UN Radio: IAEA Head to Inspect Libya's Nukes
UN Radio: IAEA Head to Inspect Libya's Nuclear Activities
Head of IAEA to Initiate Verification of Libya's Nuclear Activities
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, has said he will travel to Libya next week to initiate the verification of Libya's past nuclear activities. This follows the announcement by Libya's leader Moamar Qaddafi last Friday, that Libya was abandoning its programmes of weapons of mass destruction. The spokesman for the UN nuclear watchdog, Mark Gwozdecky, says this announcement is an important development:
"It's a good result so far and it's an important example we hope countries out there which may have been dabbling with nuclear weapons related activities will follow the same example."
In New York the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warmly welcomed the announcement. He said he looked forward to Libya's cooperation with the relevant UN and other international bodies in this domain.
Zimbabwe's Hungry People Are Facing a Bleak Christmas: WFP
More than two and half million Zimbabweans will face a bleak Christmas this year as a result of food shortages. This, according to the World Food Programme which says that rations had to be cut by half because of insufficient donations from the international community. The UN food agency's representative in South Africa, Mike Huggins, says WFP has not had enough response to its appeal for funds from the international donor community;
"To date there is a $161 million shortfall in what we have appealed for. Two thirds of that sort of regional amount is actually needed in Zimbabwe where there are four million people who need WFP assistance by January."
WFP says January is the beginning of Zimbabwe's lean season and without sufficient food people won't have enough energy to cultivate crops for next year's harvest.
FAO Appeals for $2 Million to Help Liberian Farmers
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, has appealed for $2 million to help Liberian farmers. FAO says the money will assist 70,000 farm families with 700 tonnes of rice seeds. The agency is planning to supplement local rice seed procurement with suitable varieties found within the region. The rice planting season begins in April and FAO streses that seeds have be procured and distributed between January and April next year in time for planting. Much of Liberia's seed stocks have been destroyed after 14 years of civil conflict. The conflict has also seriously damaged the country's agricultural system and infrastructure and malnutrition is widely spread, particularly among children.
WFP Feeds Over 70,000 People in Northern Somalia
Life saving food rations have reached over 70,000 of the most vulnerable people in northern Somalia. The World Food Programme said today that it has delivered more than 700 tonnes of mixed food commodities to 39 villages in Somaliland enough to feed people for one month. Drought in northern Somalia has killed a lot of animals greatly eroding the wealth of people who are pastoralists and who depend on livestock. WFP Country Director, Robert Hauser says the food rations have been given to children, to the sick and the elderly as well as to people who have lost virtually all of their livestock:
"The people depend a lot on the milk of the livestock and if that milk is not forthcoming because the animals are too thin and unproductive, do not produce milk, and then there is a big nutritional problem."
Ironically, WFP's operation was hampered by very unusual rains in Somalia at the beginning of December.
Annan distressed by casualties caused by Landslides and Floods in the Philippines
Secretary-General said today he was distressed to learn of
the casualties and damage caused by landslides and floods in
the central part of the Philippines over the weekend. In a
statement issued today, he said the UN stands ready to
assist those affected by the tragedy. As part of these
efforts the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs is providing an emergency grant of $50,000 for the
local purchase and transportation of relief items and is
working to mobilize international donor response. According
to official figures received from the Philippines nearly
100,000 people have been affected by the landslides.