be catalyst for international response to alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan.
“We appreciate contributions from donors to date but recognise the significant needs that remain and call on current and new donors to make new contributions or to fulfill existing pledges to make this life saving,” Pompeo said.
Nigeria’s President Buhari Condoles with Burkina Faso President over Father’s Death
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has put a phone with his Burkina Faso’s counterpart, Marc Christian Kabore, to commiserate with him and the nation following the demise of the president’s 90-year old father, Bila Kabore.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
The Nigerian leader said: “I am deeply pained and saddened to hear of the death of your beloved and respected father.
“He was an outstanding leader who cared for all. His life was devoted towards the progress of the Burkinabe nation and its people.
“May God give you, the family and the entire country the fortitude to bear the loss.
“On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, please accept our heartfelt condolences.
“May God repose his soul.”
The deceased was a distinguished Burkinabe, who served as Minister of Finance in the 60s, a board member of the country’s Central Bank and at one-time, the Vice Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).
Inconsistencies In Guinea’s Presidential Election Results Worrisome – US
The US has expressed concern over “inconsistencies” in preliminary results of Guinea’s presidential election.
In a statement, the US embassy spoke of a “lack of transparency in vote tabulations and inconsistencies between the announced results and tally sheets results from polling stations”.
Guinea’s 82-year-old leader Alpha Condé won a controversial third term in office, according to preliminary results, amid violent protests across the country.
The US has urged all parties to peacefully resolve electoral disputes through established institutions. It said it supported diplomatic efforts by the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, the African Unions and the UN.
The main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had declared himself winner and was prevented from leaving his house until Wednesday when he said the security officers outside his home had been withdrawn.
Tanzania Election: Mwinyi Becomes 8th President of Zanzibar
The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party’s presidential candidate in Zanzibar, Hussein Mwinyi, has won the presidency of the semi-autonomous state, beating 14 other candidates.
Mwinyi polled 76.27 per cent of the vote which was equivalent to 380,402 votes.
His rival Maalim Seif Sharif of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) was arrested while trying to vote on Tuesday before being released hours later.
Mr Mwinyi is the son of Ali Hassan Mwinyi who served as the second President of the United Republic of Tanzania from 1985 to 1995.
Zanzibar has a history of contested polls, including in 2015 when they were annulled for not being free and fair. The opposition boycotted the re-run and the CCM party’s candidate was declared the winner.
Ali Mohammed Shein is now stepping down after serving two five-year terms in office.
Zanzibar had 566,352 registered voters with 498,786 turning up at the polling stations on Wednesday October 28, a number that was equivalent to 88.07 per cent.
Mwinyi becomes the eighth President of Zanzibar since the revolution in 1964.
He has called on all the other contestants to come together to build one Zanzibar because as citizens they will need each other to build a prosperous Zanzibar.
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