By Sharon Kimathi, Energy and ESG Editor, Reuters Digital
It’s another week of water watch as Ethiopia’s food crisis has worsened from drought, while reservoirs have fallen close to 16% of their capacity in the Spanish region of Catalonia.
Ethiopia’s food crisis has deepened in recent years as a result of war in the Tigray region and the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in decades, with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) saying just over 20 million people are in need of assistance.
On and off fighting in Amhara, which has also experienced prolonged drought, between Amhara state forces and local militiamen became Ethiopia’s biggest security crisis since the end of a two-year civil war in Tigray in 2022.
Endale Haile, head of the Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman, which receives complaints from the public against government departments, said its investigations found that 351 people had died in the Tigray region, while another 21 had died in neighboring Amhara from drought-induced hunger in the last six months.
Endale said the findings were from a 10-day assessment in the two regions, and it was possible there were more deaths.
Legesse Tulu, government spokesperson, Mengasha Fentaw, spokesperson of Amhara region and Redaei Halefom, spokesperson of Tigray, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the deaths.
1. Ethiopian official: at least 372 deaths due to hunger in two regions in last 6 months
At least 372 people have died in two northern Ethiopian regions from drought-induced hunger in the last six months, a senior government official said, adding to the regions’ challenges arising from conflict.
An emaciated cow walks in Kura Kalicha camp for the people internally displaced by drought near Das town, Oromiya region, Ethiopia. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
2. Exclusive: World Bank to offer countries access to emergency funds from existing loans
The World Bank said it approved new initiatives to allow member countries hit by natural disasters and other shocks to quickly access emergency funds from their existing loan programs to help them respond to an increasingly crisis-prone world. Click here for the Reuters exclusive story.
3. Japan earthquake survivors battle unsanitary conditions with no running water
A month on from a huge earthquake that struck Japan’s west coast, survivors are battling freezing and unsanitary conditions while tens of thousands of homes remain without running water.
4. Catalans face carwash bans, swimming pool restrictions over record drought
Residents of the eastern Spanish region of Catalonia will be banned from washing their cars and filling up empty swimming pools under measures announced to alleviate the region’s worst drought on record.
5. ECB hints at greener monetary policy in new climate plan
The European Central Bank hinted it could make its monetary policy greener as part of a new push to take climate change into account in its work. Some activists have been calling for years for the ECB to attach climate targets to its long-term loans to banks and stop buying the bonds of polluting companies.
As more and more Senegalese migrants seek out the sea to reach the Canary Islands in Spain, the attitude towards migrants remains largely positive because they help keep the country’s fishing industry afloat. Click here or on the image for more.
Did you know that United States exporters of thermal coal earned more than $5 billion in 2023? Click here to find out the key driver behind the overseas coal sales surge in a feature by Gavin Maguire , Reuters global energy transition columnist.
Labor abuse in fashion. Click here for a comment piece on how three brands are trying to change the narrative by Aine Clarkeand Rosie Monaghanat the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre for Ethical Corp Magazine.
Battery minerals are facing a commodities market downturn, especially in Australia, writes Breakingviews columnist Antony Currie. Click here to find out what this means for the electric vehicle industry Down Under.
Breakingviews: Renault CEO Luca de Meo has just canceled a public float he doesn’t need in a market environment he doesn’t like. The French carmaker’s boss had hoped to clinch a valuation of up to 10 billion euros for Ampere, its recently spun off electric-vehicle division.
De Meo backtracked on the listing plan blaming market volatility and “childish” investors’ doubts on the EV market’s long-term prospects. Ampere’s initial public offering (IPO) setback is in reality a blessing in disguise.
De Meo, however, remains confident that the regulatory constraints the European Union has imposed on fossil fuel-powered cars, including CO2 targets set at 50 grams per kilometer per car from 2030, will support the strong growth of electric cars. Click here for the full comment piece by Breakingviews contributor Pierre Briançon.
Number of the Week
Multilateral lender Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is backing a plan that could see nearly $300 million invested to help Kenya integrate more renewable energy into its grid and meet a goal of using 100% clean energy by 2030, CIF said.
An initial allocation by CIF of $46.4 million on generous terms is expected to draw in at least an extra $243 million from the public and private sectors, including through the African Development Bank and the World Bank Group, it said.
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