To date, only one third of the $550 million regional appeal, launched six months ago by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has been financed.OCHA spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs stressed at a press conference in Geneva today that it is urgent that more funds be made available to help those in need in West Africa.To respond to the paucity of resources, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has earmarked nearly $20 million over the past three months for Niger, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad. Most of those funds went to Niger, which is home to over 7 million hungry people and in the throes of a serious food, nutrition and pastoral crisis.According to data released by Niger’s Government last month, the global acute malnutrition rate in the country has reached nearly 17 per cent for children under the age of five, which is far above the 15 per cent warning threshold and the 12.3 per cent rate estimated last year.Since the start of this year, the Fund has allocated more than $40 million to Niger, CAR, Chad, Guinea, Mali and Senegal.CERF was set up in 2006 to make funding for humanitarian emergencies faster and more equitable. Since then, more than 115 Member States and several private sector donors have contributed nearly $2 billion to the fund, which is managed by OCHA. 9 July 2010The rainy season is under way in West Africa and has already caused deadly flooding, but no aid has come in to help the region’s countries, sparking the concern of the United Nations humanitarian arm.
The meeting took place even as a stalemate continued on the wage issue of the plantation sector.Trade unions led by the CWC and others have been demanding Rs. 1000 as a daily wage but plantation companies have refused to agree to the demand. (Colombo Gazette) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader Arumugam Thondaman had talks with the Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake today.Thondaman met the Minister at the Plantation Industries Ministry.
JKTech has been awarded recognition for its minerals technology development at the JK Centre in Brisbane through the Premier of Queensland’s Smart Awards. Last year, JKTech won the Smart Award for mining and mineral processing with its Flotation Optimization Methodology. The criteria used to judge the candidates were: the degree and use of innovation by the company; how innovation was being used to drive business growth; growth in turnover, profits, employees and the capacity to sustain growth in the future; the use of smart business management processes and systems throughout the business.JKTech’s Mineral Liberation Analysis (MLA) system was chosen as one of the three finalists out of 17 entrants. The award was finally won by Brisbane Display & Shopfitting and attracted entrants ranging from yacht builders to salt chlorinator manufacturers. Several companies from the mining industry supply sector were also nominated, including Intellection, Metso Minerals, Monduran, Transcale and the third finalist, Hardchrome. This will provide further support for the ongoing development of the MLA and other mineral related technologies. Queensland Government has announced that the JK Centre has been awarded funding under the Innovation Building Fund to support the construction of a new Mineral Characterization Research Facility at the University of Queensland’s experimental mine at Indooroopilly in Brisbane.