Daily Archives: April 11, 2017

RISK RAPIDLY RISING OF MASS STARVATION IN AFRICA, YEMEN: UN

The risk of mass starvation in four countries – northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – is rapidly rising due to drought and conflict, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.

“We are raising our alarm level today that the risk of mass deaths from starvation among populations in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Nigeria is growing,” UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing.

“We are already seeing a rise of displacement.”

Amid a funding shortfall and sharply deteriorating availability of food, a humanitarian crisis possibly worse than that of 2011 when 260,000 people died of famine in the Horn of Africa “is fast becoming an inevitability”, he said.-

Source: National News Agency

Reserve Bank clarifies commemorative coins value

Pretoria � The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) says commemorative circulation coins, such as the R5 Griqua Town coin, are ‘normal’ circulation coins that form part of all the other coins already in circulation.

The bank on Tuesday said it has received numerous enquiries on the value of the R5 commemorative circulation coins.

The SARB would like to reiterate that commemorative circulation coins, such as the R5 Griqua Town coin, are normal circulation coins that form part of all the other coins already in circulation.

These circulation coins, whether normal or commemorative, are all worth their face value, which is R5 in the case of the R5 Griqua Town circulation coin, said the central bank on Monday.

The SARB urged the public that if they get one of these coins as change, not to hold on to the coin and rather make a purchase so that the next person can also experience the beauty of the coin.

The SARB issues commemorative circulation coins as part of its currency production function. These coins are issued to commemorate a person or an event that has had a significant impact on society. Such coins are always produced in large quantities and are made available and accessible to the public at face value.

For example, the commemorative R5 Nelson Mandela circulation coin that was issued in 2008 to celebrate the former President’s 90th birthday was and is still worth R5.

There could be a buyer willing to pay a higher price to collect such a commemorative circulation coin but the SARB does not attach a value higher than the face value to such coins, the bank said.

SA Mint

The South African Mint (SA Mint), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the SARB, produces numismatic collectors’ coins covering a wide range of themes such as the Natura coin series and the Krugerrand series. These are sought after by both domestic and international collectors.

The SA Mint also issues special edition commemorative coins in limited quantities. These are accessible to collectors who can afford to pay higher prices. Such limited edition collectors’ coins are usually packaged in capsules and are accompanied by the relevant certificates to prove their authenticity.

The value of these coins is set by the collectors’ market and the SARB cannot and does not speculate on this value.

Interested consumers and collectors alike are encouraged to do their research and shop around to compare prices between dealers before deciding to invest in a coin. Familiarise yourselves with the differences between ‘normal’ circulation coins, commemorative circulation coins and collectors’ coins.

If you receive the coin as change, it is a circulation coin and worth only its face value. Likewise, the R5 Griqua Town commemorative circulation coin is also worth R5. It is not meant to be a collectors’ item or an investment, said the bank.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SOUTH AFRICA AIMS TO REDUCE ROAD DEATHS BY HA;F THIS COMING EASTER WEEKEND

PRETORIA, April 11 (NNN-SABC) — The South African Road Traffic Management Corporation says it will focus more on road safety awareness campaigns which will highlight the dangers of unsafe road usage this coming Easter Weekend in order to reduce the normally high incidence of traffic fatalities seen during period of increased holiday travel in the country.

Stating that it aims to reduce road deaths by 50 per cent this Easter weekend, the Department of Transport said Monday that

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and his deputy, Sindisiwe Chikunga, would visit the main taxi rank in the Johannesburg central business district (CBD) on Tuesday as part of that drive.

RTMC Spokesperson Simon Zwane says: We’ve identified the routes that will be carrying lots of traffic, and also the roads that are hot spots for traffic accidents.

We will be working together with SAPS (South African Police Service) and traffic officials to ensure safety throughout this period. We will be undertaking a high level of road user education, making sure that motorists, pedestrians, and passengers are aware of their responsibilities on the roads this coming period.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

EU releases humanitarian assistance to Africa as needs grow

The EU aid of Euros 47 million will help respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in the Great Lakes as well as in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.

The European Commission has announced humanitarian assistance to help people in need in the Great Lakes and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean regions, who continue to face the consequences of years of conflict and displacement, as well as widespread food insecurity and natural disasters.

Of the Euros 47 million announced, Euros 32 will go to populations in the Great Lakes region � including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, while Euros 15 million will go to the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region, including Madagascar, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho.

“We stand in full solidarity with the people of Africa. The assistance announced today will help the millions affected by forced displacement, food insecurity, and natural disasters in the Great Lakes region and in the Southern part of the continent. The EU remains committed to help people in need wherever they are and to leave no one behind,” saidCommissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

Humanitarian partners in Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 2 million people remain displaced by internal conflict and where malnutrition is high, will receive the main bulk (Euros 22.7 million) of the funding allocated for the Great Lakes region. The regional impact of the Burundi crisis will also be covered.

In Southern Africa and Indian Ocean, funds will go towards helping those affected by food insecurity caused by prolonged drought, as well as to strengthening capacities to manage recurrent disasters. The largest part (Euros 6.2 million) of the package will go to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in Madagascar, which was hit by the tropical cyclone Enawo last month � one of the most powerful cyclones to have affected the country during the last ten years. This has put a serious additional strain on the country which has also been struggling to cope with the effects of the El NiAo related food insecurity crisis. More than 400 000 people have been affected by the cyclone, some of whom remain displaced to date. In the aftermath, the EU released additional funding to help strengthen logistics capacity and to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.

Background:

The Great Lakes region is hosting nearly a million refugees, most of them in the Democratic Republic of Congo (about 430 000) and Tanzania (almost 240 000), and more than two million internally displaced people in DRC itself. This generates considerable humanitarian needs, notably in the areas of food assistance, nutrition, health, water and sanitation, shelter and protection.

The European Commission is a significant donor to the region, notably providing assistance to the most vulnerable in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has also released a total of Euros 45.5 million to respond the Burundi crisis since it started in April 2015, leading to hundreds of thousands Burundians fleeing to neighbouring Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.

The Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region is prone to recurrent natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and droughts. It has notably been seriously impacted by the latest El Nino weather phenomenon. More than 13 million people are currently in need of food assistance.

Since 2012, the European Commission has supported the region with nearly Euros 125 million in relief assistance and disaster preparedness. A total of Euros 61 million has been released for humanitarian assistance since 2015 to deal specifically with the consequences of El NiAo.

Source: Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Rwanda