Archive for April 13th, 2017

13/04/2017

Did You Know that the Oceans Have It All?

ROME, Apr 13 2017 (IPS) – Perhaps you are not aware enough of the fact the oceans have it all! What is “all”? Well, oceans have from microscopic life to the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth, from the colourless to the shimmering, from the frozen to the boiling and from the sunlit to the mysterious dark of the deepest parts of the planet. Who says that?

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Healthy oceans have a central role to play in solving one of the biggest problems of the 21st century – how to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Credit: FAO

It is the United Nations, which by the way reminds that oceans are an essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem –a source of biodiversity, food, and life. Just think that over 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometres of the coast.

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13/04/2017

‘Alarming’ Rise in Use of Children in ‘Suicide’ Attacks by Boko Haram – UNICEF

Human Wrongs Watch

12 April 2017 – The use of children, particularly girls, by the Boko Haram terrorist group in violent attacks in the Lake Chad region has seen an “alarming” surge in 2017, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported.

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A girl carries her sister as another stands by her in the village of Mao in Chad. Photo: UNICEF/Tremeau

According to the UNICEF report, Silent Shame: Bringing out the voices of children caught in the Lake Chad crisis, 27 children have been used to carry out bomb attacks in public places across Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon in the first quarter of this year. During the same period last year, the number was nine.

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13/04/2017

Illegal Armed Groups Pose ‘Persistent Threat’ to Africa’s Great Lakes Region

Human Wrongs Watch

12 April 2017 – The United Nations envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region encouraged today the countries of the region, and the UN Security Council, to help strengthen the fight against illegal armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its neighbours, particularly as elements of the former M23 rebel group have resurfaced.

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Internally displaced persons (IDPs) line up early in the morning for a general food distribution at the UN Protection of Civilians Site, Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Bannon

“The persistent activities of illegal armed groups remain one of the main threats to the security of the population and the stability of the DRC and the region,” said Said Djinnit, the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region told the Security Council.

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13/04/2017

The Unbearable Cost of Drought in Africa

 

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Apr 12 2017 (IPS) – Nearly 50 per cent of all emergency multilateral food assistance to Africa is due to natural disasters, with advancing droughts significantly threatening both livelihoods and economic growth, warns the African Union through its ground-breaking extreme weather insurance mechanism designed to help the continent’s countries resist and recover from the ravages of drought.

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People living in the Melia IDP camp, Lake Chad, receiving WFP food. Most of the displaced come from the Lake Chad islands, that have been abandoned because of insecurity. Photo: WFP/Marco Farthing

The mechanism, known as the African Risk Capacity (ARC) provides participating African states with quick-disbursing funds in the event of drought, and assists countries in developing drought response contingency plans to implement timely and effective responses.

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13/04/2017

Increasing Risk of Mass Deaths from Starvation in Many African Countries

Human Wrongs Watch

11 April 2017 – Warning of increasing risk of mass deaths from starvation in many countries in Africa and in Yemen due to worsening drought and conflict, the United Nations refugee agency has called for international support to prevent the repeat of the 2011 tragedy in the Horn of Africa that claimed more than 260,000 lives.

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A two-year old child is fed an infusion of neem tree leaves in Rumbek, South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/Rocco Nuri

“An avoidable humanitarian crisis in the region, possibly worse than that of 2011, is fast becoming an inevitability,” Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told journalists at the regular bi-weekly media briefing in Geneva. “A repeat must be avoided at all costs.”
13/04/2017

Millions in Yemen on Brink of Famine, Situation ‘Close to a Breaking Point’ 

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up its emergency operations in war-torn Yemen to provide urgently needed food assistance to some nine million people, the agency on 12 April 2017 said.

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In Mazrak, Yemen, a five year-old girl, diagnosed as malnourished, is given a pink wristband to wear to show she has not been getting enough to eat. Photo: UNHCR/Hugh Macleod

“We are in a race against time to save lives and prevent a full-scale famine unfolding in the country, but we urgently need resources to do this,” said the WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen, Stephen Anderson.

The new emergency operation will require up to $1.2 billion over a one-year period and should allow WFP to gradually scale up assistance to feed all severely food insecure people in Yemen every month.

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