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Archive for December 15th, 2013

Kenya: 8-Month-Old Baby Miraculously Escapes Pangani Blast, Unscathed

Posted by African Press International on December 15, 2013

Terror continues in Kenya

 

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ECOWAS TO DEPLOY ELECTION OBSERVERS FOR MALI RUN-OFF LEGISLATIVE POLLS

Posted by African Press International on December 15, 2013


ECOWAS TO DEPLOY 50 ELECTION OBSERVERS FOR MALI RUN-OFF LEGISLATIVE POLLS

 

ABUJA, Nigeria, December 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ ECOWAS is deploying 50 election observers to Mali for the country’s second-round Parliamentary polls today 15th December 2013 following an inconclusive first-round balloting on 24 November 2013.

 

The regional Observation Mission will be headed by Prof. Amos Sawyer, former President of Liberia’s Interim Government of National Unity, who also led the 100-strong ECOWAS observers to the first round voting. He will be supported this time by Ambassador Leopold Ouedraogo, a Member of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise.

 

Provisional results from the first-round elections which featured more than 1,140 candidates fielded by the ruling and opposition coalitions and independents, showed that the country’s three main political parties secured less than 20 seats out of the 147 available in the National Assembly. Turnout was put officially at 38.4 percent.

 

Mali’s electoral law provides for a run-off to be decided by a simple majority vote in a situation where no independent candidate or list of coalition candidates secured the mandatory 50 percent plus one vote in the first round.

 

In its Preliminary Declaration, the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission which observed the first round balloting across Mali’s eight regions and the Municipalities of the capital, Bamako, adjudged the conduct as credible and transparent.

 

The Mission also noted the low turnout, saying the shortcomings it observed, including the inadequate sensitization of voters and late display of Voters Lists at several polling stations “did not in any significant way, affect the conduct of the election in line with globally acceptable standards.”

 

Following the July/August successful presidential elections, the deployment of the ECOWAS Observation Mission for the legislative polls, is in furtherance of efforts aimed at helping Mali conclude the ECOWAS-facilitated transitional road map for the restoration of full constitutional order and the country’s territorial integrity in the aftermath of last year’s military coup and separatist insurrection in the north.

 

SOURCE

Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)

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Switzerland: The fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis

Posted by African Press International on December 15, 2013


Switzerland steps up its commitment to the fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis

 

BERN, Switzerland, December 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The Federal Council has approved a contribution of CHF 60 million for the 2014-2016 period for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Switzerland was one of the founders of the Geneva-based fund in 2002 and has been one of its key partners since the beginning. Malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis remain the leading causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa. These three diseases are among the most important factors hampering development.

 

Three diseases – malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis – are among the most frequent causes of death worldwide, and especially in Africa. Malaria remains the leading parasitic disease worldwide. In 99 countries, approximately 219 million new cases are registered every year. About half of the world’s population lives in areas affected by malaria. The WHO estimates that in countries in Africa with endemic malaria the disease lowers economic growth by 1.3 percentage points per year.

 

Some 2.5 million people are still becoming newly infected with HIV every year and more than 1.7 million people die of AIDS-related illnesses every year worldwide. In the case of tuberculosis, the estimated number of annual deaths is 1.4 million. HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis frequently occur in combination, making them very difficult to treat in developing countries.

 

Nevertheless, considerable progress has been made in the fight against these three diseases over the past ten years. For example, new HIV infections declined by 33% worldwide, and by more than 50% among children in medium-income countries. Some 8 million people in Africa are currently receiving antiretroviral therapy – a twenty-fold increase from 2003. Significant progress has also been made in the fight against tuberculosis: the TB mortality rate has fallen by approximately 41% since 1990. The UN’s millennium development goal of stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases by 2015 and gradually reversing their incidence is thus within reach.

 

The fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis is a high priority for international development cooperation as well as for Switzerland. The significant progress achieved so far can no doubt be attributed amongst others to the efforts of GFATM, which is the biggest backer in the fight against these three diseases.

 

SOURCE

Switzerland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

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IOM Training Workshop on Managing Population in Natural Disasters

Posted by African Press International on December 15, 2013


Dakar: IOM Training Workshop on Managing Population in Natural Disasters

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/– The International Organization for Migration’s Regional Office in Dakar is organizing a five-day workshop for Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) to train trainers during natural disasters. The event is made possible due to funding from the European Commission’s Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO).

The West and Central Africa Region has suffered from numerous political, social and ecological crises in recent years and all will only be exacerbated by climate change in years to come. This underlines the relevance of CCCM which sees the increasing importance of managing populations displaced by natural disasters.

“The objective of the training is to train as many Governmental counterparts as possible to strengthen their capacity to manage with dignity and according to international standards the respective caseloads of forced migrants,” said Carmela Godeau, IOM Regional Director for West and Central Africa

IOM and the CCCM Global Cluster have strong ties with the overall humanitarian system and national disaster management structures. Large scale displacements caused by border-crossing regional natural disasters demand an operational preparedness of the highest standards for management of camps and evacuation centres. To meet these challenges, the region increasingly needs a comprehensive system of joint preparedness involving humanitarian partners, disaster management agencies and governments.

Participants are from both countries of West and Central Africa region, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Gabon, Mali, Mozambique, Lebanon, Liberia, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. IOM also welcomes members from ECCAS, the Somali Disaster Management Agency, the Rwandan Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, the National Disaster Management Agency of Mozambique, the Zimbabwe Department of Civil Protection, the Office of National Security in Sierra Leone, the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission, the Malian National Directorate for Social Development and the Senegalese Military.

Exchanges during the workshop will allow CCCM perspectives from a global and regional perspective to inform and develop an enlarged focus on information management and gender issues. Coordination of crucial relations between national, regional and local actors, as well as those within the camp itself, is an important part of the curriculum. Creating protection mechanisms and ensuring participation of host population, displaced people out of and in the camps, including vulnerable groups, are some of the issues that add to the relevance of this training.

IOM’s CCCM Training of Trainers in Dakar is the third training of this kind in a global effort to target national authorities. The first was in Indonesia last August and focused on natural disasters in the Asian region, and included participants from the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, and Switzerland. The second was in Bogota, Colombia and included the Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, the Regional Office of IFRC in Mexico, and El Salvador.

 

SOURCE

International Office of Migration (IOM)

 

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