Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Poverty Levels Increase from Conflict in Eritrea

26 Mar 2014

Poverty Levels Increase from Conflict in Eritrea

eritrea
Situated on the Red Sea, Eritrea is one of the youngest independent countries in the world, but it is also one of the poorest. Eritrea has had to deal with being a small, seriously poor country with many socio-economic problems since it won independence from Ethiopia after 30 years of war in 1993. Like many African nations, the Eritrean economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture with around 60% of its population relying on agricultural activities, like livestock and crop production or fishing, for food and income. In 2003, Eritrea had an annual per capita income of $150 and as a result was ranked at 155 out of 175 countries on the Human Development Index. Food insecurity and poverty are extremely widespread and are increasing; nearly half of their food has to be imported even with adequate rainfall.
More than 50% of the entire country was below the poverty line, and 44% of children under the age of five were underweight between 1990 and 2001. Around 2 million Eritrean people, a large amount of the population, are experiencing economic hardship. The low productivity of their livestock enterprises and crops extremely harm rural households, the most affected by poverty. Nearly two-thirds of all the households in Eritrea lack food security.
Some of the worst droughts in Eritrea’s history threatened the lives of over a third of the population from 2002-2004. Large quantities of livestock perished or were sold fairly cheaply to pay for food and crop production greatly fell by about 25%. Malnutrition levels are very high in Eritrea and the rural people do not have much access to social services like healthcare and purification systems for clean drinking water. Many women are the heads of their households and have to produce food and care for their children. These types of households are largely disadvantaged because they rely greatly on the help of male relatives and neighbors who may not always be available when they are needed.
The mandatory military service and armed conflicts take many men away from their families and villages and this plays a large role on the severity of poverty in the country. The border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia left tens of thousands of people killed and although a peace deal was agreed upon, there are still tensions between the disputed territories. There have been more people condemned to poverty than have been lifted out of poverty from the war in Eritrea, but the government has been working toward diplomatic solutions with Ethiopia. After Ethiopia sent in troops to Eritrea in March 2012, Eritrea remained peaceful and announced that it would not retaliate, rather it would use the proper diplomatic channels to resolve the issue and eventually bring economic growth to both countries.
Though the situation does not look promising for many rural families, Eritrea has traditional ways of protecting the rural poor communities. Wealthier families dispose of assets, like livestock and crops, and then make loans to their poorer relatives and neighbors during times of great stress. A community’s wealthier families will help households that are physically unable to cultivate their own land at different times of the agricultural cycle.
– Kenneth W. Kliesner
Sources: Geneva-Academy, IRIN News, Rural Poverty Portal
Photo: WFP

3 Ways to Increase Girls’ Education in Eritrea Eritrean women help drive progress despite difficult situations

3 Ways to Increase Girls’ Education in Eritrea

Eritrean women help drive progress despite difficult situations

Eritrean women help drive progress despite difficult situations

Eritrean women help drive progress despite difficult situations

Credit: Jacopo, Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/people/native/
In 1979, Eritrea was in the middle of its battle for independence. During this time education was seen as essential to build the social capital of the Eritrean community, as a key principle of social justice and a human right.  However, parents would only send boys to school.
On a recent trip to Eritrea to pilot a new Gender Analysis Tool (prepared by the Global Partnership for Education and the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative) to analyze whether countries are on track to achieve gender equality in education, we had the pleasure of meeting four dynamic women who lived through this difficult time: Luul Gebreab, President of Tsega Gaim Misgun, Director General for Social Service; Worku Zerai, an international consultant; and Mhret Iyob, Director General of the UNESCO National Commission for Eritrea. These four women are founding members of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW), a grassroots organization established in 1979, dedicated to improving the status of Eritrean women.

Giving parents an ultimatum

During the time of the battle for independence, these four women fought behind the trenches to ensure all children had access to education. They created make-shift schools, disseminated political messages and organized supporters.  When make-shift classrooms under trees were bombed, schools were moved into caves and eventually simple structures were built and classes were taught with minimal supplies and learning materials. Despite progress, girls were being excluded from education.
A teacher at the time, Tsega Gaim Misgun, took matters into her own hands.
“I told the parents to send their daughters to school, but no one would listen. But I gave them an ultimatum. Bring your daughters by 10.00 this morning, or I will close the school.”
Parents then started bringing their daughters to school and realized the importance of education. 
Now when these four women travel through Eritrea, they are recognized by their former students who work in all professions.  “This is our proudest accomplishment—to see girls and boys we taught and mentored in professional positions. One girl became a pilot in the air force, another a high profile journalist.” 

Three Innovative Ways to Ensure Girls Are EducatedNUEW’s main focus is to coordinate gender issues, mainstream gender and advocate for the cause of Eritrean women.  Over the years, NUEW has directly designed and implemented projects and activities to increase access education and training; formulate programs to promote women’s literacy; and improve community attitudes for girls’ education.  Three innovative examples are highlighted below:

1. Bicycles
There was a high drop-out rate for girls in the Debre Bizen Secondary School near the town of Nefasit, largely due the distance of the school from their homes.  NUEW selected 118 girls who travel more than nine kilometers to be part of a project where 60 girls received bicycles. Of those, 55 completed secondary school and took the matriculation exam.
2. Donkeys and canvas water tanks
NUEW helped to introduce measures to bring more girls into school by providing over 10,000 families with donkeys. In this project, women in rural areas were provided a donkey and canvas water tank. As a result, thousands of girls were able to go to school rather than fetch water. The project also helped with gender roles as boys and men started using the donkey and shared in the water fetching activities.
3. Engage Communities
The rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Eritrea are very high—83% of females nationally have been cut; under the age of 15 rates have reduced to under 15%.  In order to engage communities about this harmful and painful practice, the Ministry of Health developed a film and started an advocacy drive to show the film across the country to students and their families. Eventually villages started public declarations against FGM.
NUEW helped create reproductive and gender committees all over the country, which included equal numbers of men and women, girls and boys from the communities.  NUEW developed and presented the President of Eritrea with a report on the devastating effects of FGM and encouraged the government to pass legislation against the practice.  In 2007, the law was approved but remained difficult to enforce. The NUEW committees get the communities involved and as a result, over 900 cases have been reported to the police since 2007.
These dynamic and courageous women have led the way for other girls and young women to make a difference not only to gender equality in education, but for the whole nation of Eritrea.
Read more about the National Women of Eritrean Women.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Eritrea

Comments - Join the Conversation

USAID Interested in Eritrea?

Hello,
Nice to see an article on Eritrea. It is a welcome news to hear USAID taking interest in Eritrea. Should we expect USAID coming back to Eritrea?
An Eritrean
Credit: Jacopo, Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/people/native/
In 1979, Eritrea was in the middle of its battle for independence. During this time education was seen as essential to build the social capital of the Eritrean community, as a key principle of social justice and a human right.  However, parents would only send boys to school.
On a recent trip to Eritrea to pilot a new Gender Analysis Tool (prepared by the Global Partnership for Education and the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative) to analyze whether countries are on track to achieve gender equality in education, we had the pleasure of meeting four dynamic women who lived through this difficult time: Luul Gebreab, President of Tsega Gaim Misgun, Director General for Social Service; Worku Zerai, an international consultant; and Mhret Iyob, Director General of the UNESCO National Commission for Eritrea. These four women are founding members of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW), a grassroots organization established in 1979, dedicated to improving the status of Eritrean women.

Giving parents an ultimatum

During the time of the battle for independence, these four women fought behind the trenches to ensure all children had access to education. They created make-shift schools, disseminated political messages and organized supporters.  When make-shift classrooms under trees were bombed, schools were moved into caves and eventually simple structures were built and classes were taught with minimal supplies and learning materials. Despite progress, girls were being excluded from education.
A teacher at the time, Tsega Gaim Misgun, took matters into her own hands.
“I told the parents to send their daughters to school, but no one would listen. But I gave them an ultimatum. Bring your daughters by 10.00 this morning, or I will close the school.”
Parents then started bringing their daughters to school and realized the importance of education. 
Now when these four women travel through Eritrea, they are recognized by their former students who work in all professions.  “This is our proudest accomplishment—to see girls and boys we taught and mentored in professional positions. One girl became a pilot in the air force, another a high profile journalist.” 

Three Innovative Ways to Ensure Girls Are Educated

NUEW’s main focus is to coordinate gender issues, mainstream gender and advocate for the cause of Eritrean women.  Over the years, NUEW has directly designed and implemented projects and activities to increase access education and training; formulate programs to promote women’s literacy; and improve community attitudes for girls’ education.  Three innovative examples are highlighted below:
1. Bicycles
There was a high drop-out rate for girls in the Debre Bizen Secondary School near the town of Nefasit, largely due the distance of the school from their homes.  NUEW selected 118 girls who travel more than nine kilometers to be part of a project where 60 girls received bicycles. Of those, 55 completed secondary school and took the matriculation exam.
2. Donkeys and canvas water tanks
NUEW helped to introduce measures to bring more girls into school by providing over 10,000 families with donkeys. In this project, women in rural areas were provided a donkey and canvas water tank. As a result, thousands of girls were able to go to school rather than fetch water. The project also helped with gender roles as boys and men started using the donkey and shared in the water fetching activities.
3. Engage Communities
The rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Eritrea are very high—83% of females nationally have been cut; under the age of 15 rates have reduced to under 15%.  In order to engage communities about this harmful and painful practice, the Ministry of Health developed a film and started an advocacy drive to show the film across the country to students and their families. Eventually villages started public declarations against FGM.
NUEW helped create reproductive and gender committees all over the country, which included equal numbers of men and women, girls and boys from the communities.  NUEW developed and presented the President of Eritrea with a report on the devastating effects of FGM and encouraged the government to pass legislation against the practice.  In 2007, the law was approved but remained difficult to enforce. The NUEW committees get the communities involved and as a result, over 900 cases have been reported to the police since 2007.
These dynamic and courageous women have led the way for other girls and young women to make a difference not only to gender equality in education, but for the whole nation of Eritrea.
Read more about the National Women of Eritrean Women.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Eritrea

Comments - Join the Conversation

USAID Interested in Eritrea?

Hello,
Nice to see an article on Eritrea. It is a welcome news to hear USAID taking interest in Eritrea. Should we expect USAID coming back to Eritrea?
An Eritrean

Sharp increase in number of Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe, Ethiopia and Sudan

Sharp increase in number of Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe, Ethiopia and Sudan

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
During the first ten months of 2014, the number of asylum-seekers in Europe from Eritrea has nearly tripled. In Ethiopia and Sudan, neighbouring Eritrea, the number of Eritrean refugees has also increased sharply. So far this year, nearly 37,000 Eritreans have sought refuge in Europe, compared to almost 13,000 during the same period last year. Most asylum requests have been lodged in Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland, with the vast majority of the Eritreans having arrived by boat across the Mediterranean. Our office in Italy reports that 22 per cent of the people arriving by boat are Eritrean, a total of nearly 34,000 people this year. This makes Eritreans the second largest group to arrive in Italy by boat, after Syrians.
Most of the Eritreans arriving in Europe have travelled, initially, via Ethiopia and Sudan. These countries have also experienced a dramatic increase in arrivals, including large numbers of unaccompanied children. More than 5,000 Eritreans crossed into Ethiopia during the month of October alone, compared to the average of some 2,000 arrivals per month since the beginning of the year. About 90 per cent of those who arrived in October are between 18 - 24 years old. Seventy-eight children arrived on their own, without an adult family member. The trend seems to continue with more than 1,200 Eritreans having arrived in Ethiopia during the first week of November.
In Sudan, we have also been witnessing a marked increase in the number of arrivals since the beginning of 2014. This year, more than 10,700 Eritreans have sought refuge in Sudan, an average of more than 1,000 arrivals per month.
There are currently more than 216,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia and Sudan. Sudan has been hosting Eritrean refugees for more than forty years, which makes it one of Africa’s most protracted refugee situations. Eritreans started to arrive in Ethiopia in 2002, after the end of the conflict between the two countries. The recent arrivals told us that they were fleeing an intensified recruitment drive into the mandatory and often open-ended national service.
Growing numbers of the predominantly young refugees in Ethiopia and Sudan have become frustrated with the shortage of services and absence of self-reliance opportunities in the camps. Limited funding for the Eritrean refugee programme in both countries has resulted in a lack of secondary and post-secondary education, as well as vocational training and job opportunities. Deprived of any prospects for a better future and feeling that they have nothing to lose, many fall prey to unscrupulous smugglers and put themselves in danger by trying to cross the Mediterranean on overcrowded and unsafe boats. We are extremely concerned that the refugees crossing into Ethiopia today will eventually try to move on.
There is a need to boost education and livelihood opportunities for the refugees in the countries neighbouring Eritrea to prevent people moving on simply out of desperation. At the same time, we also call on Europe to step up efforts to provide credible legal alternatives to dangerous voyages, to protect people from the risks of traveling with smugglers. The collective response needs to maintain a strong capacity to rescue people at sea and increase safer ways for refugees to find safety, including enhanced resettlement, other forms of humanitarian admission and private sponsorship schemes. UNHCR is calling on European governments to do more to facilitate family reunification and use programmes such as student or employment visas to benefit refugees.
Additional Information:
During the first 10 months of 2014, 36,678 Eritreans sought refuge in 38 European countries in 2014, compared to 12,960 during the same period last year. Most asylum requests were presented in Sweden (9,531), Germany, (9,362) Switzerland (5,652) and the Netherlands (4,113). Authorities in Italy recorded 342 asylum applications by Eritreans thus far this year.
Sudan is the main country of asylum for Eritreans with 109,594 refugees at the end of October 2014. 10,701 people have arrived since the beginning of the year, including 1,259 during the month of October. The majority of the refugees are in refugee camps in the arid eastern part of the country (Gaderef and Kassala), with smaller numbers in the capital Khartoum.
Ethiopia is the second largest country of asylum with 106,859 Eritrean refugees, including 1,591 unaccompanied children at the end of October. They mostly live in four refugee camps in Tigray region and two in Afar region in north-eastern Ethiopia
For more information on this topic, please contact:
  • In Addis Ababa, Kisut Gebre Egziabher on mobile +25 19 11 20 89 01
  • In Geneva, Adrian Edwards on mobile +41 79 557 9120
  • In Geneva, Karin de Gruijl on mobile +41 79 255 92 13
  • In Geneva, William Spindler on mobile +41 79 217 3011
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=U5DmN-534sIC&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=increase+eritrea&source=bl&ots=Oo8Ut7JAI6&sig=hTAHpRmfR-fdC_VDdmmFYTn0jbY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirjtPPucDTAhUpLcAKHdudAKs4FBDoAQgsMAI#v=onepage&q=increase%20eritrea&f=false

Sharp increase of imported Plasmodium vivax malaria seen in migrants from Eritrea in Hamburg, Germany

Sharp increase of imported Plasmodium vivax malaria seen in migrants from Eritrea in Hamburg, Germany    readmore https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-016-1366-7

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Abstract

Background

Since 2014, a considerable increase in Plasmodium vivax malaria has been observed in Germany. The majority of cases was seen in Eritrean refugees.

Methods

All patients with P. vivax malaria admitted to the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf Germany from 2011 until August 2015 were retrospectively identified by the hospital coding system and data was matched with records from the laboratory diagnostics unit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany.

Results

Between May 2014 and August 2015, 37 cases were reported in newly-arrived Eritrean refugees at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany. Relapses occurred due to difficulties in procurement of primaquine.

Conclusion

Countries hosting Eritrean refugees need to be aware of vivax malaria occurring in this group and the risk of autochthonous cases due to local transmission by indigenous, vector competent Anopheles species.

Eritrea Receives U.S.$15 Million Ifad Grant to Boost Fisheries Sector and Nutrition

Eritrea Receives U.S.$15 Million Ifad Grant to Boost Fisheries Sector and Nutrition



Photo: Jacapo
A street in Asmara, Eritrea (file photo).
Rome — A total of 17,500 poor rural households in six regions of Eritrea will benefit from a financial agreement signed today between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Eritrea to boost coastal and inland fisheries.
The total cost of the Programme is US$32.1 million of which IFAD is providing a US$15 million grant. It is co-financed by the Government of Germany ($5.9 million), the Global Environment Facility ($7.9 million), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ($0.5 million), the Government of Eritrea ($1.4 million) and by the beneficiaries themselves ($1.3 million).
The financial agreement for the Fisheries Resources Management Programme (FReMP) was signed in Rome by Michel Mordasini, Vice-President of IFAD; and Fessahazion Pietros, Ambassador of Eritrea to Italy and Permanent Representative Eritrea to Rome-based UN agencies, in the presence of Arefaine Berhe, Minister for Agriculture of Eritrea.
Eritrea has substantial and relatively underexploited marine and fisheries resources that have been underutilized for decades compared to neighbouring countries. These resources exist in an unpolluted, underexploited and under-capitalized marine environment. The Programme intends to invest both in large fisheries and small pelagics.
The Government of Eritrea has been making significant investments in the inland regions by constructing water retention dams in the inland regions. It has established 330 reservoirs, of which 70 are stocked with different fish species. However, the inland fisheries resources have are hardly been exploited because local communities are generally not aware of the nutritional benefits of and they lack fishing skills and equipment, apart from the fact that traditionally they are not fishers. The Programme aims to positively change this situation by raising awareness, imparting the right skills and enabling the communities (especially youth and women) to acquire equipment for fishing, fish processing and marketing.
"This innovative programme will ensure that the country's marine fishery resources are utilized in a sustainable manner to improve the livelihoods of Red Sea coastal communities," said Eric Rwabidadi, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Eritrea. "Moreover, inland fisheries and aquaculture present another great investment opportunity to increase fish production, incomes, nutrition and employment, especially for youth and women," he added.
FReMP will support the establishment of infrastructure, and technologies for production, post-harvest operations and marketing of both marine and inland fisheries. In addition, it will promote the development and capacity building of cooperatives and other enterprises and ensure that they have access to the requisite tools to undertake economically viable and sustainable fish-related businesses.
Specifically, the programme will target 15 water reservoirs to demonstrate good practice and test successful models that can be replicated and scaled up in other reservoirs. It will also assist in developing climate resilient plans for the water reservoirs, which will lead to improved crop and livestock production. The aim is to not only increase incomes but also to improve food and nutrition security, through availability of increased quantity and quality fish.
In short, the programme is expected to transform Eritrea's small-scale fisheries sector from subsistence to a sustainable commercial fish industry.
Since 1995, IFAD has financed five rural development programmes and projects in Eritrea for a total cost of $124.3 million, with an IFAD investment of $73.1 million directly benefiting 293,942 rural households.
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$18 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 462 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome - the UN's food and agriculture hub.

History of immigration from Eritrea

                                 History of immigration from Eritrea

     Select a language: source https://museumvictoria.com.au/origins/history.aspx?pid=221
Map of Eritrea
Map date: 2013
The Eritrean community is relatively new in Victoria. Eritrea-born Victorians were first recorded in the 1996 census at which time there were 745. By 2001 their number had grown to 998, representing a 40% increase.

Eritrea has a long history of foreign occupation; South Arabians, Ottoman Turks, the Portuguese, the Egyptians, the British and the Italians. Over the centuries, invaders also came from the neighbouring African countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.

Present-day large scale migration from Eritrea has its roots in years of fighting for independence from Ethiopia. During this time many Eritreans fled to refugee camps in surrounding countries. Since independence, in 1993, many have been repatriated but for others repatriation was not a viable option.

Since independence many Eritreans have come here under Family Reunion scheme, prompted by circumstance. Eritrea has been devastated by decades of war and the effects of continual drought, widespread presence of land mines and little arable land. In addition, economic instability and the threat of border conflict with Ethiopia mean that many Eritreans are continuing to flee their country.

The 2011 census recorded 1,520 Eritrea-born Victorians, an increase of 25% since 2006. The majority, 51%, speaks Arabic at home and 33% speaks Tigrinya; smaller numbers speak Tigre and English. The vast majority, 65%, is Muslim, 17% identify as Eastern Orthodox and 6% are Catholic.

The Eritrea-born community is young, with 65% under the age of 45. Of those employed, 35% are employed in the clerical, sales and service field, 19% fulfil managerial, professional and associated roles and 20% are employed as production and transport workers,. 13% live in the local government area of Melbourne , 13% live in Moonee Valley, and a similar number live in the Brimbank area.

The community is supported by the Victorian Eritrean Community Association and the National Eritrean Communities Council. An Eritrean Festival is held in Melbourne each January. The community accesses information from Eritrea via free international cable EreTV.
Eritrea
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