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KIGALI, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his counterpart from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Felix Tshisekedi met at Rwanda's border town Rubavu on Friday to discuss bilateral relations.

Tshisekedi was received by Kagame at La Corniche One-Stop Border Post in Rubavu before the two leaders toured Rubavu to assess the damage caused by the recent earthquakes following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano in eastern DRC.

Later in the day, the two presidents held a closed door bilateral meeting in Rubavu.

Rwanda and the DRC enjoy warm bilateral relations, and the two presidents wish to strengthen bilateral cooperation, Vincent Biruta, Rwandan minister of foreign affairs, said at public broadcaster Rwanda Television during an evening news program.

The two countries are looking forward to strengthening bilateral ties in trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges, said Biruta.

According to Biruta, Rwanda and the DRC have recently witnessed an increase in cross border trade, which is key to improving social and economic development between the two neighbouring countries.

He said Rwanda and the DRC have maintained close high-level exchanges, which shows the two countries attach great importance to bilateral relations.

On Saturday, Kagame is expected to reciprocate the visit by visiting Goma town in eastern DRC where he is expected to be welcomed by Tshisekedi.

Delegations from both countries are expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements to further strengthen bilateral ties. - Xinhua

The logo of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is seen during a news conference after a plenary session at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France, on October 18, 2019. Photo Reuters

 

Global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force has removed Ghana from its increased monitoring process and added other nations to the list. 

"The FATF congratulated Ghana for the significant progress it has made," the Financial Action Task Force said in a statement on Friday.

Haiti, Malta, the Philippines and South Sudan were placed on the organisation's "grey list" to monitor and counter money laundering and terrorist financing.

FATF said nations on the "grey list" are working with it to correct deficiencies in their financial systems.

Malta's Prime Minister Robert Abela pledged to improve oversight on financial crimes on Wednesday. He spoke at a press conference ahead of the official FATF announcement.

FATF's mostly African list

The task force places on the grey list countries subjected to increased monitoring who have "committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes".

Nineteen countries — mostly in Africa and none in Europe — are currently under increased monitoring by the intergovernmental watchdog, which was created in 1989.

While describing the decision as "undeserved", Abela said Malta would remain committed to more reforms in fighting money laundering.

"While I consider this decision as one which is unjust, our country will continue to build on the many reforms we have already done", Abela said.

"Instead of complaining, we will see this challenge as an opportunity", he told journalists, pledging to respect the watchdog's decision.

Impact on Malta's foreign investment

The move comes one month after the Council of Europe's anti-money laundering body, Moneyval, cited Malta's improvement in combating money laundering based on the country's higher international compliance ratings in certain areas.

Malta had reached full compliance with 12 of FATF's 40 recommendations, Moneyval said last month, retaining "minor deficiencies" in the implementation of 28 others.

Media in Malta this week quoted senior government sources as saying that the United States, Britain and Germany were among those wanting the island to be grey-listed.

Inclusion on the list can have negative consequences for Malta's financial services, especially gaming and banking, as well as its attractiveness to foreign investment — all of which are key to the economy.

Malta has long been dogged by charges of laxity on corruption, the focus of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia's investigations before her 2017 murder. - TRT World

 

KIGALI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) received today US$5.3 million from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) to provide humanitarian food assistance in the form of cash transfers to over 104,000 Congolese and Burundian refugees in camps across Rwanda.

WFP’s refugee operation has faced severe resourcing constraints in 2021 and WFP was forced to reduce general food assistance rations to 40 percent of a full ration in March and April 2021. Nutrition assistance to protect against malnutrition and school feeding continued without any cuts.

In May, WFP with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, began needs-based targeting of food assistance for refugees who now receive different ration sizes based on vulnerability. Backed by the United States, the step was taken in collaboration with the Ministry of Emergency Management with technical support from a UNHCR-WFP Programme Excellence and Targeting Hub.

“We are grateful for this generous contribution from the American people,” said Edith Heines, WFP Rwanda Representative and Country Director. “This along with contributions from other donors allows WFP to increase rations from 80 percent of a full ration in May to 92 percent in June for the most vulnerable refugees and from 40 to 46 percent for moderately vulnerable refugees.”

Food assistance for refugees in Rwanda is provided in the form of cash-based transfers to allow refugees to purchase the food of their choice from the local markets in and around refugee camps.

 

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter: @wfp_africa, @EdithHeinesWFP

 - World Food Programme

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