Press Release: African Countries Launch AFR100 to Restore 100 Million Hectares of Land (05.12.2015)

Green-Economies-Africa-rpt

Commitments from 10 countries announced at the Global Landscapes Forum

PARIS (December 6, 2015)—African countries launched AFR100 (African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative), a pan-African, country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares (386 thousand square miles) of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2030. The AFR100 target of 100 million hectares has been endorsed by the African Union. So far 10 African countries have agreed to join AFR100 and committed at least 31.7 million hectares of land for forest landscape restoration. AFR100 partners are earmarking more than USD $1 billion in development finance and more than $540 million in private sector impact investment to support restoration activities.

The announcement was made during the Global Landscapes Forum at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, where forest landscape restoration is a key ingredient of the global movement to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Commitments made through AFR100 build on significant climate pledges made by many African countries to support a binding global climate agreement.

“Restoring our landscapes brings prosperity, security and opportunity,” said Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Natural Resources in Rwanda. “With forest landscape restoration we’ve seen agricultural yields rise and farmers in our rural communities diversify their livelihoods and improve their well-being. Forest landscape restoration is not just an environmental strategy, it is an economic and social development strategy as well.”

For the first time, AFR100 brings together political leadership with an ambitious package of financial and technical resources to support a large-scale forest landscape restoration effort across Africa. Nine financial partners and 10 technical assistance providers have pledged support, led by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and World Resources Institute (WRI).

“The scale of these new restoration commitments is unprecedented,” said Wanjira Mathai, Chair of the Green Belt Movement and daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. “I have seen restoration in communities both large and small across Africa, but the promise of a continent-wide movement is truly inspiring. Restoring landscapes will empower and enrich rural communities while providing downstream benefits to those in cities. Everybody wins. ”

Countries that have agreed to join the AFR100 initiative include:

• Democratic Republic of Congo | 8 million hectares
• Ethiopia | 15 million hectares
• Kenya | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Liberia | 1 million hectares
• Madagascar | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Malawi | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Niger | 3.2 million hectares
• Rwanda | 2 million hectares
• Togo | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Uganda | 2.5 million hectares

AFR100 builds on the climate commitments made by African countries. So far, 13 of the INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) submitted by African countries include restoration, conservation of standing forests, or “climate-smart” agriculture. According to WRI analysis, following through on the commitments would cumulatively reduce emissions by 1.2 Gt CO2eq over the next 10 years, or 36 percent of Africa’s annual emissions and 0.25 percent of global emissions.

“Restoration is really Africa’s gift to the world,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO, World Resources Institute. “As the world forges a climate agreement in Paris, African countries— which bear the least historic responsibility for climate change– are showing leadership with ambitious pledges to restore land. These countries are well on their way to meet the goal of restoring 100 million hectares of land, which will help sequester carbon and bring economic benefits to low-income, rural communities. These African leaders are turning their words into action and making a real contribution to respond to the global threat of climate change.”

AFR100 recognizes the benefits that forests and trees can provide in African landscapes: improved soil fertility and food security, greater availability and quality of water resources, reduced desertification, increased biodiversity, green jobs, economic growth, and increased capacity for climate change resilience and mitigation. Forest landscape restoration has the potential to improve livelihoods, especially for women. For example, 20 years ago, women in southern Niger spent an average of 2.5 hours daily collecting firewood, which was scarce in the degraded landscape. Now they prune on-farm trees saving two hours a day, time that can be spent on other income generating activities.

Commitments announced through AFR100 also support the Bonn Challenge, a global target to bring 150 million hectares of land into restoration by 2020 adopted in Germany in 2011, the New York Declaration on Forests that extends that challenge to 350 million hectares by 2030, and the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), an initiative to promote integrated landscape management with the goal of adapting to and mitigating climate change. With these new partners, the Bonn Challenge process has surpassed the 100 m hectare mark, on track to meet its goal well ahead of the 2020 target date.

AFR100 builds on a strong tradition of successful forest landscape restoration in Africa. In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, local communities have already restored over 1 million hectares, making the land more drought-resistant. In Niger, farmers have increased the number of on-farm trees across 5 million hectares of agricultural landscapes, improving food security for 2.5 million people. AFR100 will provide a forum for countries and communities to share knowledge and resources to achieve restoration at a greater scale.

“We know that restoration works for Africa. We’ve seen it work in countries as diverse as Malawi, Ethiopia, and Mali,” said Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD and former Prime Minister of Niger. “But we need to scale up restoration across the whole continent- more than 700 million hectares of land in Africa have potential for restoration. AFR100 provides a platform to work together more effectively to accelerate the achievement of restoration successes to benefit tens of millions of people who are currently searching for ways to adapt to climate change and improve their well-being.”

AFR100 will help to translate ambitious commitments into action with support from private sector investors, foundations, development banks, and bilateral and multilateral funders. AFR100 will leverage a variety of financing, including grants, equity investments, loans, risk management guarantees and funds for specific interventions.

So far, AFR100 partners have set forth over USD $1 billion of development financing:

  • World Bank: USD $1 billion in investment in 14 African countries by 2030, as part of the Africa Climate Business Plan to support Africa’s climate resilient and low carbon development
  • Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is providing support for the development of the AFR100 initiative

Impact investors have already earmarked USD $546.5 million for restoration under AFR100:

  • Ecoplanet Bamboo: USD $175 million by 2020
  • Sustainable Forest Investments – Netherlands: USD $150m by 2030
  • Terra Global Capital: USD $100 million by 2030
  • Green World Ventures: USD $65 million by 2020
  • Moringa Partnership: USD $56.5 million by 2030
  • NatureVest (impact investment arm of the Nature Conservancy)
  • Permian Global

Through AFR100, we expect to trigger one of the largest investments in forest landscape restoration the world has ever seen,” said H.E. Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany. “This investment is vital for empowering local communities to scale up the inspiring restoration successes we’ve seen in Africa over the last decade.”

In addition to new financing, a coalition of organizations will provide technical assistance on a wide range of activities, including the mapping of restoration opportunities, securing further financing, and implementing restoration efforts on the ground. Partners include World Resources Institute (WRI), Clinton Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), Kijani, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (LPFN), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Greenbelt Movement.

Professor Lumumba at PAV Ansah Foundation Forum – “On the Subject of Governance!”

PLO Lumumba interesting as always! Right?

Ask ourselves! We should Ask Ourselves!

Peace.

PLO Lumumba – “We are Co-Authors of our misfortune”

Interesting, right? Enlightenment, right?

Peace!

Press Release: Western Union Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Africa (28.07.2015)

WU Africa AD

ACCRA, Ghana–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Western Union Company (NYSE:WU, a leader in global payment services, today celebrated its 20th anniversary in Africa. With over 34,000 locations and connections to millions of bank accounts and mobile wallets in more than 50 countries and territories, across Africa, the Western Union network serves millions of senders and receivers with a choice of 120 currencies.

To celebrate this special milestone, Western Union’s President for Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and CIS, Jean Claude Farah, in addition to Aida Diarra, Western Union’s Regional Vice President and Head of Africa and other members of the Africa leadership team visited the first agent location at ADB (Agricultural Development Bank) that offered Western Union money transfer services for the first time in Africa in 1995. The WU leadership team also visited Ecobank head office in Accra and marked the occasion with the launch of the Account Based Money Transfer services through ATM in Ghana.

The Western Union 20th Anniversary celebration in Ghana in Africa, coincides with a speech made by President Barack Obama at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is quoted saying:

“Today, Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Africa’s middle class is projected to grow to more than one billion consumers. With hundreds of millions of mobile phones, surging access to the Internet, Africans are beginning to leapfrog old technologies into new prosperity. Africa is on the move, a new Africa is emerging.”

Western Union is committed to the expansion and development of its pan-African network which provides a critical link to the ever growing African Diaspora living and working in countries around the world.

“More than 30 million Africans live outside their home countries, contributing billions of USD in remittances to their families and communities back home every year1”, said Jean Claude Farah. “We are very humbled to play a role in helping them move their money as they seek to elevate their economic status, meet emergency needs, support healthcare requirements, contribute to the education of future generations and in many instances build their own small businesses. By moving money for better for 20 years Western is enabling a world of possibilities for Africa and in Africa.”

Aida Diarra added, “Through the work we do we also enable economic activity and job creation. Currently over 155,000 Front Line Associates (FLAs) are employed in our agent network on the African continent. Western Union invests in training these FLAs developing their business, technical and compliance skills.”

In addition to the socio-economic impact that remittances enable, the company also supports philanthropic activities in Africa via the Western Union Foundation which has a long history of giving back to communities across the African continent. It supports organizations that promote economic opportunity and growth for individuals, families and entire communities throughout the region. Since its creation, the Western Union Foundation has committed to $8.703 million in grants and donations to 158 NGOs in more than 40 countries across Africa.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.WesternUnion.com.

___________________

1 IFAD, 2009

WU-G

Western Union Press Contact:
Khalid Baddou, +212 522 42 84 02
Khalid.Baddou@westernunion.com

WHO Press release: Ebola in West Africa: 12 months on (15.1.2015)

Note for the media
15 January 2015

One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease.

The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fuelled its subsequent spread.

The most extensive papers trace events in each of the 3 most severely affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. These countries shared many common challenges, shaped by geography, culture, and poverty, but each also faced, addressed and sometimes solved some unique problems.

Key events are set out chronologically, starting with the child who is believed to be the index case of this epidemic through to the Director-General’s commitment to steadfastly support affected countries until they reach zero cases.

The report also looks back at WHO’s response over the past 12 months, including the 9 August declaration of an international health emergency. It documents the many challenges faced by countries and the international community in dealing with the largest, longest, most severe, and most complex Ebola outbreak in history.

Throughout the report, the contributions of national governments and their many partners weave in, as does the great human misery caused by a terrible and terrifying disease.

Other papers provide insight into:

  • how the fast-track development of Ebola vaccines, treatments and rapid diagnostic tests is progressing, with no compromise of safety and efficacy standards;
  • how Senegal, Nigeria and likely Mali managed to contain imported cases and bring their own outbreaks under control;
  • the state of worldwide vigilance and preparedness, especially in countries targeted by WHO as being at greatest risk of an imported case.

The report also looks ahead. Based on what was learned during the previous year, what critical strategies and interventions will give countries and their partners the best chance of bringing the outbreaks under control?

WHO media contacts:

Gregory Hartl
Communications Officer
Telephone: +41 22 791 4458
Mobile: +41 79 203 6715
Email: hartlg@who.int

Tarik Jasarevic
Communications Officer
Telephone: +41 22 791 50 99
Mobile: +41 79 367 62 14
E-mail: jasarevict@who.int

DSG/SM/836-SC/11735-PBC/103: Addressing Security Council, Deputy Secretary-General Calls upon Solid Commitment from All Sides to Fulfil ‘Original Vision’ for Peacekeeping Structures

14 JANUARY 2015

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General’s Jan Eliasson’s remarks to the Security Council on post-conflict peacebuilding, in New York today:

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to brief the Council on the Secretary-General’s report on Peacebuilding in the Aftermath of Conflict.

This report reminds us that peacebuilding is at the core of the United Nations’ aims and ambitions.  The challenges and responses described in the report will directly affect the future of individuals, communities and societies and their chances of living in peace.

I would like to highlight five key features of the report.

First, peacebuilding is most effective when political, security and development actors support a common, comprehensive and clear strategy for consolidating peace.

We have seen examples of this in Guinea and Burundi.

In Guinea, the United Nations country team supported an inter-party agreement on parliamentary elections that was facilitated by the then-SRSG [Special Representative of the Secretary-General] for West Africa, Said Djinnit.  The team held public meetings with local political leaders and helped train election monitors.

In Burundi, the Peacebuilding Commission and the country team supported the efforts of the UN Office in pursuit of a more inclusive political environment.  They did this by facilitating broad consultations with political parties and civil society.  This led to the adoption of a new electoral code and a code of conduct for the upcoming elections.

Second, strong and well-functioning institutions that are central to peacebuilding must be based on effective and inclusive political agreements.

Such agreements provide legitimacy and support for institutional development and reform.  Without inclusive agreements, political divisions may persist and control of the State may indeed remain contested.  Under such circumstances, nationally led peacebuilding strategies have a limited potential.  Let’s admit that we have seen this in South Sudan, where extensive investments in institution-building were lost when weak and unstable political agreements between different factions resulted in a tragic relapse of conflict.

Third, peacebuilding requires sustained international political, technical and financial support.

Regretfully, we are seeing such gaps in several places, particularly where the establishment of basic Government functions and the provision of social services are required to sustain peace.

The Peacebuilding Fund can partially address the financial gaps in the short term.  But, it remains problematic to ensure the necessary larger-scale and longer-term assistance and support.

I encourage the Peacebuilding Commission to continue its efforts to mobilize the support of Member States for the UN’s missions and mandates.  Groups of Friends and Contact Groups can play an important role.  Also, compacts between post-conflict States and key international partners can align international support with national priorities — as they did in Sierra Leone and Somalia.

Fourth, regional actors and neighbouring countries, working together with the United Nations, can play a critical role in creating an environment conducive to sustainable peace.

The Peacebuilding Commission can help support such efforts, as it has done recently in the Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau, by convening meetings with regional organizations, neighbouring States and international partners.

This underlines how conflicts in today’s world more and more take on a regional dimension, which I am sure you in the Council have noted in your deliberations on so many issues.  This regional dimension, in my view, should be better reflected in how we in the future deal generally with both conflict resolution and post-conflict peacebuilding.

Fifthly, and lastly, at this part of my presentation — promoting inclusion means that we must ensure women’s equal participation in post-conflict political and development processes.

The Secretary-General’s report details innovative approaches from Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia, including an initiative in Guinea called the Women’s Situation Room.  This provided support to a network of local women’s organizations, enabling women to play a crucial role as election monitors.  It also facilitated inter-party trust and strengthened women’s political participation.  We need more initiatives like this, and I particularly would like to say that this could be very valuable this year when we mark the 20 years after the important Beijing conference.

I would on this occasion like to present the Council with some reflections and thoughts on the important review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture that was launched by the General Assembly and the Security Council last month.

It was my privilege, as President of the General Assembly 10 years ago, to be part of the creation of the peacebuilding structures — the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office.  You may recall that this work was in response to the troubling phenomenon at the time of frequent relapses into conflict.

Since then, we can see that peacebuilding efforts are more necessary than ever.  In the recent past, the Central African Republic and South Sudan have tragically fallen back into conflict.

The three Ebola-affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, are all on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda.  In addition to the large and tragic loss of life, the epidemic has also had a dramatic impact on social cohesion and State institutions.  As the Peacebuilding Commission noted in its early meetings on the epidemic, there is a need for comprehensive support that will ensure the resilience of State institutions and of course rapid recovery.

The United Nations’ involvement in peacebuilding has evolved considerably since 2005, with broader mandates and more actors, working in ever more difficult environments.  Our peacekeepers and special political missions are often in these situations called upon to support inclusive political processes and to build effective rule of law and security institutions, together with UN agencies, funds and programmes.

The Peacebuilding Commission was intended to be a diverse, flexible and dynamic political forum, which would focus sustained international attention on the challenges for countries at risk of relapse into violence.  Although the Commission has made some important progress, many now agree that its structure and working methods need review, improvement and adaptation to a rapidly changing environment.  Here, I would like to commend the efforts of the Permanent Representative of Brazil, Antonio [de Aguiar] Patriota, who has been Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and set the direction in a very positive way, as also the new Head of the Peacebuilding Support office, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, who is behind me, and his predecessor.  So, we are on the right track and I think we need to go with an open mind into this work.

We need a forum that can act quickly to mobilize the collective support of Member States for the UN’s mandates and missions.  We also need to consider the circumstances in which the Peacebuilding Commission can be particularly useful.  A more flexible, more dynamic and strategically oriented Commission could be more relevant to a broader range of situations in today’s world.

These and other ideas are included in the UN system’s input to the review.  I hope you will give them your serious consideration.  The UN system is committed to increase its support to and engagement with a dynamic, flexible and focused Peacebuilding Commission.

Your review will coincide with the Secretary-General’s review of peace operations and the Global Study to assess progress in implementing resolution 1325 (2000).  The work and outcomes of these three reviews, and their follow-up, should be complementary, and in my view, mutually reinforcing.

These reviews come at a time of complex threats to peace, security and development.  They provide us with an important opportunity to sharpen and re-shape our thinking and our actions.

We owe it to the people we serve to ensure that we are bold, ambitious, and above all, effective in our approach to modern-day peacebuilding.  I urge Member States to be open, candid and constructive in their assessment of the peacebuilding challenges and potentials.

I would just like to add that, when we look at a conflict, the life of a conflict, we have a tendency to focus on the middle section of that life of a conflict — when you are at the “CNN stage” — when you are at the stage of suffering and taking urgent decisions on missions — peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations.  I think we need all to think of extending that attention to the pre-stage and the post-stage.  The life of a conflict which is discovered at the first vibrations on the ground — that is when we should start to act.  And then, like the convalescence of a patient, at the end of a conflict with ceasefires and so forth, we need to know that there is post-conflict work to be done, so that we don’t get back to the vicious cycle of conflict.

We need a solid commitment from all sides to fulfil the original vision for the peacebuilding structures and to improve the UN system’s support for countries emerging from conflict.

This could make the difference, the crucial difference, between peace or continuing conflict for millions of people around the world.  This is an opportunity the United Nations and its Member States should not miss.

John Kamara told the truth this week

John Kamara a player for PAS Lamia got suspended by the club for health reasons after travelling to Cameroon. He played for the national team of Sierra Leone against Cameroon. He was supposed to be quarantine against Ebola by the club! Which is so disrespectable.

Therefore he gave the message to them all: ” We are West Africans (with the three West Africa nation’s flag) we are not a Virus”.

The countries that are affected with the virus is Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, also the flags on his T-shirt.

 

Links:

Morris Jr, Sahr – ‘Kamara makes Greek league with a message as Lamia triumph’ (29.10.2014) Link:  http://www.sierraleonesports.com/news/kamara-makes-greek-league-with-a-message-as-lamia-triumph#.VF_vwvmG-So

CSO’s and Multilateral Organizations approach on the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

This Ebola disease has taken its toll and that why I have made this blog post. With various sources quoting in the recent week on the matter, to prove what the nations does and don’t. Also too show the progress of multilateral organizational co-ops in the affected countries in the West Africa.   

This is what the US Government entities have to say about people with Ebola reaching its shores;

“Today, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing response to prevent the spread of Ebola to the United States, we are announcing travel restrictions in the form of additional screening and protective measures at our ports of entry for travelers from the three West African Ebola-affected countries. These new measures will go into effect tomorrow (…) Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place (…) We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days” (DHS Press Office, 21.10.2014).

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that public health authorities will begin active post-arrival monitoring of travelers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea.  These travelers are now arriving to the United States at one of five airports where entry screening is being conducted by Customs and Border Protection and CDC.  Active post-arrival monitoring means that travelers without febrile illness or symptoms consistent with Ebola will be followed up daily by state and local health departments for 21 days from the date of their departure from West Africa” (CDCP, 22.10.2014).

Multilateral organizational response to health issues recently:

IMF addresses first: “The strong growth trends of recent years in the sub-Saharan Africa region are expected to continue. The region’s economy is forecast to continue growing at a fast clip, expanding by about 5 percent in 2014, the same level as in 2013, and accelerating to around 5¾ percent in 2015, underpinned by continued public investment in infrastructure, buoyant services sectors, and strong agricultural production. This growth momentum is particularly pronounced in the region’s Low-Income Countries, where activity is forecast to accelerate to 6¾-7 percent in 2014-15” (…)”This positive picture, however, co-exists with the dire situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where, beyond the unbearable number of deaths, suffering, and social dislocation, the Ebola outbreak is exacting a heavy economic toll, with economic spillovers starting to materialize in some neighboring countries” (…)”In the countries currently affected by the Ebola outbreak, fiscal accounts are coming under considerable pressure. Ideally, support should be provided through grants from the donor community, to enable the countries to accommodate higher Ebola-related spending and to help avoid an even more pronounced decline in economic activity. However, when grants are not immediately forthcoming, and provided that the public debt levels remain manageable, fiscal deficits should be allowed to widen, subject to the availability of financing” (IMF, 20.10.2014)

Tostan addresses secondly: “Guinea has been confronted with the serious Ebola epidemic which, due to the surprising apparition of the disease and the unpreparedness of health authorities, has taken the lives of an unprecedented number of families and health workers. Despite preventative measures taken by Guinean authorities with the support of development partners, Ebola persists in the country” (…)”Using our approach of organized diffusion, 17 Tostan supervisors will hold educational discussions in local languages to raise awareness on the Ebola virus. 2,784 community members from 116 Community Management Committees (CMCs) and the Local Council for Children and Families (CLEF – in French) will educate their relatives, friends, and at least three districts and neighboring villages” (…)”Other preventative measures include the distribution and installation of hand-washing kits in each Tostan office in Conakry, Labe, and Faranah by the National Coordination of Tostan Guinea. The Governor and Prefect of Faranah, who visited the regional Tostan office, congratulated Tostan for putting in safety measures to help prevent the spread of Ebola amongst the staff and the 116 partner communities, as well as acknowledging the hundreds of other adopted communities reached through organized diffusion” (Tostan, 20.10.2014).

UNFPA addresses it as a third: “The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today reaffirmed its commitment to a partnership with Amref Health Africa aimed at improving the health of women and children in Africa. Speaking at the exchange of a signed Memorandum of Understanding that makes Amref Health Africa an implementing partner for UNFPA in Africa, Dr Laura Laski, Chief of Sexual and Reproductive Health at UNFPA, said the partnership intended to strengthen health systems by training midwives to building their capacity to respond to health issues, particularly those related to maternal, neonatal and adolescent health” (…)”She emphasised that high maternal mortality in Africa is an unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals, and one of the critical issues that will be discussed at the Amref Health Africa International Conference to be held in Nairobi from November 24-26. She urged African governments to increase their commitment and contribution to health development, as well as individuals, corporates and institutions” (UNFPA, 23.10.2014).

WHO addresses is a fourth: “WHO convened a meeting with high-ranking government representatives from Ebola-affected countries and development partners, civil society, regulatory agencies, vaccine manufacturers and funding agencies yesterday to discuss and agree on how to fast track testing and deployment of vaccines in sufficient numbers to impact the Ebola epidemic” (…)”Results from phase 1 clinical trials of most advanced vaccines are expected to be available in December 2014 and efficacy trials in affected countries also will begin in this timeframe, with protocols adapted to take into consideration safety and immunogenicity results as they become available” (…)”Pharmaceutical companies developing the vaccines committed to ramp up production capacity for millions of doses to be available in 2015, with several hundred thousand ready before the end of the first half of the year” (…)”Community engagement is key and work should be scaled up urgently in partnership between local communities, national governments, NGOs and international organizations” (WHO, 24.10.2014).

African Development Bank group together with a collective or affiliates is the five one to address it: “Leaders of three Pan-African institutions – the African Union Commission’s Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the African Development Bank’s Dr Donald Kaberuka, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Dr. Carlos Lopes – concluded a solidarity tour on Friday 24 October 2014 in Conakry, Guinea” (…) ”They met with Heads of Government, cabinet Ministers, parliamentarians, civil society and media in the affected countries, as well as with leaders of two neighbouring countries, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Ghana also hosted the delegation in its capacity as the current President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)” (…)”They recognised the stepped up contributions of the international community in providing financial, technical, infrastructural and medical support to the fight against the EVD, and urged all to do still more” (…)”the AfDB’s contribution – currently at over 220 million USD – includes supporting the international response, budgetary support for the deployment of health workers from across Africa and the diaspora, as well as supporting the health systems in the three countries, including training local health extension and community workers” (…)”It felt that the virus – and perceptions about it – cannot be allowed to affect the economic prospects of the fastest growing continent. The group strongly believed that the Mano River Basin countries, now at the epicenter of the epidemic, continue to have some of the best economic prospects of the continent. In continuing to call for a lifting of all travel bans, it was pleased to hear that Côte d’Ivoire has resumed flights to Guinea this week, and will do so with Sierra Leone and Liberia in the coming days” (ADBG, 25.10.2014).

RMS Stats on Ebola:

Ebola-release-tippingpoint

(RMS, 23.10.2014)

Ebola-release-beds

(RMS, 23.10.2014)

I think this is all for today! Peace.

Links:

African Development Bank Group: ‘AUC, AfDB and ECA confident that countries will beat Ebola Virus Disease’ (25.10.2014) Link: http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/article/auc-afdb-and-eca-confident-that-countries-will-beat-ebola-virus-disease-13667/

Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDCP): ‘CDC Announces Active Post-Arrival Monitoring for Travelers from Impacted Countries’ (22.10.2014) Link:  http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1022-post-arrival-monitoring.html

DHS Press Office: ‘Statement by Secretary Johnson on Travel Restrictions and Protective Measures to Prevent the Spread of Ebola to the United States’ (21.10.2014) Link: http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/10/21/statement-secretary-johnson-travel-restrictions-and-protective-measures-prevent

IMF: ‘IMF Projects Robust Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, Amid Shifting Global Forces’ (20.10.2014) Link: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14475.htm

TOSTAN: ‘Tostan involved in awareness raising activities on Ebola in Guinea’ (20.10.2014) Link: http://www.tostan.org/news/press-release-tostan-involved-awareness-raising-activities-ebola-guinea

UNFPA: ‘UNFPA and Amref Health Africa seal Partnership to Boost the Health of Africa’s Women and Children’ (23.10.2014) Link: http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/unfpa-and-amref-health-africa-seal-partnership-boost-health-africa-s-women-and-children

WHO: ‘WHO convenes industry leaders and key partners to discuss trials and production of Ebola vaccine’ (24.10.2015) Link: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/ebola-vaccines-production/en/

RMS: ‘RMS Develops World’s First Probabilistic Model of West African Ebola Outbreak, Finds Current Outbreak Has Potential to be Deadliest Infectious Disease Event in a Century’ (23.10.2014) Link :http://www.rms.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/press-detail/2014-10-23/rms-develops-worlds-first-probabilistic-model-of-west-african-ebola-outbreak-finds-current-outbreak-has-potential-to-be-deadliest-infectious-disease-event-in-a-century

Total avsporing

Et lite tankekart og ideer som kommer når du leser seg opp til eksamen. Samtidig som vurderer å høre igjennom Yo Gotti’s første Major album – Live from the Kitchen eller Yelawolf – Radioactive. Istedenfor å tømme hjernen for tanker. Ikke at jeg har testet noe i det siste eller opplevd noe helt utenom det vanlig. Gått meg vill eller sett noe humoristisk i Bergen. Hverdagen har bare kommet til meg. Før jeg skal begynne på eksamenskjøret. Har forsatt den samme mobilen, vekkerklokka og presskanna.

Tankene går til det vi forventer. Leser bøker om forvanlingene som har skjedd de siste 25 årene. Vite at flere borgerkriger har hend. Disse områdene er blitt relativt fredlige. Selv om det forsatt er vold som hender der, bare ikke i samme omfang. Tenker på Liberia, Sierra Leoene, DRC, Angola, Somalia(holder forsatt på! Med hærer fra Burundi, Uganda, Kenya og Etiopia, skal si de savner en sterk leder som Said Barre!) og Irak etc. Lista er lang over land med nyss konflikter. Derfor mens du leser videre anbefaler at du setter på denne sangen:

Yelawolf – Let’s Roll:

Vi skal være takknemlig at Omar Bongo av Gabon ikke lever lenger, bare at sønnen holder landet lukket. At Biya holder sin hånd over Kamerun. Ikke minst at Goodluck Jonathan har brutt byttet mellom Sør-Nord i Nigeria. Den uformelle avtalen at Nord hadde to perioder før sør fikk det samme . Nå fikk bare Nord en runde før Goodluck tok over etter forrige valg. Vi bør takknemlig at Putin har vunnet enda ett valg. At Turkmenistan, Kirigistan og Azerbadjan blir styrt av halvkommunistiske ledere som er mer autoritær enn det som var fra Moskva.

Ikke minst at Jens Stoltenberg bare bruker kirken til å sørge i og resten av tiden bruker religion til støtte av sin egen politikk. Samtidig ønsker å splitte og marginalisere troende i samfunnet. Sikkert noe med at han er humanetiker og vil at troen skal konstant være i private sfæren. Tanken er ikke fri hvis det ønskes, ei heller rett. Det sikkert grunn til at moderne Norge at misjonsselskap tar vekk misjon i navnet og blir allianser og stiftelser. Må jo være politisk korrekt får å få støtte via Norad og medlemsstøtte. Er det bare jeg som blind eller misforstår? Vil vi ikke ha et samfunn med blandet tro eller vil vi ha ett samfunn hvor bare «hovedstrømmen» gjelder? Blir ikke det som alle godnyhetene fra Gabon, Nigeria, Turkemenistan, Kirigisstian eller Azerbadjan. Der gjelder det kanskje å følge sin president uten spørsmål. I Norge gjelder det kanskje i samme lynne, men forsatt gjelder å følge: dagsorden som statsministeren setter. I fjor høst ble alle leger i ny regulering «tvunget» til å miste samvittighetsplikten i forhold til abort. Dette er et betent tema, ikke tvil, det handler om livsvalg og hvor du står i den. Der hvor du ser på embroye eller livet i magen til kvinnen. Tidligere kunne en lege som hadde samvittighetsplikten si «nei» til å utføre abort og gi den til noen som ikke så på dette som et problem. Idag er ikke det lenger mulig. Er ikke det å tvinge «dagsordnen» på legene? Selv om det for noen kan være poltisk korrekt å ta abort, trenger dette å være for den legen. For andre «kan» det likeså være politisk korrekt å ha spøkelses sykehus i Kampala, hvis det ble funnet at midler fra Norad ble brukt på dette. Ville ikke da Erik Solheim kritisert og kuttet midlene for neste års bistandsmidler. Det ville vært korrekt. Han har lov til dette. Derimot legen kan miste jobben sin fordi han må bryte med det han står for. Er det korrekt av staten å tvinge sine egne borgere til å gjøre handlinger som bryter med vår samvittighet?

Hvor langt skal vi dra dette? Hva er det neste prosjektet som skal bryte med samvittigheten. Skal kirken uten spørsmål la hunder og mennesker bli gift? De elsker jo hverandre tross alt. For ett søtt par! La hunden Rex og Tone gifte seg i Sørumsand Kirke. Go Girl! Tror du en prest vil stå på trappen foran kirken stolt i solskinnet på lørdagsettermiddag i Juni. Ikke minst å tenke «for ett vakkert par!». For mange vil dette vært like sannsynlig som at Samvittighetsplikten skulle falle bort. At staten skulle slutte å ta inn bompenger hver gang de bygger en tunnel på vestlandet. Slikt skjer jo uansett. Poenget mitt er bare. Hvor vil vi hend. Hva betyr dette for oss og hva vil vi. Hvordan samfunn ønsker vi og hva kan vi godta. Sentralstyrte regjerninger er basert på at folkeviljen følger deres handlinger. Ikke minst at vi støtter dem, fordi vi har gitt vår tilit til at de vil gjøre det beste for oss, siden vi valgte dem til å være der for oss. Fordi alle kan ikke konstant være der å ta viktige beslutninger for riket. Men når de gjør handlinger som frusterer og bryter med vår samvittighet bør vi ikke da si noe. Ikke gjemme oss i kratt. Skal ikke demokratiet og ytringsfriheten. Åpne for at vi åpner våre hjerte og stemmer for å stå for noe. Selv om ikke alt det vi står for er i vinden. Vinden blåser jo og luften er fri for alle. Som sagt dette er bare tankekart og total avsporing. Gikk fra verden med totalitære regimer, til Rex og Tone. Uansett. Må det diskuteres om det er rett å ta vekk samvittighetsplikten for leger. For å gjøre noe annet føler jeg er som å tvinge på en maskert lov for alle, samtidig som å glemme at tenkenede individ må bare følge loven. Loven som bryter med egens tro og laden. Det hadde blitt som å sende en militærnekter inn som vernepliktig. Noe som skjer.. men ikke er korrekt.

Uansett. Ha en god dag videre.