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Strike Aviation Group

Strike Aviation Group

 

Ai Logistics Network

 

LAS PALMAS: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has opened a new logistics hub at the port of La Luz, Las Palmas.

Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the WFP, was joined at the ceremony by Spain's ministers of Industry, Energy and Tourism; the secretary general for International Development Cooperation Gonzalo Robles; and a group of African ambassadors in Spain.

WFP Las Palmas group pictureFunded by the Spanish government, the new 1,300 sq.mt. facility is able to respond to any emergency in West and Central Africa within 48 hours with food and non-food items including medical, hygiene and shelter supplies.

The WFP logistics network also includes humanitarian response hubs in Dubai, Italy, Ghana, Malaysia and Panama. The centres stock emergency materials including hygienic and sanitary kits, tents, mobile offices, blankets and up to 1,500 additional references needed to respond to the most vulnerable populations in crises situations.

On June 17, 2014, prior to the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, the WFP took advantage of a four hour cease-fire to distribute emergency food vouchers and shipped in food from one of its centres including wheat flour, bread and canned tuna for distribution to 85,000 people.

"The food needs in Gaza are urgent. We are seeing the effectiveness of WFP's food assistance programmes, which provides the opportunity for a rapid response and flexibility to scale-up emergency food assistance if the need arises," said WFP country director Pablo Recalde.

WFP is providing food assistance to more than 600,000 people in Palestine - 285,000 in Gaza and 318,800 in the West Bank. Together with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the two organisations reportedly provide food for 67 percent of Gaza Strip residents.

In a related move, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has announced it is joining forces with the WFP and UNICEF to step up emergency preparedness. With a £20 million investment from DFID, the WFP and UNICEF will scale up their disaster planning in 23 high-risk countries, where 17 million people are at risk, including 14 million women and children.

"The humanitarian system is already stretched to breaking point and we are facing ever more demands on the system as we deal with the effects of a changing climate, growing population, conflict and extremism," said DFID head Justine Greening.

 

MARSEILLE: The CMA-CGM Corporate Foundation has renewed its support for French NGOs Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Action Contra La Faim to provide free container shipping to Africa.

The foundation said it has also added Handicap International to its humanitarian 'Containers of Hope' logistics operation that has shipped 1,340 tons in 170 containers since it began the programme in 2012.

Containers of HopeNaïla Saadé, executive officer of CMA-CGM and foundation president said: "Children are the first victims of malnutrition and the most sensitive to the lack of care. For many years, we have been supporting associations who act towards underprivileged children. With the Containers of Hope operation, we wanted to go further by giving our support to NGOs working in Africa; today we will reinforce the existing actions and extend our activities to other continents."

Containers of Hope has relied on the CMA-CGM network in 43 African countries via 72 agencies and 48 ports of call to deliver humanitarian aid to Mali, Niger, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Somalia, Southern Sudan, Ivory Coast, Republic of Central Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Malawi and Madagascar.

"Logistics and transportation of material and equipment represent on average 20 percent of the costs of a humanitarian programme. To be able to benefit from free shipping for our humanitarian material is a tremendous support," commented Jean-Marc Boivin, general manager of Handicap International France.

The announcement coincides with the decision by MSF to evacuate a number of staff from Ndélé in the north of the CAR following attacks by four armed men on its staff and facilities.

"We carry out more than 1,600 consultations here weekly, and about a third of them are for children under five-years-old. MSF is the only healthcare provider in the city, so the impact of our departure will be tragic for this community," said MSF head of Mission Javier Eguren.

The move comes a month after a massacre in Boguila that killed 18 civilians, including three MSF workers. The NGO says there have been 115 "security incidents" in the CAR between December 2012 and March 2014.

BELGRADE: The European Commission (EC) has promised €1 billion in aid to Croatia and Serbia following the worst flooding in the last 120 years that has killed an estimated 45 people and affected four million.

An extra-tropical cyclone that dumped three months of rain in three days across the Balkan Peninsula has resulted in more than 3,000 landslides and exposed landmines left over from the 1992-1995 war.

Balkans floodingBosnian foreign minister Zlatko Lagumdžija said more than 100,000 houses were now uninhabitable and over a million people had been cut off from clean water. "During the war, many people lost everything," he said. "Today, again they have nothing."

The widespread flooding is now threatening Serbia's largest power plant, southwest of Belgrade, that provides half of the country's electricity.

Kristalina Georgieva, the EC's Humanitarian Aid commissioner, said Serbia's request for high-capacity water pumps and aid teams had already been answered by Bulgaria, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has also begun a US$1.5 million operation to fly emergency relief items to Serbia including water tanks, generators and inflatable boats provided by WFP and the Norwegian Government.

Three flights have already flown tents, water containers and purification equipment from the WFP depot in Brindisi to Belgrade and Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following a request from the Red Cross, the WFP is also flying a shipment of high-energy biscuits and ready-meals from its warehouse in Dubai to help 7,000 people in Serbia.

In addition to Serbia's request for help, Slovenia, Austria, Luxembourg, the UK, Slovakia, Belgium and Germany are providing Bosnia and Herzegovina with helicopters and motor-boats to support the evacuation of thousands of residents and the transportation of water, medicines and food in an on-going relief operation co-financed by the EC.

LONDON: To mark the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh where over 1,100 people died and a further 2,500 were injured, the Fairtrade Foundation has called for greater transparency and better connections across the textile supply chain.

The organisation has joined Fashion Revolution, a coalition of agencies, key figures from the fashion industry, press and academics in 52 countries to highlight ongoing issues in the US$1.2 trillion global garment industry with the question: 'Who Made Your Clothes?'

Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation commented: 'Fashion Revolution Day is the good that has come out of that tragic day last year. Then, people were horrified that they might have been buying clothes made in such terrible conditions. That has sparked a determination that this should never happen again, with people in their thousands looking to hold clothing companies to account."

Who Made Your ClothesFairtrade cites research by Deloitte last year that found 61 percent of companies didn't know where their garments were made and two out of three fashion companies were not focused on engaging consumers with regard to Sustainability.

Gidney added: 'The links in the garment supply chain have been broken. People have become disconnected from the people who make their clothes. This makes it all too easy for farmers and workers at the far end of supply chains to become marginalised. Fairtrade focuses on the plight of the cotton farmer at the very start of a garment's life, in countries such as Mali and India. Cotton farmers are amongst the poorest farmers in the world and are too often overlooked. Ensuring they are treated fairly is not only a moral imperative but also the only way to ensure long-term sustainable supplies of cotton.'

More than 20 of the biggest names in ethical fashion have put their names to the Fashion Revolution - from retail expert and broadcaster Mary Portas to entrepreneur Jo Wood and eco-journalist Lucy Siegle along with Fairtrade ambassadors Anita Rani, Louis Smith, Mica Paris and Cheska Hull.

Fairtrade was founded in 1992 by a number of aid organisations to work with businesses, community groups and individuals to improve the trading position of marginalised producer organisations and to deliver sustainable livelihoods for farmers, workers and their communities.

DJIBOUTI: The European Union says it has protected 259 World Food Programme (WFP)-chartered vessels carrying 880,000 tonnes of aid to Somalia.

EU Somalia protectionIn 2009, the EU's Operation Atalanta was set up to protect vulnerable shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean. Since then the EU says not one WFP ship has been attacked by pirates.

Between 2009 and 2012, all WFP ships carrying aid to Somalia had to be escorted by EU warships. Since then, some have been provided with an armed military security team (AVPD) aboard the vessels instead.

The WFP is using the 6,000 DWT MV Caroline Scan to deliver aid to Somalia. Since 2011 it has carried over 127,000 tonnes without incident. Currently, the ship is protected by a Serbian military security team.

Commenting on the EU protection, WFP country representative for Somalia, Stefano Porretti said: "The continuing collaboration between EU Naval Force and the UN's World Food Programme plays a pivotal role in enabling WFP to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities in Somalia. EU Naval Force's protection through its AVPD system on board the Caroline Scan (below) has proven to be an effective deterrent against attacks on WFP's time chartered vessel and it has ensured the uninterrupted and timely flow of aid to Somalia."

Caroline ScanThe aid organization says the situation in Somalia has continued to improve since the crisis of 2011, when four million people experienced extreme food insecurity and famine. However, despite consistent improvement in the overall situation, 870,000 Somalis remain in "crisis" or "emergency" conditions says the WFP. A further 2.3 million --one third of Somalia's population - are struggling to meet their minimum daily needs.

Elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, the U.S. is expanding military interdiction operations in Somalia from a former French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti. According to the country's foreign minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, the missile strikes by drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders "are very useful" to counter the terrorist threat to the region. In addition to the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and Japan all have a military presence in Djibouti.

LONDON: Oxfam says public action in the past year has persuaded nine of the world's largest food and beverage companies to improve their social and environmental policies.

Only General Mills, distributor of Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, Old El Paso and Yoplait foods, is the one producer that "is heading in the wrong direction" says the organisation.

According to the first assessment of its 'Behind the Brands' audit, the 'Big 10' - Associated British Foods (ABF) Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever – collectively earn more than US$1.1 billion per day. Oxfam notes that with annual revenues of $450 billion equal to the GDP of all of the world's low-income countries combined, shifts in how these companies do business impact the world's food system.

Oxfam brands"Most of the 'Big 10' are moving in the right direction because hundreds of thousands of consumers and investors controlling trillions in assets are demanding an overhaul to business as usual," commented Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima.

"Some companies showed courageous leadership but it appears others need to be pulled along kicking and screaming. It will take time for them to reverse a 100-year history of relying on cheap land and labour to make mass products at huge profits but at high social and environmental costs. The race to the top is underway and there are clear leaders and laggards."

Oxfam says the top three performers – Nestle, Unilever, and Coca-Cola – all improved their scores by the biggest margins of 10, 14 and 13 percent respectively while Associated British Foods and Kellogg improved by eight and six percent.

"By improving their policies on land, some of the world's most powerful companies have already helped communities seeking fair compensation for the land that was taken from them nearly a decade ago in countries like Cambodia and Brazil," said Byanyima. "Companies can open up space to help communities resolve decades-old conflicts once and for all."

In March last year Oxfam campaigned for Mars, Mondelez and Nestle to help end inequality for women farmers – which apparently they did. In October it told Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and ABF they needed to stop land grabs in their supply chains. Oxfam says all three companies moved quickly to "dramatically improve" their policies.

"The most important lesson from the first year of 'Behind the Brands' is that companies do respond, quickly and to great effect, when consumers push them toward more responsible methods of production. Down the supply chains we are already seeing agricultural producers and traders beginning to improve their practices to ensure they retain the business of the 'Big 10'," noted Byanyima.

BERLIN: Corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) says at least two-thirds of the 177 countries surveyed in its latest index are more or less corrupt.

"All countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations," says TI chair Huguette Labelle.

Denmark and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 91 out of 100 on the index. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are the worst performers, scoring just eight points each.

Philippines aid effort"The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption," notes Labelle. "Still, the better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks."

Corruption within the public sector remains one of the world's biggest challenges, according to the watchdog, and this will lead to a "massive roadblock" in future efforts to respond to climate change, economic crisis and extreme poverty.

Noting the aftershock of typhoon Haiyan, TI warns that with the Philippines placed 94 out of 177 on its latest index, corruption could impact the US$504 million pledged for the aid effort.

Despite current president Benigno Aquino III winning power in 2010 on an anti-corruption platform, the day the typhoon struck the top news story was the trial of officials and businesses accused of diverting money from poverty programmes.

"Over the years, money that should have gone to developing infrastructure and health services was too often siphoned off by corruption. This is adding to the difficulty of responding to the disaster as poor roads and services hamper aid distribution and too many properties were destroyed because of inferior construction," says TI.

Cleo, Calimbahin, executive director of TI in the Philippines adds: "The government has shown it will be transparent in the disbursement of humanitarian aid, but we will see if this remains the case in the weeks and months to come. If the government is serious about fighting corruption, we hope to see generous and efficient efforts to serve the public in the rehabilitation of affected areas."

WP 20131129 003Commenting on the country's position on the latest TI index, Aquino's spokesperson Edwin Lacierda says the country's move up 11 places from last year's index continues a trend "in which the reforms put in place result in an increasingly positive and encouraging perception of the country [and] is also a measure of the continued confidence of the international community in the Philippines."

According to a new website set up by the government, to date 5,685 people have died, 1,779 remain missing and 26,233 were injured as a result of the typhoon. In response, 1,526 evacuation centers have been set up to provide temporary shelter to 85,652 families as the international aid effort deploys 33,692 personnel, 1,324 vehicles, 109 ships and 162 aircraft.

One of the aircraft was an Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo 747 freighter (left) that has operated three flights from Amsterdam to Cebu, Philippines on behalf of UNICEF and the Red Cross.

 

DAMASCUS: The IKEA Foundation says it will donate Є1 for every LED light bulb sold in its stores in the next two months to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

Currently the UNHCR is operating 13 flights from Damascus to Qamishli, close to the Turkish border in northern Syria, to deliver winter-related aid to 50,000 internally displaced refugees.

Rus AviationInitial flights carried "core relief items" (CRI) of medical supplies including medical supplies, a UNHCR armored vehicle, 5000 kitchen sets and two prefabricated warehouses.

"We have closely coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to acquire the necessary clearances. We relied on their understanding of the dire humanitarian needs and on their cooperation in the delivery of our mandate and assistance particularly with the severe weather," said UNHCR representative Tarik Kurdi.

Many displaced people in the country are now suffering from respiratory illnesses due to the cold while having to burn plastic, garbage and other waste to keep warm.

In other parts of the country the agency says it has managed to deliver CRI to 38,500 people as part of a programme to deliver extra warm items to more than 1.1 million.

With many areas inaccessible by road because of insecurity or infrastructural destruction, "sometimes we are compelled to rely on the expensive and unsustainable option of chartering planes for airlifting," adds Kurdi. Meanwhile the UNHCR has recently received some ocean containers with fleece blankets and kitchen sets via the ports of Tartous and Lattakia in Syria. The agency's 400 staff in the country hope to distribute the aid to some of the 6.5 million displaced people and 45,000 refugees in the country.

UNHCR HomsThe IKEA "Brighter Lives for Refugees" campaign will help to provide solar-powered street lights, indoor solar lanterns, and other renewable energy technologies in support of nearly 10.5 million refugees around the world, half of which are children.

"In 2013, over two million people became refugees – a near 20-year record. With each new humanitarian emergency, the support of the private sector becomes more vital and more urgent. This campaign represents a new, unique chapter in our relationship with the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR's largest private sector partner. Together, we hope to be able to transform the lives of many refugees," commented António Guterres, the UNHCR head.

The IKEA Foundation has committed €73 million to the refugee agency since 2010.

PRESS RELEASE

Rus Aviation won Cargo Operator of the Year award at the seventh annual Aviation Business Awards held at the Westin Dubai on November 19, 2013.

More than 200 industry professionals were in attendance at the glittering event which also saw OHare and Royal Jet enjoy a double celebration after the company also scooped the Business Aviation Operator of the Year trophy.

The keynote speaker for the evening was General Civil Aviation Authority assistant director general of strategy and international affairs, Laila Ali Bin Hareb Al Muhairi, who also won the Personal Achievement of the Year award.

The judging panel for the awards consisted of Issa Baluch, a previous board member at The International Air Cargo Association; Andrew Cowen, managing director of Global Aviation Advisors Alliance; Dr Addison Schonland, managing director of AvIntel and partner at Air Insight; John Strickland, director of JLS Consulting; and Carol Ronan-Heath, founder of the Middle East Aviation Womens Network.

Rus Aviation was a corporate sponsor of the World Food Programme (WFP) 5th Global Humanitarian Aviation Conference & Exhibition (GHAC) October 9-11, 2013 at the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Marrakesh, Morocco.

The GHAC, which has become an annual global event, aims at assembling elite aviation innovators, decision-makers and accountable managers to discuss a broad spectrum of pressing aviation safety concerns affecting humanitarian air operations and emerging trends in the Aviation industry.

As the largest humanitarian agency fighting global hunger, the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is one of WFP's projects and the GHAC is spearheaded by WFP Aviation Safety Unit in coordination with the WFP Aviation Service.

CSAFE Global

 

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