Let’s call it a little update on what happened the last couple of months….


KABILA has won a new five-year term as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after a campaign marred by violence, in which at least 24 people died… 

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UNICEF requires it needs US$31.8 Million for the next three months to provide humanitarian support to crisis affected children and women in four countries (Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti). As for Kenya, Unicef might have trouble finding internal support as medical practitioners, pharmacists and dentists union members are  in the middle of strikes for better pay and working conditions. But for Somalia this could actually be manageable as Britain decided their new year’s resolution is to intervene in their former colony…

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WHILE OKELLO Oryem, minister of Foreign Affairs declared, that Uganda won’t tolerate acts of sexual abuse perpetrated on minors and other vulnerable people by homosexuals in the name of practicing their gay rights, the Zimbabwean legislator Mrs Lillian Kirenyi has been arrested for calling President Robert Mugabe a homosexual… 

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Despite of all the protests and opposition, Joseph Kabila has been sworn in as President of the Democratic Republic of Congo for the next five years. Fears of another civil war are rising as Kabilas rival Mr. Tshisekedi is determinate to be sworn in as President this week.

On 9 December the Democratic Republic of Congo announced that President Joseph Kabila was sworn in for a second term. But this announcement was immediatly rejected by his rival Etienne Tshisekedi and his supporters, who said Tshisekedi is the real winner. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that there had been at least 24 deaths in the capital, Kinshasa, where Tshisekedi has strong support. The elections were the first to be organised locally since the end of a devastating civil war in 2003, which left some four million people dead. Mr Tshisekedi supporters said they had evidence that security forces had tried to cover up the deaths. Western observers think that the electoral process had been too flawed to be credible.

BBC News reports: DR Congo police ‘killed 24 civilians’ after elections (22.12.2011)

Unicef just published their “Unicef Humanitarian Action Update- Horn of Africa crisis”. It says that US$31.8 million are needed for urgent life-saving actions to prevent the deaths of an estimated 480,000 severely malnourished children in drought affected Kenya, Somalia Ethiopia, and Djibouti. A further 1,649,000 children are moderately malnourished.  All crisis affected persons are at high risk of disease outbreaks including measles, acute watery diarrhoea and pneumonia.

The “Update” ends with five pages of  “FUNDING REQUIREMENTS AND RECEIPTS”, where schemes can be found of the requirements per sector, such as health, nutrition, education, child protection etc. of all four countries. The point is to show the rate of unmet/unfunded requirements for each sector. For most countries the rate is at 30-80% in the main sectors. But what’s striking is the high rate of unfunded requirements in the “Cluster coordination sector”, which is at a 100% in almost all four countries.

Problem: First of all the report doesn’t explain how Unicef gets to compile the values in these statistics, nor how the reader could access more detailed values. 

We come to the conclusion that Unicef’s most unfunded sector in the horn of africa is the “cluster cordination”, which means that from this US$ 31.8 Million a greater part will be needed to invest in people with the requisite functional competencies to coordinate large groups of agencies with divergent mandates and approaches.

Question: Is this ‘professionalisation’ of  cluster coordination still serving the purpose of humanitarian aid, help for self help or is it more an end in itself rather than a means to an end?

Role of Clusters: Clusters assume a ‘coordinating’ function that oscillates between facilitation and cooperation. Its role is to complement, and, where government is dysfunctional or non-existent, to supplement government capacity to lead and manage sectoral aspects of crisis; to act independently as ‘honest broker’ in advising all stakeholders of appropriate technical and managerial (best-) practices; and to facilitate consensual decision-making (including through enhanced information management systems). Cluster partners should engage in programme implementation wherever clear comparative advantage can be demonstrated. What Clusters cannot do is coordinate in the hierarchical line-management sense. Firstly, it has no mandate with its peer non-governmental agencies to do so, which leaves them free to ‘cherry-pick’ what they want to do; and second, it is the government of the country concerned that must assume its responsibilities on behalf of its population. 

Kenya Medical Strike (uploaded by TV2Africa 06.12.2011)

Frustration has been mounting at the high cost of food and fuel in Kenya, which holds a general election next year, compounded by a collapse in the value of the local currency against the dollar. About  2,300 members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union stopped working after the government said it could not meet their demands for a 300 percent pay rise. The doctors at state hospitals say their terms haven’t been looked at for more than a decade.

“We have called off the strike so that top union officials can negotiate with the government. I have made an appeal to the striking doctors to go back to their work after the government assured us there will be no victimisation,” Boniface Chitayi, the union’s secretary general, told Reuters by phone.

In2EastAfrica.net reports: Kenyan doctors call off strike- Union official (13.12.2011)

Britain plans to deepen its involvement in the East African State as piracy in Somalia has become a major cause for British concern.
Uk’s Prime Minister Mr. David Cameron is concerned about tourists and aid workers from the UK being attacked and kidnapped, the rise of piracy and the potential for the East African country to become a place of extremist indoctrination for increasing numbers of young Muslims from the UK.
Mrs. Lillian Kirenyi, the Zimbabwean legislator from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party was charged with undermining the authority of President Mugabe.
The court was told that the MP committed the alleged offence during an address to party supporters on December 9.
She allegedly said:
“Zanu PF (President Mugabe’s party) members been attacking MDC president Tsvangirai alleging he is pro-homosexuals yet Robert Mugabe has practiced homosexuality with (Professor) Jonathan Moyo (former Information minister) and Canaan Banana (Zimbabwe’s first ceremonial president).”
Sources: guardian.co.uk, independent.co.uk, bbc.co.uk, clustercoordination.org, In2EastAfrica.net, allAfrica.com, youtube.com, google.com


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