18 January 2018

Africa: UK Prime Minister Appoints Minister for Loneliness

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a Minister for Loneliness in a drive to tackle social isolation, a problem endured by 9 million Britons.

Theresa appointed Tracey Crouch to implement a project started by late MP Jo Cox, who was murdered before the European Union referendum by a man who shouted "Britain first" during the attack.

Speaking after her appointment, Crouch sought to explain what loneliness means, saying: "I can describe it (loneliness) like a cancer, it seems to eat you away, nobody knows what goes on behind the scenes of closed doors when you don't have the will to get dressed or go on."

The BBC quoted Prime Minister May saying, "Jo Cox recognised the scale of loneliness across the country and dedicated herself to doing all she could to help those affected."

The Minister for Loneliness said she plans to use "simple acts of companionship" to help avert loneliness that is gravely affecting an estimated half of people aged over 75 live alone - about two million people across England - with many saying they can go days, even weeks, with no social interaction at all.

Late last year, a county in Nigeria also appointed a commissioner for happiness to help cheer up sad people in the state.

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha named his sister as the Happiness Commissioner.

In her maiden speech she said, "Happiness can mean anything to anybody, for some people happiness means having food on their table, some it's about schools, some it's about the roads for some it's about security."

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