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Cape Verdeans lament high cost of living amid soaring inflation

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Citizens of Cape Verde island are feeling the effect of the Russian-Ukraine war as they lament the high cost of living with its attendant inflation that has continued to skyrocket.

According to statistic reports in the country, prices of goods increased by 0.7 percent in March and accumulated a rise of 7.1 percent compared to the same month of 2021, indicating the latest data from the Cape Verdean Instituto Nacional de Estatisticas (INE), an economic research institute run by the government.

“From corn to olive oil, rice, as well as fuel, bread, sugar, flour, and meat, are some of the products whose price rises Cape Verdeans consider exaggerated and call for intervention from the government and regulatory authorities,” the INE said on Tuesday.

“Many people are now hoping that the government will step in to stem the ever-increasing prices of food, petrol and other services in the country.

“Fuel prices rose by 5 percent in April, the maximum limit stipulated by the government, but have accumulated an average rise of 42.6 percent in the last year, as well as a rise of 7 percent since last January,” it added.

Some businessmen are calling on the state to control the prices of commodities entering the country to curb traders taking advantage of the situation.

“The rise in prices is worrying at all levels, especially for food products. We are aware of the international situation, but not everything is due to the international situation,” Lenine Mendes, a Cape Verdean businessman said.

“Often, producers and traders take advantage of crises to raise prices. We don’t have a law that limits prices, there is no supervision and control,” Mendes added.

While inflation is on the rise, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva, has ruled out the possibility of an increase in the national minimum wage due to the economic crisis.

“In a crisis situation, increasing the minimum wage would be transferring increased problems to the private sector, which may even affect existing jobs,” Correia e Silva said during a debate in the National Assembly, ahead of the escalating food and fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine.

Currently, Cape Verde’s national minimum wage stands at 13,000 escudos (117 euros) in the private sector and 15,000 escudos (135 euros) in the civil service.

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Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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