$1.9 billion pledged for global avian flu battle

first_imgJan 18, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Governments and organizations at a conference in Beijing have pledged $1.9 billion for a global fund to fight avian influenza, well above the $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion that organizers had hoped for, according to news services.The 2-day conference yielded pledges for almost $1 billion in grants, mainly for poor countries in Southeast Asia, and about $900 million in loans, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.”It was a conference of commitment and pledging that really showed solidarity,” said David Nabarro, the United Nations coordinator for avian and pandemic influenza, as quoted by AFP.The United States led the list of donors with a $334 million pledge, saying the money would be mainly in the form of grants and technical assistance, according to a Reuters report.The European Union promised about $260 million, including $138 million directly from member states and the rest from the European Commission, AFP reported. Japan signed on for $159 million, and smaller sums were promised by Russia, Australia, and China.China, which hosted the conference along with the World Bank and the European Commission, pledged $10 million, according to Reuters.”We’ve got a fantastic set of pledges from poor countries as well as rich countries,” AFP quoted Nabarro as saying. “Even countries that cannot put money into the funding are saying we are going to commit our people and our governments to get the results.”Jim Adams, vice president of the World Bank, said more than half of the $1.9 billion represents new commitments not included in previous aid programs, according to Reuters.Adams said that between $100 million and $200 million of the pledged funds would go into a trust fund to be managed by the World Bank. Some of the remaining money will be managed bilaterally between donors and recipients, he said.In a speech prepared for the conference today, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Lee Jong-wook said, “Money is not the answer to every question. But without it, little can be done.”Lee said the critical needs include reducing people’s exposure to the avian flu virus, strengthening early warning systems, enhancing “rapid containment operations,” building capacity to cope with a pandemic, and coordinating research and development.The AFP report said most of the pledged funds will be used to build public awareness, strengthen outbreak detection and response, slaughter and vaccinate poultry, and compensate farmers for poultry losses.In a video address today, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the conferees, “The amount asked for is small compared to the cost of a pandemic we are not ready for,” according to the Reuters report.The World Bank has estimated that a year-long pandemic could cost the global economy up to $800 billion, the story said.In another speech at the conference today, a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official warned that the avian flu virus could become entrenched in the Black Sea, Caucasus and Near East regions and be spread further by migratory birds coming from Africa in the spring, according to the FAO.”FAO is concerned that with trade, the movement of people and animals and migratory birds, new countries could become infected,” said FAO Deputy Director-General David Harcharik, as quoted in an agency statement.”In Turkey, the virus has already reached the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, and there is a real risk of further spread,” he added. “If it were to become rooted in the African countryside, the consequences for a continent already devastated by hunger and poverty could be truly catastrophic.”Harcharik said fighting avian flu in animals is the best way to reduce the risk of a human flu pandemic. The FAO said several hundred million dollars is needed for this purpose, but the agency had received only about $28 million so far.See also:Speech by Lee Jong-wook of WHOhttp://www.who.int/dg/lee/speeches/2006/flumeeting_beijing/en/index.htmlFAO report of Harcharik speechhttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000215/index.htmllast_img read more

UN human rights chief condemns Albino murders

first_imgThe UN human rights chief has condemned the widespread killings of albinos in some African countries.  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned there is a sharp increase of “vicious” killings of albinos in Malawi and Tanzania. The UN recorded at least six killings in Malawi since the beginning of 2015, and eight cases in Tanzania since August  2014. In Burundi, at least 19 albinos have been killed since 2008.Albinism is a genetically inherited condition that prevents the body from producing melanin, the pigment that colours skin, hair and eyes. In some African countries, albino are not regarded as humans and they are killed as their body parts are considered essential ingredients for black magic potions.last_img

Cartoon: The Competition

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App I realized the other day, in the middle of a conversation with someone, that – for just a moment – I had stopped thinking of them as a human being, and started thinking of them as the thing that stood between me and some quality time with my iPad.(If you were talking to me in the past few days, and wondering if you’re the person in question, let me assure you that you weren’t. It was someone else. Really.)And, you know, that happens. At parties, some of us catch ourselves looking over the shoulder of the person we’re talking to, in case there’s someone we actually want to talk with nearby. A friend could be pouring their hearts out to us, and a stray anxiety could drift up from our subconscious long enough to distract us. Even when we give someone our full attention, we’re rehearsing what to say next or wondering how they’re reacting to what we just said.All of which is to say, let’s cut devices a little slack. They have the reputation of sucking our attention away from other people, but it’s not like there isn’t plenty of competition for that attention already, devices or no devices. Hell, the Cro-Magnon probably had that problem. (“Ogg stalk mammoth for hours. Then mammoth turn and look at Ogg, and – hey! You not listening to Ogg!”)And one of the nice things about a connected device is that it often connects us to others who aren’t in the room. There’s a terrific Ze Frank TED Talk where he projects a photo of a woman looking down at her iPhone and smiling. (You’ll find it around 6:25.) While this is the stereotypical image of someone zoning out of the real world, he points out that “life is being lived there, somewhere up in that weird, dense network.”That said, it’s still possible to be a thoughtless jerk about these things, and I’m living proof. We’re still working out the etiquette and sifting through conflicting protocols. And as with nearly everything that really matters, it comes down to human connection.Or high-velocity connections between pigs and angry birds. Those are fun, too. More Noise to Signal. rob cottingham 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#Cartoons#web 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

A Massive Market Opportunity Awaits In Analyzing The Internet Of Things

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … The major hurdle that traditional development shops struggle with in the [data] analysis layer is the volume of the data that edge nodes emit, and the speed with which it must be processed. As a result, we’re seeing increased deployment of NoSQL database management systems…where developers collect data and make it ready for analysis.This move toward more modern data infrastructure is a big opportunity for vendors in the machine-to-machine data market. But it’s not just data management vendors. It’s also those who provide enabling cloud infrastructure. In particular, Amazon’s recently launched Kinesis service offers a holistic approach, given that it includes high-speed data ingestion plus connections to S3, DynamoDB and RedShift for storage and data analysis. In many ways, developers can increasingly shop for IoT infrastructure on Amazon just as they shop for books and clothes.Seeing Into The DataData management is a big market. But it’s still one step removed from the end user and, hence, not the biggest market IoT will enable. For developers looking to cash in on the IoT gold rush, analytics offers an even bigger lottery. Morgan Stanley places the analytics opportunity squarely in the middle of the IoT monetization timeline: This jibes well with Cowen & Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher, who argues that for Big Data, “The bigger category of winners are the apps and analytics vendors that abstract the complexity of working with very complicated underlying technologies into a user friendly front end.” While we have a host of companies like Palantir and Tableau that have sprung up to help users analyze and visualize their data, IoT remains relatively uncharted territory, largely because most business intelligence or analytics tools are stuck in outdated relational database models.Splunk probably gets organizations closest to real analysis of IoT data, given that its genesis is in analysis of machine data. Splunk has already extended its technology to embrace Hadoop, offering Hadoop analytics through a product called HUNK, and will almost certainly look for other ways to extend its reach into unstructured data, which is growing at twice the rate of structured data and already accounts for 80% of all enterprise data, according to Gartner.Opportunity In AnalyticsIoT data doesn’t fit neatly into the tables and joins of traditional data management technology. Therein lies the problem. Virtually all business intelligence and analytics companies are SQL-based and rely on neat-and-tidy relational database technology. This isn’t going to work in the big data Internet of Things economy. Across the board, such tooling needs to be re-architected. Some vendors have tried to skirt this requirement by embracing ODBC-based connectors to modern data management technologies. But this results in a flattening of the richness of unstructured data and ultimately won’t work. All of which means that there is a huge need for a new breed of business intelligence or, more particularly, IoT intelligence. We need new analytics tools capable of ingesting and processing the diverse, unstructured data that fuels IoT. Consider this your next billion-dollar startup idea. You’re welcome.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Big Data#Business Intelligence#Internet of Things#Open Source#telecom#unstructured data Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Related Posts The Internet of Things has been hyped for 15 years, but until now technological realities haven’t supported technological possibilities. Today, given the confluence of cheap semiconductors, telecom operators with excess capacity and a new generation of open source data infrastructure, IoT is not simply possible, but probable. The question is what developers will do with it. Ultimately, as I’ve written, big money awaits developers who can turn IoT’s Big Data into cross-device services. How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud But before we get to this point there’s plenty of money in data management and analytics. In fact, as new research from Morgan Stanley posits, IoT services depend on the industry first maturing around IoT data management and, in particular, analytics.In The Beginning Was The DataThe Internet of Things forces developers to approach data management very differently than the old world of structured data. In the IoT world, it’s implausible to rely on a constant, “fat” connection to the Internet. As Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond describes:Architects designing systems of record [e.g., ERP and CRM systems] can usually count on a local network connection with a relational database management system (RDBMS) and don’t think twice when designing for a beefy application server.These design sensibilities don’t work when building thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of edge nodes to connect to systems of operation. Network bandwidth, memory, power, and compute are necessarily constrained at the edges of the connected world.So what should a developer do? Focus on learning new data technologies like Hadoop and NoSQL, according to Hammond: Matt Asaylast_img read more