Ebola: 1.5 million euros for local health facilities and health prevention in Guinea

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, February 4, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo releases 1.5 million to UNICEF for the support of local health facilities in Guinea. With this money, the UN organization will support health prevention and community health centers in the most affected region in Guinea.

Currently, our country contributes in several ways to the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Amongst the initiatives, there is the presence of the B-Life Lab, a mobile laboratory for blood analysis in Guinea. This lab, staffed by B-FAST, is able to make rapid blood analysis of potentially infected patients. To get the epidemic under control, it is very important that local communities are strengthened in their capacity to prevent and, in case of contamination, to detect Ebola as soon as possible.

Therefore, Alexander De Croo releases 1.5 million euros to strengthen health prevention and local health facilities in the N’Zerekore region in Guinea, an area with more than one million inhabitants and the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic. With the money, UNICEF will be able to support 3 Ebola Community Care Centers and more than 400 Community Watch Committees in the region. They are the vital link between local communities and health centers. They focus on risk awareness, health prevention, rapid identification of new cases and contact tracing. Communication initiatives will also be developed in consultation with spiritual leaders and local elected officials. The aim is to make people more aware about good hygiene practices as well as to convince them of the benefits of early treatment, and finally to counter stigmatization.

These financial efforts come in addition of the more than 37 million euros that our country already made available to humanitarian organizations in their fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Since the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in March 2014, 8.921 fatalities have been counted in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone ( figures UNMEER , Feb 3, 2015). A total of 22 334 people have been infected with the virus.

Source:: Ebola: 1.5 million euros for local health facilities and health prevention in Guinea

Categories: African Press Organization

GeoPoll and Control Union Use Mobile Surveys to Engage with Agricultural Industry in Africa and Asia

WASHINGTON, February 4, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — GeoPoll (http://www.geopoll.com), the world’s largest real-time mobile survey platform, is announcing a strategic partnership with Control Union, global leader in agricultural certifications, food safety, and sustainability. Partnering allows Control Union to tap into GeoPoll’s multimodal mobile platform and database of 200 million users, giving them access the fastest and most cost effective data collection method available in emerging markets. Together, GeoPoll and Control Union will utilize mobile surveys to engage and educate smallholder farmers in emerging economies, with the goal of reaching 1 million farmers by 2020 via SMS and voice messaging. The partnership will allow commercial organizations such as global brands, exporters, and suppliers, as well as governments and non-profits to ensure social compliance in key value chains and to empower farmers to gain greater access to markets, ultimately adding value for both farmers and consumers.

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Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADj5Mngu8g

“Control Union is excited to focus its expertise and better support smallholder farmers. GeoPoll’s team and platform provides us practical tools to connect with rural farming communities to educate, certify and link them to a global marketplace. The survey tools also empower our commercial clients to monitor goods as they move through supply chains, increasing transparency and helping them report better economic and social impact. Accessing information from the most remote farming communities will no longer be a barrier to asking or answering consumer questions,” said Johan Maris, Managing Director, Control Union.

Together GeoPoll and Control Union will launch several mobile products aimed at non-profits, commercial organizations, exporters and suppliers:

• Certification Surveys: Mobile survey instruments which will monitor farmers’ compliance with programs such as Global GAP and Organic certifications.

• Value Chain Monitoring: Mobile survey instruments that will serve as a tool for sustainable value chain design and monitor social, economic and ecological impact.

• Compliance Messages: One-way push content messages promoting agricultural compliance.

• Custom Surveys: Mobile survey instruments with customized questions and design, allowing clients to collect mobile data which will inform and enhance their operations in local markets.

“We are pleased to partner with Control Union to improve engagement with smallholder farmers, bringing them increased access to global markets and business opportunities. This is an excellent use of the GeoPoll platform, and we’re confident that the better data and increased knowledge generated through this partnership will be beneficial for both farmers and ultimately consumers,” said James Eberhard, Founder & CEO of GeoPoll.

The partnership will initially focus on countries in Africa including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda, expanding to key markets in Asia including Indonesia and the Philippines. With consumers demanding increased transparency, target value chains include coffee, cocoa, cotton, palm oil, rice, tea, tobacco, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

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

Media Contact

Roxana Elliott

202-733-2555 x 223

roxana@GeoPoll.com

About GeoPoll – research.geopoll.com

GeoPoll (http://www.geopoll.com) is the world’s largest mobile survey platform, with a network of more than 200 million users in emerging markets. GeoPoll’s platform conducts surveys through the mobile phone and provides results to clients in real-time, giving anyone the ability to make data-driven decisions. Through work with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and governments, GeoPoll provides insights on everything from food security to brand preferences. GeoPoll services include both custom research and subscription products.

About Control Union – www.controlunion.com

Control Union is a global network of inspection operations and dedicated laboratories, specializing in Independent worldwide cargo surveying and superintendence. Through innovative solutions, specialized services and product knowledge, we offer complete packages for logistics, quality and quantity management. From the country of origin to the final destination. And with an open mind towards clients’ demands.

Source:: GeoPoll and Control Union Use Mobile Surveys to Engage with Agricultural Industry in Africa and Asia

Categories: African Press Organization

IFRC President calls for greater support to African National Red Cross Societies to respond to increasing number of crises and disasters

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 4, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — While meeting with Gabon head of state Ali Bongo Ondimba, the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mr. Tadateru Konoé, today called on African governments to provide greater support to National Societies so they can truly fulfill their auxiliary role in the face of increasing numbers of disasters and crises.

“The many emergencies currently happening in Africa clearly show that communities should always be at the center of our work. Our volunteers play a crucial role in creating the essential link with these communities so that we can tailor our response to their exact needs,” said President Konoé. “The Red Cross is actively involved in West Africa in the fight against Ebola, in Central Africa with the dramatic humanitarian consequences of the Central African Republic conflict, and in southern Africa, with the massive floods in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In all these situations our volunteers are making the difference.”

During his visit Mr Konoé also participated in a continental meeting of African French, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ACROFA). In a globalized world and in a fast growing continent, ACROFA aims to reinforce partnerships between African National Red Cross Societies for them to better respond to the increasing number of crises and emergencies they face.

This solidarity was recently demonstrated during the Ebola virus disease outbreak when several African Red Cross societies sent trained professionals to West Africa to help their sister countries. Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Botswana were among the first to fly in responders. The Gabonese Red Cross Society itself donated medical equipment and logistical support in response to the current conflict in Central African Republic.

While in the region, President Konoé also revealed his growing concern regarding the situation in Central African Republic and its direct impact on neighbouring countries. In the last months the number of refugees fleeing violence in the country has dramatically increased, leaving more than 240,000 people seeking refuge in bordering Cameroon – already dealing with substantial numbers fleeing violence in Nigeria – and thousands more in Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of Congo.

“We are deeply concerned by the conflict in Central African Republic and its dramatic humanitarian consequences on civilian populations,” said President Konoe. “The conflict has forced half a million people to flee their homes inside the country and the same number to seek refuge outside their country. These communities are in need of everything. We need to make sure that we help them now.”

The humanitarian situation in the region, caused by the conflict in Central African Republic and other long-running conflicts, are of great concern for the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The consequences of these conflicts pose a major threat to the entire Central African region. “People affected by violence have suffered in silence long enough. We cannot keep our eyes closed to what has become one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. We all need to take action now,” added President Konoé.

Source:: IFRC President calls for greater support to African National Red Cross Societies to respond to increasing number of crises and disasters

Categories: African Press Organization

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on South Sudan

NEW YORK, February 3, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary-General takes note of the outcome of the last round of negotiations between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar, as reflected in the agreement they signed in Addis-Ababa on 2 February 2015. He regrets that neither of them compromised on a mutually acceptable power-sharing formula. He emphasises that no sustainable peace will be found in South Sudan unless its leaders place the interests of the civilian population above their own. He underscores the urgent need for them to agree on a comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement that addresses key institutional reforms, economic governance, reconciliation, and accountability for the crimes committed since the beginning of the conflict in a manner consistent with international standards.

The Secretary-General calls once again on both parties to urgently and strictly adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 23 January 2014. He urges them to prepare for the next round of talks with the intent to expeditiously end the conflict. He commends the mediators and Heads of State and Government of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for their tireless efforts and commitments to broker a peace agreement in South Sudan and assures them of the UN’s readiness to assist, along with other partners, in their efforts to engage the South Sudanese parties.

Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on South Sudan

Categories: African Press Organization

Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of a Visit to Senegal

DAKAR, Sénégal, February 2, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement in Dakar today at the conclusion of her visit to Senegal:

“It has been a pleasure to be in Senegal on my first visit as IMF Managing Director. I wish to thank President Macky Sall for his hospitality and the quality of our discussions. I also want to thank Prime Minister Mohammed Dionne and Finance Minister Amadou Ba, for our fruitful discussions. I also had the honor to address the National Assembly chaired by Speaker Moustapha Niasse. Finally, I had a rewarding dialogue with women leaders and business schools students.

“I complimented the authorities on the country’s ambitious development plan, the Plan Senegal Emergent, which aims to double growth in the medium-term. The vision and objectives of the PSE are very ambitious, but achievable if there is a radical break with the past. We agreed that reforms needed to be accelerated and broadened to create economic space for SMEs and foreign direct investment, to diversify and expand exports and create jobs that are the foundation for inclusive growth. The efforts to improve the efficiency of public spending must be reinforced.

“I also wish to thank Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Governor of the BCEAO for inviting me for a roundtable on “Harnessing Financial Integration for Inclusive Growth” with bankers from the region. My visit to the BCEAO was an opportunity to discuss the issue of financial inclusion. Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing regions of the world. Still, growth needs to be more inclusive. The region needs to leverage its well functioning and integrated regional financial system to improve financial inclusion. The opportunities provided by information and communications technology could be better leveraged.

Source:: Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of a Visit to Senegal

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The African Union strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 30, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has learned, with deep sorrow, of the terrorist attacks perpetrated, on 29 January 2015, in the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt, killing dozens of people and injuring many others.

The Chairperson of the Commission strongly condemns these terrorist attacks, which cannot be justified under any circumstances. She expresses the AU’s heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, as well as its solidarity with the Government and people of Egypt. She wishes speedy recovery to the wounded.

The Chairperson of the Commission stresses that the attacks that took place in the Sinai Peninsula and other terrorist acts on the continent underline the need for enhanced African action in combatting the scourge of terrorism, within the framework of the relevant AU and international instruments. She reiterates the commitment of the Commission to pursue its efforts in this respect, including in pursuance of the communiqué on terrorism and violent extremism, adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its 455th meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 2 September 2014.

Source:: The African Union strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt

Categories: AFRICA, African Press Organization | Tags: