This month, communities across East Africa, which are already unsteady from the impact of COVID-19, are now also forced to fight against new swarms of locusts. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that the locust outbreaks in Ethiopia and Somalia are the worst in 25 years and in Kenya the worst in 75 years. The FAO expects that swarms will rise in June and July at the time of harvest and could cause ‘biblical’ famines. David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP) said that urgent action is needed to avoid a catastrophe. The President of the African Development Bank believes that an unprecedented race against time has begun to urgently halt the progression and potentially destructive impact of COVID-19 and the locust swarms in Africa. The European Commission and the FAO have gathered funds to help in the fight against the growing locust swarms but challenges remain due to COVID-19.
In this week’s news highlights: World leaders back ceasefire in Libya; EU to change Operation Sophia; Refugees and migrants drafted to fight in Libya; Young Eritrean boy dies in Libyan detention center; Lack of asylum law in Tunisia puts asylum seekers in vulnerable position; UN ruling states that climate refugees should not be sent back; EU criticised for its asylum ploicy; EU Arms industries influence migration policies; Demonstation of Eritrean refugees in Slovenia; New EU migration policy might be on its way; Unrest at the Sudan-Eritrea-Ethiopia border; Sexual abuse worsened for Eritrean women in conscription after the independece war; Large share of the population has left Eritrea; And books show new perspective on migration and human trafficking.
During the Brussels event “EU Green Deal and NECPs” (National Energy and Climate Plans) organized by Carbon Market Watch, the central question was whether Europe is on the right path to becoming the first climate-neutral continent. In his opening speech, Diederick Samson, chief of cabinet for European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, spoke about the aspects of the Green Deal that stand out to him. He highlighted the Green Deal’s ambition (Europe carbon-neutral by 2050), comprehensiveness (it does not solely focus on climate) and justice (make the change in a fair and just manner). Samson compared the implementation of the deal with dancing the tango; various people and organisations on various levels in Europe need to ‘dance’ together to achieve the 2050 goal of a climate-neutral continent. However, at the conference it was noted that not all people nor all continents are invited to join this dance. While the deal pays attention to a “just transition” within Europe, it seems to be missing a concrete plan to help other continents to make the transition to carbon neutrality and neglects the people that are already affected by climate change.