#AceWorldNews – BEIRUT – June 03 – World Bank president Jim Yong Kim has said that Lebanon is reaching “breaking point” in its ability to deal with the influx of Syrian refugees.
Kim urged international donors to increase their financial support to the Arab country after visiting a public school east of Beirut, AP reported.
“The tensions here are very high,” he said, adding that many Lebanese people feel they have been pushed into poverty because of the refugees.
Lebanon, with a population of 4.5 million people, is struggling to cope with the presence of more than a million refugees from Syria.
Lebanon Policy Paper, Final – June 2013.pdf
World Vision – National Post – Rescue
#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN – March 25 – An explosion and gunfire rattled the house of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Four people entered Ghani’s house and there was an explosion followed by gunfire, a senior police officer said. Ghani, a former World Bank official who has picked powerful former Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum as his running mate, was not there at the time.
No casualties were immediately reported.
#AceWorldNews says the World Bank announced on Thursday that it had postponed a $90 million loan payment intended for Uganda’s health system because of the African country’s new law that declares anyone convicted of homosexuality could be imprisoned for life.
It is rare for the poverty-fighting agency to make a political stand, yet President Jim Yong Kim told employees that the World Bank is against all forms of discrimination.
The law has angered western countries to the point that Uganda, already among the world’s poorest countries, has seen donations from Norway and Denmark suspended.
The World Bank still has a portfolio of projects in the African country worth $1.56 billion.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced today they are teaming up for a trip to the Sahel next week to address pressing issues in the vast African region such as pervasive poverty, food insecurity and conflict.
“The Sahel is one of the most impoverished and fragile places on the planet,” said Mr. Ban in a “http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3155” joint press conference in New York. “We are going together to listen and act. We are convinced the cycle of crises in the Sahel can be broken. The region can move from fragility to sustainability.”
Earlier this year, Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim travelled together to Africa’s long troubled Great Lakes region in support of a new peace framework agreed by leaders there. It was the first joint visit by a UN Secretary-General and a President of the World Bank. The new trip seeks to build on joint efforts, foster international support, and spotlight the challenges currently facing the Sahel.
“Our message on this critical visit and around the world is that peace and development must go hand-in-hand,” Mr. Ban said. “At this time last year, Mali was in crisis. Since then, our collective efforts have helped not only improve the political and security situation in Mali but also address some of the broader challenges in the Sahel. The time is ripe to build on these gains.”
The Sahel has suffered three major droughts in less than a decade. More than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition. In addition, political instability and unconstitutional changes in Governments have had significant economic and social consequences in the region and terrorist acts, as well as organized crime, have threatened the region’s stability.
“These challenges cannot be overcome by any Government or organization alone,” Mr. Ban said. “The issues are connected and we need an approach that connects our efforts.”
“Many of these countries have chronically low economic growth which lags behind the urgent need for job creation,” Mr. Kim told reporters via teleconference from Washington D.C. “We need to work together so that people of the Sahel can have peace and development.”
He stressed that the World Bank’s new approach to the Sahel will entail working side by side with the region’s Governments, the UN and other development partners and will promote greater stability, resilience and sustainable development in the five core countries of the region: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
“Our aim is to address the root causes of poverty, conflict and helplessness. As a part of this new approach, the World Bank will mobilize substantial public and private sources in support. We’ll help strengthen social safety nets for people, lower the cost of energy and increase support for irrigation and pastoralism, as well transform the state of agriculture in the region,” Mr. Kim said.
The Sahel stretches from Mauritania to Eritrea, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan, a belt dividing the Sahara desert and the savannahs to the south. The joint visit will start from Mali and continue to Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.
Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim will be joined by Mr. Ban’s Special Envoy to the region, Romano Prodi, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka, and Commissioner for Development of the European Union Andris Piebalgs.
Courtesy of :UN News Room
- Billions of dollars for Sahel region in Africa announced (worldbulletin.net)
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to Make Joint Visit to Africa’s Sahel Region (weinformers.net)
- Ban pleads for women’s rights to curb Sahel fertility (modernghana.com)
- UN, World Bank chiefs on Sahel anti-poverty mission (modernghana.com)
- EU, World Bank pledge over $8 bn in fresh aid for Sahel (modernghana.com)
- UN, EU pledge $8.25 billion to Africa’s Sahel (boston.com)
Pirates off the coast of Somalia and the Horn of Africa have made between $339 million and $413 million in ransom profits, fuelling a wide range of criminal activities on a global scale, according to a United Nations backed report released today.
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTFINANCIALSECTOR/0,,contentMDK:23491862~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:282885,00.html” Pirate Trails, produced by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and INTERPOL, uses data and evidence from interviews with former pirates, Government officials, bankers and others involved in countering piracy, to investigate the glow of ransom money paid out to Somali pirates operating in the Indian Ocean.
“The vast amounts of money collected by pirates, and the fact that they have faced almost no constraint in moving and using their assets has allowed them not only to thrive, but also to develop their capacities on land,” said the Chief of the Implementation Support Section in the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch at UNODC, Tofik Murshudlu.
“These criminal groups and their assets will continue to pose a threat to the stability and security of the Horn of Africa unless long-term structural solutions are implemented to impede their current freedom of movement.”
Piracy costs the global economy about $18 billion a year in increased trade costs. Because the outbreak of piracy has reduced maritime activity around the Horn of Africa, East African countries have suffered a significant decline in tourist arrivals and fishing yields since 2006.
“Unchallenged piracy is not only a menace to stability and security, but it also has the power to corrupt the regional and international economy,” said Stuart Yikona, a World Bank Senior Financial Sector Specialist and the report’s co-author.
The report found that ransom money was invested in criminal activities, such as arms trafficking, funding militias, migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and was used to further finance piracy activities. Piracy profits are also laundered through the trade of ‘khat,’ a herbal stimulant, where it is not monitored and so the most vulnerable to illicit international flows of money.
The report, which focused on Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Seychelles, and Somalia, also analysed the investments made by a sample of 59 pirate ‘financiers’ to show the range of sectors – including both legitimate businesses and criminal ventures – that were funded by the ransom money. It found that between 30 per cent and 75 per cent of the ransom money ends up with these financiers, while the pirate ‘foot soldiers’ aboard the ships receive just a fraction of the proceeds, amounting to less than 0.1 per cent of the total.
Pirate Trails calls for coordinated international action to address the issue, and sets out how the flow of illicit money from the Indian Ocean can be disrupted.
“The international community has mobilized a naval force to deal with the pirates. A similarly managed multinational effort is needed to disrupt and halt the flow of illicit money that circulates in the wake of their activities,” said Mr. Yikona.
Among the range of measures recommended by the report are strengthening the capacity of countries in the Horn of Africa to deal with illegal cross-border cash smuggling, risk-based oversight of Money Value Transfer Service Providers, and the development of mechanisms to monitor international financial flows into the khat trade.
- Pirate money promotes global criminal activity -report (uk.reuters.com)
- Buried treasure? (edition.cnn.com)
- Horn of Africa piracy ‘netted $400m’ from 2005-12 (shippingtribune.com)
- Horn of Africa piracy ‘nets $400m’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Pirates Pocket Almost None Of The Ransom (bloomberg.com)
- Piracy: Ransoms amount to more than $339 million over seven-year period (ionglobaltrends.com)