News in Brief 03 July 2017

World hunger on rise again, reversing years of progress: FAO

World hunger is on the rise again reversing years of progress, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, has said.

Jose Graziano da Silva made the announcement at the opening of the agency’s biennial conference on Monday.

Almost 60 per cent of people suffering from hunger in the world live in countries affected by conflict and climate change, he underscored.

FAO has signalled high risk of famine in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen with 20 million people severely affected.

Here’s Jose Graziano da Silva.

“Nearly 20 million people we estimate that are heavily affected in those countries and this is happening less than 2 years after we agreed to eradicate hunger by 2030. Strong political commitment to eradicate hunger is fundamental but it is not enough. Hunger will only be defeated if countries translated their pledges into concrete action, especially at the national and local levels, there is where the people lead.”

FAO is expecting some 1,100 participants to attend the conference, including a head of state, one prime minister as well as 82 ministers and several representatives from international organizations, the private sector and civil society.

WHO declares end to Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an end to the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The announcement comes after the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas-Uele province tested negative for the disease for the second time.

Four people have died from the outbreak while four others have survived the disease, the agency confirmed.

The country’s Ministry of Public Health officially declared an outbreak of the virus on 11 May after a “cluster of undiagnosed illnesses and deaths,” with bleeding symptoms, was reported in the Likati health district.

Likati is a remote, hard to reach area, which shares borders with the Central African Republic and two other provinces of DRC.

This is the eighth outbreak in the DRC since 1976.

The most recent was in 2014, around the same time the virus wreaked havoc in West Africa, killing more than 11,000 people.

400 tonnes of health supplies arrive in Yemen: UN health agency

A little over 400 tonnes of life-saving health supplies have arrived in Yemen, the World Health Organization announced on Saturday.

Twenty ambulances, 100 cholera kits, hospital equipment and 128 000 bags of intravenous fluids are just some of the supplies sent to Hodeida, Yemen as part of the agency’s shipment.

An additional 10 ambulances were delivered through the Port of Aden three weeks ago, with 10 more due to arrive in coming weeks.

People are dying right now in Yemen because they cannot access healthcare, WHO representative in Yemen, Dr Nevio Zagara warned.

Getting medical supplies to vulnerable people across the country “is no easy task” he stressed, citing the active conflict, damaged port infrastructure and logistical difficulties that impede access.

According to WHO estimates, an ongoing cholera outbreak has resulted in the deaths of 1500 people in just over 2 months.

Source: United Nations Radio