UNMISS launches destruction of weapons confiscated from internally displaced persons

JUBA, South Sudan, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Mission in South Sudan destroyed 25 firearms and hundreds of knives, machetes, and similar weapons confiscated from internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in its protection-of-civilians sites in Juba at a public event held today in its Tomping compound.

In the presence of foreign diplomats and members of the news media, staff members of the United Nations Mine Action Service fed pistols, AK-47 assault rifles, iron bars and other arms into a weapons shearing machine that sliced the items into small, unusable pieces.

Over 1,500 rounds of ammunition recovered from IDPs will be detonated near the community of Nyolo south of Juba tomorrow. Similar weapons and ammunition destruction events will be held later this month at UNMISS bases in Malakal, Nassir, Wau, Bentiu and Bor.

“In order to reassure all concerned parties that the weapons and ammunition will never be used to commit any acts of violence including human rights violations, UNMISS has decided to destroy these items in full public view,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Loej. “These measures will maintain the civilian character of UNMISS protection sites.”

SRSG Loej noted that since the crisis in South Sudan began nearly a year ago, all civilians and ex-combatants seeking shelter at the Mission’s compounds have undergone thorough security checks and surrendered all weapons in their possession before being admitted into UNMISS protection sites.

All weapons have been carefully inventoried and securely stored from the time they came into the possession of the Mission. Periodic searches of the protection sites conducted by UNMISS police and military personnel have also been carried out in order to protect the civilian character of the sites.

“These arms and ammunition have been recovered from civilians and ex-combatants regardless of their political loyalties or ethnic backgrounds,” said the SRSG.

“We hope that the destruction of all confiscated and ammunition in the Mission’s custody will help foster an environment that is conducive to the silencing of the guns and the restoration of peace to the world’s youngest nation-state,” concluded SRSG Loej.

Powering Africa: Summit set to advance deals and partnerships for Africa’s power industries in Washington D.C. this January

WASHINGTON, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Over the last 20 years EnergyNet has co-ordinated investor meetings with some of the most reliable and successful power developers operating on the continent of Africa. Symbion Power, GE, Siemens, Copperbelt, Goldwind, Azura Power, Aldwych, Karpowership, Globeleq, Schneider Electric, ESBi, Transcorp, Chint, China State Grid, Hanergy and others have all been companies that have made long term commitments to the sector and invested in sustainable solutions. These are powerful companies with strong balance sheets backed by some of the biggest banks.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/poweringafricasummit.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141209en.png

Despite all this interest, knowledge and experience, billions of dollars has been spent on development over the last 20 years and many projects have not reached financial closure. Therefore, one key question is how sustainable is the current way of doing things?

How can investors take greater responsibility for the success and speed of the development of long standing projects? Ultimately, African governments and the public sector are the ‘power in Africa’ and it is their responsibility to build power stations and distribute power for the people. Electrification could lead to increased wealth for all, but equally importantly it could lead to increased stability in order to promote further private sector investment, creating more jobs and even more wealth.

It all sounds so simple…. Of course it does, but when a potential investor works across the continent with ministries that lack IT infrastructure and any real depth of international experience across all departments, one starts to understand the challenge that governments and developers face when trying to reach agreements.

Over the last year we’ve seen a change in conversation and indeed a change in the right direction focused on capacity building and infrastructure support for public sector entities.

Symbion Power, Schneider, GE, Aggreko, and Norton Rose Fulbright among others have been investing in long term capacity building including providing grass roots level training. These companies, along with PwC and Deloitte are working with public sector corporations on additional development projects to support capacity development. One of the game change actions has of course been the launch of President Obama’s “Power Africa” initiative designed to increase access to electricity in all of sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa seeks to strengthen the institutional and human capacity needed to attract investment on a long-term, sustainable basis, and to effectively manage a growing power sector.

Since its launch in late June 2013, Power Africa has helped facilitate the financial close of private sector transactions which expect to produce over 3,100 Megawatts (MW) of new generation capacity. In addition, Power Africa has already mobilized more than $20 billion in commitments from more than 80 private sector partners. Power Africa has also forged strategic partnerships with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Government of Sweden, which together have committed an additional $9 billion.

At the ‘Powering Africa: Summit’ (http://www.poweringafrica-summit.com) in Washington next month many of the challenges and opportunities will be discussed, with many of the investors in the initiative present including those from the AfDB, World Bank, the United States Government and private sector partners.

With such powerful cooperation among international investors in play, we’re sure that it’s not so much an ‘if’ this will create opportunities, as ‘when’ those opportunities will impact the lives of those on the ground.

Having focused solely on Africa’s power sector and frontier market power generation for 20 years, EnergyNet has had the privilege to witness the passion and long term commitment it takes to ‘turn the lights on in Africa.’ Today there is more enthusiasm and more ‘expectation’ about the potential of Africa’s electricity market, and we’re delighted to play [even] such a small role within such an important and exciting sector.

From 28-30th January 2015, EnergyNet will welcome a high powered delegation of Ministers and officials from utilities and regulatory bodies from Africa to meet with US private and public sector stakeholders at the Powering Africa: Summit where they will continue the crucial conversation on how to maintain the momentum behind building up Africa’s power sector.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EnergyNet Ltd.

For more information about the Powering Africa Summit:

Meeting dates: 28-30th January 2015

Venue: St. Regis Hotel, Washington DC.

Contact: Amy Offord, Marketing Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 8068

Email: pa-s@energynet.co.uk

Visit: http://www.poweringafrica-summit.com

After 23 Years, IOM, UNHCR Repatriate First Somali Refugees from Kenya

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM, in collaboration with UNHCR, yesterday (8/12) began the voluntary repatriation of 94 Somali refugees from Kenya, 23 years after conflict and famine drove them from their homeland.

The refugees, from the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex that hosts over 350,000 Somali refugees, travelled in two IOM buses with their possessions to the Dhobley way station in Afmadow District, Lower Juba, on the Somali-Kenya border.

The repatriation process is the outcome of the tri-partite agreement signed between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR in November 2013, agreeing a dignified and humane repatriation process for Somali refugees in Kenya on a voluntary basis.

IOM will provide food, accommodation and water at the way station and also advise the returnees on routes to their final destinations. The refugees will receive repatriation packages including food rations for three months, non-food items and a livelihood start-up grant from UNHCR and its partners.

Although Somalia is still affected by conflict, a few pockets are safe to receive returnees, especially those liberated by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“I am glad to see men, women and children go back voluntarily in dignified manner to rebuild their country,” said IOM Somalia Chief of Mission, Ali Abdi. “IOM will continue to help vulnerable communities willing to return to Somalia by providing them with services such as health care, water and sanitation during the repatriation exercise.”

The repatriation process is supported by the Federal Government of Somalia and the Interim Jubaland Authority.

IOM Appeals for USD 93 Million to Aid Victims of South Sudan Conflict

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM is appealing for USD 93.3 million to respond to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan through 2015.

Aid agencies anticipate that over 6.4 million people will need assistance in the first quarter of 2015, including 1.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs), 290,000 refugees and millions facing food insecurity.

“IOM has 400 staff working in eight sub-offices throughout South Sudan. The needs here are as immense and diverse as the country and IOM will continue to play a key role in the humanitarian response,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission David Derthick.

On 15 December 2013, violence broke out in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, and quickly spread throughout the country. The humanitarian consequences of the ongoing crisis include massive population displacement, high rates of death, disease and injuries, severe food insecurity, disrupted livelihoods and wide scale malnutrition.

One year into the crisis, over 1.4 million people are internally displaced. Of these, over 100,000 individuals are seeking physical protection within UN (UNMISS) bases. This number is expected to increase as sporadic fighting continues and the frontlines of battle continue to shift.

The current crisis occurs against the backdrop of chronic poverty, as South Sudan remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

Tensions are particularly high in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states, where control has shifted between the warring parties several times in the past year. In 2015, the humanitarian community expects the total number of IDPs to rise to 1.95 million.

Protect our Girls, Urges AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security During her Nigeria Solidarity Mission

ABUJA, Nigeria, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Bineta Diop begun her Nigeria solidarity visit yesterday with a simple message, “protect our girls.” Speaking when she met members of the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign, a group that is advocating for greater global attention to the issue of the abducted Chibok girls, Diop pledged to take their plea for greater support, from AU member states, back to the leadership. “We have come to show solidarity with the people and Government of Nigeria and in particular with the families of the missing Chibok girls.”

Bineta Diop was joined by Amb. Diallo Amina Djibo of Niger in Ethiopia, who is also a member of AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and Justice Sophia Akuffo, former President of the African Court of Human and People’s rights.

Addressing members of the campaign, who gathered at a public park in Abuja, some of whom have been affected by the insurgency in the North, Amb. Djibo said, “This is an African women’s appeal. We are speaking first and foremost as mothers, whose daughters are missing. We cannot afford to continue ignoring the plight of our missing girls and we must speak out now.”

The team earlier held talks with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Gender and Social Affairs, Fatmata Sow and ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Salamatu Suleiman. The team also held a roundtable meeting with members of the Nigerian Women Peace and security Network.

The purpose of their visit is among others to echo the voices of the women of Nigeria and support them in their efforts to bring to an end the ordeal of the Chibok girls and all other forms of gender based violence. They are also here to support the Government of Nigeria’s efforts to bring back the girls abducted by Boko Haram and galvanize the support of civil society organizations that are assisting the victims. The team is also calling for peaceful elections and for greater participation of women in Nigeria’s political space as a step towards curbing conflicts in the region and ensuring a prosperous future.

“In order to achieve the goal of a peaceful and prosperous Continent, women must be part of that transformation process,” said Diop at the start of her mission, which ends on Friday 12 December.

Gemalto Launches Enhanced Visual and Tactile Security Features for Official Identity Documents

AMSTERDAM, Netherland, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653) (http://www.gemalto.com), the world leader in digital security, launches Sealys Secure Surface (http://www.gemalto.com/govt/sealys/sealys-secure-surface-feature), a new family of cost-effective security features for polycarbonate identity documents that strengthens protection against fraud by combining three different effects: light reflection, movement and tactile elements.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/gemalto.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141209g.jpg (Gemalto Sealys surface)

Sealys Secure Surface can be applied on the polycarbonate bodies of documents such as passport datapages, ID cards, healthcare cards, driver licenses, vehicle registrations, and resident permits. It offers visual and tactile effects that allow fast and efficient document authenticity checks, while legitimate document holders benefit from greater security and swift identification procedures.

Sealys Secure Surface is designed to enhance the security of existing features such as the changeable or multiple laser image, which enables several pieces of information – typically a portrait and a number – to be seen depending on the viewing angle.

• Sealys Lens Surface incorporates complex shapes and combinations of elements inside the changeable or multiple laser image, further strengthening the security of this graphical feature

• Sealys Optically Variable Surface provides brand-new optical elements with light reflective and animation effects, revealed by tilting a document at different angles.

• Sealys 3D Surface offers perceptible features for a polycarbonate document, such as surface embossing or Braille, with unmatched accuracy

“The three new innovative features can be elegantly combined to keep our customers one step ahead in the fight against fraud. They have already been implemented in a European national program since mid-November,” said Youzec Kurp, Vice President of Marketing & Products, Government Programs at Gemalto. “By combining Sealys Surface with Sealys Color in Polycarbonate (http://www.gemalto.com/govt/sealys/sealys-color-in-polycarbonate.html), a remarkable innovation that allows color photographs to be permanently embedded into polycarbonate documents, Gemalto brings to the market a unique combination of graphical security features.”

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

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security (http://www.gemalto.com/companyinfo/digital_security.html) with 2013 annual revenues of €2.4 billion and more than 12,000 employees operating out of 85 offices and 25 research and software development centers, located in 44 countries.

We are at the heart of the rapidly evolving digital society. Billions of people worldwide increasingly want the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain and work – anytime, everywhere – in ways that are enjoyable and safe. Gemalto delivers on their expanding needs for personal mobile services, payment security, authenticated cloud access, identity and privacy protection, eHealthcare and eGovernment efficiency, convenient ticketing and dependable machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. We develop secure embedded software and secure products which we design and personalize. Our platforms and services manage these products, the confidential data they contain and the trusted end-user services made possible.

Our innovations enable our clients to offer trusted and convenient digital services to billions of individuals. Gemalto thrives with the growing number of people using its solutions to interact with the digital and wireless world.

For more information visit www.gemalto.com, www.justaskgemalto.com, blog.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

Gemalto Media Contacts:

Kristel Teyras

Middle East & Africa

+33 1 55 01 57 89

kristel.teyras@gemalto.com

Peggy Edoire

Europe, Middle East & Africa

+33 4 42 36 45 40

peggy.edoire@gemalto.com

Vivian Liang

大中华地区 (Greater China)

+86 1059373046

vivian.liang@gemalto.com

Nicole Williams

North America

+1 512 758 8921

nicole.williams@gemalto.com

Pierre Lelievre

Asia Pacific

+65 6317 3802

pierre.lelievre@gemalto.com

Ernesto Haikewitsch

Latin America

+55 11 5105 9220

ernesto.haikewitsch@gemalto.com

DAMAC Properties Announce Tiger Woods Design to Create Golf Course for ‘AKOYA Oxygen’

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Golfing superstar Tiger Woods will design the new 18-hole championship golf course in Dubai to be built by luxury real estate developers, DAMAC Properties (http://www.damacproperties.com) and operated by The Trump Organization.

Photos and logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?searchterms=damac&level=search

Set within the 55 million sq ft master community of AKOYA Oxygen, the ‘Trump World Golf Club, Dubai’ will include a state-of-the-art clubhouse, world-class restaurant and pro shop. The course will be situated at the heart of the development, with some of the highest premium, residential developments in Dubai overlooking the course.

“Tiger Woods is one of the most famous and iconic sportsmen in the world who will bring his design expertise and worldwide playing experience to this amazing development,” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties. “Add to that the golfing prowess and skills of The Trump Organisation, our leadership position in luxury real estate development, with the global appeal of Dubai, we believe The Trump World Golf Club Dubai, designed by Tiger Woods, will be a market leader, judged against the best golf courses in the world.”

“Bringing Tiger Woods to Dubai is a testament to the luxury and quality that can be anticipated at AKOYA Oxygen – where fashion meets the outdoors, and green really is the new black.”

Woods has already gained a strong reputation for golf course design, with projects underway in Mexico and the United States. His first course to open for play will be El Cardonal in Mexico, which is scheduled to open before the end of the year.

In reference to the style of course that he is creating, Woods said: “I’ve been fortunate to play great golf courses all over the globe, from the original links courses in Scotland to the famous parkland courses in America and the distinctive layouts on the sandbelt of Australia. I hope to bring elements of those great courses and others to the Trump World Golf Club Dubai with the end result being a course that golfers will want to play again and again.”

Woods has won 14 Majors in golf, second only to Jack Nicklaus, and is one of the most iconic sportsmen ever to grace the game. The two-time winner of the Dubai Desert Classic (2006 & 2008), who had previously looked at the opportunity to design a course in Dubai, is now returning to realize that dream.

He has won a total of 105 tournaments, 79 of those on the PGA TOUR, including four Masters Tournaments, four PGA Championships, three U.S. Open Championships, and three British Open Championships. With his second Masters victory in 2001, Woods became the first player ever to hold all four professional major championships at the same time.

“I can’t wait to see this stunning project come to life,” added Woods. “Dubai is fast becoming one of the most influential golfing destinations in the world, both for the professional game and for amateurs looking to enjoy the great weather, great courses and amazing lifestyle.”

“We plan to create a distinct and memorable golf course that players of all abilities find enjoyable,” he added. “I am very much looking forward to adding to the great courses of Dubai.”

Site preparation work on the Trump World Golf Club Dubai is already underway, with the course due to open by the end of 2017.

This will be the Trump Organization’s 18th golf property in the world and marks the second world-class course in Dubai with DAMAC Properties.

“Tiger Woods is the biggest name in professional golf,” said Mr. Donald J. Trump, Chairman & President of The Trump Organization. “His expertise comes from winning on every great course in the world, including his win at the WGC – Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral, Miami. Tiger will be a tremendous asset in developing the course at the Trump World Golf Club, Dubai – and together, with DAMAC Properties, we will be doing something very special.”

The Trump World Golf Club, Dubai will anchor the AKOYA Oxygen master community that is located just off the Umm Suqeim road extension and less than 15 minutes from AKOYA by DAMAC.

AKOYA Oxygen will showcase the greenest living spaces in Dubai with parklands, green open spaces and private gardens. The development will include luxury living experiences in a lush, peaceful environment.

Established in 2002, DAMAC has delivered almost 12,000 units to date and currently has a development portfolio of over 39,000 units at various stages of progress and planning as of September 30th 2014, which includes over 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of DAMAC Group.

Further information is available at www.damacproperties.com

For more information please contact: Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications, DAMAC. Tel: +971 4 3732190 │ Fax: 00 9714 3732335 │Email: niall.mcloughlin@damacgroup.com

About DAMAC Properties:

For over a decade, the rich and diverse real estate portfolio of DAMAC Properties (http://www.damacproperties.com) has been at the forefront of the Middle East’s luxury real estate market. With an enduring passion for design and quality, the company has built a reputation for creating some of the most iconic and desirable properties in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

Established in 2002, DAMAC has delivered almost 12,000 units to date and currently has a development portfolio of over 39,000 units at various stages of progress and planning as of September 30th 2014, which includes over 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments.

Always at the forefront of visionary concepts, DAMAC has relationships with Paramount Hotels & Resorts, (the official licensee of Paramount Pictures), Italian fashion houses Versace Home and FENDI Casa for branded residential apartments & villas and The Trump Organisation for the development & operations of the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai and The Trump Estates within the AKOYA by DAMAC development.

In Mid-2013, DAMAC Properties introduced the ‘AKOYA by DAMAC’ master plan development in Dubai. This includes mansions, villas, luxurious apartments and a retail centre all surrounding ‘The Trump International Golf Club. Within the AKOYA by DAMAC, living experiences include ‘The Trump Estates’, a limited collection of 100 luxurious mansions. Also set within the heart of the community is a global first, with the launch of FENDI fashion-styled villas. AKOYA by DAMAC is also the home of Golf Veduta – serviced hotel apartments and DAMAC serviced Villas by Paramount Hotels and Resorts.

Following the unprecedented success of AKOYA by DAMAC, AKOYA Oxygen was launched in August 2014. The 55 million sq ft development in Dubailand and will include the most lush, green living area in the region with more than 4,000 trees. The project also includes a five-star international Hotel, a luxury desert-style wellness centre, globally-recognised retail brands, leisure & entertainment offerings, and organic market places all set within beautiful manicured and peaceful landscaping.

As a global leader in branded real estate, the company is also developing a US$1 billion hotel and luxury serviced residences in the Burj Area of Dubai, called ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’, which will comprise the first Paramount Hotel & serviced Residences in the region.

Within the hospitality sector, DAMAC’s in-house hospitality team is responsible for managing the Company’s growing portfolio of over 10,000 units of leisure assets in its serviced hotel apartment developments. The division provides complete hospitality management through its own hospitality operating brands ‘DAMAC Maison Hotels and Hotel Apartments and NAIA by DAMAC.

As DAMAC continues to innovate and bring new concepts to the market, the Company is determined to build on its powerful performance to date. With vision and momentum, DAMAC is building the next generation of Middle East luxury living.

In addition to support services provided by the Dubai headquarters, the company’s comprehensive Customer Care Program provides solutions through its network with offices in the UAE, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, KSA and Qatar.

Further information is available at www.damacproperties.com or join DAMAC Properties on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/damacpropertiesofficial), Twitter (@DAMACOfficial) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/DAMACOfficial).

Scale-up in effective malaria control dramatically reduces deaths

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, according to the World Malaria Report 2014. Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47% worldwide and by 54% in the WHO African Region – where about 90% of malaria deaths occur.

New analysis across sub-Saharan Africa reveals that despite a 43% population increase, fewer people are infected or carry asymptomatic malaria infections every year: the number of people infected fell from 173 million in 2000 to 128 million in 2013.

“We can win the fight against malaria,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO. “We have the right tools and our defences are working. But we still need to get those tools to a lot more people if we are to make these gains sustainable.”

Between 2000 and 2013, access to insecticide-treated bed nets increased substantially. In 2013, almost half of all people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa had access to an insecticide-treated net, a marked increase from just 3% in 2004. And this trend is set to continue, with a record 214 million bed nets scheduled for delivery to endemic countries in Africa by year-end.

Access to accurate malaria diagnostic testing and effective treatment has significantly improved worldwide. In 2013, the number of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) procured globally increased to 319 million, up from 46 million in 2008. Meanwhile, in 2013, 392 million courses of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), a key intervention to treat malaria, were procured, up from 11 million in 2005.

Moving towards elimination

Globally, an increasing number of countries are moving towards malaria elimination, and many regional groups are setting ambitious elimination targets, the most recent being a declaration at the East Asia Summit to eliminate malaria from the Asia-Pacific region by 2030.

In 2013, two countries reported zero indigenous cases for the first time (Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka), and 11 countries succeeded in maintaining zero cases (Argentina, Armenia, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Oman, Paraguay, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). Another four countries reported fewer than 10 local cases annually (Algeria, Cabo Verde, Costa Rica and El Salvador).

Fragile gains

But significant challenges remain: “The next few years are going to be critical to show that we can maintain momentum and build on the gains,” notes Dr Pedro L Alonso, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme.

In 2013, one third of households in areas with malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa did not have a single insecticide treated net. Indoor residual spraying, another key vector control intervention, has decreased in recent years, and insecticide resistance has been reported in 49 countries around the world.

Even though diagnostic testing and treatment have been strengthened, millions of people continue to lack access to these interventions. Progress has also been slow in scaling up preventive therapies for pregnant women, and in adopting recommended preventive therapies for children under five years of age and infants.

In addition, resistance to artemisinin has been detected in five countries of the Greater Mekong subregion and insufficient data on malaria transmission continues to hamper efforts to reduce the disease burden.

Dr Alonso believes, however, that with sufficient funding and commitment huge strides forward can still be made. “There are biological and technical challenges, but we are working with partners to be proactive in developing the right responses to these. There is a strong pipeline of innovative new products that will soon transform malaria control and elimination. We can go a lot further,” he says.

While funding to combat malaria has increased threefold since 2005, it is still only around half of the USD 5.1 billion that is needed if global targets are to be achieved.

“Against a backdrop of continued insufficient funding the fight against malaria needs a renewed focus to ensure maximum value for money,” says Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. “We must work together to strengthen country ownership, empower communities, increase efficiencies, and engage multiple sectors outside health. We need to explore ways to do things better at all levels.”

Ray Chambers, who has served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria since 2007, highlights the remarkable progress made in recent years. “While staying focused on the work ahead, we should note that the number of children dying from malaria today is markedly less than 8 years ago. The world can expect even greater reductions in malaria cases and mortality by the end of 2015, but any death from malaria remains simply unacceptable,” he says.

Gains at risk in Ebola-affected countries

At particular risk is progress on malaria in countries affected by the Ebola virus. The outbreak in West Africa has had a devastating impact on malaria treatment and the roll-out of malaria interventions. In Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three countries most severely affected by the epidemic, the majority of inpatient health facilities remain closed, while attendance at outpatient facilities is down to a small fraction of rates seen prior to the outbreak.

Given the intense malaria transmission in these three countries, which together saw an estimated 6.6 million malaria cases and 20 000 malaria deaths in 2013, WHO has issued new guidance on temporary measures to control the disease during the Ebola outbreak: to provide ACTs to all fever patients, even when they have not been tested for malaria, and to carry out mass anti-malaria drug administration with ACTs in areas that are heavily affected by the Ebola virus and where malaria transmission is high. In addition, international donor financing is being stepped up to meet the further recommendation that bednets be distributed to all affected areas.

Note to editors

Globally, 3.2 billion people in 97 countries and territories are at risk of being infected with malaria. In 2013, there were an estimated 198 million malaria cases worldwide (range 124-283 million), 82% of which were in the WHO African region. Malaria was responsible for an estimated 584 000 deaths worldwide in 2013 (range: 367 000 – 755 000), killing an estimated 453 000 children under five years of age.

Based on an assessment of trends in reported malaria cases, a total of 64 countries are on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of reversing the incidence of malaria. Of these, 55 are on track to meet Roll Back Malaria and World Health Assembly targets of reducing malaria case incidence rates by 75% by 2015.

The World Malaria Report 2014 will be launched on 9 December 2014 in the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament. The event will be co-hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (APPMG) and Malaria No More UK.

Management Changes at BancABC

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, December 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — ABC Holdings Limited (“BancABC”) (http://www.bancabc.com) announces that Doug T. Munatsi, Group CEO, Beki Moyo, Group CFO, and Francis M. Dzanya, Group COO, will be step…

Management Changes at BancABC

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, December 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — ABC Holdings Limited (“BancABC”) (http://www.bancabc.com) announces that Doug T. Munatsi, Group CEO, Beki Moyo, Group CFO, and Francis M. Dzanya, Group COO, will be step…

Assistance by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security to the Project in Liberia

TOKYO, Japan, December 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated below denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.

Japanese

1. On 19th, August, the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, which was established through the initiative of the Government of Japan in 1999, decided to extend assistance totaling 2,499,900 US dollars to a project entitled “Human Security Initiative in the Most Neglected Communities with the Integration of Efforts by the UN Country Team in Liberia”.

2. The project is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to promote the human security by protecting those those vulnerable people and empowering fragile border counties through addressing issues such as land dispute, food insecurity, lack of social services including public health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), low income, and weak social cohesion. The activities will include the following:

(a) Fostering social cohesion, reconciliation, and peacebuilding in the target counties through establishing local leadership.

(b) Strengthening agriculture based livelihoods of vulnerable population through market and roads accessibility, skills training, and employment creation.

(c) Ensuring comprehensive prevention, management and response to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and harmful cultural practices including child marriage.

(d) Strengthening health security of target communities, especially adolescents and young people, through HIV/AIDS prevention and enhancing sustainability of WASH services.

3. This project is expected to promote human security of the vulnerable population in Liberia.