Open Society Announces $1.7 Million to Support Middle East and North Africa Debt Swap for Sustainable Development

Amman, March 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Open Society Foundations today announced that they are giving $1.7 million to a United Nations initiative in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that seeks to catalyze increased public spending on achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by negotiating reduced national debt service payments. Importantly, the initiative provides a channel for MENA civil society organizations to have a voice about where such kinds of innovative financing is needed most.

The two-and-a-half-year project partnership, which will last from April 2023 through September 2025, will support work by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) with interested member states and civil society to identify investment projects that prioritize the most urgent needs of MENA societies. ESCWA will support member states in reaching agreements with their creditors to redirect scheduled debt service payments into sustainable local investments.

An emphasis on robust project monitoring and evaluation provides an incentive to creditors who are ready to deliver on their own commitments to climate and sustainable development goals financing in MENA. The initiative is further strengthened by the role of ESCWA’s Advisory Committee, made up of experts with experience implementing debt swaps and providing economic policy advice on inclusive growth in other parts of the world.

Heavily indebted MENA countries have pressing financing needs to address climate adaptation and sustainable development goals, while struggling to recover from fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic and repercussions of the war in Ukraine, including growing food insecurity. As middle-income countries, they are both excluded from debt relief frameworks and find it difficult to access the financing they need.

The combined public debt burden of Arab countries was $1.5 trillion, equivalent to about 54 percent of the region’s GDP in 2021. In addition, the Arab region continues to suffer disproportionately from climate change and 90 percent of the population resides in water-scarce countries. Conflicts in the region have devastated institutions and infrastructure and some 66 million persons in Arab countries affected by conflict are dependent on humanitarian aid.

“The ESCWA initiative is a win-win strategy for all stakeholders involved,” said Issandr Amrani, executive director for Open Society–Middle East and North Africa. “As a multilateral institution with a commitment to human rights and civil society engagements, ESCWA provides a new opportunity for civil society to engage with governments on borrowing, spending, and development priorities. Open Society is committed to backing innovative projects that can help deliver economic justice.”

Yamide Dagnet, Open Society’s director for Climate Justice, added: “Climate disruption poses exponential risks to MENA’s economic and political challenges. Open Society’s pro-climate and fiscal-forward support can pave the way for catalytic investment in a just and inclusive climate transformation. From spurring dynamic and higher quality, green new employment opportunities that spark optimism among youth, women, and other marginalized communities, to addressing adaptation issues such as water scarcity that risks amplifying conflict. The fiscal space and just opportunities this pledge creates expands how we must put climate justice into action.”

Open Society’s president announced the launch of the grant during a high-level plenary session of the Arab Forum on Sustainable Development in Beirut, Lebanon, on March 15, 2023.

Office of Communications
Open Society Foundations 

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Gibson Oncology Expands Its Board of Directors With Accomplished Leadership in Oncology Clinical Development and Corporate Strategy

MIAMI, FL / ACCESSWIRE / March 14, 2023 / Gibson Oncology, a privately held Oncology preclinical and clinical development company advancing novel, targeted small molecule compounds that inhibit topoisomerase I and bind the G4 quadruplex in the cMyc promoter to inhibit cMyc expression as potent anticancer agents, welcomes two well-accomplished and experienced individuals within the life sciences industry, Dr. Fred Mermelstein and Dr. Mark Baganz.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Fred Mermelstein and Dr. Mark Baganz join Gibson’s Board of Directors. We look forward to their valuable contributions as Gibson further develops its oncology portfolio that uniquely attacks cancer through a dual mechanism: inhibition of TOPO 1 protein and reduction of cMyc expression levels through selective binding to G4 quadruplexes formed in the cMyc promoter region,” stated Randall B. Riggs, President and CEO.

Dr. Baganz is a corporate leader, entrepreneur, and board-certified diagnostic radiologist. He is the Founder and President of Chesapeake Medical Imaging, a subspeciality patient-centric diagnostic radiology practice with 12 locations in Maryland employing over 150 people. He was co-Founder and is a current Advisory Board member of SecureRAD-Purview, a medical IT and telehealth company and the sponsor of the Horos Project, an open-source medical image viewing platform with over 100,000 users on all continents and in over 170 countries.

Fred Mermelstein, Ph.D., currently serves as President and CEO of Dynamic Cell Therapies since its founding in 2020 and Chairman of the board of Courage Therapeutics since its founding in 2019. Between 2003 – 2010, Dr. Mermelstein founded Javelin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (JAV), until its sale to Hospira, Inc., now Pfizer. He served as the CEO and President of Javelin, which developed Dyloject, an injectable anti-inflammatory for the treatment of post-operative pain. He founded PolaRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., in 1997, where he also served as Chief Scientific Officer until 1999, and on the team responsible for bringing Trisenox (Arsenic Trioxide for the treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia) to NDA completion, now marketed and sold worldwide by Teva. He also served on the board of NX Development Corp., between 2011 – 2018 which brought Gliolan to the market in the United States prior to its acquisition by SBI Pharma, Inc. Between 2008 and 2018, Dr. Mermelstein was a co-founder and served as Chairman of the Board of Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals, until its sale to Dare Biosciences, Inc. Dr. Mermelstein serves on several boards, including Harvard Institute of RNA Medicine, Rogosin Institute and Cornell-Weill Medical Center.

About Gibson Oncology:

Gibson Oncology is developing a novel class of proprietary drug candidates currently in clinical trials for the treatment of difficult-to-treat tumors. Our product candidates are first-in-class based upon dual activity at cMyc and TOPO-1 which will improve safety and efficacy and offer future approaches for treating several cancers. There are currently five (5) ongoing clinical studies funded by the National Institute of Health in patients with solid tumors and lymphomas. Additionally, Gibson has developed proprietary second-generation product candidates expanding modes of delivery and treatment approaches in both pediatric and adult populations. For more information, please visit

Contact Information

Randall B. Riggs
President & CEO
(502) 345-8911

SOURCE: Gibson Oncology, LLC

FloQast Global Momentum Continues With Expansion Into Australia, New Zealand

Fintech veteran Jason Toshack to lead the company’s regional push

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA / ACCESSWIRE / March 14, 2023 / FloQast, a provider of accounting workflow automation software created by accountants for accountants, today announced its expansion into Australia and New Zealand, with plans to establish and scale a local headquarters in Sydney. With global interest increasing as FloQast establishes itself as an emerging international leader in accounting workflow technology, the expansion enables the company to service a growing regional customer base with a localised team.

Leading the company’s push is seasoned fintech executive Jason Toshack, named as Managing Director, ANZ. With more than 22 years of SaaS experience, Toshack joins FloQast after spending more than 15 years with NetSuite, where he most recently served as the company’s Vice President and General Manager ANZ. As Managing Director, Toshack will focus on growing FloQast’s ANZ presence, guiding all aspects of sales within the region, and helping develop local partnerships.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Jason Toshack lead our expansion into the ANZ region,” said Mike Whitmire, co-founder and CEO at FloQast, inactive CPA. “Jason’s wealth of experience and background make him uniquely qualified to drive FloQast’s mission of elevating finance and accounting teams in Australia and New Zealand.”

FloQast’s list of users in Australia and New Zealand includes SafetyCulture, a global technology company run from a Sydney HQ that helps workers identify issues and opportunities for businesses to improve, Employment Hero, a global, all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform headquartered in Sydney, and Deputy, a global employee management tool also based in Sydney.

“I’ve operated adjacent to FloQast over the course of my career and have watched it develop into a leading accounting technology company,” said Toshack. “I’m thrilled about the opportunity to join the team and build our presence in the region.”

On April 5, FloQast is sponsoring Oracle NetSuite’s SuiteConnect Sydney: Full Suite Ahead. Learn more here.

About FloQast

FloQast delivers workflow automation software enabling organisations to operationalise accounting excellence. Trusted by more than 2,000 accounting teams – including Twilio, Los Angeles Lakers, Zoom, and Snowflake – FloQast was built by accountants, for accountants to enhance the way accounting teams work. FloQast enables customers to streamline processes such as automated reconciliations, documentation requests, and other workflows that impact the month-end Close, financial reporting, and payroll and is consistently rated #1 across all user review sites. Learn more at

Contact Information

Kyle Cabodi
FloQast Director of Corporate Communications

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‫تومي تكشف الستار عن إبداعاتها القادمة من خلال مجموعة فوياجير (Voyageur) المُعاد تصورها بمشاركة رينيه راب

دبي الامارات العربية المتحدة – 15 مارس 2023 – تحتفل تومي – العلامة التجارية الرائدة في مجال منتجات السفر والحياة العصرية – بمجموعتها الشهيرة فوياجير (Voyageur) مع أحدث حملاتها ” ” Unpack Tomorrowمن بطولة المغنية ومؤلفة الأغاني والممثلة رينيه راب.

رينيه راب تحمل حقيبة اليد المتوسطة فاليتا (Valetta) من مجموعة فوياجير (Voyageur)

تقدم الحملة التي أخرجها المخرج تود تورسو نظرة مقرّبة وشخصية على الرحلة متعددة الأوجه لرينيه، وتبرز أهمية منتجات السفر الموثوق بها في عالم حافل بالمجهول، مع مواصلة تصدر تومي لحركة السفر “التجوالي”. تسلط مقاطع الفيديو الخاصة بالممثلة الغنائية رينيه راب، بطلة المسرحية الغنائية mean Girlsو مسلسل Sex Lives of College Girls: الضوء على الطريقة التي تحمل فيها النجمة الشابة منتجات تومي معها في شتى مراحل مهنتها. تعرض أفلام رينيه الإصدار الجديد من مجموعة فوياجير (Voyageur) النسائية المحببة من تومي، حيث تفخر تومي بتقديم مواد مُعاد تدويرها في تصاميمها الأساسية.

تجسّد مجموعة فوياجير (Voyageur) لربيع 2023 جماليات المجموعة الأصلية الانسيابية المميزة وتعيد تقديمها عبر أشكال وأحجام عصرية تناسب كل امرأة محترفة أنيقة. تتصدر الاستدامة المشهد أيضًا من خلال مكونات مُعاد تدويرها بالإضافة إلى متانة مُعززة وميزات تنظيمية جديدة تسهّل حمل الحقائب. يفيض الربيع بألوان موسمية جديدة في مجموعة فوياجير (Voyageur) مثل الأرجواني الفاتح، والرمادي الضبابي، والأخضر الباهت، ونقشات “Swallowtail” متعددة الألوان.

الحقائب من اليسار إلى اليمين: حقيبة اليد الكبيرة فاليتا (Valetta) من مجموعة فوياجير من تومي باللون الأسود البرونزي
حقيبة اليد الصغيرة فاليتا (Valetta) من مجموعة فوياجير من تومي بنقشة “Swallowtail”
حقيبة كروس بودي للارتداء عبر الجسم أديلايد هوبو (Adelaide Hobo) من مجموعة فوياجير من تومي باللون الرمادي الضبابي
حقيبة الخصر الصغيرة لوها (Loha) من مجموعة فوياجير من

تركّز تصاميم تومي الجديدة على تعددية الاستخدامات والميزات العمليّة ويبرز ذلك من خلال الموديلات الأساسية المصنوعة من مواد نايلون عصرية. تتضمن هذه التصاميم حقيبة اليد فاليتا (Valetta)، المتوفرة في ثلاثة أحجام، فضلًا عن حقيبة الكروس بودي المواكبة للموضة أديلايد هوبو (Adelaide Hobo) وحقيبة الخصر الصغيرة لوها (Loha) المتوفرة بالألوان الأرجواني الفاتح، والرمادي الضبابي، والأخضر الباهت، والأسود، ونقشات “Swallowprint”.

من اليسار إلى اليمين: حقيبة سلينج قابلة للحمل على الصدر أو الظهر كيلين (Kileen) من مجموعة فوياجير من تومي باللون الأرجواني الفاتح المتدرج
حقيبة الظهر سيلينا (Celina) من مجموعة فوياجير من تومي باللون الأرجواني الفاتح
حقيبة الظهر /حقيبة دوفيل مالتا (Malta) من مجموعة فوياجير من تومي باللون الأسود البرونزي

بالإضافة إلى حقيبة الظهر سيلينا (Celina) المُعاد تصميمها، تقدّم المجموعة عدد من التصاميم الجديدة العصرية مثل حقيبة الظهر/ دوفيل مالتا (Malta) والحقيبة السلينج القابلة للحمل على الصدر أو الظهر كيلين (Kileen)، وجميعها تتضمن مزايا مفيدة مثل البطانة المقاومة للماء والأحزمة لحمل حصيرة اليوغا. من العناصر التصميمية الأخرى التي تتضمنها المجموعة الأكسسوارات المعدنية العصرية، والزخارف الجلدية المحببة الراقية، وملحقات تومي+ المضافة من الخارج والداخل على كل قطعة، والحليات الجلدية المبتكرة المتداخلة والقابلة للفصل.

من اليسار إلى اليمين: محفظة صغيرة موديلار (Modular) من تومي+ باللون الأحمر الناري
محفظة شارم (Charm) صغيرة من تومي+ بنقشة (Swallowtail)
حقيبة منظمة صغيرة من تومي+ باللون الأخضر الباهت

تكتمل المجموعة بالملحقات والمنتجات الجلدية الصغيرة للحفاظ على حقائب فوياجير (Voyageur) النسائية منظمة في كل وقت. يمكن تعزيز كل قطعة بملحقات تومي+ مثل محفظة تشارم (Charm)، والحقيبة المنظمة الصغيرة، والمحفظة الملحقة موديلار (Modular)، التي توفر إمكانية العثور على الأشياء الصغيرة بطريقة سريعة. ثمة ثلاثة تصاميم مبتكرة من حقائب سفر مجموعة 19 ديجري (19 Degree) بالألوان الموسمية الأرجواني الفاتح، والأخضر الباهت، والمرجاني لكي تتماشى بشكل مثالي مع طرز مجموعة فوياجير (Voyageur) من أجل راحة لا تُضاهى خلال رحلتها.

Hashtag: #TUMI

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

عن تومي

تبتكر تومي منذ عام 1975 منتجات أساسية عالمية خاصة بالأعمال وتناسب السفر وعالية الأداء وفاخرة مصممة لتطوير كافة جوانب الحياة أثناء التنقل، وتيسير ذلك، وإضفاء لمسة جمالية عليه. نمزج بين الوظائف المثالية وروح الإبداع، ونحن ملتزمون بتعزيز الرحلات بوصفنا شريك مدى الحياة للمتنقلين والصانعين الذين يسعون وراء شغفهم. يتم بيع العلامة التجارية عالميًا في أكثر من 75 دولة عبر ما يقرب من 2000 نقطة بيع.

لمعرفة المزيد عن تومي، تفضلوا بزيارة


TUMI Unpacks Tomorrow with Reimagined Voyageur Collection featuring Reneé Rapp

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 15 March 2023 – TUMI, the leading international travel and lifestyle brand, is celebrating its iconic Voyageur collection with the latest instalment of its Unpack Tomorrow campaign starring singer-songwriter and actress, Reneé Rapp.
Reneé Rapp carries Voyageur Valetta Medium Tote

Brought to life by director Todd Tourso, the campaign offers an up close and personal lens into Reneé’s multifaceted journey, illustrating the importance of reliable travel products in a world that is full of unknowns, and continuing to position TUMI at the forefront of the “nomadic” travel movement. Sex Lives of College Girls and Mean Girls: The Musical actress Reneé Rapp’s videos highlight the ways that the young star brings TUMI wherever her career takes her. Reneé’s films feature the relaunch of TUMI’s beloved women’s Voyageur collection, boasting recycled materials within its core designs.

The Spring 2023 Voyageur collection takes its signature streamlined aesthetic and reinterprets it with ultramodern shapes and sizes suited for stylish professionals. Sustainability has also been brought to the forefront with recycled components as well as enhanced durability and new organizational features that bring ease to each wear. Spring brings a flurry of new seasonal colors in the Voyageur collection with Lilac, Fog, Mist and multicolor Swallowtail Print.
L to R: TUMI Voyageur Loha Slim Hip Bag in Black Gunmetal
TUMI Voyageur Adelaide Hobo Crossbody in Fog
TUMI Voyageur Valetta Micro Tote in Swallowtail Print
TUMI Voyageur Valetta Large Tote in Black Gunmetal

With a redesign that focuses on versatility and enhanced functionality, TUMI introduces key styles in on-trend nylon materials. These include the Valetta Tote, which is available in three sizes, as well as the on-trend Adelaide Hobo Crossbody and Loha Slim Hip Bag available in Lilac, Fog, Mist, Desert Red, Black and Swallowtail Print.

L to R: TUMI Voyageur Kileen Convertible Sling in Lilac Ombre
TUMI Voyageur Celina Backpack in Lilac
TUMI Voyageur Malta Duffel/Backpack in Black Gunmetal

In addition to a redesigned Celina Backpack, there are a number of new active styles such as the Malta Duffel/Backpack and Kileen Convertible Sling, all packed with useful features like a water-resistant lining and straps to hold a yoga mat. Other design elements found across the collection include modern gunmetal hardware, elevated caviar leather trim, added TUMI+ functionality on the exterior and interior of each piece, and an iconic monogrammable, detachable leather charm.

L to R: TUMI+ Small Modular Pouch in Blaze Red
TUMI+ Charm Pouch in Small Swallowtail Print
TUMI+ Small Organizer in Mist

Completing the collection are a range of accessories and small leather goods to keep the Voyageur woman organized in every possible situation. Each piece can be further enhanced with TUMI+ accessories such as the Charm Pouch, Small Organizer and Modular Accessory Pouch, which offer quick access to smaller items. Three innovative 19 Degree carry-on styles in seasonal Lilac, Mist and Coral perfectly match the Voyageur styles for unmatched convenience throughout her journey.

Hashtag: #TUMI

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

About TUMI

Since 1975, TUMI has been creating world-class business, travel lifestyle, and performance luxury essentials designed to upgrade, uncomplicate and beautify all aspects of life on the move. Blending flawless functionality with a spirit of ingenuity, we’re committed to empowering journeys as a lifelong partner to movers and makers in pursuit of their passions. The brand is sold globally in over 75 countries with upwards of 2,000 points of sale.

For more about TUMI, visit