UN Radio: Bird Flu – Genocide – Africa’s Disasters
UN Radio News: Bird Flu – Genocide – Africa’s Disasters
WHO Working to Help Countries Affected by Bird Flu Epidemic
The UN health agency (WHO) is working extremely hard at the global, regional and national levels to help a number of countries respond to the bird flu epidemic. WHO's Coordinator for Global Response and Alert, Dr. Michael Ryan, says the agency currently has teams in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos supporting governments to deploy further teams to the field in response to the epidemic:
"WHO is fully engaged now with donors in identifying activities to be funded at country level and activities to be supported globally to support WHO operations. This is a very complex intervention, involves multi-skilled teams in multiple countries, very like our SARS response."
Dr. Ryan says a number of experts from organizations around the world in the global outbreak alert have joined WHO in the field and are working as part of its teams.
Acting Rights Commissioner Suggests More Stringent Standards Against Genocide
There has been a call for further measures to prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing and the propagation of hatred through the Internet. The call comes from the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, in a statement to an intergovernmental working group established to ensure the effective implementation of the Durban Programme of Action of the 2001 World Conference against Racism. According to Spokesman Jose Luis Diaz, the acting High Commissioner says the international community should be guided by the desire to prevent discrimination on a widespread scale:
"And that's the need for further international standards on the prevention of ethnic cleansing on human rights education and the strengthening of the genocide convention."
The acting High Commissioner says there is no doubt that the international community must act vigorously on all these issues.
UN Urges Africa to Plan for Disasters
Better planning can help Africa reduce the
impact of natural disasters, saving lives and putting the
world's poorest continent on a more sustainable path to
That, according to a new report by the UN Development Programme. The report titled Reducing Disaster Risk: A Challenge for Development, says proper urban planning, good environmental management of forests, effective evacuation plans and investment in small water management projects could save lives. But it says African countries tend to focus more on responding to floods, drought and storms instead of gearing development programmes to reduce the risk of such disasters. The report called on African governments to share information and work with each other to close the gap in their current knowledge of disaster risk.
UNHCR Moving Sudanese Refugees to Safer Locations in Chad
More than 4,000 Sudanese
refugees in the Chadian border town of Tine are being
registered for urgent relocation to safer areas inside Chad.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR made the announcement Tuesday
after the town was bombed last week by Sudanese
Spokesperson Jennifer Clarke says UNHCR plans to get the refugees out of the town as quickly as possible and is increasing the frequency of its relocation convoys to daily starting Wednesday:
"We are also currently reinforcing our (UNHCR) teams in Chad to respond to the needs of the approximately 110,000 Sudanese refugees scattered along the border. Additional international staff are scheduled to arrive in eastern Chad in the next 48 hours and they will be immediately deployed on the ground."
Fighting in western Sudan between Sudanese forces and rebels has spilled over into Chad on a number of occasions. The planned relocation is part of a larger UN effort to move civilians away from the border.
WFP Unable to Meet Needs of North Koreans Due to Shortage of Funds
Lack of funds from the international community
will make it almost impossible for the UN food agency WFP to
meet the needs of four million hungry people in North Korea
this month and also in March. The World Food Programme says
it's waiting for contributions from the United States and
Russia. A WFP spokeswoman says while the money will not
arrive in time to cover the needs during February and March,
it will help from April to May. About half the daily ration
of North Koreans come from WFP which gives out an average of
250 to 300 grammes of cereal per day to those involved in
its aid programme.