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Food Aid: New convoy of 50 trucks head to Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region – WFP

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Amidst ongoing war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the World Food Programme (WFP) has revealed that a new convoy of 50 trucks was on its way to Mekele, the capital of the region, which is threatened by famine.

Ethiopia’s government last month, declared an immediate, unilateral truce in its conflict with rebellious Tigrayan forces to allow aid into the northern province, although it was not clear how it would enforce it.

Following the declaration of a unilateral truce  a convoy of trucks carrying food aid entered territory controlled by fighters loyal to the fugitive leaders of Ethiopia’s Tigray region. That was the first road convoy in three months, carried by the WFP which consisted of some 20 trucks with 500 tonnes of food aid.

“Another WFP-led convoy is on its way to Mekele,” the WFP wrote on Twitter on Thursday, “47 trucks loaded with food, nutrition, and life-saving supplies, plus three fuel tankers – essential to deliver all this to communities.

United Nations rights chief, Bachelet raised alarm in February at the growing human rights and humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia. She said the 16-month conflict between Ethiopian government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, has spread into the neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara.

War broke out between Tigray’s rulers – the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – and the central government led by Abiy, in November 2020. The outbreak of the war, which began in Tigray (northern Ethiopia) and then spread to the neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar, has been marked by numerous allegations of abuses on both sides.

Metro

Zambia ranks 8th in Africa for highest food inflation

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Zambia has been ranked as the eighth African country with the highest food inflation as of May 2024, with a rate of 16.2 percent.

The ranking which was made by the World Bank in its latest Food Security Update report for June 2024, however, revealed that the country’s food inflation rate had decreased to 15.2 percent.

The World Bank’s Food Security Update placed Zambia behind Malawi and Nigeria, which jointly lead the continent with food inflation rates of 40.7 percent.

“Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (particularly its eastern provinces), Myanmar, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Yemen are also identified as hotspots of very high concern,” the report said.

“These regions face significant levels of acute food insecurity exacerbated by worsening factors such as conflict, displacement, and economic instability.

“Recent additions to the list include the Central African Republic, Lebanon, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zambia, while Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Somalia, and Zimbabwe continue to face acute hunger,” the report highlighted.

According to the report, domestic food price inflation remains high, with data from the latest month between February and May 2024 showing high inflation in many low-and middle-income countries.

It added that Zambia’s inflation was higher than five percent in 59.1 percent of low-income countries, 63.0 percent of lower-middle-income countries, 36.0 percent of upper-middle-income countries and 10.9 percent of high-income countries.

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Nigerians thrown into mourning as 22 die, 150 injured in school building collapse

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Nigerians have been thrown into mourning following the death of 22 victims including young school children and their teachers after a classroom building collapsed on Friday in the city of Jos, Plateau State, in North-Central Nigeria.

The tragic incident, which occurred after a two-storey school building caved in at Saints Academy, a secondary school in the Busa-Buji neighbourhood of Jos North Local Government Area of the state, also injured over 150 people who were lucky to be rescued.

According to eyewitnesses, the building collapsed on around 8:30 am when many of the students and teachers were already in classes writing their end of term examinations.

The State Government, in a statement confirming the tragedy, confirmed 22 deaths and 150 injured persons from the Jos collapsed school building.

In the statement, Commissioner for Information, Mr. Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information, said six of the injured were in critical condition while those injured were receiving treatment in various tertiary health facilities in the state, just as the bodies of the deceased had been deposited in the mortuaries.

The State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, in a statewide broadcast, described the incident as a tragic and a monumental loss to the state.

The Governor, while sympathizing with the families of the affected victims, stated that the incident was heart-wrenching and unfortunate.

“This is tragic, unfortunate, heart-wrenching and a gloomy situation,” he said.

“We appreciate the timely intervention of the search and rescue team, as well as members of the public, who rushed to the school premises to assist in evacuating some of the surviving students and staff.

“I have directed the relevant government agencies, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and Plateau State Emergency Management Agency, to provide necessary support to survivors.

“Words cannot fully comfort the grieving families over their immense loss, so we pray that God will continue to console and uphold them during this difficult period,” Mutfwang said.

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