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African Union Set up in 2002 to replace the Organisation of African Unity. Current president is Omar al-Bashir The main aims of the AU were to promote.

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Presentation on theme: "African Union Set up in 2002 to replace the Organisation of African Unity. Current president is Omar al-Bashir The main aims of the AU were to promote."— Presentation transcript:

1 African Union Set up in 2002 to replace the Organisation of African Unity. Current president is Omar al-Bashir The main aims of the AU were to promote closer ties between the 53 member countries of Africa and work together and with outside agencies to promote development on the continent. One of the main roles of the AU will be to “peer review” each other to ensure that each member is democratic and run without corruption. Example of AU in action Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission After years of brutal war the AU was instrumental in organizing a way for former enemies to admit to their atrocities towards each other and by so doing attempt to find a way for understanding, forgiving and moving on together. There would be no judgments made or sentences handed out but the commission would be used as an arena to get everything out in the open and bring closure to the years of conflict.

2 Criticisms of AU Many think the AU is no better at solving Africa’s problems than its predecessor of which there are many of the same members and which became known as the dictators club Others suggest that the ambitions are fine but there will never be enough money generated from these impoverished nations to fund them Has met many times for summits yet many individual Africans think it is not doing enough to help the people of Africa. The complete failure to deal with the problem in Darfur despite sending in troops has highlighted the inability of the AU to police the continent.

3 United Nations specialised agencies The UN is committed to working towards the 8 Millennium Goals. The agencies they use to try to meet their goals include FAO, WFP and UNICEF WFP The world's largest food aid Organisation and is responsible for the distribution of 1/3 of the world's food aid million tonnes WFP is controlled by the FAO ( parent body) Has projects in 84 countries In 2003, WFP development projects benefited 16.2 million people In 2005 is an action orientated agency geared to saving lives in famine hit nations WFP will risk lives to aid those needing food WFP borrows food or buys it locally to act swiftly to bring food in to famine hit areas. Quick and doesn't flood local markets and areas with food Rapid response teams were set up in 1994 to help at the outset of emergencies WFP works well with local organisations such as church groups and women's groups which is seen as the best way to deliver aid By solving emergencies WFP lays foundations for development aid to build upon.

4 WFP in Angola Food-for-work projects Workers are paid not with money but with food rations to build vital new infrastructure that will increase the food security of households or communities. Food wages give farmers time and energy to build irrigation, terracing, soil and water conservation. In countries where drought regularly causes food shortages, irrigation can boost crop yields by %. Angola Some 170 demobilised Unita soldiers & villagers from Andulo helped rebuild this bridge over the Cutato River in return for WFP food aid. The project also included the rehabilitation of a 45 kilometre stretch of the Andulo- Cutato highway – a vital corridor for WFP food convoys as they deliver food to populations long cut off from humanitarian aid Criticisms of WFP Overly bureaucratic and slow to respond to crises. Schemes such as food for work tend to benefit the richest and better off in society and the poor may only benefit indirectly Supplementary feeding ( extra portions of food given to vulnerable groups like pregnant women, mothers and elderly) is criticised for not solving the problem but actually being abused as mothers use food as substitute not supplement to children's diet and use money saved for themselves

5 FAO One of most important specialised agencies parent body of WFP FAO World Bank, NGO’s and WFP co-operate on missions Aims of FAO Raise levels of nutrition Raise standards of living Promote food security £3000 million spent on projects per year Excellent at collecting and analysing information on agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry. Information used to help develop strategies to achieve aims Provides an important neutral forum for discussion of big food issues of the day without being influenced by commercial interests e.g.. GM Crops Most commentators agree that it does this very well FAO has over 1800 projects on the go at any one time - a massive commitment

6 Peoples Participation programme Small scale projects in rural communities across Africa for example in Tanzania and Zambia people involved per project They are trained in skills to develop agriculture They start saving money slowly to buy seeds and fertilisers For example in Zambia - women’s group set up which bought seed and fertiliser They now harvest 4 tonnes of maize each season These projects encourage people to take responsibility for own lives and success Criticisms of FAO FAO squanders money on large and unnecessary bureaucratic conferences such as the recent Critics have said that the independent experts sent by the FAO to make decisions about the best way forward for agriculture in Africa tend to be too influenced by big Pesticide and fertiliser companies when making their decisions. Would be better at leaving many programmes to IFAD, WFP or NGO’s as they are better suited and more efficient organisations at this type of work

7 UNICEF The UN agency that specifically attempts to provide assistance to children In Africa. UNICEF and AIDS In 2002, 720,000 babies become infected with the virus during the mother's pregnancy:35%. during birth20%, or through breastfeeding:33% UNICEF preventing HIV The main overarching role of UNICEF in this area is education. The biggest single way to stop the transmission of the disease is by telling people how it happens and wants to stop it. Case Study Rwanda UNICEF works with local communities to provide HIV-positive women with antiretroviral drugs and safe delivery practices. Kicukiro Health Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, UNICEF provides counselling, antiretroviral drugs and provides advice on infant feeding for any woman who needs it. –The major criticisms of UNICEF and all the other UN organizations are that too little is changing. Despite the good intentions and many examples of good practice, the Millennium goals will not be achieved in the timescale set.

8 To what extent have UN been successful in meeting development needs in Africa UN agencies stated aim The UN is committed to working towards the 8 Millennium Goals. The agencies they use to try to meet their goals include FAO, WFP and UNICEF They are committed to meeting the UN’s Eight Millennium Development Goals to: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Achieve universal primary education Promote gender equality and empower women Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases Ensure environmental sustainability Develop a global partnership for development 2015 has been the target date for many of the above targets

9 Why are there problems meeting the goals by the UN? The UN has been successful in many respects The successes are highlighted in the section above. However they themselves stated in 2005 that: More than 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty today: one in every five of the world's citizens. Over 850 million people in the world are chronically hungry - a number that is now on the rise after a decade of improvement. More than five million children die of causes directly related to malnutrition every year. Three quarters of those living in extreme poverty, about 900 million people, live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods. This shows the UN has a long way to go to achieve the targets it set for 2015

10 Is the UN to blame? It is hard to blame the UN for failing to meet millennium targets when they have little control over the wars and poor leaders that plague Africa. The unfair trading practices, climate changes and persistent debt problems are also beyond the UN’s control. If it’s not the UN then who is to blame The millennium goals are still achievable by 2015 yet the UN says that developed countries are still not doing enough to help achieve them. They say that the amount and type of aid does not meet the needs of the those suffering from extreme poverty

11 Is the UN to blame? The share of public expenditure for agriculture and rural development is far from being equal with its importance in the economies of many developing countries, and official development assistance (ODA) for agriculture and the rural sector has fallen steadily since Today, only about eight percent of bilateral ODA goes to rural development The same can be said of the lack of adequate investments in health and nutrition, income growth among the very poor and appropriate safety nets to protect people against the shocks of drought, flood and famine," the statement continued. It said insufficient attention was paid to the needs of farmers with small landholdings, especially women farmers who make up the majority of these. "They support the poorest and hungriest, yet are often denied access to resources such as land, water, credit and markets. Farmers in poor developing countries also had difficulty being competitive in selling their produce when markets were flooded by cheap produce from subsidized producers in wealthier countries.

12 An overall assessment UN agencies are some of the biggest contributors when it comes to Aid to Africa and much of the work that FAO, WFP, WHO and UNICEF does is crucial to helping close the development gap. However there are specific criticisms of UN agencies who are too bureaucratic and slow to respond. Most commentators would suggest that failures by the UN are not as important in the continuing problems in Africa as bad government, unfair trading rules, civil wars or high debt repayments


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