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Natural disasters in Africa hamper millennium goals

by Staff Writers
Johannesburg (AFP) Nov 10, 2010
Climate change disasters on the African continent have raised the need for an humanitarian response as poverty continues to plague communities, the Red Cross director for Africa said on Wednesday.

"Natural disasters related to global warming are becoming more frequent in African countries. We have seen more cases of drought and floods compared to previous years," said Alasan Senghore.

"This year alone we have intervened in up to six cases of floods in three months. The devastation is severe," said Senghore on the sidelines of an African leadership forum hosted by the Red Cross.

According to Senghore, natural disasters in poor African countries would make it hard for governments to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"The global financial crisis has affected donor funding and prompted us to shift priorities," he said.

Senghore mentioned that some level of progress had been noted in African countries, such as in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention.

"Governments particularly in southern Africa have done well to prevent the spread of HIV, through interventions like education and providing care," said Senghore.

The United Nations set a 15-year timeframe at the turn of the millennium to achieve its goals of halving extreme poverty, boosting health and education and promoting gender equality across the developing world by 2015.

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Pakistan taxes own citizens to raise money for flood relief
Islamabad (AFP) Nov 10, 2010
Pakistan increased income tax on the relatively well off Wednesday to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the victims of the country's devastating floods. The cabinet agreed to impose what it called a "Flood Relief Surcharge", raising income tax payments by 10 per cent for the next six months for Pakistanis earning 300,000 rupees (3,500 dollars) or more a year. A special excise dut ... read more

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