Author Archives: Romain Lecadou

Situating land rights in the context of food security

Mariam Chiwaula showing the size of her rice garden.© Mike Chipalasa/ FAO/ 2015

Mariam Chiwaula showing the size of her rice garden.© Mike Chipalasa/ FAO/ 2015

Malawi, 23 July 2015 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is promoting use of Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). The VGGT overarching goals are to achieve food security for all and support the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. In Malawi, FAO is partnering with LandNet – a network of civil society organisations – to raise awareness on the VGGT after noting that most people in rural areas are not aware of their land rights. Recently, LandNet organized a training of trainers workshop with local civil society organizations based in Salima district where a female smallholder rice farmer, Mariam Chiwaula, shared her experience of why land is an issue and how this is affecting her household food security. Mike Chipalasa of FAO Malawi now presents Mariam’s story as told by her: Continue reading

Democratic Republic Of Congo: Food Assistance In North Kivu

© WFP/Leonora Baumann

© WFP/Leonora Baumann

DRC, 23 July 2015 – The World Food Programme (WFP) sends 1,500 tons of food each month to the most vulnerable people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

How is WFP fighting hunger in North Kivu?

Current operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are designed to provide food assistance to the most vulnerable people in the country’s most conflict-affected provinces, like North Kivu. Continue reading

Burundi: after “broadly peaceful” polling, Ban calls parties to resume inclusive political dialogue

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.© UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.© UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Burundi, 23 July 2015 – Taking note of the “broadly peaceful” conduct of polling in the Burundian presidential elections on 21 July, the top United Nations official today called on all parties to continue to remain calm and immediately resume an inclusive political dialogue.

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on the Burundian parties to engage in good faith in the political dialogue putting Burundi’s national interests first and fully determined to implement the relevant outstanding provisions of the 6 July East African Community (EAC) summit outcome document,” reads a statement issued by the UN Spokesperson. Continue reading

The Tsetse Fly Eradication Project in Senegal Wins Award for Best Sustainable Development Practices

Tsetse flies are blood-sucking insect pests threatening food security in the Niayes, a coastal area south east of Dakar. Their bites jeopardize livestock health, and the flies themselves transmit parasites that carry a life-threatening infection to livestock known as African animal trypanosomosis or nagana. (Photo: A. Rodriguez/IAEA)

Tsetse flies are blood-sucking insect pests threatening food security in the Niayes, a coastal area south east of Dakar. Their bites jeopardize livestock health, and the flies themselves transmit parasites that carry a life-threatening infection to livestock known as African animal trypanosomosis or nagana. (Photo: A. Rodriguez/IAEA)

Senegal, 23 July 2015 – A project in Senegal to eradicate tsetse flies that is supported by the FAO/IAEA was recently selected as one of 18 Best Sustainable Development Practices on Food Security at the EXPO Milano 2015. The project was selected among 749 projects for its contribution to furthering sustainable development of small rural communities in marginal areas: it has successfully improved food security and public health in target areas of Senegal through reducing the tsetse fly population by up to 95% using nuclear and other techniques.

Tsetse flies are blood-sucking insect pests threatening food security in the Niayes, a coastal area south east of Dakar. Their bites jeopardize livestock health, and the flies themselves transmit parasites that carry a life-threatening infection to livestock known as African animal trypanosomosis or nagana. These flies can lower quality of life and lead to a loss of milk and meat provided by livestock, which significantly impacts farmers’ livelihoods and stifles local development. Continue reading

Tackling poverty and drought in Uganda

The project aims to improve the utilization of arid land for food and livestock production, as well as focus on climate change mitigation via tree-planting and environmental protection (Photo: UNISDR/Pius Loupa)

The project aims to improve the utilization of arid land for food and livestock production, as well as focus on climate change mitigation via tree-planting and environmental protection (Photo: UNISDR/Pius Loupa)

Kampala, 22 July 2015 – A five-year initiative to tackle endemic poverty in Uganda’s northern region of Karamoja is expected to boost resilience to natural hazards, especially the recurrent droughts which can decimate livelihoods.

The Drylands Integrated Development Project was launched in June to address a swath of challenges which fuel the population’s vulnerablity to hazards.

“This project will complement and strengthen the existing government projects in Karamoja to address food insecurity, improve crop and livestock production, health coverage, education, develop business and infrastructure,” said Ms. Barbara Nekesa, the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs. Continue reading

With MONUSCO’s support, armed groups combatants are surrendering to Goma transit camp

Photo: UN

Photo: UN

Goma, 18 July 2015 – Goma DDR transit camp, located in the vicinity of Goma airport, has received combatants from various armed groups active in the eastern DRC: FRPI (Front de Résistance Patriotique de l’Ituri), FDLR (Front Démocratique pour la Libération du Rwanda) and the different Mai Mai groups.

Those ex-combatants generally spend a short stay in the camp, say 5 to 7 days before being either handed over to the Congolese Government officials if they are Congolese or repatriated to their home countries if they are foreigners. Continue reading

In latest update, UN health agency reports no new Ebola cases in Liberia

Helping Guinean communities fight Ebola. Photo: WHO/P. Haughton

Helping Guinean communities fight Ebola. Photo: WHO/P. Haughton

Liberia, 22 July 2015 – No new cases of Ebola were reported in Liberia nor in recent hotspots in West Africa with half the 26 cases in this week’s update from the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) coming from the capitals of Guinea and Sierra Leone, bringing the number of people who have died of the disease to 11,269.

WHO also reported today that on 20 July, Italy was declared free of Ebola transmission after the completion of 42 days without a case since the country’s first and only case of the disease was confirmed EVD-negative and discharged from hospital. Continue reading

UN rights experts hail Zambia’s move away from death penalty, flag ‘areas of concern’ elsewhere in Africa

Photo: UNODC

Photo: UNODC

Zambia, 22 July 2015 – The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on summary executions, Christof Heyns, and on torture, Juan E. Méndez, welcomed Zambian President Edgar Lungui’s decision to commute death sentences of 332 people to life imprisonment, and encouraged the authorities “to take a step further by removing all reference to the death penalty in the country’s laws.”

President Lungui commuted the sentences after his visit to Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, which despite a capacity of 51 inmates, houses hundreds. Continue reading

Top UN relief official in Central African Republic urgently appeals for halt in attacks on aid workers

Aid distribution point in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: OCHA

Aid distribution point in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: OCHA

Central African Republic, 22 July 2015 – The top United Nations humanitarian official in the Central African Republic (CAR) condemned today the surge in violence against aid workers in the country and appealed to all belligerents to allow them to do their jobs safely, particularly in the wake of a recent attack against a UN food convoy on a major supply route killed its driver.

“I condemn the violence and call on all belligerents to respect and protect humanitarian workers who provide assistance to thousands of people affected by conflict in the country,” said Humanitarian Coordinator Marc Vandenberghe in a statement issued in Bangui, the capital of the CAR. Continue reading