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UNIDO workshop on “Leveraging Global Value Chains for Industrial Development”

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photo: UNIDO

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH), in partnership with the Republic of Korea, successfully organized the second training programme on “Leveraging Global Value Chains for Industrial Development” from 3 to 4 October 2019 at the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA). The workshop aimed at building practical skills backed by data analysis in policymaking and enhancing industrial policy required to support the development of local industries and firms in reaping opportunities offered by global value chains. Participants included 40 technical officials from various ministries, the private sector, and development partners.

“To contribute in propelling Cambodia toward an industrialized country by 2025, to become an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050, I would like to reiterate that His Excellency Kitti Settha Pandita, Senior Minister and Minister of Industry and Handicraft, has always supported and encouraged capacity building activities under the UNIDO project, as human resources is key to achieve this ultimate goal”, said Sarun Rithea, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft at the closing of the workshop.

The capacity building programme is part of a series of four courses on industrial policy and value chains under the UNIDO project “Support to the Royal Government of Cambodia in its effective implementation of a major development strategy and policy through institutional capacity-building”, which is funded by the Republic of Korea (ROK). Key government counterparts are the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH), the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and the Ministry of Tourism (MoT).  

In his introductory remarks, Anders Isaksson, UNIDO Senior Research and Industrial Policy Officer, appreciated the high commitment from the Royal Government of Cambodia in gaining knowledge and experiences on industrial policy and value chains through the latest UNIDO capacity building initiative and apply to own country context. He believes that this training course will contribute to realize Cambodia’s Industrial Development Policy (IDP) vision and help to accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID), which is aligned with the strategic vision of UNIDO.

During the two-day workshop, participants learned about the role of industrialization and global value chains in economic development, the different dimensions of industrialization and Global Value Chains (GVCs) and how to use these frameworks to analyze challenges and opportunities for Cambodia. Participants also learned about data tools and indicators which can be used to evaluate the country’s position within global and regional value chains at the industry level.

The industrial policy project is formulated within the framework of the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) 2018-2023 between the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and UNIDO. A Joint Declaration was signed in November 2017 between LI Yong, UNIDO Director General, and Kitti Setha Pandita Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister of Industry and Handicraft on behalf of the RGC. The PCP is a platform for synchronizing development efforts and for resource mobilization, as well as a supporting tool to increase the impact from Cambodia’s Industrial Development Policy.

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Finance

ILO and LinkedIn launch data insights partnership

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The International Labour Organization (ILO), the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)  and LinkedIn have launched a two-year data insights partnership that aims to improve government decision-making, promote green jobs and build the capacities of governments to identify and provide training opportunities.

Through the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the ILO and LinkedIn on 15 January 2021, the partners hope to support the development of deep, cross-sector partnerships that benefit governments, the private sector, employers’ and workers’ organizations and civil society organizations. This partnership also supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  and meeting the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

LinkedIn’s real-time view into the global labour market will enable partners to leverage its insights into the skills, jobs and occupations that are quickly rising in demand. For example, LinkedIn’s granular, skills-based understanding of green jobs will also detect emerging trends by analysing occupations whose titles may not identify them in a traditional “green” role but are increasingly reliant upon green skills. Complementary LinkedIn data on hiring trends by gender and region will also provide unique insights into the world of work. 

Thanks to its MoU with the ILO, these data can now help inform policy recommendations as well as further research and analysis, with a particular focus on supporting governments to transition to green economies within the context of PAGE’s work on green jobs as well as helping governments and labour market institutions become more responsive to the needs of workers and employers through the promotion of targeted skills training.

The LinkedIn-ILO partnership also welcomes the strategic collaboration of UNEP  and UNITAR , whose complementary mandates and expertise will help translate rich labour related data insights into informed policies and practical capacity building activities.

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Africa Today

Sudan: 250 killed, over 100,000 displaced as violence surges in Darfur

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Intercommunal violence in Darfur has left millions in need of assistance. Pictured here, an IDP settlement in Sortoni. (file photo) UNAMID/Mohamad Almahady

A sharp uptick in intercommunal violence in Sudan’s Darfur region has forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes in search of safety, including many into neighbouring Chad, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported on Friday.

According to the agency, 250 people – including three humanitarian workers – also lost their lives in the clashes that started on 15 January in West Darfur province, and spread into South Darfur the next day. 

Boris Cheshirkov, a UNHCR spokesperson, told journalists at a regular press briefing in Geneva on Friday, that about 3,500 new Sudanese refugees have arrived in eastern Chad. 

“These refugees – the majority of them women and children – have been hosted in four very remote locations that lack basic services or public infrastructure, where they have been sheltering under trees,” he said. 

“Due to the COVID-19 situation, Chadian local authorities are directing the new arrivals to a transit site, where they will undergo quarantine before being relocated to an existing refugee camp, away from the border,” the UNHCR spokesperson added. 

He said that the UN agency is rushing supplies to the area to respond to their needs, as well as mobilizing resources as part of an inter-agency response. 

‘Break the cycle of violence’ 

Authorities in the region have been attempting to contain the situation and have deployed security forces to the area but “severe gaps” in protection remain, according to the UN human rights office. 

However, an “imminent risk” of further violence remains, in an environment “where decades-old ethnic and tribal tensions that were further stoked by the previous regime continue to fester”, OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said at the same briefing. 

There are reports that local health facilities are unable to cope with the high number of casualties, she added. 

The OHCHR spokesperson called on the Government of Sudan to protect of civilians as well as restore public order and the rule of law in Darfur. 

She also called for thorough and effective investigations into the violence to bring the perpetrators to justice and “to break the cycle of armed citizens taking the law into their own hands to avenge attacks on members of their communities.” 

A vast, strife-torn region  

Darfur, a vast region roughly the size of Spain and plagued by violence for years, was the site of a United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) that was deployed to protect civilians, facilitate aid delivery, and support efforts to address root causes of the conflict.  

The mandate of UNAMID ended last year and it ceased operations on 31 December 2020, roughly two weeks before the latest round of violence.  

The mission is currently drawing down, a process that includes repatriation of troops, their vehicles and other equipment; the separation of civilian staff; and the closure of its offices.  

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Africa Today

COVID ‘vaccine hoarding’ putting Africa at risk

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Photo: Xinhua

Africa is in danger of being left behind in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines as countries in other regions strike bilateral deals, thus driving up prices, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday. 

Although vaccines have been administered in 50 wealthier nations, Guinea is the sole low-income country on the continent to receive doses, with only 25 people being inoculated so far.  Meanwhile, Seychelles is the only African country to start a national vaccination campaign. 

‘We first, not me first’ 

“We first, not me first, is the only way to end the pandemic. Vaccine hoarding will only prolong the ordeal and delay Africa’s recovery. It is deeply unjust that the most vulnerable Africans are forced to wait for vaccines while lower-risk groups in rich countries are made safe”, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. 

“Health workers and vulnerable people in Africa need urgent access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.” 

An international coalition known as the COVAX Facility was established to ensure all countries will have equal access to any vaccines against the new coronavirus disease. 

It is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and WHO. 

The COVAX Facility has secured two billion doses of vaccine from five producers, with options for over one billion more.  Delivery is set to begin soon, according to Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director, Country Programmes at GAVI. 

“This massive international undertaking has been made possible thanks to donations, work towards dose-sharing deals and deals with manufacturers that have brought us to almost two billion doses secured. We look forward to rollout in the coming weeks”, he said. 

Vaccination commitment  

COVAX has committed to vaccinating at least 20 per cent of the population in Africa by the end of this year. 

Priority will be given to health workers and other vulnerable groups, such as older persons and those with pre-existing health conditions. 

An initial 30 million vaccine doses are expected to begin arriving in countries by March.  Overall, a maximum of 600 million doses will be disbursed, based on two doses per person. 

WHO said timelines and quantities could change, for example if vaccines fail to meet regulatory approval or due to challenges related to production, delivery and funding.

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