Agri SA Highly Concerned about Outbreak of Listeriosis across South Africa

On 5 December 2017, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that more than 30 people died following the recent outbreak of the food-borne disease listeriosis.

According to the National Centre for Communicable Diseases (NICD) approximately 557 cases have been reported, with the majority occurring in Gauteng province.

Listeria is a bacterium (Listeria monocytogenes) found in soil, water and vegetation. It can also occur in some animals, including poultry and cattle. Raw milk and other foods made from raw milk can also carry the bacteria. The disease cannot be spread through contact with infected people.

According to Janse Rabie, Head of Natural Resources at Agri SA, the recent outbreak of listeriosis emphasises the extreme vulnerability of all people when it comes to contamination of our natural resources, particularly soil and water.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), people should seek medical attention if they experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • A stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • General weakness
  • Vomiting (sometimes preceded by diarrhoea)

The treatment of listeriosis is usually symptomatic and depends on the severity of the disease. If infection is severe, antibiotics may be recommended. People with a compromised immune system, older adults, infants or pregnant women may require urgent medical care.

Prevention measures include:

  • Avoiding drinking unpasteurised milk or eating foods that contain raw milk
  • Practicing good hygiene, including washing hands regularly and make use of clean food preparation facilities
  • Thoroughly cooking animal foods such as meat, poultry or fish
  • Taking note of the expiry dates of perishable foods

Agri SA is committed to providing any help it may have to offer in assisting the NICD or the Department of Health in isolating and eliminating the source of the disease.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Agri SA.

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IMF Executive Board Approves US$ 163.9 Million Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility for the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

  • Board decision enables immediate disbursement of US$ 23.4 million to Mauritania.
  • Mauritania’s ECF-supported program aims to address the challenges of economic growth, stability, sustainability, and poverty.
  • Reforms will seek to create fiscal space for social spending and infrastructure through revenue mobilization and expenditure prioritization, as well as to modernize the monetary policy framework and maintain financial stability.

On December 6, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) with Mauritania for SDR 115.92 million (about US$ 163.9 million, or 90 percent of Mauritania’s quota) to support the country’s economic and financial reform program.

The ECF-supported program is expected to help Mauritania economy foster inclusive and diversified growth to improve the population’s living standards, maintain macroeconomic stability, strengthen debt sustainability, and reduce poverty.

An amount of SDR 16.56 million (about US$ 23.4 million) will be made available immediately to Mauritania. The remaining amount will be phased in over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual reviews.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Mauritania, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said:

“Mauritania is addressing decisively the aftermath of a terms-of-trade shock that slowed growth and widened imbalances. The authorities’ policy adjustment efforts succeeded in restoring macroeconomic stability and stabilizing debt levels, while growth rebounded. The authorities also prepared a long-term inclusive growth strategy, including structural reforms and infrastructure investment, to support diversification, job creation, and poverty reduction.”

“The authorities’ program appropriately addresses Mauritania’s macroeconomic and structural challenges. The program aims to support the nascent recovery, diversify the economy, and meet infrastructure needs while maintaining macroeconomic stability, increasing resilience to shocks, and strengthening debt sustainability. It also seeks to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment. Strong political commitment, ownership and steadfast implementation of the Fund-supported program will be needed for success.”

“Building on the significant adjustment achieved, the authorities will continue with fiscal consolidation to restore debt sustainability while creating fiscal space for social and infrastructure spending through revenue mobilization, expenditure prioritization, and public investment management reforms. The authorities will advance implementation of planned tax policy and administration reforms and control current spending. Given the high public debt ratio, they will limit non-concessional borrowing and strengthen debt management to set the debt-to-GDP ratio on a clear downward trajectory.”

“As part of the program, the monetary policy framework will be modernized and the central bank operational autonomy will be strengthened. A competitive foreign exchange market will be introduced to ensure regular access to foreign exchange, increase exchange rate flexibility and support growth.”

“To address financial stability risks and support credit, the authorities will improve banking sector regulations and strengthen supervision. They will continue to improve the business climate and governance, and seek to expand the social safety net.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Approves US$ 163.9 Million Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility for the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

      

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Security Council Press Statement on Somalia Security Conference and Inaugural Somalia Partnership Forum

The members of the Security Council welcomed the successful conclusion of the Somalia Security Conference and the inaugural Somalia Partnership Forum in Mogadishu on 4 and 5 December. The members of the Security Council recognised the international community’s strong engagement across both events, and noted the renewed commitment of the Federal Government and the Federal Member States of Somalia to work together towards peace, stability and economic development in Somalia.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitments in both communiqués including those to implement the National Security Architecture fully and without delay, and accelerate planning to enable a phased and realistic, conditions-based transition from AMISOM to Somali led security.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment by the Federal Government of Somalia, the Federal Member States, the African Union, UN, EU and all international partners to accelerate coordinated work on a transition plan, and acknowledged that this is a historic opportunity to build on political and security progress since 2012 and maintain positive momentum from the London Somalia Conference in May 2017.

The members of the Security Council paid tribute to the contribution of AMISOM, the Somali national security forces, UNSOM and UNSOS in achieving a more peaceful and stable Somalia and expressed their respect for the service of military and police personnel and the troop and police contributing countries to AMISOM as well as for the significant sacrifices made by AMISOM and Somali forces for their efforts in reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab. The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment of the international partners to support a conditions-based transition plan with clear target dates and benchmarks, and reiterated the importance of considering the full range of options available in order to establish secure future funding arrangements for AMISOM.

The members of the Security Council underlined the importance of further developing Somalia’s political settlement, including by implementing agreed plans to complete the constitutional review and to prepare for one-person, one-vote elections in 2020-2021 in an inclusive manner, and highlighted the need to implement the 5 November agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States. The members of the Security Council noted improvements on economic and financial management, and emphasised the importance of redoubling efforts in these areas to support reengagement with the International Financial Institutions, mobilise investment and create the conditions for lasting peace, security and prosperity.

The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of implementing Somalia’s National Strategy and Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in order to strengthen Somalia’s capacity to prevent and counter terrorism and welcomed the recognition by Somali leaders that the roles of youth, women and local reconciliation efforts are key to durable peace.

The members of the Security Council emphasised the need to heed calls for an early response to continued humanitarian needs in 2018 and underlined the importance of increasing work to build Somalia’s resilience to the recurrent cycle of drought.

The members of the Security Council called on the Federal Government of Somalia, the Federal Member States, the international community, and friends and partners of Somalia to work together to ensure that the implementation of the commitments made are realised without delay, so that the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States deliver more peace, more stability, and more prosperity for the people of Somalia in 2018.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Security Council Press Statement on Somalia Security Conference and Inaugural Somalia Partnership Forum

      

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Statement of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the American Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, notes with deep concern the decision of the United States Government, announced today, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. He regrets this decision, which will only increase tensions in the region and beyond and further complicate the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the solidarity of the African Union with the Palestinian people and its support to their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State with East Jerusalem as its capital. In this context, he calls for renewed international efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict, based on the existence of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security, within the framework of relevant African Union and United Nations pronouncements.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.

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Source:: Statement of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the American Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel

      

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