Returning to Tunisia UN aid agency launches cashforwork project

13 September 2011The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is formally re-starting operations in Tunisia for the first time in 13 years and will immediately begin a cash-for-work project aimed at assisting the North African country’s neediest people. WFP and the Tunisian foreign ministry agreed on re-establishing the agency’s official presence, WFP said in a news release issued today in Tunis, the capital.The agency invested more than $250 million in food assistance projects while it operated in Tunisia – where in January the long-standing Government was toppled after weeks of pro-democracy protests – from 1967 to 1998.Earlier this year WFP returned to Tunisia as part of its response to the crisis in neighbouring Libya, which had forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee across the border into Tunisia.Daly Belgasmi, the agency’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said WFP “will be actively engaged in Tunisia with all national partners and according to the Government priorities to help stabilize and support the country at this critical time as it works towards democracy and social reforms.”He said the cash-for-work project, organized in cooperation with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), is a two-year scheme being launched this month to help an estimated 240,000 Tunisians.Beneficiaries will receive cash for work carried out on various tasks, including water and soil conservation projects and training schemes for farmers. WFP and FAO will each cover 24,000 households.“The project is targeting the most vulnerable populations in the country who are now struggling to make ends meet, especially in this challenging period of transition,” said Mr. Belgasmi.The project is focused on the country’s central-western area, where five governorates – Jendouba, El-Kef, Siliana, Kasserine and Sidi-Bouzid – have been identified as particularly disadvantaged.Tunisia’s transitional Government has asked for initiatives to help provide jobs for young people – one of the chief concerns of the protest movement that led to the downfall of the former regime – and improve agricultural production. read more

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ICE Futures Canada quotes and cash prices

WINNIPEG — Grain quotes Monday for tonnes, basis Lakehead:Canola (Vancouver): Open High Low Close FriNov. 506.90 506.90 503.20 505.00 506.70Jan. ’18 509.50 510.70 508.40 509.40 511.20March 513.70 514.10 511.00 512.20 514.50May 516.00 516.00 512.00 513.30 516.70July 517.40 517.40 512.50 514.10 517.20Nov. 484.90 484.90 478.60 480.20 483.20Jan. ’19 0.00 0.00 0.00 481.00 484.00March 0.00 0.00 0.00 483.70 486.70May 0.00 0.00 0.00 483.70 486.70July 0.00 0.00 0.00 483.70 486.70Nov. 0.00 0.00 0.00 483.70 486.70Barley (Western): Open High Low Close FriOct. 0.00 0.00 0.00 145.00 145.00Dec. 0.00 0.00 0.00 148.00 148.00March ’18 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00May 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00July 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00Oct. 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00Dec. 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00March ’19 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00May 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00July 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00Nov. 0.00 0.00 0.00 151.00 151.00ICE Futures Canada cash prices:Feed wheat: Track Thunder Bay CW: $178.00Canola:Thunder Bay No. 1 Canada: $515.00 (November 2017)Vancouver No. 1 Canada: $530.00 (November 2017) read more

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Giant luxury events boat Ocean Diva makes waves over pollution and disturbance

Plans have been submitted to the Corporation of London for approval to extend Swan Lane Pier, on the north bank of the Thames, from where corporate clients would regularly board the 282 ft vessel for lavish cruises along the river.The Ocean Diva’s website boasts it will give “every customer a unique and unforgettable experience”, whether its “dinner on the outside deck, while enjoying the skyline of your own city” or creating “an inspiring and immersive brand event”.It says that since 2003 its two ships, the original Ocean Diva and the Futura, have hosted dozens of successful river events in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium and now promise to do the same in Britain with a third vessel.But people living close to where the boat will be moored say they will be made to pay for the pleasure of others.The Living Bankside group, which represents over 13,000 residents along the river from the OXO Tower to City Hall, says the impact would be detrimental to both people and the river itself.Amir Eden, of Living Bankside, said: “It is unacceptable to have a three storey vehicle the size of a football pitch driving around London’s streets spewing invisible diesel emissions, so why should it be allowed to go up and down the Thames, which is London’s biggest open space?“The ship creates a big safety issue on the river, just as we come up to the anniversary of the sinking of the Marchioness. There will also be a significant visual impact by mooring a boat this big on the banks of the Thames, impeding views that are enjoyed by thousands of people.” The Anglican church has also joined opposition to the plans.In a letter of objection Andrew Nunn, the Dean of Southwark, stated: “The size of this barge and the potential disturbance to the area in the evening would be very disruptive and detrimental to the quality of life in the area.”He added: “We have had a long history of care of the users of the river and are the location of the Marchioness Memorial, this being the 30th anniversary year of that disaster.“We rejoice in the use made of the river and especially as a means and route for transport. But the increase in party boats has had a detrimental effect upon the life of the communities around the river and therefore we object to this proposed development.”The Environment Agency has also objected to the plans, stating that building the new pontoon would lead to erosion and a loss of habitat and that dredging work would release high levels of contamination from the sediment of the river bed into the water.But the scheme’s supporters say the impact on the environment would be minimal, as the newly built Ocean Diva will have a hybrid engine, reducing pollution and noise.Greg Lawson, the chief executive of Smart Group, which will operator Ocean Diva London, said: “London is still the business hub of Europe and a major tourist destination and we are confident that despite these times of uncertainty the vessel will be very popular.“We are totally cognisant that we must operate without causing local difficulties. The acoustics are fantastic and the design means that we are able to operate with very little sound escaping from inside the vessel. It is designed to work on the Thames without causing problems to local residents.” The interior of the Ocean Diva The Ocean Diva The Ocean Diva The interior of the Ocean Diva Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. With space for more than 1,500 passengers, glitzy interiors, yards of open deck space and even a helicopter landing pad it promises to be the perfect venue for blue chip events in the heart of London.But it doesn’t look like it will all be plain sailing for the Ocean Diva.Plans for the boat – which will be the length of a football pitch – have been roundly condemned as a threat to the River Thames’s delicate environment, air quality and passenger safety.Opponents say work to build a mooring station for the Ocean Diva would dredge up toxins from the river bed, threatening river wildlife, and once on the Thames it’s powerful diesel electric hybrid engines would spew out harmful emissions at a time of growing concern over London’s air quality.The boat’s Anglo-Dutch backers want to be able to moor it close to London Bridge, just yards from where the Marchioness pleasure cruiser sank with the loss of 51 lives after colliding with a dredger in August 1989. read more

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