IOM Asia Regional Director Assesses Cambodia Border Response as Movements Approach 180,000

Cambodia – Some 180,000 undocumented Cambodian migrants are estimated to have crossed back into their country from Thailand in an exodus which started ten days ago and is only now showing signs of slowing.

Another 10,000 migrants are expected to make the crossing today at the Poi Pet border post, as IOM continues to work alongside the Cambodian government to provide transport to prevent a dangerous bottleneck of returning migrant workers.

While the reasons for the mass movement are unclear, it appears that most of the undocumented Cambodian migrants believed to have been in Thailand are now back in their homeland. But IOM cautions that earlier estimates of the number of Cambodians in Thailand may not be accurate.

Conditions at the border are basic, but there is no indication that the humanitarian situation is giving any cause for alarm, thanks to an efficient transport pipeline that continues to function from early morning until late at night.

IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Andrew Bruce visited Poi Pet yesterday to assess the IOM-led humanitarian operation, which is supplementing the Cambodian government’s own efforts.

IOM has been hiring coaches to provide free transport back to their home provinces for the most vulnerable migrants, mainly women travelling with children. Males, who make up more than 60 per cent of the caseload, are being asked to travel in military trucks. So far, IOM has directly assisted almost 6,000 of the most urgent cases.

“While it appears that we are now past the peak migrant flows, now we are taking nothing for granted and we will stay here, funds permitting, until there is no longer a need for our services,” said Mr Bruce. “This rapid movement of people is unprecedented in this region in recent years, outside of conflict and natural disasters.”

IOM’s intervention is being undertaken by a small team of international and Cambodian staff in Poi Pet, backed up by the national office in the capital Phnom Penh and the regional office in Bangkok, Thailand.

A medical doctor has joined the team from IOM’s office in Myanmar. She is ensuring that all migrants under IOM’s care are fit to travel, and is also offering advice and support to local medical staff.

“While IOM is leading the response to this migration crisis we are extremely grateful to our partners in the UN Country Teams in Cambodia, as well as NGOs and local individuals who are providing various types of assistance to migrants on the border,” said Bruce.

“Naturally we are also thankful for the financial support we have received from donors. This situation could have quickly become life-threatening, had we not acted swiftly and decisively.”

For more information please contact:

In Phnom Penh:

Leul Mekonnen, Email: lmekonnen@iom.int – Tel.  +855 12 900 131

In Poi Pet:

Brett Dickson, Email: bdickson@iom.int – Tel. +855 12 222 132

Joe Lowry, Email: jlowry@iom.int – Tel. +66 81 870 8081

See also @IOMasiapacific on Twitter and IOM on Facebook.

Top of the Morning: Scores of World Cup Fans Killed in Shebab Attack

Al Shebab strikes again. “At least 50 people were killed when gunmen in two minibuses sped into a town on Kenya’s coast, shooting soccer fans watching a World Cup match in a television hall and targeting two hotels, a police post and a bank, officials and witnesses said on Monday. Police said Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group was most likely to blame for Sunday night’s assault on the town of Mpeketoni, which lies on the Indian Ocean coastline that runs north from Kenya’s main port of Mombasa to the Somali border. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1vsM8gz)

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Africa

At least two people were killed and 15 prisoners escaped after a suspected Islamist militant detainee shot his way out of the main jail in Mali’s capital Bamako on Monday, a government official said. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1nLAvOx)

Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets on Sunday in Niger’s capital Niamey to demand that authorities respect civil liberties, following the arrest of several of their number last month. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1vsMJPm)

The daughter of Sudanese opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi said there can be no national political dialogue in Sudan when everything people say is criminalized and there is lack of press and religious freedom. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qksTpn)

Civilians displaced by brutal fighting in South Sudan are ignoring calls from government officials to return to their homes, preferring the safety of squalid UN bases to the risk that conflict could again engulf towns already devastated in the six-month conflict. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1qktqYp)

The recent successful holding of legislative and presidential elections has raised hopes that Guinea-Bissau can move closer to the end of a two-year political crisis marked by international isolation and a devastating economic decline. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vsOPPb)

Concern is mounting that British aid money may be funding police who are using rape as a tool of state-sanctioned torture against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1qkv3W2)

MENA

The United States has ruled out co-ordinated military action with Iran as one of the options being considered to thwart radical Islamic extremists in Iraq as Sunni Muslim fighters seized another Iraqi city. (Irish Times http://bit.ly/1nLAmuw)

Once again Israelis are gripped by the horror of their young people being abducted, apparently by Palestinian extremists, and the army is pulling out all the stops to retrieve them. (Globe and Mail http://bit.ly/1nLArhL)

Asia

More than 60,000 people have fled North Waziristan Agency to safer parts of Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan as Pakistan’s military launches an offensive in the region. Most of the people fleeing are children, and mental health experts are concerned that they will not have access to proper trauma care. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vt89f8)

Thailand’s military government ended a rice price-support scheme, put in place under the former civilian government, as investigations continue into widespread corruption and losses of billions of dollars from the program. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qktiYK)

Authorities in southern Sri Lanka say three people have died in clashes between Buddhists and Muslims. (VOA http://bit.ly/1vsO0WC)

A low level of knowledge about sexual abuse is leaving Cambodia’s children vulnerable to harm, and a new report shows that despite sex education initiatives in recent years, a poor understanding by parents and children of what sexual abuse is, persists. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vsRmJ3)

Thailand’s junta denied on Monday that they were pursuing a “sweep and clean” policy of driving illegal foreign workers out of the country. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vsTdh7)

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said it is up to the will of the people of her country if she becomes their president, reacting Monday to a vote against changing a constitutional clause that bars her from the office. (AP http://yhoo.it/1qkvQWV)

The Americas

The US Supreme Court has turned away Argentina’s appeal of lower court rulings ordering it to pay more than $1.3 billion to hedge funds that hold some of the country’s defaulted bonds. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vsWLzM)

Opinion/Blogs

Mark speaks with former US Ambassador to the UN Tom Pickering about the faltering Israel-Palestine peace process, his role in shaping US policy during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and an awkward phone call with President-elect George H.W. Bush, who tapped him to serve as US Ambassador to the UN during the run-up to the Gulf War. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1nfGEAO)

Zimbabwe Registrar General’s Claim That Contraception Causes Cancer Is Misleading and Alarmist (AfricaCheck http://bit.ly/1iBvBzb)

Are Impact Evaluations Enough?  The Social Observatory Approach to Doing-by-Learning (Development Impact http://bit.ly/1i12QRk)

Are we measuring the right things? The latest multidimensional poverty index is launched today – what do you think? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1nfGCJ8)

Brazil’s World Cup: The Good, Bad & Unequal (World Policy Institute http://bit.ly/1nfHX2z)

Please Do Not Teach This Woman to Fish (FP http://atfp.co/1i17a3c)

Quantitative versus qualitative measurement, the contest (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1i17Sxn)

Understanding food security through a gendered lens (IDS http://bit.ly/1kYaKL7)

Research/Reports

Aid insiders fret that major NGOs have become too big and have lost the flexibility and responsiveness they once had. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1qktQ0W)

Economic inequality is now center stage in the global debate, and the World Economic Forum asserts that this issue is the single biggest risk facing the planet. (CNN http://cnn.it/1vsRxEg)

Financial Times Lists Winners of Inaugural Innovative Lawyers Awards in Asia-Pacific

HONG KONG, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Financial Times today announces the winners of the inaugural FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers programme, in partnership with RSG Consulting, a specialist legal research and strategy agency, and sponsored by Integreon, a leading global provider of outsourced legal, document, research and business support. The event builds on the success of the long-running Innovative Lawyers awards in the U.S. and Europe which annually recognise the most entrepreneurial lawyers, law firms, and legal departments.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140616/118646

The top honours were awarded to William Liu (Linklaters), named Most Innovative Lawyer; King & Wood Mallesons, named Most Innovative Asia-Pacific Law Firm; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, named Most Innovative International Law Firm; and Tencent, named Most Innovative In-House Legal Team. The ceremony was hosted in Hong Kong.

The FT Innovative Lawyers Programme is based on a rigorous research process that includes expert analysis, market surveys and hundreds of interviews with legal professionals. The awards cover legal professionals and departments across Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

“Our congratulations to all of the 2014 winners and nominees from this year’s FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers Awards,” said Robert Gogel, CEO of Integreon. “Innovation has long-been a focus of Integreon as we seek to delight our law firm and corporate clients by transforming how legal services are delivered. Our partnership with the FT and RSG aligns well with our focus on innovation by encouraging innovative practices among our colleagues, partners and others across the global legal community.”

“We’re delighted to introduce the FT’s well established Innovative Lawyers report to one of the most dynamic legal environments in the world,” said David Pilling, Asia managing editor of the FT. “As the region’s business practices change to adapt to a shifting landscape, the role of lawyers and legal frameworks must equally evolve. This report celebrates the best of these strategies.”

The complete list of 2014 award winners includes:

  • Legal Innovation in Finance (Real Estate): Kim & Chang
  • Innovation in Corporate Law (International): Slaughter and May
  • Innovation in Corporate Law (Asia-Pacific):
    Joint Winners: AZB & Partners; Bae, Kim and Lee
  • Legal Innovation in TMT: Sullivan & Cromwell
  • Innovation in Finance Law (Asia-Pacific): King & Wood Mallesons
  • Innovation in Finance Law (International):
    Joint Winners: Linklaters; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  • Legal Innovation in an IPO: Davis Polk & Wardwell
  • Innovation in Corporate Strategy (Asia-Pacific): ZICOlaw
  • Innovation in International Strategy: Allen & Overy
  • Most Innovative ASEAN Law Firm: WongPartnership
  • Most Innovative Australian Law Firm: Gilbert + Tobin
  • Most Innovative Indian Law Firm: Nishith Desai Associates
  • Most Innovative Lawyer: William Liu, Linklaters
  • Most Innovative In-house Legal Team: Tencent
  • Most Innovative Law Firm (Asia-Pacific): King & Wood Mallesons
  • Most Innovative Law Firm (International): Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

The themes and winners from this year’s programme are also summarized in the FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2014 report. The FT’s U.S. and European reports and awards are scheduled for late 2014.

About the Financial Times:

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 665,000 (Deloitte assured, Q1, 2014). Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving 60 per cent of subscriber consumption, 45 per cent of total traffic and 20 per cent of new digital subscriptions. FT education products now serve 37 of the world’s top 50 business schools.

About RSG Consulting:

RSG was founded in 2001 to give strategy and innovation consulting advice to the international legal profession. Its evidence-based approach includes creating unique thought-leadership projects for clients and independent studies into the future of law and emerging legal markets. The company specializes in rating and ranking lawyers, and its assessment methodologies have wide application particularly in helping law firms differentiate themselves. RSG also runs the Innovative GC Club, an independent forum for in-house lawyers to exchange ideas. It has partnered with the FT on the Innovative Lawyers programme since its inception in 2005.

About Integreon:

Integreon is a trusted, global provider of award-winning legal, document, research and business support solutions to leading law firms, corporate legal departments, financial institutions and professional services firms. Around the globe, Integreon’s 2,200 Associates support more than 250 clients in areas such as market and competitive intelligence, discovery, legal process outsourcing (LPO), operating model transformation and back office redesign. Integreon also excels in business support services such as IT, document processing, finance and HR. With our unrivaled outsourcing experience and industry-leading onshore and offshore capabilities, clients increasingly rely on Integreon to provide value-added solutions and meet their needs in a demanding business environment. Integreon has won more than 40 industry awards over the past five years and supports its global client base from 12 delivery centres across the US, UK, India, Philippines, South Africa and China.

For more information about Integreon’s extensive range of services, please visit www.Integreon.com and follow Integreon on Twitter: @Integreon.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130423/NY99594LOGO

Milan District Court Confirms the Validity of Alfa Wassermann’s Rifaximin-alpha Patents

BOLOGNA, Italy, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Normix® is the only authorized Gastrointestinal antibiotic based on Rifaximin-alpha. No generic version is allowed.

With the judgment entered last April 18, the district court of Milan, Italy the court having original jurisdiction on the matter -denied a request from generic manufacturers to declare Alfa Wassermann’s patents on Rifaximin polymorphs invalid. Instead, the court upheld Alfa Wassermann’s claim, asserting the Rifaximin-alpha patent and prohibiting any further counterfeit production, advertising and marketing. The announcement is made by Alfa Wassermann, the Bologna-based Italian pharmaceutical multinational that developed Rifaximin-alpha, marketed under the trade name Normix® in Italy, Xifaxan®, Flonorm®, Rifacol®, Spiraxin® and other trade names in other countries. Approved in 34 countries including the US, Rifaximin-alpha is an oral gut-selective antibiotic indicated for most bacterial diarrheas, including travelers’ diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Recently, Rifaximin-alpha was also approved for Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) in the US and in Europe.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140612/690926 )

“We welcome the court decision that has confirmed the uniqueness of Rifaximin-alpha, which is Alfa Wassermann R&D’s most prestigious product and one of the top selling Italian medicines in the US,” said Andrea Golinelli, Chief Strategy Officer, Alfa Wassermann. “The court ruling is a landmark decision for the protection of intellectual property (IP) and the recognition of its crucial value for pharmaceutical R&D and innovation. Without IP protection no scientific innovation nor progress to improve people’s health is possible.” concluded Golinelli.

Alfa Wassermann

Alfa Wassermann is an international Italian pharmaceutical Group with a sixty-year tradition in R&D, production and distribution of medicines of primary importance for people’s health. Its medicines have taken Alfa Wassermann to a leading position in a number of medical areas including Gastroenterology, Vascular medicine, Orthopedics, Rheumatology and Gynecology.

The Group is headquartered in Bologna, Italy, which is also the location of its long-standing R&D facilities. The Group’s international division is in Milan. The Group’s production facilities in Alanno (Pescara, Italy) are some of Europe’s most technologically advanced and make 50 million packaged items annually.

Alfa Wassermann operates globally through 12 subsidiaries in as many world markets. The Group employs 1,400 people and markets products in over 60 countries. In 2013 Alfa Wassermann consolidated sales aggregated to some 400 million euro.

Alfa Wassermann R&D’s most successful product is Rifaximin-alpha, an oral antibiotic for gastrointestinal disorders that is the market leader in Italy, but is also available in many other world countries, including the US. Rifaximin-alpha approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been a highly prestigious recognition for a medicine that is the fruit of Italian R&D.

For further information please visit http://www.alfawassermann.com

Media contact:
Angela Del Giudice
+39-06-6788870
a.delgiudice@vrelations.it

Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A and Strauss Troy Co., LPA Announce Summary Notice of Pendency and Proposed Settlement of Shareholder Derivative Action

CLEVELAND, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO

ALFRED STRAUS, Derivatively on Behalf of Nominal
Defendant Eaton Corporation, plc, and on Behalf of
Nominal Defendant Eaton Corporation,

Plaintiff,

Case No.: CV 11 748467

v.

Judge: John P. O’Donnell

MICHAEL J. CRITELLI, ALEXANDER M. CUTLER,
NET C. LAUTENBACH, DEBORAH L. McCOY,

GREGORY R. PAGE, CHARLES E. GOLDEN,
ARTHUR E. JOHNSON, TODD M. BLUEDORN,
GEORGE S. BARRETT, LINDA A HILL, GERALD B.
SMITH, VICTOR LEO, MARK MCGUIRE, TARAS
SZMAGALA, ERNIE GREENE, JOHN R. MILLER,
VICTOR A. PELSON, and GARY L. TOOKER,

SUMMARY NOTICE OF

Defendants,

PENDENCY AND

PROPOSED

and

SETTLEMENT OF

SHAREHOLDER

EATON CORPORATION, plc, and EATON
CORPORATION

DERIVATIVE ACTION

Nominal Defendants.

TO: ALL FORMER AND CURRENT RECORD HOLDERS AND BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF COMMON STOCK OF EATON CORPORATION (“COMPANY”) OR EATON CORPORATION PLC (“PLC”) AS OF JUNE 6, 2014 (“STOCKHOLDERS”).

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to an Order of the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas that a proposed settlement has been reached in this putative shareholder derivative action.

A hearing will be held on July 23, 2014, at 1:30 p.m., before the Honorable John P. O’Donnell in Courtroom 18-D at the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113‑1678, for the purpose of considering, among other things: (i) whether the proposed settlement will be approved by the Court pursuant to the terms of the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement (“Stipulation”); (ii) whether the Court should enter a judgment dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice and on the merits, including and all claims which arise out of or are related to the facts and/or circumstances set forth in Complaint; and (iii) whether the Court should approve the award to be made to Plaintiff’s Counsel for Plaintiff’s attorney fees, expenses, costs, and an incentive payment to Plaintiff, up to a total of six million dollars ($6,000,000). The Court has reserved the right to reschedule the hearing without further notice.

Your rights as a Stockholder may be affected by this action and the proposed settlement. Additional details regarding this action, including the Notice of Pendency and Proposed Settlement of Shareholder Derivative Action (“Notice”), are available at http://www.weismanlaw.com. You may also contact a representative of Plaintiff’s Counsel, Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A., 1600 Midland Building, 101 Prospect Avenue, W., Cleveland, Ohio 44115, telephone 800-475-1189 or 216-781-1111, or Strauss Troy Co., LPA, 150 East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-4018, telephone 513‑621-2120, for further information.

If you are a current Stockholder, you may have the right to object to any aspect of the Settlement and may appear in person or through counsel at the hearing. Stockholders who have no objection to the proposed settlement need not take any further action. Any objections to the settlement, including Plaintiff’s Counsel’s request for attorney fees, expenses, costs, and an incentive payment to Plaintiff, must be filed and served, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Notice, no later than July 14, 2014.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO OBJECT, YOU MUST FOLLOW THE PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN THE NOTICE OR YOU WILL NOT BE HEARD, AND NO PAPERS, BRIEFS, OR OTHER DOCUMENTS BY YOU WILL BE RECEIVED AND CONSIDERED BY THE COURT.

Any Person who fails to object or otherwise request to be heard in the manner prescribed in the Notice will be deemed to have waived the right to object to any aspect of the settlement (including the right to appeal) or to request to be heard at the hearing, and will be forever barred from raising such objection or request in this or any other related action or proceeding.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE CLERK’S OFFICE ABOUT THIS NOTICE.

Dated: June 6, 2014

BY ORDER OF THE CUYAHOGA
COUNTY, OHIO COURT OF COMMON
PLEAS

ASEAN Delegation Wraps up First Trade Visit to Canada

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We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
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Le site que vous tentez de visiter est temporairement hors d’usage.
Nous sommes désolés pour tout inconvénient causé par cette situation.
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MEDIA ADVISORY – European Commission and Global Partnership for Education – Pledging Conference 26 June 2014

European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 6 June 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY – European Commission and Global Partnership for Education – Pledging Conference

26 June 2014

What

The Global Partnership for Education and the European Commission are co-hosting the Second Replenishment Pledging Conference of the Global Partnership for Education, a multilateral body committed to ensuring every child has access to a quality, basic education.

It will bring together more than 500 key players in education to show their commitment to education by making solid pledges at the conference.

Why

To ensure that the right of all children to a basic education is fulfilled! The benefits of education to health, economic development and stability are clear, yet aid funding for education has fallen by an average of five percent each year since 2010.

Still, 57 million children do not go to school and more than half of them are girls. A further 250 million children drop out of school or are unable to perform basic literacy and numeracy tasks by the time they reach grade four.

Girls are more likely than boys to drop out, and girls from poor families in rural areas are least likely to have access to education.

When

June 26, 2014, from 9.00 to 18.00

Where

The Egg, Rue Bara 175, Brussels, Belgium

Participants

  1. Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia

  2. Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo;

  3. Education ministers of more than 40 developing countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Niger and Senegal;

  4. Ministers from donor countries, including Australia, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and the United Kingdom;

  5. Representatives of the United Nations, including UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova and UN Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown;

  6. Representatives of the European institutions, including EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva.

Media Opportunities

  1. Media are welcome to attend all sessions on the agenda and will be able to follow commitments made in the pledging zone via a live feed.

  2. A media workspace with wifi will be available

  3. A press conference will take place after the closing session (at 16.30), with EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs and Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia.

  4. A media briefing by UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova, announcing the new global figures on out-of-school children (at 10.15)

  5. Possibility to request interviews with other participants in advance

Please complete the online registration by June 16, 2014, here. After that date, please contact GPE-Replenishment@globalpartnership.org or Alexandra Humme

The agenda of the event is available here

Media contacts

From the Global Partnership for Education: Alexandra Humme or Katy Cronin

From the European Commission: Stacey Vickers or Maria Sanchez

Background

The Global Partnership for Education aims to raise US$3.5 billion (€2.57bn) during 2015-2018. Developing country partners are being asked to pledge to increase domestic financing for education towards 20 percent of their domestic budgets. A successful replenishment will enable the Global Partnership for Education to support the schooling of 29 million children in 66 countries and to increase the quality of the education being provided

The Global Partnership for Education is made up of nearly 60 developing country governments, as well as donor governments, civil society and non-governmental organizations, teacher organizations, international organisations, and the private sector and foundations.

For more information on the Global Partnership for Education, click here

For more information on the European Commission’s work on education in developing countries, click here

Top of the Morning: No Texting in CAR

Seriously. “Mobile phone users in the Central African Republic who try to send text messages are getting the response: “SMS not allowed”. “The use of any SMS by all mobile phone subscribers is suspended from Monday June 2, 2014, until further notice,” the ministry said in a letter to mobile phone operators in the conflict-torn country. It said the decision was made by Prime Minister Andre Nzapayeke. Since last week there has been a resurge of violence in the capital Bangui, as well as a call for a general strike relayed by SMS in the past few days.. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1nOJUb6)

Conflict Minerals Legislation Taking Effect…For the first time, nearly 1,300 UScompanies have filed reports on whether the products they manufacture or sell are made with minerals that have bankrolled conflict in the Great Lakes region of central Africa. (IPS http://bit.ly/1pRlQRX)

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Africa

UNICEF officials in South Sudan said that men in uniform are occupying at least 30 schools in five different states, interrupting the education of tens of thousands of children whose lives have already been disrupted by six months of conflict. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOGPrz)

Health officials are warning that a cholera outbreak in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, which has left 23 people dead and forced more than 670 others to seek treatment, could be getting worse. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1pRj0fV)

South Sudan can only avoid famine if a shaky ceasefire holds and people displaced by more than five months of fighting are able to return home in the next few weeks to plant crops before the rains, a senior U.N. official said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1nOIFJ3)

Senior United Nations officials are in the DR Congo to draw attention to the fact that continued insecurity and a decrease in financial resources is causing millions of people to go hungry. (UN News Centre http://bit.ly/1pRm8s7)

As security forces in Kenya continue to round up and detain thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, most of them Somali, an agreement between the UNHCR and the Kenyan and Somali governments on the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees is coming under strain. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1pRiSwE)

While the number of patients appeared to be in decline, new cases of Ebola have been reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The virus has already affected more than 300 people in West Africa. (MSF http://bit.ly/1pRp1ZK)

MENA

Separate groups of gunmen in Libya shot dead a Swiss national working for the International Committee of the Red Cross, fired a grenade at the prime minister’s office and tried to kill a renegade general on Wednesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1nOMmOP)

Saudi Arabia announced a jump of nearly 50 percent in deaths from the MERS virus after re-examining old data that also showed the number of infections since 2012 was a fifth higher than previously reported. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOGxRD

The International Organization for Migration reports tens of thousands of migrants have been rescued while making the perilous sea crossing from Libya to Italy this year. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pRjmCZ)

Asia

The coup in Thailand is causing problems for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from neighboring Cambodia and Burma. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOGIfP)

Indonesia’s health ministry and child protection advocates are calling for chemical castration for convicted pedophiles. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOH0mR)

Japan has temporarily halted its official development assistance to Vietnam as Hanoi continues its probe into bribery allegations on a railway project. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pRjMcx)

The World Food Program says it distributed more than 2,500 tons of food in North Korea last month, the largest amount so far this year. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pRk0k3)

United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay called on China to reveal the truth about the army’s violent suppression of mass pro-democracy protests on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. (AP http://yhoo.it/1nOJEsF)

The Americas

Mexico increased the minimum prison sentences for kidnapping to 40 years after a dramatic surge in the crime in recent years. (BBC http://bbc.in/1nOFXmI)

Although Venezuela has 520 long rivers, taps often run dry, many poor neighbourhoods depend on tanker trucks, water rationing remains a reality, and in some areas water quality is very poor. (IPS http://bit.ly/StJMzt)

Opinion/Blogs

Making Democracy Soup in Africa: how one bad ingredient can spoil the lot (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1hajpdf)

Is Brazil’s social/economic miracle running out of steam just as the World Cup arrives? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1kLQjvE)

Will US take global environmental lead by cutting coal emissions? (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1nOI764)

Why Malawi took so long to declare an election winner (ODI http://bit.ly/1ocLu4p)

The importance of Live Below The Poverty Line (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1jSiicY)

Lessons for Australia from DFID’s underperforming private sector development efforts (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1ocLQYQ)

The New Chinese-Backed Infrastructure Bank: Will it Tame the Corruption Dragon? (The Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/1jSjsW2)

Research/Reports

Aiding institutional reform in developing countries: lessons from the Philippines on what works, what doesn’t and why (ODI http://bit.ly/1pRj9Qk)

What non-food items best meet needs of women and girls in emergency situations? (GSDRC http://bit.ly/1pRlLxG)

Italy announced plans to give citizenship to children born of refugees who have been granted asylum, as the government faced growing anti-immigrant sentiment over an influx of migrant arrivals by sea. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1pRoFm9)

The UK government’s $629 million Newton Fund aims to ‘end the need for aid’ in 15 countries by fostering ties between researchers in developing countries and the UK that will boost their economic development. (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/1nOQ0Z6)

75% of Australians think poverty reduction most important for aid: Lowy Poll (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1jSjfC5)

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Market solutions to Cambodia’s toilet troubles

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Nurturing supply-demand connections is key

PHNOM PENH, 5 June 2014 (IRIN) – Having money in your pocket does not translate into a toilet in your home, so Cambodian sanitation campaigners are trying new ways to encourage latrine construction in a country where years of awareness and subsidy campaigns have not been flush with success.

“The economy has grown fast, but sanitation hasn’t grown accordingly. So it’s not related to money and economics,” Py Sophal, deputy director for rural health care at Cambodia’s Ministry of Rural Development, told IRIN.

“Even when there is a demand, we often see there is no [realistic] supply. So we need to create a demand-and-supply system.”

According to the Ministry of Rural Development, 61.5 percent of rural households lack toilets. And poor sanitation correlates with child stunting due in part to the health risks associated with open defecation, a 2013 assessment by the World Bank found.

Research by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme published in 2012 argued that more than half of the Cambodian households that lack a latrine could, in fact, afford one. However, sanitation schemes were failing both to facilitate access to affordable suppliers for the families with means, and target poor households with the loans and subsidies they needed.

The key, aid workers and officials say, is demonstrating to consumers not only that they should build a latrine, but that they can afford to do it — there are inexpensive local suppliers as well as credit options and subsidies. And, for suppliers, proving that reasonable pricing and targeted outreach can drive business.

Purchasing power

“The real constraints [keeping people from building latrines] are similar to ‘I know I should exercise, but there is no gym nearby – or no affordable gym’,” said Geoff Revell, regional program manager at WaterSHED, a Phnom Penh-based organization that works on water and sanitation marketing in Southeast Asia. In 2010 the organization began working to build markets for latrines in rural Cambodia.

Low prices drive big business

Latrines, Revell said, were often too difficult to acquire and assemble and, priced at between US$250 and $400, they were perceived to be something only available for the wealthy. Cambodia’s GDP per capita is around $950.

“We said to the suppliers: ‘Lower your price a lot, lower the margin, but increase the volume, and you will sell more’,” Revell explained, adding that they encouraged suppliers to offer a complete package, including installation, for around $45. In the past four years, WaterSHED has facilitated the sale of 75,000 toilets in 59 of Cambodia’s 171 districts, they say.

Nationwide, latrine coverage has been increasing by 1.3 percent per year in recent years – a growth rate at which it could take more than 60 years for the country to be “Open Defecation Free” (or “ODF”), meaning every home and public structure contains a toilet. But according to WaterSHED, in districts where they have been nurturing market-based approaches, the annual coverage increase reaches up to 7 percent.

Rath Chan Thin, a toilet salesperson in Kompong Chhnang province said in the past she would sell no more than 25 toilets a year.

“Now people buy the toilets. In the last year, I have sold 650 toilets,” she said, pointing to her dip in price and community sales events that bring suppliers and local residents together for toilet product demonstrations.

Visible impact

Phoeung An, a widow and mother of three in Kompong Speu Province who bought a latrine in early 2014, said she noticed her children were already getting sick less frequently than before they had the toilet.

“Before we had a toilet, we went to the forest and paddy fields near my house. We had fever and diarrhea more often than now,” Phoeung said, adding that she purchased the toilet with a microfinance loan.

“We paid 21,000 riel (US$ 5.25) for the first month. The mortgage keeps decreasing each month. We only have three months left to pay,” she explained, adding that in her village of 160 families, about 100 had acquired a latrine through similar loans.

Revell believes making prices fair and credit accessible, while targeting subsidies only at the very poor, is the way forward for community-level uptake of toilet construction.
“Only a few will be so poor that they cannot get $40 together. If you already sold to the majority and give a subsidy to the rest, that’s much more sustainable,” he said.

dh/kk/oa