Market Growth Drives Reorganization of Integrated Cryogenic Solutions Unit of Nikkiso Clean Energy and Industrial Gases Group

TEMECULA, Calif., Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Cryogenic Industries' Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group (Group), a part of the Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan) group of companies, is pleased to announce the reorganization of their Integrated Cryogenic Solutions Unit (ICS). As the result of both ICS' growth and tremendous market opportunities in renewable and green energy, ICS will now split into two Functional Units effective October 1, 2022.

The new "Nikkiso Fueling and Solutions" Unit will continue driving the business growth in hydrogen fueling market, natural gas fueling market, skid–mounted system, and turnkey systems. Mike Mackey (currently Senior Vice President of ICS) will be President of Nikkiso Fueling & Solutions. All current ICS staff and facilities will remain part of this new Unit.

The new "Nikkiso Energy Infrastructure & Strategic Projects" (NESP) Unit will expand the Group's offerings to provide turnkey solutions for energy infrastructure including geothermal plants, compressed hydrogen distribution systems, energy recovery solutions, and offshore marine fueling systems. They will also provide full turnkey support for Nikkiso Cosmodyne plants. Joseph Pak (current president of ICS) will serve as President of NESP.

Nikkiso Expander Application Technique (NEAT) department, headed by Dr. Reza Agahi, will be part of the NESP unit.

"These changes are being made to better serve our customers and allow us to expand our portfolio of solutions for the growing global zero–emissions mandate," according to Peter Wagner, CEO of Nikkiso CE&IG. "They further support our vision to be "Leading the change to a healthier world'."

With these changes, Nikkiso continues their commitment to be both a global and local presence for their customers.

Cryogenic Industries, Inc. (now a member of Nikkiso Co., Ltd.) member companies manufacture and service engineered cryogenic gas processing equipment (pumps, turboexpanders, heat exchangers, etc.), and process plants for Industrial Gases, Natural gas Liquefaction (LNG), Hydrogen Liquefaction (LH2) and Organic Rankine Cycle for Waste Heat Recovery. Founded over 50 years ago, Cryogenic Industries is the parent company of ACD, Nikkiso Cryo, Nikkiso Integrated Cryogenic Solutions, Cosmodyne and Cryoquip and a commonly controlled group of approximately 20 operating entities.

For more information, please visit and

Anna Quigley

Travel and Leisure Magazine ranks Commonwealth of Dominica as one of the best islands in the world

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dominica has been ranked among the 25 best islands across the globe by Travel + Leisure Magazine. The island nation ranked eighth in the annual survey conducted by the luxury magazine.

Every year, World's Best Awards survey Travel + Leisure readers asking them to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe and share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.

In the eyes of Travel + Leisure readers, the best islands in the world promise much more than aquamarine waters, dramatic coastlines, and pristine beaches.

The Commonwealth of Dominica, known as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, took eighth spot in the survey for reasons including its lush green jungles, striking black–sand beaches and natural hot springs.

Dominica scored 91 points in the survey, surpassing 17 other island countries.

The island offers tourists relaxation, seclusion, and eco–adventures set against a backdrop of the most beautiful beaches and rainforests.

Well–known as the Nature Isle for over 300 amazing reasons, Dominica lures largely eco–adventurers with its 365 rivers, Boiling Lake, Champagne Reef, rainforest–shrouded volcano, sulphurous hot springs, superb diving sites and the Caribbean's first long–distance hiking trail.

Halfway between Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica is the only place in the Eastern Caribbean that is still home to a sizeable population of indigenous people, the Kalinago, who have lived on the island since the 13th century.

Based on geological activity Dominica is one of the youngest islands in the Caribbean chain, having first emerged from the sea during the Oligocene era approximately 26 million years ago and is one of the last Caribbean islands to have been formed by volcanic activity. The island is a vibrant tapestry of European and African cultures.

In June this year, Dominica earned the title of #1 Island in the Caribbean, securing the number one ranking in its debut in the prestigious travel and leisure World's Best Awards which focussed on the areas including the Caribbean, Bermuda and The Bahamas. As one of the Caribbean's most sparsely populated, environmentally conscious, and culturally rich countries, Dominica is fast emerging as a top travel destination.

Since the Ministry of Tourism through the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) launched its bold new destination rebrand in February 2022, the Commonwealth of Dominica has already seen triple digit growth percentagewise to tourist arrivals in the country. This has also been enhanced by airlift via a direct flight from mainland U.S. with American Airlines.

Dominica attracts a more discerning traveller looking for wellness, regenerative and adventurous travel and, more importantly, a sustainable and eco–conscious destination. Those looking to travel to less crowded, off–the–beaten–track destinations will welcome the country's health and wellness assets, rich flora and fauna, and cultural heritage."

Some of these assets include Secret Bay, a six–star all–villa rainforest resort experience magnificently designed in harmony with the environment to make visitors feel at one with nature. Secret Bay has been named Travel and Leisure's No #1 Resort for the region which includes the Caribbean, Bermuda and The Bahamas for 2022. The resort topped the World's Best Awards reader's survey for the second time in three years in the region.

As travellers search for deeper, more distinctive, and more meaningful experiences, destinations need to protect what is distinctive and focus on quality over quantity. This is exactly what Dominica offers to travellers as it continues its sustainable and eco–conscious drive.

While eco–friendly travel may be a new trend for some, it has always been at the forefront of planning and development for Dominica. With nationwide commitments to not only minimising its environmental impact but essentially eliminating it altogether, Dominica is on track to become the world's first climate–resilient country by 2030. One top initiative supporting this ambitious goal is a switch to 100% domestic renewable energy production as a contribution to a zero–carbon economy.

Set to be completed in 2022 is a geothermal energy plant in the Roseau Valley, which is expected to generate approximately 120 megawatts of electricity. Dominica's geology is ideal for supporting this type of energy, which is reliable, effective and low cost.

The World Best Awards are compiled from an annual survey developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with research firm M&RR, from October 25 through to February 28, readers are invited to participate and rate the best hotels, airlines, cruises and islands.

In the most recent CBI Index Report, a rating system designed to measure the performance and appeal of global citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes across a diverse range of indicators, Dominica secured the number one spot for the sixth consecutive year, beating 11 other nations with active citizenship by investment programmes.

Citizenship by Investment programmes offer the opportunity to legally acquire citizenship of a country in return of a contribution to a government fund of that country or investment in one of its pre–approved real estate projects. CBI programmes ultimately provide a unique occasion for investors wishing to access increased business opportunities as well as for countries that may benefit from foreign direct investment to assure wider economic growth to its citizens.

Initiatives subsidised by the direct foreign investment transferred through Dominica's CBI Programme, in fact, contribute to the island's education and tourism sector, healthcare infrastructure, as well as the creation of environmentally friendly resorts and villas and hurricane–resistant homes for Dominican families.

Established in 1993, the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme is one of the longest standing in the citizenship by investment industry, and has welcomed foreign investors from across the globe to obtain citizenship of the nation for over 3 decades.

PR Dominica

Entera Bio Hosting Key Opinion Leader Webinar on the Treatment Landscape for Osteoporosis and EB613’s Potential Impact on Wednesday, September 28th @ 10am ET

JERUSALEM, Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Entera Bio Ltd. (NASDAQ: ENTX), ("Entera" or the "Company"), a leader in the development of orally delivered peptides and therapeutic proteins, today announced that it will host a key opinion leader (KOL) webinar on the company's lead asset EB613, and its potential impact on the osteoporosis market on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 10:00am ET.

The webinar will feature presentations from KOLs John P. Bilezikian, MD, PhD, from Columbia University, Felicia Cosman, MD, also from Columbia University, and Bart L. Clarke, MD, from Mayo Clinic. The event will provide insight into the current treatment landscape and unmet medical need for post–menopausal women with osteoporosis. The discussion will focus on Entera Bio's development of EB613, a proprietary formulation of PTH (1–34, teriparatide) as the first potential orally administered osteoanabolic treatment. Entera leadership will review their Phase 2 EB613 data, which will be followed by an overview of the Company's proposed registrational Phase 3 plan submitted to FDA.

A live Q&A session will follow the presentations. To register for the event, please click here.

Dr. John Bilezikian, the Dorothy L. and Daniel H. Silberberg Professor of Medicine at the Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, is Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine for International Education and Research and Chief, Emeritus, of the Division of Endocrinology. He is Director, Emeritus, of the Metabolic Bone Diseases Program at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Bilezikian received his undergraduate training at Harvard College, his medical training at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, and his residency training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and his training in Metabolic Bone Diseases and in Endocrinology at the NIH under the tutelage of Dr. Gerald Aurbach. He belongs to the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) and the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), both of which he served as President.

Dr. Bilezikian's major research interests are related to the clinical investigation of metabolic bone diseases, particularly primary hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism and osteoporosis, His studies of parathyroid hormone in these disorders regarding etiology, clinical manifestations, pathophysiology, mechanisms of skeletal involvement, and therapy are known throughout the world as landmark contributions to our knowledge of these disorders. Over 900 publications and numerous awards speak to these active original investigative initiatives as well as his authorship of many reference sources of endocrinology and metabolic bone diseases.

Dr. Felicia Cosman is a clinical scientist, osteoporosis specialist, Professor of Medicine, Emerita, at Columbia University and North American Co–Editor in Chief of the journal Osteoporosis International since 2016. She received a BA from Cornell, MD from Stony Brook, and completed internship, residency and endocrinology fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She received the ACE Distinction in Endocrinology Award in 2019 and the ASBMR Bartter Award for clinical research in September 2020.

Dr. Cosman has had many grants from NIH, DOD, foundations and industry, and has published over 190 peer–reviewed papers and over 50 book chapters. The main focus of her research has been in the use of anabolic medications and treatment sequencing. Dr. Cosman has investigated the effect of teriparatide on biochemical and bone densitometry outcomes, bone strength by finite element analysis, and cellular action using iliac crest bone biopsy. She also studied the effect of teriparatide on bone formation in the human femoral neck in patients undergoing hip arthroplasty and performed a series of studies investigating cyclic, combination and sequential regimens of teriparatide and antiresorptive agents. Dr. Cosman has been a primary investigator on multiple studies evaluating the efficacy of abaloparatide and romosozumab treatment for osteoporosis. She is also well known for her work evaluating the importance of treatment sequence to optimize the effect of anabolic and antiresorptive medications, longterm treatment strategies, and implementing therapeutic goals for osteoporosis management.

Dr. Bart L. Clarke is Consultant and a member of the Metabolic Bone Disease Core Group in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at the Mayo Clinic, and Professor of Medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. His current clinical research interests include postmenopausal osteoporosis, glucocorticoid– and transplantation–induced osteoporosis, parathyroid disorders, rare bone diseases, new anabolic therapies for osteoporosis, and tumor–induced osteomalacia. He is Past–President and a former Council member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, and a member of the Endocrine Society, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the American College of Physicians. He is on the editorial board for the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Bone, and Osteoporosis International, served on the FDA Reproductive Health Drug Advisory Board, and is a current Chair of the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board.

About EB613
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is an 84–amino acid hormone and the primary regulator of calcium and phosphate metabolism in bone and kidney. EB613 is an oral formulation of synthetic hPTH (1–34), (teriparatide), a peptide consisting of the first 34 amino acids of PTH which represent the functional region. Subcutaneous Forteo (teriparatide injection) has been the leading anabolic treatment of osteoporosis since 2002. EB613 utilizes Entera's oral drug delivery platform which promotes enteric absorption and stabilizes teriparatide in the gastrointestinal tract. Entera's Oral PTH formulations have been administered collectively to a total of 225 subjects in two Phase 1 studies and 3 phase 2 studies (including 35 in 2 phase 2 hypoparathyroidism studies). The most recent study was a dose ranging Phase 2 study in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. This study met primary and key secondary endpoints and was presented in a late–breaker oral presentation at the ASBMR 2021 conference. For the primary efficacy endpoint: a statistically significant increase in P1NP (a bone formation marker) at 3 months was achieved. A significant dose response was observed for 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.5 mg oral PTH doses on P1NP, Osteocalcin and bone mineral density (BMD). Subjects receiving the 2.5 mg dose of EB613 showed significant increases in dose–related BMD at the lumbar spine, total hip, and femoral neck at 6 months. Subjects receiving the 2.5 mg dose of EB613 daily for 6 months had a significant placebo adjusted increase of 3.78% in lumbar spine BMD (p<0.008) which is similar to the 3.9% increase in lumbar spine BMD seen with Forteo in clinical studies reported in the literature. Increases in total hip and femoral neck BMD were greater than those previously reported with Forteo . EB613 exhibited an excellent safety profile, with no drug related serious adverse events. The most common adverse events included mild nausea, moderate back pain, moderate headache, and moderate upper abdominal pain.

About Entera Bio

Entera is a leader in the development of orally delivered macromolecules therapeutics including peptides and other therapeutic proteins, for use in areas with significant unmet medical need where adoption of injectable therapies is limited due to cost, convenience and compliance challenges for patients. The Company's proprietary, oral drug delivery technology is designed to address the technical challenges of poor absorption, high variability, and the inability to deliver large molecules to the targeted location in the body through the use of a synthetic absorption enhancer to facilitate the absorption of large molecules, and protease inhibitors to prevent enzymatic degradation and support delivery to targeted tissues. The Company's most advanced product candidates, EB613 for the treatment of osteoporosis and EB612 for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, are in clinical development. The Company recently completed the phase 2 study for EB613 and has a Type C meeting scheduled with FDA with respect to its Phase 3 program in H2 2022. Entera also licenses its technology to biopharmaceutical companies for use with their proprietary compounds and, to date, has established a collaboration with Amgen Inc. For more information on Entera Bio, visit

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Various statements in this press release are "forward–looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements (other than statements of historical facts) in this press release regarding our prospects, plans, financial position, business strategy and expected financial and operational results may constitute forward–looking statements. Words such as, but not limited to, "anticipate," "believe," "can," "could," "expect," "estimate," "design," "goal," "intend," "may," "might," "objective," "plan," "predict," "project," "target," "likely," "should," "will," and "would," or the negative of these terms and similar expressions or words, identify forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements are based upon current expectations that involve risks, changes in circumstances, assumptions and uncertainties. Forward–looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and may not be accurate indications of when such performance or results will be achieved.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in Entera's forward–looking statements include, among others: changes in the interpretation of clinical data; results of our clinical trials; the FDA's interpretation and review of our results from and analysis of our clinical trials; unexpected changes in our ongoing and planned preclinical development and clinical trials, the timing of and our ability to make regulatory filings and obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for our product candidates; the potential disruption and delay of manufacturing supply chains; loss of available workforce resources, either by Entera or its collaboration and laboratory partners; impacts to research and development or clinical activities that Entera is contractually obligated to provide, such as those pursuant to Entera's agreement with Amgen; overall regulatory timelines; the size and growth of the potential markets for our product candidates; the scope, progress and costs of developing Entera's product candidates; Entera's reliance on third parties to conduct its clinical trials; Entera's expectations regarding licensing, business transactions and strategic collaborations; Entera's operation as a development stage company with limited operating history; Entera's ability to continue as a going concern absent access to sources of liquidity; Entera's ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for any of its product candidates; Entera's ability to comply with Nasdaq's minimum listing standards and other matters related to compliance with the requirements of being a public company in the United States; Entera's intellectual property position and its ability to protect its intellectual property; and other factors that are described in the "Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward–Looking Statements," "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of Entera's most recent Annual Report on Form 10–K filed with the SEC, as well as the company's subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10–Q and Current Reports on Form 8–K. There can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by Entera will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Entera. Therefore, no assurance can be given that the outcomes stated or implied in such forward–looking statements and estimates will be achieved. Entera cautions investors not to rely on the forward–looking statements Entera makes in this press release. The information in this press release is provided only as of the date of this press release, and Entera undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward–looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.

Answering the Challenges Posed by Antimicrobial Resistance

We are failing to take antimicrobial resistance seriously, perhaps because it is not glamorous and relatable. Credit: Bigstock.

We are failing to take antimicrobial resistance seriously, perhaps because it is not glamorous and relatable. Credit: Bigstock.

By External Source
Sep 21 2022 – Staphylococcus aureus is the source of a skin infection that can turn deadly if drug resistant. Estimates regarding the most common resistant variation, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), exceed 100,000 deaths globally in 2019.

But up until recently, we did not have a solid grasp on how much of a problem MRSA—or any other antimicrobial resistant pathogen—was in Africa. It turns out, after testing 187,000 samples from 14 countries for antibiotic resistance, our colleagues found that 40% of all Staph infections were MRSA.

Africa, like every other continent, has an AMR problem. But Africa stands out because we have not invested in the capacity and resources needed to determine the scope of the problem, or how to fix it. Take MRSA. We still don’t know what’s causing the bacteria to become resistant, nor do we know the full extent of the problem.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly stated that AMR is a global health priority—and is in fact one of the leading public health threats of the 21st century. A recent study estimated that in 2019, nearly 1.3 million people died because of antimicrobial resistant bacterial infections, with Africa bearing the greatest burden of deaths

We are failing to take AMR seriously, perhaps because it is not glamorous and relatable. The technology that we currently use to identify resistant pathogens is not fancy or futuristic looking. Combatting AMR does not involve miracle drugs, expensive treatments, or fancy diagnostic tests. Instead, we have bacteria and other pathogens that are commonplace and have learned how to shrug off the good old medicines that used to work.

The global health and pharmaceutical industries do not seem to consider solving this problem to be very profitable. Compare that to the urgency of solving COVID-19, which has been embraced—and interventions such as diagnostics subsidized—by governments eager to end the pandemic. The COVID-19 response has been characterized by innovations popping up literally every other week.

Why can’t we mobilize resources and passion for AMR? Are resistant pathogens too boring? Is it too difficult to solve through innovations? Does this make prospects for quick wins and fast return on investment too elusive for AMR, especially when compared to COVID-19 or other infectious disease outbreaks?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly stated that AMR is a global health priority—and is in fact one of the leading public health threats of the 21st century. A recent study estimated that in 2019, nearly 1.3 million people died because of antimicrobial resistant bacterial infections, with Africa bearing the greatest burden of deaths. A high prevalence of AMR has also been identified in foodborne pathogens isolated from animals and animal products in Africa.

Collectively, these numbers suggest that the burden of AMR might be on the level of—or greater than—that of HIV/AIDS or COVID-19. The growing threat of AMR is likely to take a heavy toll on Africa’s health systems and poses a major threat to progress made in attaining public health goals set by individual nations, the African Union and the United Nations. And the paucity of accurate AMR information limits our ability to understand how well commonly used antimicrobials actually work. This also means we cannot determine the drivers of AMR infections and design effective interventions in response.

We have just wrapped up a project that gathered data on many of the scariest pathogens in 14 countries, revealing stark insights on the under-detected and under-reported depth of the AMR crisis across Africa. Less than two percent of the medical laboratories in the 14 countries examined can conduct bacteriology testing, even with conventional methods that were developed more than 30 years ago.

While providing national stakeholders with critical information to advance their policies on AMR, we have also trained and provided basic electronic tools to more than 300 health professionals to continue this important surveillance. While a strengthened workforce is critical, many health facilities on the continent are coping with interrupted access to electricity, poor connectivity, and serious, ongoing workforce shortages.

Our work has painted the dire reality of the AMR surveillance situation, informing concrete recommendations for improvement that align with the new continental public health ambition of the African Union and Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC). The challenge is to find the funding to expand this initiative to cover the entire African continent.

AMR containment requires a long-term focus—especially in Africa, where health systems are chronically underfunded, while also being disproportionately challenged by infectious threats. More funding needs to be dedicated to the problem and this cannot only come from international aid.

We urge African governments to honour past commitments and allocate more domestic funding to their health systems in general, and to solving the crisis of AMR in particular. We also call upon bilateral funders and global stakeholders to focus their priorities on improving the health of African peoples. This might require more attention to locally relevant evidence to inform investments and less attention to profit-driven market interventions, as well as prioritizing the scale-up of technologies and strategies proven to work, whether or not they are innovations.

Containing AMR means we have to fix African health systems. The work starts now.

The authors of this opinion piece are Dr Pascale Ondoa and Dr Yewande Alimi – Dr Pascale Ondoa is the director of science and new initiatives of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and Dr Yewande Alimi is the Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC) antimicrobial resistance programme coordinator.

Refugees Most Vulnerable in Ongoing Food Insecurity Crisis – UN

Two refugees identified as Muhindo and his wife Harriet are among the new waves of people leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo following inter-communal clashes in South-West DRC. UN agencies have called for substantive action on refugees, especially regarding food security. Credit: UNHCR

Two refugees identified as Muhindo and his wife Harriet are among the new waves of people leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo following inter-communal clashes in South-West DRC. UN agencies have called for substantive action on refugees, especially regarding food security. Credit: UNHCR

By Juliet Morrison
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 21 2022 – Representatives from UN agencies and several countries called for more substantive action to support refugees and internally displaced people amid the ongoing global food crisis.

Co-hosted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, a panel discussion held on September 14, 2022, also explored innovative solutions to combat the food shortage and increase the capacity of refugees. It came ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on the global food crisis and protection.

Food insecurity has become an enormous problem. In 2019, WFP estimated that 145 million people were facing acute food insecurity. Now the organization predicates 345 million people are facing insecurity. The combination of climate change shocks, COVID-19, and conflict has pushed several countries, such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Yemen, to a very real risk of famine.

Yoseph Kassaye, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, and Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations at the UN Headquarters in New York City Credit: Juliet Morrison/IPS

Yoseph Kassaye, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, and Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Credit: Juliet Morrison/IPS

Action on food insecurity today is “more important than ever”, Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Assistant Executive Director, said during the panel section.

Among those particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of food insecurity are refugees and internally displaced people.

Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations and moderator of the event, explained that the increased vulnerability of refugees is primarily to the nature of displacement and the loss of community safety networks that accompany it.

“When fleeing many refugees sell or are forced to leave behind their assets their journey to safety is often full of dangers. Family and community support systems breakdown. They usually lose their income and often find themselves with no option but to employ harmful strategies as coping mechanisms.”

Coping mechanisms refer to tactics a family or community employs to compensate for a loss in income. In response to COVID-19 lockdowns, UNHCR reported instances of transactional sex, early marriage, child recruitment, and trafficking in person across its operations.

For Mazou, these challenges point to a need to center protection in efforts to address food security by governments and NGOs.

Special attention must also be paid to the specific plights of women and girls, he argued. In searching for food, displaced women and girls are at an increased risk of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and child and forced marriages.

In Somalian regions affected by drought, gender-based violence has gone up 200 percent since 2021, Mazaou noted. He pointed to several factors that may lead to violence when a community is facing food insecurity.

“Food insecurity increases the risk of violence, neglect and exploitation and abuse of children. Girls may drop out of school at a higher percentage rate than boys when families are unable to afford school fees for all their children. Household sent children in search of food work on pasture for livestock exposing them to increased risks.”

The food crisis is also affecting the ability of host countries to provide for refugees.

Ethiopia, the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, is on the brink of famine. The country is reckoning with the historic drought hitting the Horn of Africa region, which is severely threatening its food networks.

Yoseph Kassaye, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN, underscored the crisis and its strain on the nation’s ability to protect refugees.

The drought has wiped away important nutrition sources that refugees rely on, such as cattle and water wells. Kassaye explained that the lack of natural resources means refugees can only rely on humanitarian assistance.

Yet, this is also at risk. As a result of funding constraints, in June, the WFP had to reduce its rations for refugees in Ethiopia by 50 percent.

“It is indeed troubling to learn that the level of support by international humanitarian agencies is reported to have decreased due to the funding shortages. In our view, urgent measures are needed if we’re to respond to the people in need of assistance in a timely and effective manner,” Kassaye said.

Citing related statistics, Guarnieri emphasized the importance of more humanitarian aid. But, she also underscored initiatives that increased the capacity of refugee populations and host countries.

“We have to do everything as WFP and UNHCR, as an international community to meet these urgent food needs and these desperate protection needs, but we’re never going to be able to catch up with the situation unless we are also investing in building the resilience in supporting the livelihoods and strengthening the self-reliance of populations who have forcibly displaced population who are seeking refuge in other countries.”

She also stressed the power of collaboration across sectors. One example of this was the WFP-UNHCR’s Joint Hub, a collaboration between agencies and governments to support refugees through innovative solutions and policies.

Established in 2020, the hub has worked on several projects. One with the Government of Mauritania resulted in Malian refugees being included in its national social protection plan—making refugees eligible for cash transfer funds for vulnerable households.

Dorte Verner, the lead agricultural economist in the Agricultural and Food Global Practice with the World Bank, brought up another innovative solution to boost food production: insect farming.

According to Verner, insect farming has enormous potential for tackling food insecurity in vulnerable communities as it requires no arable land and very little water and will not lead to any biodiversity loss. These characteristics mean it can even be practiced in refugee camps, Verner stated.

“Insert farming can provide displaced people with the skills that they need to produce where they are, and they can take these skills to human capital with them to where they go afterward. [It] can contribute to alleviating the world’s food and nutrition insecurity for forcibly displaced people and the host community.”

Closing the meeting, participants coalesced around the need to leverage the commitments being made to meaningfully tackle food insecurity.

Several participants also noted the opportunity to continue the conversation at the Security Council meeting to be held later that afternoon, where more concrete action on food insecurity could be examined.

A representative from Ireland stated that overall action from the Security Council was needed to meaningfully tackle the issue at its core.

“If we don’t look at what’s driving these prices in the first place, what’s driving this insecurity in the first place? Then, you know, we’re going to be chasing our tails all the time because the problems are getting worse.”

He called for the Security Council to address the matter further.

“[The humanitarian] part of the UN system is playing its part, but the UN Security Council needs to play its part as well. That means responding early when we see the signs of crises coming, but it also means responding, particularly to protect civilians, and crises and meeting to make sure that things are put at the center of our response.”

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Towards a More Secure Future Through Effective Multilateralism

By Stefan Löfven
STOCKHOLM, Sep 21 2022 – As world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly this week, the security horizon is undoubtedly dark.

From the geopolitical shockwaves of the war in Ukraine, to military spending, nutrition and food security, to our stewardship of the planet, far too many key indicators are heading in a dangerous direction.

We can, and must, turn them around. In the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his 2021 report Our Common Agenda, ‘the choices we make, or fail to make, today could result in further breakdown, or a breakthrough to a greener, better, safer future’.

Making the right choices requires political will and leadership, based on the best available knowledge. That last aspect is SIPRI’s stock in trade.

A ‘watershed moment’

The theme for the 77th General Assembly session is ‘A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges’.

Evidence of these interlocking challenges is everywhere: the floods in Pakistan, war and insecurity afflicting every region of the world, the erosion of arms control and stagnation in disarmament, rising hunger, the economic and political turmoil that has followed the Covid-19 pandemic, and the list goes on.

These interlocking challenges share some common features. Their consequences, and often their drivers, do not respect borders or alliances. They are characterized by uncertainty and volatility. They tend to cut across traditional policy domains.

This has a clear implication: the only realistic path towards a ‘greener, better, safer future’ on this planet lies through cooperation. Countries, societies and sectors must work together to meet global challenges, put aside tensions and political polarization, and restore their faith in institutions and the rules-based international order.

Earlier this year, Secretary-General Guterres invited me to become co-Chair of his High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism, alongside Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former president of Liberia.

The Advisory Board’s task is to come up with concrete suggestions for how to improve cooperation at the multilateral level, how we can ensure it is fit to meet the challenges of an unpredictable future and the urgently needed transition to more sustainable, peaceful societies. To accomplish this mission, we will rely heavily on science and expertise.

Addressing the crisis of the biosphere

SIPRI’s Environment of Peace report explores the most dangerous sets of interlocking challenges we face: the complex and unpredictable ways that climate change and other environmental crises are intertwining with more human-centred aspects of security.

Besides providing policy insights, the Environment of Peace report documents the indirect pathways linking climate change impacts and insecurity, and the interactions between climate, conflict and food security, thus continuing SIPRI’s contributions to working out how UN peace operations must adapt to climate change.

The biosphere crisis can only be successfully addressed through cooperation. Countries need to share green technologies and innovative solutions.

They need to agree on fair ways to share vital natural resources and settle disputes peacefully. There must be give and take; action in one society to mitigate impacts on another.

Countries also need to agree on fair ways to distribute the burdens, costs and benefits of a green transition. From South Asia to sub-Saharan Africa to Indigenous communities around the world, those most vulnerable to the impacts of the crisis of the biosphere are often those least responsible for causing it—something illustrated starkly most recently by the devastating floods in Pakistan.

There is a clear moral case for wealthier, industrialized countries to meet their climate finance commitments and to compensate the most affected countries for loss and damage. But there is also a strong security case for doing so. Localized insecurity can quickly spread.

From national security to common security

A logical response to such threats to their shared interests would be for countries to put differences aside and pull together. Instead, they have, by and large, followed a path of division and militarization.

Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year, that was clear. SIPRI data shows large increases in global military expenditure in the last two years, as well as in arms imports to Europe, East Asia and Oceania.
All of the nuclear-armed states are modernizing or expanding their arsenals.

At the same time, we are also seeing rapid and radical developments in weapon systems, technologies and even ways of executing a conflict.
A new, expensive and risky arms race is well under way. There is an urgent need to breathe new life into nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

Disappointingly, the recent 10th Review Conference of the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) ended without agreement on the way forward. However, there were signs of hope.

The conference produced much to build on in the next five-year review cycle. Notably, all of the five NPT-recognized nuclear weapon states (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) agree on the necessity of measures to reduce strategic risks.

These will be important steps. However, what is needed most of all is a shift away from the pursuit of security through military capability to investing in peace and common security. Once again, cooperation will be key.

How evidence underpins cooperation

Successful cooperation needs to be underpinned by reliable, non-partisan information and analysis. As Secretary-General Guterres declares in Our Common Agenda: ‘Now is the time to end the “infodemic” plaguing our world by defending a common, empirically backed consensus around facts, science and knowledge.’

The Secretary-General correctly characterizes ‘facts, science and knowledge’ as a public good that it is in everyone’s interest to protect. They provide valuable common ground for discussion—even when trust between the parties is lacking.

They inform effective solutions. They make it possible to verify that others are following rules and living up to commitments. They give early warning of emerging challenges and imminent dangers.

The Environment of Peace report highlights the fact that risks and uncertainty lie not just in the external challenges we face, but also in the actions taken to address them in the transition towards sustainability.

This transition needs to happen at unprecedented scale and speed, using novel solutions in an environment of uncertainty. There will inevitably be setbacks, unintended, unanticipated consequences of well-intentioned policies.

There will also be resistance, parties who need convincing that the costs justify the benefits.
To keep the transition just and peaceful will demand communication, cooperation, trust and agility to deal with unexpected risks and change course quickly to avert them.

For this, we will need to produce and disseminate even more reliable and verified information. SIPRI will continue to be a resource in this regard.

Opportunities for change

The UN General Assembly has a highly ambitious agenda for transformative change. The landmark Summit of the Future, scheduled for September 2024, has been billed as ‘the moment to agree on concrete solutions to challenges that have emerged or grown since 2015’.

The COP27—the 27th Conference of the Parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change—coming in November, and the much-postponed 15th Conference of the Parties of the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity in December are other important opportunities to reduce future security risks at the multilateral level.

However important intergovernmental forums like this are, the task of tackling our interconnected challenges is continuous and society-wide. Solutions need to come at the multilateral, national and subnational levels.

And they need to engage a broad range of stakeholders, from youth to Indigenous Peoples to the private sector. Reliable information and expertise must be available to guide all of this.

I am both proud and daunted to be picking up the mantle of Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board as we confront these difficult challenges ahead.

SIPRI’s core mission as a source of freely available, reliable evidence, fair-minded analysis and balanced assessment of options, as a convenor of dialogues, and as a provider of support to the formulation and implementation of international agreements and instruments remains as important as ever.

Stefan Löfven (Sweden) is Chair of the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

IPS UN Bureau


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Guatemalans Fight Extractive Industries

One of the voting centers of the popular consultation held on Sunday, Sept. 18 in Asunción Mita, a town of 50,000 people in eastern Guatemala. The majority of the people who voted said no to the Cerro Blanco mine, due to its environmental impacts. CREDIt: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

One of the voting centers of the popular consultation held on Sunday, Sept. 18 in Asunción Mita, a town of 50,000 people in eastern Guatemala. The majority of the people who voted said no to the Cerro Blanco mine, due to its environmental impacts. CREDIt: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

By Edgardo Ayala
ASUNCIÓN MITA, Guatemala , Sep 21 2022 – The majority of the Guatemalan population continues to oppose mining and other extractive projects, in the midst of a scenario of socio-environmental conflict that pits communities defending their natural resources against the interests of multinational corporations.

The most recent rejection of mining projects in this Central American country took place on Sunday Sept. 18 in the town of Asunción Mita, 350 kilometers southeast of the capital of Guatemala, in the department of Jutiapa.

The “No” vote wins

Here, through a citizen consultation, 88 percent of the more than 8,503 people who voted said “no” to the operations of the Cerro Blanco gold mine, owned by Elevar Resources, a subsidiary of Canada’s Bluestone Resources.

“In my view we can’t allow this to go ahead, we are getting older, but we don’t want the children and young people to suffer from the environmental impact of the mine,” said Petronila Hernández, 55, after voting at a school on the outskirts of Asunción Mita.

Hernández added to IPS that “we don’t agree with the mine, it affects our water sources, we carry the water from the water source, and the mine contaminates it.”

Hernández was accompanied by her daughter, Marilexis Ramos, 21.

“Hopefully our ‘No’ vote will win,” said Ramos during the voting. At the end of the afternoon the counting of votes began, and by Monday Sept. 19 the results began to be clear.

Mother and daughter live in the Cerro Liso hamlet, on the outskirts of Asunción Mita, very close to the mine.

Marilexis Ramos, 21, voted on the continuity of the Cerro Blanco mining project, located near Asunción Mita, 350 kilometers southeast of the Guatemalan capital, in the department of Jutiapa. A full 88 percent of the more than 8,503 people who voted said "no" to the gold and silver mine. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Marilexis Ramos (r), 21, voted on the continuity of the Cerro Blanco mining project, located near Asunción Mita, 350 kilometers southeast of the Guatemalan capital, in the department of Jutiapa. A full 88 percent of the more than 8,503 people who voted said “no” to the gold and silver mine. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

The Cerro Blanco underground mine was licensed to operate in 2007 for a period of 25 years, but since then it has not been able to extract gold and silver, due to unforeseen issues.

The project encountered thermal water veins in the subsoil that released heat that made it impossible to work for long enough inside the two tunnels built in the mine, activist Juan Carlos Estrada, of the Water and Sanitation Network of Guatemala, told IPS.

“The mine has been stranded for almost 15 years without extracting a single ounce of ore,” Estrada said.

However, the community struggle continues because, despite the setback it suffered in Sunday’s vote, the company still intends to operate the mine and to do so it aims to modify the original plan and turn it into an open pit mine.

People vs. transnational corporations

Guatemala, a nation of 17.4 million inhabitants, has experienced socio-environmental conflicts in recent decades as a result of the communities’ defense of their territories against the advance of mining and hydroelectric projects and other extractivist activities.

Many of the conflicts have taken place in the territories of indigenous peoples, who make up 60 percent of the total population. Members of affected communities have put up resistance and have faced crackdowns by police and soldiers.

This has earned them persecution and criminalization by the authorities.

Dalia González, of the Salvadoran movement Green Rebellion, on the banks of the Ostúa River in eastern Guatemala, talks about the impact that pollution from the Cerro Blanco mine will have on the river, which in turn will end up polluting the Lempa River in El Salvador. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Dalia González, of the Salvadoran movement Green Rebellion, on the banks of the Ostúa River in eastern Guatemala, talks about the impact that pollution from the Cerro Blanco mine will have on the river, which in turn will end up polluting the Lempa River in El Salvador. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

In February, IPS reported on the struggle of indigenous Maya Q’eqchi’ communities in the municipality of El Estor, on the outskirts of Lake Izabal, in the department of the same name in eastern Guatemala.

The only active mine in Guatemala operates there, as similar projects have been blocked by the communities through citizen consultations or by court rulings, after the communities requested injunctions complaining about the lack of such votes, which are required.

The nickel mine in El Estor has been operated since 2011 by the transnational Solway Investment Group, headquartered in Switzerland, after purchasing it from Canada’s HudBay Minerals.

“Almost 100 consultations have been held, in 100 municipalities around the country, and in all of them mining and hydroelectric projects, mainly, have been rejected,” said José Cruz, of the environmental collective Madreselva.

The high number of consultations expresses the level of struggle of the population and the companies’ interest in the country’s natural resources.

“The only mining project currently operating is El Estor,” Cruz told IPS. And it is still active thanks to a “mock” consultation, manipulated by the company, which apparently endorsed the mine.

The Oxec I and Oxec II hydroelectric projects have also been a source of socio-environmental conflict.

The first plant began operations in 2015 and the second has been under construction since two years later. Both are owned by the Energy Resources Capital Corporation, registered in Panama.

In 2015, local Q’eqchi indigenous communities launched a struggle against the two hydroelectric power plants on the Cahabón River, located in the municipality of Santa María de Cahabón, in the department of Alta Verapaz in northern Guatemala.

After suffering persecution for his active participation in defense of his people’s territories, Q’eqchi leader Bernardo Caal was imprisoned in January 2018 and sentenced the following November to seven years in prison by a court “without any evidence,” as denounced at the time by Amnesty International, which considered him a prisoner of conscience.

However, he was released in March 2022 for good behavior and because there was essentially no evidence against him.

An anti-mining banner hangs on the façade of the church in Asunción Mita, in eastern Guatemala. The company operating the Cerro Blanco mine called the consultation process held in the town on Sept. 18 illegal. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

An anti-mining banner hangs on the façade of the church in Asunción Mita, in eastern Guatemala. The company operating the Cerro Blanco mine called the consultation process held in the town on Sept. 18 illegal. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Projects that pollute across borders

Although the victory of the “no” vote in Asunción Mita represents an achievement for local residents, the project still presents a pollution risk, not only for this town of 50,000 people, but also for neighboring El Salvador.

Asunción Mita is located near the border with El Salvador.

Environmental organizations in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have warned that heavy metal pollution from the mine would end up impacting the Ostúa River on the Guatemalan side.

The waters of that river, in turn, would reach Lake Guija, on the Salvadoran side. And a segment of that lake is reached by the Lempa River, which provides water to more than one million people in San Salvador and neighboring municipalities.

The Lempa River is 422 kilometers long and its basin covers three countries: It originates in Guatemala, crosses a small portion of Honduras and then zigzags through El Salvador until flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

El Salvador passed a law in March 2017 prohibiting mining, underground or open pit, but the proximity to the Cerro Blanco mine makes it vulnerable to pollution.

“We are concerned, our main source of water is under threat,” Salvadoran activist Dalia González, of the Green Rebellion movement, told IPS.

González added that the governments of Guatemala and El Salvador have an important role to play in protecting natural resources and the health of the local population.

“Because the effects of the mines cross borders,” said the young activist on the banks of the Ostúa River, where she had arrived along with Salvadoran environmentalists and journalists after witnessing the consultation process.

González called on Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele to engage in a dialogue with his Guatemalan counterpart Alejandro Giammattei to find a solution to the problem of pollution that would also affect El Salvador.

“The situation is serious and requires urgent action,” said the Salvadoran activist.

After learning the results of the citizen consultation in Asunción Mita, the company behind the Cerro Blanco mine, Elevar Resources, called the process illegal, according to a press release made public on Monday Sept. 19.

The company’s managing director, Bob Gil, said, “this consultation process is clearly illegal and full of irregularities,” according to the statement.

In the company’s view, the process was flawed by what it called “anti-mining groups”.

“We are disappointed with the actions of these groups who use biased referendums to create doubt and uncertainty regarding responsible mining projects such as Cerro Blanco,” he added.

The consortium said the aim is to continue developing the project and to produce 2.6 million ounces of gold during the life of the mine.

Due to the problems it has had with the tunnels and the heat that prevents it from working and extracting the minerals, in November 2021 the company submitted a request to the authorities to transform the current underground mine into an open-pit mine.

The company “spoke of updating the Environmental Impact Study, but what was needed was a new study, because it was a completely different project,” said Madreselva’s Cruz.