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250,000 UK small businesses to fold without further help

first_img“All the while our exporters are trying to get across what a new EU-UK trade agreement means for them without the cash they need to make adjustments. Show Comments ▼ Monday 11 January 2021 6:00 am With the new year starting in lockdown, at least 250,000 UK small businesses could fail in 2021 without further help, a new study warns. The London Small Business Index stands at 11 points below the UK average. The vast majority of those surveyed do not expect their performance to improve over the next three months. Tags: Small business 250,000 UK small businesses may fail in 2021 unless they get help to survive lockdown On a national level, this will put the UK on course to lose more than a quarter of a million businesses. Although only five per cent of the 1,400 firms surveyed said they expect to close this year, this does not reflect the threat of closure faced by businesses hoping to survive despite having frozen their operations, reduced their headcounts or taken significant debt. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) estimates that 16.8 million people work in smaller firms across the UK.    Read more: Rishi Sunak rolls out more financial support after sinking businesses demand an immediate lifeline. FSB London chair Rowena Howie said: “We need to adequately support businesses who are feeling the big pinch, particularly those in Central London boroughs who missed out on a fair proportion of local discretionary grants and who have seen a massive footfall reduction, and those who rely on a thriving London night-time economy. whatsapp (Getty Images) center_img The Small Business Index (SBI) from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows confidence is at its second lowest ebb in the report’s ten-year history. Additionally, nearly half (49 per cent) of exporters expect international sales to drop this quarter, up from 33 per cent this time last year. There are 5.9 million small firms across the UK. whatsapp Read more: Close to 4,000 UK financial firms ‘at risk of collapse’ after first Covid-19 lockdown “Direct funding to help them manage new obligations in the form of transaction vouchers is urgently needed.” FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “The development of business support measures has not kept pace with intensifying restrictions. One in five firms nationally have cut staff in the three months to December, and one in seven are expected to do the same before April. Share “At the outset of the first national lockdown, the UK government was bold. The support mechanisms put in place weren’t perfect, but they were an exceptionally good starting point. That’s why it’s so disappointing that it’s met this second lockdown with a whimper. “The fear of at least 50,000 London businesses folding in the Capital, based on this fresh FSB data, is extremely worrying.” Clara DijkstraStaff writer last_img read more

Dunleavy’s COVID-19 economic plan includes PFD payments in April, plus $1B in statewide relief

first_imgBusiness | Coronavirus | Economy | State GovernmentDunleavy’s COVID-19 economic plan includes PFD payments in April, plus $1B in statewide reliefMarch 20, 2020 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a news conference Friday to announce a COVID-19 economic plan. He called for $1,300 permanent fund dividend payments in April, as well as for a $1 billion fund, to stabilize the state’s economy.“Immediate and far-reaching economic relief is needed right now,” he said. “Not tomorrow, not too weeks from now, but right now.”Dunleavy called for the Legislature to immediately approve the dividend amount. It’s based on the difference between what Alaskans received in October and what they would have gotten if the state followed the formula in state law.“This will be the quickest way to get cash in the hands of all Alaskans so they can pay their rent, buy gas, keep on with their daily lives,” he said.Dunleavy says Congress appears to be headed toward approving its own version of direct cash payments. But he says Alaskans need money right now.House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, a Dillingham independent, says Dunleavy hadn’t communicated to him the details of the plan.“Well, (it) largely caught us off-guard down here in Juneau,” Edgmon said. “We’ve had some productive conversations with the governor and some members of his team. But in terms of the particular announcement today, including the back pay of the 2019 PFD, we had not talked about that.”Edgmon says the Legislature is working quickly to pass a bill to ease access to unemployment insurance benefits. And he says the Legislature will use every tool it has to assist in the COVID-19 relief.Sitka Republican Senator Bert Stedman says senators would consider the proposal. But he expressed skepticism toward drawing down the permanent fund’s earnings to pay for the dividend, like Dunleavy has proposed.Dunleavy also said effective immediately, he established a $1 billion fund for disaster relief. This money would expand unemployment insurance for those affected by COVID-19. State officials say the money will come from the permanent fund’s earnings reserve and may be largely reimbursed by the federal government.“Fellow Alaskans, I want you to know your government is here to protect your health, welfare and safety,” he said. “And that includes doing everything possible in our power to stabilize our economy following this economic shutdown that was through no fault of your own.”Dunleavy says he came to an understanding Friday morning with local lenders to provide loans to small businesses, aimed at ensuring business owners can continue to pay workers while waiting for a federal Small Business Administration loans.He also signed an executive order protecting 13,000 Alaskans who receive rental assistance from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) from evictions for at least 60 days. AHFC also is being directed to suspend foreclosures.Dunleavy authorized $75 million for emergency health care facilities and personal protective equipment for health care providers. He also authorized $100 million for an expected increase in state worker and public health workload, as well as funds for health safety equipment for all state workers.“We need our workers protected and safe, and we need them to continue the functions of state government,” he said.He says municipalities also will receive support.Dunleavy says the state will roll out more measures, based on recommendations from the new Alaska Economic Stabilization Team.Details on which pieces of the plan would require action by the Legislature weren’t immediately available.This story has been updated.Share this story:last_img read more

News / Kerry Logistics acquires US forwarder and transpacific specialist Apex Maritime

first_imgBy Gavin van Marle 01/06/2016 Hong Kong-based 3PL Kerry Logistics Network has acquired US-based freight forwarder Apex Maritime, a specialist in the transpacific trade.It says the move is part of a strategy to expand its international network of freight forwarding operations.The deal has been in the making for a number of months, following a Kerry announcement to investors that it was in discussions to buy an unnamed US freight forwarder last year.San Francisco-headquartered Apex booked just over 270,000 teu in 2015, making it the third largest non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) for US imports from Asia, according trade data firm Datamyne.In terms of handling container imports into the US from all regions, it came in fourth place during the first quarter of this year, having booked 65,656 teu, behind the 82,296 teu booked by Christal Lines, the 97,484 teu booked by Kuehne + Nagel’s NVOCC, Blue Anchor Line, and the 102,723 teu booked by Expeditors.William Ma, group managing director of Kerry Logistics, said, “The acquisition of Apex is a major leap forward in our global expansion plan.“The Asia-US trade plays an important role in our international freight forwarding growth strategy and Apex will form an important business arm that further strengthens our global network, enabling us to tap into new opportunities from transpacific trades.“It will also bring mutual benefits to both companies, with enriched service offerings and extensive marketing network in the US to Kerry Logistics’ customers as well as strong pan-Asia logistics support to Apex customers.”Vic Cheung, chief executive and president of Apex, said: “The team is excited to join the Kerry Logistics family. We are ready to take full advantage in realising vast cross-selling opportunities from the integration.“Our customers will gain global scale and best practices in supply chain management, while maintaining their relationship with a team that has served them for years.”Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, although in his analysis of Kerry’s 2015 financial results, The Loadstar’s financial analyst, Alessandro Pasetti, wrote: “Size-wise, any takeover engineered by Kerry management will likely be inside the $150-$250m range, given its cash balances, cash flow generation, capital requirements and overall indebtedness.”In its Global Freight Forwarding 2015 report last year, logistics consultancy Transport Intelligence showed that some 67.3% of Kerry’s 2014 revenues were generated in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and that it was keen to diversify its operations.In September 2014, Kerry announced joint-ventures with Australian and New Zealand companies to strengthen its presence in the Asia-Oceania trades, while in January 2015, further deals were closed in Indonesia and the UAE.It then acquired majority stakes in two Canadian firms: Total Logistics Partner Ocean Consolidators, and Total Logistics Partner Air Express.last_img read more

White House panel urges Trump to declare state of emergency over opioid crisis

first_img What’s included? @levfacher [email protected] What is it? Politics GET STARTED Log In | Learn More WASHINGTON — The White House’s commission on combating the opioid epidemic has recommended that President Trump declare a federal state of emergency to address the crisis, a potentially significant step for an administration that has repeatedly pledged to take steps to ease the epidemic.“The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act,” the committee wrote in an interim report released Monday. Tags addictionopioidspolicy Washington Correspondent Lev Facher covers the politics of health and life sciences.center_img Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED White House panel urges Trump to declare state of emergency over opioid crisis Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Lev Facher By Lev Facher July 31, 2017 Reprints STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints Spencer Platt/Getty Imageslast_img read more

Canadians’ big money dreams not backed up by effective saving habits: poll

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter More than half of U.S. millennials actively contribute to retirement accounts: survey Canadians more focused on saving than paying down debt: survey Related news A majority of Canadians (64%) aim to save at least $10,000 over the next five years, says a new poll commissioned by Toronto-based EQ Bank.The recent poll found that the savings behaviour of Canadians does not seem to align with their overall financial goals. Keywords Consumer borrowing and saving IE Staff white piggy bank with change canadian scattered around cwmgary/123RF When asked where they would put an extra $100, more than one-in-four Canadians (27%)  said they would rather leave it as cash.Only 16% said they would invest it in mutual funds, followed by 14% who said they preferred a safer option with Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs).“It is encouraging to see Canadians wanting to save for their future, but their habits don’t necessarily match up with their goals if money is sitting in cash,” says Dan Dickinson, chief digital officer at EQ Bank.EQ Bank commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online survey of 1,040 Canadians from April 3-5. Survey respondents were 18 years of age or older and residing in Canada. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media One in five Canadians will need to liquidate an asset to pay for debt: surveylast_img read more

Assets in DSC funds continue to drop in favour of fee-based accounts

first_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news IOSCO, FSB to examine fund liquidity during Covid advisor with client Facebook LinkedIn Twitter “This decrease is largely a result of members prohibiting the sale of DSC funds, which small book advisors rely on to finance their operations,” the report said. “This illustrates the independent nature of the employment relationship of advisors in the Financial Advisory channel.” AMF sanctions Desjardins over fund sales practices The report aggregated data provided by members anonymously in 2018. The previous client research report was released in 2017 and based on 2016 data.The report built on data released last month showing that a large proportion of households served by MFDA advisors are mass market (less than $100,000 in cash and investments).These mass-market clients continued to have the highest concentration of deferred sales charge funds (33% of assets), the report said. And DSC funds made up almost half the assets of advisors with books under $2 million.The report also said MFDA clients held about $1 billion in other investment products that were subject to DSCs and sold outside MFDA firms — mostly segregated funds and principal-protected notes.As advisors’ books of business grow, they tend to finance their business through ongoing trailing and fee-based commissions, the report showed.The number of advisors licensed with financial advisory firms (as opposed to banks and call centres) decreased 17% from 2016 to 2019. Since 2016, the proportion of mutual funds — F-class and non-embedded funds — in fee-based accounts increased by 53%, or by $35 billion, representing the greatest growth in mutual funds over the period.The average cost for fee-based programs holding F-class funds ranged from roughly 0.49% of assets for the wealthiest households (at least $1 million in assets) to 0.66% for the least wealthy ($100,000 to $250,000 in assets). (These costs didn’t include fund management fees.)No-load funds continued to be the most common type of fund held by MFDA members, representing about 53% of all investment fund assets under administration.The average cost paid by all MFDA-served households was 0.83% of assets (excluding fund management fees).While more MFDA members have offered ETFs over the last couple of years, the report said, ETFs are available only in fee-based programs, and mass-market clients generally don’t have access to fee-based accounts.“Accordingly, we expect there will be an increase in members offering ETFs to mid-market and affluent clients in the future, but it is not clear whether this will be the case for mass-market clients,” it said. Keywords Mutual funds,  Value of adviceCompanies Mutual Fund Dealers Association Fewer clients are using funds with deferred sales charges, but the funds still make up a significant portion of assets for advisors with smaller books of business, data released from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) says.The proportion of deferred sales charge (DSC) funds — including low-load funds — held by all clients decreased by nearly one-third (31%), or $34 billion, from 2016 to 2018, according to the MFDA’s 2020 client research report. Proposal deletes MFDA rules for limited trading authorization Michelle Schriver last_img read more

Expressions of interest called for Torrens to Darlington community engagement reference groups

first_imgExpressions of interest called for Torrens to Darlington community engagement reference groups Community reference groups will be created as part of the consultation process for the final stage of the North-South Corridor to ensure key stakeholders are involved as the project progresses.The Torrens to Darlington (T2D) Project is the final 10.5 km section of South Australia’s world-class multi-billion dollar North-South Corridor and the key to unlocking Adelaide’s traffic network.Creating up to 4,000 jobs, the T2D Project is South Australia’s biggest ever job-creating infrastructure project.When complete, the T2D Project will reduce travel time by up to 24 minutes and unlock 78 km of non-stop, traffic-light-free motorway between Gawler and Old Noarlunga, with links to the port and airport precinct.Community members, business owners and key stakeholders are invited to nominate for one of four Community or Business Reference Groups across the two stages of the project: Stage 1 – Southern Tunnel; and Stage 2 Airport Link and Northern Tunnel.Community Reference GroupTo provide a forum for interested members of the community to engage with the project team, identify issues of concern and potential mitigation opportunities, and provide input on negotiable elements of the project.Business Reference GroupTo provide a forum for businesses and commercial landowners to engage with the project team on issues specific to local business needs, raise potential opportunities for business support and provide input on negotiable elements of the projectMinister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said these reference groups will provide an invaluable opportunity for community members to have input in this project.“Groups such as these have worked successfully on other major projects within South Australia, as well as interstate and overseas,” Minister Wingard said.“Members will be provided with a forum to engage with the T2D project team, on South Australia’s biggest ever infrastructure project, enabling ‘deep dives’ into specific areas of interest and ongoing opportunities to receive updates and build relationships.“There will of course be ample opportunity for everyone in the community to provide feedback on the project without needing to join the reference groups.”Federal member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, said it’s pleasing the community will be at the centre of the State Government’s decision making for the North-South Corridor.“As the state government goes into the more detailed design stage, these reference groups will be integral to identifying potential issues and resolving them,” Ms Flint said.“This approach will ensure the State Government, who are responsible for the design and delivery of the project, produce the best possible design for the community.”Member for Elder, Carolyn Power, said local residents are keen to see this project come to life and welcome the opportunity to help shape it.“It is fantastic all residents will be able to have their say in various ways. The Reference Groups provide residents with an avenue to develop strong relationships with the Project Team and get involved with the details on an ongoing basis,” Ms Power said.If you’d like more information about the reference groups, or would like to nominate to join one, visit: www.dit.sa.gov.au/torrenstodarlington /Public News. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Adelaide, airport, AusPol, Australia, business, community, community engagement, Darlington, Federal, Government, infrastructure, Minister, project, SA Government, South Australia, southern, Transport, travellast_img read more

MaveriX on track to inject $5m into local economy

first_imgMaveriX on track to inject $5m into local economy NT GovernmentMaveriX, the largest Territorian screen production to ever be produced in the Territory is creating jobs and boosting the Territory economy with local businesses already reaping the benefits of this huge screen production.The Territory Government have invested a record $1.5 million into MaveriX, a 10 part TV series which follows six junior motocross riders selected for the first intake of the MaveriX academy in Alice Springs.This equity investment also enables the Territory Government to share in net profits of the finished screen production. This is a record investment that will support an innovative and growing sector that really helps showcase everything the Territory has to offer.The production is well on its way to inject the expected $5 million into the local economy and create approximately 400 local jobs, with several industries already seeing a massive boost from the production.Local Alice Springs store Jetcor has been flat out supplying bikes, costumes, set additions and tracking vehicles. GAP’s Kitchen is the official set caterer and have even had to purchase a mobile preparation van to service MaveriX, which they are excited to use for future productions in the region.The cast and crew have booked out multiple accommodation spots including the Big 4 Caravan Park, Mount Nancy Apartments, Quest Apartments and Alice on Todd; andLocal car hire providers have seen a big rise in bookings, with Thrifty completely booked out for months.Production of MaveriX is now well underway. Filming commenced in April 2021 and is scheduled to run over the next couple of months in and around Alice Springs.Quotes from Chief Minister, Michael Gunner:“MaveriX is providing a big boost to Alice Springs businesses and the Red Centre is booming.“We know that an investment into the Territory screen industry is an investment in Territory jobs, Territory businesses and an important industry that shapes perceptions of the Territory to the rest of the world.“This is also priceless publicity from a tourism perspective, giving the Territory huge exposure across our screens nationally and internationally.“Our Government’s $9 million strategic investment over four years has seen significant growth of our screen sector and we have plenty more exciting productions on the horizon.”Quotes from Minister for Industry, Nicole Manison:“We are thrilled to be strengthening the local screen industry and in turn providing hundreds of jobs for Territorians.“We recognise the importance of our local screen industry and the economic flow-on benefits for Territorians and that’s why we are investing over $3m next financial year (2021-22) to support the Territory screen industry.“MaveriX is a local success story – the production showcases true Territory talent and shares the wonders of the Red Centre with the rest of the world.”Quotes from ABC Children’s Head, Libbie Doherty:“The extraordinary landscapes, people and stories on show in the Northern Territory are the perfect backdrop to this action-packed new ABC ME series. As the home of Australian content and creativity, the ABC is proud to share the sights and sounds of the Territory with audiences across the country.“Set in the dynamic world of motocross, MaveriX follows a group of junior competitors who spend their summer holidays in the challenging, yet beautiful, environments of Central Australia. It promises to be a wild ride for young viewers.”Production credit:MAVERIX is a Brindle Films production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC, Screen Territory and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. The executive producers are Bernadette O’Mahony, Mary-Ellen Mullane and creators Rachel Clements, Sam Meikle and Isaac Elliott. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:ABC, Alice Springs, AusPol, Australia, Australian, Central, children, creativity, Government, industry, Investment, Minister, Northern Territory, production, purchase, Screen Australia, South Australialast_img read more

Tourism Minister Leaves for Convention in Canada

first_imgRelatedTourism Minister Leaves for Convention in Canada Tourism Minister Leaves for Convention in Canada TourismSeptember 18, 2010 RelatedTourism Minister Leaves for Convention in Canada FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, leaves the island today (September 17), for Vancouver, Canada, to make a presentation at the World Routes Convention, the largest assembly of Airline Representatives and Airline Planners.The convention is viewed as a very important meeting place for tourism stakeholders, where discussions are held in relation to all the airline routes of the world, both existing and those to come on stream, and the profitability within routes.“The presentation that I will make relates to Marketing and the impact of route Marketing on the Caribbean in general, and Jamaica in particular,” Mr. Bartlett told JIS News.“This will be a very important statement, I believe, to enable the wider world to focus on Jamaica, and to see what we are doing, and how our airlift strategies are working to enable an increase in tourism arrivals,” he said.The Minister pointed out that the opportunity will also be used at the convention, to make connections with Airline partners to ensure that Jamaica’s connectivity to the rest of the world is maintained and secured.Noting that Canada is Jamaica’s number one growth market, Mr. Bartlett informed that following the convention, a number of promotional activities will be carried out throughout the North West Canada, which he described as a “new exciting lucrative area.”He reported that there has been a 100 per cent increase in visitor arrivals to the island out of Canada over the last three years, and expectations are that there should be even further growth in the years ahead.The Minister said he is looking forward to creating a great impact on the Canadian market, with a view to achieving high levels of growth in visitor arrivals.Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Director of Tourism, John Lynch will accompany the Minister to the convention.center_img RelatedTourism Minister Leaves for Convention in Canada Advertisementslast_img read more

First Lady of Burkina Faso Hails Efforts to Protect Women and Girls

first_imgRelatedJAS President Urges Diaspora Members to Invest in Agriculture First Lady of Burkina Faso Hails Efforts to Protect Women and Girls Foreign AffairsJune 27, 2013Written by: Chris Patterson Story HighlightsFirst Lady of Burkina Faso, Her Excellency Chantal Compaoré, is commending the country’s efforts to protect women and girls, including ensuring that teen mothers return to school.Mrs. Compaoré was addressing students and staff at the Haile Selassie High School in Kingston on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, as part of her working visit to the island to learn about Jamaica’s experience in preventing adolescent pregnancies and supporting adolescent mothers.The First Lady disclosed that apart from teenage pregnancies, her Government is also fighting to eradicate traditional practices, such as genital mutilation, which is very harmful to girls. RelatedForeign Ministry Meets with Stakeholders Ahead of COTED Meeting RelatedDiaspora Conference Facilitated 240 Business Meetings Photo: JIS PhotographerFirst Lady of Burkina Faso, Her Excellency Chantal Compaoré (right), exchanges pleasantries with girls at Haile Selassie High School in Kingston during a tour of the Payne Avenue-based institution on Wednesday, June 26.center_img First Lady of Burkina Faso Hails Efforts to Protect Women and GirlsJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail First Lady of Burkina Faso, Her Excellency Chantal Compaoré, is commending the country’s efforts to protect women and girls, including ensuring that teen mothers return to school.Such measures, she said, are critical to gender and development and will ultimately ensure the country’s progress.Mrs. Compaoré was addressing students and staff at the Haile Selassie High School in Kingston on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, as part of her working visit to the island to learn about Jamaica’s experience in preventing adolescent pregnancies and supporting adolescent mothers.The First Lady praised the staff of the institution for the “exemplary work” they are doing and the support they are providing for the teenage mothers, who attend the institution.She informed that in her homeland, once the pregnancy is visible, the student will have to leave school.“The girls feel quite abandoned and it is for this reason, on the recommendation of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that we came here to Jamaica to see exactly how you do things,” she stated.“The situation of adolescent mothers in Burkina Faso is a big problem, that is why we are here to learn from your experience and see how we can translate the successes that you have had in your experience in our own country…so that our young girls can have the lovely smiles that you have,” she added.Earlier this year, the Government announced that effective September 2013, it will be mandatory for all school-aged mothers to be re-integrated into the formal school system.Principal of Haile Selassie, Lorenzo Ellis, said the institution is “far advanced” in this process as, for some time, it has been providing facility for adolescent mothers to resume their education.Dean of Discipline at the school, Joseph Heron said the institution believes in social inclusiveness and the right of every child to receive an education.He noted that the institution works closely with the Women’s Centre Foundation of Jamaica and the Child Development Agency (CDA), adding that the girls are treated with the utmost respect when they are re-integrated into the formal education system.“Within the Guidance Department we have to reassure them that their status of motherhood is precious but it is also confidential. We don’t want them to come under any undue pressure from any member of the community or school, as such, those members of staff who are in the know, they keep it confidential…and offer the necessary support,” he said.The First Lady disclosed that apart from teenage pregnancies, her Government is also fighting to eradicate traditional practices, such as genital mutilation, which is very harmful to girls.“I have had to fight within the United Nations system to ensure that a resolution will be passed within the United Nations to condemn and to prohibit female circumcision across the world,” she stated.She said that while genital mutilation is not an issue in Jamaica, countries need to collaborate to ensure that harmful practices, which have adverse health risks, especially on women, are eradicated.During her visit, the First Lady toured sections of the Haile Selassie compound, including the computer laboratory, cosmetology department and the library. She also heard testimonials from teenage mothers, who attend the institution.She was accompanied by Minister of Women Promotion and Gender, Nestorine Sangare; Head of Capacity Building in the Ministry, Koudraogo Kabore; and Chief of State Protocol, Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Elinor Felix, among others.In Burkina Faso, recent studies show that adolescent girls and young women are the first victims of unwanted pregnancies and illegal/unsafe abortions, along with all the risks and consequences they cause.Jamaica is supported by the UNFPA to protect and promote the rights of adolescents and young people towards responsible sexuality and access to high quality reproduction health services. Advertisementslast_img read more