For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a $4.3 return in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and society around the world, where 2.5 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation services, with 1 billion practicing open defection, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on 19 November 2014 said.
Photo: UNICEF/UKLA2013-00961/Karin Schermbrucker
WHO released a major new report behalf of UN-Water that showed that while global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation are gaining momentum, “serious gaps” in funding continue to hamper progress.
The UN health agency also noted that “At the time of writing, poor WASH [water and sanitation] conditions in communities and institutional settings, especially health facilities, have been exacerbating the spread of Ebola in West Africa.”
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Four months ago, the head of the UN agency dealing with HIV and AIDS urged world leaders at an international conference in Australia to end the hypocrisy on sex and make treatment and reproductive health education universally available. Now, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says that taking a fast-track approach in the battle against AIDS over the next five years will avert 21 million deaths and allow the world to end the epidemic by 2030.
The report, Fast-Track: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, outlines a set of targets that would need to be reached by 2020, including 90-90-90: 90 per cent of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90 per cent of people who know their HIV-positive status on treatment; and 90 per cent of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads.*
“We have bent the trajectory of the epidemic,” on 18 November 2014 said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS in a press release. “Now we have five years to break it for good or risk the epidemic rebounding out of control.”
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Human Wrongs Watch
‘As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy. The extent of financial corruption involving collusion between the mega-banks and the financial authorities is unfathomable. The Western financial system is a house of cards resting on corruption.’
**USDnotes | Source: USDnotes.jpg | Author: derivative work: Hidro (talk) – USDnotes.jpg: Original uploader was Andyhi18 at en.wikipedia | Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license | Wikimedia Commons
By Paul Craig Roberts*, 17 November 2014, TRANSCEND Media Service – As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy.
So why has Japan adopted the policy? Since the heavy duty money printing began in 2013, the Japanese yen has fallen 35% against the US dollar, a big cost for a country dependent on energy imports. Moreover, the Japanese economy has shown no growth in response to the QE stimulus to justify the rising price of imports.
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Against a backdrop of aging populations and persistently low economic growth, few European governments are doing enough to help recent immigrants move from low-skilled precarious jobs and into decent work, says a new report out on 18 November 2014 from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Migration Policy Institute.
Migrants arriving on Italy’s Lampedusa Island after crossing the Mediterranean on a dilapidated boat. Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy
According to the report, Aiming Higher: Policies to Get Immigrants into Middle-Skilled Work in Europe, while some countries have made sizable investments in labour market integration policies throughout the past decade, they have focused primarily on getting immigrants into work. As a result, these policies have struggled to facilitate career progression over time.*
“As our findings demonstrate, despite some promising innovations in some countries there is clearly no quick fix to the problem of immigrants stuck in low-skilled work or unemployment,” said Christiane Kuptsch, Senior Specialist in Migration Policy with the ILO.
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The Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a comprehensive pocketbook of nutrition-related data covering all regions of the world ahead of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place in the Italian capital on 19-21 November 2014.
Food and Nutrition in Numbers – a pocket-sized compendium dedicated to the state of nutrition worldwide— offers diverse data and visualizations highlighting trends on such topics as micronutrient deficiencies, overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases from 1990 to the present.*
Additionally, it offers indicators on the links between nutrition, health and the environment.
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Nine fugitives are being pursued as part of a United Nations-backed joint INTERPOL global operation targeting individuals wanted for serious environmental – including wildlife – crime.
CITES is supporting INTERPOL’s Operation ‘INFRA-Terra’ (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest), targeting nine fugitives wanted for environmental crime, in particular wildlife crime. Credit: INTERPOL/CITES
Operation INFRA-Terra (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest) is supported by the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), which is a collaborative effort of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat, INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and the World Customs Organization. INTERPOL is leading the operation, which is the first of its kind.
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Vienna/Kabul, November 2014 — Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose seven per cent from 209,000 hectares in 2013 to 224,000 hectares, according to the 2014 Afghanistan Opium Survey released in Vienna and Kabul by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Meanwhile, opium production may potentially increase 17 per cent, with yields estimated to reach 6,400 tons in 2014 compared to the previous year’s total of 5,500 tons.
**Anti-poppy propaganda poster. An approximate translation of the text is “Poppies are the crop of death. Grow wheat instead so children can eat and live” | Author: Todd Huffman | Source: originally posted to Flickr as No Poppies | Wikimedia Commons.
The Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, said that Afghanistan’s narcotics problem remained a global challenge and shared responsibility “We cannot afford to see the long-term stability of Afghanistan – and the wider region – derailed by the threat of opiates. What is needed is greater resolve towards addressing narcotics in a serious and tangible manner within the economic, development and security agendas.”
Afghanistan produces some 90 per cent of the world’s illicit opiates. These increases come after record highs were noted in 2013, when cultivation rose 36 per cent and production by almost a half since 2012.
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