Inflammation and stories on Sudan

 

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Well known philanthropist, humanitarian, and actor George Clooney has recently launched a line of high quality tequila whose profits will be entirely donated as aid for Sudan.

The tequila, know as Cosamigos, is unique in regards to the long distillation process and copper pot fermentation process that helps set it apart from many of the other premium brands. Cosamigos – aged in refurbished whiskey barrels – has garnered rave reviews thus far, which along with George Clooney’s celebrity status, has helped boost sales and will no doubt help to generate some much needed aid for Sudan.

For the past several years, George Clooney has been personally funding a satellite imagery project over South Sudan to serve as a pair of eyes watching over the current President Omar Al- Bashir and hopefully preventing any further ethnic violence. Recently, Clooney made headlines with a testimony he gave to the US Senate outlining the severity of the humanitarian crisis he himself witnessed in a trip he made back in 2012, further highlighting the immediate need of aid for Sudan.

Unlike many other high priced spirits, the value of Cosamigos goes well beyond smooth taste – available as both Blanco and Reposado – but instead in the intended humanitarian mission as a source for greater aid for Sudan. In regards to his charitable donations, Clooney remarked, “I have a satellite over South Sudan that I’m trying to keep some people alive with. It costs me a lot of money every year so now I’m getting it paid for.”

Brian Turner

Source: Snuff
Photo: USA Today

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Shanta Devarajan, a leading World Bank economist, said that while African nations are spending more on education and other community related industries, the mismanagement of these funds is a current problem.

Devarajan’s advice? Allow the people of impoverished communities to make their own decisions regarding the spending of money. Devarajan cited that one of the benefits of putting aid money in the hands of the people would be added accountability for civil servants. He also asserts that making civil servants more accountable would decrease the misallocation of funds and improve the quality of services provided by civil servants.

Cirino Heteng, South Sudan’s Minister for Youth and Sports, conceded that including the poor in the decision making process would help, but defended the current policy by saying that more supervision was needed. Heteng accused the current minister of education of being unaware of what the hierarchy beneath him is doing because he rarely visits the schools.

One way or the other, both sides promote the idea that the community be more involved in the allocation of funds.

South Sudan is a new official country as it seceded from Sudan in July of 2011. Problems such as the allocation of aid and hierarchical structure may therefore just be symptoms of a newly established government.

– Pete Grapentien

Source Voice of America


Filmed in 2012, ‘Open Heart’ documents the journey of eight patients going through surgery at the Salam Center in Khartoum, Sudan. Salam is Africa’s only state-of-the-art, free-of-charge cardiac hospital offering children’s heart surgery and has been operating since 2007.

‘Open Heart’ follows Dr. Gino Strada, a surgeon at Salam and features Angelique Tuyishimere, the six-year-old daughter of a Rawandan farmer. Close to a third of the patients at Salam are under 14 making children’s heart surgery a common occurence at Salam.

Salam employs four cardiac surgeons  and is set up for 1,500 operations per year. However, due to funding issues, last year only 600 patients were operated on. Dr. Strada is forward about admitting the need in Africa is more than Salam can aid, but is still very happy with the progress that has been made and optimistic about the future.

Now, Davidson and the doctors – Rusingiza and Strada – will be attending the Oscars. If passport and visa issues are resolved, six-year-old Angelique and her dad will also be attending. Although he stands the chance of being honored at the Oscars, documentarian Kief Davidson still has not lost sight of the original problem being addressed – the lack of affordable healthcare in Africa, especially concerning the preventable diseases fought at Salam.

– Pete Grapentien

Source ABC News