Oxfam, CARE and seven other aid agencies on Monday called on Barclays Bank to scrap plans to close several money transfer accounts
that provide a lifeline to millions of Somalis who depend on remittances to survive.
Barclays had planned to close a number of accounts used by Somali transfer firms in the U.K. on Tuesday because of fears the funds might end up in the hands of groups branded as terrorists, such as the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab.
The bank said on Monday afternoon it would postpone the closure of the accounts until September 30, a delay Oxfam said amounted to no more than “a short stay of execution.”
Diaspora remittances are the biggest foreign currency earner for Somalia, which is slowly emerging from two decades of civil conflict and recurrent drought. An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 Somalis living abroad send home about $1.3 billion a year to their relatives.
Somalis are finding it increasingly difficult to make these transfers because banks worry they will be held responsible if the money falls into the hands of militants. Virtually all major US banks have stopped offering remittance services to Somalia and Barclays is the only U.K. bank still doing so.
“The banking rules are illogical, cold hearted and counter-productive. It leaves families already struggling to make ends meet to go without,” said Mark Goldring, Oxfam’s chief executive.
“Somalia will find it hard to work its way out of poverty and instability while its people are needlessly denied the financial support from thei loved ones abroad.”
Last month, a senior United Nations official spoke out against Barclays’ plans, saying it would have a direct humanitarian impact on Somalia, where several regions of the country have barely emerged from famine.
The Overseas Development Institute, a British think-tank, warned that cutting remittances “could be even worse and much longer lasting than the 2011 famine”, which killed some 260,000 people.
Somalis in the U.K. send over $157 million a year to friends and families in Somalia, where the averag income is about $300 a year.
It is impossible to send money from the West to Somalia via bank transfers because Somalia’s commercial banking system collapsed in the 1990s after the fall of dictator Siad Barre.
Instead, money is sent using money transfer operators, such as Dahabshiil, whose bank accounts gradually are being closed down.
Aid agencies said Barclays should delay plans to shut down the accounts for at least a year so that governments and banks can agree on regulations to enable money transfers to continue while addressing money laundering concerns.Read Full Article
Maternal health is one of the most pressing issues in developing countries, with hundreds of millions of women struggling on a daily
basis to get access to basic health care for themselves and their children.
According to the World Health Organization, almost all maternal deaths (99%) occur in developing countries; more than half of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Central African Republic (CAR) has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios – the number of women who die during pregnancy or child birth – at 890 deaths per 100,000 live births. A woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death in CAR is 1 in 27, compared to 1 in 3,800 in developed countries.
It is important that all births are attended by a skilled health professional, as timely management and treatment can be the difference between life and death. However, only 53% of births in CAR are attended by skilled health professionals. Women outside the capital often give birth at home in unsanitary conditions, relying on untrainedtraditional birth attendants.
“Traditional birth attendants have a lot of power and influence with the communities and pregnant women, but they often have little or no formal training,” says Olga, an International Medical Corps midwife. “They will encourage the mother to give birth at home. They wait until they can’t deal with a problem anymore and only then will they bring the woman to the clinic, but it can often be too late and the mother or the baby will die.”
But maternal care is more than just delivering babies. “We have to do a lot of community awareness and health education,” says Olga. “The biggest challenge is actually getting women to come to the health facility and use the services.
In one village the health facility is only 3 miles away, but the women weren’t using the services. We have to educate the women and the communities about the importance of ante and postnatal consultations, and the benefits of giving birth at a health facility with a skilled midwife.”
Many women die as a result of complications that have developed during pregnancy. Regular antenatal consultations allow midwives to monitor the progress of mother and baby, and to identify and treat women who are ‘at risk’. Mothers also receive immunizations against tetanus, de-worming and anti-malaria medication, and iron supplementsRead Full Article
DBG Donated Non-Food Stuff to 500 Families Residing in One of the IDP Camps Located Between Mogadishu and Afgoye.
Daryeel Bulsho Guud (DBG)
has today the 5th of September ,2013, distributed n on-food items and sanitary kits to 500 families living in camps between KM7 seven and KM10 ten in Benadir Region. The distribution was carried out in the presence of the Executive Director of DBG, Mr. Omar Olad Ahmed and other senior officials of the organization.
The non-food items and sanitary kits comprised of following: Cooking pots, Plates, Bowls, Spoons, Plastic basins and blankets, Mats, Jerry cans, Plastic sheets, Mosquitoes nets.
Apart from the Non-food items, DBG also distributed: Frocks, Head-wear, sanitary clothes, Underwear, Soap, powder soap, head scarf and Mats.
The assistance was donated by the German Ministry of International Cooperation better known as BMZ. This project is expected to benefiting 1778 families. So far 500 families have been given the assistance and the remaining will be given in the near future. Three hundred latrines have also been handed over to the beneficiaries, While the remaining fifty latrines are still under construction and expected toRead Full Article
Aliya waa gabar Somaaliyeed oo Qurbaha ku kortey laakiins dalkii ku noqotey
Aliya waa gabar soomaaliyeed oo wadanka ugu dambeysay mar hore waxeey tagtay Muqdisho sanado badan kadib. Waxeey Aliya ka soo diyaarineysay Barnaamij xiiso badan oo laga sii dayay Tv-yada Caalamka waxeyna gabadhani ka sheekeyneysaa Nolosha Somalia iyo tan taalo Qurbaha taalo.
Marka aad aragto burburkii wadanka iyo sida uu haatan yahay waxaa qalbigaada galaya qof walbo oo Soomaali ah in ay tusiso wadamada aynu joogno in aan lee nahay wadan haatana uu ka jiro Nabadd oo aan ka gadno Caalamka wadankeena si ay inooga caawiyaan waxii haray. Hadaba Daawo Video-ga ay Caaliya ka soo sameysay Wadanka ayadoo muddo dheer ugu dambeysay wadanka waxeyna sheeko fiican idin kaga heysaa Wadankii
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world as the United Nations marked the first ever International Day of Charity coinciding with the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa. “Charity plays an important role in upholding the values and advancing the work of the United Nations,” Mr. Ban said in his message for the Day, which will be observed annually on 5 September.
“Charity sometimes gets dismissed, as if it is ineffective, inappropriate or even somehow demeaning to the recipient,” he added. “Let us recognize charity for what it is at heart: a noble enterprise aimed at bettering the human condition.” UN humanitarian agencies rely on charitable donations from governments and the public to respond to natural disasters, armed conflicts and other emergencies, Mr. Ban said. In addition, UN bodies such as the UN Volunteers Programme (UNV) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) offer venues for people across the world to get involved.
MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno defended the release of P37-million fund to non-government organization in 2012 based on the high court’s 2012 statement of allotments, obligations and balances.
She said the P37-million went to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, a national organization of lawyers. The IBP was established as an official organization for the legal profession by Republic Act 6397.
“The P37 million went to the IBP’s legal aid. IBP is a legitimate organization. Its legal aid project is being conducted nationwide,” she said during the Meet the Press forum Wednesday.
The Executive and Legislative branches of government is currently under fire for the P10 billion pork barrel scam where government funds allegedly went to questionable NGOs of Janet Lim-Napoles.
Sereno said although she cannot provide for even an estimate of how widespread corruption is in the judiciary, she said they are exerting efforts to be transparent.
From July 2012 to July 2013, the Judiciary’s Development Fund has reached P1-billion where P870 million was distributed to employees of the judiciary nationwide.
“This [amount] is already out of our account,” Sereno said.
The JDF was established under Presidential Decree 1949 by then President Ferdinand Marcos for the benefit of the members and personnel of the Judiciary.
The fund, derived from legal fees being collected pursuant to the Rules set by the high court, is being used to augment the allowances of the members and personnel of the Judiciary and to finance the maintenance and repair of court offices.
The JDF has been the source of bickering between the three branches of government where both the legislative and executive branches are questioning the disbursements of JDF and the fact that the amount accruing to the fund will be deposited to a government depository bank or private bank instead of the Bureau of Treasury.
Still, Sereno said they cannot escape the Commission on Audit.
“We also want the public to be assured that the Judiciary has no reason to withhold it,” she said.
The Judiciary is getting less than 1 percent of the national budget and the JDF is being used to support the other needs of the judiciary specifically its personnel
A Bauchi based Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWOYDI ) has spent
over N30million in promoting Girl child education and women empowerment, particularly aimed at improving the living condition of the rural poor in the state.
This was disclosed by the President of FAWOYDI, Hajiya Maryam Garba during the Girls Education Project (GEP3) inception meeting and inauguration of Project Advisory Committee(PAC) organised by her NGO in collaboration with Action Aid Nigeria held at Development Exchange Centre(DEC), Bauchi yesterday.
According to her, some of the projects executed by Fahimta were the establishment of grains processing centre, construction of blocks of classrooms and gender based toilets in five Local Governments of the state, establishment of women literacy classes, provision of grant seeds for women to establish small scale businesses, among others.
She said the projects were supported by Action Aid Nigeria, Japan embassy, Northern Education Initiative, UNICEF and TY Danjuma Foundation Abuja.
On Girl Education Project (GEP3), Hajiya Garba expressed their determination to ensure the enrolment of 1,629 girl child in various schools in Bauchi state.
Garba said they would also improve the learning outcome of 675 women through the project, adding that Girl Education Project was aimed at improving the education of girls and women in 27 communities in four Local Government Areas in the state.
According to her the project would be carried out in 18 primary schools and 9 JSS in Dass, Shira, Toro and Warji LGA in the state.
Antananarivo — Child poverty in Madagascar is reaching record highs with 82 per cent of children under 18 living in households that
earn less than two euros a day, according to the United Nations. The situation for poor children has worsened since a military-backed coup ousted the democratically elected president Marc Ravalomanana in 2009.
This has led to more children living on the streets than ever before and a rise in prostitution among children. NGOs in the capital Antananarivo are stepping in to help vulnerable children get the services they need. The NGO Manda is one such service that runs a centre in Antananarivo where dozens of children come to study everyday.
“These children are living in the streets alone or come from a destroyed family. They beg for money or they become pickpockets,” said Hervé Rakotonandrana, a teacher with Manda. While Manda provides shelter at its night centre for some children, there are still many more young people who have to sleep in the streets.
Manda offers courses in mathmatics, tourism, tailoring and crafts to help the broaden future job prospects for the children.
Elysé Mamisoa Andriamantemainatolojahahary lived on the streets as a child but did a course in tourism. He now works as a co-ordinator at Manda and teaches drawing, dancing and singing classes.
“I like to spend time with the children to communicate and also act like a clown and play with them. That’s why I am staying a bit with NGO Manda. I learned many things here,” said Andriamantemainatolojahahary. When the political crisis hit the tourism sector, he lost his job as a tour guide.
But he hasn’t lost hope that he can one day return to working in tourism. “I would like to find a good job to support my whole family and also help the NGO Manda,” he said. In another part of Antananarivo, a group of American and Malagasy thespians called Zara Aina work with children from poor areas to produce a theatre show. Currently, participants are rehearsing a piece about a man who was born as an egg, which is based on a Malagasy folktale.
“We took Malagasy folktales because we are convinced that it’s necessary that we value the Malagasy culture,” said member of Zara Aina Dina Razafindrazaka. “And we are trying to make those children feel like they are the ambassadors or their own culture and the youth of Madagascar.”
The piece culminated in a tour across the country last year, including rural areas where access to theatre is limited. “We had magic moments, although it might be hard for the children to travel for hours and hours in the same bus, they had an amazing experience. They discovered themselves on stage, not really on stage, it was just on the floor,” said Razafindrazaka.
The young performers discovered a passion for the stage and they are eager for more.Read Full Article
Friend of West Africa a charitable organization based in the US recently donated one hundred and fifty bags of rice of 25kg to the Muslims
in the country. Speaking at the distribution held at Bijilo Lower Basic School, the Imam of Bijilo Alhagie Abdou Karim Tambedou thanked the Friend of West Africa through the founder for the support.
Noting that this holy month of Ramadan during which the items were donated is a good time to help the needy. He further said that the donation was a clear manifestation of the love and care that the group has for Muslims in the country.
For his part, Alkalo of Bijilo, Yankuba Jatta hailed the founder of the friend of West Africa Ousman Ndow for this magnitude gesture.
Noting that this is what is expected from each and every one who is in broad to turn back to his country and contributes his or her quarter to them. Kadijatou Sowe, a beneficiary expressed thanks to the donors for the help given to them at a time when things are hard for many people like her.
For his part, the founder of the Friend of West Africa, Ousman Ndow thanked God for given him the opportunity to give a helping hand to the Gambians in need. According to him, the aim of their organization is to help support those in need and contribute to the development of the countryRead Full Article