Leave a comment

Home-staying Stories

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

27 May 2020

 

Post No. 145

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• End-of-May 2020 Message to the CENFACS Community

• All in Development Stories Telling Serial 4 – In Focus for Week Beginning 25/05/2020: Home Staying Stories

• Monitoring and Evaluating the Effects of Covid-19 and Exited/Transitional Economy on CENFACS’ Extended Community Support Services

… and much more!

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ End-of-May 2020 Message to the CENFACS Community  

      

We would like to re-inform you that we are continuing to follow the anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions as the lockdown continues.  The health and safety of the public and of the CENFACS Community come first in whatever we do to help relieve poverty and enhance sustainable development.

Like everybody, we hope that you too are continuing to look out each other in the interest of the public health and protection as well as for the quintessential good of our Community of Value Chains. 

As the economy has started to gradually and segmentally re-open, some of you may be soon resuming their activities and/or starting a new occupation if the new opportunities come with the economic re-opening.  We would like to be on your side in your journey and plan to return from the lockdown to restart your outside life which you badly missed since the lockdown began. 

To be on your side, CENFACS will be setting up a temporary service to support the return from the lockdown and the new and emerging needs which may come with it.  This service, which is part of supporter engagement policy over the Covid-19 period, will be starting from June 2020 and will be called “the Returnees from the Lockdown”.

 

# What is the service for the Returnees from the Lockdown will be about?

 

The Returnees from the Lockdown or Returnees’ Service is a temporary initiative of bridge between the lockdown and resumption of economic activity. 

The initiative aims at reducing poverty linked to inactivity caused by the Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown conditions, so that the project beneficiaries can start a smooth transition and return from the situation of lockdown to that of a re-opened economy.

In doing so, the service can assist them so that they can effectively and efficiently manage the far-reaching impacts of Covid-19 and the space provided by a reopened economy in meeting their life-sustaining needs. 

The service will enable them to rebuild confidence and reassurance as well as to re-socialise in a new socially distancing environment during the lockdown exit process and thereafter.

It is believed that many of those making our CENFACS Community may need this service at this uncertain and anxious time of the coronavirus pandemic.  CENFACS will be pleased for you/them to access and use the service.

Additionally, we would like to take this opportunity to update you about the Covid-19 campaign.

 

# Covid-19 Campaign Update

 

Our Campaign for Resilience against Covid-19 (or the Covid-19 Campaign) is still in phase 2 (Phase of Impact Monitoring and Evaluation).  In this phase, the focus is the causality and attribution approach regarding the overall impact of Covid-19 on CENFACS’ work. 

As part of this impact analysis in phase 2, we are now working on the way it could affect our Halving Poverty Campaign; campaign which stemmed from the following up of the Istanbul Programme of Action.

For those who want to get further details about this follow-up, they can read below.

To finish this message, we would like to thank you for your resilience during the coronavirus pandemic time and for your unwavering commitment to the CENFACS Community, our Community of Value Chains.

Please stay healthy and safe.

For any queries or enquiries about the content of this message, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

~ All in Development Stories Telling Serial 4 – In Focus for Week Beginning 25/05/2020: Home Staying Stories

 

The last episode of our series of All in Development Stories Telling programme is on the stories about staying at home to control the virus and save lives during the lockdown period caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

These are the stories about the experiences or anedoctes of everyday at home as the lockdown lasts.  Everybody has a story to tell and share. 

Under the Main Development section of this post, you will fund further details about this key message.

 

 

 

 

~ Monitoring and Evaluating the Effects of Covid-19 and Exited/Transitional Economy on CENFACS’ Extended Community Support Services

How to factorise Covid-19 and Exited/Transitional Economy into Extended Community Support Services

 

This week, we are continuing the impact analysis of Covid-19.  We are doing it by reconsidering the Extended Community Support Services, which is the 6th tool of our 2020 Box of Poverty Reduction Tools.

Community Support Services, which are a package of services to help those in need, were extended in February 2020 to include circular economic solutions.  Through the Extended Community Support Services (ECSS), CENFACS undertook to work with those who want to reduce poverty and hardships while improving their lives through a circular economic model.

 

# Causality and attribution as a result of Covid-19 and Exited/Transitional Economy

 

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a new developmental reality to this extended package of services to the community.  Covid-19 is a new causal factor in the way we need to deliver services to the community.  The other causal factor being a transitional factor is expressed by the UK’s exit or transition from the European economic integration model.

The cofactors (that is, Covid-19 and exited/transitional economy) can have causal effect to some degree in the way in which our ECSS would have been run and delivered.  In other words, part of the shape and content of the ECSS can be attributable to or regarded as produced by these cofactors. 

However, this does not necessarily imply that the cofactors will be the determinant or deciding ones of the ECSS outcomes.  The outcomes will be determined by what we planned for this services support and our performance to meet the targets set.  What is true is that the two factors will lead to key changes.

 

# Key Changes to the ECSS

 

To take into account the impact of Covid-19 and the reality of the new world it has created, we have made some key changes to our ECSS. Particularly, we have included in it basic health protection advice against Covid-19, physical and social distancing rules, and other Covid-19 measures.  This process of introducing change into our ECSS will continue as we get new updates regarding the exited/transitional economy. 

 

# What these key changes mean for project users

 

They mean that besides the initial elements of Community Support Services, there are now two additional ones which are circular economic guidance and basic health protection advice on Covid-19.  People can make enquiries or queries about these two if they have any problem which needs solution or support.

For example, one can call or mail CENFACS to discuss the items of their budget related to Covid-19.  Likewise, one may want to find out how the fact that the UK has left the EU can affect their personal situation.

The all monitoring and evaluation processes of the Covid-19 impact on ECSS will still carry on as the clear picture of Covid-19 becomes available and the UK completely leaves the European economic integration model.

To access ECSS, just contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Covid-19 and Impact Monitoring and Evaluation

 

Impact on CENFACS’ 2011-2020 Follow-up of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries

Another piece of work on Impact Monitoring and Evaluation activity continues this week is about our follow up of the 2011 Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action. 

 

# What are Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action?

 

This is what the UN-OHLLS (United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States) says about Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action (1): 

“The Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 was adopted, along with the Istanbul Declaration, by the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held in Istanbul, Turkey, on between 9 and 13 May 2011.

The Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) charted out the international community’s vision and strategy for the sustainable development of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the decade 2011-2020 with a strong focus on developing their productive capacities.

The overarching goal of the IPoA is to overcome the structural challenges faced by the LDCs in order to eradicate poverty and achieve internationally agreed development goals, with a special focus on Millennium Development Goals.  It specifically aims to enable half of the LDCs to meet the criteria for graduation.”

Since the IPoA is reaching the end of its life span in 2020, we are conducting a monitoring and evaluation activity regarding its follow-up.  This impact monitoring and evaluation will continue until the fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries which will take place in 2021.

 

# Monitoring and evaluating child poverty in Africa’s Least Developed Countries

 

One of the areas of this programme was to halve the number of poor countries through its graduation system.  In relation to this, we established Halving Poverty campaign for children.  Since then, it is interesting to carry out an impact analysis in relation of the Istanbul Programme of Action.

There are 33 African countries listed amongst the 47 least developed countries.  It makes sense since we have been following this programme to find out how poverty, especially child poverty, has been reduced in these 33 countries. 

 

# Africa’s Least Developed Countries under the Covid-19 Constraint

 

Since these 33 African countries are living under the constraint of Covid-19, it is also interesting to see how Covid-19 could affect efforts already made in terms of poverty reduction. 

In our impact analysis and the theory of change that we are using, we shall use the causality-and-attribution approach to explain the key changes that may have happened.

Briefly, we are conducting two levels of impact analysis:

(a) How Covid-19 has impacted CENFACS’ Follow-up of the 2011-2020 Istanbul Programme of Action

(b) How Covid-19 is impacting progress made so far in halving child poverty in the 33 African countries which are part of the listed Least Developed Countries    

For details and contributions to this impact analysis, please contact CENFACS.

(1) http://unohrlls.org/about-ldcs/istanbul-programme-of-action/

 

 

 

~ Capacity Rebuilding of Africa-base Sister Organisations (ASOs) beyond what comes to hand

 

The World Health Organisation (2) reported that there have been 83,044 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Africa as of 6:45 pm CEST on the 26th of May 2020.  As the case of confirmed cases of Covid-19 keeps growing in Africa despite the fact that Africa has so far managed to avoid the human calamity initially speculated at the start of Covid-19, it is paramount for our ASOs to rebuild and redevelop their capacities.  They need to do that in order not only to stay in the frontline in the battle against Covid-19, but also against poverty. 

We are continuing shadowing the epidemiological curves of Covid-19 in Africa through our model of rebuilding Africa.  As part of this process, we are advocating for the rebuilding or redeveloping the capacity of ASOs beyond what comes to hand.  They can try to redevelop or rebuild their capacities while this battle against Covid-19 is on. 

To successfully withstand the systematic shocks of Covid-19 and its far-reaching effects, it requires a certain level of capacity that is beyond the means of what is available.  In the long term, this limited means may not be viable.  ASOs need to be a bit ambitious if they want to entirely or drastically curb the Covid-19 effects.

Briefly, it is not sustainable in the long run to fight the shock of this magnitude (like the Covid-19) and poverty with only the means that is available.

To enquire this capacity rebuilding of ASOs beyond the available means, please contact CENFACS.

(2) https://covid19.who.int

 

~ Covid-19 and the Access of Africa’s Charities to Funding International Markets

 

The impacts of Covid-19 are far-reaching and can be found in many places. One of these impacts is the one on the funding markets for poverty reduction and sustainable development. 

Since Covid-19 stroke, there has been a number of funding schemes launched by various players around the world (such as governments, private and public funding organisations).  However, what is not known is the data about the total Covid-19 available funding and also what is available as finance for poverty reduction and sustainable development.  Yet, to fight the crippling effects of Covid-19, it requires funding or financial resources.

For example, in the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is a humanitarian fund through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; fund that supports non-governmental organisations.  However, there is still a shortage of funds as the needs are pressing and many.

 

# Share of Africa’s charities in the international funding markets

 

When it comes to the way funding (except overseas development funding) is allocated or distributed, the charitable sector does not weigh much in the funding basket.  Perhaps, further and deep research work needs to be done on the matter.  If the research finds that their share is so low, then there could be a need for this share to be increased in the funding markets regarding projects and programmes related to the reduction of poverty and sustainable development.

 

# What can be done to boost Africa’s charitable organisations?

 

Africa’s charities need to access those markets to better benefit from the financial products that are on these markets.  There are some initiatives they can take.  They include the following:

√ Keeping a fruitful dialogue with international funders

√ Addressing the funding pressure together and creating funding incentives

√ Developing innovative funding solutions including financial bonds and other financial instruments for poverty reduction and sustainable development

√ Building funding value chains with other international charitable organisations

√ Ameliorating their credit scoring and history at the international level

√ Improving their standing in order to stop continuing marginalisation of Africa’s charities in the international funding markets

The above financial initiatives are just a few examples of what can be done to increase the financial profile of Africa’s charities as well as mitigate the consequential impacts of Covid-19 and similar crisis in the future.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue… 

 

 

 

Main Development 

 

All in Development Stories Telling Serial 4 – In Focus for Week Beginning 25/05/2020: Home Staying Stories

 

Home Staying Stories are the experiences or anedoctes of each individual from the lockdown and confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

Rich or poor or middle class, we all have some personal experience of the Covid-19 lockdown and where there has been lockdown.  However, because of the asymmetrical distribution of the impacts of Covid-19, we do not live the lockdown in the same way or intensity. 

Due to this asymmetry and the nature of CENFACS’ work which is about working on poverty and sustainable development issues, we would be primarily interested in stories of those in most need and vulnerable in the way they are living or lived the home staying experience during the lockdown.

 

• • Asymmetrical distribution of the lockdown effects

 

The distributional effects of the impacts of Covid-19 (such as the lockdown it has generated) are asymmetrical depending on how much space one has to shield themselves and how much comfort they have in their home, let alone the other financial means they have to mitigate the lockdown effects.  The propensity of managing the lockdown experience will vary depending on these means and assets.  This also means that the story related to them would be different from other people’s story.

 

• • Story providers of home staying experience due to the lockdown

 

As said above, we are firstly taking the confinement stories of those living in poverty and who are experiencing hardships.  Their stories are of those without or with least capacity to respond to the Covif-19 lockdown. 

We are as well considering the stories of those who are well-off and trying to help those in poverty and being ordered to stay home to control the coronavirus pandemic during the lockdown period.  Their stories need to be about how they are helping those deprived and needy people to manage the confinement or lockdown imposed on them to comply with the urgency and emergency of Covid-19.

Briefly, we are dealing with two types of story providers:

(a) Stories from those who normally find difficult to make ends meet

(b) Stories from those who comfortably make ends meet and are trying to support those in poverty and deprivation and who are staying home during the lockdown

 

 

• • Types of staying at home stories during the lockdown

 

There is a trillion of stories that are related to the confinement and lockdown experience under the Covid-19 constraint; stories that one can list.  However, to make it easy the following types of stories are taken under the AiDS Telling Progamme:

Gardening, recycling at home, DIY, home disinfection and decontamination from Covid-19, cooking from scratch, meditation, art and design at home, tools used at home to work remotely, helping a child to follow up a distance learning course, remaking family habits, helping someone who is self-isolated with food and medicine, Covid-19 new shopping habits or experiences, fitness at home, virtual run to help reduce poverty, using CENFACS’ triple-value initiatives (Play and Vote), experience with mail delivered (e.g.  mail quarantining), writing or singing for poverty reduction, reading books to children at home, circular economic solutions, poverty reduction non-contact and virtual events, teaching a child poverty-relieving skill, following a video on how to wear personal protective equipment against Covid-19, women in harshisps (stories to be told by women), new sanitary habits, etc.

The above are the types of stay-at-home stories we can expect from our All in Development Stories Telling and Sharing Programme

In our previous posts for this month, we have already told you about ways of submitting your story.  One of these ways includes an integrated stories telling and sharing screen which we have provided above at the beginning of this post.  One can tell and share their story on their screen during a call with integrated screen sharing.  

Please remember: we are not telling or suggesting to the people what kinds of things or activities they can do while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic.  We are simply clarifying the kinds of real-life stories we may consider for the purpose of our AiDS Telling Programme.  These stories may need to be optimistic and the best of one’s confinement.

To enquire and/or donate your story or pitch or even script, 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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

Leave a comment

Essential Volunteering Stories

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

20 May 2020

 

Post No. 144

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• All in Development Stories Telling Serial 3 – In Focus for Week Beginning 18/05/2020: Essential Volunteering Stories

Integrating the Covid-19 Anti-coronavirus Measures into Triple Value Initiatives (or All Year Round Projects)

Covid-19 and Impact Monitoring and Evaluation

 

… and much more!

 

 

Win this Virtual Trophy of Poverty Reduction this Pandemic Year!

 

To win it, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ All in Development Stories Telling Serial 3 – In Focus for Week Beginning 18/05/2020: Essential Volunteering Stories

 

Our May Stories Telling Programme is now entering its third week with Serial 3.  Serial 3 is about stories related to volunteering situations, particularly but not solely the kinds of voluntary work that one is doing or can do during the coronavirus pandemic time.  It is called Essential Volunteering.

Under the Main Development section of this post, we have provided the types of Essential Volunteering Stories we are expecting and taking.  Please read this section to get the idea of what we are talking about before submitting or donating your volunteering story. 

 

 

 

~ Integrating the Covid-19 Anti-coronavirus Measures into Triple Value Initiatives (or All Year Round Projects)

 

In our post no. 142   of 6 May 2020, we briefly exemplified the way in which one can break out the vicious circle of Covid-19 lockdown while still respecting the anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions.

This week, we are going further with the integration of the anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions into Triple Value Initiatives.  We would like to use the example or initiative of Run to Reduce Poverty to do that.

Problem

Let say, we have a scenario of two people who decide to physically run outside as part of triple-value running activity.  They want to do it while respecting the anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions.  They are wondering how to undertake this triple-value running activity.  What can they do?

Answer

They can essentially running while staying alert, controlling the virus and saving lives.  How?  The answer is given by the above sketch or drawing.

It is possible to continue this integration process with the other two triple value initiatives (Play and Vote), although it will be completely different.  Anyone who is having some problems in doing this integration, they can contact CENFACS for support.

For any query about the integration of Triple Value Initiatives, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

~ Covid-19 and Impact Monitoring and Evaluation

 

This week, we are continuing with the analysis of the impact of Covid-19 on CENFACS’ 2020 (s) Poverty Reduction Tools, Development Agenda and Programme.  Because we are talking about impact monitoring and evaluation, we are also looking at the impact of Covid-19 on our 2020-2063 Follow up Programme

We are working on their impact monitoring and evaluation.  Before giving you the idea of our impact monitoring and evaluation, let us briefly explain what we mean by monitoring and evaluation.  We are going to borrow their definitions from the World Bank.

The World Bank (1) argues

“Monitoring is a continuous process that tracks what is happening within a program and uses the data collected to inform program implementation and day-to-day management and decisions…

Evaluations are periodic, objective assessments of a planned, on-going, or completed project, program, or policy. Evaluations are used selectively to answer specific questions related to design, implementation, and results. In contrast to continuous monitoring, they are carried out at discrete points in time and often seek an outside perspective from technical experts.” 

Referencing to this perspective from the World Bank, monitoring is a continuous process whereas evaluation is discontinuous and carried out at discrete timely points.  So, by applying these definitions we are going to monitor and evaluate the impact caused by the Covid-19 disruption to CENFACS’ work.

 

=> Impact on CENFACS’ 2020 (s) Poverty Reduction Tools, Development Agenda and Poverty Reduction Programme

Covid-19 impact assessment is about changes in CENFACS’ 2020 (s) Poverty Reduction Tools, Development Agenda and Poverty Reduction Programme, as well as structures of our other projects and programme as a result the Covid-19 outbreak.

The focus will be on measurable changes while not ignoring the causality of changes.

To guide our assessment work on the Covid-19 Impact, we will identify the following:

√ Key changes that happened or will happen to our tools, agenda, programme and beneficiaries

√ Key changes in our other projects, activities and events

√ How cost-effective CENFACS has been in dealing with these changes and in capturing the Covid-19 impact in terms of poverty reduction and sustainable development

As said above, the focus is not to ignore the causality of changes.  Therefore, the impact evaluation (causal effect) of Covid-19 seeks to answer a specific cause-and-effect question and changes directly attributable to Covid-19.  

This question could be this one: what is the causal effect of Covid-19 on CENFACS’ performance or application of the 2020 (s) tools, development agenda and poverty reduction programme?

This is the basic evaluation question we can ask and try to answer since our focus is on causality and attribution.  This is the impact evaluation method we have chosen.

 

=> Impact on 2020-2063 Follow up (XX236.3F) Programme

It is the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Climate Change Reduction, Having Poverty, Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda under the Constraint of Covid-19.

The 2020-2063 Follow up (XX236.3F) Programme is a CENFACS’ programme of monitoring and evaluation of aims, goals and targets set up to achieve in the context of:

climate change reduction by the Paris Treaty on Climate Change

Having Poverty by 2011 Istanbul Declaration of Least Developed Countries

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030

and Africa’s Agenda 2063 by the African Union.

 

We are taking the opportunity of this week’s monitoring and evaluation activity to look at two things:

√ How Covid-19 has impacted CENFACS’ 2020-2063 Follow up (XX236.3F) Programme

√ How Covid-19 will impact the progress made so far regarding the implementation of these global and African goals and agendas since some of them affect our work and are related to the issues we constantly advocate.

To enquire the Covid-19 Impact Monitoring and Evaluation, please contact CENFACS.

(1) https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/25030/9781464807794.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y (accessed May 2020)

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Stories of environmental impacts of Covid-19

 

It is already known that the lockdown has brought some positive common effects on the environment such as less noise, less car and factory pollution, reductions of CO2 emissions, clean air in major cities, reduction of non-essential polluted production and consumption, reduction of electricity used etc.  We have already stories with these effects; stories and news which we have heard so far.

Besides these general and collective environmental benefits and their stories, there are other stories linked to other changes.  This second nature of stories could be of various types as follows.

 

=> Environmental stories linked to protective items against Covid-19

These are the stories stemming from the growing production and consumption of some types of items made to delay the spread and slow the pace of Covid-19.  For example: the production and consumption of non-reusable facial masks, plastic gloves, anti-bacterial hand gels, other personal protective equipment, etc. 

The story behind them is: how humans are recycling these products.  Are they simply thrown away in the nature after use or are they properly collected and recycled?

 

=> Stories related to stocked items to be recycled

What about all those recycling stores which are closed?  Is the lockdown piling the stock of all recycling items from each household?  This is another story to tell and share.

 

=> Stories concerning Covid-19 cleaning products

One should not forget the story of all these new types of cleaning products to disinfect (human bodies, buildings, places, properties, transport system, cars, etc.) against the Covid-19.  What is their impact on the environment?  Are those ways of disinfecting the strains or traces of Covid-19 environmentally friendly?

 

=> Stories of the relationships between humans and the nature

What can you say about the way in which Covid-19 has transformed humans’ relationships with the nature?  Is the lockdown made humans much friendly towards the nature than at any time of any other crisis?  Is there any transformation at all?  Or, after the Covid-19 crisis, business will be as usual in the way humans treat the nature and environment?   

The above are all sorts of stories that one can tell and share about the environmental impacts of Covid-19.  If you have them, please do not hesitate to share with CENFACS your story of environmental impact of Covid-19.

To tell and share your story of environmental impacts of Covid-19, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

~ What else inside CENFACS’ Covid-19 Campaign?

 

It is the return from the lockdown.

Our Covid-19 Campaign or the Campaign for Resilience against Covid-19 is still in phase two.  There are three phases in this Campaign:  Initial Response to Covid-19 (Phase 1), Impact Monitoring and Evaluation of Covid-19 on CENFACS (Phase 2) and Post-coronavirus Rehabilitation Strategies (Phase 3).

The phase two of the Covid-19 Campaign seeks to answer a specific cause-and-effect question about changes directly attributable to Covid-19.  While we are conducting the monitoring and evaluation of the Covid-19 impacts, the lockdown starts easing and the UK economy begins to be reopened. 

Because of that, we too are starting to prepare a bridging service to support some of our supporters and users who will be returning from the lockdown as the lockdown eases and the UK economy is being reopened. 

The service will be a bridge between the lockdown and the new normal situation.  The bridging service (we call it Support for the Returnees from the Lockdown or the Returnees’ service) will be activated as soon as the return from the lockdown becomes real for potential beneficiaries and the returnees seek the service.

For further details about this incoming service (that is the Returnees from the Lockdown), please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

~ Covid-19 and Stories of Coping and Survival Tactics in Africa

 

The be.africa (better Africa) forum of thoughts is including in its thoughts of the week the tales of survival and coping tactics from those in most need in Africa, especially at this perilous time of the coronavirus pandemic.

The stories that we are thinking about are those of access and meeting the essential life-sustaining needs in order for those in most need try to save, sustain and rebuild their lives and of those around them. 

There are many stories to tell and share about poverty and how those living it are trying to survive and cope.  The stories we are thinking of are those of accessing water, food, sanitation and of developing skills to reduce the life-threatening and destroying impacts of Covid-19.  However, what are those tactics that have produced the stories we are thinking of.

 

Survival and coping tactics to reduce poverty and the Covid-19 impacts in Africa

Survival and coping tactics are a set of coordinated means used to reach a result or deliver a strategy.  If the tactics are about continuing to live and exist despite the Covid-19 risky and preventive conditions, they could be called survival ones.  If the tactics are to deal with the Covid-19 situation in a way that can be said acceptable, then they can be coping ones.

 

What survival and coping tactics try to achieve in the context of reducing the Covid-19 impacts

Those in most need and most vulnerable may use them to secure the basic necessities of life like the following:

√ Water at water points with the hope of storing enough quantity of water to survive against the shortage of water during the lockdown

√ Basic staples or commodities (such as bags of cassava flour or corn flour or rice) to face the Covid-19 food crisis

√ Local soaps and plants to help wash their hands and sanitise themselves and their homes against the Covid-19 germs

√ Basic skills in craft making to produce their own gloves and face coverings to fight Covid-19, especially in places where there is no or very little support from statutory bodies

√ Local medicinal plants and drugs to combat the early symptoms of Covid-19

All these ways of responding to the Covid-19 could help make up stories for both paid labour and volunteers.

 

Survival and coping tactics as a way of relieving poverty and hardships during the Covid-19 period

These tactics may not be enough to deal with the scale and scope of the economic and health crisis brought by Covid-19.  Although these survival and coping tactics may be of limited scope, they nevertheless help to reduce some symptoms of poverty and hardships even if they may not eradicate them entirely.

To add value to the efforts made by some of people working Africa-based Sister Organisations to their poverty reduction tactics, CENFACS is appealing via its Coronavirus Spring Project for support to help them reduce the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  The details of the Coronavirus Spring Project are given at http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

The extra or essential message to take from this story line is as follows.  Covid-19 has revived the imagination and ingenuity of local people and communities, particularly but not exclusively the poor ones who do not have any financial bailout to rely on, across Africa. 

They can find their own way to temporarily calm the terrible impacts of Covid-19 through survival and coping tactics.  Although what they are doing is great, it is not enough in front of the scale and deepness of the Covid-19 crisis.  They need some backing to sustain their relief action.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…

 

 

  

 

Main Development

 

All in Development Stories Telling Serial 3 – In Focus for Week Beginning 18/05/2020: Essential Volunteering Stories

 

Before listing the types of stories falling under Serial 3, let us define essential volunteering.

 

• • What is essential volunteering?

 

First of all, let us try to understand the word volunteering.  To understand it, we are going to take the definition of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).  The NCVO (2) defines volunteering as

“any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives.  Central to the definition is the fact that volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual.”

From this definition, one can argue that essential volunteering is an absolutely or extremely important activity involving volunteering or voluntary work.  This activity can be undertaken at any time including of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

During this Covid-19 outbreak, there are many types of voluntary work that one can do and which can lead to various experiences or stories during and at the end of this work.  Let us consider some of these stories.

 

 

 

• • Types of essential volunteering stories

 

In the context of CENFACS’ All in Development Stories Telling Serial 3, we are expecting and keen to hear the following types of stories:

√ Stories of helping out in your community during the Covid-19 time

√ Stories of keeping services or the economy running

√ Stories of befriending people in isolation or quarantine during the lockdown measures

√ Stories of shopping and delivering domestic items (e.g. food, medicine, cleaning products, etc.) to those in most need and most vulnerable

√ Stories of helping organisations in this difficult time

√ Stories of supporting local communities under the business volunteering scheme

Etc.

 

• • How to make your stories to reach CENFACS and others in the community

 

There are many means or ways in which you can submit or donate your story.  In the context of this Serial 3, there are ways that one can use to do it, which are:

=> Written text options

You can write your story in a textual format.  You can use email, mobile phone, text messing system and CENFACS’ contact form; and send your story in the form of text.

=> Phone calls

You can call CENFACS and give your story via phone.

=> Audio storytelling and listening

You can use the capacity of audio to tell your volunteering story.  Audio storytelling (with short digital narratives, podcasting, social media and online streaming) can help create and share the impact of the change you made or have made.

=> Short film experiences

You can make short films to support your storytelling experiences and create a social impact.   You can make film on your smart phone with a video content.  Shooting interviews with project participants can also help to create experiences that maximize social media and essential volunteering contents.

=> Video options

You can use audio High Definition video calling (for example Skype video calls or Google Meet for video conferencing options) to tell and share you story with CENFACS and others.

If you are going to use video options, it is better to use a free option and non-profit programme, as they are accessible to everybody to join in with at home or wherever they are, especially at this time of the coronavirus pandemic.   

Some of our users and members may not be able to afford to pay for some types of video options on the market.  That is why it is better to use something which is accessible by the majority of people.

For the purpose of data protection, please use the security tips attached to your chosen option.

If you know you are going to tell your story via video calling or conferencing option and you want CENFACS to participate or join in, you need to let us know at least three days before your story calling or conferencing start so that we can plan ourselves.  You need as well to inform us about the date, time and possibly participants.  You can email, phone, text or complete the contact form to let us know as we are busy like you.   

If you have a story, you can tell and share with us and others.  And if you do not mind, we will circulate your stories within the CENFACS Community.

 

(2) https://www.ncvo.org.uk/policy-and-research/volunteering-policy (accessed May 2020)

 

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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

 

Leave a comment

Extractive Mining Activities… in the Era of Covid-19

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

13 May 2020

 

Post No. 143

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• Message of Support to the CENFACS Community during the Coronavirus Pandemic Time

• FACS Issue No. 67: Extractive Mining Activities, Ecology, Sanitation and Poverty Reduction in Africa in the Era of the Coronavirus Pandemic

• All in Development Stories Telling Serial 2: Life-caring Stories (Week Beginning 11/05/2020)

 

… and much more!

 

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ Message of Support to CENFACS Community during the Coronavirus Pandemic Time

 

We would like to reiterate our support to everybody making the CENFACS’ Community – our Community of Value Chains – and others related to our community during this challenging time of the Covid-19.

Like everybody, we too at CENFACS are closely following and applying anti-coronavirus restrictions, measures and guidance.  In this respect, we are seriously taking the UK Government’s message of STAY ALERT, CONTROL THE VIRUS and SAVE LIVES.

As we informed you in our communication of 18 March 2020 about the arrangements we have made during the Covid-19 crisis, we are not running any events involving physical contacts at the moment. 

To keep CENFACS essentially running, we are only e-working; which means that anyone who needs to access our service, they can do it remotely or online by contacting us via e-mail, phone and contact form.

As the above axis line of CENFACS’ response to the coronavirus pandemic shows, we have virtually produced a number of resources to contribute to the on-going effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic and help each other.  These resources include: virtual protective facial masks, gloves, anti-bacterial hand gels, toilet rolls, etc.

We had as well to introduce to some of our activities and projects measures to protect everybody; measures such as physical and social distancing rules into our Triple Value Initiatives (or All Year Round Projects).

To stay on track and at the frontline in this battle against Covid-19, our Covid-19 campaign has not stopped to find new tools and munitions.  As a result, we have developed six cubes of protection to protect people and our community against the life-threatening and destroying impacts of Covid-19.

The coronavirus has pushed the frontiers of our knowledge, our resolve for action and the way we deliver services to the community.  We had to expand our digital and online services by finding new and innovative ways of keeping you engaged while making these new means available to you.  It has been a learning curve for us.  In this learning journey, we did not leave you behind as we invited you to participate to our first Virtual Reflection Day.

We have expanded our advice service to consider additional provision to cope with the side effects from Covid-19 impacts on people, especially for those who lost their earning capacity or status in our community. 

To closely monitor the behaviour of Covid-19, we set up a model of rebuilding lives which is technically based on shadowing the epidemiological curves of the pandemic.  In doing so, it provides us with the necessary data to build the picture and appropriately respond to the patterns of Covid-19 behaviour and threats.   

To adapt and mitigate the impacts of Covid-19, we are currently conducting an impact analysis of Covid-19 on CENFACS’ 2020s Tools Box, Development Agenda and Poverty Reduction Programme; impact analysis which you are all invited to take part.

We will carry on adapting our Covid-19 campaign depending on updates about the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and on the progress about easing of lockdown measures.

We shall continue to support and engage with you during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for patience and commitment to the CENFACS’ Community, our Community of Value Chains.

For any query or enquiry about this message, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

~ FACS Issue No. 67: Extractive Mining Activities, Ecology, Sanitation and Poverty Reduction in Africa in the Era of the Coronavirus Pandemic

How Africa-based Sister Organisations can bring extractive activities in line with poverty reduction and ecological sustainability

 

The 67th Issue of FACS, CENFACS’ bilingual newsletter, is now out.  In this Issue, we have considered the Covid-19 impact, particularly the need to take into account efforts that Africa-based Sister Organisations need to deploy in order to step up their response to the pandemic while keeping extractive activities in line with poverty reduction and ecological sustainability.

In our previous web post no. 136 of 25 March 2020, we provided readers with a short introduction and the key notes making the content pages of the Issue no. 67 of FACS.  In this post, we have summarised the page contents of this Issue.  These summaries are under the Main Development section of this post.

 

 

~ Week Beginning 11/05/2020: All in Development Stories Telling Serial 2: Life-caring Stories

 

In the context of Covid-19, there are many situations in which one can take care of others.  These varied situations can include: professional healthcare, care home, applying the UK Government and NHS guidance on Covid-19, volunteering to keep the economy working, looking after poor and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis, etc.

=> Professional health carer

One can be working as a professional health carer.  As such he/she is taking care of patients. 

=> Social carer

One can be working as a key worker in a care home for the elderly people.

=> Applying Covid-19 restrictions and measures

One can as well take or look after others by applying to letter the anti-coronavirus measures and guidance to control the virus, save lives and protect the healthcare system (the NHS).

=> Essential volunteering

One can essentially volunteer to keep the economy working for everybody during the coronavirus pandemic

=> Looking after poor and vulnerable people

One can take care of poor and vulnerable during this health and economic crisis in order to protect them from total economic and social collapse as human beings.

As the above shows, there are many ways in which one can care for and protect lives during the coronavirus pandemic and after it.  We have just mentioned a few of them.  When any of these caring situations happen, there is always a story with them; a story that can be told and shared.

This week, we are taking these kinds of caring stories to make up our All-in-Development Story telling Series. 

Those who have Life-caring stories, they can donate their stories to CENFACS.  To do that they can refer to CENFACS’ Story Telling Terms as published on this site last week.

For those who still have Life-saving Stories and were not able to share them with CENFACS and others, they can as well give their stories whenever they are ready.  They need to do it before the deadline of story submission, which is 31/05/2020.

To donate your story, just contact CENFACS.      

 

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Africa-based Sister Organisations and Evidence-based Covid-19 Stories

 

This week, we are expanding the scope of our AiDS Telling Programme to consider the stories or experiences that our Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs) are having with local people regarding the Covid-19 impacts.

We had reports of local people struggling to access life-sustaining basic needs (such as food, water, sanitation and financial support) in order to fight the economic threats and social disruptions from Covid-19; let alone the threat it poses to lives in Africa. 

As we are in CENFACS’ Stories Month, we would like to include their tales or experiences of poverty induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

For any of ASOs that wish to submit or donate their Covid-19 related story, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

~ The impact Analysis of Covid-19 on CENFACS 2020 (s) Poverty Reduction Tools, Development Agenda and Programme

 

In the implementation of CENFACS’ 2020 (s) Poverty Reduction Tools Box, Development Agenda and Programme; we cannot ignore the Covid-19 shock.  When these tools, agenda and programme were designed; we did not anticipate the global impact of Covid-19.  Now that we are in the situation and era of Covid-19 dominance, it is normal for us to reassess these tools, agenda and programme to make them adaptable to the new world of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As said above, we have already started this adaptation process by protecting the CENFACS Community and others, by following the anti-coronavirus measures and guidance, by cancelling any physical events or activities,  and by producing our own virtual protective tools (such as facial masks, anti-bacterial hand gels, gloves, toilet rolls, etc.).

We also adjusted our advice service to take into account the changing needs of the CENFACS Community and the side effects of Covid-19 on poor and vulnerable people. 

What’s more, we designed six cubes of protection against the coronavirus pandemic.

We have lastly introduced some elements of protection (such as physical and social distancing rules and protective equipment, etc.) into our All Year Round Projects (or Triple Value Initiatives).

All the above taken steps are meant to adapt ourselves as an organisation and mitigate the negative outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic.

In this adaptation and mitigation processes, we are now embarking on the next phase which is of the analysis of the Covid-19 and its impact on CENFACS 2020 (s) Poverty Reduction Tools, Development Agenda and Programme.  After completion of this phase, we hope to upgrade our work on Covid-19 campaign from the initial response we gave to it.

During this impact analysis, we may run a number of consultations or discussions with stakeholders (including beneficiaries) so that any changes we may initiate reflect the needs of our beneficiaries.  This process of consultations has started with Covid-19 ASOs Survey.

To enquire or support CENFACS’ Impact Analysis of Covid-19, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

~ Covid-19 and the Prospects of Double Contraction of Income for Africa’s Charitable Organisations

 

The prospects for a deep global recession are now looming.  So do, the prospects for income contraction for Africa’s organisations working on charitable and voluntary issues.  By income contraction, we mean a decline in incomes as measured by overseas aid (from non-governmental organisations, grant-making trusts, individual donors and public administrations) or domestic funding (either from statutory bodies, companies and individuals) or even charity store sales. 

Africa’s charities will face the prospects of an increased demand of services and support from those in most need and most vulnerable.  However, under the constraint of the Covid-19 impacts, it will not be easier for these Africa’s charitable and voluntary organisations to respond to this exponential demand.  There are reasons that work against these organisations to meet this huge demand.  One of the reasons is the double contraction of income: contraction from overseas line of support and contraction from domestic financial support.

 

Income contraction from overseas line of support

Many of overseas development charities and non-governmental organisations on which Africa’s charities and voluntary organisations get financial support have been seriously hit by the Covid-19 impacts.  Their incomes have been seriously reduced and some of them have been forced to close some of their services and stores to comply with the lockdown measures.  This is the same for various companies and individuals who fund these not-for-profit organisations.  Also, there are some opinions in the wealthy nations that demand to offset foreign aid budget to their own Covid-19 budget.  This situation will have a knock-on effect on the income of Africa’s charities and voluntary organisations.

 

Income contraction from domestic financial support

It is not clearly known where there has been financial bailout in Africa whether or not this public money has reached the charitable and voluntary sectors in Africa.  Also, most of the coronavirus-related bilateral and multilateral financial backing tends to be in the form of loans.  There are very limited concessional loans and grants that Africa’s charities and voluntary organisations can tap into. 

Africa’s charities and voluntary organisations need to reinvent themselves in order to have the financial foot they need to meet their own expenses while keeping their essential and valuable services alive.  The months and year to come will be determinant in deciding the finances of Africa’s charities and voluntary organisations while hoping the true picture of Covid-19 will by then be revealed.

As far as CENFACS is concerned, we shall continue to work with our Africa-based Sister Organisations so that we can together further up their case for funding and fundraising for the valuable services they provide and maintain their place in the fight against Covid-19 and poverty in Africa.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…

   

 

 

 

Main Development

 

FACS Issue No. 67: Extractive Mining Activities, Ecology, Sanitation and Poverty Reduction in Africa in the Era of the Coronavirus Pandemic 

How Africa-based Sister Organisations can bring extractive activities in line with poverty reduction and ecological sustainability

 

The 67th Issue of FACS deals with 12 areas of advocacy that Africa-based Sister Organisations can use to make a poverty-relieving case about mining activities undertaken in Africa so that poor people and the nature are properly treated.  These areas include: foreign direct investment, natural resources, poverty reduction, ecological management, informal economy, poverty-relieving value added, political economy of negotiation, mining code, advocacy, health insecurity, sanitary poverty, and coronavirus pandemic.

Please find below the key summaries making the body of the 67th Issue of FACS.

 

• • Page Summaries

 

Page 2

What leverage can Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs) have to bring extractive activities into line?

Generally speaking, extractive activities which are owned and run by multinational corporations have a massive influence and marge of manoeuvre in the way they want to run their extractive activities.  However, with the growing trend of democracies, freedoms and civil society voices in Africa; it is possible for ASOs to gain some spaces to increase their influence and bargaining power to lobby, advocate and campaign to achieve more and better outcomes in terms of poverty reduction and ecological sustainability. 

For example, ASOs can continue to press for the issue of the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to renegotiate, revoke or cancel the disadvantageous mining contracts that the DRC signed during the two waves of war and transition in the 2010s.  This is because these contracts were unfair and signed under warfare pressure.

The situation of unfair contract terms can also happen with the Covid-19 crisis; situation in which African countries are searching for finances to cover the breathtakingly high costs of the current health and economic crisis.  They could be forced to sign unfair trade or mining contracts to secure the finances they badly and desperately need. 

In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, ASOs can use the limited levers or powers they have to make a strong case for the contribution of these activities to the reduction of sanitation poverty and the improvement of health conditions linked to negative externality generated by those activities.   

  

Page 3

Are informal and artisanal small-scale miners trying to help themselves in ending their poverty? 

According to the International Labour Organisation (1),

 “Informal employment is the main source of employment in Africa, accounting for 85.8 per cent of all employment, or 71.9 per cent, excluding agriculture” (p.29)

Informal and artisanal small-scale miners are also part of this percentage in the informal employment.  In the economic context where there is no much or any support for poor and small people, these people are often forced to find ways of making a living.  Informality and temporality could be for them a way of earning some income to survive and live. 

Informal and artisanal miners (like the ones who dig or search for diamond, gold and other minerals), who are vulnerable from informal economy, could be just trying to reduce the level of poverty they are in.  However, this could raise the debate over illegal or illicit mining activities.  With Covid-19, they could be even more vulnerable if there is no financial support or bailout for them.

(1) International Labour Organisation (2018), Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture (3rd Edition), Geneva

 

 

Africa-based Sister Organisations as advocates against health insecurity and sanitary poverty in the mining fields

The coronavirus pandemic does not only expose the fragility of African economies; it does as well reopen the debate over the working conditions in the mining fields in terms of health, safety, sanitation and security.  

ASOs can use this window of opportunities that Covid-19 has provided to continue to make a case or proposals for a better protection and working conditions for African miners.  These proposals could cover areas of protection against Covid-19 (such as personal protective equipment and protection of miners’ families). 

They can as well further up their advocacy work on health insecurity and sanitary poverty to be eliminated.  They can ask for compensation for affected mining communities, defend environmental degradation, apply to become part of the drafting of any mining codes or contracts, campaign for better mining contracts under the constraint of Covid-19, etc.  ASOs should continue to put pressure to ensure that mining contracts and mining codes address ecological, sanitation and poverty reduction issues.

 

Page 4

Foreign direct investment in the natural resources and poverty reduction in Africa

Opinions amongst ASOs are divided regarding the impacts of foreign direct investments (FDI) on natural resources and poverty.  There are those ASOs that see FDI as being a positive thing for local employment creation and valorisation of natural resources.  On the contrary, there are other ASOs that think that ASOs bring little compared to what they take while neglecting poverty issues.  The views of the two sides of the argument depend on what really FDI can produce regardless of any affiliation of theoretical doctrine or ideology. 

 

Equating foreign direct Investment in the natural resources with poverty reduction investment

It is possible to make equal foreign direct investment (that is, overseas investment by private multinational corporations) in the natural resources and investment in poverty reduction in Africa.  It all depends on what is perceived as the goal of FDI in natural resources and what is the aim of poverty reduction. 

If the goal of FDI is limited to the maximisation of profit, then there is no equivalence between the two.  If the FDI in natural resources takes poverty reduction as part of its overall goal in places where these investments are implemented, then there is a possibility to speak of equivalence or equality of goals between poverty reduction and other areas of investments.

 

 

 

Page 5

Comment les organisations associatives africaines peuvent-elles assurer que la plus grande valeur ajoutée minière générée soit retenue localement pour la réduction de la pauvreté?

Pour répondre à cette question, définissons d’abord la valeur ajoutée.  Pour le faire, nous avons emprunté la définition du site comptafacile.com (2), définition qui est celle-ci:

“La valeur ajoutée est un indicateur financier qui exprime la création de richesse brute d’une entreprise ou l’accroissement de valeur qu’elle a générée du fait de ses activités courantes.  Elle représente donc une traduction de l’activité de l’entreprise: difference entre le chiffre d’affaires et les consommations intermédiaires. 

La valeur ajoutée sert à rémunérer les acteurs de l’entreprise, c’est-à-dire ceux qui participant à son fonctionnement: les salariés (rémunérations), les apporteurs de capitaux (dividendes) et les administrations (impôts, taxes et cotisations sociales).  Le reliquat contribuera à enrichir l’entreprise elle-même.”

Cette définition nous montre clairement que la valeur ajoutée a peu à avoir avec la pauvreté.  Elle vise à enrichir les acteurs de l’entreprise.

Néanmoins, il est possible de repenser cette définition et sa pratique pour que la valeur ajoutée tient compte de la pauvreté.  En particulier, on peut oeuvrer pour que la part de la valeur ajoutée allant aux travailleurs locaux pauvres soit au-delà du seuil de pauvreté. 

De même que les entreprises d’extraction minière peuvent ouvrir leur capital pour que les pauvres aient un pourcentage non moins négligeable dans leur capital, si vraiement elles sont intéressées à la réduction de la pauvreté.

Les organisations associatives africaines peuvent plaider pour une augmentation significative de la part salariale des salaires les plus bas et pour l’attribution d’un pourcentage juste du capital aux pauvres. 

C’est en procédant à ce changement que l’on peut faire en sorte que la valeur ajoutée ainsi générée soit grandement retenue pour les objectifs de réduction de la pauvreté.  C’est ce partage équitable des fruits de l’extraction minière qui fera réduire sinon éliminer la pauvreté et assurera la justice financière.

 

Page 5 & 6

Comment les organisations associatives africaines peuvent-elles faire pour que l’économie politique de négociations avec des investisseurs miniers étrangers soit favorable à la réduction de la pauvreté locale? 

Pour qu’elles en arrivent là, il y a d‘énormes travaux à faire.  Elles doivent comprendre que l’économie politique est la science des lois qui régissent les relations économiques en matière de production et de répartition.  L’économiste Jean-Baptiste Say définissait l’économie politique comme “l’exposition de la manière dont se forment, se distribuent et se consomment les richesses”.  C’est aussi la recherche des moyens d’enrichir une nation comme le disait Adam Smith.

En comprenant le rôle de la négociation dans l’économie politique, les organisations associatives africaines peuvent utiliser leurs pouvoirs de négociation, quels que soit limités,  pour faire en sorte que le problème de réduction de la pauvreté soit au coeur de négociations minières, mais pas à la périphérie.  Si elles ne le font pas, l’enrichissement des activités minières peut se réaliser par une grande pauvreté locale. 

Dans chaque négociation, il y a ce qui est à gagner et ce qui est à perdre; de même il y a des compromis à faire entre les parties en négociation.  Ceci peut faire que la négociation soit un jeu à somme nulle.  Ce qui n’est pas admissible est que dans des négociations minières la réduction de la pauvreté ne soit pas une enchère importante. 

Les organisations associatives africaines peuvent travailler pour qu’elles gagnent une place dans les négociations minières et qu’elles utilisent leur participation dans ces négociations pour soulever les enjeux de réduction de la pauvreté.   Elles peuvent aussi mettre sur pied les modalités et critères clairement définis de suivi et d’évaluation de ces négociations concernant leurs impactes sur la réduction de la pauvreté.

C’est en agissant de cette manière que les organisations associatives africaines pourraient faire que l’économie politique de négociations avec des investisseurs miniers étrangers soit favorable à la reduction de la pauvreté locale ou nationale.

 

Page 6

Comment les organisations associatives africaines peuvent-elles plaider pour que le code minier soit aussi celui de réduction de la pauvreté en Afrique à l’ère de la pandémie du coronavirus? 

Pour y arriver, définissons d’abord ce qu’on entend par code minier.  Nous avons emprunté la définition liée au code minier français, définition que nous allons extrapoler et appliquer dans nos analyses.  Elle est la suivante:

“Le code minier français régit l’ensemble des usages du sous-sol (hors aménagement).  Il précise les conditions dans lesquelles une exploration et une exploitation de mine peuvent être réalisées mais aussi les dispositions relatives à l’arrêt des travaux miniers (« après-mine »)…

Ce code est pour l’essentiel un code de procédure: il précise davantage les processus de décision que les décisions elles-mêmes.  Néanmoins, les relations entre exploitants, propriétaires et voisins de la surface minière sont encadrées par ce code tout comme les dispositions sociales “. (3)

On peut faire que ce code de procédure régisse aussi bien les dispositions en matière de réduction de la pauvreté qu’à celle du développement durable.  De même, on peut adhérer la participation des représentants des couches pauvres et des organisations associatives africaines dans ce code de procédure et de processus de décisions minières et de leur élaboration.

Aussi, avec ce qui se passe actuellement avec la crise sanitaire amenée par le Covid-19, on peut y inclure des dispositions sanitaires, écologiques et environnementales.  Ces considérations dans le code minier permettront de sauver et protèger des vies humaines et naturelles contre les menaces et risques du Covid-19.

Les organisations associatives africaines peuvent faire que le code minier ne soit pas seulement un dispositf techniquement minier, mais aussi un processus d’engagement holistique sur des questions de pauvreté, d’environnement, d’écologie et de santé publique.     Elles peuvent demander l’adaptation du code minier au droit à l’environnement, à l’écologie et à la santé liée au coronavirus.

Les organisations associatives africaines peuvent ainsi plaider pour que le code minier soit aussi celui d’éradication de la pauvreté, de réduction de la dégradation de l’environnement, de l’amélioration écologique, et du progrès de l’hygiène en Afrique à l’ère de la pandémie du coronavirus.

(2) https://www.compta-facile.com/valeur-ajoutee-va-definition-calcul-interet/

(3) https://www.connaissancedesenergies.org/qu-est-ce-que-le-code-minier-francais-130612

 

Page 7

Do minerals raise finances or increase poverty in Africa? 

The experience with mining activities in Africa shows that minerals can be a viable source of earning incomes when the prices are rewarding.  This earning can help public finances and people.  It is even helpful when poor people are allowed to get a share of return from the sale of minerals.    They can get it through direct transfer payments or indirectly through public spending in education, housing, health, social protection, transport, etc. 

Minerals can increase poverty if their exploitation is done in such a way to denying ordinary people access to a decent pay, healthcare, environmental protection and any other material possession.  This is why ASOs need to continue to advocate for the reduction or even eradication of the deficiencies of mineral markets and companies if they create or exacerbate poverty.  They can keep advocating for the support of local poverty reduction projects and transparency (and accountability) for incomes from mining activities to reach poor people or its destination (end-users).      

 

Natural resource management, ecological management and poverty reduction in Africa in relation to mining activities

Normally, natural resource management (NRM) is the management of natural resources in a sustainable way in order to meet objectives (such as wildlife conservation, ecosystems, etc.) and to reduce the negative environmental impacts and change.

As to the ecological management, it is the management of interrelationships between organisms and their environment. 

Regarding poverty reduction, it is any measure or effort that helps improve monetary and material conditions of those who do not have or have very little. 

By putting together the three of them, it is possible to find some links or balances between the way in which natural resource and ecology are managed.  Also, the manner in which natural resource and ecology are handled can impact the direction of poverty reduction.  In other words, poverty can increase or decrease depending how humans manage natural resource and the balance between organism and their environment. 

Because of these interlinks, mining activities need to find the fine balance between human health, ecological disruptions and poverty reduction. 

For example: with regard to poverty reduction, poor people in Africa may not have means to buy soap and access safe water to wash their hands.  Yet, hand-washing is an important element in the process of eradicating the Covid-19.

So, mining activities need to be respectful of human-ecological balance as well as the balance between extraction of natural resource and human wellbeing.

 

Page 8

Relationships between mining companies and Africa-based Sister Organisations in the context of Covid-19

Historically speaking, mining companies have more relationships with States and other economic agents than African-based Sister Organisations (ASOs).  However, since Africa has returned to democratic path, one can noticed that ASOs tend to highlight from their advocacy work different issues which were neglected or were in the domain of overseas development non-governmental organisations.  These issues can include human rights, child labour, environmental pollution, poverty, etc. surrounding the quality of mining activities.

From time to time, ASOs do raise their voices regarding the impacts of mining activities.  Currently, ASOs can re-examine the relationships between miners and mining companies under the constraint of Covid-19 to protect poor miners so that miners are treated safely and healthily at work, review of working mining conditions in relation to Covid-19.

 

Page 9

Covid-19 ASOs Survey: a Survey for Africa-based Sister Organisations regarding the Impacts of Covid-19 Shock

It is known that the Covid-19 Shock is impacting everybody and sector.  In order to be more specific in the way is affecting Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs), we are conducting a survey regarding the economic health of these organisations.

The survey is about finding how Covid-19 is impacting each ASO, particularly but not exclusively, those ASOs working on mining, ecological and sanitation issues.  The survey has the following three objectives:

(1) Finding out how (strongly or averagely or weakly) Covid-19 is impacting individual ASO and their users

(2) Development of ways of mitigating issues found and brought by Covid-19

(3) Start gathering data for the preparation of the post-Covid-19 recovery strategies

As part of this survey, we are questioning ASOs to openly tell us, by using their own words and figures, the way in which the Covid-19 is affecting them.

They can directly answer to CENFACS by using our contact details on this website.

To get involved and or full access to the survey, please contact CENFACS.     

 

Page 10

Project of Advocates against Sanitary Poverty and Unsustainable Ecology

The overall aim of this project is to help reduce sanitation poverty and adverse effects on the structure and function of the nature; poverty and effects that may have been caused by mining activities.  This help will be achieved by working together with local people and organisations where mining activities are taking (or took) place in Africa and where there have been negative impacts from these activities on sanitation, ecology and poverty. 

To support and for further details (including full project proposals, budget and implementation time schedule), please contact CENFACS.

For a full copy of this Issue or query about it, 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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

Leave a comment

May 2020 Stories

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

06 May 2020

 

Post No. 142

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• May Stories – All in Development Stories: Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis – Tell it!

• All in Development Story Telling Series

• Rebuilding Health Resources, Structures and Infrastructures of Africa-based Sister Organisations

 

… and much more!

 

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ May Stories – All in Development Stories: Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis – Tell it!

 

Story telling is our main content for the month of May.  It is the month and time of the year we dedicate ourselves to telling and sharing poverty relief and sustainable development stories.  Why? 

This is because in whatever we do to help reduce poverty and appeal for support to development process, there is always a story to tell and share from various places we intervene and from different individuals and communities or organisations involving in our work.

How do we tell and share these stories?  We do it through All in Development (AiD) Stories project.  This year, AiD Stories project will be about Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis.

There are three criteria we would like to highlight about this AiD Stories project.

Firstly, AiD Stories project is about stories by volunteers or people who are giving their stories not for money or not being paid for their experience they had in relation to the story theme.  However, this principle does not stop anybody to provide a story even if what they are saying come from their paid position.

Secondly, for this year’s AiD Stories project we are mainly interested in stories from places of health and sanitation crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic.  In other words, we are primarily taking stories of those who volunteered or are volunteering in the coronavirus-hit places or environments.  We are secondarily registering people’s personal experiences of health and sanitation crisis related to Covid-19 since all of us have something to say about Covid-19 in the way we are experiencing it in our daily lives.

Thirdly, the Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis that we are dealing with for this year’s AiD Stories project are those related to Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining ones with reference to the Covid-19.

To facilitate and organise ourselves in the way of telling these stories, we are going to do it through a series or programme.  There is more information about this series below.  

For more on AiDS project and this year’s storytelling focus, read under the Main Development section of this post.

 

 

~ All in Development Story Telling Series

 

The 2020 series of AiDS Telling Programme starts from the 4th of May 2020, every Monday afterwards and will last until the end of May 2019.  These series, which are part of May stories, are a set of notes arranged in line to tell stories of Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining.

There is no unique logic or model of organising a story.  We thought that to make it easier, our storytelling series will follow these four sequences: saving of lives against the coronavirus pandemic; caring and protection of lives; essential volunteering and home staying as measure to reduce the spread and speed of the coronavirus pandemic.

The four sequences are in some form or other linked each other.  Indeed, saving lives will involve a great deal of aspects of care.  In a crisis of magnitude and scale like of Covid-19, it is unrealistic to expect all work to be paid.  There would always be a proportion of essential volunteering that is needed to overcome the crisis.  To have a fast recovery from Covid-19 outbreak, people have been requested to stay home.  So, there could be some links between saving and caring for lives, volunteering and staying home.      

For further details about these sequences, please continue to read under the Main Development section of this post.

 

 

 

~ Rebuilding Health Resources, Structures and Infrastructures of Africa-based Organisations (ASOs)

 

Throughout the month of May, we shall continue to advocate about the Rebuilding of Africa, particularly the rebuilding of ASOs’ health and safety assets, resources, structures and infrastructures so that they can effectively respond to the Covid-19 shock and poverty reduction in Africa. 

 

Rebuilding Africa together

In this project of Rebuilding Africa, there will be a question which is: who should rebuild Africa?  Obviously, Africa should be rebuilt by Africans with the support of Africa’s allies or partners.  Since the impacts of Covid-19 started to be real, Africa has tried to mobilise its allies to be on its side.  Let us to be more specific by looking at the rebuilding of ASOs.

 

Rebuilding of ASOs’ Health Resources, Structures and Infrastructures

CENFACS will continue to advocate so that ASOs of charitable and voluntary sector could have the means, organisation and equipment they need in order to play their poverty relief role during and after the Covid-19 crisis. 

The above area of advocacy requires establishing ways of working together with them to develop capacities in health and safety within and outside these organisations.  For those ASOs that are working on health issues, there is a need to boost their resources, structures and infrastructures so that they can effectively respond to the enormous challenge that Covid-19 has posed, and to new and emerging needs of their users.  In doing so, they can turn Covid-19 to impetus to achieve a better healthcare for their people.

To support CENFACS’ advocacy about Rebuilding Africa, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Breaking the Vicious Circle of Covid-19 Lockdown via CENFACS’ Triple Value Initiatives

 

CENFACS’ Triple Value Initiatives (or All Year Round Projects), which consist of Play, Run and Vote; should be running during the coronavirus pandemic.  In fact, Triple Value Initiatives (TVIs) can help to occupy people’s minds and communities during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  Let us see how one can apply them during the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

# Run activities under Run for Poverty Relief Initiative in 2020

 

Due to the anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions, it is not possible to group people and organise a physical run activity.  However, one person can essentially run alone while respecting physical and social distancing measures. 

## Doing physical running alone

Even if you are physically running alone, you need to follow the other anti-coronavirus rules linked to hand washing, the use of anti-bacterial hand gels, wearing of gloves and facial masks; briefly you need to wear personal protective equipment suitable for running to protect yourself and others.

## Doing virtual running

If you are doing indoor or virtual running at home, you also need to follow the guidance about protection against Covid-19 at home, particularly with regard to disinfection of the traces or strains of Covid-19 and the other rules to protect yourself and others within and outside your household. 

 

# Play and Vote Activities under CENFACS’ Initiatives of Poverty Relief League and Vote African Poverty and Development Manager of 2020

 

Play and vote can only be done at home or indoor.  Being at home or indoor under the conditions of Covid-19 lockdown, one can play and vote using online and distance resources and devise (such as a computer, mobile phone, tablet, laptop, PS4 etc.).  They can interact via these online and distance learning and working technologies. 

For examples:

With the Play or Gaming activities, people can use their own imagination and run their own play station and competitions for poverty relief.  One can as well try to find out which African country will be best to come on top of the CENFACS’ Poverty Reduction League in reducing poverty under the constraint of Covid-19.

With Vote activities, people can watch and search 20 top people who are helping or working to pull other people out of poverty during the coronavirus pandemic.  One of them could be selected by 23 December 2020 as the Poverty Relief and Development Manager of 2020.

By essentially using CENFACS’ Triple Value Initiatives (or All Year Round Projects), project users can find alternative ways of reducing personal pressure related to the lockdown and confinement; while still doing something for poverty reduction.

 

# What we would like to hear from your Running, Gaming and Voting Activities

 

We would like to hear from you the best three: 

√ The Best African Countries of 2020 which best reduce poverty under the constraint of the coronavirus pandemic

√ The Best African Global Games Runners of 2020

√ The Best African Poverty Reduction and Development Managers of 2020

The deadline to tell us your bests is 23 December 2020.

 

 

~ CENFACS’ Mission Year and May Stories

 

CENFACS’ 2020 Mission Year is a coordinated plan by CENFACS to provide what is needed and necessary to support any efforts of poverty reduction.  At this particular time of Covid-19 outbreak, this mission is about the reduction of health and sanitation poverty linked to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. 

CENFACS’ May Stories are about the tales of change for better change by the change makers.  They bring change to those living poverty and hardships.  When this change from poverty to poverty reduction happens, there is a story to tell, share and even to celebrate.

Therefore, there is an area of link between CENFACS’ Mission Year and CENFACS’ May Stories via poverty reduction achievement and the story it generates.  This link is also found throughout the different episodes of this month story telling programme. 

For further information about the relationship between CENFACS’ Mission Year and May Stories, please contact CENFACS and or follow the All-in-Development Stories Telling Series this month.      

 

 

~ Covid-19 and the Development of Sustainable Development Initiatives in Africa

 

The coronavirus pandemic together with the restrictions and measures put in place to fight it have increased the challenge to conduct and develop sustainable development initiatives in Africa.

In many places where we have projects and local partners, there were already difficulties to work on poverty reduction issues.  Now, with the confinement and lockdown due to Covid-19, this challenge has increased.

 

# Covid-19 as an increased challenge for Sustainable Development Initiatives

 

In Africa, where CENFACS’ partners or local African organisations are based there is a lack of basic infrastructures and capacities such as medical and health staff (e.g. physicians, nurses and midwifes), technological connectivity (telephones and broadband facilities) and social protection.

We had reports how people are struggling to get access to foods and supplies of essential medical drugs which are not coronavirus-related.

To highlight this increased challenge, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently published two dashboards regarding the unpreparedness and vulnerability of Africa to Covid-19.  In one of the dashboards, the UNDP (1) has mentioned the following lacks in Sub-Saharan Africa:

“Fixed broadband subscription per 100 people was 0.4 between 2017 and 2018.

The population living below income poverty line stood at 43.5% at $1.90 a day (parity purchasing power) between 2010 and 2018.

63.1% of total employment was working poor at $3.20 a day (parity purchasing power) in 2018.

79.4% of population was without any social protection and labour programmes between 2006 and 2016.”

Although most of these figures are for the 2010s decade, they nevertheless highlight two things:  the lack of fresh data (which is a story of data poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa), and the difficult context of working with our African partners in the development of sustainable development initiatives.

 

# Covid-19 as a confirmed factor of Africa’s vulnerability

 

This vulnerability of Africa to Covid-19 has been confirmed by both textual and numerical data.  A second wave of data given for Sub-Saharan Africa by the same UNDP states the following:

“The number of physicians per 10,000 people was only 2.1 between 2010 and 2017.

The number of nurses and midwifes per 10,000 people was 10 between 2010 and 2018.

The number of hospital beds per 10,000 people was 8 between 2010 and 2018.”

Again, these numbers show how vulnerable Africa is to Covid-19 outbreak.   The numbers also indicate the challenge in developing sustainable initiatives in the area of healthcare, let alone the travel and transport restrictions imposed in many countries in Africa. 

However, one should not stop here and become pessimistic or alarmist about Africa.  In fact, Africa has not done badly so far in flattening the epidemiological curves of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the early prediction of human calamity in Africa if the pandemic reaches there. 

Covid-19 has shown that it can reach the wealthiest economies of the world, not only Africa.  Without being complacent, Africa needs to take this opportunity to rebuild its self from its weaknesses.  Africa has many trumps it can use to turn the Covid-19 shock to impetus to achieve the kinds of sustainable development initiatives it needs in order to keep reducing poverty and stay on track of its development and destiny.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…

(1) https://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/covid-19_and_human_development.pdf (accessed April 2020)

 

 

 

Main Development

 

May Stories: Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining Stories

 

• • What is ALL in DEVELOPMENT STORIES project?

 

All in Development STORIES (AiDS) is a life story developingtelling, sharing and learning project set up by CENFACS in 2009 in order to give opportunities to volunteers, interns and other development supporters to inspire others and spread the good news and will of better change to the community.  The project, which is run during the month of May, has three dimensions as follows:

1) AiDS is a telling and sharing story

It is about telling and sharing with us your experience and achievements made in the fields of local (UK) and International (Africa) developments.

2) AiDS is a learning and development process

It is also about learning from volunteers and interns how they improved their own life, changed deprived lives and reached out to the needy communities.  After learning, one can try to develop strengths and better practices to solve problems.

3) AiDS is an inspirational and motivational support network

After all, the project seeks to inspire and motivate others on the road of change for change, especially for those who might prepare and use their summer break or any other occasions (like the Covid-19 outbreak) to take up volunteering and or internship roles and positions.

4) AiDS finally is a state-of-the-art project as it enables us to get up-to-date information, knowledge and thinking in the fields of poverty reduction and sustainable development from those who went on the grounds to learn and experience real-life development works.  They return with volunteering stories to tell and share.

This year’s storytelling and sharing will be about Saving, Rebuilding and Sustaining Lives

 

• • The Covid-19 Impact on CENFACS’ May Stories

 

We have chosen to continue this theme for this Spring because of the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  CENFACS’ work is not exempt from this impact.  We had to come out our way and initial plan to consider the disproportional impacts of Covid-19. 

As a result of this reconsideration of our plan, we are interested in stories of human, economic and social impacts of Covid-19; stories which will make our general theme of saving, rebuilding and sustaining lives.

Besides this main reconsideration, we have added stories related to the environmental impacts of Covid-19 shock.  These are the tales related to the use of let say plastic gloves, facial masks, anti-bacteria gels, toilet rolls, etc.  How the lack of good recycling scheme of these items can affect the environment.  This is let alone the lockdown which has led to the decrease in traffic and noise.

This addition to our May menu makes all our stories for this year as being of sustainable development as they involve human, economic, social and environmental impacts of the Covid-19 Shock.

Getting and exchanging with people stories on sustainable life is a great way of sharing the fruits of sustainable development work and change, and of supporting one another. 

 

• • May 2020 STORIES: Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining Stories

 

We have slightly altered our Stories month to be topical by taking into account the coronavirus pandemic.  As a result, we are dealing with stories of saving, rebuilding and sustaining lives from the coronavirus pandemic.

To reflect this slight alteration, we are running 4 series of AiD Story Telling programme during this month of May, programme that will revolve around the impacts of Covid-19.

For those who want to tell their stories of saving, renewing and sustaining lives; they can choose among the following sequences to tell their stories. 

 

• • Types of 2020 Stories and Story Telling Series

 

AiD Story Telling Series: Starting 04/05/2020 and after every Monday until the end of May 2020.

The following series have been planned from our lightly altered renewal process for this month of storytelling (May Stories).

 

Serial 1: Week beginning 04/05/2020: Life-saving stories during the coronavirus pandemic

These are the stories of voluntary work done in in helping to save another person’s life.

Serial 2: Week beginning 11/05/2020: Life-caring and protecting stories

They include tales of voluntary work carried out in providing care service to vulnerable people (such as young children, pregnant women, the sick and elderly, etc.)

Serial 3: Week beginning 18/05/2020: Essential volunteering stories during the Covid-19 crisis

These are accounts of voluntary work done at any phases of the epidemiological curve of the Covid-19 to support healthcare effort or keep the economy running during the Covid-19 period.

Serial 4: Week beginning 25/05/2020: Home staying stories

They are the experiences or anecdotes of each individual from the lockdown and confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

• • Serial 1: Week beginning 04/05/2020: Life-saving stories during the coronavirus pandemic

 

In this serial 1 of AiDS Telling programme, one can enter a story that describes any action or experience undertaken to save another person’s life during this current health and sanitation crisis brought by Covid-19.  For example, one could tell a story or personal experience of providing essential medical drugs or sanitary items to help save lives.

In asking you to enter your story, we would like as well to remind you that CENFACS does not create or make up stories.  People donate their stories which make the series keep going.  The stories that we are talking about are real and would normally come from those who spare their time in the things they are talking about and live or witness that life.

Generally, they are from those who would participate to the AiDS Volunteering Scheme.  However, we can also accept stories from outside this scheme as long as they are real and are about poverty reduction and sustainable development.

To donate, tell and share your story of saving lives, please contact CENFACS.

 

• • 2020 Story Areas of Interest

 

We take stories that cover any areas of poverty reduction and local and international sustainable developments.

 

• • Contexts of Stories

 

Stories could come from any level of project/programme cycle (i.e. planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review) as long as it is to do with poverty reduction and sustainable development.  They could also be a result of research and field work activities or studies.  They could finally be an experience of everyday life. 

  

• • Call for 2020 Entries 

 

The 2020 Edition of AiDS has already kicked off.  For those who want to enter their stories of life renewal, please note you are welcome to do so.  Just read below the annotated timetable for story submission and CENFACS’ storytelling terms and conditions.

We await your responses to our call.

 

• • Annotated Timetable for Story Submission in 2020

 

<> Start of online (e-mail) and paper-based submission (01/05/2020)

<> Story submission deadline (31/05/2020)

<> Notification of receipt/acceptance (by 17/06/2020)

<> Submission of revised stories (01/05/2020 to 31/05/2020)

 

• • CENFACS Story Telling & Sharing Terms

 

To tell and/or share your May story, please let us know who you are, where and when your experience took place and of course the story itself.  You could also text, twit and send some forms of supporting materials/resources to back up your story.  Should you wish not to be named, please let us know.  Please see below our story telling, sharing and learning terms.

1/ We welcome both told and untold stories

2/ Inside, witness, news, behind the scenes & case stories are eligible

3/ We only take real life stories, not fiction stories or fake news

4/ Tell true and evidence-based stories only, not lies

5/ If possible, back up your stories with facts and data (numerical or textual)

6/ Mention location, dates and names of events in the story

7/ We accept photos, images, pictures, videos, infographics, audios and other forms of resources (e.g. digital or e- technologies) to support, capture and communicate the impact of your story 

8/ Plagiarism, prohibited, offensive, violation of copyrights and unlawful/illegal materials are not accepted

9/ Hacking, flaming, spamming, ransom ware, phishing and trolling practices are not accepted as well.

For further clarification, contact CENFACS

 

Tell and share your story of change for change by communicating the impact you make!

 

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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

Leave a comment

Rebuilding Health Systems in Africa

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

29 April 2020

 

Post No. 141

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• Message to Africa-based Sister Organisations: Re-building Bonds, Re-building Bridges in the era of Coronavirus Pandemic

• Rebuilding Health Systems in Africa by shadowing the “epi-curves” of the Coronavirus Pandemic

• African Children’s Climate and Sustainable Development Goals (Generation Global Goals: 3G Project): Reduction of Data Poverty for Children in relation to Covid-19 Impacts

 

…and much more!

 

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ Message to Africa-based Sister Organisations:

Re-building Bonds, Re-building Bridges in the era of Coronavirus Pandemic

 

Covid-19 is a global health and economic threat for everybody as it threatens and destroys lives, both healthily and economically speaking.  Sometimes new threats can bring new opportunities and spaces for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Covid-19 has led to transport and travel restrictions as measures.  But, it cannot break the unbreakable bridges we built together for ages.  It has tested the level of our development partnership, but it cannot destroy the legacy of our bonds.

In the face of a newly emerged common health and economic threat of this decade, this is a time for renewed opportunity for all us to re-cement the bases of our working-together model of protection and poverty relief.  It is as well an occasion to extend the positive of our human fabric and solidarity to those working on similar goals to reduce and hopefully end poverty and hardships in Africa. 

It is possible to win together the poverty relief battle against Covid-19 not only by avoiding it to reach its peak in any “epi-curves” in Africa, but also to make sure it does not spread further poverty and hardships amongst people and communities.

We can only do it if we remake ourselves, regroup our munitions and fight together as an army of poverty relievers and economic protectors.  It means each support,  however small it may be, counts in the Covid-19 battle.

It is in CENFACS determination to re-engage with you in this new era of the pandemic landscape so that our poverty relief work can find its tone, power and dynamism it needs to win this battle of the 21st Century.  This could mean we need to build again our relationships while developing our new links.

In doing so, we can work together with poor and vulnerable people while providing them with the hopes, spaces and freedoms they need to use their full potentials and achieve the results of their dreams.  It is in this way they can claim the place they deserve in the 2020s and beyond.

For any query or enquiry about the contents of this message, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

~ Rebuilding Health Systems in Africa by shadowing the “epi-curves” of the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

Our advocacy work about “Rebuilding Africa” by shadowing the “epi-curves” of the coronavirus pandemic is still in progress.  We are taking stock of the health systems in Africa and making the health-enhancing case of rebuilding while keeping an upper hand on the battle against Covid-19 to save lives.

Under the Main Development section of this post, you will find further elements about this key message.

 

 

~ African Children’s Climate and Sustainable Development Goals (Generation Global Goals: 3G Project): Reduction of Data Poverty for Children in relation to Covid-19 Impacts

 

The 2020 theme of our 3G project about the reduction of data poverty for African children continues this week.

We are researching on data about children in places of lockdown in Africa and in relation to Covid-19.  Our research is about analysing the impacts of Covid-19 on African children’s realisation of climate and sustainable development goals.  It is indeed about getting the extent to which children are trying to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development and climate Goals within these exceptional conditions of lockdown together with the other anti-coronavirus measures (such as self-isolation, physical distancing, hygiene, disinfection, etc.) to control the spread and speed of the coronavirus pandemic.

As it is known so far, under the special conditions of lockdown in Africa, many children from poor family backgrounds would find that meeting the basic life-sustaining needs (like food, health, security, protection, energy, education, etc.) could be challenging under the life-disrupting and endangering impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Covid-19 has exposed the vulnerability of children from poor family backgrounds; vulnerability that can be exploited if care and protection are not taking seriously.  This could mean that the prospects for meeting the climate and sustainable development goals by these children could be highly reduced, if not nullified.  

In order to help those children, there is a need to gather data about them around the topic of coronavirus.  The kinds of data that we are interested in are both textual and numerical ones.  They can be structured or unstructured or even both. 

Information extracted from this data can help to find out not only how these children are specifically coping with the conditions of health and care at this critical time of the coronavirus pandemic, but also how they are meeting the spectrum of sustainable development goals in general.

The above key areas are CENFACS’ research on new data related to the meeting of climate and sustainable development goals under the constraint of Covid-19 measures and restrictions.

For further details about this piece of research related to CENFACS’ 3G Project, please contact CENFACS.      

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Coming in May 2020: Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitary Crisis

 

The 2020s Volunteering Stories will focus on healthcare since Covid-19 has seriously disrupted and endangered lives in many respects and aspects.  These stories, which will be of course of change makers and enablers, will be of life savers and rebuilders, health protectors and key poverty relievers.

For further details including the agenda for this year’s May Stories, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

~ The Essentials of CENFACS Protection Key Notes held from 01 to 29 April 2020

 

CENFACS’ Month of Protection, which climaxed to a Virtual Reflection Day, is ending tomorrow.  What can we retain from the four selected protection key notes that made this month?

 

# Essential Messages from Protection Notes

 

The essential messages from these notes are as follows.

Note 1: Protection of sanitation

It is absolutely vital to protect sanitation so that lives can be saved and sustained while protecting basic healthcare systems and infrastructures. 

Note 2: Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability

CENFACS’ Coronavirus Spring Project and Virtual Support against the Coronavirus Pandemic are set up to respectively protect poor and vulnerable people who might be affected by the life-threatening and –destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  They are people-centred protection initiatives that are designed to directly benefit people, the coronavirus-hit ones. 

Note 3: Protection of Poor, near Poor and Lower-middle Incomes

CENFACS and Africa-based organisations are trying to help the poor, near poor and lower-middle incomes affected by the Covid-19 storm.  CENFACS is doing it via Advisory Support for Coronavirus Rescue Income, which is part of CENFACS’ Cube of Protection.

Many of our ASOs have developed activities and services related to the incomes issue to deal with circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Note 4: Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures

It is imperative to protect and enhance basic healthcare infrastructures while extending or rebuilding specific coronavirus-related infrastructures as the need is urgent and pressing to save lives. 

The above are the essentials of the Month Protection.  However, we cannot conclude these notes without thanking those who made our first Virtual Protection Day.

 

# A Thank-You Message

 

It is a great pleasure and gesture to spend only ONE DAY OUT OF THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE DAYS (1 out of 365 days) in a year to think of poor and vulnerable people and families, and among them are particularly but not exclusively the elderly women and young children for this year of Covid-19 pandemic. 

It was fruitful to reflect on the conditions and protection of women and children in times of health and sanitation crisis like of Covid-19 disaster.  None underestimates the immense pain and sufferings that all the people are experiencing during this time of the coronavirus pandemic, without forgetting the fatalities and economic damage it has created.

However, because of the nature and terms of reference of our Reflection Day, we focussed on two types of the victims (that is elderly women and young children) of this health and sanitation crisis. 

Taking times and making some thoughts for their defence against harm, danger and loss; is worthwhile.  Many thanks to all our Virtual Reflection Day supporters!

For those who want to go beyond these essential messages, they can let CENFACS know.

 

 

~ Covid-19 and Africa’s Informal and Gig In-working Poor

 

The Covid-19 conflict has uncovered some of the segments making African economies.  Amongst these segments are the informal and gig economies.  What are these types of economy?

 

Basic understanding of informal and gig economies

Within the employment and economic literature, informal economy is defined as activities that are not captured by national accounts and official statistics.  Informal workers can include: street vendors, domestic workers, construction workers, etc.

A gif economy is all sorts of ways of making ends meet that are temporary and made of individual pieces paid separately without working for a specified employer.  Amongst the gig workers, one can mention the following ones: street cleaners, zero-hour contract workers, food delivery bikers, etc.

Both informal sector and gig economy can be found in many parts of Africa. For example, the International Labour Organisation (1) argues that

“In Africa, 89.7 per cent of employed women are in informal employment in contrast to 82.7 per cent of men” (p. 20 & 21)

The same organisation states that

“Informal employment is the main source of employment in Africa, accounting for 85.8 per cent of all employment, or 71.9 per cent, excluding agriculture” (p.29)

Although these figures are for 2018, they nevertheless give us some indication about informal economy in Africa.

However, what is thought here is not only the size of the informal sector and gig economy in Africa.  What we are trying to ponder about is how Covid-19 has impacted poor people who are trying to make a living in those economies, especially those precarious workers whose life depends on informality and temporality.

 

Uneven distribution of the Covid-19 Impacts

Like in our previous thoughts, we are not trying to argue against the anti-coronavirus measures.  We are simply striving to consider the ways in which the impacts of these measures have been unevenly distributed between the informal and gig in-working poor on one hand and the non poor on the other hand. 

In this respect, any anti-coronavirus measures taken should help to minimise the social and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the in-working poor of the informal sector and gig economy, while addressing the precariousness of these people and this model of life survival.

As we are trying to present our thoughts, we are at the same supporting the Africa-based Sister Organisations that are tirelessly working with these kinds poor people and poverty.  We are encouraging them to keep up with their work in raising awareness of the Covid-19 amongst the in-working poor communities, in demystifying some of the African myths surrounding diseases and illnesses, in helping them with basic sanitary equipment, etc. 

This is the purpose of this extra message.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…

(1) International Labour Organisation (2018), Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture (3rd Edition), Geneva

 

 

 

 

Main Development

 

Rebuilding Health Systems in Africa by shadowing the “epi-curves” of the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

In our post no. 138, we made a case for conducting our “Rebuilding Africa” advocacy work by shadowing the epidemiological curve (“epi-curve”) of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa.  Our rebuilding model depends on the state of advancement of Covid-19, although African countries are at different stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.  As the number of confirmed infected cases by the Covid-19 keeps on growing in many places in Africa, this suggests that we are in the ascending trend of the “epi-curves” in some of these countries.

From the above information, we can step up our “Rebuilding Africa” advocacy work.  We are doing it by focussing on the health systems so that they can be rebuilt to match or cope with this upwards trend of the Covid-19 in Africa.  This rebuilding is needed since Africa is under-resourced and under-equipped in terms of health infrastructures; infrastructures which include health buildings, systems, capacities and services.

Africa can try to rebuild or upgrade its health systems during this ascending phase of the “epi-curve” to stop the spread and ripple effect of Covid-19.  This will increase the badly needed resources and support the health systems need in Africa.  It could also add value to other anti-coronavirus measures (such as lockdown, physical and social distancing, personal protective equipment, travel restrictions, economic protection, etc.).  However, this rebuilding task can only happen if it is done with and by Africans for Africans in Africa.

 

• • Rebuilding Health Systems in Africa with Africans

 

Like any rebuilding work, this one requires support for every one involves in it at multiple levels.    In the context of this post, we are going to limit to the following three levels: multilateral, CENFACS and Africa-based Sister Organisation levels.

 

• • • Rebuilding Health Systems in Africa via Bilateral and Multilateral Support

 

It is hoped that African countries have enough innovated to raise revenues from within domestic and international sources to tackle the Covid-19.  Already, some efforts and appeals made by Africa in its high-level engagement with bilateral and multilateral donors and financial backers (such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) have started to produce some results.  This will help not only to save lives, but also to start rebuilding some health systems in Africa.

 

• • • Rebuilding Health Systems in Medical Centres in Africa via CENFACS

 

At CENFACS level, we are still appealing for support via our Coronavirus Spring Project (CSP) and Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC)

CSP is designed to directly support the coronavirus–hit people via their local representative organisation on the grounds in Africa, while CRC will help both individuals and organisations.  Both projects are meant to be results-oriented in tackling emergent and urgent threats posed the coronavirus pandemic. 

One can hope any funding raised will help medical centres in Africa to rebuild their health systems and capacities especially in those areas where local people do not have access to healthcare and medical facilities.

 

• • • Rebuilding Health Systems in Africa via ASOs

 

At the level of relationship between CENFACS and Africa-based Organisations (ASOs), we are working with local ASOs to support them rebuild or upgrade their health capacity, especially those organisations that own and run medical centres in places where people are at risk and in most need. 

We hope to mobilise the financial resources needed to support ASOs working on the fields since we know by experience that not all the statutory funding and multilateral overseas aid reach some poor and marginalised people and hard-to-reach communities in some of the remote areas of Africa.  This is despite the big headlines in the global media.

 

• • Rebuilding Health Systems to Meet the Continuing Challenge of Sanitary Poverty Reduction

 

Since we are in the month of Protection and in Spring Relief season (with in mind our advocacy about Rebuilding Africa), we are seizing this opportunity to re-advocate about the need for Africa to rebuild or redevelop its health care systems and services in order to meet the challenge of poverty reduction, particularly but not exclusively sanitation poverty. 

A time of crisis, like of Covid-19, can be a golden opportunnity to build or rebuild what was not done.  To do that let us make sense of the meaning of words used, here health systems.

We can use the definition of the World Health Organisation (2) which argues that

“A health system consists of all organisations, institutions, resources and people whose primary purpose is to improve health”.

The WHO framework describes health systems in terms of six core components or building blocks, which include:

√ Service delivery

√ Health workforce

√ Health information systems

√ Access to essential medicine

√ Financing

√ Leadership or governance

 

In terms of our “rebuilding health systems” advocacy, one can focus on the above components in order to make sure that they are capable of meeting the challenge that Covid-19 has posed.  If these components are not resilient to the Covid-19 shock, then this is the right moment to start the work of rebuilding them while continuing to save lives. 

At this critical time of Covid-19, supporting CENFACS and ASOs in this way will help ASOs working in the healthcare issues to help rebuild the following for today and the generations to come:

√ Core health capacities and capabilities of ASOs

√ Health workforce and volunteers locally

√ Mobile equipment to trace the Covid-19 and related diseases

√ Healthcare working conditions

√ Number of people treated by local medical centres

√ Personal protection equipment for healthcare workers and volunteers

√ Quantity and quality of medicine to poor and vulnerable people

√ Data systems about Covid-19 and similar viruses

It is this charitable and voluntary participation of CENFACS and ASOs in the fight against Covid-19 that can add value, however little it may be, to the mega funding relief which sometimes does not always bring the expected outcome and  impact related to its size. 

Furthermore supporting CENFACS and ASOs in this way can open up alternative ways of reducing poverty and hardships in healthcare while re-motivating tired donors from fatigue.        

For further details about and to support the “Rebuilding Africa” advocacy, CENFACS and ASOs, please contact CENFACS.

(2) https://www.who.int/healthinfo/systems/WHO_MBHSS_2010_full_web.pdf (accessed April 2020)

 

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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

Leave a comment

Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

22 April 2020

 

Post No. 140

 

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• Protection Key Note 4:  Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures

• Coming Next Monday 27/04/2020: Virtual Reflection Day with a Focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19

• Advisory Support for Coronavirus Rescue Income (ASCRI)

… and much more!

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ Protection Key Note 4:  Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures

 

In the process of making sure that poor and vulnerable people are not or less harmed by the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, our last protection key note is on the protection of basic health infrastructures.

Despite the specialist equipment (like Personal Protection Equipment), medicine and vaccine to eradicate the coronavirus pandemic; we still need basic healthcare infrastructures to deal with the life-threatening and destroying impacts it is posing.

Under the Main Developments section of this post, you will find further details about this note.

 

 

 

 

~ Coming Next Monday 27/04/2020: Virtual Reflection Day with a Focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19

 

Our Protection month will climax next Monday the 27th of April 2020 to a Virtual Protection Day, which will focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19.  Amongst them, there are elderly women and young children.

CENFACS’ Reflection Day is a special eventful day to re-engage our mind set and spirit to deeply think about the fate of poor women and children, and engineer possible new solutions that can lift them out of poverty and hardships they are facing.  At this turbulent time of Covid-19, they may be facing sanitation poverty and associated hardships.    

Under the Main Developments section of this post, we have provided more information about the 2020 edition of CENFACS’ Reflection Day.

 

 

 

~ Advisory Support for Coronavirus Rescue Income (ASCRI) to Help Those in Most Need

 

ASCRI, which is part of CENFACS’ Cube of Protection, is a non-face-to-face advice, support and information project to help those in most need and who lost their earning capacity or potential because of the destructive impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on their incomes and lives. 

The ASCRI project has a double objective:

a/ helping deprived and vulnerable people impacted by Covid-19

b/ supporting them through the alleviation of the associated social and economic hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The project, which will help them to improve their prospects for earning income again, is also a deterrent against side effects of losing income or earning capacity; effects such as mental, psychological and social breakdowns.  Additionally, the project will help avoid reversal gains made by those in most need against poverty and hardships.  In doing so, the project will assist them in better coping with undesirable change brought by Covid-19.

The ASCRI advice will be given in three keys areas:

# Advice to help stop the loss of income

# Advice to support response to the loss of income

# Advice on recovery measures to minimise the long term impact of Covid-19 after it ends, while helping them find new or alternative sources of income to prevent them from economic and financial collapse

Through this project, one can hope as outcomes, the following ones: self-confidence, self-esteem, hope, a newly survival strategy, develop new streams or sources of earning income again etc.

To access and or gain the benefits of this project, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Coronavirus Donations, Pledges and Gifts Needed!

 

Help CENFACS fight the Coronavirus together with you this Spring.

You can donate or pledge or make a gift aid declaration to help CENFACS’ in its Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against the Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a CENFACS’ contribution via its supporters to the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Any of the donations, pledges and gifts given will help the coronavirus-affected poor people in Africa.

To support, just contact CENFACS by quoting or asking the Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a fundraising campaign set up by CENFACS to support the coronavirus-stricken poor people in Africa.

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

~ Rebuilding Coronavirus-hit Lives, infrastructures and Institutions

 

It may be too earlier to do the record of the total damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic since the priority is at the moment on saving lives.  However, since our Spring Relief season is about rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions; we can start to think about gradually rebuilding the coronavirus-hit lives, infrastructures and institutions.

Indeed, where the coronavirus disaster has struck it has left victims and fatalities.  These victims are human, infrastructural and institutional.  Whether it is in the UK or Africa or anywhere else, the coronavirus pandemic has taken lives and seriously damaged other ones. 

It has put enormous pressure on health infrastructures while bringing a historical economic downturn, and perhaps economic depression next year.

From the economic damage that the Covid-19 has already caused, one does not need to wait for two consecutive quarters or six straight months of negative economic growth in order to start to forecast economic recession. 

It has also knocked over protection institutions, let alone change of habits and ways of living even though they are temporary.

As we are trying to save lives, it is imperative that we start thinking rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions. 

So, the message here is we should not wait to rebuild while we are saving lives.  We should save lives as our first priority while paving our way of rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions.

In order to enquire about or discuss this extra message of rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions; please contact CENFACS.

 

 

~ Covid-19 and Africa’s Regional Economic Communities

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has tested the ability of regional economic integration models, including Africa’s regional economic communities, to deal with a global crisis of this nature. 

Due to the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, many in Africa have retreated to national interests to the detriment of the continental integration that they once cherished within the African Union.  One should wonder whether or not regional economic blocs were exactly designed to face these kinds of threat or disaster like the one brought by the Covid-19.

The Covid-19 disaster has impacted Africa’s regional economic integration models, particularly the free movements of persons, labour and capital.  For the sake of these Covid-19 thoughts, we are going to limit ourselves to the effects of Covid-19 on the free movements of poor people and of remittances to poor people and families.

 

Covid-19 and the free movement of poor people in Africa

Free movement of persons across borders is one of the key pillars of Africa’s regional economic integration.  However, with the Covid-19 storm this key pillar has been challenged. 

Indeed, some measures taken in Africa to fight Covid-19 were not in line with African realities of life.  In particular, these restrictions have adversely impacted more the poor and marginalised of African economies than the upper-middle and high income earners.  The distributional effects of these measures have been uneven and unequal. 

Restricting the free movement of persons by closing borders has enormously caused prejudice to poor in terms of food security and on the travel and transport wise, to name just the few consequences.  These restrictions have been imposed on the poor in some places without any financial bailout.   Poor cross border traders and workers have been in some cases denied the opportunity not only to make ends meet, but to survive as humans. 

No one is arguing against African-led measures to protect Africa’s citizens against the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  The real argument here is that these anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions have been sometimes taken against the economic realities that poor and marginalised people face in their daily life.  This is the same about the financial impact caused by the Covid-19 in relation to the free movement of capital via remittances from Africa’s Diaspora.

 

Covid-19 and Africa’s remittances from relatives abroad

In many African countries, there is no a social protection like the one you would find in the developed countries.  Many African countries do not have a universal government funded health system which is available to all citizens regardless of their income or employment status.  Many of them have no-universal health insurance systems.

Many people and families in Africa, who do not have food security and health security, rely on their relatives working abroad to send them money to live.  Last year alone, $49 billion as remittances by Africans in the Diaspora were globally recorded.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Africans in the Diaspora have lost their jobs or capacity to earn income.  This loss of income combined with travel restrictions imposed and the closure of trading activities considered as non-essential (and amongst them are money transfer agencies) have made remittances to plummet. 

In countries where governments operate a money transfer system from export earnings of natural resources, the decline in commodity prices has reduced this transfer or simply made it impossible. 

So, restrictions on free movement of persons (here poor people) and remittances as a result of national retreat to slow the spread and speed of the coronavirus pandemic have challenged the ideals of regional economic integration in Africa.

One could have thought that Covid-19 would not reach countries outside any regional economic blocs.  Virtually all countries in the world have been affected by the Covid-19. 

Perhaps, one should do more for the poor and marginalised in Africa to change the dynamics of the course in their fight against Covid-19.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…   

 

    

 

 

Main Developments

 

Protection Key Note 4:  Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures

 

In this note, the focus will be on Africa.

Before going further in this key note four, let us clarify our position about basic health infrastructures.  To do that, we are going to define health infrastructures.

We have borrowed the definition of health infrastructures from the World Health Organisation (1), which argues that basic health infrastructure includes

“the physical (buildings) and supporting systems and services (such as power and electricity, water and sanitation, telecommunications) that constitute the fundamental operating platform needed to provide care”.  

Covid-19 has revealed the true state and story of many health infrastructures and systems including those in Africa.  This true revelation will still come when the full extent of the destruction of Covid-19 will be unveiled.  In the meantime, what can we learn from the above definition regarding Africa in relation to Covid-19?

 

• • The state of health infrastructures in Africa

 

Without entering an in-depth analysis of or putting on trial health infrastructures in Africa, one could say the following.

# Hospitals in Africa are under-resourced.

# Health systems are fragile.

# There is a lack of capacity in these hospitals.

# They are characterised by a chronic under-investment for decades.

# The social sector, with health and education in it, has suffered many financial cuts due to some previous financial orthodoxy and ideology.

# Destructive wars, armed conflicts and the negative effects of climate change in many parts of Africa did not make easier to protect the little available basic health infrastructures.

# Only few numbers of countries in Africa have a universal government funded health system, which is available to all their citizens regardless of their income or employment status.

# Many African countries have non-universal health insurance systems.  

It is not a surprise if the United Nations Development Programme (2) noticed the following:

“In Sub-Saharan Africa the number of physicians per 10,000 people was 2.1 between 2010 and 2018.

The population using at least basic sanitary facilities was 30% in 2017.” (p. 326)

 

Although these figures are for 2018 and 2017 respectively, they nevertheless provide an indication about health infrastructures in terms of quality (expressed by the number of medical doctors) and of standard of living (indicated by the level of sanitation poverty).

However, what is at stake here is the protection of basic health infrastructures in order to avert the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus and future similar health disasters. 

 

• • Protection of basic health infrastructures

 

Since we are talking about the lack of health infrastructures to cope with the heaping pressure of the Covid-19, there is a need to speak about protecting the existing care, hospital and medical infrastructures while upgrading them.

It is imperative to build or rebuild healthcare infrastructures to match the pressure and demand that Covid-19 has posed.  The rebuilding aspect makes the content of our Spring Relief season of Rebuilding and project of Rebuilding Africa even more relevant than what one would have thought.

As part of re-building Africa, CENFACS previously contributed to the building of medical of health centre in Kewarla (Mali).  The centre, which was of limited capacity, was designed to support the locals and villagers in providing basic healthcare facilities since there was no hospital in the village.

Many of CENFACS’ healthcare Africa-based Sister Organisations are currently working on healthcare issues to support the coronavirus-hit people in their countries, communities and villages.  However, since there are national emergency and travel limitations combined with the fall of African diaspora remittances brought by the scars of coronavirus pandemic, their capacity to extend local health infrastructures for the purpose of fighting coronavirus is limited or simply has been wiped out.  This is happening let alone the fall in funding, commodity prices, food insecurity, hunger, lack of water and sanitation that some parts of Africa are now experiencing.

Briefly, right now there is imperative to protect and enhance basic healthcare infrastructures while extending or rebuilding specific coronavirus-related infrastructures as the need is urgent and pressing to save lives.  

For any enquiries about the month of protection and/or any of protection key notes, please contact CENFACS.

 

(1) https://www.who.int/hospitals/infrastruture_and_technologies/en/accessed in April 2020

(2) United Nations Development Programme (2019), Human Development Report 2019, Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st Century, New York, USA

 

Coming Next Monday 27/04/2020: Virtual Reflection Day with a Focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19

 

This year, our Reflection Day, which will be the 10th Edition one, will be virtually run since we are following the health and care measures from the UK Government, the World Health Organisation’s guidelines, the NHS guidance and the charity sector’s supporting information about the coronavirus pandemic.

Generally, in a crisis of magnitude like of Covid-19 one should be thinking about all the potential victims.  Thinking like this could include all of us.  Since our Reflection Day was originally set up to help relieve women and children from poverty and hardships, our focus for this year’s reflection work will be on poor and vulnerable women and children who have been impacted or could potentially become victims of Covid-19.  Amongst them are poor and vulnerable elderly women and young children.  But, who are those women and children who will be the centre of our Virtual Reflection Day (VRD)?

 

• • Women and children who are the centre of CENFACS’ VRD: The Healthily Needy Women and Children

 

They include the following:

√ Women who cannot afford to pay for health care

√ Those suffering from gender gaps in health

√ Women without reproductive health assistance

√ Women listed as extremely vulnerable people by the UK Government

√ Those (girls) at risk because of early marriage

√ Women with mental health problems

√ The victims of the negative effects of Covid-19

√ Those suffering from the adverse impacts of climate change in health

√ Those without health insurance or without community-based health insurance coverage (like in Sub-Saharan Africa)

√ Vulnerable women and children to health inequalities

√ Under and mal nourished children

√ Children of low-income families with poor health and lower education

√ Those who do not have adequate access to health care provision

√ Those without universal health coverage programmes, etc.

The above named types of people are the ones who will make our VRD.  As we cannot continue to list all of healthily needy women and children, we may add other deprived and marginalised ones by the time we hold our VRD.

 

• • Areas of VRD for the Healthily Needy Women and Children

 

Our VRD will cover the following foundations of any reliable health system, which are:

√ Service delivery

√ Health workforce

√ Health information system

√ Access to essential medicines

√ Financing

√ Leadership or governance

 

These foundations or pillars of health system will guide us in our VRD for the Healthily Needy Women and Children in order to think ways of improving protection and reach to these healthily needy people, amongst them are included elderly women and young children. 

Since our model of protection for this year has incorporated the Covid-19, our VRD will have in mind Covid-19, particularly on how its impacts have reverberated in their lives as well as the kinds of support and change that need to be eracted for the future.

To support or join the Reflection Day on the Protection of Women and Children, please contact CENFACS.

  

Below we have provided a timeline about CENFACS’ Reflection Day for reference.

 

• • Reflection Day Timeline

 

The Reflection Day is a day of thoughts by bringing together the two pillars of our network and protection programme, which are 3W and PPS.  Although they started in 2003, we only introduced a Reflection Day (RD) in them in 2011. 

In 2016, we amalgamated 3W and PPS to become Women and Children projects as we noticed in some situations it was difficult to separate women’s and children’s needs.  Where their needs are separable or differentiated one to the other, we run either of the two brands (that is 3W and PPS) individually.  This is why these two brands of our network and protection are still alive despite their amalgamation.

The Reflection Day is a day of introspection to think in depth the ways forward for our systems of support network and protection for poverty relief and sustainable development in face of the current, new and emerging challenges ahead as well as the changing development landscape. 

Since its inception, the following is the timeline of 3W and PPS

2011: Making Networking and Protection Even Better in 2011

2012: Raising Standards in Poverty Reduction for Improving Lives

2013: Place of Women and Children in the Post-2015 Development World (Part I)

2014: Women and Children in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (Part II) – A Stock Taking Reflection Event

2015: Doing Business to Lift Women and Children out of Poverty

2016: Improving Digital Protection for the Extremely Digitally Poor Women and Children

2017: Reducing Information and Communication Poverty for Multi-dimensionally Poor Women and Children

2018: Making Transitional Economy Work for Poor Families  

2019: Protection of Women and Children in War-torn Zones and Natural Disaster-stricken Areas

 

For your information,

3W & PPS = Support Network and Protection for Poverty Relief and Development

Women and Children projects = amalgamation of 3W and PPS in 2016

3W (What Women Want) = a CENFACS support network scheme to enhance the lives of multi-dimensionally deprived women and families.

PPS (Peace, Protection & Sustainability) = a CENFACS child and environmental protection programme to support multi-dimensionally vulnerable children, young people and families

KNA (Keep the Net Alive) = a motto that helps to keep our networking for protection running.

For more information on 3W and PPS or Women and Children projects, 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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

Leave a comment

Protection of Modest Incomes

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

15 April 2020

 

Post No. 139

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• Mid-April 2020 Message of Hopes during the Covid-19 Crisis

• Protection Key Note 3: Protection of Poor, near Poor and Lower-middle Incomes

• Self-protection in the Cases of Human Insecurity and Coronavirus in Africa

 

… and much more!

 

 

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ Mid-April 2020 Message of Hopes during the Covid-19 Crisis

 

We hope that everybody managed to pass the Easter week-end healthily and safely despite the lockdown we are all in. 

We also hope that those who are working at this exceptional time to keep everybody healthy and safe as well as to maintain the economy working is receiving the appropriate support they need to continue their work and life. 

We shall carry on to engage with you whether you are self-isolated or confined or locked down or working or just staying home during this time.  Our engagement will be via CENFACS’ various physically contactless means.

We trust that everybody is continuing to follow the proscribed health measures and safety guidance to stop the spread the coronavirus pandemic where they are based to save lives and healthcare systems.

We take this opportunity to thank everybody who has been supportive to CENFACS at this turbulent time for all of us.  We particularly thank our essential volunteers who are incredibly helping harder than ever to keep our protection month and campaigns alive during the coronavirus pandemic crisis. 

For those who think that CENFACS’ coronavirus-related initiatives making CENFACS’ Cube of Protection may be of any help to them or people around them, please feel to text, to email, to phone or complete the contact form with your or their request.  CENFACS’ Cube of Protection brings together these coronavirus-related initiatives that are intended to help poor, vulnerable people and incapacitated Africa-based organisations. 

We look forward to your or their request.  After receiving your/their request or query, CENFACS will get back to you or them.

Please STAY HEALTHY and SAFE.

 

 

 

 

~ Protection Key Note 3: Protection of Poor, near Poor and Lower-middle Incomes

 

The month of Protection is still in progress as we started the third protection key note.  This note, which is about protecting modest incomes, will focus on poor, near poor and lower-middle incomes. 

As many of you can notice in this time of coronavirus pandemic for example, many incomes and earning capacities of people have been affected, even destroyed for some.  Many businesses have closed, some of them even closed down.  Many of the activities that have been considered as non-essential have stopped operating and some of them have even disappeared. 

These stop, closure and disappearance of activities could mean that the incomes associated with them have also vanished.  Amongst those incomes are the poor, near and lower-middle ones.   This leads to the key message of the need for protection of modest incomes, and amongst them the poor, near poor and lower-middle ones.

Under the Main Developments section of this post, you will find further materials about this third Protection Key Note.

 

 

 

~ Self-protection in the Cases of Human Insecurity and Coronavirus in Africa

 

Should people protect themselves or surrender their protection matters to somebody else or do both?

There are always areas of protection that people can handle by themselves, just as there are others which are taken control by those who are qualified to do it for them.  There are as well areas of protection in which people and protection institutions can get together to organise a collective protection in the forms of international, national, regional, local and community protections. 

For this month of protection at CENFACS, we have added self-protection.  There are many self-protection methods or approaches.  In the context of our work, we have selected two cases of self-protection which are: self-protection against insecurity and self-protection to mitigate the life-threatening and -destroying effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

2020 Actions on Protection against Insecurity with Poor People Taking their Own Protection in their Own Hands: Case of the Burkina Faso

There are cases where people are left alone without protection in front of the crisis.  It happened in December 2019 and at the beginning of 2020 in Burkina Faso whereby the local authorities where there was insecurity were not able to match their protection logistics with weaponry of those who brought insecurity to civilians.  Because the local authorities did not have the capacity to confront those who brought insecurity and sporadic violence, local people organised their own security and protection to challenge the insecurity level they were in. 

 

Self-protection against the mounting damaging effects of the Covid-19 Shock

Due to the enormity of challenge that the coronavirus pandemic has posed on government resources, unpreparedness and public finances in Africa;  people have started to organise themselves in being more creative and innovators, for example by making their own household face masks, indigenous hand gels, techniques to disinfect their households.  In brief, they have become self-protected while leaving other levels of protection (like medical, clinical, epidemiological, etc.) that needs to be handled by the experts to the hands of health ministries (governments), hospitals and medical centres, finance ministries (for income protection), etc.

For any enquiries or queries about the key message on self-protection, just contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Coronavirus Donations, Pledges and Gifts Needed!

 

Help CENFACS fight the Coronavirus together with you this Spring

You can donate or pledge or make a gift aid declaration to help CENFACS’ in its Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against the Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a CENFACS’ contribution via its supporters to the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Any of the donations, pledges and gifts given will help the coronavirus-affected poor people in Africa.

To support, just contact CENFACS by quoting or asking the Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a fundraising campaign set up by CENFACS to support the coronavirus-stricken poor people in Africa.

Thank you!

 

 

 

~ Life-saving and –renewing coronavirus experiences during the Easter Season

 

At the moment, there are many fatalities just as many lives that have been saved from the Coronavirus pandemic.  There are countless experiences to hear and tell.  This is part of the uniqueness of Spring 2020.  There are as well lives that need rebuilding following the experiences some people had with the coronavirus, especially those who managed to survive from it or lost their jobs.

Besides the above, at this time each person may be going through one of these experiences: self-isolation, confinement, lockdown, staying home, working from home, social distancing protection, shielding, working as a key worker, putting your lives at high risk for others, etc.

Each of us has a unique experience or story to tell and share from the coronavirus pandemic.  Telling and sharing our coronavirus-related experiences make us stronger as a community.  We can learn more from each of us and look after each other in this way.  We can develop new solutions, plans, projects and programmes to deal with issues that may stem from these coronavirus-related experiences.

If you have any coronavirus-related experience that you may find useful to tell and share, please let us and others know your experience.

 

 

~ Covid-19 and Africa’s Public Finances Management

 

The financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues as Africa is tirelessly working to avoid in becoming the future epicentre of the pandemic.  In this fallout, there is a question of financing the Covid-19 bill.  However, in its attempt to avoid being the future epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, Africa needs to sort out its long term pending problem of public finances management to keep the momentum in the battle against the pandemic. 

Indeed, public finances management is always being a challenging problem for Africa despite the waves of processes of liberal political democratisation we saw in recent years.  We have noticed some kinds of openness and transparency, especially in those countries who are going through democratic transitions in the last years.  The worry is that one could hope that with the Covid-19 crisis and the gigantic amount of funding it requires, Africa of the 2020s will not fall over the mistakes of the 1980s which brought debt crisis. 

 

Learning from the mistakes of the 1980s

The 1980s were known as the lost decade with international debt crisis started in 1982.  It was also the decade of the new classical and supply-side economics with neo-liberal thinking and financial orthodoxy.  Many African countries had levels of borrowing beyond the capacity of absorption of their economies.

The mistakes of the 1980s were money borrowed by African countries had never reached its destination, the intended beneficiaries, the people and among them the poor ones.  Many African countries went unrealistically into debts that they could not effort to sum up and pay.  They were put under medication by their lenders.

 

History should not repeat itself

The financial stabilisation programmes of the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and the structural adjustment programmes of the World Bank which respectively led to cuts in the social sector, particularly cuts in public budgets such as health, education, transport, housing, etc. should not repeat with the Covid-19 funding requirements.  The Covid-19 shock should not lead to a new debt crisis.  The 2020s should not become another lost decade for Africa. 

In the 1980s, the IMF with the Washington Consensus made its lending conditional on implementation of detailed macro-economic policy reform programmes.  These conditionality clauses attached to loans made their financial assistance ineffective in reducing poverty.  Instead, they dramatically increased poverty in Africa.  These programmes had negative ramifications as they happened with the backdrop of mounting social unrests and civil society demonstrations. 

 

Making the Covid-19 fund reach its intended beneficiaries

It is good news to hear that some bilateral and multilateral institutions (including the same IMF and the World Bank) would like to provide some financial assistance in the form of debt relief or any other forms.  However, one should make sure that the mistakes of the 1980s will not happen with public finances management in Africa.   Any funding provided to Africa will be directed to relieve the coronavirus-hit people and poverty, not otherwise. 

One could hope that the administrations of public finances management in Africa will raise to the challenge of accountability and transparency this decade.  A financial monitoring and evaluation system or public scrutiny of the funds related to the coronavirus will be effective and efficient so that poor people do not pay the price as always nor are left behind like in the 1980s.  For example, a monitoring mechanism should be put in place for the disbursements for public sector debt and interest payments.

One could expect that the call by African Ministers of Finance (1) on 30 and 31 March 2020 for $100 Billion support to mitigate the spread and negative effects of coronavirus disease 2019 will be listened and translated into effect.  The Ministers have suggested fiscal stimulus and asked for the following: liquidity relief to the private sector, access to IMF emergency financing facilities such as Special Drawing Rights, EU’s guarantee and refinancing facilities for the private sector, etc.

One could hope as the communiqué of the African Ministers of Finance indicates that open budgets and open contract processes based on best practices to enable African civil society and the private sector to track the flow of funds, will be respected. 

Although the IMF Executive Board approved on 13 April 2020 immediate debt relief for 25 countries (including 19 African countries), one needs to be cautious about this year prospects for Africa.  This is because the same IMF (2) has projected a negative real Gross Domestic Product growth of -1.6 (as annual per cent change) for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Finally, one should not look forward to another generation of financial macro-economic regulation and micro-economic structural adjustment policies like the ones Africa underwent in the last century.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…

 

(1) https://www.uneca.org/stories/communiqu%C3%A9-african-ministers-finance-immediate-call-100-billion-support-and-agreement-crisis

(2) International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook, April 2020

 

 

 

 

Main Development

 

Protection Key Note 3: Protection of Poor, near Poor and Lower-middle Incomes

 

The word income can have many meanings and connotations.  In the context of the Protection Key Note 3 of our Protection Month, we will use the economic definition of income.  Income refers to the return to labour as a factor of production.  This return is normally in terms of wage and work.  It is a disposable income we are referring to.  We are as well including in income, any transfer payments, or supplements of income that governments give as part of their welfare programmes to people.  But, who are these poor, near poor people and lower-middle income earners?

 

• • Poor, near poor and lower-middle incomes

 

There are many breakdowns about people’s and families’ incomes in terms of quintiles, income ranges and classes depending on countries.  In the context of this Protection Key Note 3, we are considering all incomes below middle-middle incomes.  Because of the differentiation in international currencies and levels of development, we will not badge putting any figures about them.  However, what we can do is to list those who may very likely to have their incomes within these brackets and who may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  We have referred to the coronavirus pandemic as our protection model is still operating within the framework of the coronavirus pandemic.  

 

The poor, near poor and lower-middle incomes affected by the coronavirus pandemic

 

Everybody has been more or less affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  However, from the income perspective given above, transfer payment receivers and income earners who may be affected by Covid-19 shock include the following:

√ Those receiving conditional cash transfers

√ Those with guaranteed minimum income

√ Social pensioners

√ Public sector workers

√ In-working poor

√ Those on job guaranteed programmes

√ Those on universal basic income

√ Those living on cash, vouchers and in-kind transfers

√ Those with children on school feeding

√ Small self-employment income

√ Those on incomes that may not be enough to buy or build their own house

√ Those who may rely on government support to make ends meet

√ Those who are not earning enough to meet the cost of raising children under 18

√ Those with disable children but cannot meet the disability costs

Etc.

We can continue to list these different types of incomes.  Rather than just listing it is better to do something about their protection or protection of these incomes.   This protection can come from many levels such as statutory (government), charity and voluntary sector, organisational, etc.  We will be saying just a few words what governments are trying to do to protect these modest incomes, and what CENFACS and Africa-based organisations may need to do to help the poor, near poor and lower-middle incomes affected by the Covid-19 storm.

 

• • Levels of Income Protection

 

=> Statutory income protection measures

 

During this turbulent time of coronavirus pandemic, we have noticed that many governments around the world including in Africa are taking measures to protect their citizens’ incomes.  One can hope that these measures will cover enough income needs of poor, near poor people and lower-middle income earners.

 

=> CENFACS’ help to the protection of poor, near poor and lower-middle incomes

 

This Special Spring, CENFACS is trying to go out its way to include in its regular advice and advocacy services the protection of these incomes.  In doing so, we have brought back at this time of the year and converted our Festive Income Boost resource to provide Advisory Support on Rescue Income to the coronavirus-hit people.  This Rescue Income Advisory Support is part of CENFACS’ Cube of Protection.

This rescue income-led and coronavirus-related advisory and advocacy services can be obtained via text, phone, email and contact form.  We recommend those of our supporters who need income advice to use the above means of communications to access this coronavirus-related rescue income advisory support, as we are not running any events or activities that require physical contact during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

 

=> Income protection at the level of Africa-based organisations (ASOs)

 

Many of our ASOs have developed activities and services related to the incomes issue to deal with the circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.  Others are drawing or complementing their own initiatives with the local support, if any, they can receive from their local authorities.  Where they may have some difficulties in setting up activities and services related to coronavirus, they can seek advice and CENFACS is open for discussions, advice and suggestions.

Furthermore, our Coronavirus Spring Project, which is also one of the initiatives making CENFACS’ Cube of Protection, contains some aspects of income protection which they can use.    

To enquire and or get further details about the protection of poor, near poor and lower-middle incomes, 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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

  

Leave a comment

Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

08 April 2020

 

Post No. 138

 

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• Saving and Rebuilding Africa: Saving and Rebuilding Destroyed Lives and the Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic

• Coronavirus-related Organisational Relief Programme (CrORP)

• Protection Key Note 2: Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability

 

… and much more!

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ Saving and Rebuilding Africa: Saving and Rebuilding Destroyed Lives and the Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

The coronavirus pandemic continues to destroy lives and to claim its victims.  The coronavirus and anti-coronavirus measures can create or exacerbate poverty or even develop a new type of poverty.  Due this development, there is a need to take into account the coronavirus pandemic factor and the sanitary crisis it has brought in CENFACS’ model of rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions.

To do that, we are going to shadow the epidemiological curve (or the “epi curve”) of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Africa in our model of rebuilding Africa.  In other words, there will be different responses for saving and rebuilding lives which will try to match the different phases of the “epi curve”

Under the Main Developments section of this post, we have provided further details about our shadowing work via the “epi curve”.

 

 

 

~ Coronavirus-related Organisational Relief Programme (CrORP)

 

In a series of CENFACS’ responses to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 shock and disturbance, CENFACS will be supporting and working with Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs) in order for them to erect adaptation and mitigation as well as capacity to manage the Covid-19 shock as the number of confirmed cases and fatalities keep increasing in Africa.

This support and way of working together are parts of a new programme.  Last week, we set up two coronavirus-related initiatives (that is Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic, and the Coronavirus Spring Project).  These two initiatives are designed to directly support individuals as end-users or beneficiaries.   

In addition to the above two initiatives, we have started a fundraising campaign in the form of what we can call a Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight against the Coronavirus (CFAC).  This new campaign will enable those who want to donate, pledge and make a gift declaration to do it so that we can together support the coronavirus-stricken people during and after this global health.

However, we noticed that there was a vacuum between CENFACS as an organisation and African organisations regarding the handling of the coronavirus crisis.  To bridge this gap, we have now a new programme or CrORP.  The latter, which is exceptionally designed for organisations, aims at empowering Africa-based organisations so that they can effectively help those affected by the life-threatening impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. 

CrORP is a programme conceived to provide essential humanitarian assistance to those ASOs affected by the coronavirus by helping them now and after once the coronavirus pandemic crisis is gone so that they can maintain and expand their not-for-profit services.  In this respect, the programme will help them to adjust and remain active and robust in front of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CrORP, which is meant to support ASOs in the voluntary fight against the coronavirus pandemic, is therefore supposed to achieve the following:

√ Decouple ASOs from the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 shock

√ Rethink their working model and practices

√ Develop recovery or rebuilding strategies and plans

√ Set up self-insurance policy against the coronavirus pandemic and other similar threats and risks

√ Redevelop healthcare, sanitation and protection policies within these organisations

√ Re-organise their fundraising strategies, particularly but not exclusively for unrestricted funds, to counteract the hit from the coronavirus crisis

√ Help them to face disruption in the cash flow during the Covid-19 shock

√ Develop strategies to mitigate the loss of funding and create adaptable demand for their services to the affected communities

√ Model new proposals for setting up reserve holdings

√ Help them ring-fence their poverty reduction works in times of global crisis like of the coronavirus pandemic

In brief, the CrORP is about supporting ASOs to manage the long term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure that they continue their work towards poor and vulnerable people.

 

 

 

~ Protection Key Note 2: Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability

 

There are poor and vulnerable people and communities that need protection against the life-threatening and –destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  In places without a strong healthcare system and poor economic infrastructures like in Africa, the Covid-19 shock can create poverty and vulnerability or exacerbate them.  Because of that, there is a need to protect these poor and vulnerable lives in face of the Covid-19 storm and its mounting damage.

Under the Main Developments section of this post, we have listed the types of poor and vulnerable people resulting from the Covid-19 disaster.  We are as well spelling out the needs for sound protection for these Covid-19 victims.

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ Coronavirus Donations, Pledges and Gifts Needed!

 

Help CENFACS fight the Coronavirus together with you this Easter

You can donate or pledge or make a gift aid declaration to help CENFACS’ in its Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight against the Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a CENFACS’ contribution via its supporters to the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Any of the donations, pledges and gifts given will help the coronavirus-affected poor people in Africa.

To support, just contact CENFACS by quoting or asking the Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a fundraising campaign set up by CENFACS to support the coronavirus-stricken poor people in Africa.

Thank you!

 

 

 

~ Holiday with Relief at Easter Time

 

The Individual Capacity Development Programme (ICDP) resource entitled Holiday with Relief continues to be our source of reference this Easter holiday, together with its focus on Holiday without Coronavirus. 

For those who are looking for advice, tips and hints including fixers for their Easter holiday; our ICDP resource is a handy basic companion to consider for Holiday with Relief.  It contains useful pieces of information for holiday with relief whether holiday makers stay at home or go away to pass their holiday.  In this particular time of the coronavirus-hit Easter holiday, it can help about self-isolation, social distancing protection and confinement.

Its handiness and usefulness are as good for this year’s edition as for the previous issues.

To request a copy of the ICDP resources, please contact CENFACS.

Whether you pass your Easter holiday in self-isolation or confinement or not, CENFACS wishes you a Very Healthy and Safe Easter Time!

 

 

 

~ Covid-19 and Africa’s Commodity Dependence

 

Whenever there is a major crisis in recent times, the issue of Africa’s dependence on primary commodities resurfaces.  Perhaps, one of the reasons could be that Africa has not yet been able to rebuild its industrial base to a satisfactory level since the past mistakes of industrialisation experiences of the 1960s and 1970s.

With the Covid-19 shock, the world together with Africa in it is rampantly entering a period of economic uncertainty with the possibility of a general or perhaps progressive decline of the primary commodity prices.  This is despite the re-emergence of a new state economy which is trying to bailout people and businesses in order to stop the Covid-19 storm spill over the economy. 

From the literature survey on international trade, commodity dependence normally occurs when countries rely on a narrow range of exports or more than 50 per cent of their export earnings come from one or two commodities.  According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1),

“a country is considered to be export-commodity-dependent when more than 60 per cent of its total merchandise exports are composed of commodities”.

The UNCTAD argues that two out of five commodity-dependent countries are located in sub-Saharan Africa.  The data released by the organisation shows for example that for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the three leading commodity exports (as a share of total merchandise exports) were 65.  These three leading exports were made of a/ copper b/ miscellaneous no-ferrous base metals for metallurgy c/copper ores and concentrates, copper mattes, cemen (p. 77).

The UNCTAD continues by examplifying that the DRC, which is a developing and low income country; is dependent on exports of minerals, ores and metals, and its commodity exports (as a share of GDP) were 17.6 in 2017 (p. 77).  This is let alone the conflict minerals (such as tantalum, tin, gold, and tungsten) it possesses. 

Africa’s commodity dependence and the example of the DRC highlight how Africa could be vulnerable when the prices of commodities decline.  The current situation of the global health or sanitary crisis with the coronavirus which may lead to a fall in prices of commodity provides another evidence of the fragility of Africa’s economies that are commodity-dependent. 

This dependency situation of Africa militates in favour of a diversification of African economies.  Therefore, the current health and sanitation crisis is again a further opportunity for African economies to continue on the road of economic diversification, although there may not be a linear relationship between diversification and income.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…

 

(1) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, State of Commodity Dependence 2019, United Nations, Geneva 2019

(https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditccom2019d1_en.pdf)

 

 

 

 

Main Developments

 

Saving and Rebuilding Africa: Saving and Rebuilding Destroyed Lives and the Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

• • Rebuilding Africa by shadowing the “epi curve” of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Africa

 

The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have not yet been fully analysed in Africa since the pandemic is still following its epidemiological curve (the “epi curve”).  Despite that is it possible to save and rebuild lives at the same time?  

At this particular time, it will be financially and economically difficult to deploy resources in both rebuilding lives and tackling the coronavirus pandemic.  Since Spring Relief season at CENFACS is about rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions; it is possible to examine where lives need rebuilding and where they need salvation.  This should be done knowing the current sanitary emergency and war.

Unlike other organisations which may have been forced to change the direction or course of their activities at this exceptional time of the Covid-19 shock, CENFACS has opted to re-prioritise or re-balance needs between of rebuilding and of saving the lives for the coronavirus affected people and areas in Africa.

Where the coronavirus severely and hardly  hit people, it has shown that there are different phases or episodes in the crisis as the “epi curve” explains.  At this time in Africa, many countries are at their early stage of the pandemic and may be at different stages and speeds of the development of “epi curve”. 

Because of this differentiation and specificity of the “epi curve”, our rebuilding work or model has been organised in such a way of taking into account the evolution the coronavirus pandemic.  We are therefore going to help rebuild Africa via the development of the “epi curve” of the coronavirus pandemic this Spring.  What does it mean?

It does not mean that our rebuilding model will follow the product life-cycle (made of the phases of launch, growth, maturity and decline).  It simply means that our rebuilding work will try to match the phase in which the coronavirus will be on the “epi curve” (that is rise, peak and decline).  In other words, we may need to intensify or decrease our rebuilding campaign work in accordance with the flattening of the peak of the “epi curve” in Africa or in particular country or area of Africa.       

 

• • Saving and rebuilding lives in the different phases of the “epi curve”

 

There will be three waves of advocacy campaigns for saving and rebuilding lives in Africa during this Spring as follows:

√ Saving and rebuilding at the time of rise of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa

√ Saving and rebuilding at the time of peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa

√ Saving and rebuilding at the time of decline of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa

 

The above are the different waves of our planned campaign for saving and rebuilding lives in Africa this Spring 2020.

 

 

  

Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability (Protection Key Note 2, In Focus from 08/04/2020)

 

Our second key note on protection month will be about protecting poor and vulnerable people.  There are pre-coronavirus and post-coronavirus poor and vulnerable. 

Whether people were or have been made poor or vulnerable is one issue.   Addressing coronavirus-induced or non-induced poverty and vulnerability is the issue to deal with.  To do that, let first see who is poor and or vulnerable because of coronavirus.

 

• • Protecting the coronavirus-induced poor

 

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic strikes differently depending on many factors such as healthcare systems, levels of development of places, governance, how organised the authorities dealing with the pandemic are, how people are resilient, how quick they are in reacting, etc.   Because of these factors and differentiation, in our work we will consider the protection from the coronavirus for poor people in Africa. 

Focusing on Africa, one could identify the following coronavirus-induced poor people:

º People without working emergency phone lines during the coronavirus pandemic

º Children isolated without food, water or medicine

º Orphan and street children

º Those living in detention centre and prison

º Those suffering from coronavirus injustice, unfairness and lack of any health rights

º Small poor traders who have been told to stop working without any financial bailout or tax relief

º Those who have been forced to apply social distancing measures in poverty-stricken and overcrowded homes and slums

º Poor women traders, women who are HIV positive without access to medicine and abused women

º Pastoralists with their animals in situation of social distancing

º Refugees and migrant workers

º Those without or with poor access to healthcare means, without running water, electricity, internet or phone services

º Those living in poor conditions without clean water, where sewage running the streets, without safe sanitation

º Those are uninsured, disenfranchised, ill or non-informed and less mobile

º Those living in informal jobs without access to social safety net or government help

º Those suffering from all sorts of inequalities from African countries’ lockdown

º Those without access to coronavirus diagnoses because of being in low social classes

º Homeless people and undocumented migrants who may not have access to treatment against the coronavirus

º Those who are extremely poor who cannot buy soap and sanitary items

º Those without free testing and medical care

º Those who do not have mobile money account and depend on African diaspora remittance system, but the money transfer shops are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic

º Those living in camps because of wars and the impacts of climate change

º Those who simply become poor because of the Covid-19 disaster, and so on

The above shows that the coronavirus-induced poverty can have many shapes and contents.  We can carry on listing them.  However, what is important is to take action against poverty and protect these types of poor people who may have been created by the destructive and devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

CENFACS’ Coronavirus Spring Project, which is an initiative designed to help alleviate some of these issues, is meant to reduce the social and economic repercussions for those who become poor because of the coronavirus pandemic shock.  In doing so, the project protects them from the life-threatening impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

• • Protecting the extremely vulnerable from Covid-19

 

The UK government (2) has provided its definition of those who are considered as extremely vulnerable in face of the Covid-19.

According to the UK government, the people falling into this group include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
  2. People with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

The UK government has asked them to shield for their personal protection.

Amongst the above classified or listed as extremely vulnerable by the UK government, there are other vulnerable people who may need help.  Amongst these additional vulnerable are those who are continuously exposed to contamination through the channels of transmission of coronavirus pandemic.  One can include in this category those who are the guardians of everybody health: frontline medical, clinical, emergency and healthcare-related staff and carers.

There are as well key, essential and support workers and volunteers who are tirelessly working to save the above extremely vulnerable and the general public, avoid widespread contamination of the coronavirus and keep the economy working without going into recession or depression.  Because they are putting their own lives at high risk, they need help in order to keep dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

CENFACS’ Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis is a non-clinical and non-medical initiative set up to try to help as much as we can the vulnerable people and other people who they become vulnerable because of the coronavirus.

Briefly, CENFACS’ Coronavirus Spring Project and Virtual Support against the Coronavirus Pandemic are set up to respectively protect poor and vulnerable people who might be affected by the life-threatening and –destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  They are people-centred protection initiatives that are designed to directly benefit people, the coronavirus-hit ones. 

(2) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#what-do-we-mean-by-extremely-vulnerable

 

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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

Leave a comment

Protection against the Coronavirus Pandemic

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!

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ 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

https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/gds_tdr2019_covid2_en.pdf

 

 

 

 

Main Development 

 

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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.

 

Leave a comment

Extractive Mining Activities, Ecology, Sanitation and Poverty Reduction in Africa

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

25 March 2020

 

Post No. 136

 

 

 

The Week’s Contents

 

• Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic

• FACS Issue No. 67: Extractive Mining Activities, Ecology, Sanitation and Poverty Reduction in Africa

• Climate Action Month, Week Four Beginning 23/03/2020 – In Focus: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Accounts 

 

… and much more!

 

 

 

 

Key Messages

 

~ Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic (VSCP)

 

Last week, we told you that this Spring Relief is a special one as the coronavirus pandemic has pushed us to adapt our activities and services to the on-going health crisis.  This week, we are continuing these adaptation and mitigation by re-organising our virtual support.  We are doing it as many people have been affected by this crisis.

During this exceptional time of coronavirus pandemic crisis, many people are experiencing difficulties in meeting their basic life-sustaining needs and in accessing basic goods to run their daily life.  These difficulties include: shopping to secure basic foods, coping with self-isolation or confinement, managing social distancing, etc.  Other people lost their jobs or closed their business or any useful occupation. Other more have been forced to work from home and online.

This is why we are organising a Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic to help people manage without pain or with minimal pain this exceptional circumstance.  

 

What is VSCP?

VSCP is about adapting our activities to help users or beneficiaries and our supporters, who have been adversely affected by the increase health risk, to mitigate coronavirus-related problems.  This support, which is part of our contingency plan, is a different way of providing service to help reduce the impact of coronavirus outbreak and crisis. 

VSCP, which is also flexible and supportive, is designed to ensure that needs are met during this unprecedented period.  It has been conceptualised after a coronavirus risk assessment was carried out. 

As the adjective virtual says, users or beneficiaries and supporters do not have to physically move in order to access the support and meet their needs.  In practical terms, VSCP enables people in need to virtually access our advice services and other similar services in order to reduce or avoid sanitary poverty linked to the conditions that coronavirus crisis may cause.

For example to adapt our project known as ‘Consume to Reduce Poverty and Climate Change’ in line with the coronavirus crisis, we have slightly altered it as ‘Consume to Reduce Sanitary Poverty and the Impacts of Health Insecurity’.  Through this specific and circumstantial line of support, we can provide you with basic tips and hints regarding shopping ideas during the coronavirus crisis.

 

What’s on offer through VSCP

You can

√ Talk and discuss together about your poverty or hardship problem or case

√ Seek advice, support, information, guidance, lead, etc.

√ Get signposted or referral if required and where services are open during the coronavirus pandemic crisis

You do not need to physically move as we all required avoiding non-essential activities in order to help slow down and contain the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Accessing VSCP

To access VSCP, you do not need to register with us.  You can either phone or email or text or complete the contact form on this website with your query or enquiry, and send it to CENFACSCENFACS will get back to you.

To access or enquire about VSCP, please contact CENFACS.

 

~ FACS Issue No. 67

The next issue of FACS Newsletter, Issue No. 67 will be entitled as follows:

Extractive Mining Activities, Ecology, Sanitation and Poverty Reduction in Africa

How Africa-based Organisations can bring extractive activities in line with poverty reduction and ecological sustainability

 

This is an interesting Issue in times when the world is struggling in dealing with one of the toughest health crisis of a generation, crisis brought by the Coronavirus Pandemic that has life-threatening impacts of serious magnitude.  It is as well a challenging Issue as Africa may soon head towards a double crisis (sanitary and economic) in the complex contexts of flight of foreign capital abroad, over-indebtedness and fall in revenues from the sale of raw materials and tourism.   

Under the Main Development section of the post, we have provided a short introduction and the key notes that will make the content pages of this Issue No. 67 of FACS

 

 

 

~ Climate Action Month, Week Four Beginning 23/03/2020 – In Focus: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Accounts 

 

Our Climate Action has entered its last phase this week with Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR).  Although this last action has been disturbed by the coronavirus pandemic, it is about using natural resources in a sustainable way since their availability for human use is finite.

In practical terms, we are looking at how Africa-based organisations are doing in helping to manage natural resources.  The action will focus on the following areas of work: conservation of wildlife and ecosystems, minimisation of environmental impacts and environmental change. 

The action will as well consider their initiatives in the following matters: avoidance of degradation and destruction of natural resources, solutions to the problem of water balance and the improvement of conditions of resources.

The action goes far in considering the coronavirus pandemic crisis, particularly how this pandemic crisis may be also an opportunity to remind ourselves the need to sustainably and responsibly manage natural resources.

One thing is to say that one is doing something; another thing is to demonstrate this through evidence-based how this action is taken.  So, in order to make sure that this action on SMNR is effective, the publication and availability of their natural accounts related SMNR would help in showing the extent to which they are dealing with the management.  Their accounts can show actions undertaken in sustainably using natural resources, in evaluating their stocks of natural resources, if any, and in measuring environmental degradation.

Briefly, our last climate action of the month will be on the sustainable management of natural resources.  This action will as well look at their handling of accounts related to natural resources.

To enquire about CENFACS’ Climate Action Month and Weeks and any of the areas of focus of these actions, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

Extra Messages

 

~ ReLive Issue No. 12: Coronavirus Spring Project

 

The 12th Issue of our ReLive Spring Fundraising campaign resource will be about Saving, Rebuilding and Sustaining Lives of the Victims of Coronavirus Pandemic.   This theme has been selected due to the dramatic effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on our work over this Spring and on our project beneficiaries.  Following the discussion we had, it has been resolved to include the victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic in any of our fundraising appeals for this Spring.

The Coronavirus Spring Project, which is one of those appeals, is about adding value to other similar works and efforts which have been already undertaken so that the poorest people are not left behind during and after the tragic events of coronavirus pandemic.

You can find more details about the Coronavirus Spring Project under the page support us at   http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/  

To support and get further information about this project, just contact CENFACS

 

 

 

~ ICDP (Individual Capacity Development Programme) Resource, Holiday with Relief – In Focus for Spring 2020 Issue: Holiday without Covid-19

 

The next Issue of our ICDP Resource entitled as ‘Holiday with Relief’ will focus on ways of passing, whether it is forced or voluntary, holiday or break without putting yourself and others at risk of getting Covid-19 during this Spring and beyond.

The Resource will give general and specific advisory tips and hints to nullify or minimise the life-threatening impacts of Covid-19 on ourselves and people around us.

Because of the specific conditions that Covid-19 has created on human habits and social gatherings, the resource will go an extra mile with some advice on adaptation and mitigation in order to manage the health challenge and crisis we are facing today.

The resource does not stop there as it reiterates the advice and measures already given to people for not to spread the virus but to slow it down and contain it as much as one can.  It reiterates them in a different and enriched way so that people can apply them but not think they are burden upon them.

To enquire about the next Issue of Holiday with Relief, please contact CENFACS.

 

  

 

~ Covid-19, Sanitation Poverty and Natural Resource Management

 

As Covid-19 crisis continues to grow, we are keeping on thinking and discussing its impacts on our work as well as on the health, safety and well-being of poor people and the world in general.

This week, as part of our thoughts on Covid-19, we are dealing with sanitation poverty and the impacts of Covid-19 on natural resource management.  As we are trying to fight Covid-19, we are as well striving to reduce sanitation poverty and to sustainably use natural resources.

Let us look at its possible links with sanitation and natural resource management.  Before that, let us explain sanitation poverty in brief.

 

What is sanitation poverty?

Sanitary or sanitation poverty is the state of having little or no sanitary equipment and tools or no money to buy them in order to survive and live.  It is indeed the lack of control of physical factors in the environment that can harm human health.  In this unusual time of the coronavirus pandemic, one could be facing a double fight: fight against coronavirus and fight against sanitary poverty.

 

Covid-19 and sanitation poverty

There could be some probable links between Covid-19 and sanitation poverty if people and communities are experiencing difficulties in having sanitary resources to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic.  If this lack of sanitary resources together with the lack of money becomes continuous or repetitive, they could lead to sanitation poverty.  In this respect, there could be a link between Covid-19 and sanitation poverty.  In particular, when people and communities fail to be free from germs (as a result of a lack of sanitary items) and increase the risk of spreading the virus to others.

 

Covid-19 and natural resource management

Covid-19 poses not only a challenge about the reduction of sanitary poverty, but it also raises the debate over natural resource management.  Covid-19 could reveal the typing point and be a perfect case about the concern on natural resource management. 

It poses a natural problem in terms of sustainably and responsibly using and managing natural resources in order to fight a virus disease.  We have so far seen the scenes of people trying to stockpile goods and foods to the detriment of others, let alone the conflicts and price increases to buy those goods and foods.  But, it is also at the expense of non-renewable or natural resources.

It is possible to fight and stop Covid-19 without creating or increasing sanitation poverty as well as without misusing or mismanaging natural resources on which the lives of everybody depend upon.  The Covid-19 thoughts continue…  

 

 

 

 

Main Development

 

FACS Issue No. 67

 

The next issue of FACS Newsletter, Issue No. 67 will be entitled as follows:

Extractive Mining Activities, Ecology, Sanitation and Poverty Reduction in Africa

How Africa-based Organisations can bring extractive activities in line with poverty reduction and ecological sustainability

 

• • What this issue will be about

 

This short introduction gives an idea about it.

The activities related to the removal of natural resources (such as oil, gas , minerals, etc.) from the ground often have impacts on the interrelationships between organisms and their environment, on physical factors that can harm human health, and on the need to reduce poverty. 

Because of this series of harmful impacts on human health and the environment that these activities can create, there is a need to make sure that when these activities are carried out they also help diminish poverty and contribute to a good structure and function of nature. 

Historically speaking, there has been a number of high profile cases whereby these activities undermine the needs of poverty reduction and ecological sustainability.  Many of these activities do produce some benefits in terms of local employment and taxation for States where these activities happen.  However, these benefits may not be enough compared to the return they do get from investments made. 

For example, employing local labour to perform these activities may not be enough if jobs created do not address poverty or if simply the workers become in-working poor.  Likewise, these activities can fall short if they do not improve ecological sustainability from the negative externalities they are creating. 

Reducing poverty and improving ecological sustainability are more a commitment than just doing some symbolic gesture towards the local economy so that to be seen as trying to do something.  Moreover, running some symbolic green projects around extractive activities may not be enough to resolve the ecological damage these activities may create. 

In this context, Africa-based organisations working on poverty reduction and ecological sustainability issues can hold these activities to account.  They can make sure that poverty reduction and ecological sustainability to be at the centre of these activities rather than on the periphery. 

This central position of poverty reduction and ecological sustainability should be conditional to the implementation of these activities.  This is without forgetting sanitation as these activities bring as well sanitary problems.  Taking on board sanitation in the way makes sense as the world of today with the coronavirus pandemic has reminded us the importance of health and sanitation in our lives.

However, Africa-based organisations cannot go alone in this difficult mission.  They need to work together with other players relevant to these activities while adopting a multi-stakeholding approach. 

Additionally, Africa-based organisation should consider economic conditions of the time such as the flight of foreign capital abroad, the fall of revenues from the sale of raw materials and tourism, the over-indebtedness, etc.  Some of these conditions have been caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

So, the 67th Issue will explore ways that Africa-based organisations can take in order to bring extractive activities in line with poverty reduction and ecological sustainability while considering the new conditions or context of working that the coronavirus pandemic has brought.

 

• • What kind contents will make the pages of this Issue

 

The following key notes will be developed to make the main theme of the 67th Issue of FACS, CENFACS’ bilingual newsletter:

Relationships between mining companies and Africa-based organisations

Do minerals raise finances or increase poverty in Africa?

Advocacy groups and mining in Africa

Foreign direct investment in the natural resources

Equating foreign direct investment in the natural resources and poverty reduction

Natural resource management, ecological management and poverty reduction

Attractiveness of foreign direct investment and ethical investors in the mining sector subject to poverty reduction

Are informal and artisanal miners trying to help themselves in ending their poverty?

Comment peut-on assurer que la plus grande valeur ajoutée minière générée soit retenue localement pour la réduction de la pauvreté?

Comment peut-on faire que l’économie politique de négotiation avec des investisseurs miniers étrangers soit favorable à la réduction de la pauvreté locale?

Comment peut-on plaider pour que le code minier soit aussi celui de réduction de la pauvreté?

Implications of mining activities for sanitary poverty reduction and the protection of the natural environment

What leverage can Africa-based organisations can have in bring extractive activities into line

Africa-based organisations as advocates against health insecurity and sanitary poverty in the mining field

How to hold to account extractive activities in the context of the flight of foreign capital abroad, the fall of revenues from the sale of raw materials and tourism, the over-indebtedness of economies

Advocates against sanitary poverty and unsustainable ecology (Project)

To reserve a copy of this issue or to get further information, 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.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

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.