Dec 102014
 

TOKYO, Japan, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. On December 9, the Government of Japan, with a view to preventing further spread of the Ebola virus disease in West African countries, decided to newly extend emergency grant aid …

Dec 102014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A group of independent experts* of the largest fact-finding and monitoring mechanism of the United Nations human rights system today called upon UN Member States and all stakeholders to increase their efforts to address the challenge of racism and racial discrimination.

On the occasion of the official launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent on 10 December, also the International Human Rights Day, the UN experts welcomed the takeoff of the International Decade as a significant political commitment in the fight against racial discrimination:

“People of African descent of all ages often face institutional racism and multiple forms of discrimination and, as a result, their fundamental human rights and dignity are violated.

Racial discrimination leads to marginalization and marginalization exacerbates the inability of individuals whose rights are more likely to be violated to effectively exercise their fundamental rights. States should take affirmative action measures to ensure that all individuals, without distinction of any kind, have the ability to exercise effectively their rights, including the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

Economic, social and cultural rights and their implementation are fundamental to the elimination of discrimination and inequality of people of African descent around the world. The socio-economic disadvantages suffered by people of African descent are intimately related to historic and contemporary discrimination in access to health, education and housing.

Sadly, the historical prevalence of racial discrimination has been reinforced in present times by increasing socio-economic inequalities, exclusion and violence against people of African descent in many societies.

The International Decade is therefore an important opportunity to eradicate all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, afrophobia and related intolerance faced by people of African descent around the world.

The International Decade will focus on recognition, justice and development for people of African descent, and we urge Member States, civil society, National Human Rights Institutions and the United Nations to combine efforts and implement practical programmes at the national, regional and international levels on the focus areas to eradicate racism and racial discrimination during the Decade.

We, as human rights experts of the United Nations System, fully support the International Decade for People of African Descent and will actively contribute to its success.”

(*) The experts: The UN Working Groups of Experts on people of African descent, on arbitrary detention, and on the use of mercenaries; the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of religion or belief, on the situation of human rights defenders, on minority issues, on the right to food, on the right to health, on the right adequate housing, on violence against women, on counter terrorism and human rights, on freedom of expression, on freedom of association, on the sale of children, on the independence of judges and lawyers, and on toxic waste; and the Independent Experts on the situation of human rights in Haiti, on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, on environment and human rights, and on the human rights of older persons.

Dec 102014
 

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — As part of its ongoing emergency response to Ebola in West Africa, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has carried out the largest-ever distribution of antimalarials in Sierra Leone, alongside the Ministry of Health. Teams distributed 1.5 million antimalarial treatments to residents of Freetown and five districts in the surrounding Western Area over four days, with the aim of protecting people from malaria during the disease’s peak season.

“In the context of Ebola, malaria is a major concern, because people who are sick with malaria have the same symptoms as people sick with Ebola,” said Patrick Robataille, MSF field coordinator in Freetown. “As a result, most people turn up at Ebola treatment centres thinking that they have Ebola, when actually they have malaria. It’s a huge load on the system, as well as being a huge stress on patients and their families.”

Sierra Leone has the fifth highest prevalence of malaria globally, and the disease is the biggest killer of children under five in the country. Malaria symptoms include high fever, dizziness, headaches, muscle aches and fatigue, many of which are similar to the symptoms of early stage Ebola.

The antimalarial drug artesunate amodiaquine can be used both to prevent and to treat malaria. Its widescale use is recommended in the context of an Ebola outbreak by the World Health Organization (WHO).

At 1.5 million treatments, this is the largest-ever distribution of antimalarials in an Ebola outbreak, as well as the largest ever conducted in Sierra Leone. “The size of this campaign is in proportion to the scale of the Ebola epidemic – it’s massive,” said Robataille.

MSF recruited and trained more than 6,000 volunteers to distribute the drugs. Supervised by MSF, the volunteers collected the antimalarials from local health centres before going house-to-house along assigned routes, explaining the purpose of the distribution and how to use the medicines to prevent malaria. Each household received age-appropriate malaria treatments for every family member. The volunteers then marked each visited home with chalk.

“All of my family are going to take the medicines – half of us have malaria in Sierra Leone,” said Humu Rahman Bangura, a nurse from Kroo Bay community who received drugs for her family from one of the volunteers. During peak season, 43-46 per cent of children in Sierra Leone’s Western Area were febrile in the previous two weeks.

Kumba Umu Koroma, a nurse and distribution volunteer, also from Kroo Bay, said that local people welcomed being provided with antimalarials. “Some people are not able to afford the common malaria drug. If we go from house to house to distribute it to them, they are very happy to receive it because they say they don’t have money to buy it.”

The mass distribution of antimalarials is part of MSF’s broader objective to fight the Ebola outbreak where it is expanding most rapidly, in the densely populated Western Area of Sierra Leone, as well as addressing the wider healthcare crisis. “We hope to reduce malaria while also reducing the burden on Ebola treatment centres,” said Marcus Bachmann, MSF’s head of mission in Sierra Leone.

A second mass distribution of antimalarials is planned by MSF for early January in Freetown and the Western Area.

Dec 102014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 reveals that 475 000 people were murdered in 2012, and homicide is the third leading cause of death globally for males aged 15-44 years, highlighting the urgent need for more decisive action to prevent violence.

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Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1612

Despite indications that homicide rates decreased by 16% globally between 2000 and 2012, violence remains widespread. Non-fatal acts of violence take a particular toll on women and children. One in four children has been physically abused; one in five girls has been sexually abused; and one in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in her lifetime.

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 and related materials may be found here: www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/status_report/2014.

Jointly published today by the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int), the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the report indicates that:

• only one third of the 133 countries surveyed are implementing large-scale initiatives to prevent violence, such as bullying prevention programmes, visits by nurses to families at risk, and support to those who care for older people;

• just over half the countries are fully enforcing a set of 12 laws generally acknowledged to prevent violence, although 80% countries have enacted them;

• only half of all countries have services in place to protect and support victims of violence.

The consequences of violence on physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health often last a lifetime. Violence also contributes to leading causes of death such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, because victims are at an increased risk of adopting behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, and unsafe sex.

“The consequences of violence on families and communities are profound, and can result in lifelong ill health for those affected,” states Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Yet we know what works to prevent violence in our homes, schools and workplaces and on our streets and playgrounds. We should take inspiration from governments which have demonstrated success in reducing violence by taking the steps needed. They have shown us that indeed violence is preventable.”

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse. Individual country profiles reflect the extent to which key violence prevention programmes and laws and selected services for victims of violence are being implemented.

The report assessed the scale of implementation of 18 “best buy” violence prevention programmes. It shows, for example, that:

• one half of countries are implementing school-based programmes to teach children and adolescents “life-skills” such as non-violent conflict resolution;

• one half of countries are promoting efforts to change gender norms supportive of violence against women;

• one third of countries are putting in place programmes to improve parenting in families at risk of violence

• less than one quarter of countries are developing public information campaigns to prevent elder abuse.

“High levels of family and community violence cripple both people’s ability to sustain their individual livelihoods, as well as a nation’s options for political, social, and economic development”, said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. “This report takes stock of the measures countries are taking to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence, but the report also reveals gaps in global violence prevention which must be filled, such as the quality and reach of prevention programmes, the access to services for victims, particularly for women and girls who are disproportionately affected by violence, and the enforcement of existing laws.”

The report also reviewed 12 laws which are relevant for violence prevention. It shows, for example, that:

• 98% of countries have laws against rape;

• 87% of countries have laws against domestic violence;

• 84% of countries have laws against carrying weapons in schools;

• 40% of countries have laws against abuse in institutions for older people.

On average 80% of countries have enacted each of these 12 laws relevant for violence prevention. However, only just over half of countries report that these laws are fully enforced.

“Laws protecting citizens against violent crime send a clear message to society about what is acceptable,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “With this Global status report on violence prevention 2014, we have a useful tool for identifying the gaps in legislation and enforcement in countries, which can help to indicate what further action is needed to ensure reductions in violent crime.”

Providing care and support to victims of violence is important for reducing psychological trauma, helping victims heal, and preventing further involvement in violence. Despite strong evidence linking experiences of violence to mental health problems, under half of countries have mental health services to address victim needs, with only 15% of countries in Africa offering such services. Over two thirds of countries make available child protection services and medico-legal services for victims of sexual violence.

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes in all countries; stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention; strengthened justice and security institutions to uphold the rule of law; and enhanced services for victims of violence. It also advocates for better and more effective use of data to inform violence prevention programming and to measure progress. The report is intended for use by governments to help identify gaps and encourage and guide actions, and by nongovernmental organizations and experts to assist governments in their efforts.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Note to Editors:

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 and related materials may be found here: www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/status_report/2014.

To have access to an advance copy of the report, and for more information, please contact:

Laura Sminkey

Communications Officer

Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention

World Health Organization, Telephone: +41 22 791 4547; Mobile: +41 79 249 3520; E-mail: sminkeyl@who.int

Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist Media & Advocacy

BERA / Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

United Nations Development Programme

Telephone: +1 212 906 5043; Mobile: +1 917 530 8980; Email: sangita.khadka@undp.org

Preeta Bannerjee

Public Information Officer

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Telephone: +43 1 26060 5764; Mobile: +43 699 1459 5764; Email: preeta.bannerjee@unodc.org

Dec 102014
 

LUANDA, Angola, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — averda (http://www.averda.com), the largest, and one of the fastest growing, waste management companies in the Middle East and Africa, is delivering city cleaning services in Ingombota, a major urban district within Angola’s capital city of Luanda. The five-year contract, awarded recently, sees averda operate in joint venture agreement, under the name Ecoverde.

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Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1610

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1611

Ingombota covers 10 sq km on the North Eastern coast of the country. It is the political and economic hub of the capital, with more than 160,000 residents. The population almost doubles during the day as it is home to the country’s Parliament, major banks, hotels, the presidential palace, three European embassies, the central bank, three towers and the headquarters of a multinational company. averda cleans 6,000km of streets in the district per month.

MohamedAli Hodeib, Chief Operating Officer for the Levant & Africa, averda said: “We are happy to be serving the people of Luanda. The stabilisation phase of the operation, debuted in April, is now complete. averda is fully deployed through Ecoverde, having achieved the initial target of bringing the city streets to the desired level of cleanliness, in par with our international standards. We are proud to be partners in Luanda’s waste management, its economic growth and with the main stakeholders in the city, its residents and visitors. We are looking forward to inspire a change in practices and to raise awareness of sound waste management.”

The contract was averda’s inaugural in Angola and its second in the region, having entered the market in Morocco in 2012. averda started with a mobilisation phase in Angola in August 2013 during which experienced teams conducted on the ground surveys to design specific and durable waste solutions. Equipment has been brought in later that year, better and newer vehicles and containers, mechanical bin washers, small vehicles to get into the narrow city streets. In September this year the scope of work widened from waste collection to include sweeping. averda introduced a new efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle for mechanical sweeping and automatic bin washing for the first time in Angola.

averda employs 350 Angolan personnel including laborers, supervisors and drivers. averda provided its Angolan workforce with safety and environmental awareness training as well as technical training on equipment.

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

Averda Public Relations:

London, UK

Tel : +44 207 5817163

Email: comms@averda.com

About averda:

averda International (http://www.averda.com) is the largest environmental solutions provider in the MENA region, specializing in integrated resources management. averda is at the forefront of innovation in the regional market, providing sustainable solutions and more than 35 years of experience in the effective management of waste for both private and public sector clients across pedestrian, residential, commercial and industrial areas.

averda’s extensive portfolio of services ranges from street cleaning through to waste collection, treatment, disposal and recycling. The company’s capabilities also include the development of solutions for water, wastewater and solid waste of public, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, all within a sustainable framework that respects the natural environment. averda also designs and implements full-scale solutions to recover valuable and recyclable resources like paper, metals, and water.

With 10,000 employees serving millions of people every day, averda operates in full compliance with international standards for quality control throughout Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Morocco and Jordan. averda is supported by GrowthGate Capital Corporation since 2008.

To download the averda App, please visit the App Store.: http://store.apple.com/

Dec 102014
 

HARGEISA, Somaliland, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dubai-based flydubai (http://www.flydubai.com) announced the addition of three new routes to its growing network. Flights to Hargeisa (Somaliland), Chennai (India), and Nejran (Saudi Arabia) will commence in the first quarter of 2015, further expanding the carrier’s footprint to 89 destinations in 46 countries.

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Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1389 (Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial (GCC, Subcontinent and Africa)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141210f3.jpg

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141210f2.jpg

From 05 March 2015, flydubai will become the first carrier to operate to Hargeisa, Somaliland from Dubai with four weekly flights. flydubai has expanded its network in Africa in 2014 to 13 points served by 60 weekly flights.

Commenting on the new announcements, Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer at flydubai, said: “2014 continues to be a very busy year for flydubai. We have announced 26 new routes since January and took delivery of eight new aircraft to support the phenomenal growth plans. We are very excited about the untapped opportunities in the emerging African markets, the progress the UAE has made on the bilateral front in India and the ongoing strong ties with Saudi.”

The new announced routes underline flydubai’s commitment to connecting the UAE to previously underserved markets. The carrier has linked Dubai to 56 underserved destinations since it started its operations in 2009.

Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial (GCC, Subcontinent, Africa) for flydubai, said: “We are committed to bringing flydubai’s high quality and reliable services to underserved markets like Hargeisa and giving passengers more options to travel to the UAE and beyond through Dubai’s aviation hub. We are sure that both our Economy Class and Business Class will exceed the passengers’ expectations and live up to the Dubai brand we proudly carry in our name.”

flydubai has a brand new fleet of 43 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and operates more than 1,200 flights a week across the Middle East, GCC, Africa, Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent.

Flight Details

Hargeisa Flight Details:

flydubai will operate four flights a week between Hargeisa and Dubai starting from 05 March 2015.

Round trip fares

Economy Class return fares from Hargeisa will start at USD575 including 20kg checked baggage, while Business Class return fares will start at USD1,900 and are inclusive of all taxes and 40kg checked baggage.

flydubai is offering a USD549 round trip inaugural fare in Economy Class valid for bookings done between 10 December 2015 and 10 January 2015.

Download the flight schedules: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141210f.png

Flights can be purchased starting today from flydubai’s website (flydubai.com), its Call Centre (+971 600 54 44 45), flydubai travel shops or through travel partners. Further information and details of the carrier’s car rental and travel insurance services can also be found on flydubai.com.

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

Media contact:

Houda Al Kaissi

Senior Press Officer

t. +971 4 603 3073

m. +971 56 683 0336

houda.alkaissi@flydubai.com

About flydubai:

Dubai-based flydubai (http://www.flydubai.com) strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, flydubai has:

• Created a network of 89 destinations, with 26 new routes announced so far in 2014.

• Opened up 56 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.

• Built up a fleet of 43 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and will take delivery of more than 100 Boeing aircraft by the end of 2023.

In addition, flydubai’s agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets.

For more information about flydubai services, please visit http://www.flydubai.com.