Ethiopia and Eritrea ranked in the bottom 10 Worst Countries to Be a Mother
Ethiopia is once again ranked among the 10 worst places to be a mother, ranking 133rd among 140 countries. Niger ranks the worst place to be a mother and Sweden tops the list. Eritrea is placed 134th. Fewer than 15 percent of births are attended by skilled health personnel in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia and Nepal.
Numbers at a Glance
- 6 percent of births are attended by a skilled health professional
- 1 in 4 women dies in pregnancy or childbirth
- 4 million children are orphaned, nearly 1 million by AIDS
- Only 18 percent of children reach grade five
Source: Save The Children
Bottom 10 2007 Mothers’ Index Ranking
132 Burkina Faso
139 Sierra Leone
A Mothers Day Report Card: The Best And Worst Countries to Be a Mother
Expanded Index Now Includes 18 Additional Industrialized Countries
Sweden tops list, Niger ranks last, United States ranks 26th, tied with Hungary
Westport, Conn. (Tuesday, May 8, 2007) — Save the Children, a U.S.-based independent global humanitarian organization, today released its eighth annual Mothers’ Index that ranks the best — and worst — places to be a mother and a child and compares the well-being of mothers and children in 140 countries, more than in any previous year.
Sweden, Iceland and Norway top the rankings this year. Niger ranks last among countries surveyed. The top-10 countries, in general, attain very high scores for mothers’ and children’s health, educational and economic status. The 10 bottom-ranked countries — nine from sub-Saharan Africa — are a reverse image of the top 10, performing poorly on all indicators. The United States places 26th this year, tied with Hungary.
Conditions for mothers and their children in countries at the bottom of the Index are grim. On average, 1 in 13 mothers will die in her lifetime from pregnancy-related causes. Nearly 1 in 5 children dies before her fifth birthday, and more than 1 in 3 children suffers from malnutrition. About 50 percent of the population lacks access to safe water, and only 3 girls for every 4 boys are enrolled in primary school.
Read complete report here
The status of mothers was compared in 140 countries based on the following indicators of women’s and children’s well-being:
* Lifetime risk of maternal mortality;
* Percentage of women using modern contraception;
* Skilled attendant at delivery;
* Female life expectancy;
* Expected number of years of formal schooling for females;
* Ratio of estimated female-to-male earned income;
* Maternity leave benefits;
* Participation of women in national government;
* Under-5 mortality rate;
* Percentage of children under age 5 moderately or severely underweight;
* School enrollment ratios;
* Ratio of girls to boys enrolled in primary school and;
* Percentage of population with access to safe water.
Source: Save The Children
Rebel Somali leaders urge rebellion against Ethiopia
May 8, 2007
ASMARA -- Renegade Somali leaders Tuesday urged all Somalis to "rise together" against Ethiopian forces, accusing the Somali interim government of being a puppet of Addis Ababa and betraying the country.
Top Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, former parliament speaker Sheikh Sharif Hassan Aden, and Hussein Aidid, the country's deputy premier, said that Somalis should put aside internal quarrels to unite against Ethiopia.
"We call upon all Somali nationals everywhere to forgive and forget their past differences caused by 17 years of civil strife, and rise together against the Ethiopian occupation," they said in a statement released in Asmara.
We "demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Ethiopian invading forces from all Somali territory," it added.
Ethiopian forces have been battling Islamist fighters and clan militia since the beginning of the year when they backed Somali government soldiers to oust the Islamist movement from the capital and south and central Somalia.
The latest surge of deadly clashes abated at the end of last month.
The leaders dismissed the legitimacy of the interim government, claiming that it was guilty, along with Ethiopia, of war crimes including "genocide, maiming, raping, [and] systematic destruction of civilian dwellings."
They also repeated their desire for a broad-based reconciliation conference to forge a national unity government.
The Somali government is planning to hold a reconciliation conference June 16 - subject to availability of funds - but says that leaders of the Islamist Courts Union can only take part as representatives of their clans, not of their movement.
Somalia has been without an effective government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre sparked a bloody power struggle that has defied numerous attempts to restore stability.
Source: Middle East News
Ethiopia Refuses to Release Captive Swedes
Ethiopia has rebuffed a request from Sweden that three Swedes detained for several months on suspicion of terrorist acts be freed.
A senior ministry official told the Swedish ambassador that the appeal had ”the tone of an order” and ”is not acceptable” and says the three will stand trial.
According to the ministry ”The suspects of terror, whatever their nationality, should be brought to the court of justice.”
Last week, Sweden demanded the immediate release of the Swedes. The Ethiopian government announced in early May that it was holding 41 people of 17 nationalities arrested in Somalia on suspicion of ”terrorism”.
Source: Radio Sweden
Impasse In Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Process
Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 2:27 pm
Press Release: United Nations
Ban Ki-Moon Voices Concern Over Impasse In Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Process
In a new report made public today, Secretary-General expressed his concern for the stalemate in the dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea, calling for a comprehensive implementation of the Algiers Agreements in 2000 which ended the bloody war between the two East African countries.
“This impasse continues to be serious source of instability for the two countries, as well as for the wider region,” Mr. Ban said in the report, which covers the period between 21 December 2006 and 31 March 2007. “The situation between the two parties remains unpredictable.”
He also said that he is disturbed by the growing tension between the two countries, and urged both sides to cease making inflammatory public statements and also to withdraw their troops from both within and around the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) along the border between the two countries.
“Any efforts to improve relations between the parties can be successful only if they demonstrate the political will necessary to overcome the present stalemate,” he said.
Additionally, both sides’ “involvement in other complex regional crises” is fuelling tensions, he stated.
“The United Nations, and I personally, stand ready to assist the parties in their efforts to achieve the full implementation of the Algiers Agreements,” Mr. Ban said.
He announced his intention to continue efforts to persuade both sides to resume negotiations, as well as to consult with other regional and international partners to push the process further along. He is also considering appointing a new Special Representative to head the UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, known as UNMEE.
Ethiopia has not accepted the binding border delineated in 2002 by the Boundary Commission which awarded Badme, the town that triggered the fierce fighting, to Eritrea, but in his report, the Secretary-General said he was encouraged by the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s recent statements that his Government has accepted the decisions.
“However, Ethiopia’s position regarding cooperation with the Boundary Commission in the implementation of the Decision remains a major factor of the current impasse,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eritrea is in serious violation of pacts such as the Algiers Agreements and Security Council resolutions due to the ongoing and restrictions the Government has imposed upon UNMEE, he said.
“These restrictions have further reduced the monitoring capability of the Mission inside the Temporary Security Zone and have impacted very negatively on its capacity to perform its mandated tasks,” Mr. Ban wrote, pointing out that UNMEE was originally deployed at the invitation of both parties.
He added that despite the scaling-back of UNMEE’s military component and the restrictions that it has faced since 2005, the mission “continues to play an important role in encouraging restraint between the parties, and sustaining international commitment to the Algiers Agreements and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission Delimitation Decision.
Mr. Ban urged both countries to fully cooperate with UNMEE and the Boundary Commission.
Rapdily growing Ethiopia plans third ever census
ADDIS ABABA, May 7 (Reuters) - Ethiopia this month plans to carry out its third census to see whether its population will reach 77 million in 2007 as projected by the government, a senior Central Statistic Agency (CSA) official said on Monday.
Last year, the government said a rapidly expanding population threatened to jeopardise the fight against poverty in the Horn of Africa country, ranked one of the world's poorest.
CSA Director General Samia Zekaria said the first census in 1984 put Ethiopia's population at 42.6 million, while the second in 1994 put it at 53.5 million.
Current estimates expect Ethiopia's population to show a growth of more than 20 million this year, making it the second most populous nation in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria, which has a population of 140 million.
"The census which will be launched on May 29 will determine if the projected figure of 77 million is correct," Samia told Reuters in an interview.
"The primary objective of the census is also to provide current and reliable data for policy makers and allow guidance to planners (in charge of) population, education and health programmes."
The United Nations says Ethiopia's economic growth stands at 5 percent in 2007, but the government forecasts growth of 9 percent.
Samia said all schools, except for those in the remote Somali and Afar regions, will be closed for one month to allow some 100,000 teachers to conduct the national census.
The census is expected to be carried out in those two regions when the rainy season abates, she added.
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