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Posted on December 12, 2016 in Africa

Making Much of the Least of These: How You Can Help Rebecca’s Home

Mozambique is a beautiful country in the southern part of Africa and forms part of the continent’s Indian Ocean coastline. Despite its beauty and bounty, the country often struggles with poverty, civil unrest, joblessness, adverse weather and disease—primarily HIV. These daily difficulties have left many children parentless or abandoned for financial reasons.

That’s where Insurance Services of America’s President, Graham Bates, and his wife, Rebecca Bates, realized they had an opportunity to help. But the story of their ministry to needy children did not begin in Sub-Saharan Africa, but rather 4,000 miles north, in Turkey. (more…)

Posted on March 1, 2013 in Africa

An Islamic Sudan May Become a Reality

Sudan is quietly slipping toward becoming an Islamist state. Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has said he wants to adopt a “100 percent” Islamic constitution now that the South has split off.

Christians worry they won’t be able to practice their faith–a concern that’s been borne out in action by Sudan’s recent crackdowns. Matt Parker, Vice President of Operations at Kids Alive International, says, “Although the government itself is saying there is religious freedom, really those are empty words.”

Read the entire article here!

Posted on December 26, 2012 in Africa

US State Department Travel Warning for Somalia

The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Somalia. This replaces the Travel Warning dated June 15, 2012, to update information on security concerns.

There is no U.S. Embassy or other formal U.S. diplomatic presence in Somalia. Consequently, the U.S. government is not in a position to assist or effectively provide services to U.S. citizens in Somalia. In light of this and continuous security threats, the U.S. government recommends that you avoid all travel to Somalia.

The security situation inside Somalia remains unstable and potentially dangerous. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have demonstrated their intent to attack the Somali authorities, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and other non-military targets. Kidnapping, bombings, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and other violent incidents and threats to U.S. citizens and other foreigners can occur in any region. Inter-clan and inter-factional fighting flares up with little or no warning. This has resulted in the deaths of countless Somali nationals and the displacement of more than one million people. (more…)

Posted on December 3, 2012 in Africa, Travel Advisory

US State Department Travel Warning for Mauritania

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Mauritania, and urges extreme caution for those who choose to travel to Mauritania, because of activities by terrorist groups in the region, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM continues to demonstrate its intent and ability to conduct attacks against foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens. This replaces the Travel Warning for Mauritania, issued May 24, 2012, to update information on security incidents and remind travelers of security concerns.

The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott recommends against all non-essential travel to the border regions of Guidimagha, the Hodh El Charghi and Hodh El Gharbi regions of southeastern Mauritania, the eastern half of the Assaba region (east of Kiffa), the eastern half of the Tagant region (east of Tidjika), the eastern half of the Adrar region (east of Chinguetti), and the Zemmour region of northern Mauritania because of the security risk and the threat of kidnapping to Westerners by terrorist groups. (more…)

Posted on October 8, 2012 in Africa

Travel Warning for Burkina Faso

The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou warns all U.S. citizens against traveling to the northern areas of the country, and to exercise caution when traveling to remote and border areas. You should also remain vigilant and pay attention to your surroundings at all times when traveling in Burkina Faso.

Kidnapping remains a threat in the northern areas of the country bordering Mali and Niger. Due to ongoing security concerns in the these areas, the U.S. Embassy deems the area north of the road stretching from Djibo to Dori off-limits to official government travelers unless prior authorization for such travel is expressly given. There have been no known terrorist incidents (bombings, hijackings, or kidnappings) directed against foreigners in Burkina Faso; however, the al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorist organization and their affiliates could target westerners in the porous border regions of the north, near Mali and Niger. The Sahel region of Burkina Faso is extremely remote, and the ability of the Government of Burkina Faso and the Embassy to render assistance in the event of an emergency there is limited.

Insurance Services of America recommends –

If you are traveling to Mali, Niger or Burkina Faso, then we recommend contacting your international insurance agent and review your medical, life, Accidental Death and Kidnap and Ransom insurance benefits.  If there is a threat of you or your family members being abducted or kidnapped, then review your security profile, itinerary and contingency plans in case there is an unforeseen emergency.  A few websites which offer international insurance are http://www.insurancefortrips.com http://www.overseashealth.com and http://www.bestshorttermplan.com (more…)

Posted on October 8, 2012 in Africa

South Africa – Transportation Strike

The Consulate General informs U.S. citizens to be cautious on all roadways during the transportation strike. In particular, the areas of the Cape Town Airport approach/N2 and the Borchard’s Quarry/N2 intersections have been areas of recent violence to include vehicles being stoned and set on fire.

U.S. citizens are reminded to remain alert and take appropriate precautions. We encourage you to monitor local media for updates on traffic disruptions, roadblocks, and potential protests. Keep in mind toll plazas can become congested because of delays caused by strikes. It is prudent to plan alternate routes and have them available in the event they are necessary. (more…)

Posted on September 11, 2012 in Africa

Updated Travel Warning for South Sudan

The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Republic of South Sudan and strongly recommends U.S. citizens defer all travel to the country. This replaces the Travel Warning dated July 12, 2011, updates information on security incidents, and reminds U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in the Republic of South Sudan.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to South Sudan and strongly recommends that you avoid all travel to the states in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan (Upper Nile, Unity, and Western Bar el Ghazai states in South Sudan; Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan; and the Abyei Special Administrative District). Although fighting between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has declined since spring 2012, the potential for troop build-ups along the border and renewed fighting continues to be a legitimate threat. (more…)

Posted on July 25, 2012 in Africa, Travel Advisory

Updated US State Department Travel Warning for Democratic Republic of Congo

If you are traveling to the DRC, then please contact Insurance Services of America first for your international health, life and travel insurance options.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) (DRC), and recommends against non-essential travel to eastern and northeastern DRC. This replaces the Travel Warning dated January 12, 2012, to update information on security and air travel safety in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (more…)

Posted on July 24, 2012 in Africa, Travel Advisory

US State Department Travel Warning for Syria

This Emergency Message is being sent to notify U.S. citizens seeking to depart Syria that many flights are being cancelled and land border crossings are subject to closure without notice due to the ongoing possibility of fighting between regime forces and armed opposition groups. Travelers should check with their airlines prior to planned travel. The United States continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Syria and recommends that U.S. citizens in Syria depart immediately. (more…)

Posted on July 23, 2012 in Africa

US State Department Travel Warning for Madagascar

If you are planning a mission trip to Madagascar, then the please take caution.  The international airport in Antananarivo is experiencing flight cancellations and delays.  If you have purchased the Roundtrip travel insurance policy with the option to “Cancel For Any Reason” then please call the 24 hour worldwide assistance telephone number on your ID card for trip cancellation assistance.

The Embassy has received reports of soldiers taking over a military base near to the international airport in Antananarivo. Gunfire has been reported. Flights in and out of the airport have been suspended. American citizens in Madagascar are advised to avoid the area until the situation is resolved. Americans planning to travel Madagascar should check with their airlines before commencing travel to the country. (more…)