Roche enters partnership with Jhpiego to improve cervical and breast cancer outcomes for women in resource-constrained countries

  • Roche and Jhpiego are supporting the implementation of sustainable cervical and breast cancer programs through a new partnership designed to meet the needs of underserved women and patients in low-resource settings, where the disease burden is highest.
  • The collaboration aims to increase access to quality screening, early detection, diagnostics and treatment in order to help prevent or reduce the morbidity and mortality of women facing breast or cervical cancer.
  • In collaboration with the Government of Ghana, the partnership will begin with an initiative in Ghana to foster an integrated, resource-stratified, women’s cancer care continuum in support of the Ghana National Strategy for Cancer Control.

ACCRA, Ghana, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Roche today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (Jhpiego) to improve cervical and breast cancer outcomes in resource-constrained countries.

Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer and the cause of the most cancer-related deaths in women2. Similarly, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, with more than 600,000 women diagnosed with the disease in 2020. Preventable through early HPV screening, cervical cancer is the number one cause of female cancer-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.

“In resource-constrained countries, mortality rates are higher as women are often diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer at a more advanced stage, when a positive outcome is less likely,” said Dr. Stefan Seliger, Head Global Access & Policy at Roche Diagnostics. “This partnership will use the capabilities and expertise from both Roche and Jhpiego to identify and enhance ways to improve women’s health by removing barriers to early detection and treatment.”

In the new partnership, Roche and Jhpiego will prioritise low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia, where the burden of breast and cervical cancers is highest. The initiative will take a multi-pronged approach to increase access to diagnostics and treatment. This will include offering technical and clinical guidance to local providers, and sharing evidence with local decision makers to support policy adoption and financing for education, screening and patient care programs. The partnership will also support country programs to implement the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for cervical screening, including the recommendation for an HPV DNA-based test as the preferred method4, and the WHO’s Global Breast Cancer Initiative to strengthen systems for detecting, diagnosing and treating breast cancer.

“We firmly believe that every woman should be empowered with the knowledge to understand the symptoms and risk of women’s cancers and have access to quality screening, detection, diagnosis and treatment. We are excited to partner with Roche and advance our complementary efforts towards reducing preventable deaths from women’s cancers,” said Dr. Leslie Mancuso, President and CEO of Jhpiego.

The first initiative supported by the partnership will begin in Ghana in close collaboration with the Government of Ghana and relevant stakeholders to foster an integrated, resource-stratified women’s cancer care continuum in support of the Ghana National Strategy for Cancer Control.

Cancer is one of the most significant public health challenges in Ghana, and of all cancers, breast cancer is the most pervasive, accounting for more than 32 percent of all new cancer cases in Ghanian women in 20207. Women in Ghana face multiple challenges to accessing quality breast and cervical health care during their patient journey, including health, mental, social and financial hurdles. Once symptomatic women encounter the health system, the disease is often already in an advanced stage. According to the Ghana National Strategy for Cancer Control 2012-2016, almost seven out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Ghana will die from their disease. Roche and Jhpiego plan to support the Ministry of Health’s efforts through an integrated and scalable model that improves access to screening, early detection and treatment of women’s cancers.

The partnership is also exploring additional collaborations in Asia, such as in India and the Philippines, where breast and cervical cancer are the most common cancers among women.8,9

About Roche
Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, as one of the first industrial manufacturers of branded medicines, Roche has grown into the world’s largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in-vitro diagnostics. The company pursues scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics for improving and saving the lives of people around the world. We are a pioneer in personalised healthcare and want to further transform how healthcare is delivered to have an even greater impact. To provide the best care for each person we partner with many stakeholders and combine our strengths in Diagnostics and Pharma with data insights from the clinical practice.

In recognising our endeavor to pursue a long-term perspective in all we do, Roche has been named one of the most sustainable companies in the pharmaceuticals industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the thirteenth consecutive year. This distinction also reflects our efforts to improve access to healthcare together with local partners in every country we work.

Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.

For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

References
[1] IARC Globocan 2020
[2] https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/documents/health-topics/cancer/the-global-breast-cancer-initiative.pdf?sfvrsn=b1192ada_18
[3] www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/human-papillomavirus-(hpv)-and-cervical-cancer
[4] https://www.who.int/news/item/06-07-2021-new-recommendations-for-screening-and-treatment-to-prevent-cervical-cancer
[5] https://www.unaids.org/en/cervical_cancer
[6] www.who.int/news/item/08-03-2021-new-global-breast-cancer-initiative-highlights-renewed-commitment-toimprove-Survival
[7] https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/288-ghana-fact-sheets.pdf
[8] https://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/GO.20.00122
[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35959499/

Huawei Cloud Pledges to Build Global Startup Ecosystem, to Enable 10,000 High-Potential Startups in Three Years

SHENZHEN, China, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, at the Huawei Cloud Global Startup Founders Summit held in Shenzhen, Huawei Cloud announced their commitment to building a global startup ecosystem and three key initiatives to accelerate startup growth: an innovative cloud platform, startup acceleration programs, and business resources. Joined by several veteran venture capitalists, they also announced the Huawei Cloud Accelerator, a program aiming at empowering startups at all stages of their lifecycles.

Mr. Zhang Ping'an announcing Huawei Cloud's global startup ecosystem strategy

In his speech at the summit, Mr. Zhang Ping’an, Huawei Senior Vice President and Huawei Cloud CEO, said that Huawei Cloud firmly believes in the power of startups to change the world, and that Huawei Cloud is ready to share with startups Huawei’s over 30 years of experience in technology and innovation, and to build a robust startup ecosystem powered by Huawei’s global cloud infrastructure and extensive Technology-as-a-Service offerings, with the purpose of empowering startups and accelerating their growth on the cloud.

Huawei Cloud stresses driving innovation with technology and accelerating startup growth with a strong global ecosystem. This is why they have announced plans to step up efforts in ecosystem building along with three key initiatives — an innovative cloud platform, startup acceleration programs, and business resources. Over the next three years, Huawei plans to help 10,000 high-potential startups worldwide to accelerate innovation and growth on the Huawei cloud platform and in the greater ecosystem.

At the summit, Mr. Zhang Ping’an, joined by several veteran venture capitalists, officially announced Huawei Cloud Accelerator. This program currently focuses on six key areas: enterprise services/SaaS, AI, biotech, fintech, smart energy/carbon neutrality, and industrial digitization, but will later be expanded to cover more industries and domains. It offers an Early-stage Startup Bootcamp and an Industry-themed Bootcamp to meet the needs of startups at different stages of their lifecycle.

Going forward, Huawei Cloud is committed to working with partners and customers to build an inclusive, vibrant startup ecosystem, which is expected to become a powerful engine for digital transformation.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1899699/image_1.jpg

Madison Realty Capital Originates $85 Million Loan for Luxury Condominiums on Fisher Island in Miami, Florida

Loan Facilitates Acquisition of Last Remaining Development Site on Exclusive Island

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Madison Realty Capital, a vertically integrated real estate private equity firm focused on debt and equity investment strategies, today announced that it has provided an $85 million loan to The Related Group (“Related”), BH Group, Teddy Sagi’s Globe Invest, and Wanxiang Group Corporation for the acquisition and pre-development of a 6.51-acre land parcel with approved plans for the development of a luxury condominium project on Fisher Island in Miami Beach, Florida.

The parcel is located at 6 Fisher Island Drive at the last remaining condo development site on the 216-acre private island, which is accessible only by ferry, boat, or helicopter and offers significant privacy for its 800 residents. The condominiums will rise ten stories and consist of 51 units across a mix of three- to five-bedroom residences, three villas and two penthouses with premium finishes and appliances. The property will include 450 feet of private oceanfront and valet parking for 169 spaces as well as 7 private two-car garages and 93 golf cart spaces. Residents will have access to premier amenities as well as membership to the Fisher Island Club, which offers beaches, seaside golfing, tennis courts and restaurants.

Josh Zegen, Managing Principal and Co-Founder of Madison Realty Capital, said, “Fisher Island is one of the most exclusive residential locations in the country. Owing to the scarcity of land, limited supply of new residences, and significant development timeline, property values on Fisher Island have performed through market cycles. We are pleased to provide financing for the acquisition and predevelopment of such a rare development site and to complete our second transaction with Related and BH Group in such a short period of time.”

The loan is Madison Realty Capital’s second to Related and BH Group. In July, it provided the partners with a $76 million loan for the development of District 225, a 343-unit luxury condominium in Downtown Miami.

About Madison Realty Capital 

Madison Realty Capital is a vertically integrated real estate private equity firm that, as of August 31, 2022, manages approximately $9.5 billion in total assets on behalf of a global institutional investor base. Since 2004, Madison Realty Capital has completed approximately $21 billion in transactions providing borrowers with flexible and highly customized financing solutions, strong underwriting capabilities, and certainty of execution. Headquartered in New York City, with an office in Los Angeles, the firm has approximately 70 employees across all real estate investment, development, and property management disciplines. Madison Realty Capital has been frequently named to the Commercial Observer’s prestigious “Power 100” list of New York City real estate players and is consistently cited as a top construction lender, among other industry recognitions. To learn more, follow us on LinkedIn and visit www.madisonrealtycapital.com.

Nathaniel Garnick/Grace Cartwright
Gasthalter & Co.
(212) 257-4170
madisonrealty@gasthalter.com

Heart Aerospace unveils new airplane design, confirms Air Canada and Saab as new shareholders

Swedish electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace today unveiled significant design updates to its first electric aircraft and confirmed Air Canada, one of North America’s largest airlines and Saab, the Swedish aerospace and defense- company, as new minority shareholders.

Gothenburg, Sweden, Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Swedish electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace today unveiled significant design updates to its first electric aircraft and confirmed Air Canada, one of North America’s largest airlines and Saab, the Swedish aerospace and defense- company, as new minority shareholders.

The new airplane design, called the ES-30, is a regional electric airplane with a capacity of 30 passengers and it replaces the company’s earlier 19-seat design, the ES-19. It is driven by electric motors powered by batteries, which allows the airplane to operate with zero emissions and low noise.

Air Canada and Saab have each invested USD 5 million in Heart Aerospace. In addition to its investment, Air Canada has also placed a purchase order for 30 ES-30 aircraft.

“We are thrilled to have two such strong partners as Saab and Air Canada join our mission to electrify regional air travel. Growing up in Sweden, Saab is synonymous with aerospace, and our partnership will not only support our programme, but help us to become a part of the proud Swedish aerospace heritage,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “Air Canada is a strategically important partner with one of the world’s largest networks operated by regional turboprops, and as a progressive, future leaning company.”

“Air Canada is very pleased to partner with Heart Aerospace on the development of this revolutionary aircraft. We have been working hard with much success to reduce our footprint, but we know that meeting our net-zero emissions goals will require new technology such as the ES-30. We have every confidence that the team at Heart Aerospace has the expertise to deliver on the ES-30’s promise of a cleaner and greener aviation future,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

The ES-30 has a comfortable three-abreast flat-floor cabin seating, and it features a galley and a lavatory. Cabin stowage and overhead bins will add to the large external baggage and cargo compartment and provide airlines with network flexibility.

The airplane will also include a reserve-hybrid configuration, consisting of two turbo generators powered by sustainable aviation fuel. The reserve-hybrid system is installed to secure reserve energy requirements without cannibalizing battery range, and it can also be used during cruise on longer flights to complement the electrical power provided by the batteries.

This gives the airplane a fully electric range of 200 kilometers, an extended range of 400 kilometers with 30 passengers, and flexibility to fly up to 800 kilometers with 25 passengers, all-inclusive of typical airline reserves.

“The ES-30 is an electric airplane that the industry can use. We have designed a cost-efficient airplane that allows airlines to deliver good service on a wide range of routes,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade and the response from the market has been fantastic.”

“This underlines our commitment to innovative technology and solutions for sustainable aviation. Heart is a pioneer within commercial electric aviation and we look forward to contributing to the future of aviation with our experience of developing solutions at the forefront of technology,” says Micael Johansson, Saab’s President and CEO.

Previous orders for Heart Aerospace’s ES-19 electric airplane, placed by United Airlines and Mesa Air Group for a total of 200 electric aircraft with an option for an additional 100 planes, are reconfirmed for the updated ES-30 design.

“From the beginning Heart and United have been on the same page – with an acute focus on safety, reliability, and sustainability. Heart’s exciting new design – which includes expanded passenger capacity from 19 to 30 seats, and a state-of-the-art reserve-hybrid engine – is the type of revolutionary thinking that will bring true innovation to aviation,” said Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines.

In addition to those commitments, many of the ES-19 letters of intent (LOI) holders have already updated their respective letters to reflect the ES-30. These include the Nordic airlines Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA), Icelandair and SAS as well as New Zealand’s Sounds Air. Rockton, a Swedish-based lessor who has made it their mission to focus on sustainable solutions for the industry, has just signed an LOI with for up to 40 airplanes.

In total, Heart Aerospace has LOIs for 96 ES-30s.

The ES-30 is a cost efficient airplane that, on top of significant fuel savings, is cheaper to operate than a larger turboprop due to its electric propulsion. The airplane has also been designed to accommodate battery technology evolution, which will increase its fully electric range and make it even more cost efficient over time.

The ES-30 is expected to enter into service in 2028.

The Swedish electric airplane maker will establish the world’s first commercial electric aircraft industry at Säve airport, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Heart Aerospace will build sustainable state-of-the-art offices, production, and flight test facilities which, together, will form a new campus that will go by the name the Northern Runway.

“We have a plan and it’s not just to build a new electric airplane, but a whole new industry,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “Sweden is the origin of flight shame, an anti-flying movement, but with the Northern Runway we will make electric air travel a reality and preserve flying for future generations.”

Heart Aerospace’s Northern Runway campus will form part of the Castellum owned development area Gateway Säve, where a unique site for sustainable logistics and electric mobility is being developed.

“Gothenburg has distinguished itself as a driving force within electrification, with world class research facilities like the Swedish electric transport laboratory, SEEL, Chalmers University of Technology and a large cluster of companies focused on battery and electric vehicle development,” said Sofia Graflund, chief operating officer at Heart Aerospace. “The ambition that Castellum and the City of Gothenburg have for Gateway Säve is truly unique and that is why we have decided to establish our new industry here.”

Heart Aerospace currently employs 130 people, but the company is growing rapidly and expects to employ around 500 people by 2025.

” We are extremely proud that Heart Aerospace has chosen Gothenburg for this step in their expansion, which we will give full support. The establishment will generate an additional 500 Swedish jobs by 2025 and even more when series production begins,” said Patrik Andersson, CEO of Business Region Göteborg.

The long-term recruitment base in Gothenburg is strong due to its proximity to Chalmers University of Technology, ranked among the top 100 in the world in terms of graduate employability.

A first phase in the establishment of Heart Aerospace’s Northern Runway is scheduled to be finalized by mid-2024, with test flights scheduled to start in 2026. Heart Aerospace expects to deliver its first ES-30 aircraft in 2028.

Note to editors:

More information on “Gateway Säve” can be found on www.gatewaysave.com.

Christina Zander
Heart Aerospace
+46 728889610
press@heartaerospace.com

A response to the Statement by the Spokesperson of the EU EEAS

The Ethiopian Embassy in Belgium is dismayed by the statement issued on the 14th of September 2022, by the spokesperson of the European Union External Action Services (EEAS).

The Spokesperson continuously chooses  to ignore the blatant violations committed by the TPLF in various occasions, including that  of opening the third round of conflict and abusing humanitarian aid and fuel to advance military escalations.

The statment is also misleading by pronouncing that TPLF took an initiative for peace.  It’s a well-known fact that the Government of Ethiopia has been taking various tangible measures including a unilateral humanitarian truce since march 2022, and naming a negotiation team under the auspices of the Africa Union, believing that it would create trust and ultimately paving the way for the commencement of negotiation.

While rejecting the selective vilification by the Spokesperson of the EEAS, we would like to reiterate the unwavering commitment of the Government of Ethiopia to Peacefully Resolve the Conflict in Northern Ethiopia.

 

Source: Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Grants US$32 Million to World Food Program USA in Support of the United Nations World Food Programme’s Response to Global Hunger Crisis

Funds to provide critical food and emergency support to 1.6 million people across nine nations

ROME – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today announced a historic US$32 million donation to World Food Program USA in support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s life-saving operations to combat the global food crisis. During a visit to WFP’s headquarters in Rome, Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric presented the grant to Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA, and Ute Klamert, WFP Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships and Advocacy.

“We are so grateful to collaborate with the World Food Programme because we know they will get food to those who need it most,” Bishop Budge said. “And we thank Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith whose financial sacrifices have made this gift possible. Such giving makes God’s children a little happier and all of us a little holier.”

WFP will use the Church’s funds to provide food and other critical assistance to 1.6 million of the most vulnerable people in nine countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

“This extraordinary donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could not come at a more critical time,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “With millions of people starving today, WFP is working hard to deliver food, help and hope – and this life-saving contribution allows us to do just that.”

As a global food crisis of unprecedented proportions forces millions more into hunger, WFP’s work alongside governments and partners is a critical lifeline for many. In Somalia, for example, WFP is scaling up humanitarian assistance to record levels in order to avert projected famine. In Yemen, WFP’s food assistance has reached more than half of the country’s population and kept hunger at bay in recent years. Meanwhile, millions of families rely on the organization’s food, nutrition and livelihood support in Afghanistan.

“At this time of unprecedented global need, we are grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s transformational gift,” said World Food Program USA President and CEO Barron Segar. “Private sector support is critical to our mission, enabling WFP to scale food assistance and resilience work that brings families stability and comfort during these challenging times. I am confident that the Church’s gift will inspire others to join our movement to end global hunger.”

“We accept this generous donation with gratitude and firm confidence in our ability to use it to deliver for the most vulnerable,” said Ute Klamert, WFP Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships and Advocacy. “Reaching them in their time of need, helping lift them out of harm’s way, so they can survive and build resilience.”

Today, a record 345 million people face acute food insecurity with 50 million on the brink of famine around the world. Some 60 million children are at risk of being acutely malnourished by the end of 2022 unless immediate action is taken. The worldwide ripple effect of the war in Ukraine, compounded by widespread conflict, extreme climate and the socio-economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, is pushing already vulnerable people into utter desperation.

“My heart rejoices for the millions of malnourished children who will benefit from this donation,” added Sister Camille N. Johnson, global leader of the faith’s Relief Society, an organization for women. “Jesus has a tender heart for children. He weeps to see them starve. And He rejoices at even the smallest effort to help them. A huge thanks to the World Food Programme and to all who contribute in any way to this cause.”

The Church of Jesus Christ’s collaboration with WFP began in 2014. Recently, the two organizations worked together to fill hunger gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Source: World Food Programme

Funds to provide critical food and emergency support to 1.6 million people across nine nations

ROME – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today announced a historic US$32 million donation to World Food Program USA in support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s life-saving operations to combat the global food crisis. During a visit to WFP’s headquarters in Rome, Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric presented the grant to Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA, and Ute Klamert, WFP Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships and Advocacy.

“We are so grateful to collaborate with the World Food Programme because we know they will get food to those who need it most,” Bishop Budge said. “And we thank Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith whose financial sacrifices have made this gift possible. Such giving makes God’s children a little happier and all of us a little holier.”

WFP will use the Church’s funds to provide food and other critical assistance to 1.6 million of the most vulnerable people in nine countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

“This extraordinary donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could not come at a more critical time,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “With millions of people starving today, WFP is working hard to deliver food, help and hope – and this life-saving contribution allows us to do just that.”

As a global food crisis of unprecedented proportions forces millions more into hunger, WFP’s work alongside governments and partners is a critical lifeline for many. In Somalia, for example, WFP is scaling up humanitarian assistance to record levels in order to avert projected famine. In Yemen, WFP’s food assistance has reached more than half of the country’s population and kept hunger at bay in recent years. Meanwhile, millions of families rely on the organization’s food, nutrition and livelihood support in Afghanistan.

“At this time of unprecedented global need, we are grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s transformational gift,” said World Food Program USA President and CEO Barron Segar. “Private sector support is critical to our mission, enabling WFP to scale food assistance and resilience work that brings families stability and comfort during these challenging times. I am confident that the Church’s gift will inspire others to join our movement to end global hunger.”

“We accept this generous donation with gratitude and firm confidence in our ability to use it to deliver for the most vulnerable,” said Ute Klamert, WFP Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships and Advocacy. “Reaching them in their time of need, helping lift them out of harm’s way, so they can survive and build resilience.”

Today, a record 345 million people face acute food insecurity with 50 million on the brink of famine around the world. Some 60 million children are at risk of being acutely malnourished by the end of 2022 unless immediate action is taken. The worldwide ripple effect of the war in Ukraine, compounded by widespread conflict, extreme climate and the socio-economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, is pushing already vulnerable people into utter desperation.

“My heart rejoices for the millions of malnourished children who will benefit from this donation,” added Sister Camille N. Johnson, global leader of the faith’s Relief Society, an organization for women. “Jesus has a tender heart for children. He weeps to see them starve. And He rejoices at even the smallest effort to help them. A huge thanks to the World Food Programme and to all who contribute in any way to this cause.”

The Church of Jesus Christ’s collaboration with WFP began in 2014. Recently, the two organizations worked together to fill hunger gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Source: World Food Programme

“This war must end”: The Ukraine crisis seven months on

“We all hoped it wouldn’t happen,” says Corinne Fleischer. “We were prepared, but we were not expecting that scale. Nobody was … we had no presence, no staff, no suppliers, no partners.”

The Regional Director for World Food Programme’s Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe (MENAEE) bureau was in Yemen on 24 February, when war broke out in Ukraine, accompanying WFP’s executive director David Beasley on mission.

“Yemen was our big concern at that time,” she adds – their intention even before the war was to highlight a year of unprecedented needs.

Few could have imagined that Ukraine would come to join Yemen as one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies WFP is responding to. More than six million people have left the country over nearly seven months and an equal number are internally displaced.

Still, “within two weeks of the war breaking out, we had 200 staff in the operation, we had offices, warehouses, partners and a footprint,” says Fleischer.

Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic had already smashed so much of the progress WFP had made in development in contexts already suffering the effects of conflict and climate change.

The Ukraine war, Beasley said, was “catastrophe on top of catastrophe.”

“We get 50 percent of our grains out of the Ukraine-Russia area,” he added in a video tweet, surrounded by rows of cooking oil bottles and bags of grain at a distribution point in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

“It’s going to have a dramatic impact on food costs, shipping costs, oil and fuel – just when you think it couldn’t get worse, it’s going to get worse.”

And worse it got.

The closure of key Black Sea ports – and the effective removal of Ukrainian and Russian grain, vegetable oil and other foods from supply chains – disrupted food systems around the world.

Access to nutrition for millions was reduced as the prices of food, fuel and fertilizer skyrocketed, furthering the relentless cost increases of 2021.

Before the war Ukraine exported up to six million tons of grain a month; today, it exports 1.5 million tons per month.

This spells disaster for the record 345 million people in 82 countries currently facing acute food insecurity; and for the up to 50 million people in 45 countries who are right on the edge of famine – and who risk tipping over without humanitarian support.

WFP is particularly concerned about famine taking lives in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, currently the five biggest hunger hotspots.

Thanks to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed not a minute too soon on 27 July, ships loaded with grain are again allowed to the ‘breadbasket’ of Europe.

Less than a month later, a WFP-chartered vessel set sail from the port of Pivdennyi in Yuzhny, Odesa province, to Djibouti, carrying 23 thousand metric tons of grain, as part of WFP’s response to crippling drought in the Horn of Africa.

Things have come a long way. One month into the war , WFP assistance had reached 1 million people in Ukraine; by July it was 2.9 million. That is thanks to WFP’s well-oiled emergency response machine, says  Fleischer, who was appointed the Corporate Response Director for the Ukraine emergency.

Ever hands-on, she wasted no time to get to the region.

“From Yemen I returned to Cairo, said goodbye to my husband: ’Let’s see when we meet again’,” she recalls. “Then I went to Geneva, because that’s where the coordination started … then I went to Krakow (in Poland), Moldova and also Ukraine.

“The impact of Ukraine was felt dramatically. When prices go up, people can’t buy food for their families anymore,” Fleischer adds. “But if this war persists, we will not only face a food access problem, but also an availability problem.”

Such price increases make firefighting hunger very difficult for governments and humanitarian groups alike, Fleischer notes.

“Right now, we have to do massive cuts in the region,” she says. “In many of our 15 operations, people receive 50 percent of a daily emergency ration. So, we are very concerned about hunger rising to numbers we haven’t seen before, particularly in places like Yemen.”

Without additional money, “there will be famine,” she adds.

And then there’s climate change.

“Water scarcity is a big issue,” says Fleischer. “Our region has one-sixth of the world’s population and 1 percent of the freshwater resources. This region is not only going hungry, it’s going thirsty.”

Looking to the year ahead, she says, “ending the war is critical. And if it doesn’t end, well, it’s going to require even more funds.”

“The war in Ukraine must end so that markets can stabilize again,” she adds. “We have had 11 years of conflict in Syria, seven years of conflict in Yemen. And we can’t just add conflicts and add, with that, people who need us.”

However, ending conflict is “not what WFP can do. But at least we can ensure that people who are affected by it have the food they need to survive.”

Meeting people in need

“I had two quite stark encounters,” says Fleischer. “I met a woman called Elena (in Chisinau, Moldova) who had to decide whether to stay with her husband in Ukraine to give birth to her first child into an uncertain and unsafe future, or leave her support system behind, in the hope of providing at least safety, food and shelter to her soon-to-be born baby. And she chose the second one. That’s a very, very tough decision to make for any mother, especially a first-time mother.”

Then “there was this little girl from Donetsk displaced in Vinnytsia (Ukraine), in the Government registration Centre for internally displaced persons. She was with her family, registering for cash assistance,” she adds. “The girl was carrying a drawing of her family. Pointing to a man, she said, “That’s my father, who is in the army. That’s my house, which I had to leave,” Fleischer recalls. “And we need to buy food, which we have no money for because my mother lost her job.”

 

Source: World Food Programme