Mon, 27 Jun 2022

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The fate of millions of refugees and internally displaced persons calls for inclusive development, following the principles of social justice, Senegalese President Macky Sall said, adding that the African continent should be proactive in dealing with humanitarian catastrophes.

ADDIS ABABA, May 28 (Xinhua) -- African leaders met on Friday in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, to address the continent's current humanitarian challenges.

The African Union (AU) Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit and Pledging Conference was held to address the current humanitarian challenges facing Africa, which have been exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters, according to the AU.

The meeting on Friday was convened under the framework of the AU Extraordinary Summit running from Wednesday to Saturday.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, also the current chairperson of the AU, said at the high-level meeting that recurrent humanitarian emergencies are linked to climate change, natural disasters and terrorist attacks as well as armed conflicts.

The fate of millions of refugees and internally displaced persons calls for inclusive development, following the principles of social justice, Sall said, adding that the African continent should be proactive in dealing with humanitarian catastrophes.

Sall called for launching an appeal in support of the mobilization campaign for the reinforcement of the resources of the African Risk Capacity (ARC) so that it can even better respond to the emergencies caused by natural disasters.

The ARC, a specialized agency of the AU, is established to help African governments improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU Commission, emphasized the need to collectively act against humanitarian emergencies in Africa.

"Humanitarian emergencies in Africa, numerous, diverse and geographically dispersed, are a permanent source of concern," Mahamat said at the meeting.

Mahamat said that in the 15 most-affected AU member countries, some 113 million people are waiting for emergency assistance in 2022.

"The picture is not bright," said Mahamat. "It is further bleaked by two factors: on the one hand, the annihilation of refugee empowerment efforts by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and on the other hand, the pressure exerted on the planet earth in the name of the quest for economic growth and whose effects are reflected in climate change manifested through prolonged drought and uncontrollable floods."

By hosting the humanitarian summit, the AU demonstrates its firm determination to continue its efforts to reduce the suffering of refugees, internally displaced persons and other affected people on the continent, Mahamat said.

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