Democratic Republic of Congo Current Affairs - 2019

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UN honors Late Chancy Chitete with Highest Peacekeeping Award

The Malawian soldier Chancy Chitete will be honoured with the United Nation’s (UN) highest peacekeeping award, dubbed as “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage”. He will be awarded posthumously in New York, US on May 24 2019.

About Chancy Chitete

  • The late UN peacekeeper from Mali is being honoured for his “brave and selfless” action demonstrated in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  • In an operation undertaken November 2018, he sacrificed his life while saving his fellow comrade ‘blue helmet’ during operation against local armed group named Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The ADF is an armed force in DRC which had been terrorizing civilians and disrupting the UN’s ongoing efforts to halt and treat spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

About UN’s Highest Peacekeeping Award

  • It is officially known as ‘Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage’.
  • It was established in 2014 and is named after Captain Mbaye Diagne of Senegal, who served with former UN Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) and saved thousands of Rwandans from death in 1994 genocide.
  • It is awarded to uniformed (police, military) and civilian personnel who have demonstrated exceptional courage, in face of extreme danger, and fulfilled mandate of their missions in service of humanity and United Nations.
  • The awarding of Medal to Chitite, will be the first time that the actions of a UN peacekeeper have been found to meet standard set by Captain Diagne.

2019 Global Report on Food Crises

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) makes the following observations in the 2019 Global Report on Food Crises report:

  • More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region.
  • Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine.
  • African Nations were “disproportionally” affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger.
  • The key factors which drove the hunger were Conflict and insecurity along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods.
  • In countries on the verge of famine, up to 80 per cent of the populations were dependent on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture.
  • The strain put on countries hosting a large number of refugees, including war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar has been highlighted in the report.
  • The overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger. This reduction in numbers was partially owed to the fact that some countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, for instance, were less affected by weather disasters that had struck in previous years.
  • The year-on-year trend of more than 100 million people facing famine was unlikely to change in the face of continued crises.
  • High levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern.

The Global Food Crises Report is an annual study launched three years ago which takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties in tackling hunger.