October 20, 2017

Seven thousand newborns die every day worldwide: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 20 :The number of children who die before reaching their fifth birthday has fallen to an all-time low, yet children around the world continue to die at an alarming rate, with 5.6 million deaths recorded last year, according to a new U.N. report, which called for making available most needed life-saving know-how and technologies “ particularly in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In its annual report on child mortality, the UN said many of the deaths “ which averaged 15,000 a day in 2016 “ were from preventable diseases. The report also warned that neonatal mortality “ the death of babies in the first 28 days of life “ is not decreasing at the same pace as mortality rates for children aged between one month and five years. Each day, a total of 7,000 babies die before they are 28 days old. The report, entitled, Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017, was released Thursday by the Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) “ composed of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and the Population Division in the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs. The lives of 50 million children under-five have been saved since 2000, a testament to the serious commitment by governments and development partners to tackle preventable child deaths, Stefan Swartling Peterson, the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Chief of Health, said in a joint press statement. But without a greater effort to stop babies from dying the day they are born, or days after their birth, this progress will remain incomplete. “We have the knowledge and technologies that are required, we just need to take them where they are most needed”, he added. The current trends suggest that between 2017 and 2030, 30 million newborns will die within first 28 days of life. As such, the agencies stress that measures must be taken to achieve universal health coverage and ensure that more newborns survive and thrive, including by serving marginalized families. To prevent illness, families require financial power, their voices to be heard and access to quality care, Dr. Flavia Bustreo, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, said. Improving quality of services and timely care during and after childbirth must be prioritiz

October 18, 2017

United Kingdom’s Department for International Development to Support SMEs through Karandaaz Pakistan

Karachi. Jiddat Web Desk: United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting the growth of small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Pakistan through Karandaaz Pakistan.

The DFID Director General for Economic Development, Rachel Turner, currently visiting Pakistan, attended the signing of an agreement between Karandaaz and Bank Alfalah Limited. The agreement was signed between CEO Karandaaz Pakistan – Mr. Ali Sarfraz and Head of Retail, Bank Alfalah – Mr. KhurramHussain. Under the agreement, Karandaaz Pakistan will provide a fixed grant of over PKR 63 million to Bank Alfalah Limitedfor Supply Chain Financing Advisory Services.  This support will build the capacity of the bank to provide credit to small and medium enterprises using cutting edge financial products through especially trained teams.

Separate agreementswerealso signed between Karandaaz and three business incubators-Lahore University of Management Sciences, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management, and Invest2Innovate (Pvt.) Ltd.to launch a country-wide programme for supporting women entrepreneurship with a grant of PKR.25 million.  Under this programme, women owned/operated businesses enrolled in the programme will be provided training & mentorship and up to six competitively selected businesses will be provided funding of PKR.15 million each for expanding their business.

Speaking at the occasion, DFID Director General for Economic Development, Rachel Turner emphasized the importance of the SME sector as an engine of growth for a developing economy.“SMEs, especially women-owned businesses, can be a driving force for the sustainable growth of an economy. United Kingdom is proud to have invested in this vital sector in Pakistan and we are confident that this investment will have long-term dividends for Pakistan’s economy,” she said.

CEO Karandaaz, Ali Sarfraz explained, “Karandaaz is committed to breaking barriers for small and medium entrepreneurs. The partnerships that we have forged today show thelarge spectrum of strategic interventions that we are making so that SMEs can build their capacities to expand and sustain their operations and also access finance for business development”.
Head of Retail, Bank Alfalah – Mr. KhurramHussainacknowledged the assistance from the DFID. “This partnership is significant, not just to us as a bank but for the entire SME sector. Bank Alfalah has been declared Pakistan’s ‘Best Bank’ and ‘Best Customer Franchise’, and this alliance is further evidence of our commitment to our customers and to the development of the sector as a whole,” he added.

Karandaaz Pakistan promotes access to finance for small businesses through commercially directed investments and financial inclusion for individuals. Karandaaz Pakistan has financial and institutional support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

October 15, 2017

Dubai Crown Prince launches future investment center

DUBAI, Oct 14 (Xinhua):Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum on Saturday launched the Hamdan Center for the Future of Investment “to enhance the contribution of foreign direct investment to sustainable development,” United Arab Emirates (UAE) state news agency WAM reported.     The launch of the center was part of the vision of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, and the direction of the UAE in exploring and shaping the future.     It also aims at contributing to shaping the future of investment in the world and enhancing its positive impact, reported WAM.     The center, which operates under the Dubai Investment Development Corporation (DEDI), is one of the institutions to promote Dubai’s strategy and future vision in developing strategies and programs that will enable Dubai to continue to compete globally and attract new models of investments.     The main programs of the center will be announced within the framework of the “Sustainable Investment Forum” which will be held during the Dubai Investment Week from Oct. 15 to 19.     The Center will also provide a number of quality services to strengthen the position of Dubai and the UAE as a center of excellence in knowledge and finance for the study and investment in development projects and the role of FDI in the of post-oil economic diversification.     Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum called for “the integration of global efforts to accelerate the development and financing of projects attracting private sector investments.”

October 14, 2017

Government Efforts to boost power supply will end load-shedding in few months: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14 :WASHINGTON,: Energy projects will add 10,000 MW to the national grid that will help overcome the energy shortages and end load-shedding in the country in a few months, Minister for Interior, Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said here on Friday. Talking to APP before leaving for New York at the end of his visit here, the Minister said that the government made conscious efforts during the past four years to end the energy crisis that hurt every sector of the economy and affected the country’s exports. “When we came into power after winning the general elections, the country was facing the worst energy crisis of its history with power outages of as long as 20 hours a day,” the Minister said but added that today, the load-shedding had been drastically reduced to just few hours a day. He said that various measures taken by the government, including energy projects that would add 10,000 MG to the national energy supply, would end the energy crisis in the country. By redressing the energy shortfall, the government was keen to boost economic productivity, he added. The Minister said that under the China Pakistan Economic Power Corridor (CEPC), private sector had invested $36 billion into the energy sector and it was not loan. He said as a result of this massive investment, Pakistan would soon be free of load-shedding. He particularly mentioned about the Chinese investment in the coal sector and said that Pakistan had coal reserves that were sufficient for 400 years. Responding to a question about the trade imbalance, the Minister said that import bill rose mainly on account of importing machinery that was needed for various projects. After completion of these projects, Pakistan would be able to increase its productivity which would boost exports.

October 14, 2017

UN Chief hopes Iran nuclear deal will survive

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14 : A United Nations Spokesman on Friday said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly hoped the Iran nuclear deal would remain in place, after US President Donald Trump’s decision to “decertify” the 2015 accord. “The Secretary-General has repeatedly said that the adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was a very important breakthrough to consolidate nuclear non-proliferation and advance global peace and security,” Spokesman StÃphane Dujarric said in a statement, adding that the UN chief strongly hoped that it would remain in place. The international deal, reached between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union (EU), saw Tehran curtailing its nuclear programme in exchange for the easing of crippling economic sanctions. In a White House address on Friday, Trump struck a blow to the accord in defiance of other world powers, and despite the UN nuclear watchdog’s repeated confirmations that Iran was complying with its obligations it. Trump’s move does not amount to a withdrawal from the deal, but put its future squarely in the hands of the US Congress, which will now have to decide whether to attach new conditions to the agreement or reimpose sanctions on Iran with regard to the country’s nuclear programme. He threatened, however, that if a deal could not be reached with Congress or US allies, he would walk away from the accord. Trump’s speech put him at odds with US allies in Europe, as well as Iran and Russia, with leaders saying they would stick by the landmark pact. In related news Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a statement saying that the IAEA, a specialized agency of the UN, has been, since 2016, verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, as requested by the UN Security Council and authorized by the IAEA’s Board of Governors.