South Sudan: UN agencies support nationwide polio vaccination campaign

An outbreak of the life-threatening disease, which mainly affects children under five, was first declared last September and has spread to 17 counties in all states in the country, with 39 cases of vaccine-derived polio confirmed. The campaign began in November and rollout of the second phase started on 16 February. Workers have been going from house to house to inoculate children with the oral polio vaccine, while adhering to…

Sudanese shepherd killed by Ethiopian militiamen

(GEDAREF) - A Sudanese shepherd was killed on Friday by Ethiopian militiamen in the latest attack by Ethiopian forces on Al-Fashaqaof the state of Gedaref.On Friday, security sources told the Sudan Tribune correspondent in Gedaref state reported that Ethiopian militias penetrated the Basinda border locality, where they stopped shepherds in the Helat Khater area and seized a herd of cattle before to flee with into Ethiopian territory.The same sources confirmed…

Britain to Push for COVID-19 Cease-fires to Get Vaccine to Conflict Zones

<description>Britain’s foreign secretary will call for a U.N. Security Council resolution Wednesday on local cease-fires in order to get COVID-19 vaccines to millions of people in conflict areas. “We have a moral duty to act, and a strategic necessity to come together to defeat this virus,” Dominic Raab will tell a high-level session of the U.N. Security Council on the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, according to a statement from…

China aids fight against child malnutrition in South Sudan

<description>(JUBA) – China has donated over 14,056 boxes of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to fight child malnutrition in South Sudan.A South Sudanese boy has a MUAC test, designed to detect malnutrition (Photo: ACF-South Sudan/T. Frank)"We are very proud to be in association with UNICEF to deliver the nutrition food to the children who are in dire need of food," the Chinese ambassador to…

How the IMF is Promoting Transparent and Accountable Use of COVID-19 Financial Assistance

<description>In 2018, the IMF adopted a Framework for Enhanced Engagement on Governance. An interim assessment of its implementaiton show that, the IMF has had deeper and more candid discussions with member countries on reforms and issues related to governance and anti-corruption since the Framework was introduced. The discussions with country authorities take place through several channels:• Article IV consultations: IMF country teams analyze governance and corruption issues and provide clear…

Sudan soldier killed during armed robbery

<description>The commercial vehicle was on its way from Abu Jibaiha to the Dallas gold mine of Aleri. When it reached Gardoud Toro, 20 kilometres south of Kalogi, it was intercepted by four armed men wearing face masks. Two of them were dressed in uniforms of the now defunct Popular Defence Forces (PDF).During the robbery another truck was passing by, carrying soldier El Fateh Hasan Gabeir. The robbers immediately shot him…

Over 20 employees at Kiir’s office test positive for Covid-19

Over 20 employees at the South Sudanese president’s office have tested positive for Covid-19, the president’s spokesperson has said.“About 20 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the office of the president. These are junior personnel like drivers, cooks, and bodyguards. Two junior officials in the office, who have no contact with the president, also tested positive,” President Sava Kiir’s Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Radio Tamazuj Wednesday. According to Ateny,…

&amp;lt;?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?&amp;gt; &amp;lt;rss version=”2.0″&amp;gt; &amp;lt;channel&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;arabpressreleases.com&amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; SOURCED FROM CURRENT NEWSPAPERS AND JOURNALS &amp;lt;BuildDate&amp;gt;Thu, 18 February 2021 16:11:23&amp;lt;/BuildDate&amp;gt; &amp;lt;item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;Over 20 employees at Kiir’s office test positive for Covid-19&amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; &amp;lt;pubDate&amp;gt;Wed, 17 February 2021 00:00:00&amp;lt;/pubDate&amp;gt; <p>Over 20 employees at the South Sudanese president’s office have tested positive for Covid-19, the president’s spokesperson has said.</p><p>“About 20 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the office of the president. These are junior personnel like drivers, cooks, and bodyguards. Two junior officials in the office, who have no contact with the president, also tested positive,” President Sava Kiir’s Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Radio Tamazuj Wednesday.</p><p> According to Ateny, the South Sudanese leader is healthy and has not contracted the virus contrary to “rumours making rounds in South Sudan and the region.”</p><p>Apart from rumours circulating to the effect that President Kiir and members of his staff, including presidential affairs minister, Nhial Deng Nhial tested positive for Covid-19, on Monday a Ugandan television, NBS Television, reported that President Kiir tested positive.</p><p>Ateny dismissed the report and said: “No, it is not true. That is all misinformation. It is fake. On his official website, there is nothing like that and he has not contracted coronavirus. The president was in the office this afternoon and just went back home. He is okay and healthy.”</p><p>Asked why the president has not been going to the office for the last few days, Ateny said, “He has been working from home as a precaution because there are people in the office of the president who tested positive for Covid-19. A driver and a bodyguard who travel in the presidential vehicle tested positive but the president was negative.”</p><p>According to Ateny, as a precaution, it was decided that the president work from home and that all officials take the Covid-19 test and if one tests positive then they have to follow the procedure of quarantining for 14 days till they recover and test negative. </p><p>He said that the presidential affairs minister, security minister, Gen. Obutu Mamur, the executive director in the president’s office, and all the secretaries of the president tested negative and are all well.</p><p>Earlier this month, the South Sudan Taskforce on Covid-19 reintroduced a one-month partial lockdown after a surge of cases across the country.</p><p>Today alone, the Public Health Laboratory in Juba recorded four new Covid-19 deaths and 152 confirmed cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 6,084.</p><p>South Sudan registered its first Covid-19 case on April 5, 2020.</p><p>The government imposed restrictions last March, including the closure of borders. But in May 2020, the taskforce on Covid-19 allowed businesses to reopen and reduced the curfew time from the initial 7 pm-6 am to 10 pm-6 am.</p><p></p><p>Source: Radio Tamazuj</p><p></p> &amp;lt;category&amp;gt;Medical&amp;lt;/category&amp;gt; &amp;lt;/item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;Sudan soldier killed during armed robbery &amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; &amp;lt;pubDate&amp;gt;Wed, 17 February 2021 00:00:00&amp;lt;/pubDate&amp;gt; <p>The commercial vehicle was on its way from Abu Jibaiha to the Dallas gold mine of Aleri. When it reached Gardoud Toro, 20 kilometres south of Kalogi, it was intercepted by four armed men wearing face masks. Two of them were dressed in uniforms of the now defunct Popular Defence Forces (PDF).</p><p>During the robbery another truck was passing by, carrying soldier El Fateh Hasan Gabeir. The robbers immediately shot him in the chest and then they run away. The injured soldier was taken back to Kologi, where the robbery and shooting were reported at the military base, and thereafter to Abu Jibaiha hospital, where he died on arrival.</p><p>According to the Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO), which reported the violent incident, police and military have not taken any steps to apprehend the perpetrators. HUDO states that many robberies have taken place and passengers have been killed at Gardoud Toro.</p><p></p><p>Source: Radio Dabanga</p><p></p> &amp;lt;/item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;China aids fight against child malnutrition in South Sudan&amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; &amp;lt;pubDate&amp;gt;Wed, 17 February 2021 00:00:00&amp;lt;/pubDate&amp;gt; <p>(JUBA) – China has donated over 14,056 boxes of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to fight child malnutrition in South Sudan.</p><p></p><p></p><p>A South Sudanese boy has a MUAC test, designed to detect malnutrition (Photo: ACF-South Sudan/T. Frank)</p><p>”We are very proud to be in association with UNICEF to deliver the nutrition food to the children who are in dire need of food,” the Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, Hua Ning said on Monday.</p><p></p><p>He said China is committed to improve bilateral relations with Juba.</p><p></p><p>”We hope that the donation from China will help to ease the nutrition situation here in South Sudan and we also hope that continued progress of South Sudan’s peace talks will help to ease and finally eliminate the root (cause) of the humanitarian crisis,” said Hua</p><p></p><p>”We hope that every child in South Sudan will enjoy a better future,” he added.</p><p></p><p>For his part, the UNICEF South Sudan Representative, Andrea Suley, said the Chinese aid will help treat over 14,000 children with severe acute malnutrition.</p><p></p><p>”This RUTF from China will save lives and give children a second chance,” he said.</p><p></p><p>According to UNICEF, an estimated 313,000 children in the world’s youngest nation currently suffer from severe acute malnutrition.</p><p></p><p>Source: Sudan Tribune</p><p></p> &amp;lt;/item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;Britain to Push for COVID-19 Cease-fires to Get Vaccine to Conflict Zones&amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; &amp;lt;pubDate&amp;gt;Wed, 17 February 2021 00:00:00&amp;lt;/pubDate&amp;gt; <p>Britain’s foreign secretary will call for a U.N. Security Council resolution Wednesday on local cease-fires in order to get COVID-19 vaccines to millions of people in conflict areas. </p><p>“We have a moral duty to act, and a strategic necessity to come together to defeat this virus,” Dominic Raab will tell a high-level session of the U.N. Security Council on the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, according to a statement from his office. Britain presides over the 15-nation body this month. </p><p>The United Nations has pushed for equitable global access to the COVID-19 vaccine, emphasizing that no country is safe until all are. Uneven inoculations could also lead to virus mutations and new vaccine-resistant variants. </p><p>More than 160 million people are at risk of not receiving COVID-19 vaccinations because of instability and conflict, in places including Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Britain says temporary cease-fires negotiated on a case-by-case basis when vaccines are available and ready for distribution in those areas could facilitate the safety of aid workers administering them and the civilians who receive them. </p><p>Britain points to a successful effort in Afghanistan in 2001 as evidence that local cease-fires can work. There, a two-day pause in fighting allowed thousands of healthcare workers to inoculate nearly 6 million children against polio. </p><p>Diplomats said Raab is expected to announce negotiations on a council resolution at the meeting, with the aim of circulating a first draft among members by the end of the week for discussion. It would call for local cease-fires, access to vulnerable populations and funding for the effort. </p><p>The initiative faces an uphill battle if a similar effort by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is any indicator. In late March, as the coronavirus was making its way across the planet, he launched a call for a global cease-fire to assist international containment efforts. It took the Security Council three months to agree a resolution supporting his call, after bickering between the then Trump-led U.S. delegation and China over the origins of the virus. While fighting has cooled in some conflict zones, there has been no global pause in fighting. </p><p>The high-level session will be the international debut of new Biden administration Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who will join the virtual session and make remarks. Nine other foreign ministers are expected to participate, as well as one prime minister. </p><p>U.N. Chief Guterres, the head of UNICEF and the CEO of the vaccination alliance Gavi, will be among the meeting’s briefers. </p><p>Wednesday’s session comes ahead of a G7 leaders meeting on Friday, which Britain will also chair and will focus on COVID-19 recovery.</p><p></p><p>Source: Voice of America</p><p></p> &amp;lt;/item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;China aids fight against child malnutrition in South Sudan&amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; &amp;lt;pubDate&amp;gt;Wed, 17 February 2021 00:00:00&amp;lt;/pubDate&amp;gt; <p>(JUBA) – China has donated over 14,056 boxes of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to fight child malnutrition in South Sudan.</p><p></p><p></p><p>A South Sudanese boy has a MUAC test, designed to detect malnutrition (Photo: ACF-South Sudan/T. Frank)</p><p>”We are very proud to be in association with UNICEF to deliver the nutrition food to the children who are in dire need of food,” the Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, Hua Ning said on Monday.</p><p></p><p>He said China is committed to improve bilateral relations with Juba.</p><p></p><p>”We hope that the donation from China will help to ease the nutrition situation here in South Sudan and we also hope that continued progress of South Sudan’s peace talks will help to ease and finally eliminate the root (cause) of the humanitarian crisis,” said Hua</p><p></p><p>”We hope that every child in South Sudan will enjoy a better future,” he added.</p><p></p><p>For his part, the UNICEF South Sudan Representative, Andrea Suley, said the Chinese aid will help treat over 14,000 children with severe acute malnutrition.</p><p></p><p>”This RUTF from China will save lives and give children a second chance,” he said.</p><p></p><p>According to UNICEF, an estimated 313,000 children in the world’s youngest nation currently suffer from severe acute malnutrition.</p><p></p><p>Source: Sudan Tribune</p><p></p> &amp;lt;/item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;How the IMF is Promoting Transparent and Accountable Use of COVID-19 Financial Assistance&amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; &amp;lt;pubDate&amp;gt;Wed, 17 February 2021 00:00:00&amp;lt;/pubDate&amp;gt; <p>In 2018, the IMF adopted a Framework for Enhanced Engagement on Governance. An interim assessment of its implementaiton show that, the IMF has had deeper and more candid discussions with member countries on reforms and issues related to governance and anti-corruption since the Framework was introduced. The discussions with country authorities take place through several channels:</p><p>• Article IV consultations: IMF country teams analyze governance and corruption issues and provide clear policy advice to enhance good governance and address corruption vulnerabilities, including on combatting transnational corruption.[1] To date, more than 40 staff reports have dedicated in-depth annexes or Selected Issues Papers on these topics.[2]</p><p>• Lending programs: Governance and anti-corruption-related conditionality is included when such vulnerabilities are critical to achieving the goals of the member’s program, including preventing the misuse of Fund resources.[3]</p><p>• Governance diagnostics: IMF staff has begun conducting detailed diagnostic analyses that take a deep dive into governance weaknesses and make specific and prioritized reform recommendations to strengthen governance across a range of areas. To date, 10 such reports have been completed or are underway.[4]</p><p></p><p>• Capacity development: The IMF provides extensive technical assistance and training in the areas of fiscal governance, financial sector oversight, central bank governance and operations, anti-money laundering measures, and anti-corruption frameworks. The IMF’s first training course on “Fighting Corruption” was delivered in November 2020 at its Africa Training Institute to about 70 senior government officials from 34 countries.</p><p>• Research and outreach: The IMF has been implementing a broad agenda of analytical and research work on governance issues,[5] as well as a range of outreach activities to promote collaboration with other international institutions, academia, and CSOs on this topic.</p><p>How can the IMF help enhance transparency and accountability with its emergency financing in the time of COVID-19?</p><p>In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF maintains its commitment to address governance and corruption vulnerabilities in member countries. The IMF is working to balance the need for immediate COVID-19 financing against appropriate accountability and transparency to ensure, as best as possible, that financial help reaches those in need. IMF emergency financing is provided in upfront, outright disbursements. While there is less scope for traditional conditionality in the context of emergency financing, the IMF ensures its resources are used for their intended purpose by implementing the following:</p><p>1. Asking member authorities to commit in their Letters of Intent to ensuring that emergency assistance is used for the very urgent purpose of resolving the current crisis and not diverted for other purposes. Letters of Intent are published by the member country and the governance commitments are also published in a separate document available on the IMF’s ‘COVID-19 Financial Assistance and Debt Service Relief’ website.</p><p>2. Identifying public financial management, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering measures that countries can put in place without unduly delaying urgently-needed disbursements. For example, the IMF has asked member countries requesting emergency assistance to commit to (i) enhanced reporting of crisis-related spending; (ii) undertaking and publishing independent ex-post audits of crisis-related spending; (iii) ensuring procurement transparency by, for example, publishing procurement contracts; and/or (iv) preventing conflicts of interest and corruption by publishing the beneficial ownership information of firms awarded procurement contracts. Specific examples include the following:</p><p>• In Papua New Guinea, the authorities have begun: (i) publishing details of awarded COVID-19-related procurement on the government procurement website (http://www.procurement.gov.pg/), including related beneficial ownership information and have committed to (ii) providing a consolidated report on procurement to the National Executive Council within three months of the end of the State of Emergency; and (iii) commissioning and publishing an audit by an independent and reputable auditor within one year of the end of the State of Emergency.</p><p>• In Cameroon, the authorities have: (i) modified standard procurement forms to allow for the provision of the beneficial ownership information of companies receiving procurement contracts; (ii) publishing on the website of the Public Procurement Regulatory Agency, public procurement contracts awarded by the government and the beneficial ownership of companies receiving procurement contracts; (iii) begun publishing all COVID-19 related contracts awarded since May 2020, including related beneficial ownership information and committed to (iv) issuing a semi-annual report on COVID-19 related spending; and (v) commissioning an independent audit of this spending at the end of the 2020 fiscal year and publishing the results.</p><p>• In Malawi, the authorities have begun: (i) publishing COVID-19-related procurement documentation and the names of the beneficial owners of the awarded companies on the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets website (https://www.ppda.mw/#); (ii) begun publishing on the PPDA website the results of ex-post validation of delivery on a contract-by-contract basis; and committed to (iii) publishing quarterly statements on commitments and payments of COVID-19 related activities; (iv) publishing funding earmarked for COVID-19 related spending; (v) submitting quarterly audits of COVID-19 related spending by the National Audit Office to the Minister of Finance for submission to the Cabinet and (vi) publishing and submitting to Parliament a comprehensive audit of COVID-19-related spending</p><p>• In Moldova, the authorities have committed to: (i) publishing information on crisis-related public procurement and beneficial owners of companies contracting with the government; (ii) continuing to enforce the anti-money laundering framework and asset declaration regime; and (iii) subjecting all crisis-mitigation spending to a dedicated audit by the Court of Accounts Chamber and making the report public.</p><p>• In Nepal, the authorities have committed to publish online: (i) quarterly reports on COVID-19 related spending; (ii) the results of an independent audit of COVID-19 related spending by the Office of the Auditor General; and (iii) large public procurement documentation, together with ex-post validation of delivery, the name of awarded companies, and their beneficial owner(s).</p><p>• In the Kyrgyz Republic, the authorities have committed to: (i) subject all procurement of urgently needed supplies to an ex-post audit by the Audit Chamber and publish the results online; (ii) publish online documentation on all direct procurement and bidding documents for competitive procurement; (iii) take the necessary measures within the government’s prerogative to publish ex-post validation of delivery along with the name of awarded companies and their beneficial owner(s) for all public procurement contracts; and (iv) ensure that the Independent Complaints Review Commission on procurement has sufficient means to operate by including its fees on the list of government payable services.</p><p>• In Nigeria, the authorities have committed to: (i) strengthening the role of the Federal Audit Board in combating corruption and the asset-declaration framework; (ii) fully implementing the risk-based approach to AML/CFT supervision while ensuring the transparency of beneficial ownership of legal persons; (iii) creating specific budget lines to facilitate the tracking and reporting of emergency response expenditures and of funds released and expenditures incurred monthly on the transparency portal (http://opentreasury.gov.ng); (iv) publishing procurement plans and procurement notices for all emergency response activities—including the name of awarded companies and of beneficial owners—on the Bureau of Public procurement website; and (v) publishing no later than three to six months after the end of the fiscal year an independent audit into the emergency response expenditures and related procurement process, which will be conducted by the Auditor General of the Federation.</p><p>Similar commitments have been made in Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Egypt, Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea, Jamaica, Jordan, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar,Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan,São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Sudan, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Uganda, and Uzbekistan, among other countries.</p><p>3. Ensuring that emergency resources are subject to our “Safeguards Assessment” policy. These assessments involve a diagnostic review of the central bank’s governance arrangements and legal framework, internal and external audit mechanisms, financial reporting, and control systems. They provide reasonable assurance to the IMF that a central bank’s governance framework is adequate to manage resources, including IMF disbursements. Where there are shortcomings, IMF staff make time-bound recommendations and closely monitor their implementation. Given that emergency financing is provided upfront, such assessments will be conducted after the disbursement, but before the approval of any subsequent financing under a more traditional multi-year financing arrangement.</p><p>4. Continuing to include governance and anti-corruption measures in these countries’ multi-year financing arrangements, where warranted as part of our ongoing implementation of the 2018 Enhanced Governance Framework. Many of the countries currently receiving emergency assistance either already have existing multi-year financing arrangements with the IMF or will be seeking such arrangements soon. These multi-year arrangements are better-suited than emergency financing to addressing longer-term structural issues that underpin poor governance and corruption.</p><p>[1] Analysis on combatting transnational corruption has occurred on foreign-bribery issues (France, Germany, and Japan), anti-money laundering issues (the United States), and both areas (Switzerland, Canada, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom).</p><p>[2] Topics discussed in Article IVs include fiscal governance (e.g., Bulgaria, Malaysia), central bank governance and operations (e.g., Liberia and Mozambique), financial sector oversight (e.g., India, Moldova), market regulation (e.g. Nigeria, South Africa), contract enforcement and property rights (e.g., Djibouti), anti-money laundering issues (e.g., Malta, Malaysia), and the anti-corruption framework (e.g., Bulgaria, Mexico).</p><p>[3] Several new programs have brought the fight against corruption to the forefront of their core objectives (e.g., Angola, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Liberia, Mali, Rep. of Congo).</p><p>[4] Upon the authorities’ request, so far governance diagnostic missions have been undertaken for ten countries (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Moldova, Mozambique, Honduras, Guinea Bissau, Republic of Congo, Paraguay, Peru, and Zimbabwe).</p><p>[5] One example of analytical work is the April 2019 Fiscal Monitor’s chapter on Curbing Corruption. The chapter assesses the fiscal costs of corruption and explores practices and institutions in the fiscal area that reduce opportunities and incentives for corruption. In addition, three IMF special series notes—”Keeping the Receipts: Transparency, Accountability, and Legitimacy in Emergency Responses”, “Budget Execution Controls to Mitigate Corruption Risk in Pandemic Spending”, and “COVID-19 Funds in Response to the Pandemic”—provide guidance on public financial management practices, drawing on cross-country examples, to ensure transparency and accountability of ramped-up spending in response to COVID-19 and address vulnerabilities to corruption.</p><p></p><p>Source: International Monetary Fund</p><p></p> &amp;lt;/item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;title&amp;gt;Britain to Push for COVID-19 Cease-fires to Get Vaccine to Conflict Zones&amp;lt;/title&amp;gt; &amp;lt;link&amp;gt;http://58.65.192.121/arabpressreleases.com-Medical.xml&amp;lt;/link&amp;gt; &amp;lt;pubDate&amp;gt;Wed, 17 February 2021 00:00:00&amp;lt;/pubDate&amp;gt; <p>Britain’s foreign secretary will call for a U.N. Security Council resolution Wednesday on local cease-fires in order to get COVID-19 vaccines to millions of people in conflict areas. </p><p>“We have a moral duty to act, and a strategic necessity to come together to defeat this virus,” Dominic Raab will tell a high-level session of the U.N. Security Council on the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, according to a statement from his office. Britain presides over the 15-nation body this month. </p><p>The United Nations has pushed for equitable global access to the COVID-19 vaccine, emphasizing that no country is safe until all are. Uneven inoculations could also lead to virus mutations and new vaccine-resistant variants. </p><p>More than 160 million people are at risk of not receiving COVID-19 vaccinations because of instability and conflict, in places including Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Britain says temporary cease-fires negotiated on a case-by-case basis when vaccines are available and ready for distribution in those areas could facilitate the safety of aid workers administering them and the civilians who receive them. </p><p>Britain points to a successful effort in Afghanistan in 2001 as evidence that local cease-fires can work. There, a two-day pause in fighting allowed thousands of healthcare workers to inoculate nearly 6 million children against polio. </p><p>Diplomats said Raab is expected to announce negotiations on a council resolution at the meeting, with the aim of circulating a first draft among members by the end of the week for discussion. It would call for local cease-fires, access to vulnerable populations and funding for the effort. </p><p>The initiative faces an uphill battle if a similar effort by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is any indicator. In late March, as the coronavirus was making its way across the planet, he launched a call for a global cease-fire to assist international containment efforts. It took the Security Council three months to agree a resolution supporting his call, after bickering between the then Trump-led U.S. delegation and China over the origins of the virus. While fighting has cooled in some conflict zones, there has been no global pause in fighting. </p><p>The high-level session will be the international debut of new Biden administration Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who will join the virtual session and make remarks. Nine other foreign ministers are expected to participate, as well as one prime minister. </p><p>U.N. Chief Guterres, the head of UNICEF and the CEO of the vaccination alliance Gavi, will be among the meeting’s briefers. </p><p>Wednesday’s session comes ahead of a G7 leaders meeting on Friday, which Britain will also chair and will focus on COVID-19 recovery.</p><p></p><p>Source: Voice of America</p><p></p> &amp;lt;/item&amp;gt; &amp;lt;/channel&amp;gt; &amp;lt;/rss&amp;gt;

Over 20 employees at the South Sudanese president’s office have tested positive for Covid-19, the president’s spokesperson has said.“About 20 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the office of the president. These are junior personnel like drivers, cooks, and bodyguards. Two junior officials in the office, who have no contact with the president, also tested positive,” President Sava Kiir’s Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Radio Tamazuj Wednesday. According to Ateny,…