ACentral African RepublicThe Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a programme in the Central African Republic (CAR) to train 50 refugee women in professional skills and provide another 550 with income-generating possibilities. "The programme aims at helping refugee women become self-sufficient and be able to provide for their families," Ali Mahamat, the UNHCR assistant programme officer, told IRIN on January 14.
Of the 50 who are being trained in professional skills in Bangui's Haute Ecole de Gestion et de Comptabilite, 15 are being trained in management and accountancy, 15 in computer science, 10 in finance and banking and 10 in marketing. They began their courses on Monday that will last two years, after which they will be awarded certificates. (Source: IRIN)
Guinea-BissauA team of the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division has arrived in Guinea-Bissau to evaluate the level of logistical assistance that the UN could provide in the run-up to the legislative elections slated for April 20. The mission, which arrived on January 14 and is expected to spend 10 days in the capital Bissau, will also assess what financial assistance is needed to run smooth elections. The UN assistance for the elections, called by President Kumba Yala this month after he dissolved parliament in November, is virtually a "fait accompli" because the West African nation lacks the financial, logistical and other resources to hold transparent elections.(Source: IRIN)
RwandaRwanda will vaccinate about 3.3 million children against measles during a campaign scheduled between 10 and 23 February, according to a Rwanda News Agency report on January 14. The minister of state for HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases ,Innocent Nyaruhirira, has urged all Rwandans to support the government's efforts towards the eradication of measles and other infectious diseases in the country. Nyaruhirira made the appeal on January 14 when he addressed an advocacy meeting in the capital, Kigali, attended by participants from all parts of the country.
TanzaniaNorway on January 14 challenged the G-7 countries to follow its example and significantly increase their commitments to education initiatives in the developing world. Hilde Johnson, Norway's Minister for International Development, said this would be the only way of meeting the Dakar Declaration commitments, through which the international community undertook to ensure that no country that attempted to provide education for all its citizens would lack the resources to do so.
"We need more than donors like Norway chipping in with resources and fighting for existing resources to be directed to education," the minister said in Dar es Salaam. "We need the G-7 countries to come in heavily because it is a significant [amount of] resources that are needed for the goals to be achieved."
Johnson, who was in Tanzania launching 'Education - Job Number 1: Norwegian Strategy for Delivering Education to all by 2015', stopped short of saying G-7 countries - comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States - had shown reluctance in committing themselves, but she said there was a "great deal of variation between them". (Source: IRIN)