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Sep 162014
 

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — At the request of the Ghanaian authorities, a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Accra on September 16–25 to conduct discussions on a possible IMF-supported program. On August 8, IMF Management received a formal request from the Ghanaian authorities to initiate discussions on an IMF-supported program. Discussions will continue during the coming weeks, including at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington DC in October.

The IMF mission, led by Mr. Joël Toujas-Bernaté, will meet with government officials, private sector, and the donor community.

Sep 162014
 

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — At the request of the Ghanaian authorities, a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Accra on September 16–25 to conduct discussions on a possible IMF-supported program. On August 8, IMF Management received a formal request from the Ghanaian authorities to initiate discussions on an IMF-supported program. Discussions will continue during the coming weeks, including at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington DC in October.

The IMF mission, led by Mr. Joël Toujas-Bernaté, will meet with government officials, private sector, and the donor community.

Sep 162014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Greece staff in Crete today interviewed more survivors of the deliberate shipwreck of migrants heading to Europe from Egypt.

The survivors provided corroboration that the traffickers turned violent when the 500 migrants they were escorting to Europe refused to switch to an unseaworthy boat.

The survivors told IOM Tuesday that they already had been forced to change boats three times. When they refused a fourth switch – because they felt the smaller vessel was unsafe – an violent argument ensued. The smugglers threatened that if the passengers did not board the smaller boat they would be returned to Egypt, the survivors told IOM. The migrants persisted saying they would rather return than board the smaller boat.

At this stage, according to testimony from four of six survivors, the ten smugglers, said to be Palestinian and Egyptian, began yelling and throwing sticks at the migrants.

The smuggler’s vessel approached the boat with migrants some of whom managed to jump into the smaller boat. Witnesses say the smugglers forced them in the water and then rammed the bigger boat. It began to sink immediately while the smugglers stayed in the area until they were certain that the migrant’s vessel had sunk, witnesses said.

“After they hit our boat they waited to make sure that it had sunk completely before leaving. They were laughing” one of the survivors told IOM.

“When the boat was first struck, one of the passengers killed himself in despair by hanging,” he added.

The survivors, women among them, included two Palestinian nationals, an Egyptian national and one Syrian. All the witnesses stated that the smugglers were Palestinian and Egyptian nationals.

The two Palestinian survivors in Crete said their voyage began hopefully at what they called a “travel” office in Gaza, which made arrangements to get them to Italy. The cost of travel for each migrant was US$2000, paid in advance. The survivors said they had received grants to rebuild their homes and used that to pay the smugglers. The migrants were advised by the “travel” office to be in a particular spot in Egypt so that they could travel onwards by boat.

According to their statements, they arrived separately at the rendezvous in Egypt where four buses waited to take them to the Port of Damietta near Alexandria. The survivors estimated that each bus contained up to 100 persons. At the port they boarded a ship, which they estimated was 15-18 metres long with migrants already aboard.

“When we got to the port to board it looked like the ship was already half full,” the witness said.

The Captain did a headcount, and without including minors under 10 years old, counted 400-450 migrants. Based on this testimony IOM believes that up to 100 children may have been aboard and are lost at sea.

According to witnesses testimony the ship had two decks with 300 people below and 200 on the upper deck. They were at sea for four days and had to change to smaller vessels three times. Witnesses stated that the 300 people who were in the lower deck were trapped and drowned immediately. The survivors say they watched as those thrown in the water clung to each other trying to stay alive.

“The rest of us linked arms in a circle so that no one else would be lost,” a survivor told IOM in Crete.

Several managed to stay above the water for up to three days. But on the third day the weather changed: strong winds and waves swept the area and people began to disappear under the water.

Sometime later a freighter picked up nine survivors. Seven of these, including a 2 year-old girl were flown by a Greek military helicopter to hospital in Crete. One of the survivors perished and a girl remains in critical condition.

Survivors in Crete have provided the authorities’ information on the criminal gangs to the Greek Coastguard.

Infographic: http://goo.gl/JJNjzc

Sep 162014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — SkyVision Global Networks Ltd. (http://www.skyvision.net), a leading global communication provider, today announced its sponsorship of the upcoming AfricaCom 2014 Conference, November 11-13, Cape Town. In addition to sponsoring the show, SkyVision will further its presence by both presenting at AfricaCom and VSAT Africa conferences and actively participating in several key panel sessions.

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

AfricaCom is deemed the largest, most professional tech event in Africa that welcomes senior decision-makers from across the digital ecosystem. AfricaCom 2014 will be attended by close to 10,000 participants, many of whom are leaders in Africa’s digital community, supported by over 300 guest speakers from Africa’s telco sector. This event is the ideal platform to learn all about new technologies and trends in the communications arena specifically suited to the African market.

“We welcome the opportunity of participating in this leading industry event in Africa as a returning exhibitor and this year, as a proud sponsor,” comments Dror Limor, SkyVision VP Sales & Marketing. “SkyVision is deeply rooted in Africa’s fast-growing telco market and takes active means in bridging the digital divide across its rural areas. We view this event as the ideal venue for us to further expand our reach throughout the continent, meeting with customers, partners, prospects, and some of the industry’s foremost decision-makers.” He added.

This year, SkyVision will highlight its extensive suite of customized, end to end communication solutions and industry-standard services. Backed by its international gateways, local PoPs and redundant global MPLS network – the company’s solutions are well positioned to offer complete turn-key connectivity solutions suited to Africa’s corporate, government and telco markets.

SkyVision’s success in Africa is the result of its reliable, hybrid satellite/terrestrial network solutions, 24/7 support centers and strong local presence through local partners, representatives and SkyVision offices in Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and South Africa.

Visit SkyVision at AfricaCom 2014, November 11-13, Cape Town, Booth D4a

To schedule a meeting with the SkyVision team, contact us at: info@skyvision.net

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of SkyVision Global Networks Ltd.

For more information, contact:

Iris Tovim

Marketing Communications Director

SkyVision Global Networks

+44 20 8387 1750

irist@skyvision.net

About SkyVision

SkyVision is a global communications service provider, offering comprehensive, integrated solutions to meet all corporate, government and telco market requirements. With an emphasis on its customers’ local or regional requirements, SkyVision offers superior network connectivity solutions. Known for its innovative approach, the company offers an extensive suite of both customized solutions and industry-standard services for end-to-end IP connectivity (http://www.skyvision.net/enterprise-solutions), managed from its international gateways and selected local hubs. SkyVision’s global-reaching network connects its customers to the Internet backbone with more than ten satellite platforms and a network of high-capacity fiber optic cables, via its gateways in Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East as well as multiple points of presence (POPs) in Africa. SkyVision currently commands a satellite and fiber network IP connectivity (http://www.skyvision.net/service/fiber-solutions) spanning 100 countries. The company’s C-Band and Ku-Band VSAT network solutions (http://www.skyvision.net/services/lobby2/Internet%20Connectivity) draw on SkyVision’s extensive space segment inventory from leading satellite providers and its capacity is carefully tailored to customers’ individual needs for optimal cost-effectiveness. Visit http://www.skyvision.net.

Sep 162014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today in Geneva launched a central contribution of the response to the outbreak of ebola in West Africa.

“The ebola crisis is unprecedented. It requires an exceptional, international response to address both the health crisis and the broader societal, economic and political threats to the countries affected,” said Dr. David Nabarro, UN System Senior Coordinator for Ebola.

“A growing number of international partners are coming together in the Global Ebola Response Coalition (GERC). They will help implement critical actions and support a safe and disciplined response at national and international levels,” Dr. Nabarro said, calling on donors to give the response highest priority. The GERC includes authorities in affected and at-risk countries, civil society, private sector, non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations, international financial institutions and UN Member States.

The ebola outbreak continues to accelerate with nearly 5,000 people infected and more than 2,400 deaths across Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Up to 60-70 per cent of those infected do not survive.

The Overview of Needs and Requirements document presented to UN Member States, including the affected countries, goes beyond the need to treat, contain and prevent ebola. It includes elements of the response required to non-ebola humanitarian needs which have been compounded by the outbreak. The plan mainly covers activities in the three most-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone for six months.

“We will do everything we can to support national governments, UN agencies, NGOs and other partners as they work on healthcare, food security, sanitation and protection issues. They are an essential part of the response if we are to stabilize this outbreak and mitigate its long-term effects,” said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

The West Africa outbreak has a higher caseload than all other previous ebola crises combined and more than 22 million people are living in areas where active ebola transmission has been reported.

“The WHO Ebola Roadmap, launched at the end of August, sets out what we have to do to stop ebola. But it will take more than a plan to finish ebola. The strong commitment made by our UN partners and Member States is what is needed to beat this virus. And real engagement by world leaders will make the difference,” said Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General in the World Health Organization.

Sep 162014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today in Geneva launched a central contribution of the response to the outbreak of ebola in West Africa.

“The ebola crisis is unprecedented. It requires an exceptional, international response to address both the health crisis and the broader societal, economic and political threats to the countries affected,” said Dr. David Nabarro, UN System Senior Coordinator for Ebola.

“A growing number of international partners are coming together in the Global Ebola Response Coalition (GERC). They will help implement critical actions and support a safe and disciplined response at national and international levels,” Dr. Nabarro said, calling on donors to give the response highest priority. The GERC includes authorities in affected and at-risk countries, civil society, private sector, non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations, international financial institutions and UN Member States.

The ebola outbreak continues to accelerate with nearly 5,000 people infected and more than 2,400 deaths across Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Up to 60-70 per cent of those infected do not survive.

The Overview of Needs and Requirements document presented to UN Member States, including the affected countries, goes beyond the need to treat, contain and prevent ebola. It includes elements of the response required to non-ebola humanitarian needs which have been compounded by the outbreak. The plan mainly covers activities in the three most-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone for six months.

“We will do everything we can to support national governments, UN agencies, NGOs and other partners as they work on healthcare, food security, sanitation and protection issues. They are an essential part of the response if we are to stabilize this outbreak and mitigate its long-term effects,” said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

The West Africa outbreak has a higher caseload than all other previous ebola crises combined and more than 22 million people are living in areas where active ebola transmission has been reported.

“The WHO Ebola Roadmap, launched at the end of August, sets out what we have to do to stop ebola. But it will take more than a plan to finish ebola. The strong commitment made by our UN partners and Member States is what is needed to beat this virus. And real engagement by world leaders will make the difference,” said Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General in the World Health Organization.

Sep 162014
 

GAUTENG, South Africa, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dassault Aviation (http://www.dassault-aviation.com) will present its large cabin, long range Falcon 7X at the Africa Aerospace & Defence Expo, to be held in Gauteng, South Africa on 17-21 September 2014.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/1409161.jpg

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/140916.jpg

AAD is billed as the foremost exhibit of aviation technology on the African continent. More than a third of Africa’s business jets and some of its biggest operators are based in South Africa. And nearby Angola, along with Nigeria, is one of its fastest growing markets.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is an area of fast growth and industries such as mining, oil and gas and agriculture are booming which provides expanding demand for business aviation,” said Gilles Gautier, Vice President, Falcon Sales for Dassault Aviation. “Falcons, with their exceptional short field and hot-and-high performance and low operating economics, are ideal for the tough conditions and vast expanses of this market.”

Among their many advantages, Falcons can access challenging airports where competitors are unable to operate or can operate only with limited range. For example, all in-production Falcons are approved for operation at London City Airport – one of the world’s most restricted airports. Falcons are also exceptionally sturdy -a strong selling point in Africa, where the average age of business aircraft is higher than elsewhere.

These features have enabled Dassault to capture a commanding 33% share of the African market and a quarter of the large cabin segment. The popularity of the Falcon line is not limited to the business community: government users operate 30% of the Falcons on the continent.

Falcon sales and deliveries are led by the 5,950 nautical mile range Falcon 7X, the most flexible and popular of the large cabin business jets. Dassault recently celebrated the rollout of the 250th 7X – the fastest any Falcon jet has ever reached this milestone. The 7X is currently being certified to operate at Daocheng Yading airport in China’s Sichuan province, the world’s highest commercial airfield. Earlier this year the airplane set a new Mach 0.88 cruise speed record between Teterboro, New Jersey, near New York, and London City.

The newly introduced very large cabin Falcon 5X and ultra long range Falcon 8X are expected to further boost African demand. The twin-engine 5X will feature the highest and widest cabin in business aviation. The 6,450 nm 8X, an extended version of the 7X featuring an unparalleled selection of cabin configurations will enable customers to fly non-stop from Cape Town to London or Johannesburg to Moscow while benefiting from the outstanding operating economy and flexibility offered by the 7X.

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

Notes for Editors

Dassault Falcon (http://www.dassaultfalcon.com) is the recognized global brand for Dassault business jets which are designed, manufactured and supported by Dassault Aviation and Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.

About Dassault Aviation

Dassault Aviation (http://www.dassault-aviation.com) is a leading aerospace company with a presence in over 80 countries across five continents. It produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcons. The company employs a workforce of over 11,000 and has assembly and production plants in both France and the United States and service facilities around the globe. Since the rollout of the first Falcon 20 in 1963, over 2,250 Falcon jets have been delivered. Dassault offers a range of six business jets from the twin-engine 3,350 nm large-cabin Falcon 2000S to its new flagship, the tri-engine 6,450 nm ultra-long-range Falcon 8X.

About Dassault Falcon Jet

Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, France. Dassault Falcon Jet markets and supports the Falcon family of business jets throughout North America, South America and the Pacific Rim countries of Asia, including the People’s Republic of China.

Press Contacts

Dassault Aviation (Saint-Cloud, France)

Vadim Feldzer Tel. +33 1 47 11 44 13

vadim.feldzer@dassault-aviation.com

Marie-Alexandrine Fouillard Tel. +33 1 47 11 64 23

marie-alexandrine.fouillard@dassault-aviation.com

Dassault Falcon Jet (Teterboro Airport, USA)

Andrew Ponzoni Tel. +1 201 541 45 88

andrew.ponzoni@falconjet.com

Grant Kielczewski Tel. +1 201 541 46 79

grant.kielczewski@falconjet.com

Follow us on Twitter: @DassaultFalcon

Photos

Copy and paste the link into your browser to access the high resolution photos: http://www.falconphotogallery.com

For more information about Dassault Falcon business jets, visit: http://www.dassaultfalcon.com

Sep 162014
 

GAUTENG, South Africa, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dassault Aviation (http://www.dassault-aviation.com) will present its large cabin, long range Falcon 7X at the Africa Aerospace & Defence Expo, to be held in Gauteng, South Africa on 17-21 September 2014.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/1409161.jpg

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/140916.jpg

AAD is billed as the foremost exhibit of aviation technology on the African continent. More than a third of Africa’s business jets and some of its biggest operators are based in South Africa. And nearby Angola, along with Nigeria, is one of its fastest growing markets.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is an area of fast growth and industries such as mining, oil and gas and agriculture are booming which provides expanding demand for business aviation,” said Gilles Gautier, Vice President, Falcon Sales for Dassault Aviation. “Falcons, with their exceptional short field and hot-and-high performance and low operating economics, are ideal for the tough conditions and vast expanses of this market.”

Among their many advantages, Falcons can access challenging airports where competitors are unable to operate or can operate only with limited range. For example, all in-production Falcons are approved for operation at London City Airport – one of the world’s most restricted airports. Falcons are also exceptionally sturdy -a strong selling point in Africa, where the average age of business aircraft is higher than elsewhere.

These features have enabled Dassault to capture a commanding 33% share of the African market and a quarter of the large cabin segment. The popularity of the Falcon line is not limited to the business community: government users operate 30% of the Falcons on the continent.

Falcon sales and deliveries are led by the 5,950 nautical mile range Falcon 7X, the most flexible and popular of the large cabin business jets. Dassault recently celebrated the rollout of the 250th 7X – the fastest any Falcon jet has ever reached this milestone. The 7X is currently being certified to operate at Daocheng Yading airport in China’s Sichuan province, the world’s highest commercial airfield. Earlier this year the airplane set a new Mach 0.88 cruise speed record between Teterboro, New Jersey, near New York, and London City.

The newly introduced very large cabin Falcon 5X and ultra long range Falcon 8X are expected to further boost African demand. The twin-engine 5X will feature the highest and widest cabin in business aviation. The 6,450 nm 8X, an extended version of the 7X featuring an unparalleled selection of cabin configurations will enable customers to fly non-stop from Cape Town to London or Johannesburg to Moscow while benefiting from the outstanding operating economy and flexibility offered by the 7X.

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

Notes for Editors

Dassault Falcon (http://www.dassaultfalcon.com) is the recognized global brand for Dassault business jets which are designed, manufactured and supported by Dassault Aviation and Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.

About Dassault Aviation

Dassault Aviation (http://www.dassault-aviation.com) is a leading aerospace company with a presence in over 80 countries across five continents. It produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcons. The company employs a workforce of over 11,000 and has assembly and production plants in both France and the United States and service facilities around the globe. Since the rollout of the first Falcon 20 in 1963, over 2,250 Falcon jets have been delivered. Dassault offers a range of six business jets from the twin-engine 3,350 nm large-cabin Falcon 2000S to its new flagship, the tri-engine 6,450 nm ultra-long-range Falcon 8X.

About Dassault Falcon Jet

Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, France. Dassault Falcon Jet markets and supports the Falcon family of business jets throughout North America, South America and the Pacific Rim countries of Asia, including the People’s Republic of China.

Press Contacts

Dassault Aviation (Saint-Cloud, France)

Vadim Feldzer Tel. +33 1 47 11 44 13

vadim.feldzer@dassault-aviation.com

Marie-Alexandrine Fouillard Tel. +33 1 47 11 64 23

marie-alexandrine.fouillard@dassault-aviation.com

Dassault Falcon Jet (Teterboro Airport, USA)

Andrew Ponzoni Tel. +1 201 541 45 88

andrew.ponzoni@falconjet.com

Grant Kielczewski Tel. +1 201 541 46 79

grant.kielczewski@falconjet.com

Follow us on Twitter: @DassaultFalcon

Photos

Copy and paste the link into your browser to access the high resolution photos: http://www.falconphotogallery.com

For more information about Dassault Falcon business jets, visit: http://www.dassaultfalcon.com

Sep 162014
 

ROME, Italy, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — About 805 million people in the world, or one in nine, suffer from hunger, according to a new UN report released today.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) confirmed a positive trend which has seen the number of hungry people decline globally by more than 100 million over the last decade and by more than 200 million since 1990-92. The report is published annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The overall trend in hunger reduction in developing countries means that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 is within reach, “if appropriate and immediate efforts are stepped up,” the report said. To date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDG target, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015.

“This is proof that we can win the war against hunger and should inspire countries to move forward, with the assistance of the international community as needed,” the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP, José Graziano da Silva, Kanayo F. Nwanze and Ertharin Cousin, wrote in their foreword to the report.

They stressed that “accelerated, substantial and sustainable hunger reduction is possible with the requisite political commitment,” and that “this has to be well informed by sound understanding of national challenges, relevant policy options, broad participation and lessons from other experiences.”

SOFI 2014 noted how access to food has improved rapidly and significantly in countries that have experienced overall economic progress, notably in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia. Access to food has also improved in Southern Asia and Latin America, but mainly in countries with adequate safety nets and other forms of social protection including for the rural poor.

Hunger reduction has accelerated, but some lag behind

Despite significant progress overall, several regions and sub-regions continue to lag behind. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than one in four people remain chronically undernourished, while Asia, the world’s most populous region, is also home to the majority of the hungry – 526 million people.

Latin America and the Caribbean have made the greatest overall strides in increasing food security. Meanwhile Oceania has accomplished only a modest improvement (1.7 percent decline) in the prevalence of undernourishment, which stood at 14.0 percent in 2012-14, and has actually seen the number of its hungry increase since 1990-92.

The agency heads noted that of the 63 countries which have reached the MDG target, 25 have also achieved the more ambitious World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015. However, the report indicated that time has run out on reaching the WFS target at the global level.

Creating an enabling environment through coordinated actions

With the number of undernourished people remaining “unacceptably high”, the agency heads stressed the need to renew the political commitment to tackle hunger and to transform it into concrete actions. In this context, the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP welcomed the pledge at the 2014 African Union summit in June to end hunger on the continent by 2025.

“Food insecurity and malnutrition are complex problems that cannot be solved by one sector or stakeholder alone, but need to be tackled in a coordinated way,” they added, calling on governments to work closely with the private sector and civil society.

The FAO, IFAD and WFP report specifies that hunger eradication requires establishing an enabling environment and an integrated approach. Such an approach includes public and private investments to increase agricultural productivity; access to land, services, technologies and markets; and measures to promote rural development and social protection for the most vulnerable, including strengthening their resilience to conflicts and natural disasters. The report also emphasizes the importance of specific nutrition programmes, particularly to address micronutrient deficiencies of mothers and children under five.

Case studies

This year’s report includes seven case studies – Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi and Yemen – that highlight some of the ways that countries tackle hunger and how external events may influence their capacity to deliver on achieving food security and nutrition objectives. The countries were chosen because of their political, economic – particularly in the agricultural sector – diversities, and cultural differences.

Bolivia, for example, has created institutions to involve a range of stakeholders, particularly previously marginalized indigenous people.

Brazil’s Zero Hunger programme, which placed achievement of food security at the centre of the government’s agenda, is at the heart of progress that led the country to achieve both the MDG and WFS targets. Current programmes to eradicate extreme poverty in the country build on the approach of linking policies for family farming with social protection in a highly inclusive manner.

Haiti, where more than half the population is chronically undernourished, is still struggling to recover from the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The report notes how the country has adopted a national programme to strengthen livelihoods and improve agricultural productivity by supporting small family farmers’ access to inputs and services.

Indonesia has adopted legal frameworks and established institutions to improve food security and nutrition. Its policy coordination mechanism involves ministries, NGOs and community leaders. Measures address a wide range of challenges from agricultural productivity growth to nutritious and safe diets.

Madagascar is emerging from a political crisis and is resuming relationships with international development partners aimed at tackling poverty and malnutrition. It is also working in partnership to build resilience to shocks and climate hazards, including cyclones, droughts and locust invasions, which often afflict the island nation.

Malawi has reached the MDG hunger target, thanks to a strong and persistent commitment to boost maize production. However, malnutrition remains a challenge – 50 percent of children under five are stunted and 12.8 percent are underweight. To address the issue, the government is promoting community-based nutrition interventions to diversify production to include legumes, milk, fisheries and aquaculture, for healthier diets, and to improve incomes at the household level.

Conflict, economic downturn, low agricultural productivity and poverty have made Yemen one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. Besides restoring political security and economic stability, the government aims to reduce hunger by one-third by 2015 and to make 90 percent of the population food-secure by 2020. It also aims to reduce the current critical rates of child malnutrition by at least one percentage point per year.

The findings and recommendations of SOFI 2014 will be discussed by governments, civil society, and private sector representatives at the 13-18 October meeting of the Committee on World Food Security, at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The report will also be a focus of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome from 19-21 November, which FAO is jointly organizing with the World Health Organization. This high-level intergovernmental meeting seeks, at a global level, renewed political commitment to combat malnutrition with the overall goal of improving diets and raising nutrition levels.

Sep 162014
 

ROME, Italy, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — About 805 million people in the world, or one in nine, suffer from hunger, according to a new UN report released today.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) confirmed a positive trend which has seen the number of hungry people decline globally by more than 100 million over the last decade and by more than 200 million since 1990-92. The report is published annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The overall trend in hunger reduction in developing countries means that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 is within reach, “if appropriate and immediate efforts are stepped up,” the report said. To date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDG target, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015.

“This is proof that we can win the war against hunger and should inspire countries to move forward, with the assistance of the international community as needed,” the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP, José Graziano da Silva, Kanayo F. Nwanze and Ertharin Cousin, wrote in their foreword to the report.

They stressed that “accelerated, substantial and sustainable hunger reduction is possible with the requisite political commitment,” and that “this has to be well informed by sound understanding of national challenges, relevant policy options, broad participation and lessons from other experiences.”

SOFI 2014 noted how access to food has improved rapidly and significantly in countries that have experienced overall economic progress, notably in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia. Access to food has also improved in Southern Asia and Latin America, but mainly in countries with adequate safety nets and other forms of social protection including for the rural poor.

Hunger reduction has accelerated, but some lag behind

Despite significant progress overall, several regions and sub-regions continue to lag behind. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than one in four people remain chronically undernourished, while Asia, the world’s most populous region, is also home to the majority of the hungry – 526 million people.

Latin America and the Caribbean have made the greatest overall strides in increasing food security. Meanwhile Oceania has accomplished only a modest improvement (1.7 percent decline) in the prevalence of undernourishment, which stood at 14.0 percent in 2012-14, and has actually seen the number of its hungry increase since 1990-92.

The agency heads noted that of the 63 countries which have reached the MDG target, 25 have also achieved the more ambitious World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015. However, the report indicated that time has run out on reaching the WFS target at the global level.

Creating an enabling environment through coordinated actions

With the number of undernourished people remaining “unacceptably high”, the agency heads stressed the need to renew the political commitment to tackle hunger and to transform it into concrete actions. In this context, the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP welcomed the pledge at the 2014 African Union summit in June to end hunger on the continent by 2025.

“Food insecurity and malnutrition are complex problems that cannot be solved by one sector or stakeholder alone, but need to be tackled in a coordinated way,” they added, calling on governments to work closely with the private sector and civil society.

The FAO, IFAD and WFP report specifies that hunger eradication requires establishing an enabling environment and an integrated approach. Such an approach includes public and private investments to increase agricultural productivity; access to land, services, technologies and markets; and measures to promote rural development and social protection for the most vulnerable, including strengthening their resilience to conflicts and natural disasters. The report also emphasizes the importance of specific nutrition programmes, particularly to address micronutrient deficiencies of mothers and children under five.

Case studies

This year’s report includes seven case studies – Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi and Yemen – that highlight some of the ways that countries tackle hunger and how external events may influence their capacity to deliver on achieving food security and nutrition objectives. The countries were chosen because of their political, economic – particularly in the agricultural sector – diversities, and cultural differences.

Bolivia, for example, has created institutions to involve a range of stakeholders, particularly previously marginalized indigenous people.

Brazil’s Zero Hunger programme, which placed achievement of food security at the centre of the government’s agenda, is at the heart of progress that led the country to achieve both the MDG and WFS targets. Current programmes to eradicate extreme poverty in the country build on the approach of linking policies for family farming with social protection in a highly inclusive manner.

Haiti, where more than half the population is chronically undernourished, is still struggling to recover from the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The report notes how the country has adopted a national programme to strengthen livelihoods and improve agricultural productivity by supporting small family farmers’ access to inputs and services.

Indonesia has adopted legal frameworks and established institutions to improve food security and nutrition. Its policy coordination mechanism involves ministries, NGOs and community leaders. Measures address a wide range of challenges from agricultural productivity growth to nutritious and safe diets.

Madagascar is emerging from a political crisis and is resuming relationships with international development partners aimed at tackling poverty and malnutrition. It is also working in partnership to build resilience to shocks and climate hazards, including cyclones, droughts and locust invasions, which often afflict the island nation.

Malawi has reached the MDG hunger target, thanks to a strong and persistent commitment to boost maize production. However, malnutrition remains a challenge – 50 percent of children under five are stunted and 12.8 percent are underweight. To address the issue, the government is promoting community-based nutrition interventions to diversify production to include legumes, milk, fisheries and aquaculture, for healthier diets, and to improve incomes at the household level.

Conflict, economic downturn, low agricultural productivity and poverty have made Yemen one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. Besides restoring political security and economic stability, the government aims to reduce hunger by one-third by 2015 and to make 90 percent of the population food-secure by 2020. It also aims to reduce the current critical rates of child malnutrition by at least one percentage point per year.

The findings and recommendations of SOFI 2014 will be discussed by governments, civil society, and private sector representatives at the 13-18 October meeting of the Committee on World Food Security, at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The report will also be a focus of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome from 19-21 November, which FAO is jointly organizing with the World Health Organization. This high-level intergovernmental meeting seeks, at a global level, renewed political commitment to combat malnutrition with the overall goal of improving diets and raising nutrition levels.

Sep 162014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Investigators from the International Organization for Migration have obtained eyewitness testimony of a tragic incident in which as many as 500 migrants were drowned when their vessel was deliberately sunk in the Mediterranean.

These reports point to a growing death toll off Europe’s shores which this year already approaches 3,000. That’s nearly four times the figure from 2013, which IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimated to be 700 deaths.

“The numbers dying off Europe’s coasts are shocking and unacceptable,” said IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing, “These are women, children and men who only hope for a more dignified life. The risks they take reflect their desperation and we cannot keep abandoning them to their fate.”

IOM staff and Italian police have interviewed two survivors brought ashore to the town of Pollazzo in Sicily. Both are Palestinian men from Gaza who were rescued separately after days in the water clinging to flotation devices. They told investigators that their overcrowded vessel was sent to the bottom by enraged smugglers when demands that they move to a less seaworthy vessel were rejected by the migrants. The survivors, aged 27 and 33, who have requested asylum, described harrowing scenes as exhausted victims succumbed all around them.

By Tuesday morning authorities in Italy, Malta and Greece had confirmed to IOM staffers the rescue of 10 migrants from the lost vessel. Additionally, three bodies from the shipwreck have been found.

The survivors in Sicily told IOM that they left the port of Damietta in Egypt on Saturday, September 6th, with some 500 men, women and children from the Middle East and Africa aboard. They said they were forced to switch vessels several times but resisted a switch to a replacement craft they deemed un-seaworthy. Enraged, the traffickers reportedly rammed the boat with their own, the witnesses said.

The two witnesses told IOM staff they fled Gaza through Egypt at the beginning of September.

According to their testimony there were Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese aboard.

“If survivors’ reports are confirmed, this will be the worst shipwreck of migrants in years, not an accidental tragedy, but the apparent deliberate drowning of migrants by criminal gangs who extort money for their desperate journeys. Their actions are as callous as they are evil,” said IOM spokesperson Leonard Doyle.

Other survivors of the tragedy who were brought ashore in Crete confirmed that there were some 500 migrants on the vessel when it sank.

Most of the 500 passengers drowned, but others managed to remain afloat by holding on to debris and flotation devices. After almost two days in the sea, a Panamanian-flagged merchant vessel “Pegasus”, carrying 386 migrants rescued from yet another boat, found the two Palestinian men floating in the water. They were taken to the Italian port of Pozzallo two days ago where they remain in a state of exhaustion and shock after their experience.

A UK-flagged vessel saved another five adults and a child from the sea and they are now in Crete. Two others were rescued off Malta.

Authorities are also investigating a report that a further 200 people are missing, presumed drowned in an incident off Libya and another 15 died off the coast of Egypt.

If these reports are verified, the death toll for the past week would be over 700 people lost at sea, making this one of the most deadly periods of recent years.

Sep 162014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Investigators from the International Organization for Migration have obtained eyewitness testimony of a tragic incident in which as many as 500 migrants were drowned when their vessel was deliberately sunk in the Mediterranean.

These reports point to a growing death toll off Europe’s shores which this year already approaches 3,000. That’s nearly four times the figure from 2013, which IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimated to be 700 deaths.

“The numbers dying off Europe’s coasts are shocking and unacceptable,” said IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing, “These are women, children and men who only hope for a more dignified life. The risks they take reflect their desperation and we cannot keep abandoning them to their fate.”

IOM staff and Italian police have interviewed two survivors brought ashore to the town of Pollazzo in Sicily. Both are Palestinian men from Gaza who were rescued separately after days in the water clinging to flotation devices. They told investigators that their overcrowded vessel was sent to the bottom by enraged smugglers when demands that they move to a less seaworthy vessel were rejected by the migrants. The survivors, aged 27 and 33, who have requested asylum, described harrowing scenes as exhausted victims succumbed all around them.

By Tuesday morning authorities in Italy, Malta and Greece had confirmed to IOM staffers the rescue of 10 migrants from the lost vessel. Additionally, three bodies from the shipwreck have been found.

The survivors in Sicily told IOM that they left the port of Damietta in Egypt on Saturday, September 6th, with some 500 men, women and children from the Middle East and Africa aboard. They said they were forced to switch vessels several times but resisted a switch to a replacement craft they deemed un-seaworthy. Enraged, the traffickers reportedly rammed the boat with their own, the witnesses said.

The two witnesses told IOM staff they fled Gaza through Egypt at the beginning of September.

According to their testimony there were Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese aboard.

“If survivors’ reports are confirmed, this will be the worst shipwreck of migrants in years, not an accidental tragedy, but the apparent deliberate drowning of migrants by criminal gangs who extort money for their desperate journeys. Their actions are as callous as they are evil,” said IOM spokesperson Leonard Doyle.

Other survivors of the tragedy who were brought ashore in Crete confirmed that there were some 500 migrants on the vessel when it sank.

Most of the 500 passengers drowned, but others managed to remain afloat by holding on to debris and flotation devices. After almost two days in the sea, a Panamanian-flagged merchant vessel “Pegasus”, carrying 386 migrants rescued from yet another boat, found the two Palestinian men floating in the water. They were taken to the Italian port of Pozzallo two days ago where they remain in a state of exhaustion and shock after their experience.

A UK-flagged vessel saved another five adults and a child from the sea and they are now in Crete. Two others were rescued off Malta.

Authorities are also investigating a report that a further 200 people are missing, presumed drowned in an incident off Libya and another 15 died off the coast of Egypt.

If these reports are verified, the death toll for the past week would be over 700 people lost at sea, making this one of the most deadly periods of recent years.