Connect with us

Ireland is number one in Europe for cervical cancer screening

SHARE:

Published

on

Ireland leads the way in the EU when it comes to screening for cervical cancer.

The latest figures for 2018 show the percentage of women aged between 20 and 69 who were scanned for cervical cancer in Ireland was the highest in Europe at 78%.

74% of women were also scanned for breast cancer, the fourth highest percentage rate in European Union.

Advertisement

Tim Hayes of the European Commission says the figures for all forms of female cancer screening in Ireland are very impressive.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Yemen

Yemen: EU allocates additional €119 million for humanitarian crisis

Published

on

The Commission has announced an additional €119 million in humanitarian and development aid to alleviate vulnerable Yemenis' suffering from over 6 years of conflict. Yemen is the country with the world's largest humanitarian crisis, with close to 70% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance. The crisis has also set back human development in the country by more than 20 years, impacting national institutions, public services and infrastructure. The funding announced today on the side-lines of United Nations General Assembly brings EU support to Yemen to €209 million in 2021.

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: "Humanitarian needs in Yemen are unprecedented and rising, while the response is only half-funded. Thousands are starving, and millions more are on the verge of famine. The EU is committed to continuing its assistance to Yemen. We call on the parties to the conflict to grant unrestricted humanitarian access and allow the flow of basic commodities such as food and fuel. The EU supports the UN-led political process. Only peace can bring Yemenis' suffering to an end.”

International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen said: “Human suffering and the looming famine in Yemen must be stopped.  We are using all instruments at our disposal and todays' strengthened development funding, as part of the EU pledge, will address the economic drivers that fuel the increasing humanitarian needs on the ground. The EU's strong signal to other donors is that Yemen's developmental gains for post-conflict recovery must be preserved. This will help vulnerable families put food on the table and access vital services across Yemen. Our support will put a strong emphasis on women economic empowerment, as their contribution is key in building the future of the country.”

Advertisement
  • Humanitarian funding announced amounts to €44m. It will support displaced populations as well as vulnerable communities affected by food insecurity, poor nutrition and other health crises. EU funding will help to deliver food as well as financial assistance, and provide healthcare, protection and nutrition assistance to those affected.
  • The rest of EU pledge, €75m in development funding will improve the resilience of conflict-affected populations, by helping to reduce the negative effects of the deteriorating economic situation on rising humanitarian needs. EU funding will help local authorities to deliver and sustain basic services – including health, education, water and energy supply from sustainable sources. It will help generate income for vulnerable households by providing them with livelihoods opportunities in the cultural heritage preservation sector and supporting private entrepreneurship. Yemeni youth and women will be at the forefront of this approach, as crucial contributors to the design of an economic base that could underpin post-conflict economic development.

Background

The humanitarian needs in Yemen have reached an unprecedented scale. The socio-economic situation and the coronavirus pandemic are making matters even worse. The deteriorating economic situation across Yemen continues to eradicate people's livelihoods, reducing their ability to afford food and basic commodities, further driving up the scale of humanitarian needs.  

Conflict across Yemen continues to endanger civilians, trigger displacement and damage infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. Imports of food, fuel and medicines are restricted, leading to shortages and high prices while humanitarian and development aid continues to face serious impediments.

Advertisement

The continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched health services to the limit and restricted access to the markets. For the first time in two years, pockets of famine-like conditions have been identified in Yemen, and the number of people exposed to starvation reached almost 50,000 people. An estimated 16.2 million people face severe food insecurity.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the EU's humanitarian partner organisations have put in place infection, prevention and control measures to avoid propagation. This includes increased awareness and the piloting of a community shielding approach to protect those most vulnerable to severe infection among displaced populations.

More information

Humanitarian aid in Yemen

EU Partnership with Yemen

Continue Reading

European elections

Germany’s far-left party eager to join coalition while others steer clear

Published

on

Co-leader of the Left Party Susanne Hennig-Wellsow speaks at a press conference during a convent of Germany's left party 'Die Linke' in Berlin. Copyright  Credit: AP

While Angela Merkel (pictured) avoided political campaigning for much of the election, as it became increasingly clear that her party was trailing in the polls, she went after her centre-left deputy with an old attack line, writes Lauren Chadwick

“With me as Chancellor, there would never be a coalition in which the Left is involved. And whether this is shared by Olaf Scholz or not remains to be seen,” Merkel said in late August.

Scholz also had criticism for Die Linke -- the Left Party -- but stopped short of completely rejecting the possibility of a coalition with them. He told German daily Tagesspiegel the far-left party would be required to commit to NATO and the transatlantic partnershipIt’s now been a constant attack line from the Christian Democrats in what some say is a last-ditch effort to grab moderates on the fence between Merkel’s centre-right party and the centre-left Social Democrats, who are leading in the polls.

Voters see “behind” the attack line from the CDU, said Dr Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck at the University of Mannheim, as it is “so old hat".about:blank

Advertisement

Schmitt-Beck added it was a “sign of desperation” the CDU was resorting to this attack line once again as candidate Armin Laschet has failed to galvanise voters, polls show.

A possible governing coalition?

Although experts say a coalition involving the far-left Die Linke is not what Social Democratic leader Scholz wants, he is not likely to completely rule out the possibility.

That’s because if current polling is correct, the future government coalition in Germany will need to be formed with three political parties for the first time, meaning the Left Party has never been closer to receiving a possible spot in a coalition.

Advertisement

The party is currently polling at around 6% nationally, making them the sixth most popular political party in the country.

Die Linke party co-leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow even told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in early September: “The window was as wide open as ever before. When if not now?” in regards to a possible coalition with the Social Democrats and Greens.

Many saw her words as demonstrating the party’s high hopes and preparations for entering government.

But while the current Left Party has become more mainstream since it was officially formed in 2007 - its direct historical ties to communism and hard-left foreign policy might forever keep it out of government.

Communist history and hard-line views

Die Linke was formed as a merger of two parties: the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and a newer Labour and Social Justice party. The PDS is the direct successor of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the communist party that ruled in East Germany from 1946 to 1989.

“There are many people in Germany who see this legacy as a big problem," said Dr Thorsten Holzhauser, research associate at the Theodor Heuss House Foundation in Stuttgart.

"On the other hand, the party has been de-radicalising for a couple of years or even decades now. It's shifted towards a more left-wing social democratic profile in the last years, which is also something that many people have recognised."

But Die Linke is quite polarised internally with more moderate politics in East Germany and more radical voices in some West German regions.

While a younger generation of voters is more connected to the social justice issues and hot political topics such as the climate, feminism, anti-racism and migration, other parts of the party appeal more to populism and compete with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), experts say.

The party currently has one state minister-president: Bodo Ramelow in Thuringia.

But some of the party’s hard-line foreign policy views make it an unlikely choice for a governing partner.

“The party always said that it wants to get rid of NATO, and it is a party that stems from East Germany, from a very pro-Russian political culture, a very anti-Western political culture, so this is in the DNA of the party,” says Holzhauser.

Die Linke wants Germany out of NATO and no foreign deployment of Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr.

“We will not participate in a government that wages wars and permits combat missions by the Bundeswehr abroad, that promotes armament and militarisation. In the long term, we are sticking to the vision of a world without armies,” the platform reads.

Die Linke also rejects treating Russia and China as “enemies” and wants closer relations with both countries.

‘Unlikely’ to join a coalition

“There is a chance. It's not a very big chance, but there is a chance (Die Linke could join a coalition)," says Holzhauser, yet traditionally the “scare tactics by Conservatives have been very strong at mobilising against a left-wing alliance”.

Die Linke, which used to poll ahead of the Greens and Alternative for Germany (AfD) could have a problem garnering support in the future, he said, as it becomes less of a populist party and more establishment.

“While in the past, Die Linke has been quite successful as a somewhat populist force that mobilised against the West German political establishment, nowadays, the party is more and more part of the establishment,” says Holzhauser.https://www.euronews.com/embed/1660084

“For many voters, especially in East Germany, it has successfully integrated into the German party system. So this is the flip side of the coin of its own success, that it is getting more integrated and established but at the same time it loses attraction as a populist force.”

On social issues, it's more likely to have similar demands to the Greens and Social Democrats, however, including a wealth tax and higher minimum wage. They are platform ideas that haven't come to fruition in the current SPD/CDU coalition.

But whether that means they will enter government remains to be seen, despite the perceived high hopes of the party's leaders.

Continue Reading

coronavirus

US-EU agenda for beating the global pandemic: Vaccinating the world, saving lives now, and building back better health security

Published

on

Vaccination is the most effective response to the COVID pandemic. The United States and the EU are technological leaders in advanced vaccine platforms, given decades of investments in research and development.

It is vital that we aggressively pursue an agenda to vaccinate the world. Co-ordinated US and EU leadership will help expand supply, deliver in a more coordinated and efficient manner, and manage constraints to supply chains. This will showcase the force of a Transatlantic partnership in facilitating global vaccination while enabling more progress by multilateral and regional initiatives.

Building on the outcome of the May 2021 G20 Global Health Summit, the G7 and US-EU Summits in June, and on the upcoming G20 Summit, the US and the EU will expand cooperation for global action toward vaccinating the world, saving lives now, and building better health security.  

Advertisement

Pillar I: A Joint EU/US Vaccine Sharing Commitment: the United States and the EU will share doses globally to enhance vaccination rates, with a priority on sharing through COVAX and improving vaccination rates urgently in low and lower-middle income countries. The United States is donating over 1.1 billion doses, and the EU will donate over 500 million doses. This is in addition to the doses we have financed through COVAX.

We call for nations that are able to vaccinate their populations to double their dose-sharing commitments or to make meaningful contributions to vaccine readiness. They will place a premium on predictable and effective dose-sharing to maximize sustainability and minimize waste.

Pillar II: A Joint EU/US Commitment to Vaccine Readiness: the United States and the EU will both support and coordinate with relevant organisations for vaccine delivery, cold chain, logistics, and immunization programs to translate doses in vials into shots in arms. They will share lessons learned from dose sharing, including delivery via COVAX, and promote equitable distribution of vaccines.

Advertisement

Pillar III: A Joint EU/US partnership on bolstering global vaccine supply and therapeutics: the EU and the United States will leverage their newly launched Joint COVID-19 Manufacturing and Supply Chain Taskforce to support vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing and distribution and overcome supply chain challenges. Collaborative efforts, outlined below, will include monitoring global supply chains, assessing global demand against the supply of ingredients and production materials, and identifying and addressing in real time bottlenecks and other disruptive factors for global vaccine and therapeutics production, as well as coordinating potential solutions and initiatives to boost global production of vaccines, critical inputs, and ancillary supplies.

Pillar IV: A Joint EU/US Proposal to achieve Global Health Security. The United States and the EU will support the establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) by the end of 2021 and will support its sustainable capitalization.  The EU and United States will also support global pandemic surveillance, including the concept of a global pandemic radar. The EU and the United States, through HERA and the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, respectively, will cooperate in line with our G7 commitment to expedite the development of new vaccines and make recommendations on enhancing the world's capacity to deliver these vaccines in real time. 

We call on partners to join in establishing and financing the FIF to support to prepare countries for COVID-19 and future biological threats.

Pillar V: A Joint EU/US/Partners Roadmap for regional vaccine production. The EU and the United States will coordinate investments in regional manufacturing capacity with low and lower-middle income countries, as well as targeted efforts to enhance capacity for medical countermeasures under the Build Back and Better World infrastructure and the newly established Global Gateway partnership. The EU and the United States will align efforts to bolster local vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa and forge ahead on discussions on expanding the production of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and ensure their equitable access.

We call on partners to join in supporting coordinated investments to expand global and regional manufacturing, including for mRNA, viral vector, and/or protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines.

More information

Joint statement on the launch of the joint COVID-19 Manufacturing and Supply Chain Taskforce

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending