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AFRICAN NEWS & INFORMATION
Liberians Visa Process To Come To The US Slow Down, Ebola Fear Tags: News Liberia Health Ebola Travel

Monrovia - Since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, several countries including Europeans, and Africans and the United States of America have issued travel advisory caution their citizens about the risk associated with traveling to Liberia.

Despite the warning the US embassy along with other African countries appear to remain functional, but it has been observed that some of these embassies are playing quiet diplomacy with the issue of closing down and leaving with fear of contracting the Ebola virus.

Among those embassies, according to investigation, the US embassy seems to be playing the quiet diplomacy with Liberians as it is becoming glaring that the US is scaling down the issuance of Visas to non-Americans wanting to travel to the US for visit or businesses purposes.

On Wednesday several Liberians were turned down by the US embassy in Monrovia and were told that they will be informed later about their interview dates after they were earlier informed prior to Wednesday about their interviews.

A private security officer assigned at the Embassy called group of people who had interviews scheduled for Wednesday to inform them that their interviews will not be possible because the embassy was not aware of their bookings.

“I have been instructed by the embassy to tell you that all of you who are here on 8:00-8:30 scheduled interview will not be possible, go home and keep you phones open you will be informed when is your next schedule only 9:00 -9:30 people will be allowed in”, the security guard said.

Within ten minutes all of those who were ushered in for the 9:30 schedule were seen coming out of the embassy Counselor Session disappointed because they too were told their listing could not be found and they should keep their phones opened for call from the embassy about their new appointment dates.

Some of the disappointed interviewees were heard expressing concerns over the strange attitude exhibited by the embassy, some of whom said have travelled back and forth to the United States and expressed that it was the first time for such occurrence which they described as unprecedented.

One of the disappointed individual who spoke to FrontPageAfrica on condition of anonymity said; “normally when we come here for interview if you are disqualified you will be informed at the interview’s desk and not a security guard coming outside to say they cannot find your interview listing this is unprecedented”.

The individual continued “If the US government is shutting down its Counselor Session let them be bold and say it and not to show diplomatic pretense.” The Embassy later conducted interviews for people placed on the 10:00 and 10:30 am schedule but most of them who entered the Counselor Session were seen coming out in tears or disappointed because many were denied.

Recently Delta Airlines announced ending flight to Liberia by August 31 on grounds that they were not getting too many customers. During the weekend British Airlines also announced suspending flights to Liberia because of the Ebola outbreak.

Source: FrontpageAfrica

Africa’s Middle Class Is Booming Tags: Developments News Africa

A new study finds that the number of middle-class households in sub-Saharan Africa has tripled since the turn of the century and is on track to nearly triple again—to more than 40 million—by 2030.

The study, by South Africa–based Standard Bank, the continent’s biggest lender, examined 11 African countries, excluding relatively wealthy South Africa. It found that about 15 million of the 110 million households in Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia are lower middle class and middle class, consuming from $15 to $115 a day.

“Between 2000 and 2014, we’ve seen a tripling of middle-class households across these 11 countries,” Simon Freemantle, a political economist at Standard Bank, told Bloomberg. “It confirms that idea that Africa has structurally changed, that there has been real improvement in the last 10 years.” Some countries saw even stronger gains: In Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, the middle class has grown by 600 percent since 2000.

This is just the beginning. The Standard Bank researchers predict that the number of middle-class households in those countries will swell from today’s 15 million to more than 40 million by 2030. The growth is being driven by surging foreign investment, development of oil, gas, and other natural resources, and the gradual ebbing of violence and corruption in many places.

While things are looking up for the middle class on the world’s poorest continent, in the world’s richest country, the United States, things are moving in the opposite direction.

Here, as Pew Research puts it, “since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some...of its characteristic faith in the future.” By Pew’s definition—households earning between two-thirds and twice the national median income—the number of Americans in the middle class has dropped since 1971 from 61 percent to 51 percent.

Add that trajectory to the list of things that are worse in the U.S. than in the developing world—though you should probably think twice before you start hunting for a job in Lagos. Most Africans are still poor, millions of them extremely so. Still, that’s changing, and fast.

Source: takepart.

Gates Foundation Commits $50M to Support Ebola Tags: World Ebola News Biill Gates

Seattle – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will commit $50 million to support the scale up of emergency efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and interrupt transmission of the virus.

The foundation will immediately release flexible funds to United Nations agencies and international organizations involved in the response to enable them and national governments to purchase badly needed supplies and scale up emergency operations in affected countries. In addition, the foundation will work with public and private sector partners to accelerate the development of therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics that could be effective in treating patients and preventing further transmission of the disease.

“We are working urgently with our partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives now and stop the transmission of this deadly disease,” said Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation. “We also want to accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics that can help end this epidemic and prevent future outbreaks.”

To date, the Gates Foundation has committed more than $10 million to fight the Ebola outbreak, including $5 million to WHO for emergency operations and R&D assessments and $5 million to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to purchase essential medical supplies, coordinate response activities, and provide at-risk communities with life-saving health information.

An additional $2 million will also be committed immediately to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support incident management, treatment, and health care system strengthening.

In August, Nigeria responded to the current crisis by opening an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Lagos, with support from the foundation and the Dangote Foundation. Leveraging expertise and lessons from the national polio program, the EOC has been at the center of an aggressive push by the federal and state governments to contain the spread of the virus, and there is cautious optimism that this prompt action may have helped avert a broader outbreak.

As additional grants are made, the foundation will provide further details on its funding commitments to on-the-ground operations and to research and development for Ebola drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For more detailed information on the foundation’s announcement, please join us for a 30-minute Twitter Q&A at 9:30 am PT with Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the foundation’s CEO, and Chris Elias, president of global development, using the hashtag #ebolachat.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

US force sent to Central African Republic Tags: World News War Central Africa Republic Barack Obama & Africa

President Barack Obama has dispatched 20 U.S. military personnel to the Central African Republic to help reopen the American Embassy there.

The embassy was temporarily shuttered in late 2012 due to security concerns in a country wracked by violent conflict. The force deployment is seen as a step toward reopening the mission, though the White House did not say when that would happen.

Obama alerted Congress to the deployment in a letter Thursday. He says the force arrived Wednesday and would stay until in the country until the security situation allows more traditional embassy guards and security personnel to arrive.

Source: AP

Liberia: George Weah To Donate First Ebola Materials Tags: George Weah Liberia Ebola News West Africa

Peace Ambassador George Manneh Weah has been moving the first huge consignment of assorted anti Ebola materials to the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville City, the main holding and treatment center of Ebola in Liberia.

In a mobile phone conversation with the Liberia's Peace Ambassador's Office on Thursday, Mr. Quiwu Yekeh, an aid to Ambassador Weah, confirmed that the peace ambassador has brought into the country several materials that, some of which assorted items he has donated to the ELWA Hospital which is being the first to receive the anti-Ebola consignment.

Mr. Yekeh, who said the items would be districted amongst other Senators did not provide more detail about what are contained in the consignment donate to the premier Ebola treatment center that is to be presented to the management of the ELWA Hospital but said that the materials would be very helpful to Liberians in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the hospital.

Noting that the materials would be presented to the hospital today, Mr. Yekeh noted the Liberian Peace Ambassador will use the occasion of the presentation of the items to provide detail information about the materials. Before them, critics have said that the Peace Ambassador and the leader of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change CDC has been doing nothing to contribute to fight against the outbreak of the virus in Liberia despite the massive political support he enjoys from the Liberian people.

Amid the criticism, the CDC's National Executive Committee announced the composition of a 26 -man task force that will lead activities in CDC respond or fight against the Ebola virus in the 15 counties of Liberia, although it is not known which of his institutions would make the expected donation today. According to Mr. Yekeh, Ambassador Weah is committed to see Liberia and Liberians being redeemed from the ongoing Ebola nightmare.

Weah, who will be donating his first consignment ever of the anti -Ebola materials to the hospital will continue the distributions to other Ebola treatment centers in and around Liberia, according to Yekeh from his peace-building office. The senior officer in the Liberia Peace Ambassador office also said Ambassador Weah disclosed that he has developed an uncompromising desire to requesting goodwill individuals and friendly nations to assist Liberia in the fight against the Ebola outbreak.

The ELWA Hospital is the first big center set aside for the holding and testing of suspected and Ebola patients in the response to the outbreak of the disease in the country, making it the main focus for local and international partners involved in the battle against the virus from the country.

Following the outbreak, it was said that Liberia's Peace Ambassador George Weah was in Europe, rallying support from the nations he has high influence with as well as friends and goodwill individuals to embark on initiatives leading to the his participation in the fight against the pestilence.

Source: analystliberia

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