Launch of emergency vaccination campaigns on the DR Congo and Angola border

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As the yellow fever outbreak in Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, the World Health Organization will launch emergency pre-emptive vaccination campaigns on the DR Congo, Angola border and the city of Kinshasa in the DR Congo to halt the epidemic and prevent the risk of further international spread.

The initial phase of the campaign which begins in July will focus on districts where there is high movement of people and intense trade activities, particularly the northern border districts of Angola and targeted border districts in neighbouring countries. Specifically, within a 75-100km belt spanning the border between Angola and DR Congo and targeted health zones/communes at risk in Kinshasa city in the DR Congo. This will create an immune buffer to prevent further international spread.

Important gains in preventive vaccination campaigns have been achieved. So far more than 15 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to Angola and DR Congo. However, the urgent need to accelerate vaccination campaigns and the lack of sufficient funds for field operational activities, remain a challenge in Angola and DR Congo.

“While WHO is working with partners and vaccine manufacturers to increase vaccine production and replenish the emergency stockpile currently being used for this outbreak, it is vital to interrupt transmission, especially in cross-border areas to rapidly bring this outbreak under control and halt further international spread,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa.

Angola and DR Congo are being supported by WHO and partners to strengthen yellow fever screening for evidence at all major points of entry including – Luanda, Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Matadi. Yellow fever vaccination is being offered at these points of entry for eligible travelers.

“WHO will continue to work with partners to scale up the required human resources, financial and other logistics so that response teams are present in every province of Angola where cases have been reported or where there is high risk. WHO will also continue its resource mobilization efforts as more resources are needed to address the operational challenges in Angola. In addition, to this a multidisciplinary team of experts will next week begin an evaluation of the response efforts in Angola and DR Congo and address any gaps.” the Regional Director added.

As of 13 June 2016, three countries – China, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – had reported cases linked to the Angola outbreak. An alert issued by the Republic of Congo is under investigation by a joint Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF team. Two suspected cases of yellow fever earlier reported in Sao Tome and Principe were investigated and have been ruled out. Another outbreak of yellow fever reported in Uganda and not linked to the Angola outbreak has been controlled.

As of 19 June 2016, 1106 suspected cases, including 75 deaths, had been reported in the country in five provinces (Bas-Uélé, Kwango, Tshuapa, Kongo Central and Kinshasa). At least 7 cases are confirmed as locally transmitted. WHO has dispatched multidisciplinary teams to Kongo Central, Kwango and Kinshasa provinces and is supporting the country with active case investigations, reactive vaccination and social mobilization activities.

_______________________________________________________

NOTE TO THE EDITORS:

In light of the increasing concern over the current outbreak, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, convened an Emergency Committee meeting on 19 May 2016. The Committee concluded that the urban outbreak of yellow fever in Angola and its national and international spread to China, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya does not, at this time, constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) but is a serious public health event which warrants intensified national action with international support.

WHO is the Secretariat for the International Coordinating Group for Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (ICG). The ICG maintains an emergency stockpile of yellow fever vaccines to ensure rapid response to outbreaks in high-risk countries. WHO works with its partners in the ICG to control the stockpile of yellow fever vaccines and to manage global supply of the vaccine. The ICG approves and facilitates the dispatch of vaccine to countries in need of emergency response.

The Yellow Fever Initiative is financially supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI Alliance), the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), ministries of health, and partners in countries.

For more information on yellow fever, please click on http://www.who.int/emergencies/yellow-fever/en/

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

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Sweden supports United Nations humanitarian air service in Sudan

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution from the Government of Sweden to support the WFP-operated United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Sudan.

This contribution from Sweden, of SEK 5 million (approximately US$600,000), will allow WFP to continue running a safe and reliable air service to hundreds of humanitarian staff serving vulnerable communities across Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan.

“UNHAS continues to play a unique role in humanitarian operations across the world through delivering humanitarian cargo and transporting workers to and from affected areas,” said the Swedish Ambassador to Sudan, Mette Sunnergren. “Sweden will continue to support UNHAS in order to support humanitarian logistics in Sudan in 2016.”

In recent months, UNHAS has played a significant role in flying aid workers into locations where people fleeing the conflict in Jebel Marra area have gone. The air service has ensured that staff were on the ground to conduct a rapid assessment and provide much-needed assistance.

“We are very grateful to the people and Government of Sweden for this timely contribution that helps us maintain this critical service to the humanitarian community to facilitate our reaching those in urgent need of assistance, wherever they are,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan.

During the first quarter of 2016, UNHAS has made more than 1,150 flights carrying nearly 9,000 passengers and has also performed two medical evacuations.

In 2015, UNHAS carried 37,129 passengers – half of them UN staff and the remainder mostly NGO staff, in addition to a small number of government officials dealing with humanitarian affairs, donor representatives and diplomats.

Established in Sudan in 2004, UNHAS is run by a steering committee comprising representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and donors, but is directly managed by WFP Sudan. On average, UNHAS transports 3,500 passengers and 20 metric tons of light cargo each month to more than 40 locations in Sudan. It also provides medical and security evacuations when needed.

The humanitarian air service – like WFP, is entirely funded by voluntary contributions – relies on a fleet of five aircraft (two fixed-wing aircraft and three helicopters) based in Khartoum, Nyala, El-Fasher and Geneina. While the fixed-wing aircraft provide air shuttle services from Khartoum to the three Darfur state capitals, the helicopters facilitate humanitarian travel to areas that are inaccessible by road, either due to insecurity or poor road conditions. Other contributors to UNHAS in Sudan include Canada, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Common Humanitarian Fund.

# # #

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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First Lady Michelle Obama to travel to Marrakech June 28 and 29

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On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 28-29, 2016, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama will travel to Marrakech, Morocco.

On June 28, the First Lady—joined by Meryl Streep, also an advocate for girls’ education, and Freida Pinto—will participate in a conversation with adolescent Moroccan girls moderated by CNN’s Isha Sesay. In the discussion, participants will discuss the challenges many girls in the region face in getting pursuing their education. This conversation will be open to the press.

Press wishing to cover the conversation must RSVP by email to [email protected] before midnight, Thursday, June 23. Journalists must submit their full names, date of birth, official government ID number, country of birth, gender, media outlet, and position (such as camera operator, producer, photographer, etc.). Please bring this document (ID card, passport) available to check in for access to the event. Note: Only members of the press who have RSVP’d in advance will be allowed access to this event. The U.S. Embassy is not able to provide transportation or lodging for journalists to travel to Marrakesh to cover this event.

The location of the event and details about time of arrival will be provided to journalists by email on June 27.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ambassade des Etats-Unis d’Amérique au Maroc.

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Food insecurity in the Lake Chad basin

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Massive population displacements and insecurity in the Lake Chad basin are putting livelihoods and food security at high risk. In northeast Nigeria alone, the impact of the conflict on agriculture is estimated at USD 3.7 billion due to livestock losses and reduced agricultural production, destruction of irrigation and farming facilities, and collapse of extension services including veterinary health facilities.

In the affected areas, civilians bear the burden of insecurity. Displaced people lost their assets and most of them rely on the limited resources of host communities, who themselves have suffered from the disruption of agricultural activities and of transhumance flows over the past few years. Staple food prices have also increased, with rises up to 50 to 100 percent reported in some areas of Borno State.

As of June 2016, 4.6 million people are severely food insecure in the Lake Chad basin, of which 65 percent are located in Northeast Nigeria, especially in the Borno and Yobe States.

In order to respond to the immediate needs of affected host communities and displaced people, FAO is providing critical agricultural and livelihood assistance to 92.000 people in the Lake Chad Basin, and will reach an additional 123.200 people in the coming months with essential crops for the ongoing and upcoming agricultural seasons.

Many of the farmers that will receive seeds didn’t plant in the past two years due to insecurity and the lack of agricultural inputs. ‘After three consecutive lost agriculture seasons, farmers from both host communities and displaced people are resuming agriculture activities. People are preparing their land and host communities have even allocated land to the internally displaced to farm this year’ said Rosanne Marchesich, Response Team Leader and Senior Strategic Advisor of FAO’s Strategic Programme Management Team on Resilience, upon her return from a FAO field mission in Borno and Yobe States in Northeast Nigeria.

In addition, FAO is increasing its field presence by setting up a field office in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, to ensure adequate monitoring of interventions. Enhanced efforts are made to better assess the current needs and develop coordinated interventions, together with national authorities and other partners. Strengthening the Food Security Sector work in Maiduguri will also bring coordination capacity closer to the field of operations in the Northeast.

However, more funds are needed to address food security and livelihood needs on a larger scale. To this end FAO is preparing a sub-regional strategy to mobilize more resources and provide increased support to vulnerable communities in the affected areas of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. ‘FAO and its partners must keep the momentum and build on recent interventions to expand livelihood assistance.’ said Patrick David, Deputy Head of the Sub-regional Resilience Team for West Africa/Sahel (REOWA), Regional Food Security Analyst. In the recent months, security forces have recaptured 22 of 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno State, and 15 of 17 LGAs in Yobe State in Nigeria.

FAO is seeking to mobilize USD 15 million to reach an additional 63.000 families (504.000 people) by the end of the year with a wide range of agriculture-based activities aimed to quickly generate food production and income, as well as protect livelihoods.

While FAO is committed to respond to the immediate agriculture and livelihoods needs, medium and longer term investment will be critical to build resilient livelihoods and avoid longer-term reliance on external assistance. Support to livelihoods through improved access to and use of natural and economic resources, as well as community-based social protection mechanisms is a critical step to sustainable development and peace building in the Lake Chad basin.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Food insecurity in the Lake Chad basin

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Massive population displacements and insecurity in the Lake Chad basin are putting livelihoods and food security at high risk. In northeast Nigeria alone, the impact of the conflict on agriculture is estimated at USD 3.7 billion due to livestock losses and reduced agricultural production, destruction of irrigation and farming facilities, and collapse of extension services including veterinary health facilities.

In the affected areas, civilians bear the burden of insecurity. Displaced people lost their assets and most of them rely on the limited resources of host communities, who themselves have suffered from the disruption of agricultural activities and of transhumance flows over the past few years. Staple food prices have also increased, with rises up to 50 to 100 percent reported in some areas of Borno State.

As of June 2016, 4.6 million people are severely food insecure in the Lake Chad basin, of which 65 percent are located in Northeast Nigeria, especially in the Borno and Yobe States.

In order to respond to the immediate needs of affected host communities and displaced people, FAO is providing critical agricultural and livelihood assistance to 92.000 people in the Lake Chad Basin, and will reach an additional 123.200 people in the coming months with essential crops for the ongoing and upcoming agricultural seasons.

Many of the farmers that will receive seeds didn’t plant in the past two years due to insecurity and the lack of agricultural inputs. ‘After three consecutive lost agriculture seasons, farmers from both host communities and displaced people are resuming agriculture activities. People are preparing their land and host communities have even allocated land to the internally displaced to farm this year’ said Rosanne Marchesich, Response Team Leader and Senior Strategic Advisor of FAO’s Strategic Programme Management Team on Resilience, upon her return from a FAO field mission in Borno and Yobe States in Northeast Nigeria.

In addition, FAO is increasing its field presence by setting up a field office in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, to ensure adequate monitoring of interventions. Enhanced efforts are made to better assess the current needs and develop coordinated interventions, together with national authorities and other partners. Strengthening the Food Security Sector work in Maiduguri will also bring coordination capacity closer to the field of operations in the Northeast.

However, more funds are needed to address food security and livelihood needs on a larger scale. To this end FAO is preparing a sub-regional strategy to mobilize more resources and provide increased support to vulnerable communities in the affected areas of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. ‘FAO and its partners must keep the momentum and build on recent interventions to expand livelihood assistance.’ said Patrick David, Deputy Head of the Sub-regional Resilience Team for West Africa/Sahel (REOWA), Regional Food Security Analyst. In the recent months, security forces have recaptured 22 of 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno State, and 15 of 17 LGAs in Yobe State in Nigeria.

FAO is seeking to mobilize USD 15 million to reach an additional 63.000 families (504.000 people) by the end of the year with a wide range of agriculture-based activities aimed to quickly generate food production and income, as well as protect livelihoods.

While FAO is committed to respond to the immediate agriculture and livelihoods needs, medium and longer term investment will be critical to build resilient livelihoods and avoid longer-term reliance on external assistance. Support to livelihoods through improved access to and use of natural and economic resources, as well as community-based social protection mechanisms is a critical step to sustainable development and peace building in the Lake Chad basin.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Stop massacres in eastern Congo and bring perpetrators to justice, urge MEPs

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MEPs urge all parties fighting in north-eastern Congo to put an “end to the violence, lay down their arms, release all children from their ranks and promote dialogue” towards a peaceful solution, in a resolution voted on Thursday, after a debate on Wednesday. “There can be no impunity for perpetrators”, they add.

Concerned at the “escalation of violence and the alarming and deteriorating humanitarian situation” in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where “dozens of armed groups remain active, recruiting and using children, with numerous reports of massacres”, MEPs call on all parties to the conflict to end it. They also denounce the “indifference from the international community and the media silence”, in a resolution passed by show of hands.

“Impunity needs to be fought” and “perpetrators brought to justice”, MEPs urged in the plenary debate. The international community should launch “as a matter of urgency a thorough, independent and transparent investigation into the massacres” and organise “an emergency meeting of the Team of International Envoys and Representatives for the Great Lakes region of Africa on elections in the DRC” to progress in this direction, they add.

MEPs also urge the EU to “translate the recently agreed European understanding concerning mandatory due diligence checks on suppliers of conflict minerals into ambitious legislation to be adopted swiftly” and to ensure “coherence between its policies, including in arms trade and raw materials trade”.

At the 31st ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly session on 13-15 June, MEPs and MPs from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries unanimously approved a resolution which condemns all acts of political violence and calls for a “successful and timely holding of elections, which will be crucial to the long-term stability and development of the country and the entire region”.

In both texts, MEPs highlighted that President Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, is required to step down on 20 December 2016 as the mandate of the President of the DRC is limited under the Congolese Constitution to only two terms. By not yet having declared that he will do so, he is exacerbating political tensions in the country.

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

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Second Session of 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture, Sports

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The five day meeting of the 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture, Sports continued today with the second session of the ministers meeting at the African Union Commission (AUC) under the theme “African Year of Human Rights: “Promoting Ethics and Cultural Diversity as an Essential Right for the people of Africa” The theme of the STC-YCS2 is in line with the overall theme of the Union for 2016 which is: “African Year of Human Rights, with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women.”

In his opening remarks H.E. Dr. Martial De Paul Ikounga commissioner of Human Resources Sciences and Technology (HRST) of the African Union Commission stated that this meeting coincides with day of African child and is a reminder of sad memories of atrocities and crimes committed against young people, who claimed for their rights in Soweto. He added that the June 17th 1974 massacre in Soweto, South Africa lost men and women committed by the Apartheid regime, such crimes should never happen again and youth must be protected. The recruitment of children in covert armies such as Boko Haram, abductions, early marriages prove that very much is left to be done.

H.E. Dr. Martial added that when children have their destinies stolen, they live in misery, starve and live in illiteracy and it is the worst barbarism of the era and against the vision of a prosperous Africa. He further stated that in African countries the majority of the population is made of children and young people and this is an opportunity and challenge because of lack of education and good quality training to promote necessary skills.

He further spoke of the development and professionalization of sports in Africa and stated that it is being made at a relatively slow base due to lack of infrastructure. He stressed that sports should be perceived as a professional career in its diverse disciplines. Furthermore, he added that sports has the ability of transformation in order to include the participation of girls and women to reduce gender inequality as well as improve physical, mental health and welfare. Moreover, growth of the sports industry has given a rise to a number of ethical considerations and this flourishing industry should not be destroyed. He added that member States should put together a framework for sustainable development in Africa as the Architecture of sports is designed in order to promote synergy and harmonization of programs of development of sports over the continent.

He further added that it is important to adopt culture and African tradition to modern technology in order to promote economic, social and political development. An individual and collective potential is based on common compensation and understanding of historical origins that give a feeling of existence. The enforcement of culture will enable the sector to hold its place and contribute significantly through its heritage and creative industries. He stressed that it is urgent to recognize the unique nature of culture and African potential and pull them in an attractive manner of using them to influence positively the life modes of other people. This will lead to better recognition and implications of the continent.

He elaborated that the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Youth, Culture, and Sports is a platform to enable the implementation of the decision in previous STC discussions on the theme of the conference as well as specific issues related to the sectors and stated that the creation of synergies should be favored amongst sectors of youth, culture and sport. This is the only way to achieve Agenda 2063 and accordingly the SDG’s.

In her opening remarks H.E. Desiree Doukaga chairperson of the Bureau of the 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sport asked for a moment of silence for the day of the African child and Soweto crimes. She stated that this year 2016, calls to mind the importaince given that ethics and cultural diversity are being brought out as a solution to the challenges of the development Africa is facing.

She added that bringing together the three sectors youth culture and sport should encourage bringing initiatives to have a concrete translation of a common vision. This approach will bring Africa together, whereby Africans should find solutions towards prosperity in the continent.

She reinstated that in the past much progress has been accomplished in the three sectors and it should be carried on without hesitation and concerning the development of youth, several instruments are a disposal to meet the challenges to consolidate the assets and future. She further eluded the African youth charter and other mechanisms such as the inter-generational dialogue in decision making processes and stressed that it is time to urge all the member states to take full advantage and work for youth integration, into policies and strategies for development that have to do with youth culture, sport and aiming in demographic dividends.

She further added that aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 commits the continent to carry on the construction of an Africa that has strong cultural identity, values, ethics and common heritage. For adopting the charter for the African culture renaissance, Africa has the means to attain its ambitions and it is up to member States to accelerate the implementation of this culture renaissance. She concluded that there is faith and hope that the member states will enable these aspirations to come to solutions. Let us work together for implementation of decisions that are to be made. The determination will help to build a vision and common destiny, on this note of hope opening the second session. She said

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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“Seeds for the Future” – AUC Deputy Chairperson meets Huawei Senior Vice-President in Beijing

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An AUC delegation led by the Deputy Chairperson H.E. Erastus Mwencha met with Huawei’s Senior Vice-President Dr. Gong Yuanxing in Beijing to exchange views on methodologies that would further strengthen Africa’s ICT development and industrialization strategy whilst concretising Huawei’s investment within the Continent. In line with the “Seeds for the Future” programme initiated in January 2015, the two parties also met the second batch of AU ICT trainees currently in China, assessed outcomes and exchanged views on how to improve the programme.

Welcoming the delegation, Vice President Dong highlighted the undeniable fact that “ICT has become a driving force that can significantly boost the socio-economic growth of the African Continent. Huawei is poised to further expand its support towards Africa’s ICT development plans and drive its ICT industrialization process forward. We are also committed to cultivating ICT talent within the Continent through programmes such as Seeds for the Future”.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha thanked Huawei for their continued commitment to capacity building within the Continent and expressed his appreciation towards the effective collaboration witnessed since the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding in January 2015. Acknowledging the continuous investments undertaken within AU Member States, the Deputy Chairperson appreciated Huawei’s confidence in the African Continent. He further expressed the need to increase research and development cooperation as well as the need to develop concrete industrialization opportunities that would involve Africa’s youth and allow Africa to take its rightful place in the ICT industry chain in line with Agenda 2063.

With 24 offices throughout Africa and presence in all 54 Member States, Huawei Africa employs 7000 people of which 70% are locally recruited. The Vice President assured the delegation of Huawei’s intentions to drastically boost investment in the Continent in the coming years and highlighted the need to actively involve local partners to ensure sustainability and achieve a win-win situation.

The second batch of ICT trainees selected from various Departments of the AUC to take part in the ongoing two weeks capacity building programme shared their experiences with the delegation. The meeting discussed ways to maximize on this opportunity and ensure effective collaboration between the AU and Huawei in future capacity building activities.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Queen’s Birthday celebrated in Gaborone

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On 16 June, the High Commission in Botswana hosted a garden party, in honour of Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

The UK High Commissioner to Botswana, Ms Katy Ransome, welcomed the guests, among them Hon. Deputy Minister Presidential Affairs & Public Affairs, Dikgang Makgalemele, members of the Diplomatic Corps and senior Government officials.

Ransome, who has been Botswana just under 4 months having arrived on February 24, mentioned “Having arrived earlier this year, it would be strange for me to stand before you and tell you about the depth and breadth of the relationship between the UK and Botswana, when many of you here today have been part of building and nurturing the relationship for many years – in some cases for generations of your families.

This is of course an exciting year for Botswana as we prepare to celebrate together 50 years of Independence. Anniversaries are a great time both for looking back and looking forward, and I am very much looking forward to the celebrations in September.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British High Commission Gaborone.

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Queen’s Birthday celebrated in Gaborone

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On 16 June, the High Commission in Botswana hosted a garden party, in honour of Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

The UK High Commissioner to Botswana, Ms Katy Ransome, welcomed the guests, among them Hon. Deputy Minister Presidential Affairs & Public Affairs, Dikgang Makgalemele, members of the Diplomatic Corps and senior Government officials.

Ransome, who has been Botswana just under 4 months having arrived on February 24, mentioned “Having arrived earlier this year, it would be strange for me to stand before you and tell you about the depth and breadth of the relationship between the UK and Botswana, when many of you here today have been part of building and nurturing the relationship for many years – in some cases for generations of your families.

This is of course an exciting year for Botswana as we prepare to celebrate together 50 years of Independence. Anniversaries are a great time both for looking back and looking forward, and I am very much looking forward to the celebrations in September.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British High Commission Gaborone.

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Queen’s Birthday celebrated in Gaborone

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On 16 June, the High Commission in Botswana hosted a garden party, in honour of Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

The UK High Commissioner to Botswana, Ms Katy Ransome, welcomed the guests, among them Hon. Deputy Minister Presidential Affairs & Public Affairs, Dikgang Makgalemele, members of the Diplomatic Corps and senior Government officials.

Ransome, who has been Botswana just under 4 months having arrived on February 24, mentioned “Having arrived earlier this year, it would be strange for me to stand before you and tell you about the depth and breadth of the relationship between the UK and Botswana, when many of you here today have been part of building and nurturing the relationship for many years – in some cases for generations of your families.

This is of course an exciting year for Botswana as we prepare to celebrate together 50 years of Independence. Anniversaries are a great time both for looking back and looking forward, and I am very much looking forward to the celebrations in September.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British High Commission Gaborone.

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UK and US support Malawi with pharmacy storage units

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The UK and US Governments, through the Department for International Development (DFID) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), are working together with Ministry of Health to reduce the problem of lack of appropriate medical supplies storage in Malawi’s health facilities.

The UK Government has provided £3.8 million and the US Government $2.5 million to purchase and install 115 pre-assembled pharmacy storage units in 106 health facilities across Malawi.

The pharmacy storage units, which take only two to four days to install, will help reduce deterioration of medical supplies, and the potential pilferage of pharmaceuticals . The new storage facilities will also create additional space for other clinical use.

Head of DFID in Malawi, Philip Smith said:

“As one of the leading partners in advancing the health sector in Malawi, the UK is committed to supporting more efficient use of clinical resources. These new storage facilities will address the very serious constraint to the availability of quality medicines for the people of Malawi, which puts the lives of millions of poor children and adults at risk.”

USAID Mission Director, Doug Arbuckle, said:

“Malawi is now under a great deal of scrutiny. It needs to demonstrate greater accountability for managing life-saving medicines. Without a strong commitment to do so, support from our two governments, as well as those of other donors, could be very well shifted elsewhere.”

The first unit was commissioned today at Chitedze Health Centre in Lilongwe and the project of installing all units is expected to take four months.

A 2014 USAID Assessment found that 77% (559 of 732) of Malawi health facilities have less than half of the pharmacy storage space required to meet current demands. The situation will only get worse as the population grows

Each of the prefabricated units comes with 100mm panels with Chromadek roof sheeting; a roof of galvanized and IBR sheeting; 2 air conditioners; double door with security gates; shelving and pallets; and a desk, cabinet and chair.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British High Commission – Lilongwe.

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Source:: UK and US support Malawi with pharmacy storage units

Categories: AFRICA | Leave a comment