Author Archives: Romain Lecadou

Forecasting positive 2015 world crop prospects, UN agency warns of food insecurity ‘hotspots

A maize farmer and her child in Lesotho. Photo: FAO/Gianluigi Guercia

A maize farmer and her child in Lesotho. Photo: FAO/Gianluigi Guercia

New York, 9 July 2015 – Favorable worldwide conditions for cereal crops will lead to better-than-expected production this growing season at the global level, today said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

That is despite continuing apprehension over El Niño, growing concerns over a sharp shortfall in maize grown in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as poor production in other food insecure hotspot areas. Continue reading

Refugee student’s hard work pays off with scholarship to study in USA

Joel Tshite and his proud parents show off his scholarship certificate from the US Student Achievers Program awards ceremony held recently in Harare, Zimbabwe UNHCR/M.Mutuli

Joel Tshite and his proud parents show off his scholarship certificate from the US Student Achievers Program awards ceremony held recently in Harare, Zimbabwe UNHCR/M.Mutuli

Tongogara, Zimbabwe, 07 July 2015 After fleeing his home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and seeking safety in Zimbabwe, the last thing 20-year-old Joel Tshite ever expected was the chance to study in America.

Now, thanks to the US Student Achievers Program (USAP), he is one of 27 students in the entire southern African country whose future shines brighter than ever after an amazing journey out of darkness.

It was 2001 when a six-year-old Joel saw a group of thugs hack his three older brothers to death. They had been searching for his missing father. “My world changed forever that night,” he recalled. “We fled DRC a few days later, I knew it would never be the same again.” Continue reading

A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information No. 102/ 8 July 2015

Special Envoy de Mistura continues Geneva consultations
Within the framework of the Geneva Consultations, Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura met on 2 July with a delegation of the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces led by Coalition President Khaled Khoja. Mr. Khoja and other members of the delegation briefed on the latest efforts of the Coalition and the situation in and around Syria. They also discussed perspectives for a political solution to the conflict. This week, Special Envoy de Mistura intends to travel to New York to report to the Secretary-General on his findings from the initial phase of the Geneva Consultations. While in New York, Mr. de Mistura will hold further meetings with regional and international stakeholders to prepare for the planned Security Council meeting at the end of July.
http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/%28httpPages%29/4d6470dbeaf92917c1257e59004fac2d?OpenDocument&ExpandSection=1#_Section1 Continue reading

Amid stalled reconstruction, UN official says ‘root causes’ of Gaza crisis still unresolved

Children in a refugee camp in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Photo: UNICEF State of Palestine/Eyad El Baba

Children in a refugee camp in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Photo: UNICEF State of Palestine/Eyad El Baba

Gaza, 8 July 2015 – The root causes of last year’s conflict in Gaza – which claimed nearly two thousand lives and ravaged large swathes of the Palestinian enclave – remain unaddressed despite a growing humanitarian crisis in the area, the head of the United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees has warned.

In a statement issued earlier today, Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), voiced concern that the “despair, destitution and denial of dignity” resulting from the 2014 war with Israel and from the ongoing blockade remain “a fact of life for ordinary people in Gaza,” adding to the mounting humanitarian burden with which they are faced. Continue reading

President Johnson-Sirleaf launches National Urban Policy for Liberia

President-Johnson-Sirleaf (Centre) of Liberia in Monrovia to launch the National Urban Policy process for Liberia. Photo: UN-HABITAT

President-Johnson-Sirleaf (Centre) of Liberia in Monrovia to launch the National Urban Policy process for Liberia. Photo: UN-HABITAT

Monrovia, 8 July 2015 – More than 200 participants, including roughly 80 women and 26 representatives of local authorities, recently gathered in Monrovia to witness the launch of the National Urban Policy process for Liberia.

The launch took place during the first National Urban Forum (NUF) for Liberia. Before launching the policy for Liberia, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf stated in her opening statement that the policy shall be geared towards addressing urban issues such as governance, housing and building in wetlands, environment degradation, sea level rise and flooding , access to infrastructure and services particularly health and education. Continue reading

Ebola cases evade detection due to ongoing lack of trust in communities – UN

In Liberia, adolescent girls trained by UNICEF and partners are part of Adolescents Leading the Intensive Fight against Ebola, or A-LIFE. Photo: UNICEF/Cody Griggers

In Liberia, adolescent girls trained by UNICEF and partners are part of Adolescents Leading the Intensive Fight against Ebola, or A-LIFE. Photo: UNICEF/Cody Griggers

Geneva, 8 July 2015 – The origin of the new cluster of Ebola cases is “not yet well understood,” the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today about the outbreak in West Africa where a residual lack of trust in the response means that some cases still evade detection for too long, increasing the risk of further transmission.

There were 30 confirmed Ebola cases reported in the week ending 5 July: 18 in Guinea, 3 in Liberia, and 9 in Sierra Leone, according to the WHO weekly update on Ebola, which notes that “significant challenges remain” in the fight to eradicate the disease, which has affected some 27,600 people, including more than 11,000 deaths. Continue reading

South Sudan: four years on, UN marks ‘grim’ independence anniversary amid ongoing conflict

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

South Sudan, 8 July 2015 – The people of South Sudan are preparing to mark the fourth anniversary of their country’s founding amid ongoing suffering, unconscionable levels of violence and unspeakable sexual abuse, according to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In a statement issued earlier today and ahead of the country’s milestone – which will officially be observed on 9 July – the Secretary-General recalled the sense of joy and hope felt across South Sudan in the early days of 2011 as it became the world’s youngest nation – a stark contrast to today’s reality when hope across the African State remains “in short supply.” Continue reading

The Secretary-General — Message on World Population Day 11 July 2015

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

New York, 8 July 2015 – Not since the end of the Second World War have so many people been forced from their homes across the planet. With nearly 60 million individuals having fled conflict or disaster, women and adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable. Violent extremists and armed groups are committing terrible abuses that result in trauma, unintended pregnancy and infection with HIV and other diseases. Shame and accountability rest squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrators who wage cowardly battles across the bodies of innocents.

These women are far from just victims. They have hopes, plans and the potential to make important contributions to our common future. We must staunchly protect women’s health, including their sexual and reproductive health, and address their needs as a priority in emergency relief operations. At the same time, we must continuously advance women’s human rights in times of both turmoil and calm in order to enable them to help avert conflict, stand strong should it strike, and foster the healing that is so badly needed in war-torn societies. Continue reading

Nigeria: Ban strongly condemns Boko Haram attacks targeting Muslims and Christians

Refugees in Minawao camp , Cameroon, after fleeing violence by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria. Photo: WFP/Sofia Engdahl

Refugees in Minawao camp , Cameroon, after fleeing violence by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria. Photo: WFP/Sofia Engdahl

Nigeria, 7 July 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned attacks by Boko Haram in Lake Chad Basin countries, including the deliberate targeting of Christian and Muslim worshippers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Nigeria’s northeast states of Borno and Yobe.

“The Secretary-General takes note of [Nigerian] President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to root out this menace, and commends the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin for their steadfast efforts in the fight against Boko Haram,” according to a statement issued this evening by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson in New York. Continue reading

After missteps on Ebola, WHO must re-establish itself as ‘guardian of global public health’ – review panel

A baby girls arm is measured by a health worker at the UNICEF-supported Pipeline Health Centre in Liberia, Monrovia (January 2015). Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0135/Naftalin

A baby girls arm is measured by a health worker at the UNICEF-supported Pipeline Health Centre in Liberia, Monrovia (January 2015). Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0135/Naftalin

Geneva, 7 July 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed the report issued today by a panel of experts tasked to look into the agency’s response to the unprecedented 2014 Ebola outbreak, which said that WHO needs to re-establish its pre-eminence as the guardian of global public health and that this will require it to make significant changes throughout, with strong political and financial support from Member States.

“The Panel firmly believes that this is a defining moment not only for WHO and the global health emergency response but also for the governance of the entire global health system,” said the Report of the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel released today. “The challenges raised in this report are critical to the delivery of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all age.” Continue reading