Oct 162014
 

NEW YORK, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On 14 October 2014, the members of the Security Council heard briefings by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER) Anthony Banbury, as well as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the unprecedented extent of the Ebola outbreak in Africa, which constitutes a threat to international peace and security, as well as the impact of the Ebola virus on West Africa, in particular, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The members of the Security Council recognized the strenuous efforts made by the Member States of the region, especially Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to lead the ground-level response against the Ebola outbreak, as well as to address the wider political, security, socioeconomic and humanitarian impact of the Ebola outbreak on communities. The members of the Security Council affirmed the importance of preparedness by all Member States to detect, prevent, respond to, isolate and mitigate suspected cases of Ebola within and across borders. They also recalled the International Health Regulations (2005), which aim to improve the capacity of all countries to detect, assess, notify and respond to public health threats.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the swift establishment on 19 September 2014 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 69/1 of UNMEER. They expressed their appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the Mission to provide overall leadership and direction to the operational work of the United Nations System, as mandated by the United Nations General Assembly. They requested that the Secretary-General help to ensure that all relevant United Nations System entities, including the United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions in West Africa, within their existing mandates and capacities, collaborate closely and urgently to respond to UNMEER’s requests and to provide immediate Ebola response assistance to the governments of the three most affected countries.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their deep and abiding admiration for the the first-line responders to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including national health and humanitarian relief workers, educators, and those providing burial services, as well as international health and humanitarian relief workers contributed by the Member States of diverse regions and non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations. The members of the Security Council expressed their condolences to the families of the victims of the Ebola outbreak, including national and international first-line responders, and wished swift recovery to those infected. They also underscored the critical importance of putting in place necessary arrangements, including medical evacuation capacities and treatment and transport provisions, to facilitate the immediate and unhindered deployment of health and humanitarian relief workers in the affected countries.

The members of the Security Council called on the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to continue to strengthen coordination with all national, regional and international actors, including bilateral partners and multilateral organizations, including the Mano River Union, African Union, Economic Community of West African States, European Union, World Bank Group and the United Nations System, in order to more fully and efficiently utilize all Ebola response assistance.

The members of the Security Council stressed that the response of the international community to the Ebola outbreak has failed to date to adequately address the magnitude of the outbreak and its effects. In this regard, they urged all Member States, and bilateral partners and multilateral organizations, to accelerate and dramatically expand the provision of resources and financial and material assistance, including mobile laboratories; field hospitals; dedicated and trained clinical personnel and services in Ebola Treatment Units and isolation units; therapies, vaccines and diagnostics to treat patients and limit or prevent further Ebola infection or transmission; and personal protective equipment for first-line responders. They further urged Member States and all relevant actors to provide logistical, aeromedical, transport and construction capabilities for the Ebola response. They called on Member States, especially in the region, to facilitate immediately the delivery of such assistance, to the most affected countries.

The members of the Security Council strongly urged Member States, as well as airlines and shipping companies, while applying appropriate public health protocols, to maintain trade and transport links with the most affected countries to enable the timely utilization of all efforts aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak within and across borders of the region. They expressed their continued concern about the detrimental effect of the isolation of the affected countries as a result of trade and travel restrictions imposed on and to the affected countries, as well as acts of discrimination against the nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Oct 162014
 

NEW YORK, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On 14 October 2014, the members of the Security Council heard briefings by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER) Anthony Banbury, as well as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the unprecedented extent of the Ebola outbreak in Africa, which constitutes a threat to international peace and security, as well as the impact of the Ebola virus on West Africa, in particular, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The members of the Security Council recognized the strenuous efforts made by the Member States of the region, especially Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to lead the ground-level response against the Ebola outbreak, as well as to address the wider political, security, socioeconomic and humanitarian impact of the Ebola outbreak on communities. The members of the Security Council affirmed the importance of preparedness by all Member States to detect, prevent, respond to, isolate and mitigate suspected cases of Ebola within and across borders. They also recalled the International Health Regulations (2005), which aim to improve the capacity of all countries to detect, assess, notify and respond to public health threats.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the swift establishment on 19 September 2014 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 69/1 of UNMEER. They expressed their appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the Mission to provide overall leadership and direction to the operational work of the United Nations System, as mandated by the United Nations General Assembly. They requested that the Secretary-General help to ensure that all relevant United Nations System entities, including the United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions in West Africa, within their existing mandates and capacities, collaborate closely and urgently to respond to UNMEER’s requests and to provide immediate Ebola response assistance to the governments of the three most affected countries.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their deep and abiding admiration for the the first-line responders to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including national health and humanitarian relief workers, educators, and those providing burial services, as well as international health and humanitarian relief workers contributed by the Member States of diverse regions and non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations. The members of the Security Council expressed their condolences to the families of the victims of the Ebola outbreak, including national and international first-line responders, and wished swift recovery to those infected. They also underscored the critical importance of putting in place necessary arrangements, including medical evacuation capacities and treatment and transport provisions, to facilitate the immediate and unhindered deployment of health and humanitarian relief workers in the affected countries.

The members of the Security Council called on the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to continue to strengthen coordination with all national, regional and international actors, including bilateral partners and multilateral organizations, including the Mano River Union, African Union, Economic Community of West African States, European Union, World Bank Group and the United Nations System, in order to more fully and efficiently utilize all Ebola response assistance.

The members of the Security Council stressed that the response of the international community to the Ebola outbreak has failed to date to adequately address the magnitude of the outbreak and its effects. In this regard, they urged all Member States, and bilateral partners and multilateral organizations, to accelerate and dramatically expand the provision of resources and financial and material assistance, including mobile laboratories; field hospitals; dedicated and trained clinical personnel and services in Ebola Treatment Units and isolation units; therapies, vaccines and diagnostics to treat patients and limit or prevent further Ebola infection or transmission; and personal protective equipment for first-line responders. They further urged Member States and all relevant actors to provide logistical, aeromedical, transport and construction capabilities for the Ebola response. They called on Member States, especially in the region, to facilitate immediately the delivery of such assistance, to the most affected countries.

The members of the Security Council strongly urged Member States, as well as airlines and shipping companies, while applying appropriate public health protocols, to maintain trade and transport links with the most affected countries to enable the timely utilization of all efforts aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak within and across borders of the region. They expressed their continued concern about the detrimental effect of the isolation of the affected countries as a result of trade and travel restrictions imposed on and to the affected countries, as well as acts of discrimination against the nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Oct 162014
 

MONROVIA, Liberia, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced nearly $142 million in humanitarian projects and grants to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Shah made the announcement after meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the capital city of Monrovia. It was the first stop in a week-long trip for Shah to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Senegal to meet with national and local officials, aid organizations, and staff involved in the international response to the Ebola outbreak. The announcement brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Ebola crisis to more than $258 million.

“Stopping Ebola in West Africa will require a significant international effort, and the United States urges our global partners to provide additional assistance to help bring the outbreak under control,” said Shah. “We are helping affected countries gain positive and strong momentum by the day, but much more must be done to win this fight.”

The new projects and grants will support:

• Construction and support of additional Ebola treatment units in partnership with the affected countries and international organizations;

• Training and support for health care workers and safe burial teams;

• The Government of Liberia’s strategy to establish and staff community care centers, which, in tandem with Ebola treatment units, will provide another level of Ebola isolation and care to communities while helping to break the chain of transmission; and

• Critical logistics support for international partners working in West Africa.

Since the first cases of Ebola were reported in West Africa in March 2014, the United States has moved quickly to contain and stop the epidemic, while also taking prudent measures at home. In West Africa, USAID works alongside partner countries and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and colleagues from the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), State, Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are currently more than 600 U.S. government personnel in West Africa, including a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team coordinating overall Ebola response efforts, making this the largest-ever U.S. response to a global health crisis.

As the United States continues to scale up its response in West Africa, particularly with the arrival of Department of Defense personnel and resources, U.S. support has already helped increase the number of Ebola treatment units (ETU) in the region to 12, with additional ETUs coming online in the weeks ahead; supported the salaries of state health workers and the deployment of doctors and nurses by the African Union; supported 56 safe burial teams now working in every county in Liberia to safely and respectfully dispose of bodies within 24 hours; funded aggressive social change outreach and education that reaches deep into even the most rural locations of the affected countries; helped to more than double lab capacity in Liberia to determine if a patient has Ebola; and procured and delivered hundreds of thousands of sets of personal protective equipment and other personal protective supplies, among others.

For more information about USAID’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, please visit www.usaid.gov/ebola.

Oct 162014
 

MONROVIA, Liberia, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced nearly $142 million in humanitarian projects and grants to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Shah made the announcement after meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the capital city of Monrovia. It was the first stop in a week-long trip for Shah to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Senegal to meet with national and local officials, aid organizations, and staff involved in the international response to the Ebola outbreak. The announcement brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Ebola crisis to more than $258 million.

“Stopping Ebola in West Africa will require a significant international effort, and the United States urges our global partners to provide additional assistance to help bring the outbreak under control,” said Shah. “We are helping affected countries gain positive and strong momentum by the day, but much more must be done to win this fight.”

The new projects and grants will support:

• Construction and support of additional Ebola treatment units in partnership with the affected countries and international organizations;

• Training and support for health care workers and safe burial teams;

• The Government of Liberia’s strategy to establish and staff community care centers, which, in tandem with Ebola treatment units, will provide another level of Ebola isolation and care to communities while helping to break the chain of transmission; and

• Critical logistics support for international partners working in West Africa.

Since the first cases of Ebola were reported in West Africa in March 2014, the United States has moved quickly to contain and stop the epidemic, while also taking prudent measures at home. In West Africa, USAID works alongside partner countries and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and colleagues from the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), State, Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are currently more than 600 U.S. government personnel in West Africa, including a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team coordinating overall Ebola response efforts, making this the largest-ever U.S. response to a global health crisis.

As the United States continues to scale up its response in West Africa, particularly with the arrival of Department of Defense personnel and resources, U.S. support has already helped increase the number of Ebola treatment units (ETU) in the region to 12, with additional ETUs coming online in the weeks ahead; supported the salaries of state health workers and the deployment of doctors and nurses by the African Union; supported 56 safe burial teams now working in every county in Liberia to safely and respectfully dispose of bodies within 24 hours; funded aggressive social change outreach and education that reaches deep into even the most rural locations of the affected countries; helped to more than double lab capacity in Liberia to determine if a patient has Ebola; and procured and delivered hundreds of thousands of sets of personal protective equipment and other personal protective supplies, among others.

For more information about USAID’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, please visit www.usaid.gov/ebola.

Oct 162014
 

LUSAKA, Zambia, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Just ahead of World Food Day, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (http://goo.gl/AwrAkl) has established that ‘orange’ vitamin A maize increases vitamin A storage in the body. This maize has been conventionally bred (non-GMO) to have higher levels of beta-carotene, a naturally occurring plant pigment that the body then converts into vitamin A.

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

Photos: http://goo.gl/u9ygCR

Video: http://goo.gl/0KODjM

Lack of sufficient vitamin A blinds up to 500,000 children annually and increases the risk of death from disease (such as diarrhea in children). Vitamin A deficiency is widely prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Foods that are good sources of vitamin A, such as orange fruits, dark leafy vegetables, or meat, are not always available, or may be too expensive in some regions. In many African countries, people eat large amounts of staple foods like cassava or maize. For example, in Zambia, people eat up to a pound of white maize daily. However, this white maize provides no beta-carotene. Switching to orange maize, which is rich in beta-carotene, could potentially provide maize-dependent populations with up to half their daily vitamin A needs.

In this controlled efficacy study, children from the Eastern Province of Zambia were randomly assigned to three feeding groups and received either white maize, orange maize, or a daily vitamin A supplement. After three months, both groups that received either the orange maize or vitamin A supplements showed significant increases in their total body stores of vitamin A, with no changes observed in the group that received white maize.

Lead scientist Sherry Tanumihardjo said “we were surprised to find that most of the children in this study already had substantial stores of vitamin A. We attribute this to the success of fortifying sugar with vitamin A, the provision of vitamin A supplements to young children, and perhaps better diets. Yet, despite having adequate vitamin A stores, we still saw this store increase in children as a result of eating the orange maize. So, I’m confident that orange maize would be especially effective in increasing body stores of vitamin A in populations suffering from vitamin A deficiency.” Unlike the form of vitamin A found in supplements and fortified foods, the body regulates conversion of beta-carotene into vitamin A, and consuming high levels of beta-carotene is not harmful to health.

Several orange maize varieties have been released by the governments of Zambia and Nigeria. In Zambia, HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) has provided orange maize to more than 10,000 farming households and is now working with the private sector with the goal of reaching 100,000 famers by 2015. According to Eliab Simpungwe, HarvestPlus Country Manager for Zambia, “the orange maize has been embraced by consumers once they have had a chance to taste it. When they also understand the benefits of vitamin A in the diets they are all the more enthusiastic about orange maize.” The orange maize varieties released are also high yielding, disease and virus resistant, and drought tolerant.

The Zambian Government has officially recognized biofortification, which it includes in the National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan for Zambia 2011-2015. Musonda Mofu, Acting Executive Director of the National Food and Nutrition Commission in Zambia and who was also on the study team, said “there are still many pockets where vitamin A deficiency remains a problem in Zambia. Food-based approaches such as orange maize can provide people—especially women and children—with a good portion of their daily vitamin A needs through nshima or other traditional foods made from maize, that we Zambians eat every day. For us, this is cost-effective and a safe approach to improving nutrition.”

HarvestPlus and its partners have developed and disseminated other conventionally bred crops to provide needed vitamins and minerals in the diet. These are vitamin A cassava (Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria), vitamin A orange sweet potato (throughout Sub-Saharan Africa) and iron beans (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda). Zinc wheat and rice and iron pearl millet have been targeted to South Asia.

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

Media Contacts:

Vidushi Sinha, HarvestPlus. Washington DC. v.s.vidushi@cgiar.org Tel: +1 703-505-7438

Eliab Simpungwe, HarvestPlus, Zambia e.simpungwe@cgiar.org Tel: +260974214152

Journal Article Reference:

Biofortified orange maize is as efficacious as a vitamin A supplement in Zambian children even in the presence of high liver reserves of vitamin A: a community-based, randomized placebo-controlled trial (http://goo.gl/Kqj54y),

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; December 2014 ajcn.087379; First published online October 8, 2014. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.08737.

Related Research:

- Vitamin A equivalence of the β-carotene in β-carotene–biofortified maize porridge consumed by women: http://goo.gl/pOI4jY

- Food-Based Approaches for Ensuring Adequate Vitamin A Nutrition: http://goo.gl/celuOr

Photos: Orange vitamin A maize: http://goo.gl/LbswKD

More About Vitamin A Maize

Maize is the third most important cereal food in the world, and is a staple food for more than one billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. It is high in carbohydrates but lacks essential micronutrients such as vitamin A. Maize exhibits tremendous genetic diversity, and there are many types with high levels of beta-carotene, a naturally occurring plant pigment that is converted by the body into vitamin A when the maize is eaten. This genetic diversity has been used to conventionally breed new varieties of maize that are high-yielding and also rich in vitamin A. HarvestPlus has partnered with many institutions to develop and test orange maize, including the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) (http://www.cimmyt.org/en), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) (http://www.iita.org), Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) (http://goo.gl/NCgy4y) and Purdue University.

More about HarvestPlus

HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) leads a global effort to improve nutrition and public health by developing and deploying staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These are cassava, maize, and orange sweet potato that provide more vitamin A; beans and pearl millet that provide more iron; and rice and wheat that provide more zinc. We work with public and private sector partners in more than 40 countries. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health. CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers – the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (http://ciat.cgiar.org) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (http://www.ifpri.org).

 Uncategorized
Oct 162014
 

LUSAKA, Zambia, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Just ahead of World Food Day, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (http://goo.gl/AwrAkl) has established that ‘orange’ vitamin A maize increases vitamin A storage in the body. This maize has been conventionally bred (non-GMO) to have higher levels of beta-carotene, a naturally occurring plant pigment that the body then converts into vitamin A.

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

Photos: http://goo.gl/u9ygCR

Video: http://goo.gl/0KODjM

Lack of sufficient vitamin A blinds up to 500,000 children annually and increases the risk of death from disease (such as diarrhea in children). Vitamin A deficiency is widely prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Foods that are good sources of vitamin A, such as orange fruits, dark leafy vegetables, or meat, are not always available, or may be too expensive in some regions. In many African countries, people eat large amounts of staple foods like cassava or maize. For example, in Zambia, people eat up to a pound of white maize daily. However, this white maize provides no beta-carotene. Switching to orange maize, which is rich in beta-carotene, could potentially provide maize-dependent populations with up to half their daily vitamin A needs.

In this controlled efficacy study, children from the Eastern Province of Zambia were randomly assigned to three feeding groups and received either white maize, orange maize, or a daily vitamin A supplement. After three months, both groups that received either the orange maize or vitamin A supplements showed significant increases in their total body stores of vitamin A, with no changes observed in the group that received white maize.

Lead scientist Sherry Tanumihardjo said “we were surprised to find that most of the children in this study already had substantial stores of vitamin A. We attribute this to the success of fortifying sugar with vitamin A, the provision of vitamin A supplements to young children, and perhaps better diets. Yet, despite having adequate vitamin A stores, we still saw this store increase in children as a result of eating the orange maize. So, I’m confident that orange maize would be especially effective in increasing body stores of vitamin A in populations suffering from vitamin A deficiency.” Unlike the form of vitamin A found in supplements and fortified foods, the body regulates conversion of beta-carotene into vitamin A, and consuming high levels of beta-carotene is not harmful to health.

Several orange maize varieties have been released by the governments of Zambia and Nigeria. In Zambia, HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) has provided orange maize to more than 10,000 farming households and is now working with the private sector with the goal of reaching 100,000 famers by 2015. According to Eliab Simpungwe, HarvestPlus Country Manager for Zambia, “the orange maize has been embraced by consumers once they have had a chance to taste it. When they also understand the benefits of vitamin A in the diets they are all the more enthusiastic about orange maize.” The orange maize varieties released are also high yielding, disease and virus resistant, and drought tolerant.

The Zambian Government has officially recognized biofortification, which it includes in the National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan for Zambia 2011-2015. Musonda Mofu, Acting Executive Director of the National Food and Nutrition Commission in Zambia and who was also on the study team, said “there are still many pockets where vitamin A deficiency remains a problem in Zambia. Food-based approaches such as orange maize can provide people—especially women and children—with a good portion of their daily vitamin A needs through nshima or other traditional foods made from maize, that we Zambians eat every day. For us, this is cost-effective and a safe approach to improving nutrition.”

HarvestPlus and its partners have developed and disseminated other conventionally bred crops to provide needed vitamins and minerals in the diet. These are vitamin A cassava (Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria), vitamin A orange sweet potato (throughout Sub-Saharan Africa) and iron beans (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda). Zinc wheat and rice and iron pearl millet have been targeted to South Asia.

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

Media Contacts:

Vidushi Sinha, HarvestPlus. Washington DC. v.s.vidushi@cgiar.org Tel: +1 703-505-7438

Eliab Simpungwe, HarvestPlus, Zambia e.simpungwe@cgiar.org Tel: +260974214152

Journal Article Reference:

Biofortified orange maize is as efficacious as a vitamin A supplement in Zambian children even in the presence of high liver reserves of vitamin A: a community-based, randomized placebo-controlled trial (http://goo.gl/Kqj54y),

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; December 2014 ajcn.087379; First published online October 8, 2014. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.08737.

Related Research:

- Vitamin A equivalence of the β-carotene in β-carotene–biofortified maize porridge consumed by women: http://goo.gl/pOI4jY

- Food-Based Approaches for Ensuring Adequate Vitamin A Nutrition: http://goo.gl/celuOr

Photos: Orange vitamin A maize: http://goo.gl/LbswKD

More About Vitamin A Maize

Maize is the third most important cereal food in the world, and is a staple food for more than one billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. It is high in carbohydrates but lacks essential micronutrients such as vitamin A. Maize exhibits tremendous genetic diversity, and there are many types with high levels of beta-carotene, a naturally occurring plant pigment that is converted by the body into vitamin A when the maize is eaten. This genetic diversity has been used to conventionally breed new varieties of maize that are high-yielding and also rich in vitamin A. HarvestPlus has partnered with many institutions to develop and test orange maize, including the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) (http://www.cimmyt.org/en), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) (http://www.iita.org), Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) (http://goo.gl/NCgy4y) and Purdue University.

More about HarvestPlus

HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) leads a global effort to improve nutrition and public health by developing and deploying staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These are cassava, maize, and orange sweet potato that provide more vitamin A; beans and pearl millet that provide more iron; and rice and wheat that provide more zinc. We work with public and private sector partners in more than 40 countries. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health. CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers – the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (http://ciat.cgiar.org) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (http://www.ifpri.org).

 Uncategorized
Oct 152014
 

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN Women with the African Union (AU), IFAD, FAO and WFP are co-hosting an exciting regional Sharefair for Rural Women’s Technologies on October 15-17 at the UN Compound in Gigiri.

The first of its kind, this showcase stemmed from a need to simultaneously address the successes, the innovations and yet the continued constraints faced by African women farmers, particularly in the Eastern and Southern African region. The Sharefair, will bring almost 100 exhibitors to showcase their agricultural innovations.

The three day exhibition will run over International Day of Rural Women and World Food Day and aims to highlight the opportunities in investing in technologies for rural women. While women are central in all aspects of agriculture and off-farm activities in the communities, their efforts are often hampered by their lack of access to productive resources, technologies, services and markets.

“This Sharefair is testament of the transformative power of agricultural technologies. Importantly, it underlines the huge potential to be realized from bringing women, who are the vanguard of rural economies across Africa, on board,” said Ms Christine Musisi, UN Women Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

Running concurrently to the exhibitions will be high-level policy discussions and panels with regional and national government officials and other sector leaders. These will highlight efforts on gender-sensitive agricultural and nutrition policies; identify promising technologies, and address the constraints to scaling up innovations. Simultaneous, hands-on, practical workshops will be held by successful women and other agriculture sector leaders.

Ms Musisi also urges governments, financial institutions and communities in the Eastern and Southern Africa region to prioritize support through policies, funding and programming for female farmers;

“Women are untapped resources of agriculture in East and Southern African. This 2014 Sharefair acknowledges this, but also digs deeply into the mind and hearts of those who can physically, financially and politically take these ready resources to a prosperous future,” she said.