The 2011 Annual Report of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the United Nations’ humanitarian fund, highlights the contributions of the Fund to humanitarian partners in 45 countries and territories in 2011.
In Garin Goulbi, a small village more than 500 kilometres from Niger’s capital, women have taken the lead in protecting their families and community during the country’s dire food security and nutrition crisis, which has left more than six million people across Niger facing food shortages.
According to UN experts, successive droughts in 2005, 2010 and now 2012 have pushed families to the brink. UNICEF and the Government of Niger recognized that families needed skills or tools to make them more resilient to the recurring droughts and food insecurity.
In 2008, UNICEF began promoting key family practices (KFP) to improve child health, hygiene and nutrition. The behavioural interventions have the greatest impact on reducing mortality and morbidity among children under age 5, who are the most vulnerable in times of crisis. Women took the lead in implementing the programme.
Japan's leader felt fearful and helpless during last year's nuclear disaster and lacked experts capable of giving him guidance, he testified in his first response to a public investigative inquiry on the crisis.
Naoto Kan resigned in September after being criticised for government failures during the disaster. He told the parliamentary panel he felt afraid when nuclear officials kept failing to explain conditions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, where three reactors melted down following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
“To avoid the food crisis in the Sahel Region becoming a catastrophe we need strong leadership, comprehensive response plan; coordinated and speedy action and continued generosity from the regional and international community,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos today in Dakar.
Conflict and displacement in northern Mali are continuing to exacerbate the food and nutrition crisis throughout drought-affected areas of the Sahel region, OCHA has warned.
“Across the region, more than 15 million people, including 3.5 million Malians, will be affected by severe food insecurity this year, and over 1 million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition,” said OCHA’s Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, David Gressly.
Fighting between the Malian army and armed groups has displaced more than a quarter of a million people since the beginning of 2012. Many of these people continue to arrive in drought-affected areas within Mali and in neighbouring Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania—countries already facing a food and nutrition crisis.
Climate change, increases in population particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, limited arable land and water scarcity pose challenges to meeting food security needs of the region, warned experts on Saturday ahead of the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security later this week.
But recognition that the potential of biotechnology to contribute to food security and sustainability in the region was acknowledged by APEC officials after a presentation by Dr. Julian Adams who is with the Program for Biosafety Systems and at the University of Michigan.
Today, with the launch of its Facebook page (NZ Get Thru) and Twitter account (@nzgetthru), New Zealand ShakeOut took another step towards having 1 million people do an earthquake drill.
It is exactly five months before 9:26am, 26 September (9:26-26:9) when the campaign will culminate with a nation-wide earthquake drill – Drop, Cover and Hold!
The British prime minster, David Cameron, will hold a summit on food security during this summer's Olympic Games in London. In a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday, Cameron announced his intention to hold "a major event" during the Games.
The move follows last week's G8 summit in the US, where eight of the world's wealthiest nations pledged to speed up progress on combating hunger and malnutrition. Central to that commitment was the launch of the new alliance for food security and nutrition, announced by the US president Barack Obama last week. The alliance will encourage more private sector investment in African agriculture.
The G8 is taking a mistaken approach to the severe drought in the Sahel region of Africa – which may well ripen into an outright famine. This is an error of emphasis. Droughts and famines are temporary disasters, and they need prompt, short-term remedies.
Long-term policies for the relief of poverty can of course have good results, too, but this is not the most urgent need for the Sahel, a geographical zone that includes parts of 12 countries in northern Africa.
It seems to have gone virtually unnoticed, but the world leaders at the weekend's G8 summit look as if they have taken the biggest step in years in tackling climate change. And it's quite apart from anything to do with carbon dioxide.
The summit's final communiqué, the Camp David Declaration, supports “comprehensive actions” to reduce “short-lived climate pollutants”. These substances – including black carbon (soot), methane, ground-level ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons – are responsible for about half of global warming. Straightforward measures to address them, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme concluded last year, would delay dangerous climate change by more than three decades, buying crucial time for the much more difficult process of slashing carbon dioxide emissions.