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African Diamonds, Broadband On The Farm, Aid To Refugees

  • June 4th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

diamond-gpf-kingsgate-resize.jpgThe Kimberley process for controlling the diamond trade is sending inspectors to Zimbabwe; the EU offers help with promotion of products, and broadband internet, to rural producers, and it sends aid to the refugee camps in Lebanon.

DIAMONDS WATCH ON ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe will be investigated under the Kimberley Process set up to monitor and regulate the diamond trade — to prevent sales of “conflict diamonds” for funding civil warfare, especially in Africa. The European Union, as current chair of the Kimberley organisation, has announced (31.5.07) that Zimbabwean authorities requested a visit by inspectors. It will be the first of a new round of “review visits” under the process to several countries. The Commission said the visits would assess the implementation of controls on the production, import and export of rough diamonds under the United Nations sponsored scheme. It said: “Following recent development in the diamond sector in Zimbabwe, the Kimberley process has been closely monitoring the situation.”

MORE CHANGE ON THE FARM

Two schemes under which industry groups can receive a 50% subsidy on costs of promotion of farm product are being merged. The European Commission says that funding for promotional campaigns within the EU, and in third countries will be put within a single framework. The move is part of an overall drive to rationalise assistance for agriculture under a radically modified Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, has also offered support for consumers in country areas wanting better access to the Internet, as part of a proposed new order, where an increasing percentage of agricultural support will be given in the form of money for regional development. She told a conference on broadband in rural areas, at Brussels last month (15.5.07) extension of the system to more rural areas would help unlock the potential for rural areas – boosting both agriculture and other industries based outside of the major towns an cities.

AID TO VICITIMS IN LEBANON

The European Union is contributing EU 370000 to aid civilians caught up in the fighting in Palestinian refugee encampments in Lebanon. It said (29.5.05) that 12 000 people had fled the Nahr el Bared camp. The EU would work with partners like the international Red Cross providing food, medical aid and psychological support to those who had left the camp and others remaining inside.

Picture: Global Policy Forum, Kingsgate

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