Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!
01 April 2020
Post No. 137
The Week’s Contents
• April Month of Protection: Protection against the Coronavirus Pandemic
• Climate Protection and Stake for African Children – Phase 3 and Protection against Covid-19
• Mission Year and Protection Month
… and much more!
~ April Month of Protection: Protection against the Coronavirus Pandemic
This April, we will continue to work on our joint theme of rebuilding and health. We are carrying out on reflecting the special health character of this Spring 2020 in our work of saving, rebuilding and sustaining lives, infrastrucres and institutions.
The special character of this Spring 2020 has made us to adapt our activities to the on-going coronavirus pandemic crisis. As a result of this adaptation, we have set up two coronavirus-related relief and protection initiatives.
# Coronavirus-related Relief and Protection Initiatives at CENFACS
CENFACS has currently set up two poverty-relief and protection initiatives related to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, which are:
1. Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis (VSCP)
2. The Coronavirus Spring Project (CSP)
The VSCP is a physical contactless relief support designed to help those in emergency challenge in the UK while the CSP is a health-enhancing and humanitarian effort that is meant to assist poor people in need in Africa during the continuing threats of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both initiatives, which are a charitable fight against the coronavirus pandemic, are set up to ease the difficulties that poor people and communities are facing and to support the rebuilding or recovery processes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
# Other Protection Works against the Coronavirus Pandemic
This April 2020, there is much work to do in terms of protection than just the above named two initiatives. The month is also about other protection works planned in our development calendar/agenda.
Under the Main Development section of this post, you will find these other protection works we have planned to deliver during this April 2020. You will as well get to know how we shall additionally reflect the special feature of this Spring 2020 in our rebuilding season.
~ Climate Protection and Stake for African Children – Phase 3, and Protection against Covid-19
Our initiative about of Climate Protection and Stake for African Children – Phase 3 (CPSAC – P.3) with the sub-theme of ‘Glasgow Steps It Up’ is also being affected by the current global health crisis; crisis brought the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
During this month of protection, we will continue to virtually discuss the preparation of CPSAC – P.3 while exploring ways of integrating the measures against Covid-19 into our climate protection campaign.
By climate protection, we mean the following definition as given by the OECD (1), which is
‘the protection of climate and the ozone layer are measure control the emissions of greenhouse gases and gases that adversely affect the stratospheric ozone layer (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chloro-fluorocarbons and halons)’.
We are going to combine both climate protection and health measures to protect against Covid-19 in order to see what we can best protect future generations against the life-threatening impacts of both climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
To find more about this simultaneous protection against the adverse impacts of climate change and Covid-19, please contact CENFACS.
~ Mission Year and Protection Month
CENFACS’ 2020 Mission Year is a coordinated plan by CENFACS to provide what is needed and necessary to support any efforts of poverty reduction. In the context of Protection Month, it is about linking this mission with the need to work together with vulnerable people and communities so that they can be defended against harm and danger like the one posed by the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
The link between the two is also expressed in our efforts to help people and communities to help themselves to reduce poverty while protecting them from poor health like the one that may be caused by the Covid-19.
To enquire about how CENFACS will implement its mission and protection at the same time, please contact CENFACS.
~ CENFACS Charity e-Shop: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!
Due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and in the interest of protecting everybody, CENFACS Charity e-Store is temporarily closed.
We would like to advise those who thought to donate or purchase goods to wait until such a time we are in a position to reopen the e-store and function normally.
We shall continue to communicate with you during this period of health crisis.
We thank you for your understanding and apologise for any inconvenience this temporary closure may cause.
# Coronavirus Donations needed!
We would like as well to take this opportunity to communicate to you our need for donations now more than ever. We have set up two Coronavirus-related Relief and Protection Initiatives (i.e. Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic and Coronavirus Spring Project) to help in this difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic. We need donations to help those affected by this global health crisis.
We know that some of you have their income dropped because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, for those who can, please do not hesitate to support as the need is pressing and the stakes are higher this time.
You could be a life-saver or changer this Spring.
We look forward to your support. Many thanks!
~ Last Month Climate Action: What to take away
Despite the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, we managed to take action for and on a climate friendly world. Our Climate Action Month and Weeks were focused on four key areas as follows: climate investment funds, disaster risk reduction, climate change pledges, and sustainable management of natural resources.
The following are the takeaways from last March Climate Action.
Concerning the Climate Investment Funds, it is difficult to get data about the amount of this investment that reaches Africa-based sister organisations, especially those from the voluntary sector. There is a need to ramp up actions to get missing data and make it reach them.
As to Disaster Risk Reduction, the current global health crisis with the coronavirus pandemic outbreak shows how many health decisons and actions taken in the previous decades are now inappropriate and ill-prepared to deal with or reduce the health disaster risk brought by Covid-19.
In terms of Climate Change Pledges, there are many pledges which have not yet materialised to mobilise enough funding by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.
Regarding the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, it is right to argue that although many efforts have been made to sustainably and responsibly manage natural resources, we are still long way to reach a satisfactory progress on this matter. We are afraid that the current health crisis with Covid-19 has demonstrated how some human beings’ panic and greediness can push them to quickly and easily abandon the virtues and values of caring and conserving natural resources, let alone stay home and leave the nature alone.
For more details about the outcomes of CENFACS’ March Climate Action Month and Weeks 2020, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
~ Coronavirus and Africa’s Debt Relief
As part of our weekly thoughts on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), we are now considering its implications for Africa’s debt, particularly its debt-to-GDP ratio; GDP meaning gross domestic product.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this ratio should not cross 55 per cent to avoid any country to become highly vulnerable to economic changes and less capable to support their economy in the event of any recession, or put it in the current context if the coronavirus leads to a recession. We could be in a scenario of rising of the coronavirus pandemic and external debt in Africa.
Last year, the same IMF was already worried about Africa’s borrowing. Low global interest rates and record commodity prices have pushed some African countries to borrow like in the 1990s. Some of these countries were encouraged to borrow more by unwise economic and financial advice.
For example, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (2) noted that
‘Africa’s stock of public external debt averaged about $309 billion over 2000-2006 and then rose further to $707 billion in 2017, with a 15.5 per cent increase from 2016 alone’ (p.143).
Last year, before the coronavirus pandemic crisis erupted, some of these countries already started to struggle to repay these borrowings. Yet, the ratio debt-to-GDP has almost doubled in the 2010s.
With the difficulties these countries have in servicing their debt payments, could they honour as well their health obligations against the coronavirus pandemic?
As the World Bank Group and the IMF have called to action on debt relief, one could hope, if this relief happens, it will be would be possible to see how Africa can service their external debt while tackling the life-threatening impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Likewise, if there are any humanitarian health-related support and supplies to Africa, this could help to some extent to slow down and contain the coronavirus pandemic.
With the fresh proposals of temporary standstills on debt service payments, new debt relief programmes and a Marshall Plan for Health Recovery announced by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (3), one could as well expect that, if these proposals become a reality, African economies could recover from the current Covid-19 shock. The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…
(1) Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (2001), Glossary of Environment Statistics, Studies in Methods Series F, No. 67, United Nations, New York, 1997 (https://stats.oecd.org/glossary/details.asp?ID=2183)
(2) United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (2019), Economic Report on Africa: Fiscal Policy for Financing Sustainable Development in Africa, Ethiopia
(3) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2020), Trade and Development Report Update: Towards a “whatever it takes” programme for the two-thirds of the world’s population being left behind, March 2020, Geneva
• What April 2020 of Protection will be about
With the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and crisis, the need for protection has now reached its climax than ever before. Because of that, our April month of Protection will be about protection against the coronavirus pandemic.
During this month of April 2020, we are going to work on coronavirus-related poverty issues and emergency challenges that people and the community may face. Amongst them, are low income families, refugees and asylum seekers, those suffering from isolation, other people experiencing sanitary and food poverty, etc. We will be doing through the two Coronavirus-related relief and protection initiatives we have just set up.
We are as well going to reconsider protective equipment, tools, systems, infrastructures and creative measures in order to shield ourselves and those around us from the coronavirus pandemic and its endangered conditions and impacts.
Our protection month will go beyond the simple equipment (although protective equipment is important) to protect ourselves by re-considering or rethinking our social systems, our community network of protection and support (such as the CENFACS Community) as well as our structures and infrastructures of protection in the light of the new type of health threat and crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.
The new context we are in of life-threatening impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has pushed us to review the boundaries of our protection system. This has brought as well a new opportunity for our protection month to explore innovative ways and new dimensions for enhancing our protection strategy.
This month, we will as well try to draw some lessons for learning and development in terms of our health, safety and well-being policy and practice, particularly but not especially, in terms of our members and service users.
Finally, in the light of the current health crisis we will try to find out what we can learn about ways of protecting our services, activities (e.g. from essential and non-essential ones) and the entire machine of CENFACS as an organisation in the future. For example, we learnt from this health how we can try to find alternative ways of delivering services and meeting people needs in times of crisis.
We take this opportunity to thank CENFACS’ Health and Safety Head and all those who tirelessly work to ensure that the CENFACS Community is protected for keeping us informed and resourced with various sources of information and measures to protect everybody at this difficult time.
• Key notes for April Month of Protection
Besides our two Coronavirus-related Relief and Protection Initiatives, we have organised our other works and campaigns around the coronavirus issue as well as around the things that matter for those in need in times of health crisis like this current one.
We have selected four key notes to make our April theme of protection against the coronavirus pandemic. They are as follows:
Every Wednesdays of April Selected Key Notes
01/04/2020 Protection of Sanitation
08/04/2020 Protection of Poor and Vulnerable People
15/04/2020 Protection of Modest Incomes
22/04/2020 Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures
These notes will be developed starting every Wednesdays of April 2020 as scheduled above. Let’s now kick off the first note which is about Protection of Sanitation.
• Protection of Sanitation
In times of health crisis of such scale and magnitude like of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, it is possible to see some forms of poverty, notably sanitary poverty, to get worse or re-emerge if careful care is not taken. It can happen in these particular circumstances where the free movements of labour and goods (and services) are restricted, and borders have been closed. These free movements and open borders are the basics of the functioning of any free market economy.
If consumers/buyers do not have the essential sanitary items or simply do not have the money to buy them or shops to get them or if stores/sellers do not have the capacity to respond to the erupting demand because of coronavirus crisis; consumers/buyers may end up with less or no sanitary resources to protect themselves and those around them.
Depending on the length and depth of the crisis, there could be a social and economic situation whereby sanitary poverty could emerge. This is why it is absolutely vital to protect sanitation so that lives can be saved and sustained while protecting basic healthcare systems and infrastructures.
Setting up advocacy, engaging people through public and community health education, sending sharp and focused campaign messages via phones, emails and texts, etc. about life-saving sanitation, are at this particular time not a matter of learning but they are about saving a human generation from extinction. It is indeed about saving lives, health infrastructures and institutions that help people to protect themselves.
Briefly, this is what the Protection of Sanitation will be about. To enquire and or support this first protection key note, please contact CENFACS.
Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.
We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis. Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service.
One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the furture.
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Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.
Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.
We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.
With many thanks.