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6.3m Children Died in 2017, Says UN Report

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  • 6.3m Children Died in 2017, Says UN Report

No fewer than 6.3 million children under the age of 15 died from mostly preventable causes in 2017, a group of UN agencies said in a new mortality estimates study.

The estimate is the equivalent to one child dying every five seconds, according to the new report compiled by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), together with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Population Division and the World Bank.

According to the report covering all 183 UN Member countries, including Nigeria, around 56 million children under-five would also die between 2018 and 2030 while newborn babies account for half of the deaths.

The study: ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality: Estimates developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation’, spelt out estimates of mortality among children under age five and children aged five to 14.

According to Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Research Director, major progress in reducing child mortality has been made in the last quarter century, with the toll dropping by more than half since 1990.

Chandy, however, said “millions are still dying because of who they are, and where they are born.”

He added that “with simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines, we can change that reality for every child.”

Children from sub-Saharan African are disproportionately affected, with half all deaths of under-fives taking place in the region.

Most deaths of children aged five and under were due to preventable or treatable causes such as pneumonia, malaria or complications during birth.

For older children, between the ages of five and 15, injuries became a more prominent cause of death, particularly road accidents and drowning.

Even within countries, wide disparities are found, with under-five mortality rates on average 50 per cent higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

Education was also a factor, with those born to uneducated mothers more than twice more likely to die before turning five than those born to mothers with a secondary or higher education.

Reacting to the study, Tim Evans, Senior Director of Health Nutrition and Population at the World Bank, called for investment in health of young people to prevent infant deaths.

“Ending preventable deaths and investing in the health of young people is a basic foundation for building countries’ human capital, which will drive their future growth and prosperity,” Evans said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company

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The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).

The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.

The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.

Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.

While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.

“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”

The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked

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Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities

Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.

On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.

One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.

Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.

Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.

However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.

Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.

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Crude Oil

A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

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Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.

Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.

A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.

One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.

However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.

 

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