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Showing posts with label countries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label countries. Show all posts

Monday, August 21, 2023

Climate-vulnerable indebted countries paying billions to rich polluters - NaijaAgroNet

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G20 nations have raked in nearly US$50 billion through debt repayments from the world’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable countries since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, according to new analysis by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), reports NaijaAgroNet.
Climate-vulnerable indebted countries paying billions to rich polluters - NaijaAgroNet
Payments by 58 least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) reached $21 billion in 2022 – up from $14 billion in 2021 and $13bn in 2020.

But despite the huge sums countries in the global South have spent on interest and capital repayments to the richest nations, G20 countries still held a total of $155 billion of bilateral LDC and SIDS debt in 2021.

The burden of debt on poorer countries has increased due to the global economic slowdown stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, COVID-19 and global price and interest rate rises. This has put many poor countries in increasingly critical positions, while forcing some to default and pushing others to the brink.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Central African countries optimistic about halving malaria deaths - NaijaAgroNet

The Central African countries are optimistic about halving malaria deaths in the region by 2030, rather than elimination, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Latest surveyed showed that these countries believed halving malaria deaths is more achievable than elimination by 2030.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Central Africa is fighting to maintain momentum in its battle with malaria in the face of other health challenges, climate change and other threats, according to a new report issued at an RBM Partnership to End Malaria conference in Abuja Tuesday.

The report was the latest extension of the Malaria Futures for Africa (MalaFA) study, commissioned by Novartis, which has already conducted similar research across 15 countries, including Nigeria, to survey African malaria stakeholders on progress and challenges towards global malaria targets. The new report involved interviews with 23 politicians, senior civil servants, malaria programme directors, researchers and NGOs in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. All four are countries that have a significant malaria burden and differing policies in place to fight the disease.

In Rwanda, respondents were mainly positive about the country’s fight against the disease, citing high levels of political support and funding. In Cameroon, DRC and the Republic of the Congo respondents shared the view that halving deaths by 2030 was more achievable than elimination.

Respondents in Cameroon, DRC and the Republic of the Congo were concerned about access to health services, inadequately trained personnel, substandard or falsified antimalarials and self-treatment without diagnosis – which could potentially accelerate development of resistance to treatment. These concerns are shared in many other countries previously surveyed.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, January 21, 2019

TEIU exposes countries dealing with child exploitation - NaijaAgroNet

The latest The Economist Intelligence Unit has exposed some 40 countries dealing with child exploitatIon including sexual abuse, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Just as the Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, United Nations, Marta Santos Pais, has insisted that children must be protected from all forms of ills in the society.

"We can, and we must, protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation in all settings. Children deserve nothing less," Marta Santos Pais said.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that child sexual abuse and exploitation happen everywhere and are pressing concerns for both wealthy and developing countries alike, according to a first-of-its-kind research programme, Out of the Shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The Economist Intelligence Unit developed this tool with support from the World Childhood Foundation and Oak Foundation and with additional support from the Carlson Family Foundation, the Out of the Shadows Index and report revealed how 40 countries at the national level are confronting child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The policies, practices and standards presented in the index highlight how governments, the private sector and civil society can move toward achieving Target 16.2 in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for ending all forms of violence against children by 2030.

Created with guidance from an international panel of experts, the index covers a comprehensive range of critical issues, including policies on child marriage, reproductive and sexual health, gender differences, law enforcement, and child sexual abuse online, where the expansion of broadband internet has placed more children at risk. Index indicators also focus on the engagement of businesses in fighting child sexual abuse and exploitation, especially the technology and travel/tourism industries.

The 40 countries included in the index cover 70 per cent of the global population under 19 years of age.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Countries step up to tackle antimicrobial resistance - NaijaAgroNet

Various countries of the world have taken significant steps in tackling Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), but serious gaps remain and require urgent action, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as sighted by NaijaAgroNet, the chart progress was visible in 154 countries and reveals  wide discrepancies. 

According to the report, some, including many European countries, have been working on  AMR policies in human and animal sectors for more than 4 decades. Others have only recently started to take action to contain this growing threat. Progress in developing and implementing plans is greater in high-income than low-income countries but all countries have scope for improvement. No country  reports sustained capacity at scale in all areas.

The report looks at surveillance, education, monitoring and regulating consumption and use of antimicrobials in human health, animal health and production, as well as plants and the environment - as recommended in the Global Action Plan published in 2015.

Promising findings include 105 countries with a surveillance system in place for reporting drug-resistant infections in human health and 68 countries with a system for tracking consumption of antimicrobials.  In addition, 123 countries reported that they have policies to regulate the sale of antimicrobials, including the requirement of a prescription for human use - a key measure to tackle overuse and misuse of antimicrobials. 

But implementation of these policies varies  and unregulated medicines are still available in places such as street markets, with no limits on how they are used. Medicines are very often sold over the counter and no prescription is requested. This puts human and animal health at risk, potentially contributing to the development of antimicrobial resistance.

The report highlights areas, particularly in the animal and food sectors, where there is an urgent need for more investment and action. For example, only 64 countries report that they follow FAO-OIE-WHO recommendations to limit the use of critically important antimicrobials for growth promotion in animal production. Of these, 39 are high-income countries, with the majority in WHO's European Region. By contrast, only 3 countries from WHO's African Region and 7 countries from the WHO Region of the Americas have taken this important step to reduce the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.

A total of 67 countries report at least having legislation in place to control all aspects of production, licensing and distribution of antimicrobials for use in animals. But 56 either said that they had  no national policy or legislation regarding the quality, safety and efficacy of antimicrobial products used in animal and plant health, and their distribution, sale or use, or that they were unable to report whether they have these policies in place.

There is also a substantial lack of action and data in  the environment and plant sectors. Although 78 countries have regulations in place to prevent environmental contamination generally, only 10 of them report having comprehensive systems to ensure regulatory compliance for all waste management, including regulations that limit the discharge of antimicrobial residues into the environment. This is insufficient to protect the environment from the hazards of antimicrobial production.

"This report shows growing global momentum to combat antimicrobial resistance," says Dr Ranieri Guerra, Assistant Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance at WHO. "We call on governments to make sustained commitments across all sectors  -  human and animal health, plant health and the environment - otherwise we risk losing the use of these precious medicines."

"Supporting low- and middle-income countries to follow guidance of responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials in animals is an urgent priority," says Dr Matthew Stone, Deputy Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).  "Implementation of dedicated OIE international standards, appropriate national legislation and strengthening of veterinary services are essential steps to help all animal health stakeholders contribute to controlling the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance."

 "FAO welcomes that many countries are taking concrete steps towards the responsible use of antimicrobials in agriculture," says Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General. "However, countries need to do more to reduce the unregulated and excessive use of antimicrobials in agriculture.  We particularly urge countries to phase out the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion in animal production - terrestrial and aquatic."

From this survey and other sources, the Tripartite (FAO, OIE and WHO) is aware that 100 countries now have national action plans for AMR in place and a further 51 countries have plans under development, but more needs to be done to ensure that they are implemented. Only 53 countries report that they have a multisectoral working group that is fully functional, although a further 77 have established such a group. 

Only 10 countries report that the funding for all actions in the plan is identified and many middle- and low-income countries may need long-term development assistance to implement their plans effectively and sustainably. Positively, among the top ten chicken-, pork- and cattle-producing countries that responded to the AMR survey, 9 out of 10 have at minimum developed a national action plan; the majority of these have plans in operation with a monitoring arrangement.  

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

World Malaria Day 2018: AMMREN applauds African countries on free malaria by 2020

As part of the 2018 World Malaria Day, the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), has applauded some five African countries aiming to eliminate malaria by 2020, reports NaijaAgroNet.

AMMREN Executive Secretary, Dr. Charity Bika, applauded Egypt and Morocco which have been malaria free since 2000 as well as Algeria, which achieved this feat in 2016.

The network also acknowledged five African countries, namely, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, South Africa and Swaziland, which have been identified as most likely to eliminate malaria by 2020.
April 25, 2018, Accra - World Malaria Day is here again to bring stakeholders together in the hope of winning.

Describing the fight against malaria as fight against one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases, Bika said that each year, 25th April has been set aside as the World Malaria Day to highlight efforts to control malaria and celebrate the gains that have been made.

Equally, she said, since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives. However, half the world still lives at risk from this preventable and treatable disease, which costs a child’s life every two minutes.

As the world commemorates this year’s World Malaria Day, the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), made up of a group of African journalists and scientists leading a malaria advocacy agenda, “it is also gratifying that Algeria, Comoros, Madagascar, the Gambia, Senegal, and Zimbabwe have also been honoured this year by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance for leadership in scaling down malaria cases.”

As said by her, “we all look up to these shining examples of countries that are making progress in the fight against malaria.”

AMMREN further urged countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya to double the malaria control efforts to ensure they join or at least get close to the ranks of countries at the elimination stages by 2020.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Listeriosis outbreak looms in Nigeria, 15 African countries, says WHO

Listeriosis outbreak is looming in Nigeria and 15 other African countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Confirming this development, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, listed other redline countries to include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“This outbreak is a wake-up call for countries in the region to strengthen their national food safety and disease surveillance systems,” Moeti declared.

Experts have described Listeriosis as a bacterial infection most commonly caused by Listeria monocytogenes, which could cause severe illness, including severe sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis, sometimes resulting in lifelong harm and even death.

They also said that listeria is ubiquitous and is primarily transmitted via the oral route after ingestion of contaminated food products

As said by WHO an estimated 200 South Africans have died since January 2017 as a result of contaminated ready-to-eat meat products that are widely consumed in the country and may also have been exported to two West African countries and 14 members of the South African Development Community.

South African health authorities recently declared the source of the outbreak as a factory in Polokwane, in the country’s northeast.

Isaac Oyimah with additional reports from ThePunch.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

AfDB cultivates savannah Africa in eight countries

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has said that the savannahs of Africa cover a mind-boggling 600 million hectares, of which 400 million hectares are cultivable, reports NaijaAgroNet.

But just 10% of this is cultivated, a mere 40 million hectares, Adesina said Wednesday, while speaking at a session titled “Transformation of the African Savannah Initiative” at the 2017 World Food Prize-Borlaug Dialogue.

According to the AfDB President, so huge is the potential of African savannahs that the World Bank called the Guinea savanna zone “one of the major underutilised resources in Africa.”

He noted that Africa’s savannahs were better than the savannahs of Brazil, a country notable for turning its savannahs into agricultural wealth, saying Africa’s soils were not acidic and therefore did not need liming which had to be done at massive scales in Brazil.

“The initiative will start by bringing approximately two million hectares of savannah in eight African countries — Ghana, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Mozambique under the cultivation of maize, soybean, and livestock production in optimum conditions,” he said.

The goal of which, Adesina informed NaijaAgroNet, is to double production in those eight countries.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Merck gathers African, Asian countries for healthcare capacity

Merck Foundation, a non-profit company and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany, is gathering African and Asian countries together to contribute towards building healthcare capacity for the continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The foundation, would use the occasion to conduct the Fourth edition of their annual ‘Merck Africa Asia Luminary’ on the 24th and 25th of October 2018 in partnership with relevant government institutions such as the Ministry of High Education and scientific research of Egypt, Africa Fertility Society and the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS).

‘Merck more than a Mother’ to be launched by Vice President of Tanzania and First Ladies of Central African Republic, Gambia, Chad, Niger and Republic of Guinea with the aim to empower infertile women in their countries.

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E-Merck KG, said, over 450 African healthcare providers, policy makers and researchers from Africa and Asia to benefit from several educational and social development sessions.

After the success of Merck Africa Luminary in Germany, Kenya and Cote D’Ivoire, Merck Foundation (, a non-profit company and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany, to conduct the Fourth edition of their annual ‘Merck Africa Asia Luminary’ on the 24th and 25th of October 2018, in partnership with Egypt’s Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research, Africa Fertility Society and the International Federation of Fertility Societies- IFFS.

“Merck is a value driven company and that is one of the reasons why Merck through its foundation is committed to support the social and economic development of Africa, Asia and developing countries by building healthcare capacity and improving access to innovative and equitable healthcare in the continent,” he said.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Malaria vaccine trials: AMMREN commends WHO over 3 African countries selection

The African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) has commended the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the choice of three African countries of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, for the first malaria vaccine trials beginning in 2018, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the WHO, the injectable vaccine RTS,S was developed to protect young children from the most deadly form of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and it will be assessed in the pilot programme as a complementary malaria control tool that could potentially be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention.

Welcoming this development, AMMREN Executive Secretary, Dr. Charity Binka told NaijaAgroNet that they see the introduction of the vaccine in these countries as an opportunity to step up advocacy directed to whipping up public support for the malaria elimination agenda and specifically for the vaccine.

AMMREN, she said, also called for the training and equipping of journalists to promote accurate and effective dissemination of information on the vaccine and other tools to ensure that media content on the vaccine is well packaged and disseminated in a timely and accurate manner, nationally and globally.

In addition, she said building of the capacity of scientists and researchers to communicate effectively with journalists from data generated from malaria research, tools and the vaccine, cannot be over-emphasised.

The network said that by facilitating widespread awareness of the RTS,S vaccine, particularly among families and community members would foster accurate understanding of the potential risks and benefits of the RTS,S malaria vaccine and need for continued use of other malaria control measures.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that AMMREN has over the years, laid a solid foundation for African journalists to partner with scientists and stakeholders in the fight to kick out malaria from the continent.

Thus, the skills of journalists across Africa have also been sharpened to tell the malaria story as well as the RTS,S malaria vaccine stories.

AMMREN further urged all stakeholders to join forces to carry out a sustained media advocacy project on the malaria elimination and to push for public acceptance of the RTS,S vaccine.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Exclusive: Nigeria, 36 other countries need external food assistance

Some 37 countries globally including Nigeria are in need of external food assistance, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisaton (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Other countries comprised of Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, and Kenya.

Equally affected based on FAO outline include Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Also, FAO raised its forecast for global cereal production in 2016 to 2,539 million tonnes, up 17.3 million tonnes from its previous May projection and up 0.6 percent from last year's harvest. 

Aggregate cereal production in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) is also forecast to increase to 420 million tonnes in 2016, led by a recovery in rice and wheat production in India after last year reduction due to El NiƱo-related drought.  That would be a 2.5 percent increase from last year's "sharply reduced" level.

NaijaAgroNet, in spite of the improved world production prospects in 2016, output would still fall slightly short of the projected demand in 2016/17, meaning global stocks would need to be drawn down from their near-record level.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Italy, FAO to boost food production with 10,000 scientists


Three Italian main research institutions are partnering the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help developing countries build stronger agricultural sectors through better research and information, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The institutions, National Research Council (CNR), Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CRA) and National Agency for new technologies, renewable energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA), NaijaAgroNet gathered, would employ over 10,000 scientists in more than 100 research institutes across Italy to tackle global food and agricultural sector challenges, including climate change, degradation of natural resources, and plant and animal pests and diseases - as well as changes in dietary patterns that affect food systems.

Confirming the collaboration, Italian Ambassador to FAO Pierfrancesco Sacco said the agreement marks a turning point in Italy-FAO relations. "In particular, the partnership will help address the growing challenge of bringing sustainability into the food and agricultural systems of developing countries; also in view of future implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals," he said.

As part of Italian’s Ministry of Agriculture, CRA's 1,700 researchers and staff performing advanced research on agriculture, food, fishery, forestry and economics, toppled with more than 100 research institutes and 8,000 CNR’s research staff on areas of research and technological development in Agriculture and Food Sciences, Bio-Medicine, Engineering, Environmental and Social Sciences achieving the set goal is reassured.
FAO Deputy-Director General and Natural Resources Coordinator, Maria Helena Semedo, during the signing event, stated that research plays a crucial role in agricultural and rural development and can unleash tremendous agricultural potential in the developing world.

"Being able to harness the wide ranging expertise of three of Italy's top research bodies will not only help countries better manage their natural resources and food systems but also support FAO's larger mission of eradicating hunger and malnutrition worldwide," she said

NaijaAgroNet learnt that ENEA operates in the fields of energy, environment and new technologies and also employs over 2,600 staff across its 11 research centers.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

FAO member countries urged to domesticate new world soil charter

The over 190 member countries of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have been urged to domesticate the newly endorsed World Soil Charter (WSC), NajiaAgroNet reports.

This is coming as the world celebrates  the 2015 International Year of Soils, at the 39th FAO Conference to promote and institutionalize sustainable soil management at all levels, even as the 13 principles listed in its charter still remains valid

This according to the Global Soil Partners (GSP) is in light of new scientific knowledge gained over the past 30 years, especially with respect to new issues such as soil pollution and its consequences for the environment, climate change adaptation and mitigation and urban sprawl impacts on soil availability and functions. 

The original strong focus of the WSC on land use planning and land evaluation had to be adjusted; NajiaAgroNet gathered that, more recent key references and concepts such as the more widely understood framework of ecosystem services had to be reflected; major developments in the intervening period such as the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and ensuring spate of new agreements and the work of the Committee on Food Security had to be factored in; and the guidelines for action had to be reorganized and expanded to take account of a broader range of stakeholders. 

This was achievable through the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), tasked with a revised text wide consultations within the international soil community and submitted to the GSP pleanary Assembly.

NajiaAgroNet also learnt that the first WSC was conceived and formulated, negotiated and adopted by the member countries in the 1981 FAO Conference and was a major normative instrument agreed by member states that the GSP partners was duty-bound to promote its principles and has requested all member states to move into its full implementation of the new World Soil Charter.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE 

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