United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown has called on the international community to take action to tackle an emerging education crisis.
Elaborating on the education crisis, Brown, also former British Prime Minister, said that half the developing world’s children, which totals about 800 million, are leaving school without qualifications.
“There are probably 30 million refugee children, more than 23 million displaced children, and 75 million children living in conflict zones,” he added.
He noted that the majority of them were either not in education or in only very irregular schooling.
According to Brown, who is also chair of the Education Cannot Wait Fund, it is important to give them hope that they can prepare and plan for the future.
“If we do nothing, we will leave a generation of discontented, angry young men and women.
“The streets of the Middle East and the streets of Africa will be full of uneducated and unemployed young people.
“We have all got to come together as a coalition under Education Cannot Wait,” the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crisis, Brown said.
Education Cannot Wait is a new global fund to transform the delivery of education in emergencies — one that joins up governments, humanitarian agencies and development efforts to deliver a more collaborative and rapid response to the educational needs of children and youth affected by crises.
The international non-governmental organization aims to reach all crisis-affected children and youth with safe, free and quality education by 2030.
“We have got to raise the money that is necessary to ensure that we can actually see, as we say, in the Sustainable Development Goals, that every child, refugee child, displaced child, every single boy and girl is going to have the chance of an education,” said the special envoy.
Brown said that the fund was now working in a large number of countries.
“It’s been a first responder, most recently in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.
“It’s been one of the first to act in Bangladesh. It’s dealing with the crisis in the Sahel (region),” he said.
Brown also suggested a world bank for education be created.
“If we do not invest in young people in Asia or in the Middle East or in Africa, and do not deal with young people given the circumstances they’re facing, which is sometimes child labor, sometimes child marriage, sometimes child trafficking, if we don’t deal with these grievances, then we will have an unstable as well as unsustainable and unequal world for the years to come,” said the special envoy.
“People can survive many days without food, but cannot survive a minute without hope.
“Let’s join forces to help those vulnerable children without access to education, and inject hope in them,” he said.
Edited by Emmanuel Yashim
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria – NCDC Coronavirus Records
COVID-19: FCT leads with 130 cases, as Nigeria records 386 new infections
August 2, 2020 6:14 am By Abujah Racheal
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) led the pack on Saturday with 130 Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases as the country recorded 386 new infection in the country.
Data from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC ) showed that the cases were spread across 18 states and the FCT.
The NCDC said that FCT topped the list for the of states with higher daily cases of COVID-19 for the third time consecutively with 130, while Lagos, the epicentre of the virus, reported 65.
Other states with new cases were Ondo, 37, Osun, 29, Plateau, 23, Rivers, 15, Enugu, 14, Nasarawa, 12, Bayelsa, 11, Ebonyi, 11, Ekiti, 9, Oyo 8, Edo, 8, Abia, 6, Ogun, 3, Katsina, 3, Imo 1 and Adamawa 1.
The health agency said that Nigeria had now successfully treated 20,087 COVID-19 cases following the discharge of 522 additional patients in the last 24 hours.
The health agency noted that four more persons have died from the disease.
According to the NCDC, till date, a total of 43,537 cases of the virus have been confirmed, 20,087 cases discharged and 883 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 would continue to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria conducted 145,454 tests in July and recorded 17,457 positive cases during the same period.
It said compared to June, the figures represented 95 per cent increase in testing numbers and 12 per cent increase in positive cases.
”It is good news that Nigeria significantly stepped up testing in July. The 95 per cent increase in testing in July compared to June only resulted in 12 per cent increase in positive cases.
”June, 74,580 tests, 15,532 positive cases. July, 145,454 tests, 17,457 positive cases. July also recorded one of the lowest monthly test positivity to date.
”July test positivity is 12 per cent . June test positivity is 21 per cent. May test positivity is 17 per cent. July also records 51 per cent of cumulative test in the country,” it said.
The Agency said that states that had made this possible by their daily increase in testing were, Kano, Plateau, Oyo, Lagos, FCT and Rivers States in July. (NAN)
Nigerians in Diaspora wants FG to step-up strategy to combat human trafficking
The Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation, Qatar Chapter (NIDO-Qatar) on Friday urged the international community and the Federal Government to step-up strategy to combat trafficking in persons.
The President of NIDO-Qatar, Mr Victor Ikoli, gave the advice at the online webinar organised by National Agency for Protection of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP) under the leadership of Mrs Julie Okah-Donli.
The webinar was organised by the NAPTIP to comemorate the 2020 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons celebrated globally on July 30, to promote and protect rights of victims of trafficking in persons.
The theme of this year’s World Day Against Trafficking was focused on first responders to trafficking in persons.
Ikoli said the first responders were those who worked in different fields, such as identifying, supporting, advising and working to provide justice to victims of trafficking.
He said, “We hope that trafficking in persons will end soon, adding, as a result of the coronavirus restriction, victims are still trapped with traffickers.
“We want to partner with the relevant agencies and fight this crime from all fronts.
“We call on government to step up its strategy and be ahead of the traffickers and urge our members to report any case of trafficking, and to put an end to this human exploitation.
“Traffickers target major event destinations and the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar is already a target, hands must be on deck to stop these criminals.
Ikoli commended Okah-Donli’s efforts in the fight against human trafficking in the country.
He said that NAPTIP led by Okah-Donli had achieved a great feat of convicting 428 traffickers since 2013, rescuing 17,000 victims and arresting more than 7,000 perpetrators.
He also commended the recent joint operation which brought about safe return of 158 Nigerian migrants from Niger Republic.
Ikoli said that she had made NAPTIP a force to reckon with globally in the fight against trafficking in persons.
He said that the UN defined reasons people were trafficked to be for exploitation, forced marriage, begging, labour, sexual exploitation, organs removal, selling children and child soldiers.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
COVID-19 Response: FG receives 2nd Batch Medical Supplies of UN Basket Fund
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has joined other stakeholders to receive 2nd Batch Medical Supplies purchased with UN Basket Fund for COVID-19 Response on behalf of the Federal Government.
Mr Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, said this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
Oyetomi said Ehanire joined the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu at the Cargo Section of Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja to receive medical supplies from EU contributions worth N26 Billion.
Ehanire said this 2nd Batch of medical supplies would allay the fears of the health workers, especially the frontline health workers, who thought that Nigeria might be running short of supplies and were threatening strike.
The minister said there was arrangement in place through institutions and international friends like the EU and the UN to have replenishment.
He assured the EU and the UN of judicious distribution of the medical supplies to needed areas.
The Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Alexander Borges – Gomes, coordinated the handing over of the Medical Supplies.
Borges-Gomes disclosed that the items were procured through the One United Nations COVID-19 Basket Fund from a significant contribution from the European Union of €50 Million (N26 Billion).
The medical supplies include 500,000 face shields; 200,000 goggles; 100 oro-pharyngeal airways; 10,000 bio-hazard bags; and 14,000 safety boxes.
Borges-Gomes disclosed further that these were the 2nd Batch of the Medical Supplies by Team Europe – the EU and its MSs after the arrival of the 1st batch in mid-June, adding “Team Europe operates globally and here is the effort on behalf of Nigeria.”
He expressed hope that the equipment would boost the Nigerian Government’s response efforts as a whole but in particular, they would protect the heroic frontline health workers.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
1.3 mln South Sudanese children under 5 at risk of acute malnutrition: UNICEF
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday said that nearly 1.3 million children aged below five years were at risk of acute malnutrition in South Sudan.
According to UNICEF, the high number of malnourished children can be reduced through exclusive breastfeeding for six months, alongside introduction of energy and nutrient-dense complementary feeding programs.
“As the data show, more needs to be done, especially to ensure that exclusive breastfeeding is practiced,” Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF representative in South Sudan said in a statement issued in Juba.
“UNICEF is urging everyone in South Sudan to assist mothers in ensuring that the practice of exclusive breastfeeding is continued until the globally recommended age of six months,” he added.
Ayoya said that UNICEF and partners have already reached over one million pregnant and lactating mothers in South Sudan with nutrition interventions.
“It is the responsibility of us all to support new mothers with simplest, smartest and most cost-effective ways to exclusively breastfeed their new-borns so that they survive and thrive,” said Ayoya.
While over 90 percent of babies in South Sudan benefit from breastfeeding, nearly one-third of them under six months old are not exclusively breastfed, the globally recommended period for exclusive breastfeeding, according to a UNICEF statement issued ahead of the World Breastfeeding Week which runs from August 1 to 7.