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Norway provides NOK 64 million to prevent famine in Somalia.

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Somalia has once again been hit by a severe drought, which could quickly develop into a famine.

‘A large proportion of the population is affected by the drought, and over six million people are in need of food aid. Norway is now increasing its support for humanitarian efforts in the country by NOK 64 million, in an effort to prevent the situation from developing into a new, large-scale famine,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Just a few years after the major famine of 2011, Somalia has again been hit by drought. This time, the drought is affecting almost the whole country, and therefore threatening larger numbers of people and animals than six years ago. Over the last few months, there has been a dramatic deterioration in the humanitarian situation.

Some 6.2 million people do not have enough food, and the situation is critical for around half of them, according to the UN.

‘The crisis is escalating fast. There are worrying reports that a growing number of people are facing food and water shortages, that the major rivers are drying up and that cattle and other animals are dying,’ said Mr Brende.

“Last year, Norway provided almost NOK 400 million in aid to Somalia”.

The additional funds from Norway will be channelled through the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Norwegian humanitarian organisations that have many years’ experience of working in Somalia.

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‘I am pleased that Somalia’s newly elected president, Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ Mohamed, has said that providing support for those affected by the drought is his number one priority.

It is vital to ensure that people in need of assistance actually have access to aid. The unstable security situation and the armed conflict are still causing considerable problems, not least in the hardest hit areas that are also most in need of aid,’ said Mr Brende.

One of the lessons learnt from the famine of 2011 was that it is crucial to provide humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible to prevent illness, suffering, and death from starvation. It is estimated that 260 000 people died of starvation in 2011.

The crisis forced several hundred thousand people to flee their homes, and further exacerbated the refugee crisis in Somalia’s neighbouring countries, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Last year, Norway provided almost NOK 400 million in aid to Somalia. This included support for efforts to promote food security through the World Food Programme and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Norway is also providing funding through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which has allocated NOK 150 million to Somalia for 2017.

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Oyo govt. calls on DPR to sanction marketers hoarding petrol

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Oyo state government has asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to start monitoring filling stations in the state and sanction marketers found hoarding the product.

The State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Prof. Daud Sangodoyin made the call on Monday while featuring on a private radio station in Ibadan.

Sangodoyin said the scarcity of fuel that started on Sunday was artificial as there was no reason for most of the marketers not to sell to the people.

Most filling stations in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital were not selling fuel to motorists while those selling experienced long queues which also contributed to traffic gridlock in some parts of the metropolis.

“As government, we are doing all we can to make life easy for the people of Oyo State and this is reflected in the number of infrastructural projects around the State, for some people to be creating artificial scarcity of fuel for pecuniary reasons is wrong and inhuman.

“The Department of Petroleum Resources should as a matter of urgency swing into action and arrest the situation, they have the work of monitoring cut out for them and this is the moment to bring those marketers sabotaging government’s effort by hoarding products to book,” the Commissioner submitted.

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Imo: Gov. Uzodinma makes case for FCC, sponsors 4-day retreat

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Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has canvassed for the strengthening of the laws establishing the Federal Character Commission  (FCC) to enable it perform its functions effectively.

Governor Uzodinma registered his position at a banquet the Imo state government hosted in honoured of the Executive Chairman and Commissioners of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) who were in the State for a retreat last week at the Government House, Owerri.

According to the Governor, the philosophy behind the establishment of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was well thought out development, adding that to a great extent the Commission has assisted in efforts made at the unification of the country.

He noted that at this very trying moment of the country, the Commission needed to bring its functions to play to douse the tention giving assurance to the citizenry of a sense of belonging.

Senator Uzodinma stressed that it was in recognition of the great role of the Commission that the Imo State government opted to sponsor the retreat.

He admonished members to work together in harmony to enable the Commission deliver on its mandate.

In her remarks, the Executive Chairman, Federal Character Commission (FCC), Dr Muheeba Dankaka thanked the Governor and Imo State government for accepting to host the retreat. She said the out come of the  retreat will go a long way in assisting the Commission in its assignment.

The FCC boss, however called on state governors to also come to the aid of the Commission, particularly by assisting the State offices to function effectively.

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Oyo: Kidnapped UI student regains freedom

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Victim of Monday’s kidnap attack at a  poultry farm in Oke Odan, Apete area of Ibadan, Oyo capital, Emmanuel Odetunde has been released.

It will be recalled that Odetunde was abducted around 5 pm on Monday while working at his father’s poultry. The abductors also demanded a ransom of N100m for his release.

Mega Icon Magazine, however learnt that the victim , a student of the University of Ibadan (UI) was released at 7:15pm Thursday .

 

In a tweet obtained by our reporter, via his Twitter handle @dr_emmay thanked friends, family and well wishers  for their prayers.

He also did not disclosed whether any ransom was paid or not.

“I was released at 7:15pm today. I am currently with my family.

“Thanks for the prayers. I appreciate @, Odetunde tweeted.

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