Sep 152014
 

PRETORIA, South-Africa, September 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Special Envoy Said Djinnit completed a two-day visit to South Africa, as part of his first tour of signatory countries of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the DRC and the region. The Special Envoy met with Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Minister of State Security, Mr. David Mahlobo.

“South Africa is a crucial regional partner. South African troops in the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade in DRC play a vital role in maintaining stability in eastern DRC, and I commend the dedication of South African men and women to this fundamental task. As a signatory country to the PSC Framework, South Africa further helps establish key linkages between the ICGLR and SADC and spur regional cooperation on priority issues under the Framework”, Mr. Djinnit said.

Special Envoy Djinnit and South African officials discussed progress in the implementation of the PSC Framework, focusing in particular on neutralization of negative forces, and the need to strengthen regional relations. “I am pleased with the constructive discussions I had and the support I received in South Africa for my mandate. I look forward to working closely with the Government of South Africa, as a PSC Framework signatory country and Chair of the SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security, to make progress on some of the most urgent issues we face under the Framework, such as the FDLR. I am also pleased with South Africa’s pledge of support for an upcoming Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference, which shows a shared long-term vision under the PSC Framework towards lasting peace and greater economic development for the region”, according to Mr. Djinnit.

Sep 152014
 

DAKAR, Senegal, September 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ten African journalists, including three in Kenya, two in Ethiopia, two in South Africa, one in Burkina Faso, one in Ghana, and one in Rwanda, have been selected as finalists in the 2014 APO Media Award (#APOMediaAward) (http://www.apo-opa.com/apo-media-award.php).

Logo APO: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/apo-african-press-organization-small.png

Photos of the finalists: http://bit.ly/1qOdGN1

APO Media Award celebrates brilliant and inspiring stories about Africa. Stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact.

2014 APO Media Award Finalists are:

Aimable Twahirwa (@atwahirwa) – Rwanda

“Tech Entrepreneur Encourages Rwanda’s Young Women to Venture into ICT” (http://bit.ly/1ogmYkJ)

Andualem Sisay Gessesse (@andualemsisay ) – Ethiopia

“The new face of agriculture in arid Ethiopia?” (http://bit.ly/1pALjMX)

Claire Muthinji (@cmuthinji) – Kenya

“Maintaining a strong saving culture in Africa” (http://bit.ly/Wpv6mE)

Elias Gebreselassie Woldegebriel (@EliasGebre) – Ethiopia

“For Ethiopia, wildlife protection makes economic and climate sense” (http://tmsnrt.rs/ZcpUEK)

Félix Dela Klutse (@felixklutse) – Ghana

“Unlocking the potential of agribusiness in Africa” (http://bit.ly/1pAM60f)

Inoussa Maiga (@MaigaInou) – Burkina Faso

“La révolution mobile au Sahel” (http://bit.ly/1AiJRF2)

Kristia Van Heerden (@k_r_isis) – South Africa

“How the poor can make you rich” (http://bit.ly/ZcqRgm)

Peter Kahare (@PeterKahare) – Kenya

“In Saving a Forest, Kenyans Find a Better Quality of Life ” (http://bit.ly/1qp3PJh)

Pius Sawa (@kharunda) – Kenya

“Cheap, green solar bottles light up Kenyan slum” (http://tmsnrt.rs/1rNAlco)

Sumitra Nydoo (@sumitranydoo) – South Africa

“South Africa’s Wonderbag Revolutionizes Cooking” (http://bit.ly/1qvB9SW)

The three winners will be announced on 29 September 2014.

The first-place winner will be presented with $500 a month for one year, one laptop and one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of his or her choice as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide.

The second-place winner will be awarded $300 a month for one year.

The third-place winner will receive $200 a month for one year.

Follow APO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source

Follow the hashtag: #APOMediaAward

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization).

Contact:

award@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

About APO

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Sep 152014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Situation assessment – 12 September 2014

The situation in Senegal, which confirmed its first case of Ebola virus disease on 29 August, remains stable. To date, 67 close contacts of the initial case have been identified and monitored twice daily.

2 of these contacts who developed symptoms were tested for Ebola. Test results were negative. An additional 3 suspected cases across the country were also tested, with negative results.

Starting from 29 August, forty-two days – twice the maximum incubation period – must pass with good surveillance in place and no additional cases reported, before WHO can declare Senegal transmission-free.

However, intense virus transmission in other countries within the sub-region creates a high risk that Senegal will experience additional introductions of Ebola cases.

Responding to the outbreak

The investigation in Senegal benefits from the presence of an Institut Pasteur laboratory in Dakar, where the initial case was identified. This WHO-approved collaborating centre has excellent facilities and staff.

Work undertaken by the Ministry of Health has been supported from the start by two senior WHO epidemiologists, senior staff from Doctors without Borders (MSF), and a team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All have extensive experience responding to previous outbreaks of Ebola virus disease and the related Marburg haemorrhagic fever.

Optimism about the further evolution of the outbreak in Senegal is justified but must be tempered with several cautions and reservations.

Preventing further transmission of Ebola

As in every outbreak investigation, doubts remain about whether all contacts have been identified. Aggressive efforts to identify additional contacts continue, aiming to ensure that no one has been missed.

As elsewhere, the investigation and response teams face difficulties in keeping close contacts in isolation for the 21-day monitoring period.

Contacts have remained in their homes, usually with their families, where they are checked twice daily for symptoms and tested if symptoms develop. Some contacts have resisted monitoring, but none has been lost to follow-up.

Although Senegal has banned all flights from other affected countries, road travellers from Guinea and elsewhere can cross the country’s porous borders. WHO has repeatedly advised countries not to issue travel bans, which are ineffective and needlessly disruptive.

The history of Senegal’s initial case, who arrived in Dakar by road on 20 August, reveals multiple opportunities for high-risk exposure. Continued high-level vigilance is essential; the risk of similar imported cases remains high.

Fortunately, the initial case has now fully recovered; his last 2 blood samples have tested negative for Ebola virus. He will be released soon from hospital, raising questions about his reintegration into a social situation characterized by high yet irrational fear and widespread misinformation about the risk of Ebola transmission for the general population.

Scientists do not fully understand why some Ebola patients recover and others succumb. Prior to the current outbreak, Ebola was considered a rare disease and clinical information is limited.

Some anecdotal case reports from the current outbreak in west Africa suggest that age and the presence of comorbidities are associated with a poor prognosis.

To support the global response to the current outbreak in west Africa, Senegal has agreed to open a humanitarian corridor to facilitate the transport and delivery of international personnel and supplies to affected countries.

Sep 122014
 

PRETORIA, South-Africa, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Special Envoy Said Djinnit completed a two-day visit to South Africa, as part of his first tour of signatory countries of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the DRC and the region. The Special Envoy met with Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Minister of State Security, Mr. David Mahlobo.

“South Africa is a crucial regional partner. South African troops in the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade in DRC play a vital role in maintaining stability in eastern DRC, and I commend the dedication of South African men and women to this fundamental task. As a signatory country to the PSC Framework, South Africa further helps establish key linkages between the ICGLR and SADC and spur regional cooperation on priority issues under the Framework”, Mr. Djinnit said.

Special Envoy Djinnit and South African officials discussed progress in the implementation of the PSC Framework, focusing in particular on neutralization of negative forces, and the need to strengthen regional relations. “I am pleased with the constructive discussions I had and the support I received in South Africa for my mandate. I look forward to working closely with the Government of South Africa, as a PSC Framework signatory country and Chair of the SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security, to make progress on some of the most urgent issues we face under the Framework, such as the FDLR. I am also pleased with South Africa’s pledge of support for an upcoming Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference, which shows a shared long-term vision under the PSC Framework towards lasting peace and greater economic development for the region”, according to Mr. Djinnit.

Sep 122014
 

VATICAN, Holy See, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The education of young people in order to overcome violence and inequality, the participation of the Church in building society and the consolidation of peace and her mission in aid of “those whom life has wounded” were the main issues in the discourse Pope Francis handed to the bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo this morning, at the end of their “ad Limina” visit.

“The Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a young Church”, writes the Holy Father. “However, it is also a Church of youth. Children and adolescents, in particular, need God’s strength to help them resist the many temptations of a precarious life in which they are unable to study or find work. I am sympathetic to their plight, and I know you share their sorrows, their joys and hopes. I think with horror especially of those children and young people conscripted into militias and forced to kill their own countrymen. I encourage you, therefore, to pursue the pastoral care of youth. By providing the greatest assistance possible, especially through the creation of spaces for human, spiritual and professional formation, you can help them discover their deepest vocation that predisposes them to encounter the Lord”.

“The most effective way to overcome violence, inequality and ethnic divisions is to equip the young with a critical mind and to offer them the opportunity to mature an understanding of Gospel values. It is also necessary to strengthen pastoral care in universities and in Catholic and public schools, combining education with the clear proclamation of the Gospel. … Similarly, to face the problem of family breakdown, caused in particular by war and poverty, it is essential to promote and encourage all initiatives to strengthen the family, the source of brotherhood and the foundation and first road to peace”.

“Fidelity to the Gospel also implies that the Church participates in the construction of the city. One of the most valuable contributions that the local church can offer your country is to help people rediscover the relevance of faith in daily life and the need to promote the common good. Similarly, leading figures in the nation, enlightened by pastors and in relation to their skills, can also be supported in incorporating Christian teachings in their personal lives and in the exercise of their duties in the service of the state and society. In this sense, the Magisterium of the Church, especially the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation “Africae munus” and the recent apostolic exhortation “Evangelii gaudium”, are invaluable tools”.

The Pope urges the Congolese bishops to “work tirelessly for the establishment of a just and lasting peace through a pastoral of dialogue and reconciliation among the various sectors of society, supporting the process of disarmament, and promoting effective collaboration with other religious denominations”. He emphasises that at this time, when the country is currently experiencing political events that are important for the future, “it is necessary for the Church to make her contribution, avoiding the risk of becoming substitute for political institutions and temporal realities that must retain their autonomy”. In particular, pastors must be careful not to take on roles that rightfully belong to the lay faithful, whose mission is justly that of bearing witness to Christ and the Gospel in politics and in all other areas of their activities”.

After highlighting the need for collaboration between all pastoral workers in the various fields of the apostolate, especially in education, health and charitable aid, Francis reminds the prelates that there are high expectations of them “in defence of spiritual and social values”, and he urges them to “provide guidance and solutions for the promotion of a society based on respect for the dignity of the human person”. In this regard, “attention to the poor and needy, as well as the elderly, the sick and disabled, should be the subject of adequate pastoral care under constant review”. Indeed, “the Church is called to be concerned with the wellbeing of these people and to bring the attention of society and public authorities to their situation”.

The Holy Father concludes by encouraging the bishops to be “men of hope for the people” and gave thanks for the work of all missionaries, priests, religious and other pastoral workers dedicated to the service of “those who have been wounded by life, the victims of violence, especially in the most isolated and remote areas of the country”, and reserved special mention for “the internally displaced and the many people who come from neighbouring countries”.

Sep 122014
 

VICTORIA, Seychelles, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Air Seychelles (http://www.airseychelles.com), shirika la ndege la kitaifa la Jamhuri ya Ushelisheli, imetangaza leo uzinduzi wa safari za moja kwa moja hadi Antananarivo, Madagaska, kuanzia tarehe 3 Desemba 2014.*

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/as.png

Sagari hizi mbili kwa wiki hadi Uwanja wa ndege wa Kimataifa wa capital’s Ivato (TNR) zitakuwa zikiendeshwa kwa kutumia ndege ya Airbus A320 yenye vitengo viwili na viti 16 vya kitengo cha Biashara na 120 vya kitengo cha Uchumi.

Madagaska inajulikana kwa vivutio vyake vya kipekee vya mimea na wanyama, hasa Maeneo tatu ya Urithi Duniani ya UNESCO —msitu wa mvua wa Atsinanana, Hifadhi Asili ya Tsingy de Bemaraha , na Mlima wa Kifalme wa Ambohimanga, kituo cha kiroho cha watu wa Merina.

Huduma hizi mpya zitaifanya hii kuwa nchi ya nne ya Air Seychelles katika mtandao wa kimkoa unaokua haraka ambao unajumuisha Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg na Mauritius.

Manoj Papa, Afisa Mkuu Mtendaji wa Air Seychelles, alisema: “Tunafuraha sana kuongeza Antananarivo kwenye mtandao wetu mkuu, kwa njia hiyo tunaimarisha msimamo wetu kama shirika linalopendelewa katika mkoa wa Bahari Hindi.

“Madagaska inafurahisha ukuaji dhabiti wa uchumu kutokana na uwekezaji wa kigeni na utalii wa mazingira. Ndege zetu zitashughulikia hitaji linalokua la usafiri wa biashara na burudani kwa kisiwa ambacho ni cha nne kikubwa zaidi duniani.

“Njia hii itaboresha biashara na utalii katika njia zote, na hasa, inakaribishwa na idadi kubwa ya watu wa Malagasi wanaoishi Ushelisheli, ambao sasa wana njia rahisi ya kuwatembelea marafiki na familia nyumba ni.

“Kupitia kitovu chetu cha Mahé, tutawapa wageni wanaotoka Madagaska njia nyingine nzuri za visiwa vingi vya Ushelisheli, kwa kuongezea maeneo yanayohuduiwa na ndege zetu katika Mashariki ya Kati, Ulaya na Asia, na hata pia na washirika wetu wa ‘codeshare’.”

Ndege ya A320 itatoa pia tani saba za mizigo ya kusafirisha kila wiki kwenda na kutoka Madagaska, ambayo ina soko dhabiti la mizigo inayoingia na kutoka. Shirika hili linatarajia kubeba mchanganyiko wa vitu vinavyoweza kuharibika au kuoza, vipuri vya kiufundi na dawa katika njia hii.

Joël Morgan, Waziri wa Ushelisheli wa Mambo ya Nyumbani na Uchukuzi na Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Air Seychelles, alisema safari hizi mpya ni kiashirio cha mafanikio ya Air Seychelles, na hata pia umuhimu wa Ushelisheli kama kitovu kipya cha eneo.

“Bahari Hindi ni kitovu cha maendeleo ya mtandao wetu wa njia, na tunafuraha kuwa sasa Antananarivo ni sehemu ya mtandao wa Air Seychelles. Inaashiria hatua muhimu katika mkakati wetu wa kupanuka katika eneo hili.

“Mapema mwaka huu, Ushelisheli na Madagaska ilitia saini Makubaliano mapya ya Huduma za ndege, ambapo matoleo yaliyoboreshwa yamewezesha moja kwa moja utangazaji wa safari hizi.

“Safari ya moja kwa moja hadi Antananarivo itafungua nafasi mpya kwa serikali, biashara, utalii na mabadilishano ya kitamaduni katika Bahari Hindi, na kupitia mtandao wetu mkuu, tutaunganisha eneo hili kwa dunia.

“Tunatoa pia chaguo za ratiba mpya kwa wasafiri, kwa hivyo kutoa chaguo na urahisi zaidi katika eneo hili, na kufanya hazina ya kupendeza ya utamaduni, mkusanyiko wa wanyama, na mimea kufikiwa zaidi kwa walio kwenye likizo, iwe ni wanaokuja hapa tu au wanaochanganya na ziara nyingine kwa visiwa vingine vya eneo, kama vile Comores, Mayotte, Mauritius, or Réunion.”

Huduma ya Air Seychelles kuelekea Antananarivo, inastahili kuanza tarehe 3Desemba 2014: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/tablesw.png

*inategemea vibali vya serikali

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Air Seychelles.

Maswali ya Vyombo vya Habari

Alan Renaud, Meneja Mkuu wa Masuala ya Kampuni

Simu: +248 2525741

Barua Pepe: arenaud@airseychelles.com

Kuhusu Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles (http://www.airseychelles.com) ilianzishwa mwaka wa 1978 na ilianza huduma yake ya safari ndefu mwaka wa 1983. Shirika hili linatoa sasa safari za kimataifa hadi Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Paris. Air Seychelles hutoa pia safari zaidi ya 200 zilizoratibiwa za kindani kwa wiki katika archipelago na hata pia huduma za kukodisha za kindani. Kama shirika la ndege la kitaifa la Jamhuri ya ushelisheli, Air Seychelles ni nguzo ya utalii, sekta dhabiti na inayokua ya kiuchumi ya taifa hili la kisiwa. Shirika hili la ndege linadumisha ushirikiano wa kimkakati na Etihad Airways, shirika kuu la ndege la taifa la Muungano wa Falme za Kiarabu na lenye asilimia 40 la hisa. Kwa maelezo zaidi, tafadhali tembelea: www.airseychelles.com.

 Uncategorized
Sep 122014
 

VICTORIA, Seychelles, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Air Seychelles (http://www.airseychelles.com), the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, today announced the launch of direct flights to Antananarivo, Madagascar, commencing 3 December 2014.*

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/as.png

The twice-weekly flights to the capital’s Ivato International Airport (TNR) will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.

Madagascar is renowned for its extraordinary botanical and zoological attractions, in particular three UNESCO World Heritage Sites —the rainforests of the Atsinanana, the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, and the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, the spiritual centre of the Merina people.

The new services will be Air Seychelles’ fourth destination in a rapidly expanding regional network that includes Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Mauritius.

Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are thrilled to add Antananarivo to our global network, further cementing our position as the airline of choice in the Indian Ocean region.

“Madagascar is enjoying strong economic growth from renewed foreign investment and surging eco-tourism. Our flights will cater to the growing demand for business and leisure travel to what is the world’s fourth largest island.

“The route will boost trade and tourism in both directions, and in particular, be welcomed by the large number of Malagasy nationals living in the Seychelles, who now have an easier way of visiting friends and family at home.

“Via our Mahé hub, we will offer guests coming from Madagascar great onward connections to many of the islands in the Seychelles, in addition to destinations served by our fleet in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, as well as with our codeshare partners.”

The A320 aircraft will also offer over seven tonnes of weekly bellyhold freight capacity to and from Madagascar, which has a strong inbound and outbound cargo market. The airline expects to carry a mixture of perishables, mechanical spare parts and pharmaceuticals on the route.

Joël Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and Air Seychelles Board Chairman, said the new flights were indicative of Air Seychelles’ successful turnaround, as well as the Seychelles’ importance as a new regional hub.

“The Indian Ocean is at the heart of our route network development, and we are delighted Antananarivo is now a part of the Air Seychelles network. It marks an important milestone in our regional expansion strategy.

“Earlier this year, the Seychelles and Madagascar signed a new Air Services Agreement, where enhanced provisions have directly facilitated the announcement of flights.

“The direct links to Antananarivo will create new opportunities for government, trade, tourism and cultural exchanges within the Indian Ocean, and through our global network, connect the region to the world.

“We also offer significant new schedule options for travellers, providing more choice and flexibility within the region, and making Madagascar’s splendid treasury of culture, fauna, and flora more accessible than ever to holidaymakers, whether as a standalone destination or in combination with visits to other islands of the region, such as Comores, Mayotte, Mauritius, or Réunion.”

Download the table “Air Seychelles’ Antananarivo service, due to commence 3 December 2014″: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1359

*subject to government approvals

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Air Seychelles.

Media inquiries

Alan Renaud, General Manager Corporate Affairs

Tel: +248 2525741

Email: arenaud@airseychelles.com

About Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles (http://www.airseychelles.com) was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. The airline currently offers international flights to Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Paris. Air Seychelles also offers more than 200 domestic scheduled flights a week throughout the archipelago, as well as domestic charter services. As the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, Air Seychelles is a pillar of tourism, the island nation’s strongest and growing economic sector. The airline maintains a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and 40 per cent stakeholder. For more information, please visit: http://www.airseychelles.com.

Sep 122014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The crisis that erupted in the Central African Republic (CAR) in December 2012 triggering widespread sectarian violence, massive internal displacement and an outflow of CAR nationals and migrants into neighbouring countries, will have profound long term social-economic implications for the country, according to a new IOM working paper: “Migration Dimensions of the Crisis in the Central African Republic”.

The report comprises four sections that look at the political context of the crisis; the various types of migration in CAR; the impact of the conflict on migration flows; and the short, medium and long term socio-economic implications for the country.

Part I examines the CAR’s history of political insecurity with a specific emphasis on the most recent wave of violence, its deep rooted political complexity and its drift into an ethno-religious confrontation between Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka militias. According to the report, this sectarian divide was often a mask for generalized violence and banditry. The violence has been declining in recent months.

The section also briefly outlines the current international response, including UN Security Council Resolution 2149, which in April 2014 authorized the creation of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), which is scheduled to deploy up to 10,000 peacekeepers in the country from September 2014.

Part 2 of the report explores the various forms of migration in CAR and how various migratory trends have been impacted by the conflict. This includes migration between rural and urban areas, labour migration linked to natural resource exploitation, transhumance or seasonal migration of pastoralists, international migration and massive conflict-related displacement, which peaked at over a million people in January 2014, but has since declined.

Part 3 looks at the immediate impact of the crisis on migrants and displaced populations. It highlights the specific vulnerabilities and key issues faced by the different ethno-religious and migrant groups and examines how the crisis has compounded livelihood insecurity both in CAR and in neighbouring countries, notably Chad and Cameroon. It also looks at the implications of massive outward migration from CAR to neighbouring countries lacking adequate resources to process and reintegrate either their own nationals, refugees or migrants from third countries.

Part 4 summarizes the short, medium and long term implications of the crisis on displacement and mobility. It examines how future mobility patterns will impact the overall socio-economic situation of the country, which has progressively worsened over the course of the conflict. It highlights in particular the risks of food insecurity and potential land and property challenges related to returns and citizenship, which may be a source of further or repeated displacement.

“Migration Dimensions of the Crisis in the Central African Republic” is one of a series of papers produced as part of IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF). The papers aim to help policy-makers and practitioners gain a deeper understanding of the full spectrum of mobility issues during a crisis, including the humanitarian, security, cultural and socio-economic ramifications for transitioning to eventual post-conflict recovery. To date, similar publications have been released on Mali, Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

To download a copy of the CAR report please go to: http://www.iom.int/cms/CAR

Sep 122014
 

BERN, Switzerland, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Switzerland is stepping up its aid in the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Swiss Humanitarian Aid is pledging an additional CHF 2 million to fund various direct measures in Liberia.

In view of the continuing spread of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Swiss Humanitarian Aid has decided to allocate an additional CHF 2 million to efforts on the ground to combat the virus and consequences of the epidemic. The extra funding will be used to support Médecins sans frontières Switzerland (MSF) and the World Food Programme (WFP). CHF 1 million will go to a MSF emergency programme for north Liberia. The remaining CHF 1 million will be used by WFP for a regional emergency operation to fend off the hunger crisis triggered by the epidemic in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The amount of CHF 2 million is being pledged in addition to the CHF 1.65 million already donated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in direct response to the Ebola crisis. The total amount of financial support provided by Switzerland since the first incidence of the disease was reported in March 2014 thus stands at CHF 3.65 million.

Following a request by the Liberian authorities, Swiss Humanitarian Aid sent 14 tonnes of medical supplies to Monrovia (Liberia) at the beginning of September. In total, 31,000 bottles of hand disinfectant, 300,000 protective gloves, 100,000 masks, 200 body bags, 6,840 intravenous drips and 3,000 rehydration solutions were handed over to the Liberian authorities.

Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in March 2014 in Guinea Conakry, the SDC has been closely monitoring the situation from its programme office in Liberia and through its network of partners. The latest developments underscore the urgent need for additional medical supplies and staff to combat the epidemic. As part of its response, Swiss Humanitarian Aid activated an agreement with the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) at the start of this month, enabling it to send a joint needs- assessment mission to West Africa. Dr Olivier Hagon, head of the Medical expert group of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) and Prof. Laurent Kaiser, Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases at HUG and Head of the Laboratory for Virology, which is the national reference centre for emerging viral infections, returned from their mission earlier this week. The results of their needs assessment are currently being analysed and evaluated.

At international level, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating efforts to fight and prevent the spread of the Ebola epidemic. Switzerland’s financial support to WHO in 2014 is budgeted at approximately CHF 12 million in total.

Sep 122014
 

ROME, Italy, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Includes new figures on the number of hungry people in the world, key lessons from individual countries on food security and nutrition.

On Tuesday 16 September at 10:00h Rome-time, the three Rome-based UN food agencies – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) – will launch the new edition of the annual The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) report.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) is published jointly by FAO, IFAD and WFP.

This year’s edition of SOFI presents new estimates on the number and proportion of chronically undernourished people in the world and also reports on progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets.

The report also examines seven case studies – Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi, Yemen – that highlight diverse experiences in creating an enabling environment to improve impact on hunger and malnutrition.

The new SOFI and its main findings will be presented at a news conference at FAO’s headquarters, which will be webcast live at http://www.fao.org/webcast/

The report will also be available online from 10:00 at http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi/en/

WHO: José Graziano da Silva – Director-General, FAO

Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, WFP

John McIntire, Associate Vice-President on behalf of President Kanayo Nwanze, IFAD

WHAT: News conference to present 2014 edition of the UN’s

annual world hunger report

WHEN: Tuesday 16 September 2014, 10:00h CET

WHERE: Sheikh Zayed Media Centre, FAO headquarters

Rome, Italy | Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, corner with Viale Aventino. Metro stop Circo Massimo.

Accreditation will take place at the main FAO visitor’s entry kiosk. A valid press card or letter of assignment on company stationery, plus picture ID, required.

Webcast: http://www.fao.org/webcast/

Twitter hashtags: #UNFAO #SOFI2014 #foodsecurity #foodinsecurity #hunger

Twitter accounts: @faonews, @faoknowledge, @IFADnews @WFP, @WFP_media

More information: FAO media office, (+39) 06 570 53625, FAO-Newsroom@fao.org