Humanitarian emergencies in Africa are permanent source of concern: AU Commission chief

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 May 2022

Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has stressed that the humanitarian emergencies in Africa are a permanent source of concern.

Internally displaced people wait for aid in Djibo, Burkina Faso, Thursday May 26, 2022. African leaders have gathered for a summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to address growing humanitarian needs on the continent, which is also facing increased violent extremism, climate change challenges and a run of military coups. AP


“They are illustrated by figures and statistical data drawn up and compiled by the United Nations Specialised Agencies. In the 15 most affected member states, 113 million people are waiting for emergency assistance in 2022,” Mahamat added.

The chairperson made his statement during the Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit and Pledging Conference that was held in Equatorial Guinea on Friday with the participation of AU heads of state and government to address the humanitarian challenges in Africa.

The AU, Mahamat added, has developed normative and operational instruments to improve the living conditions of refugees and internally displaced persons on the continent.

The Kampala Convention that was adopted in 2009 and the related declaration specify the objectives and the modalities of action in favour of refugees and other people forced to move, he said.

“The paradox of humanitarianism lies in the discrepancy between the urgent nature of the situations of human distress to be taken care of and the poignant need to defer this care because of the lack of or insufficient financial resources,” he explained.

Mahamat also underlined the importance of the extraordinary humanitarian and pledging meeting, noting that it will be followed by a Donors’ Conference.

Furthermore, he assured that the summit demonstrates the AU’s firm determination to reduce the sufferings endured by refugees and internally displaced persons on the continent, he assured.

Additionally, Mahamat expressed his gratitude to all traditional and new partners for their active commitment, which he said will soon be confirmed by their financial contributions.

For his part, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of the AU Macky Sall noted the scale and persistence of humanitarian emergencies on the continent.

“According to the 2021 United Nations Global Humanitarian Overview report, six of the most significant and urgent crises with alarming humanitarian consequences are found in Africa, with more than 30 million internally displaced people, refugees, and asylum seekers,” Sall added in the opening session of the summit.

Sall underscored that the fate of millions of refugees and internally displaced people call for inclusive development and the application of the principles of social justice.

In his statement, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo — president of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea — asserted that the humanitarian situation leaves African countries in a stalemate.

He further noted that with all the available resources on the continent, Africa is capable of solving humanitarian problems through solidarity. 

The summit also discussed the challenges affecting humanitarian assistance in Africa, advocating for sustainable financing for humanitarian needs and mobilising resources for a humanitarian response.

The Equatorial Guinean capital of Malabo also hosted on Saturday the ‘Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Governments in Africa’ with the participation of AU heads of state and government, with the event tackling the impact of terrorism across the continent.

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