Leading the News
West Africa Ebola Outbreak
On September 4th, the United Nations (U.N.) World Health Organization (WHO) kicked off a two-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss potential Ebola therapies and vaccines in response to the worsening Ebola outbreak in West Africa. As part of the meeting, technical experts from groups developing Ebola interventions, policymakers from affected countries, ethicists, clinicians, researchers, regulators, and patient representatives were expected to review the state of development of Ebola interventions and to develop a plan for evaluating the use of potential interventions. The start of the meeting was noted here.
On September 4th, WHO officials said the scale of the response to the West African Ebola outbreak needs to be increased by fourfold, but the WHO does not have enough health workers, doctors, nurses, drivers, and contact tracers to handle the increasing number of cases. WHO Assistant Director-General for Global Health Security Keiji Fukuda expressed concern that the shortage of health care workers is forcing most families to care for sick Ebola patients, increasing their risk of becoming infected. Assistant Director-General Fukuda’s comments were noted here.
On September 4th, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced USAID will spend nearly $100 million in aid for the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Administrator Shah said USAID will spend $75 million to build Ebola treatment facilities with as many as 1,000 beds, help recruit U.S. medical personnel to staff them, and deliver medical equipment. USAID has already spent approximately $21.3 million on shipments of medical personal protective gear, chlorine bleach, body bags, food aid, and other resources sent to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The additional assistance was announced here.
On September 5th, NBC News profiled the ten possible Ebola treatments under review by the WHO at the meeting convened in Switzerland. Among the experimental treatments being considered are plasma from survivors, Mapp Pharmaceuticals’ ZMapp, Tekmira’s TKM-100802, Sarepta Therapeutics’ AVI
7537, hyperimmune globulin, Toyama Chemical’s Favipivavir, BioCryst’s BCX-4430, Interferon, chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine, and rVSV vaccine. Each of the treatment approaches was described here.
On September 5th, the WHO pledged to accelerate the use of experimental treatments and vaccines to contain the worsening Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Experts suggested that survivors’ blood could be used immediately for blood transfusions to help treat and prevent the spread of the virus. In addition, the group identified two promising vaccines, which have not yet been tested on humans but could be made available to patients as soon as November, to be further scrutinized for their effectiveness in blocking Ebola. More information was shared here.
On September 5th, speaking at U.N. headquarters, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon vowed to mobilize the U.N. in every possible way to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and called for a massive surge in international assistance. Secretary-General Ban, along with WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, called on the international community to provide the $600 million needed to fund the WHO roadmap, which envisions more doctors, nurses, and beds, more equipment, and more trucks and other vehicles to be used as part of the response effort in West Africa. Secretary-General Ban’s comments were transcribed here.
On September 5th, with funds from the World Bank, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) procured and facilitated the delivery of 48 metric tons of assorted drugs and other medical supplies worth more than $825,000 to Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola epidemic. A chartered U.N. cargo aircraft delivered supplies including latex gloves, intravenous fluids, assorted antibiotics, and personal protective equipment to Lungi International Airport for transfer to different Ebola treatment centers in Freetown and throughout the country. A press release was issued here.
On September 5th, the European Union (EU) announced $181 million in funding to support Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria in responding to the Ebola outbreak. Much of the assistance is expected to go straight to those countries’ budgets to help them fund public services and strengthen their economies. Funding was also announced to support health services, water supply and sanitation efforts, health worker training, and the equipping and deployment of mobile health labs. The EU assistance package was noted here.
On September 5th, the White House sent the U.S. Congress a request for $30 million to support the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to help contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The $30 million would increase agency staff in Africa from 100 to more than 150, including epidemiologists and intelligence officers, and also expand support staff in the U.S. The White House sent Congress an earlier $58 million request to help the CDC speed up production and testing of the experimental drug ZMapp. The total $88 million has been requested as part of the stopgap continuing resolution (CR) that Congress is likely to pass to keep the government funded beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. To date, roughly $175 million has been obligated in U.S. funds to support the response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak. The new funding request was detailed here.
On September 5th, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said the agency is unprepared and does not have adequate supplies to handle a potential pandemic in the U.S. similar to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. In addition to not having enough personal protective equipment and antiviral medication, the OIG warned that DHS also lacks the capabilities to monitor the spread of viruses. A report from the OIG was issued here.
On September 5th, Doctors Without Borders (DWB) International President Joanne Liu said the situation in West Africa has become so desperate that military assets are needed to provide critical logistical and operational support for Ebola response efforts. While initially opposed to military involvement, DWB suggested the military is now needed as part of a mass-casualty response effort that includes expanding isolation centers, constructing air bridges to move personnel and equipment within infected countries, deploying mobile laboratories for testing and diagnosis, and building a regional network of field hospitals to treat suspected or infected medical personnel. Dr. Liu’s comments were recorded here.
On September 5th, the SIM USA volunteer infected with Ebola in Liberia, Dr. Rick Sacra, was flown to the U.S. to receive treatment in an isolation unit at the Nebraska Medical Center. According to Medical
Director Dr. Phil Smith, a team of 35 doctors, nurses, and other medical staffers will provide Dr. Sacra with basic care, including ensuring he is hydrated and keeping his vital signs stable. Doctors also made clear that Dr. Sacra’s transfer to Nebraska poses no threat to the public. More information can be viewed here.
On September 5th, the New York Times suggested the part of the West African population that is immune to Ebola could play a big role in fighting the outbreak. While those who are immune to the virus have yet to be identified, virologists have said that immune persons could safely care for sick patients, bury the dead, and donate blood to be used to treat new Ebola patients. Details can be seen here.
On September 6th, the Government of Sierra Leone announced plans to impose a three-day quarantine September 19th-21st as part of its efforts to contain the spread of Ebola. During the quarantine, all citizens are expected to remain indoors while roughly 7,000 health and community workers go door to door to identify hidden Ebola patients. The quarantine will be enforced by the Sierra Leone’s military and police forces. In addition, government officials announced incentive payments of $150 per week to burial workers and nurses helping to respond to the Ebola epidemic. The quarantine was announced here.
On September 7th, the Wall Street Journal reported that patients sickened with Ebola virus are being turned away from hospitals and treatment clinics because there are not enough beds, resources, or health care workers to treat them. By the WHO’s estimates, at least 1,515 more hospital beds are needed across Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to treat the patients who could be infected before the outbreak is curtailed. The shortage is so bad that witnesses have reported ambulances picking up patients with symptoms of Ebola and driving them around for hours only to drop them back off at home, despite the fact that the odds of surviving Ebola at home are low. The full story is available here.
On September 7th, U.S. President Barack Obama appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he discussed the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. President Obama reiterated that Americans should not be concerned about Ebola spreading in the U.S. because it is not an airborne disease. In addition, President Obama said that U.S. leadership in addressing the crisis in West Africa, including through the use of military assets to set up isolation units and equipment, will be important to ensuring that Ebola does not continue to spread throughout Africa and beyond. An excerpt from the interview can be watched here.
On September 7th, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) published the findings of a study that tested the effectiveness of the GlaxoSmithKline Ebola vaccine on monkeys. While the study found that a single dose of the experimental vaccine protected all of the vaccinated monkeys when they were exposed to high levels of Ebola virus just five weeks later, the research also showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness waned over time, with only half of the monkeys protected from the disease. The vaccine is currently being tested on humans. More information can be found here.
On September 8th, the WHO warned that the number of afflicted Ebola patients in Liberia is growing exponentially, with confirmed cases reported across the entire country. Since the start of the outbreak, Liberia has experienced more than 2,000 Ebola cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Of the 152 health care workers who have been infected with the virus in Liberia, 79 have died, worsening Liberia’s pre-existing shortage of health care staff. When the Ebola outbreak began, Liberia only had one doctor per 100,000 people. Liberian officials also reported a severe shortage of beds at Ebola treatment centers. The situation in Liberia was detailed here.
On September 8th, following an emergency meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union (AU) announced plans to send at least 100 doctors, nurses, and other personnel to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, for six months to help respond to the Ebola epidemic. The effort will be funded with a $10 million contribution from USAID and a $6.5 million contribution from the EU. It is unclear when the first AU medical support missions will deploy. Details can be viewed here.
On September 8th, the CDC confirmed that a patient hospitalized in Miami, Florida, who was showing symptoms of Ebola, has tested negative. While local officials declined to identify the patient or to detail the patient’s symptoms, Jackson Health System officials reported that all precautionary measures were taken and that an interagency team was engaged to confirm the patient was not infected. Details can be seen here.
On September 8th, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and CDC health works met a federal air marshal in Houston, Texas, who was arriving from Nigeria after being attacked in the Lagos airport with a syringe by an unknown assailant. The air marshal has been placed in quarantine out of concern that the substance in the syringe contained some form of Ebola virus. He did not immediately show symptoms of the disease and the needle that was used in the attack is currently undergoing testing. The incident was reported here.
On September 9th, the WHO announced that the recent surge in Ebola cases in Liberia has increased the number of people affected by the outbreak in West Africa to more than 4,200, with more than 2,200 deaths. The new figures account for the more than 500 new cases reported in Liberia over the past week. The WHO forecasted thousands of new Ebola infections in Liberia and warned the epidemic in West Africa is spiraling out of control at rates faster than the implementation of efforts to contain it. An update from the WHO was provided here.
On September 9th, AU Chairwoman Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma said the AU is continuing to encourage African countries to lift travel bans on people arriving from Ebola affected nations and to replace them with border checks for people displaying Ebola-like symptoms arriving from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Travel bans have been implemented by South Africa and Kenya. More information can be viewed here.
On September 9th, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that Kenya will donate roughly $1 million to help Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia in the fight against Ebola. Speaking from the State House in Nairobi, President Kenyatta said that Kenya will not abandon the West African states affected by Ebola and that Kenya’s contribution is in line with its foreign policy on African solidarity. Kenya’s contribution towards the Ebola response was announced here.
On September 9th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced plans to convene leaders gathering in New York for the upcoming high-level segment of this year’s U.N. General Assembly to discuss scaling up response efforts related to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The news came as the WHO provided new statistics on the impact of the epidemic. As of September 6th, 4,269 Ebola cases and 2, 288 deaths were reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In Nigeria, there have been 21 cases and eight deaths, and one case has been confirmed in Senegal. More information is available here.
On September 9th, U.N. Special Representative for Liberia and head of the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Karin Landgren briefed the U.N. Security Council on the impact of the Ebola outbreak in the country. Special Representative Landgren reported the spread of the disease in Liberia has been merciless, with at least 2,070 document cases, including at least 160 health workers. Also adding to the problem, Special Representative Landgren noted that most health workers have gone without proper protective equipment, training, and pay, and that local funeral rights that involve touching and washing the dead have exacerbated the spread of the virus. Excerpts from the briefing were highlighted here.
On September 9th, USAID provided additional information on its $10 million contribution to support the AU’s urgent deployment of trained and equipped medical workers to West Africa to help combat the Ebola outbreak. USAID funding will facilitate the transport of approximately 25 doctors, 45 nurses, and 30 other support personnel to Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone to help manage and run Ebola treatment units. USAID is also concurrently providing resources for 1,000 new beds, 130,000 sets of personal protective equipment, and 50,000 hygiene kits. A press release was issued here.
On September 9th, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) sent the U.S. Congress a reprogramming request to shift funds to increase their availability for spending on new priorities, including the humanitarian response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. DOD has requested $500 million for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to provide humanitarian assistance in the countries impacted by the Ebola outbreak, including the transportation of DOD and non-DOD personnel and supplies, procurement of isolation units, personal protective equipment, and medical supplies, and training and education in support of sanitation and mortuary affairs functions to limit the spread of Ebola. The reprogramming request was detailed here.
On September 9th, U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) introduced a
short-term CR to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. The legislation includes $30 million for CDC and $58 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to respond to the Ebola outbreak. The House is likely to vote on the CR next week. The legislative text can be accessed here.
On September 9th, Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, admitted a fourth American health worker who contracted Ebola in West Africa and arrived by air ambulance. While the patient was not identified and limited details were made available on his condition, the WHO confirmed that a doctor who had been working at an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone had tested positive for the disease and was evacuated from Freetown. Emory University Hospital is known for treating Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who were also infected with the virus in West Africa. The full story is available here.
On September 9th, the medical team treating Dr. Rick Sacra for Ebola at the Nebraska Medical Center issued a statement reporting on his progress. Doctors said they are encouraged with Dr. Sacra’s progress, adding that the patient is becoming more alert and interactive. An update on his condition was provided here.
On September 9th, the Washington Post Editorial Board published an op-ed criticizing the global complacency in responding to the West Africa Ebola epidemic. The op-ed expresses concern that no vaccine or antiviral is available as the virus continues to spread in big cities due to inaction and fumbling by governments and fear and panic among residents. In addition, the article calls for response efforts to be scaled up three- or four-fold and cautions that West Africa cannot do it alone. The op-ed can be accessed here.
On September 10th, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos announced an emergency allocation of $3.8 million for the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to help deploy health care personnel and supplies to the West African countries impacted by Ebola. Under-Secretary-General Amos recognized the emergency allocation is intended to supplement reduced commercial travel in the region and will assist the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) in moving humanitarian personnel, medical supplies and equipment, and other humanitarian cargo to remote locations in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The new funding was announced here.
On September 10th, the U.S. Department of State announced a surge of federal workers into the West African counties affected by Ebola. There are already around 1,400 U.S. Government employees in the region. In addition, the State Department noted it had contracted with Phoenix Air Group to help evacuate any U.S. workers who become infected with Ebola over the next six months. In addition, the U.S. Government announced the donation of five ambulances to Sierra Leone. Details can be seen here.
On September 10th, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $50 million commitment to help scale up emergency efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and to interrupt transmission of the virus. The funding will be channeled to the U.N. and other international organizations to enable humanitarian organizations and African governments to purchase the supplies needed to ramp up the response. In addition, the Gates Foundation announced plans to work with public and private sector partners to help accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines to help prevent further spread of the disease. A press release was issued here.
On September 3rd, following a cabinet meeting, Somali Security Minister Khalif Ahmed Ereg announced that Somali authorities will give Al Shabaab fighters 45 days to take advantage of an offer of amnesty. The announcement follows an offensive launched last week by Somali and AU forces against Al Shabaab strongholds in southern Somalia, as well as U.S. airstrikes against Al Shabaab targets in Barawe. The amnesty offer was detailed here.
On September 5th, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed the death of Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr and as Ahmed Abdi Aw Mohamed, in last week’s U.S. air assault directed at Al Shabaab targets in Barawe, Somalia. Godane was highly engaged in planning last September’s Al Shabaab attack against the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said removing Godane from the battlefield can be
considered a major symbolic and international loss to Al Shabaab. Godane’s death was confirmed here.
On September 5th, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued a statement following the Pentagon confirmation of the killing of Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane. Congressman Royce said that Godane’s death should be a serious blow to the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab network, which has been a growing threat to U.S. national security. In addition, Congressman Royce noted an African force on the ground in Somalia has been making gains against Al Shabaab. His full statement can be read here.
On September 6th, Al Shabaab appointed Ahmed Omar to succeed its former leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was recently confirmed dead following last week’s U.S. airstrikes against Al Shabaab in Somalia. In announcing its new leader, Al Shabaab pledged to take revenge for Godane’s death, as well as the deaths of two other, unidentified Al Shabaab officials who were killed in the airstrikes. Omar’s appointment was announced here.
On September 8th, at least 12 people were killed when an Al Shabaab suicide bomber hit a convoy of AU peacekeepers outside of Mogadishu. Somali Police Captain Ali Mohamud reported those killed were civilians traveling on minibuses near the convoy when it exploded. Thirty-one others were injured. Following the attack, Al Shabaab Spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Mus’ab claimed the attack was carried out to avenge the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane in the U.S. drone strikes on September 1st. Spokesman Mus’ab also vowed that Al Shabaab will continue to target Americans. While the Pentagon has clarified that no Americans were killed in the attack, it was unclear if Americans had been traveling with the convoy. The incident was detailed here.
On September 9th, U.N. Special Representative for Somalia and head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Nicholas Kay condemned the terrorist attacks carried out in the country on Monday. Special Representative Kay offered condolences to the families and friends of those who suffered in the attacks and said the proponents of violence continue to show they have nothing to offer but continued suffering to the Somali people. Special Representative Kay’s comments were captured here.
On September 4th, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a joint report detailing the human rights abuses that have been perpetrated in Tripoli and Benghazi by both sides of the ongoing conflict in Libya. The report notes abuses including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on civilian objects, the shelling of hospitals, the abduction of civilians, torture, and unlawful killings. In closing, the report makes the case that the protection of Libyan civilians must be a priority and calls on all armed groups to desist from violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The full report can be downloaded here.
On September 4th, USA Today raised concerns that 11 planes missing from Tripoli International Airport following clashes between militias could be used in terrorist attacks around the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. and the September 11, 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi. Noting pictures of Libyan militants posing with the aircraft that appeared online this week, intelligence officials speculated the planes could be used to carry out terrorist attacks in North Africa. Details were reported here.
On September 10th, following meetings with the Libyan House of Representatives and the Constitution-Drafting Assembly, head of UNSMIL Bernadino Leon led a series of discussions in Tripoli with influential and political actors to encourage meaningful dialogue as a strategy for ending the conflict in Libya. U.N. Special Representative Leon called for a cessation of all hostilities and the formation of a parliament that is representative of all Libyans. Special Representative Leon’s meetings were noted here.
On September 3rd, Boko Haram militants seized the town of Bama in northeastern Nigeria. Witnesses reported that bodies littered the streets after the town was attacked and that Boko Haram fighters continued to patrol the streets to prevent people from burying the dead. While the Nigerian Government denied the town had fallen to Boko Haram control, local officials reported that roughly 26,000 people had been displaced by the fighting in Bama. The full story is available here.
On September 8th, in response reports that Boko Haram had exerted control over Michika and Bazza in northeastern Nigeria, the Nigerian Army launched a failed offensive intended to force Boko Haram fighters to retreat from the towns. In the failed Army effort to retake Bazza, Lieutenant Colonel Adeboye Obasanjo, the son of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obsanjo, was shot and wounded. A total of two officers and three soldiers were wounded in the battle, while military officials reported that scores of insurgents were killed. More information was shared here.
On September 8th, the WFP began emergency food airdrops to South Sudan. The airdrops come after more than 150 WFP trucks were incapacitated by flooded roads and collapsed bridges. The WFP will perform drops daily in an effort to feed millions isolated by the ongoing civil war. While the WFP is committed to two months of airdrops, WFP spokeswoman Lydia Wamala says it could go on much longer. More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict and as many as 1.5 million remain displaced. WFP’s efforts in South Sudan were described here.
On September 9th, the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UMISS) said it has evidence that the U.N. helicopter that crashed last month was shot down. While a technical investigation is still underway to determine the precise source of the attack, the helicopter was shot down after the U.N. received threats from South Sudan Liberation Army Commander Peter Gadet, warning the U.N. not to fly over his territory. During a previous phone call with a U.N. staffer, Commander Gadet accused the organization of transporting government forces, which the staffer denied. Details can be found here.
On September 9th, China deployed a battalion to a U.N. peacekeeping force to help guard oil fields and Chinese workers in South Sudan. National Petroleum Corporation, China’s state-owned oil and gas company, holds a 40 percent stake in a joint venture that operates in South Sudan's oil fields. According to U.N officials, the full deployment of China’s 700 soldiers will take several days and represents the first time the country has contributed such a force to a U.N. peacekeeping mission. Details can be found here.
United States – Africa Relations
On September 10th, President Barack Obama delivered a statement outlining his strategy to roll back the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). President Obama said his strategy to combat ISIL will be similar to the strategy the U.S. had used effectively in Somalia. In addition, President Obama noted the U.S. has successfully targeted Al Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and recently eliminated a top commander. President Obama’s speech was posted here.
Department of State
On September 2nd-5th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield was on foreign travel to Nigeria. While in Nigeria, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield was scheduled to attend a regional ministerial on Boko Haram, co-chair a meeting of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission’s Regional Security Working Group, and meet with government officials and civil society to discuss the country’s 2015 elections. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield also planned to meet with recently returned Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni from President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). On September 5th-6th, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield traveled to Cameroon to meet with government officials, representatives of the NGO community, and Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield’s travel was announced here.
On September 4th, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf elaborated on Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s visit to Nigeria. Deputy Spokesperson Harf noted that while co-chairing the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission’s Regional Security Working Group, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield announced the launch of a major border security program under the Global Security Contingency Fund launched by President Barack Obama during the recent U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The initiative will include the U.S., Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and
Niger. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield also said the U.S. is committed to helping the Government of Nigeria address the threat posed by Boko Haram and urged them to adopt a comprehensive approach to protecting Nigerian citizens. Deputy Spokesperson Harf’s comments were transcribed here.
On September 5th, Secretary of State John Kerry released a press statement congratulating the people of Mozambique for reaching an agreement to end hostilities between the Government of Mozambique and Renamo forces, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between President Armando Guebuza and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama. Secretary Kerry encouraged the Government of Mozambique and Renamo to fully implement the agreement and to continue to use dialogue as a tool for reaching political consensus. In addition, he called for free, fair, and transparent national elections in October. Secretary Kerry’s full statement was posted here.
On September 5th, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement sending best wishes to the people of Swaziland on their 46th independence day. Secretary Kerry said he is proud of the work the U.S. has undertaken with Swaziland to fight HIV/AIDS and improve the health of all Swazis. He also expressed appreciation for King Mswati III’s participation in the historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Secretary Kerry’s Swaziland national day message can be read here.
On September 8th, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered remarks on the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Secretary Kerry noted that he led the U.S. delegation to the 1994 conference in Cairo, Egypt. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry highlighted one example of how education on family planning in Guinea demonstrates the ICPD’s success over the past 20 years. Moving forward, Secretary Kerry discussed the importance of empowering women to decide when they will have children, promoting zero tolerance for violence against women, incorporating HIV/AIDs prevention into development programs, and creating economic opportunities for the global youth population. Secretary Kerry’s remarks were posted here.
On September 8th-17th, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Russell Feingold was on foreign travel to Rwanda, the DRC, and the United Kingdom (U.K.) to discuss regional peace and security issues and political developments with government officials, civil society organizations, and U.N. representatives in Kigali, Goma, and Bukavu. In London, Special Envoy Feingold will participate in meetings of the International Contact Group on the Great Lakes Region. Special Envoy Feingold’s travel was announced here.
On September 9th, Ambassador-At-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Luis CdeBaca was on travel to Luanda, Angola, to discuss anti-trafficking policies and priorities with Angolan officials. Ambassador CdeBaca’s visit to Angola was noted here.
On September 10th, the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization operations (CSO) hosted a viewing of “Dawn in the Creeks: A Niger Delta Legacy.” CSO helped launch “Dawn in the Creeks” as a television series showcasing stories of non-violent problem-solving and peaceful cooperation between Niger Delta communities and local governments. Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Rick Barton, U.S. Consul General, Lagos, Jeffrey Hawkins, and Director Jeta Amata hosted a discussion in conjunction with the screening. The event was detailed here.
On September 10th-11th, State Department Counselor Tom Shannon traveled to Cairo, Egypt, accompanied by State Department Senior Advisor David Thorne and Department of Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs and Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa Elizabeth Shortino. Counselor Shannon met with Egyptian Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Assistant Minister of Defense Mohamed El Assar, Chairman of the Egyptian General Authority for Investment Hassan Famy, and Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail. Counselor Shannon also met with members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa El-Ahwany, and Minister of Communications and Information Technology Atef Helmy. Counselor Shannon’s meetings were outlined here.
On September 10th, the State Department issued a statement expressing concern for the arrest of The Sunday Standard newspaper Editor Outsa Mokone by the Government of Botswana on charges of
sedition. The State Department expressed support for freedoms of expression and the press and said that Mokone’s arrest is inconsistent with these fundamental freedoms and at odds with Botswana’s strong tradition of democratic governance. The full statement can be read here.
On September 11th, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas co-hosted the “Fulbright for Food Security” global forum. The forum gathered experts from around the world to discuss current initiatives pursued by Fulbright fellows and alumni to promote food availability. Kabo Segoko, a Fulbright grantee and a former food and nutrition educator from Botswana participated as a panelist. Event details were shared here.
On September 12th-15th, State Department Counselor Tom Shannon and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Steven Feldstein will travel to Kenya and Uganda. The officials are scheduled to meet with senior Kenyan officials to discuss regional issues, including the South Sudan peace process and efforts to combat wildlife trafficking, and to follow up on the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Upon arriving in Kampala on September 14th, Counselor Shannon is expected to meet with senior government officials and civil society representatives. Counselor Shannon and Deputy Assistant Secretary Feldstein’s travel was announced here.
U.S. Agency for International Development
On September 4th, at the Social Capital Markets conference (SOCAP) hosted in San Francisco, California, USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab announced three public-private partnerships to help catalyze private investment in early-stage enterprises in developing companies. USAID’s partnerships with Village Capital, Shell Foundation, and Unitus Seed Fund were formed under the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) initiative with the goal of accelerating the creation of promising, high growth, and financially sustainable entrepreneurial ventures across the developing world. Working with Village Capital, the Lab will help to scale up entrepreneurship programming in the agriculture, education, energy, financial, and health sectors, including in Africa. In partnership with Shell Foundation, the Lab will look to support innovations in affordable energy solutions for low-income customers on the continent. A press release was issued here.
On September 11th, in advance of the Second Frontiers in Development Forum, which USAID will host in Washington, DC, next week to address strategies for eradicating extreme poverty, USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning announced the top five winners in the Ending Extreme Poverty photo competition. The first place photo depicts a women’s savings club in Nigeria, which allows women to give money or borrow it for medical expenses or business initiatives. The third place photo captures Maasai Women Dairy, the first dairy plant in Kenya owned almost entirely by Maasai women. The fifth place photo shows students learning at the HoHoe Midwifery Training School in Ghana. The photos can be viewed here.
Department of Defense
On September 5th, AFRICOM Public Affairs provided an overview of the opening ceremonies of the East and West Africa Malaria Task Force conference, which were held in Bujumbura, Burundi, on August 25th. The conference brought together more than 60 medical representatives Task Force Member States. The meeting focused on sharing knowledge and best practices regarding malaria prevention and ways of controlling malaria infection. Details were shared here.
On September 6th, the Air Force Times reported that AFRICOM may move about 100 airmen and remotely piloted aircraft currently stationed in Niamey, Niger, 450 miles north to Agadez to better position them to conduct surveillance over Islamic militants in the area. The movement of equipment and personnel would be conducted in partnership with the Government of Niger and the Nigerien Armed Forces. In conjunction with the potential move, the U.S. Air Force has issued solicitations for shelter systems to house U.S. aircraft and personnel in Agadez and to supply jet fuel and runway repairs in the area. More information was reported here.
Department of Justice
On September 6th, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen Jr. asked U.S. District
Judge Christopher Cooper to postpone a Tuesday hearing for Libya terror suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala for 30 to 45 days due to the complexity of processing evidence. According to a court filing, federal prosecutors have turned over more than 2,900 pages of documents and 45 hours of video related to the case. Khattala was captured in Libya in June and later indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on the charge of providing material support related to the September 2012 terrorist attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Developments in the case were summarized here.
Department of Commerce
On September 5th, the Department of Commerce published its list of all known facilities processing conflict minerals. Required under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Commerce officials collaborated with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the U.S. Geological Survey to draft the list. Commerce Department officials reported that the list is inconclusive in determining which facilities are used to finance the conflict in the DRC and nearby countries due to the inability to determine the smelting location of materials because of off the grid artisanal miners in eastern Congo and other guerilla operations in Africa where makeshift smelters are producing an intermediary product. The full list can be downloaded here.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
On September 9th, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Blog featured an interview with Director of the U.S. Africa Energy Development and Finance Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, Peter Ballinger, on how Power Africa is helping to address off-grid challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. Director Ballinger noted that off-grid technologies and solutions are especially important in Africa, where many people may never be connected to the grid. He also stressed that off-grid energy projects typically entail smaller investments and less risk, and the speed of construction and return is relatively fast. The OPIC Blog can be accessed here.
On September 10th, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield authored a blog post on the outcomes of last month’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. President Littlefield said the Summit was successful in reframing U.S. engagement with Africa because it was centered on the recognition that Africa is brimming with opportunity and promoted trade and investment. In addition, President Littlefield reported that African leaders participated in the Summit with an enthusiasm for stronger relations with the U.S. in all sectors and U.S. businesses took away confidence that Africa’s upward trajectory will be durable. The blog post can be seen here.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
On September 9th, Cynthia Berning, a Program Officer for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), authored a post for MCC’s Poverty Reduction Blog on MCC’s efforts to fight poverty and hunger through land rights and irrigation. Through investments in large scale irrigation projects in Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Mali, the MCC has been able to assist in providing a reliable source of water for thousands of family farmers. In addition, these projects have given local farmers a voice in deciding who receives land rights and land registration activities. The blog post can be read here.
On September 5th, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) refuted new allegations surfacing in a forthcoming book that U.S. commandos were ordered to stand down during the September 2012 attacks against American interests in Benghazi, Libya. In the Committee’s investigation of the attacks, Congressman Ruppersberger reported finding no evidence to support such a claim. While the team of commandos was prepared to deploy to the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, the investigation found that CIA officers were trying to obtain better intelligence and heavier weapons before dispatching the team. Congressman Ruppersberger’s comments were transcribed here.
On September 8th, House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
introduced legislation to stop the Obama Administration from lifting the prohibition on Libyans coming to the U.S. to attend flight school, to work in aviation maintenance or flight operations, or study or seek training in nuclear science. The Protecting the Homeland Act would codify the current regulation and prevent DHS from taking action to lift the ban. A press release on the bill’s introduction was issued here.
On September 9th, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced a joint hearing on “Ebola in West Africa: A Global Challenge and Public Health Threat.” The hearing will be held on September 16th. Witnesses will include CDC Director Tom Frieden, Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, and Assistant Secretary of Health for Preparedness and Response Robin Robinson. The joint hearing was noticed here.
On September 9th, Women’s Policy, Inc., in cooperation with Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Donna Edwards (D-MD), Vice-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the International Women’s Issues Task Force Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Co-Chairs of the Women’s Health Task Force Jamie Herrera Beutler and Lois Capps (D-CA) hosted a congressional briefing on “Global HIV/AIDS and Women: Current Challenges and Opportunities.” Speakers included U.S. Ambassador-At-Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx, Jamima Kamano of the MOI University School of Medicine in Nairobi, Kenya, and Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation. More information can be seen here.
On September 10th, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on “Libya’s Descent.” The Committee received testimony from Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Gerald Feierstein. An archived webcast of the hearing can be watched here.
On September 10th, the House Judiciary Committee met to markup the Protecting the Homeland Act, which was introduced earlier this week by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Committee Members Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). The Committee approved the bill by a vote of 21-11. The vote was noted here.
On September 10th, the House Select Committee on Benghazi noticed the first public hearing in its probe of the September 2012 attacks. The hearing, which will be held on September 17th, will focus on “Implementation of the ARB Recommendations.” Witnesses will include Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Greg Starr, Mark Sullivan, Chairman of The Independent Panel on Best Practices and Todd Keil, former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection, who also served on The Independent Panel on Best Practices. Details were posted here.
On September 11th, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations of James Peter Zumwalt to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, Robert T. Yamate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, and Virginia E. Palmer to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Malawi. The nomination hearing was noticed here.
On September 4th, the African Caucus of Governors from the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded in Khartoum, Sudan. The group discussed the objectives of poverty reduction and shared prosperity and addressed challenges including the lack of adequate physical infrastructure, slow growth in trade and industrialization, and regional security threats. At the close of the meeting, the Caucus issued deliverables for the World Bank and the IMF to help raise private sector investment, increase financial support to African entrepreneurs, and to mobilize resources to support infrastructure, security, and other development needs. A statement on the meeting can be seen here.
On September 4th, the World Bank highlighted its projects in Tunisia to help the country overcome water resource challenges by better preserving and managing its water supply. The Urban Water Supply Project has helped to ensure the continuity of water service for the growing population in Tunis and other Tunisian cities through augmentation, upgrade, and renewal of water infrastructure. The Second Water Sector Investment Project has helped to assist the Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources and
Environment and Sustainable Development with decision making related to water resource management. In addition, the Northern Tunis Wastewater Project has helped increase the quantity and quality of treated wastewater available to farmers. More information can be found here.
On September 4th, the New York Times previewed the forthcoming book, “13 Hours,” due to be released next week. Authored by five American security personnel tasked with guarding the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) base in Benghazi on the night of the September 2012 attack, the book claims the base chief stopped security guards from intervening in time to save the life of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. The book preview can be read here.
On September 5th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the national dialogue held in Sudan and the signing of a peace agreement between representatives of the G7+7 Preparatory Committee for the National Dialogue and the Paris Declaration Group, comprising the National Umma Party and the armed movements. Secretary-General Ban said that fully inclusive, free, and transparent dialogue is critical to address recurrent crises in Sudan, as are a cessation of hostilities, guarantees of political freedoms, and the release of political detainees. A statement issued by Secretary-General Ban can be seen here.
On September 6th, Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat released a statement indicating that former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and two of his assistants will be tried for leaking classified documents, including information on military deployments, to Qatari intelligence officials during his term in office. According to Prosecutor General Barakat, eight others cooperated to deliver the secrets in exchange for $1 million. President Morsi is facing additional trials on charges that he cooperated with foreign militant groups and faces a possible death penalty. The new trial was noted here.
On September 8th, in response to violent demonstrations around the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs), the AU-U.N. Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) issued a press release calling for all parties to exercise restraint and identify peaceful solutions to the conflict in Darfur. As part of the demonstrations, UNAMID reported the stoning of its Community Policing Center (CPC), which injured one U.N. peacekeeper. In addition, UNAMID called on all IDPs to refrain from criminal activities and other actions that could damage the prospects of achieving peace in Darfur. The press release was posted here.
On September 8th, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Inger Andersen addressed the Start-Up Democracy conference held in Tunis, Tunisia. Vice President Andersen highlighted Tunisia’s capacity to reconcile political, social, and religious beliefs to reach political consensus and Tunisia’s understanding of how well-intentioned economic politics can get captured by political elites to the detriment of jobs, growth, and the welfare of the country. Vice President Andersen also called on Tunisian officials to accelerate banking and tax reforms, to improve the business environment, and to increase transparency in government procurement. Her remarks can be read here.
On September 10th, the Atlantic Council hosted an event on “Tackling Egypt’s Economic Dilemma,” to highlight the structural and institutional economic reforms needed to increase growth and promote short and long term economic stabilization. Speakers included Managing Director of the Economic Research Forum and former Egyptian Finance Minister Ahmed Galal and Mohsin Khan and Francis Ricciardone of the Atlantic Council. Event details were shared here.
On September 11th, dozens of people in Egypt joined a hunger strike to demand the release of Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, a leading figure in the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak. Fattah and 24 others were sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating an anti-protest law. Abdel Fattah and two others who remain in jail have been on hunger strike since August 18th. A retrial for the prisoners is currently underway. Details can be viewed here.
On September 8th, U.N. Special Representative for Somalia and head of UNSOM Nicholas Kay visited Baidoa to support the Somali Government and local efforts to establish a new interim regional administration for Bay, Bakool, and Lower Shabelle. Special Representative Kay met with Speaker of the Somali Federal Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari, as well as signatories of an agreement on an interim administration in southwest Somalia and the members of the technical committee tasked with
implementing it. Special Representative Kay’s visit to Baidoa was summarized here.
On September 8th, Human Rights Watch issued a new report entitled, “The Power These Men Have Over Us: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by AU Forces in Somalia.” The report documents how Somali women and girls seeking shelter at U.N. bases in Mogadishu have been raped, assaulted, and sexually exploited by AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldiers. In conclusion, the report calls on troop-contributing countries, the AU, and donors to AMISOM to urgently address these abuses and strengthen procedures inside Somalia to seek justice. The report can be downloaded here.
On September 11th-14th, World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Office Sri Mulyani Indrawati will make her first official visit to Tanzania. Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Indrawati is expected to hold high level discussions with President Jakaya Kikwete, President Ali Mohammed Shein of Zanzibar, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, and Minister of Finance Saada Mukya Salum. She is also scheduled to meet with representatives of the private sector, civil society, academia, and the media, and to visit some of the World Bank’s 23 different projects in the country. Following her visit to Tanzania, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Indrawati will visit Ethiopia. Her travel was noticed here.
On September 5th, the World Bank provided an update on the $233.2 million Niger Basin Resources Development and Sustainable Ecosystems Management Project, which is underway to help construct safeguards against flooding along the Niger River in Benin, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger. The project is also working to help boost rice production and further develop subsistence fishing in the region and may be extended beyond its December 31st expiration to support other public works projects along the riverbanks in the region. The project was described here.
On September 5th, Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Ugandan multi-millionaire Ashish Thakkar launched Mara Mentor, an African multi-lingual online portal and mobile app for youth mentorship and entrepreneurship in Ghana. The app links young African entrepreneurs with established African business leaders for advice and mentorship and is designed to enable entrepreneurs to build their networks and access the guidance needed at the early stages of business development. At a launch ceremony, President Mahama encouraged youths to take advantage of the free app, which he said he expects will spark an entrepreneurship culture in the country’s younger population. More information can be found here.
On September 6th, the U.N. Security Council welcomed the recent release of Mourad Ghessas and Kaddour Miloudi, two Algerian diplomats who were kidnapped in April 2012 in Gao, Mali, by the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). In addition, the Security Council condemned the assassination of Tahar Touati, another Algerian diplomat who was killed by his captors, and Boualem Saies, a fourth Algerian diplomat who died in captivity. The Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat threated to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts and said that countries should prevent terrorist from benefitting from ransom payments or political concessions to secure the safe release of hostages. The Security Council’s feedback was shared here.
On September 7th, Nigerian officials provided an update on the country’s economic growth during the second quarter of this year. According to Nigeria’s statistics office, the Nigerian economy grew at 6.54 percent in the second quarter, up from 5.4 percent during the same period last year. In addition, officials reported an increase in crude oil production from 2.11 million barrels per day to 2.21 million barrels per day. The new statistics were issued here.
On September 9th, aides for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued a press release asking supporters to stop using an adopted version of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag to campaign for his reelection. Supporters of President Jonathan first began using the #BringBackGoodluck2015 hashtag on August 30th, and since then the slogan has appeared on signage throughout Abuja. The press release noted the hashtag has not been endorsed by President Jonathan and called for all signs and banners carrying the slogan to be removed immediately. The full story is available here.
On September 10th-15th, World Bank Country Director for Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles, and Comoros Mark Lundell will visit Mauritius for meetings focused on strengthening cooperation between Mauritius and the World Bank. Director Lundell is scheduled to meet with cabinet ministers, development partners, and other development stakeholders, and will hold a press conference. He will also chair a workshop launching the World Bank’s first Systemic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Mauritius. Director Lundell’s travel was announced here.
On September 11th, South African High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa said the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius committed premeditated murder in the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, but said his conduct was negligent. While Judge Masipa will not deliver a verdict in the case until Friday morning, legal experts are expecting that she will find Pistorius guilty of a charge less than murder, such as culpable homicide, which could be met with a range of charges. Developments in the trial were reported here.
General Africa News
On September 4th, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict released its monthly update on the use of children in armed conflicts around the globe. This month’s report addresses concerns and provides recommendations for the protection of children subject to the ongoing conflicts in the Central African Republic (CAR), the DRC, and South Sudan. The monthly update can be downloaded here.
On September 7th, Mail & Guardian reported on military spending by various African governments. With the exception of Nigeria, who only recently increased its defense spending from just 2.5 percent of its national budget to almost 20 percent, the bottom ten spenders in Africa have never experienced major conflict or had a long military regime in power. Africa’s highest military spenders tend to include countries that have fought secession wars and include Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The full report can be seen here.
On September 8th, Facebook announced that its service now attracts 100 million users a month across Africa and that roughly 80 percent of those users are connecting to Facebook using mobile devices. As a result, the company is undertaking new efforts to develop as products specifically for developing markets in Africa, such as a new phone call-based ad service that Facebook has already launched successfully in India. More information on Facebook’s approach to doing business in Africa can be found here.
On September 10th, The Global Business Dialogue hosted a briefing on “Africa and American Trade Policy.” The discussion focused on trade with Africa and the upcoming renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Speakers included Angela Ellard of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Florizelle Liser of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), and Benjamin Todd of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the U.S. event details were posted here.
On September 10th, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) hosted its Research & Hope Awards ceremony, where it recognized former President George W. Bush for his contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and the work of his policy institute to combat cervical cancer on the continent. Addressing the group, President Bush said it is very import for Congress to keep the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funded. The awards ceremony program can be viewed here.