The 31 December 2016 agreement must be implemented in his entirety by the signatories with no further delay (SRSG)

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO Maman Sidikou is closely following recent political developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in particular the recent declarations made by key national stakeholders.

The Special Representative reminds all signatories of the 31 December 2016 Agreement of their obligation to fully and faithfully implement the Agreement in its entirety.

The United Nations recalls that this Agreement remains the only viable and peaceful way through the current political crisis towards the organization of peaceful and credible elections.

“I also wish to recall that the CENI holds the primary responsibility for the organization of the elections as provided for by the Constitution and the provisions of the 31 December 2016 Agreement. I therefore call on the CENI to publish, without any further delay, an official and consensual calendar for the organization of these elections,” said Maman Sidikou.

The Special Representative calls on the Government of the DRC to ensure the full and prompt implementation of the confidence-building measures provided for in the 31 December 2016 Agreement, which are required to create conditions conducive to the organization of elections.

“These confidence-building measures are essential to promoting a meaningful consensus between all Congolese in this crucial phase of the country’s history,” he added.

In this regard, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General reiterates his availability to continue to pursue his good offices efforts in support of the full and faithful implementation of the 31 December Agreement as mandated under UN Security Council Resolution 2348, and to work with all national stakeholders and regional and international partners to achieve this goal.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO).

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Source:: The 31 December 2016 agreement must be implemented in his entirety by the signatories with no further delay (SRSG)

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Ethiopia Attains Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination

“Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination in Ethiopia is hereby validated!” That was the conclusion of the joint mission from UNICEF and WHO today at its debriefing sessions with: the Ethiopian Ministry of Health; the WHO Representative to Ethiopia; and the UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has thus become 42nd country in the world to have validated the elimination of Maternal and Neonatal tetanus.

Ethiopia began accelerated Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) efforts in 1999. In 2011, all the regions in the country except the Somali Region were validated for MNTE. The 2011 validation mission made recommendations that would see the Somali Region progress to MNTE over time. The recommendations were implemented especially corrective vaccination campaigns against tetanus in 2016. The administrative, as well as post-campaign survey data, revealed more than 85% coverage in each of the 9 zones of Ethiopia Somali Region. The Joint validation mission reviewed these and other related data during the period, 28-30 June 2017, and concluded that maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination had been achieved in the Somali Region and, by extension, in the whole of Ethiopia.

Receiving the good news of the validation of MNTE in Ethiopia, the State Minister of Health, His Excellency Dr. Kebede Worku exclaimed that “The country had worked hard on improving Maternal and Child Health services delivery with tangible results including the record attainment of MDG 4 three years ahead of the target year of 2015. Along with this, MNTE was given emphasis and hence between 1999 and 2009, over 15 million women of reproductive age (WRA) in 59 high-risk zones were immunized during three rounds of Tetanus Toxoid (TT) Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA). Thus in April 2011, the validation survey concluded that the whole country except Somali region had been validated for MNTE, and now the whole country including Somali region has achieved MNT elimination. This was possible through the efforts and investments made to improve maternal and child health care. The ministry of health will continue to sustain this gain by integrating maternal and child health care services with other public health priorities”.

WHO Representative, Dr. Akpaka A. Kalu, congratulated the country and said that “WHO is grateful for this remarkable result. He added that WHO will continue to support the Ministry to sustain this achievement by prioritizing risk areas for public health interventions that need more support and interventions through specifically targeted strategies with active community involvement to achieve the desired results.” Dr. Kalu also revealed that the integration of vaccine preventable disease with other health programs will be also incorporated in the WHO response strategy.

“I would like to extend my warm congratulations to the Ministry of Health and its partners for this excellent achievement, which benefits the health of women and children,” said Ms. Shalini Bahuguna, Officer in Charge of UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia. “UNICEF will continue to support the government of Ethiopia to sustain this achievement and deliver results for every child” she added.

Zones were selected following an in-depth review of the risk factors for maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) using the high-risk approach. Clean delivery and cord care practices, reaching all women of reproductive age in high-risk districts through TT SIAs and immunization of pregnant women during routine immunization and conducting neonatal surveillance as it is a hidden disease, are some of the interventions that helped to achieve this remarkable result.

It is acknowledged that the validation of MNTE in Ethiopia is not an end in itself but the beginning of a new phase of interventions focused on sustaining the attainment of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus elimination status, an endeavour that is possible only through: maintaining tetanus protection level at above 80 percent in every zone especially in the zones that achieved elimination through Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs); strengthening partnerships for improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) activities; and implementing the sustainability plan of action-2014 which incorporates a switch from Tetanus Toxoid (TT) to Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine, and annual joint review of national MNT risk status to guide the interventions.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Source:: Ethiopia Attains Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination

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IMF Executive Board Approves New US$ 312.1 Million Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Chad and Cancels the Current Arrangement

  • Board’s decision enables immediate disbursement of US$48.8 million for Chad.
  • The arrangement will support the authorities’ stabilization and recovery strategy and help foster long term robust and inclusive growth.
  • The arrangement will help stabilize the fiscal position, support a sustainable balance of payments position, and help rebuild the regional international reserve pool.

On June 30, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Chad for SDR 224.32 million (about US$ 312.1 million, or 160 percent of Chad’s quota) to support the country’s stabilization and recovery strategy. Today’s Board decision also notes the cancellation of the previous ECF arrangement. Policies under the new arrangement are expected to catalyze further support from Chad’s external partners.

The ECF-supported program aims to help Chad restore macroeconomic stability and lay the foundation for robust and inclusive growth. It will also contribute to the regional effort to restore and preserve external stability for the Central African Economic and Monetary Union (CEMAC).

An amount equivalent to SDR 35.05 million (about US$ 48.8 million) will be immediately disbursed to Chad. The remaining amount will be phased over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual reviews.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Chad, Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated:

“Chad’s macroeconomic and financial performances have deteriorated significantly over the past two years, against the backdrop of low oil prices, tense regional security situation, and a heavy external commercial debt burden. In 2016, real non-oil GDP contracted by 6 percent, following a 2.9 percent reduction in 2015.

“The new three-year arrangement under the ECF will support the authorities’ strategy towards macroeconomic stabilization in the short term and a robust, equitable, and sustainable recovery.

“The program, supported by the new ECF arrangement, aims at stabilizing the fiscal and external position as well as reestablishing debt sustainability, through the restructuring of external commercial debt, prudent fiscal policies, and the resumption of growth.

“The authorities are committed to preserving the fiscal adjustment achieved so far and to improving the mobilization of non-oil revenue, which requires measures to broaden the tax base, and strengthen tax and customs administrations.

“Achieving debt sustainability and stabilizing the fiscal position hinge on reducing the burden of external debt service. To this end, the authorities are committed to restructure the debt with Chad’s major external commercial creditor, and have appointed financial and legal advisors to help them through the process. These efforts would serve to ensure the protection of poverty-reducing social spending and allow the phased clearance of arrears thereby supporting growth.

“Structural reforms to improve public financial management and diversify the economy are key elements of the program. This includes improving budgetary practices and strengthening cash management and forecasting. Fostering long-term growth will require greater diversification of the economy. The authorities are committed to boost competitiveness by improving the business environment and addressing supply side bottlenecks. The new National Development Plan, which is expected to be released soon, will constitute a milestone in that regard.

“Continued strong implementation of the ECF-supported program will be critical to catalyze financial support from international partners to more effectively tackle development needs and support economic growth.

“The success of Chad’s program will depend in part on the implementation of supportive policies and reforms by the regional institutions.”

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

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Approves New US$ 312.1 Million Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Chad and Cancels the Current Arrangement

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Iconic Sheraton Cairo reopens after extensive renovation

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) (, today announced the reopening of the iconic Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino (, a city landmark for more than four decades. A highly anticipated reopening, the hotel emerges after extensive renovation to reveal a distinct and vibrant aesthetic with modern interiors, refreshed public spaces and innovative and revitalized dining concepts. Perched on the West Bank of the River Nile, it enjoys a prime location, in the heart of the city, just steps away from the Egyptian Museum, Cairo Opera House and the iconic 70 story Cairo Tower. With signature brand experiences and the warmth of the familiar hallmark Sheraton service that goes above and beyond to make every guest experience meaningful, the hotel is poised to quickly regain its glory of yesteryears.

“Sheraton Cairo was our first Sheraton hotel in Africa and has been a local icon since it’s opening in 1971,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “The reopening of this hotel is a milestone in our journey as it not only showcases our transformation efforts around the Sheraton brand, but also reinstates our commitment to Egypt as a strategic growth market.”

The hotel’s 326 fully renovated rooms and suites feature a harmonious blend of modern design with a warm palette offering unmatched comfort and the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience. Sheraton Club rooms offer exclusive access to the Sheraton® Club Lounge, a private space located on the 26th floor providing spectacular views of the city, where guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, drinks and snacks during the day. Leisure facilities include an extensive fitness center with cutting edge equipment available 24 hours a day for in-house guests, a luxurious pool and a fully equipped wellness center

Six distinctive restaurants and bars create an enriching culinary voyage and offer authentic and unique experiences. El Mawardia Depuis 1985, a social institution on the west side of the Nile for over 30 years, a place to see and be seen is back in a new avatar showcasing local cuisine paired with international favorites complemented by a thoughtfully cultivated assortment of coffees, teas, beverages as well as unique shisha flavors. Giannini’s, the first New York Italian style restaurant in Egypt, explores the joy of communal dining as the acclaimed chef prepares special dishes that will surely electrify the most refined taste buds. Inspired by mystical voyages and the many magical lands and travels that have found their place in Egyptian heritage, Rawi features undiscovered pairings of local ingredients and regional Arabic cuisine that lend their unique flavor and distinct identity to the menu at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests can look forward to starting the day with fresh coffee, pastries and savories served at the Bridge Café located in the hotel’s upper lobby, before moving to the Pool Bar to enjoy the fun atmosphere and eclectic mix-and-match menu, followed by an evening of music and classic cocktails at Studio70.

With more than 1400 square meters of dedicated and unparalleled meeting space, Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino features a lavishly appointed ballroom, 13 meeting rooms and a fully equipped business center, all with state-of-the-art facilities and seamless connectivity through high-speed Wi-Fi. The hotel provides both choice and flexibility together with thoughtful and personalized services making it an exclusive option for large-scale business meetings, social events, weddings or even smaller intimate gatherings.

“For over 45 years, generations upon generations of visitors have marveled at the breathtaking sights surrounding the iconic Sheraton Cairo Hotel and experienced its warm and welcoming service, “said Hans Joerg Kreitner, General Manager, Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino. “We are committed to going above and beyond to relive that promise as we begin a new journey that stems from this rich and cherished legacy.”

Marriott International currently operates 18 hotels in Egypt across 7 brands including JW Marriott, The Ritz Carlton, Le Méridien, Marriott Hotels, Renaissance, Sheraton and Westin. It also has two additional hotels under advanced development including Mena House and The St. Regis Cairo.

For more information on Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino please visit, or follow the property on Twitter (, Instagram (

Distributed by APO on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..

Media Contacts:
Anjali Mehra
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About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc. (, makes it easy for guests to explore, relax and enjoy the possibilities of travel at nearly 450 hotels in over 70 countries and territories around the world. Sheraton continues to enhance the brand through innovative guest experience, differentiating design, multi-channel marketing and a sharp focus on service. Sheraton is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. To learn more, visit Stay connected to Sheraton on Facebook (, and @SheratonHotels on Twitter ( and Instagram (

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) ( is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,100 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 124 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit In addition, connect with us on Facebook ( and @MarriottIntl on Twitter ( and Instagram (

Source:: Iconic Sheraton Cairo reopens after extensive renovation

Categories: AFRICA, Egypt | Tags: