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Press Release: UK government to fund the Virunga park hydro-electric network and Congolese electoral process (09.03.2016)

Virunga Sign

The UK Government announced a funding of the hydro-electric network of the Virunga Park and the Congolese electoral process. 

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 9, 2016– It is through the UK Minister for Africa at the Department for International Development that the United Kingdom has announced an investment of up to $9 million, in the form of a loan, to the rural electrification programme of Virunga National Park, North Kivu.

The announcement was made at a signing ceremony at Matebe in Rutshuru – the site of a 13MW hydro-power facility constructed with grant funds from the Howard G Buffett Foundation – in the presence of North Kivu’s Vice-Governor, the Provincial Minister for Energy, the Director General of the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), representatives of civil society, private and public sector, and a representative of the British financial development institution (CDC), which is providing the loan with capital made available by the UK Department for International Development.

In his speech, Minister Nick Hurd stressed the impact that the achievement of objective 7 of the sustainable development goals – access to green energy – could have on the lives of the poorest and stressed the UK’s willingness to support it. To this effect he mentioned the “Energy for Africa” campaign, launched by the British Government on 22 October 2015. This campaign aims to speed up access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa and to achieve universal access by 2030.

Congo Headlines Paper

On his visit the Minister also announced additional UK funding of £11.4m for the DRC’s electoral process. Announcing this support, the Minister expressed concerns about the political situation, including the delay in organising the elections within the constitutional deadline. He said during an interview: “We note that deadlines set out in the electoral calendar of February 2015 have been missed. We call on the government, the electoral commission, and all parties to the DRC electoral process to take the necessary steps without further delay to ensure that elections due under the DRC constitution, in particular the presidential and legislative elections, take place as soon as possible”. He also called for respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights to ensure a peaceful political climate.

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U.S. Mission Press Release: U.S. Hands over National Health Laboratory to Ministry of Health (15.01.2016)

uganda-blood-transfusion-center

KAMPALAThe U.S. Government, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), transferred the recently completed construction of the National Health Laboratory in Kampala to the Ministry of Health on Friday, January 15.  U.S. Mission Uganda’s Chargé d’Affaires Trish Mahoney and Minister of State Chris Baryomunsi presided at the handover ceremony.

The National Health Laboratory project began in 2012 when the Ministry of Health requested the assistance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support the construction of a laboratory to address critical gaps in Uganda’s health service delivery system.  Funding for the National Health Laboratory construction came from CDC and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.  Construction began in 2013, and the more than $8 million facility is now completed and has been transferred to the Ministry of Health.

The National Health Laboratory will strengthen all of Uganda’s health systems by providing a valuable resource for the detection, control and ongoing surveillance of the diseases which impact the health and productivity of Ugandans.  While the priority of this new facility will be HIV diagnosis, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and viral load monitoring capacity, many other disease areas and health needs will benefit from this lab.  The Ministry’s sickle cell and Hepatitis B virus screening and the WHO-supported meningitis, cholera and typhoid screening program will make use of this facility.   The National Health Laboratory could also be used for confirmation of bacterial disease outbreaks and for malaria diagnostics.

At the handover ceremony, Chargé d’Affaires Trish Mahoney noted, This building represents our partnership with the people of Uganda and our commitment to helping Uganda build its future. We will continue to work with the Government of Uganda and the Ministry of Health in the coming years to strengthen Uganda’s health infrastructure and ensure it becomes strong, efficient and self-sustaining.”

For additional information, please contact:

Dorothy Nanyonga

Information Assistant

U.S. Mission Uganda

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