Iran has accused foreign foes of trying to spark “civil war” by stoking the protests over Mahsa Amini’s death — harsh language that, analysts warn, could presage an even bloodier crackdown.
Fears that Iran is sliding into deeper violence have grown since Wednesday when assailants on motorcycles gunned down nine people — including a woman and two boys aged nine and 13 — in two mysterious attacks.
Officials in Iran were quick to accuse “terrorists” backed by its Western enemies of being behind the attacks in the southern cities of Izeh and Isfahan, which authorities said also left dead two security personnel.
It was the second attack Iran has blamed on what it labels terrorists since the protests erupted after at least 13 people were killed at a shrine in Shiraz, another city in southern Iran, in an October 26 mass shooting claimed by the Islamic State group.
Analysts say however that, regardless of who carried out the latest attacks, they could result in an even bloodier response to the protests that erupted after Amini’s death on September 16, following her arrest for an alleged breach of Iran’s dress code for women.
“We don’t have a good sense of what happened in Izeh and Isfahan — was it a terrorist group, or potentially the regime itself?
” said Henry Rome, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute.
“Either way, the government will probably use the attacks to send the message that the protests are undermining national security and opening the door for Western-backed terrorism,” he told AFP.
“The government is likely attempting to tap into fears that Iran could be on the path to civil war and that stronger action is needed.
” – ‘Regime to exploit attacks‘ –Following Wednesday’s twin attacks, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abollahian accused Israel and its Western allies of plotting a “civil war” in the Islamic republic.
Security services, Israel and Western politicians had “made plans for a civil war and the destruction and disintegration of Iran”, he tweeted, adding that they “must know that Iran is not Libya or Sudan”.
Fars news agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Wednesday’s attacks showed “those who want to dismantle the country are aiming to incite a civil war”.
At least 342 people, including 43 children and 26 women, have been killed in the crackdown since Amini’s death, the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights said Wednesday.
Protesters had been killed in 22 of Iran’s 31 provinces, it said, including 123 in Sistan-Baluchistan and 32 in Kurdistan — among the few provinces with a Sunni Muslim majority in the predominantly Shiite country.
The regime’s crackdown in the wake of the attack in Izeh, a city in ethnically diverse Khuzestan province, “follows a broader trend line of greater police brutality in historically restive provinces, particularly those with large populations of marginalised ethnic minorities”, said Kita Fitzpatrick, an Iran analyst at the Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute.
“Groups like the Islamic State… may very well be attempting to capitalise on protests to carry out attacks within Iranian borders,” she told AFP.
But, she added, “some analysts are observing inconsistencies between recent attacks in Iran and typical IS attacks.
“The regime will likely seek to exploit these attacks, regardless, and leverage them to justify cracking down on ongoing unrest.
” – ‘Anger and rage‘ –By adopting an even bloodier response, the regime risks radicalising a protest movement that until now has been led by women and has remained largely peaceful.
This week has seen an uptick in protesters fighting back, with an increasing number of videos posted on social media showing them clashing with security forces and torching their vehicles and bases.
“It’s the state security forces that start the violence, but increasingly people respond… and try to defend themselves,” said Omid Memarian, senior Iran analyst at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).
“The government’s strategy has been to create an environment of fear and terror so that people go back home,” he told AFP.
“They use violence on the streets and harsh sentences through the judiciary to stop the protests,” but that approach had “intensified the anger and rage” of the people, Memarian said.
Independent researcher Mark Pyruz said the attacks on security forces on motorbikes, mob beatings of pro-government Basij paramilitary forces and close-quarter stoning of police officers “reminds me of the initial phase of the Syrian civil war”.
“We don’t have enough info yet on what’s taking place in Iran” with respect to the shootings in Izeh and Isfahan, he said, adding however that “it’s something to watch for, closely, during days ahead”.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a total US$ 4.1 million contribution from the Government of Iceland and the Government of Norway to support thousands of people facing severe hunger at the peak of the lean season in Malawi.
The joint contribution – comprised of US$3.6 million from Norway and US$500,000 from Iceland - will provide critical humanitarian assistance to some 270,000 people through cash-based transfers in the districts of Balaka and Chikwawa where smallholder farmers have been heavily affected by climate shocks and rising food prices.
“We commend the Governments of Norway and Iceland for their strong commitment to ensuring the food security of the most vulnerable during this exceptionally difficult lean season,” says Paul Turnbull, WFP’s Country Director in Malawi.
“As world leaders and experts meet at COP27 in Egypt, we must highlight the urgent need to help communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis and invest in durable solutions.” Some 3.8 million people are estimated to be acutely food insecure and in need of food assistance between October 2022 and March 2023 according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report – over 130 percent increase compared to the same time last year.
Malawi has been heavily impacted by the global food crisis where the devastating effects of natural disasters have been exacerbated by rising prices of food, energy and fertilisers caused in part by the conflict in Ukraine.
“Norway reiterates its commitment to a more food secure and resilient Malawi,” says Her Excellency Ingrid Marie Mikelsen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Malawi.
“Norway recognises the long-standing expertise of WFP and other players to provide essential and opportune assistance in times like these to ensure more people do not slip into hunger.” Coordinated interventions will ensure the most effective and wide-reaching response possible thanks to resources mobilised both by the Government of Malawi, humanitarian and development partners.
“Iceland remains steadfast in its support to vulnerable Malawians at risk of hunger,” said Inga Dóra Pétursdóttir, Head of Mission of the Embassy of Iceland in Malawi.
“The increasing risk of climatic shocks worsens a vicious cycle of food insecurity, which is why Iceland partnered with WFP to help vulnerable families to mitigate and manage the impacts of these shocks.” The Government of Malawi is grateful to Norway and Iceland for their generous contribution to the 2022-2023 lean season response,” said Charles Kalemba, Commissioner of the Department of Disaster Management Affairs.
Their support will ensure less Malawians go hungry and that Malawi can remain focused on its development goals.” The cooperation between the Nordic nations is not only based on political history and geographical location, but also on common values such as democracy, trust, transparency, equality, equity and sustainability.
Both Iceland and Norway have provided catalytic funding to WFP school feeding in Malawi and were the first supporters of the home-grown school feeding model that began in 2014.
Norway currently provides direct financial support to WFP’s home-grown school feeding in addition to supporting the UN Joint Programme on Girls Education, a US$ 40 million programme implemented jointly by WFP, UNICEF and UNFPA.
Norway was also a key supporter of WFP activities during the COVID-19 Urban Cash Initiative (CUCI) response in 2020.
Since 2014 Iceland has supported WFP school feeding activities in Mangochi and, more recently, has expanded support to include and resilience-building activities in the same district.
Additionally, Iceland supported WFP activities linked to the national COVID-19 response as well as provided support to flood victims in Chikwawa district earlier this year.
UN climate talks got a fillip Wednesday as Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched the country back into the battle to curb global warming and global leaders reaffirmed key pledges.
Lula arrived Tuesday in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and went straight into climate diplomacy with meetings with US envoy John Kerry and China’s Xie Zhenhua.
The leftist politician, who served as president from 2003 to 2010, is expected to inject much needed momentum into the COP27 climate talks in his first international trip since defeating far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, who presided over years of rampant Amazon deforestation.
“Brazil is back in the world to debate the climate issue,” Lula tweeted late Tuesday.
“We will be a source of pride for the world.
” Lula is expected to present his plan for “zero deforestation” in a speech Wednesday afternoon at the COP27 conference.
Kerry told a COP27 biodiversity panel on Wednesday that the United States would work with other nations to help protect the Amazon.
“I was pleased last night to meet with president-elect Lula and was really encouraged by the ways in which he talked about for once and for all getting it right … in order to preserve the Amazon,” Kerry said.
“We will work diligently in order to achieve that goal together with our allies, particularly Norway and Germany and other countries that have been deeply committed to this for a period of time.
” Under Bolsonaro, a staunch ally of agribusiness, average annual deforestation increased 75 percent compared to the previous decade.
“We need a new sense of hope to build trust and momentum towards a positive outcome at COP27,” said Brazilian climate campaigner, Mariana Paoli, Christian Aid’s global advocacy lead.
“President Lula’s election victory in Brazil has the potential to breathe new life into this process with his progressive agenda that seeks to bring Brazil back to the table and end the disastrous climate policies of his predecessor.
” In another boost to the UN climate process, a final communique from world leaders meeting at the Group of 20 talks in Bali, Indonesia included key promises to “pursue efforts” to curb global warming to 1.
5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a safer limit according to scientists.
The document, which also reiterated a commitment to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term, was welcomed by observers as a way to galvanise the climate talks as they enter their final days.
The G20 meeting was also the stage of a crucial meeting between US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping, where the two leaders agreed to resume their climate cooperation.
Ani Dasgupta, head of the World Resources Institute, said positive signals from leaders at the G20 “should put wind in the sails” of negotiators in Egypt.
– Climate leadership –Bolsonaro, who did not attend the G20 summit in Bali, has maintained a low profile since losing the Brazilian election.
While his government has a pavilion at COP27, former steelworker Lula deployed two of his former environment ministers to lay the groundwork for his visit.
One of them, Marina Silva, who is tipped to return to the job when Lula takes office on January 1, said Brazil wants to set an example with Lula’s deforestation plan.
Latin America’s most populous country grew more isolated under Bolsonaro, analysts say, in part due to his permissive policies towards deforestation and exploitation of the Amazon — the preservation of which is seen as critical to fighting global warming.
Brazil is home to 60 percent of the Amazon, which spans eight countries and acts as a massive sink for carbon emissions.
Silva promoted the idea of creating a new national authority to coordinate climate action among government ministries, and of pursuing a reforestation target of 12 million hectares (over 29 million acres).
– Lula meets Kerry –The incoming administration wants the United States to contribute to the Amazon Fund, considered one of the main tools to reduce deforestation in the planet’s biggest tropical forest.
Following Lula’s victory, the fund’s main contributors, Norway and Germany, announced they would participate again, after freezing aid in 2019 in the wake of Bolsonaro’s election.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro and his counterpart Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela presented at COP27 last week an Amazon protection initiative that they hope Brazil will join.
NGOs and Indigenous leaders want Lula to create the first ministry of Indigenous peoples.
Brazilian lawmaker and Indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara urged Lula to “think about social policies with the people”.
Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected this week at the UN climate summit in Egypt to pledge to reverse the environmental policies of his right-wing predecessor and protect the Amazon rainforest.
Lula’s trip Monday to the COP27 talks in Sharm el-Sheikh will be his first international visit since beating Brazil’s far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the October 30 runoff election.
The 77-year-old, who promised on the campaign trail to work towards zero deforestation, will address the conference on Wednesday, his press team said.
In a nod to Lula’s victory speech, in which he pledged to end Brazil’s “pariah” status, his team said he had wanted to hold “more talks with world leaders in a single day than Bolsonaro had in four years.
” But according to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the incoming president has not been able to line up most of the dozen or so high-level meetings he had requested.
Lula might, however, meet with US climate czar John Kerry and announce that Brazil is willing to host the COP30 summit in 2025, the newspaper said.
Latin America’s most populous country grew more isolated under Bolsonaro, analysts say, in part due to his permissive policies towards deforestation and exploitation of the Amazon, the preservation of which is seen as critical to fighting global warming.
If Lula — who served as president from 2003 to 2010 — manages to curb deforestation and illegal mining, he would make a major contribution to the global fight against climate change, said Francisco Eliseu Aquino, a climate expert at Rio Grande do Sul University.
“Lula knows the COP talks well.
He was always proactive in international discussions and kept a high international profile” during his first two terms, said Aquino.
– Deeper cooperation –To meet the environmental challenge, the former steelworker who begins his third term on January 1, hopes to get help from the international community.
Lula’s former and likely future environment minister, Marina Silva, has already been holding meetings at the UN summit and has said that Brazil will lead “by example” on combatting climate change.
She said Lula plans to fight the destruction of the Amazon and pursue a reforestation target of 12 million hectares, with or without international aid.
But she welcomed announcements from Norway and Germany that they would resume financial support to the Amazon Fund. Both countries withdrew aid in 2019 shortly after Bolsonaro came to power.
“With Lula’s weight and influence, and due to worries all over the world for the Amazon, it is possible that some bilateral agreements might be reached,” said Daniela Costa, a spokesperson for Greenpeace Brazil.
Silva said the US government was “prepared to deepen cooperation” with Brazil after she met with Kerry last week.
She also said in an interview with Brazilian broadcaster Globonews that she had invited the United States to contribute to the Amazon Fund. – ‘Much more daring’ –Deforestation was at a high level at the start of Lula’s first term in 2003, before falling sharply under Silva as minister.
But she resigned in 2008, the saying was not getting the money she needed to take her efforts even further.
Aquino said the policies of Lula’s next government need to be “much more daring” than during his first two terms in power.
At COP27, Lula could announce the creation of a high-level body to coordinate the work of different ministries active in climate work.
Since Bolsonaro — a staunch ally of agribusiness — took office in January 2019, average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon increased by 75 percent compared to the previous decade.
The fight against global warming is not just about protecting precious areas like the Amazon, he said.
“It also involves the economy, health and agriculture.
” “We welcome the arrival of Lula with much hope,” said Dinaman Tuxa, coordinator of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil.
Egypt and Norway have launched the first phase of a project to establish a major green hydrogen plant in Egypt's Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea, with a capacity to produce 100MW.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, at the launch of the project on Tuesday, said the launch was part of the UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP27) in 2022 which is celebrated in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. .
This event formed part of the final day of the Climate Implementation Summit, with more than 100 heads of state and government meeting in the first days of the conference to work on the implementation of existing climate agreements.
El-Sisi praised the project, which will be implemented in cooperation with Norwegian energy giant Scatec.
The Egyptian president said it provides "a practical investment partnership model that stimulates sustainable economic development with a focus on the role of the domestic and foreign private sector in addition to the role of government, working alongside this fruitful sector."
Scatec has been a major developer in Egypt's huge Benban Solar Park in Aswan, Upper Egypt, one of the world's largest solar parks with a total capacity of 1.8 GW.
The Green Hydrogen Plant is part of Egypt's broader green hydrogen strategy, which has a vision to produce green hydrogen at the cheapest price in the world.
The strategy is implemented in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Arab Union for Sustainable Development and the Environment.
It seeks to help Egypt contribute eight percent of the global hydrogen market, Egypt's cabinet said in a statement on Saturday.
El-Sisi said: “Green hydrogen has become one of the most important solutions on the way to a green economy for the next few years.
“It is an example where developing countries, including Egypt, are making great strides.
“However, we still have to face challenges derived from the tendency of some countries to bet on local green hydrogen in a way that lowers its production cost.
"This causes an imbalance in the global hydrogen market and contributes to undermining the competitiveness of green hydrogen produced in developing countries compared to developed countries," added the president.
Source Credit: NAN
The long-awaited match schedule for the ninth edition of the 32-team FIFA Women's World Cup (www.FIFA.com) 2023™, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, is now complete.
Following Saturday's impressive Draw in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, kick-off times have now been added to the previously announced match schedule with the first match of the tournament as co-hosts New Zealand welcome Norway to Eden Park on Thursday.
July 20 at 7pm (NZST) kick-off.
The second match of the Tournament will begin three hours later at 8 p.m. Stadium Australia in Sydney/Gadigal on Sunday 20th August.
The full match schedule is available to download here (https://fifa.fans/3SCF6FG).
Please note that there is a two-hour time difference between the east coast of Australia and Aotearoa, New Zealand, and all match schedule start times are listed as local.
Individual passes for the tournament will be on sale from 25 October 2022 via FIFA.com/tickets.
Eight groups set on the road to FIFA (www.FIFA.com) The 2023 Women's World Cup celebrates a key milestone; 29 teams and their fans can now make travel plans with the group stage set; 800 guests enjoyed a rich celebration of Maori and First Nations culture The diverse and distinctive cultures of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Australia were on display in an impressive draw in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau on Saturday, as the 29 qualifying nations discovered and the ten contenders for the play-offs.
the opening groups and matches of the ninth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup. In a resplendent Aotea Centre, 800 guests from around the world, including the FIFA President and Secretary General, Aotearoa New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern, Australian Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells, team representatives , FIFA Legends and international media discovered the eight groups after enjoying a spectacular celebration of Maori and First Nations culture.
The 29 qualified nations can now move forward with their plans for next year's tournament, which will be the first to be co-hosted by two nations from different Confederations, and the first FIFA Women's World Cup to feature 32 teams.
The results of the Draw will also serve to inspire the nations competing in next February's Knockout Tournament (https://fifa.fans/3DjY8ff), as they chart their paths to the groups (D, E and F) that require a .
more side to be complete.
The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup draw produced many exciting results, with host nations Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia drawing into Groups A and B respectively.
In Group A, the Football Ferns were drawn to play 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup champions Norway, debutants Philippines and Switzerland in the land of the long white cloud.
Aotearoa New Zealand's three group matches will take place in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara and Dunedin/Ōtepoti.
Meanwhile, tournament co-hosts Australia will take on debutants Republic of Ireland, Nigeria and Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalists Canada in Pool B, with Matildas' group stage matches taking place in Sydney/Gadigal, Brisbane/Meaanjin and Melbourne/Naarm.
Matchday one of the tournament will be simply stunning, with New Zealand taking on Norway at Eden Park, before Australia take on the Republic of Ireland at the Sydney Football Stadium.
In order to optimize specific match details for the benefit of fans, teams and the media, the final match schedule and kick-off times will be confirmed shortly on FIFA.com.
The draw for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 was conducted by the great Carli Lloyd, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, and sports presenter Amanda Davies.
Julie Dolan and Cate Campbell represented Australia as draw assistants, with Maia Jackman and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott representing Aotearoa New Zealand.
FIFA legends Ian Wright (England), Geremi (Cameroon), Alexi Lalas (United States of America) and Gilberto Silva (Brazil) were also in attendance at the draw, while Kirstie Stanway and Mel McLaughlin had the honor of hosting the lottery.
The fun and football-loving Tazuni™ (https://fifa.fans/3z2VRCR), the official mascot of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, made her global debut in the Draw, which was streamed globally on FIFA+.
Following today's star-studded Draw, fans will get their first chance to secure their seat at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup next week when tickets for a match go on sale from 25 October.
For the latest news on ticket sales and to secure your seat at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, visit FIFA.com/tickets (https://fifa.fans/3eRDVUV).
For full coverage of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Draw, click here (https://fifa.fans/3Dl0879).
The Nigeria’s Women’s Senior Football team, Super Falcons and are the best to come out of Africa, and would begin their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Canada.
Super Falcons have been drawn in Group B against Canada, Republic of Ireland and one of the host country Australia.
The draws were made earlier today (Saturday) in Auckland, New Zealand, one of the host cities of the competition.
Nigeria would look at increasing their chances at the competition, having the highest records of African representative (nine times) in the competition, and never missed the world cup since the competition began.
Other African teams in the competition are South Africa in group G, Zambia in Group C, Morocco in Group H while Senegal and Cameroon still have chances if they win their playoff games.
The historic prestigious competition would kick off with New Zealand playing against Norway on July 20, 2023, while Australia, the other host country, play Republic of Ireland the next day.
The FIFA World Women Football fiesta would, in this edition, witness 32 teams all grouped into eight groups competing for honours.
The US national women’s team with the most title would be looking at winning their fifth title and their third straight when they begin their campaign against Vietnam.
In another related competition, Nigeria’s Women Junior national team, Flamingoes, are through to the semifinals of the ongoing FIFA World Women Cup in India.
Nigeria beat powerhouse US 4-3 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.
The Flamingoes made history, becoming the first African team to reach the semifinals and have a chance to extend their heroics when they play the winner between Tanzania and Columbia.
The semifinals match comes up in Wednesday.
UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous undertook a four-day mission to Tanzania, where she met with government officials, civil society groups and partners, to strengthen alliances, ignite public discourse on Generation Equality and drive action to gender equality and the empowerment of women in the country.
One year ago, on October 6, 2021, Sima Bahous was sworn in to become the Executive Director of UN Women.
Among her top priorities is continuing to build the momentum of Generation Equality, especially at a time when the world's women and girls face the lingering impacts of COVID-19, a raging climate crisis, and a global rollback of women's rights.
Meetings held during the mission highlighted Tanzania's progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment, while providing an opportunity to share recommendations to further strengthen Tanzania's efforts to safeguard women's rights.
In 2021, Tanzania committed, under the Generation Equality Action for Rights and Economic Justice Coalition, to create more jobs for women in the care economy, expand decent work, expand access and women's control over productive resources and developing a gender sensitive economy.
plans Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has launched a National Advisory Committee on the implementation of the country's Generation Equality commitments.
In a meeting with President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Ms. Bahous praised her for establishing a new Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups and congratulated Tanzania on its recent appointment to the Generation Multi-Stakeholder Leadership Group.
On her side, President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced Tanzania's intention to co-sponsor the next Generation Equality Forum, which will be a mid-term meeting next year.
Ms. Bahous continued to build momentum for Generation Equality at a reception hosted by HE Nabil Hajlaoui, French Ambassador to Tanzania.
In an informal event that brought together stakeholders working on the implementation of Generation Equality commitments in the country, Ms. Bahous's announcement that Tanzania would co-sponsor the Generation Equality Forum was very well received.
On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl, on October 11, the Executive Director interacted with adolescent girls and young leaders, attending events such as the Girls' Agenda Forum and the High Level Meeting “Defending Women's Priorities and Girls in the Response to HIV”.
At the high-level meeting, she launched an intergenerational collective of African women leaders to ensure that the voices of women of all ages inform decision-making around the response to HIV.
“I am proud to launch today a collective of women leaders, both established and emerging, working hand in hand, coming together to achieve a better life for young women and adolescent girls,” said Ms. Bahous.
The high-level meeting in Tanzania is part of a UN Women program supported by PEPFAR, the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to provide leadership, training and mentoring opportunities to empower young women and increase their access to decision-making spaces in the response to HIV.
During the last year, nearly 200 women between the ages of 18 and 24 from 15 countries received training.
Her Excellency Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, delivered the opening address to the conference and expressed the Government's commitment to investing in girls' education and health.
While in Dar es Salaam, Ms. Bahous visited the Sitakishari Police Gender and Children Bureau, run by the Tanzania Police.
The Desks provide holistic and expert support to women and child survivors of violence, helping to make access to justice safer, more inclusive and more effective.
UN Women Tanzania has partnered with the Tanzanian Police to strengthen the availability of quality services for survivors of violence.
Currently, there are 417 Gender and Children Desks in Tanzania.
In a meeting with members of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) from Tanzania, Ms. Bahous discussed the issues facing women in the country.
AWLN is an innovative movement of African women leaders.
AWLN Tanzania has 256 members from 205 organizations.
Ms. Bahous also traveled to Zanzibar to interact with women parliamentarians, launch a joint program on rural women's economic empowerment, and visit women farmers supported by UN Women Tanzania.
Meeting with women parliamentarians and equality advocates at the Zanzibar House of Representatives (ZHoR), Ms Bahous commended the House for its achievements in advancing women's leadership and the House's role in addressing issues of gender equality and women's empowerment.
She reiterated UN Women's support for continued efforts towards parity through the partnership with UWAWAZA, the Zanzibar House of Representatives Women Members Association.
In association with UN Women Tanzania, UWAWAZA is currently implementing a project to strengthen the capacity of its members to implement gender mainstreaming, focusing on the promotion of women's rights in government processes, legislation and budgets.
Ahead of International Rural Women's Day, Executive Director Suleiman Masoud Makame, Minister of Blue Economy and Fisheries of Zanzibar and his partners launched a joint program on economic empowerment of rural women.
The project is a joint initiative of UN Women Tanzania, FAO, WFP and IFAD, worth US$5 million with funding from Norway and Sweden.
The project seeks to empower rural women by securing their livelihoods, rights and improving their resilience in the agricultural sector and will benefit more than 8,000 Tanzanians.
Reviewing the implementation of UN Women's work on empowering rural women in the country, Ms. Bahous visited women farmers, who benefited from UN Women's Climate Smart Agriculture program supported by KOICA.
In total, 232 sunflower farmers and 300 horticulture farmers have benefited from the program and received 5,050 customary rights land certificates that promote land ownership by women.
As a conclusion to the mission, Ms. Bahous visited the office of the Tanzania Media Women's Association and had the opportunity to interact with the beneficiaries of the Wanawaka Wanaweza (Women's Leadership and Political Participation) project.
She confirmed the commitment and strong support of UN Women as the country continues to advance women's leadership and participation in decision-making.
Mental, neurological and substance use disorders account for more than 10% of the global burden of disease.
Lost productivity resulting from depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental disorders, cost the global economy US$1 trillion each year.
In low- and middle-income countries, more than 75% of people with mental disorders do not receive any treatment for their disorder.
In Ghana, the government has made efforts to improve mental health services at all levels.
However, significant gaps remained, with only about 2% of Ghana's 2.3 million people living with mental health problems receiving psychiatric treatment and support from health facilities according to the WHO.
To help countries like Ghana address mental health gaps, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the Director-General's Special Initiative on Mental Health (DG-SIMH) with a vision of ensuring that everyone in the target population in selected countries achieve the highest level of mental health and well-being.
The five-year initiative supported by the Government of Norway aims to give an additional 100 million people access to quality, affordable mental health in 12 countries around the world.
Prior to implementation in Ghana, WHO has assisted Ghana in developing a national implementation plan and is currently assisting the country's six new regions in developing their regional plans for effective implementation.
“We recognize the important role of stakeholders in the implementation of this initiative,” said Dr. Joana Ansong, WHO Noncommunicable Diseases and Risk Factors Officer in Ghana, at the kickoff meeting of the initiative in the region.
north western Ghana.
“That is why we want the regions to design their implementation strategies so that they can take ownership of the process and strengthen alliances to achieve universal mental health coverage.” Ghana launched the initiative in July 2022 and implementation is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022 and last for five years, with the aim of improving access to quality integrated person-centered mental health care for another 5 .2 million Ghanaians.
The WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health will advance mental health policy, advocacy and human rights, and scale up quality interventions and services for people with mental health conditions, including substance use and mental health disorders.
neurological For the Ghanaian health authorities, this initiative is a great opportunity to strengthen the mental health system while mobilizing communities to create an environment free of stigma and abuse against people with mental health problems.
“We need to create an environment that is conducive enough for people with mental disorders to go out and seek help at any level of the health system,” said Western North Regional Director of Health Dr. Marion Okoh-Owusu.
"This special initiative is an opportunity for us to redefine mental health care in Ghana."
Indeed, Nana Elluo panyin III, while expressing deep gratitude for the WHO Special Initiative on Mental Health, Kyidomhene of Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area, underscored the critical role that traditional leaders can play in helping to improve service delivery.
mental health in Ghana.
"We need to deepen collaboration between health authorities and traditional leaders to strengthen protection mechanisms for people with mental health problems," added Nana Elluo panyin III.
The WHO Special Initiative on Mental Health will build on the successes of other mental health interventions, such as the QualityRights Initiative, which is helping to improve the quality of care and promote the human rights of people living with poor health.