Egypt is set to complete an agreement with Russia’s Gazprom for the company to supply it with liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments before the end of January. The North Africa country agreed in principle last April for Gazprom to supply seven LNG shipments to help it meet gas supplies needed to face its worst energy crisis in decades.
A Gazprom delegation would visit Egypt in mid-January, Egyptian Oil Minister Sharif Ismail told Reuters on Sunday.
If successful, the Gazprom deal would be the second LNG import agreement since Egypt finalised a deal for the necessary import infrastructure in November.
Egypt signed an agreement with Algeria for six LNG cargoes in late December.
The country of 86 million relies heavily on gas to generate power for households and industry, but has had difficulty securing imports because it lacks a terminal to process LNG, which is natural gas chilled into a liquid state.
But after two years of delays, Egypt contracted Norway’s Hoegh LNG for a floating storage and regasification unit, opening the door to LNG imports.
The terminal is meant to be operational by the end of March.
Egypt has turned from an energy exporter to a net importer due to increasing consumption and decreasing production.
The government has cut fuel subsidies to curb consumption and has tried to reduce its debt to foreign energy companies to encourage investment.
[Part of the risk reduction regime (MANAGING DISASTERS AND CONFLICTS IN OIC COUNTRIES–Organization of Islamic Cooperation)]
12 January 2015 – Eight cities in Central Asia and the Caucasus, including capitals Tbilisi and Bishkek, have signed on to strengthen community resilience by integrating disaster risk reduction into their national and local policy, representing a big boost for the United Nations initiative which already has over 2,400 participants worldwide.
The global campaign, Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!, launched in 2010 for a period of five years until 2015, is promoted by the Geneva-based UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
“The campaign helps participants to become better organized and to identify key priorities for action for risk reduction. They can also benefit from the shared experience of other participants facing similar challenges. It is a very dynamic and interactive campaign,” said Madhavi Malalgoda Ariyabandu, UNISDR regional coordinator.
UNISDR’s initiative, now in partnership with the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), is titled “Strengthened Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Asia and the Caucasus through greater fostering of the Hyogo Framework for Action priorities.”
The eight cities to sign up are Noyemberyan and Berd in Armenia; Tbilisi and Gori in Georgia; Oskemen and Ridder in Kazakhstan; and Bishkek and Kara-Kol in Kyrgyzstan.
“These cities and towns are committing to a ten-point checklist of actions which help them to become resilient to disasters and to manage their growth in a sustainable way,” said Ms. Ariyabandu.
The worldwide campaign is based on 10 essentials for developing local resilience, which in turn build on the five priorities for action of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), endorsed by UN Member States for the period 2005-2015.
Central Asia and the Caucasus are exposed to a range of natural and technological hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, mud and debris flows, avalanches, floods, drought and extreme temperatures inflicting serious human and economic losses. Risks and exposure to risk are exacerbated by the rapid growth of urban population and climate change.
Over the 30-year period from 1980, 14 million people were affected by 131 major disaster events with economic losses of $3.8 billion. The destructive earthquake in Spitak, Armenia in 1988 and the extreme cold spell across Central Asia in 2008, prove the importance of strengthening communities.
To address these challenges, the campaign will aim to build local capacity to assess risks of natural hazards, update action plans which are disaster risk inclusive, increase accessibility of international expertise in disaster risk reduction, and foster exchange of experiences between municipalities and local governments.
A post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction is expected to be approved at a world conference, in March 2015, in Sendai, Japan, emphasizing the need to continue to work to strengthen community resilience, particularly in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue
“Arguably, the most dangerous of the eleven Saudi Gitmo veterans currently on the run—Saeed al-Shehri and Mohammed al-Harbi—were cooperative, non-confrontational, and even charming during their interactions with ARB panel members in Guantanamo Bay. One cannot but appreciate the irony
of Mohammed al-Harbi—now thought to be in the midst of planning imminent terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia and in Yemen—making a “heartfelt” offer “to work for American authorities once he was back in Saudi Arabia.”356
356 “Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the Case of al Harbi, Mohamed Atiq Awayd.” Administrative Review Board (ARB) Round 2. U.S. Department of Defense; Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy