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Good News Agency

In spite of everything, a culture of peace is emerging in all fields of human endeavour

monthly – year 17th, number 251 –24 November 2016


Good News Agency carries positive and constructive news from all over the world relating to voluntary work, the work of the United Nations, non governmental organizations and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life – news that doesn’t “burn out” in the space of a day. It is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists, NGOs, service associations and high schools and colleges around the world.

It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, an educational charity associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information It is a supporter of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) provided to the UN Secretary-General for presentation to the UN General Assembly, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing an active role in the field of Information through Internet.* 




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education


International legislation


Good news for child protection in Malawi

3 November -Malawi has made a commitment to amend its conflicting laws on the definition of a child, a move that will help in the fight against child marriage. But Malawi is also party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, both of which define a child as anyone below 18. Another domestic law, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, defines a child as a person below 18.



UN votes to outlaw nuclear weapons in 2017

27 October - The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a civil society coalition active in 100 countries, hailed the adoption of the resolution as a major step forward, marking a fundamental shift in the way that the world tackles this paramount threat.“For seven decades, the UN has warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and people globally have campaigned for their abolition. Today the majority of states finally resolved to outlaw these weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN. Despite arm-twisting by a number of nuclear-armed states, the resolution was adopted in a landslide. A total of 57 nations were co-sponsors, with Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa taking the lead in drafting the resolution. The UN vote came just hours after the European Parliament adopted its own resolution on this subject – 415 in favour and 124 against, with 74 abstentions – inviting European Union member states to “participate constructively” in next year’s negotiations.

Nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet outlawed in a comprehensive and universal manner, despite their well-documented catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impacts. Biological weapons, chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions are all explicitly prohibited under international law.



UN refugee agency welcomes France’s decision to close Calais ‘jungle’ camp

14 October 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency today welcomed the announcement by President François Hollande earlier this month that France will close the informal camp for refugees and migrants in the northern port town of Calais, stressing the vital importance of finding proper alternative accommodation for the thousands of people there.




Human rights


Women as peacemakers: a 31 October anniversary

5 November - October 31 is the anniversary of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 which calls for full and equal participation of women in conflict prevention, peace processes, and peace-building, thus creating opportunities for women to become fully involved in governance and leadership. This historic Security Council resolution 1325 of 31 October 2000 provides a mandate to incorporate gender perspectives in all areas of peace support. Its adoption is part of a process within the UN system through its World Conferences on Women in Mexico City (1975), in Copenhagen (1980), in Nairobi (1985), in Beijing (1995), and at a special session of the U.N. General Assembly to study progress five years after Beijing (2000).Since 2000, there have been no radical changes as a result of Resolution 1325, but the goal has been articulated and accepted. Now women must learn to take hold of and generate political power if they are to gain an equal role in peace-making.



Social media photo contest inspires young adults to share commitment to ending domestic violence

by Mary Kay

4 November - To encourage healthy relationships among young people across the nation, Mary Kay Inc. and Alpha Chi Omega hosted a social media photo contest for the fourth straight year to inspire young women to share their commitment to ending dating abuse. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, collegian and alumnae members of Alpha Chi Omega submitted photos on Alpha Chi Omega’s Facebook page depicting a commitment to help raise awareness of the epidemic while also serving domestic violence organizations. Throughout the month of October, supporters viewed a gallery of photos and voted for their favorite submissions that followed the prompt, “I support domestic violence awareness because…” The entries with the most votes were awarded monetary prizes for donation to a domestic violence organization of the collegian or alumna’s choice.(…)



Rwanda: 24 prison managers receive training in detention management

4 November - A group of 24 Rwandan correctional officers from around the country concluded a five-day training aimed at strengthening their capacity to meet national and international standards in detention for the improved welfare of Rwandese detainees.

This course was designed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in close collaboration with the International Centre for Prison studies (ICPS), which is now merged with the Institute for Criminal Policy Research of Birbeck University based in London. It was brought to Rwanda by the ICRC in collaboration with the Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS), the prison management authority in Rwanda to uplift its staff's professional skills.



Pax Christi International honors those working for human rights in Pakistan with 2016 Peace Award

3 November  - Pax Christi International is excited to recognize the National Commission for Justice and Peace of Pakistan and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan with the 2016 Pax Christi International Peace Award. These two organisations were chosen as representatives of the nonviolent struggle of the human rights community in Pakistan. In a country where arbitrary detention, torture, deaths occurring while in custody, forced disappearances, institutional injustices against religious minorities, and extrajudicial execution are frequently reported, Pax Christi International honors the clear and courageous stand taken by practitioners of justice and peace against persistent patterns of violence and human rights violations. The two organisations will be honoured at a ceremony in Geneva at the World Council of Churches’ Chapel on 17 November 2016.



Zimbabwe: Improving the health of prisoners

2 November - The International Committee of the Red Cross supports the efforts of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) to treat malnourished inmates in Zimbabwe's prisons. This collaboration led to the introduction of corn soya blend porridge that is produced from raw materials grown on prison farms. The porridge is used to treat moderate adult malnutrition. This video highlights the impact this initiative has had on the health of inmates.



Mosul: Geneva Call works with the Shia Popular Mobilization Forces and the Peshmerga forces on the protection of civilians

1November, Iraq – As the military operations around Mosul enter their 16th day, Geneva Call is continuing in its efforts to raise awareness about the protection of civilians with the main armed actors involved, particularly the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Shia Popular Mobilization Forces. From 10–20 October 2016, Geneva Call trained 17 Peshmerga officers on international humanitarian law (IHL) and the protection of civilians. The training session—held in Erbil—was based on Geneva Call’s 15 rules of behaviour for combatants and included two days of IHL simulation exercises in a camp. The graduating officers are now in charge of disseminating humanitarian norms to all units. From 22–24 October, Geneva Call’s delegation met leaders of the Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF): a joint action plan to increase the respect for humanitarian norms among the 40 different PMF brigades is now in preparation. http://genevacall.org/mosul-geneva-call-works-shia-popular-mobilization-forces-peshmerga-forces-protection-civilians/


UNESCO supports African national broadcasters to develop gender equality action plans

31 October  - The transition experienced by Africa, with the recent liberalization of the media space, has been marked by the expansion of audiovisual, written and online media organisations. This demand for freedom of expression and information has generated debates on a variety of issues which, until then, had been taboo or ignored. The concept of gender equality is one of them. From 21 to 24 October 2016, representatives from 25 French-speaking national broadcasters from Africa reached a consensus on gender equality action plans following a training on the application of UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media. Through this event, the Organisation sought to strengthen media pluralism and the adoption of gender-sensitive policies in African broadcasting organisations.



Syria: Geneva Call launches “Fighter not Killer”—a media campaign on the rules of war

21 October, Syria – On 20th October 2016, with hostilities ongoing in Syria, Geneva Call relaunched its “Fighter not Killer” media campaign on the rules of war. Until December, video clips presenting such basic humanitarian rules as the prohibitions against targeting civilians or civilian buildings, will be disseminated extensively across Syria via major television channels including Al Aan and Orient TV, and via social media and major websites. Geneva Call is also promoting the rules of war through a mobile telephone application on which fighters can test their knowledge of humanitarian norms. The humanitarian situation in Syria has continued to deteriorate: medical structures are regularly attacked, the civilian population is targeted, torture in detention is widespread and millions of people were forces to leave their homes because of the ongoing fighting.



Women refugees and migrants get a place of their own

18 October - Complete with Middle Eastern music, smells of home-cooked recipes and plenty of smiling faces, Women’s Corner officially opened its doors in Belgrade. The Women’s Corner in Belgrade, a place where women refugees and migrants mingle with Serbian women to exchange experiences, feels like a best friend’s living room. Officially opened on 6 October with support from UN Women in Serbia and Oxfam, the Women’s Corner is part of the Refugee Aid Miksaliste transit centre, and offers a safe place for women to rest and take their mind off their long journeys and uncertain futures.



Putting indigenous peoples’ rights at the center of development

FAO and NGOs launch a manual for project managers on Free Prior and Informed Consent

October 10, Rome - TheManual on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) outlines essential ways to ensure Indigenous Peoples, can give or withold their consent to interventions proposed in their lands and territories and do so free of coercion, prior to any decisions being made, and with the necessary information presented to them in a culturally appropriate way.

Today, there are about 370 million indigenous individuals living in more than 90 countries and speaking 4,000 out of the 7,000 surviving languages. Over the past decades, they have been facing mounting challenges related to their livelihoods, respect for their rights and spiritual beliefs, and access to lands, natural resources and territories.

The manual — which builds on a year of consultation with various Indigenous Peoples —  is the result of one year of collaboration between FAO and partner organizations. The manual outlines essential steps to follow along the lifecycle of a development project, from identifying which communities need to be consulted to sharing achievements after the project has been completed.




Economy and development


IFAD supports Rwanda's dairy farmers with $65.1 million agreement

November 4, Rome– The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Rwanda signed an agreement today that will improve the livelihoods of over 100,000 smallholder farmers and generate opportunities for other actors in the country’s dairy sector. The Rwanda Dairy Development project will cover 12 districts and involve an investment of US$65.1 million, which includes a $43.6 million IFAD loan, a $1.1 million IFAD grant, a $4 million grant from Heifer International and contributions from the Government of Rwanda, the private sector and project beneficiaries.

The new project will improve milk quantity and quality, farmers’ processing capacity through promotion of climate smart technologies and practices, and support the development of dairy cooperatives to benefit from market driven production, processing and trading of dairy products improved. It will also help strengthen an inclusive policy and institutional framework for the sector.

Since 1981, IFAD has financed 16 rural development programmes and projects in Rwanda, for a total amount of $283.8 million and directly benefiting about 634,300 rural households.



World Food Programme and Republic of Korea provide new community buildings

November 3, Dodoma - The Government of Tanzania and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today joined a ceremony to mark the completion of 15 new community buildings in central Tanzania’s Dodoma region. Funded by the Republic of Korea, the new buildings were constructed by local builders as part of the Saemaul Zero Hunger Communities (SZHC) project in three villages in Chamwino district. Saemaul means ‘New Village’ in Korean. The US$5 million SZHC project is based on a similar programme in the Republic of Korea in the 1970s, which contributed to poverty reduction in rural areas by using development projects that were tailored to each community by the community itself.

Good Neighbors International and Chamwino District Council oversaw the construction of the new buildings, which include teacher housing and improved pit latrines at each of the village primary schools and food storage warehouses in each village. In addition to supporting construction, the SZHC project helps strengthen the community’s resilience to climatic shocks by providing additional income-generating opportunities like animal husbandry, brick-making and sesame cultivation.



Cameroon: Cash aid empowers displaced persons in North

28 October – Rations of rice, beans and oil are a precious source of aid, but sometimes people just need money to buy soap or medicine. In Cameroon's Far North province, which is close to Lake Chad, 500 families displaced by the conflict have each received 60,000 CFA francs (around 100 euros) to meet their basic monthly needs – and maybe even to help them start a small business. The ICRC began to diversify the humanitarian assistance it provides by giving families cash instead of food rations. This innovative initiative should help to make displaced families in the region more resilient while at the same time giving them the means to meet their basic requirements more effectively. This new programme aims to give displaced families more freedom and should also help to boost the local economy, which will also be a major benefit.



DFID donation of GBP 1.5 million for trail reconstruction to boost food security and development

October 24, Kathmandu - WFP has welcomed a contribution of GBP 1.5 million from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) for post-earthquake reconstruction work. Through the donation, WFP will be able to support the Government of Nepal’s  efforts to rebuild critical infrastructure such as trails in remote areas affected by the quake in 2015

The contribution will be used to rehabilitate six trails [129 km] and complete engineer assessments on a further six trails [158 km] in the areas that were most severely affected by the quake. The new trails will be built to withstand seasonal landslides as well as future earthquakes. The project will directly or indirectly benefit approximately 55,175 people living in the mountainous areas of Dhading, Gorkha, and Rasuwa. WFP has been active in trail reconstruction across its long history in Nepal, most recently in its response to the 2015 earthquakes, when around 880 kilometres of trails were either reopened or rehabilitated providing access for 130,000 people.



IFAD and Peru sign $74.5 million agreement to create rural employment in conflict area

October 21, Lima– IFAD and the Government of Peru will invest US$74.5 million to create rural employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers Valley region (also known as VRAEM), characterized by extreme poverty and conflict. The financing agreement that allows the Sustainable Territorial Development Project to start was signed today in Lima.

The project, to be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, aims to transform rural people living in poverty into service providers, enabling them, through training and financing, to undertake activities for their communities’ own benefit. It will create job opportunities in the areas of natural resource management and construction, and repair and maintenance of basic rural infrastructure – mainly roads, water harvesting and irrigation schemes. The project will also strengthen rural organizations so as to enable them to set up farming and non-farming rural enterprises that generate income and additional employment opportunities for their members and their communities. In that regard, special efforts will be made towards boosting access of farmers’ organizations to markets and rural financial services.

Of the IFAD $74.5 million investment, IFAD is contributing $28.5 million; the Government of Peru, $38.7 million; and the beneficiaries will invest $7.2 million themselves, both in cash and kind.



IFAD renews commitment to rural prosperity in China with strategic $152 million programme

October 20 Beijing– The Associate Vice-President and Head of Programmes of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Perin Saint Ange, is in China this week to meet with government officials, financial institutions and development partners to begin implementation of a strategic US$152 million programme of work in China that will contribute to prosperity in rural areas. The overall aimof IFAD's China Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) 2016-2020 is to transform rural areas by increasing incomes and improving living standards so that young people have a viable alternative to urban migration. The $152 million allocation will cover the first three years of the five-year programme.

Though rural areas in China have transformed rather quickly over the last 35 years and rural poverty has been greatly reduced, there are still 56 million people living in poverty.

IFAD’s programme of work in China is now shifting its focus -- from increasing food production and food security to developing rural business opportunities and improving smallholder farmers’ access to markets, financial services, and climate-smart technology.



UN Agencies scale up efforts to save lives in Southern Madagascar

October 20, Johannesburg/Nairobi - According to theIntegrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) in southern Madagascar, more than half the population in the South (approximately 840,000 people), are experiencing alarming levels of food insecurity.  In Madagascar, 92 percent of the population lives on less than $2/day, and the situation in the chronically semi-arid South is pushing hundreds of thousands close to the edge of disaster. IPC findings indicate that the food security and nutrition situation could deteriorate even further early 2017, unless humanitarian action is rapidly scaled up.

WFP will scale up its ongoing food and cash relief operations to reach as many as 1 million vulnerable people by the end of next month. At the same time, WFP is expanding its nutrition programme to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) among more than 200,000 pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under five, whilst continuing to assist some 230,000 school children in southern Madagascar with a hot meal each day to ensure regular attendance. UNICEF will scale up its water and sanitation operations to reach an additional 850,000 people. Ongoing monthly nutrition screenings of all children under five will continue and be complemented by a SMART survey, while ensuring treatment for 10,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). FAO’s immediate agricultural response is targeting 850,000 people (170,000 small scale farming households) in the worst-affected districts. Support to livestock production will also be provided through supplementary feeding of livestock and animal health related activities.



FAO and NEPAD team up to boost rural youth employment in Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger

$4 million Africa Solidarity Trust Fund grant aims to help countries strengthen job creation

October 19, Rome - FAO and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) have joined forces to increase job and business opportunities for young people in rural areas of Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger through a $4 million grant made available by the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund. The agreement will help the four countries involved draw up and implement policies that seek to boost the development of enterprises in rural areas, including through the transfer of knowledge and skills.

Project funds will be used over a three year period, and will serve to ensure that young people, in particular women, gain greater access to the rural economy. This includes the creation of decent jobs, both in the farming and non-farming sectors through public-private investments.

In addition each country will pilot a set of Youth Capacity Development Projects.



WFP contributes nearly US$60 million to Uganda’s economy

October 17, Kampala - As the world marks World Food Day, the World Food Programme (WFP) in Uganda continues to make a meaningful difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people. At the same time, Uganda is playing an increasingly important role in supplying food for WFP’s life-saving operations throughout East Africa. To support that work, WFP has injected nearly US$60 million into the Ugandan economy so far this year through local food purchases, transport contracts and warehousing.

With the food purchased for the Uganda office, WFP is assisting more than 600,000 refugees with life-saving food rations, as well as school pupils, malnourished children, and food-insecure women and men in Karamoja. This large-scale effort aside, most of the food purchased by WFP in Uganda this year is being used for life-saving assistance throughout the region, including in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The local purchases were made possible by funding from Canada, Ireland, Japan, the Lift a Life Foundation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and multilateral donors. These include Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. A contribution from the European Commission provided critical support for cash-based assistance for refugees.



WFP provides cash to returnees in South Waziristan Agency in Pakistan

October 13, Peshawar - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has successfully implemented its first cash-for-work programme for conflict-affected people who have returned to their areas of origin in the South Waziristan Agency (SWA) of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Under the programme, people are paid to work on projects that provide livelihood opportunities while helping reduce disaster risks in their communities. The project is made possible thanks to USD 4.2 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and GBP 2 million from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the FATA Return & Rehabilitation programme.

A total of 44 training courses on disaster risk reduction and vegetable production were organized for 975 participants; 55 km of link roads/paths have been repaved, and the same length of irrigation channels rehabilitated. Overall, 67 physical infrastructure projects have been completed. Beneficiaries were also trained in first aid, firefighting and other livelihood-enhancing skills. WFP provides USD 75 to each participant for the 15-day work cycle.



KOICA & WFP Partnership builds shock resistance in Sri Lanka

October 6, Colombo - The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday signed a three-year agreement to roll out a set of activities which will improve food security, nutrition and resilience to climate-related and economic shocks in nine disaster-prone districts of Sri Lanka. Under the US$ 4 million agreement, KOICA will support WFP to design and implement rehabilitation and adaptation activities benefitting 30,000 people, in partnership with the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs; Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs; Mahaweli Development and Environment; and Irrigation and Agriculture. The projects will support 7,500 participants to carry out rehabilitation and adaptation activities such as water harvesting and skills training in areas which will build their resilience to climate change and extreme weather conditions.



Contributing to Sahel food security through sustainable water bird management

October 6, Rome - FAO and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) will work together in a new partnership to improve the state of natural resources in the wetlands of Africa's Sahel region, in particular the sustainable management of migratory water birds which are crucial for food security for the local populations. The agreement signed today between FAO and FFEM, which co-funds one third of the 5 million euros project, is specifically targeting the four main wetland areas in the Sahel region which are distributed between Chad, Egypt, Mali, Senegal and Sudan.

The "Strengthening expertise in Sub -Saharan Africa on birds and their rational use for communities and their environment" (RESSOURCE) project will focus on wetlands situated in the Senegal River Valley, Inner Niger Delta, Lake Chad and the lower and middle reaches of the Nile. These are ecosystem sites of critical importance where the food security and livelihoods of nearly a billion people depend on agriculture, livestock and natural resource use, including fishing and bird hunting.

FAO, FFEM and the other project partners will promote sustainable management of migratory water birds through bird census and surveying and monitoring techniques, and capacity building activities. The results will support the creation or adaptation of a legal and regulatory framework, and foster policies aimed at sustainable hunting and enhanced bird conservation.



UN agency signs $23.8 million agreement to promote rural development in Paraguay

October 6, Washington, D.C. – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Paraguay today signed a financing agreement to promote rural development in the country by strengthening family farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ organizations. The Project for Improved Family and Indigenous Production in Departments of Eastern Paraguay (PROMAFI) will benefit 14,000 rural households in four departments in the eastern region of Paraguay. The total project investment is US$23.8 million, which includes a $17.4 million IFAD loan and $5.1 million grant for climate change adaptation.

PROMAFI will build the capacity of grass-roots organizations to identify and carry out business activities.The project will finance the organizations’ business and community development initiatives, and also give them access to rural financial services by establishing a trust that serves as guarantee against commercial loans.

With regard to climate change adaptation, the project aims to carry out capacity-building to allow family farmers and indigenous peoples to put in place climate-smart agricultural projects.






Rotary Day at the United Nations on 12th November 2016, highlights the role of business in building a better world

From the United Nations’ earliest days in the aftermath of World War II, the organization’s humanitarian mission has always dovetailed with Rotary’s efforts to administer aid and build peace. This year’s Rotary Day at the United Nations, 12 November, will highlight the role businesses can play in that collaboration as we work toward a more just and equitable world. The theme of this year’s gathering at UN headquarters in New York City, “Responsible Business, Resilient Societies,” recognizes Rotary’s role at the intersection of commerce and cause.

The Responsible Business program, expected to draw 1,500 participants, will include a recognition ceremony for the honorees, as well as panel discussions and youth activities. Speakers and breakout sessions will focus on aspects of responsible business, such as education, innovation, partnerships, the needs of the world’s poorest people, the empowerment of women and youths, and how these issues relate to the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN’s ambitious framework for eliminating global poverty by 2030.



One month on from Hurricane Matthew, WFP has fed nearly 400,000 Haitians

November 4, Port-Au-Prince - A month after Hurricane Matthew made devastating landfall in Haiti, claiming many lives and destroying livelihoods and infrastructure, the World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed food assistance to almost 400,000 people as part of its continuing support to the Government’s recovery efforts. Some heavily populated areas in the south-western departments of Grande-Anse and Sud have been partially or totally destroyed. But despite massive logistical challenges, WFP and partners are reaching vulnerable communities by truck, helicopter and boat to deliver life-saving food rations. To date, 140,000 people are still displaced and living in temporary shelter.

In order to meet urgent food and logistics needs, WFP requires US$58 million. Of this figure, WFP has already received US$18 million from Brazil, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, USAID, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, and private sector companies, among which US$14 million were received from the United States. But WFP still requires US$40 million, over the next two to three months, to keep providing life-saving support to those who have few or no means to feed themselves.



WFP delivers food to 52,000 people cut off from aid in South Sudan

November 4, Juba - A multi-agency convoy led by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered lifesaving humanitarian assistance to families trapped for four months by increased insecurity in, and around, the town of Yei in South Sudan. The convoy of 38 trucks transporting one month of food rations including sorghum, yellow-split peas, and vegetable oil from WFP, water, sanitation and child protection items from the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) and shelter items from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) arrived in the town on Friday.

With the support of donors including Canada, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Japan, Luxemburg, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, as well as several private donors, WFP has provided food and nutrition assistance to 3.2 million people in South Sudan this year.



ADRA’s Hurricane Matthew response in Haiti continues with major delivery of meals

by  Ashley Eisele

1 November, Miami, Florida- Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has partnered with Stop Hunger Now to deliver 2,851,200 meals to people in Haiti as part of their ongoing Hurricane Matthew disaster response. ADRA and Stop Hunger Now have joined with Airlink, a rapid-response relief organization that links nonprofits with partner airlines in emergencies, to send the first 285,120 meals by plane from Miami on November 1. (…) The dehydrated meals are comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, and include 23 essential vitamins and minerals. (…) ADRA was the first humanitarian organization to reach some of the remote regions hit by the storm and have provided urgent response to hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children by providing access to clean water, shelter supplies, hygiene resources, and emergency food.(…)



Red Crescent helps children overcome fears in Iraq

By Soraya Dali-Balta, IFRC

27October – Across Iraq, more than 3.2 million people are displaced, and military operations in and around the city of Mosul could result in as many as a million more fleeing their homes. More than one third of people already displaced are children, many of whom have experienced trauma as a result of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country. Iraqi Red Crescent Society provides psychosocial support in camps for refugees and displaced people, and put extra emphasis on helping children at risk. (…) The programme, which is supported by the Danish Red Cross, holds events and activities for different age groups, including awareness sessions on domestic violence, respect and child upbringing, capacity building, informative activities, amongst others (…)



Bolivia - 40,000 people affected by droughts receive food assistance in Oruro

26 October - Families affected by droughts in the department of Oruro participated in the first distribution of non-conditional vouchers during a special event with the participation of the Governor of Oruro, Victor Hugo Vasquez, local authorities and World Food Programme (WFP) staff.

This emergency food assistance WFP is providing is additional to the actions implemented by the Plurinational Government of Bolivia, and will last three months (September 22 – December 22, 2016). Once the intervention ends, WFP and its partners will assess its impact and define together with the Vice Ministry of Civil Defense (VIDECI) possible further action.



Philippines: Helping families in Surigao del Sur to rebuild their lives

21October – About 4,700 people who were displaced for one year due to armed violence in Surigao del Sur recently received substantial support from the Red Cross to rebuild their lives. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) distributed aid from 13 to 20 October to the mostly indigenous families who returned to their hometowns in Tago, Marihatag, San Miguel, Lianga, and San Agustin. The ICRC provided each family with food rations as well as hygiene items. Each family received string beans, eggplant, squash, bokchoy and bitter gourd seeds so they could produce vegetables in their backyards, for their own consumption. Between September 2015 and February 2016, the ICRC and the PRC helped more than 3,200 displaced people in Surigao del Sur through distribution of food, household, and medical items; provision of potable water; and construction of toilets in the evacuation center.



Papua New Guinea drought: WFP food distributions wind up amid signs of recovery

October 20, Port Moresby - The World Food Programme announced that it has concluded its food distributions in Papua New Guinea, having reached over 246,000 people with 4,710 mt of micronutrient-fortified rice in the highlands as well as Western and Milne Bay Provinces. These areas are recovering from the most severe El Niño–related drought in decades.

The operation was met with many challenges as WFP sought to reach some of the most remote communities in the country. WFP has documented visible signs of recovery as well as anecdotal evidence suggesting the return of crops to areas once affected by drought.

WFP thanks the Governments of Japan, the European Union, and the USA as well as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN agency which coordinates all UN humanitarian operations, for their generous funding support. WFP also thanks the Government of Papua New Guinea, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and stakeholders for their involvement in the operation.



Saudi Arabia supports Syrians in Syria and Jordan

October 20, Riyadh - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomes a contribution of US$6 million from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to support displaced Syrians inside their country as well as Syrian refugees in Jordan.

WFP will use half the funds to provide life-saving food assistance to thousands of displaced families in Syria including nutritional support to nursing mothers, support for children through school feeding and organizing agriculture training. The other half of the contribution will go towards providing food assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan and maintaining school feeding projects for them. Each month, WFP delivers food assistance to more than 4 million people across Syria and to more than half a million Syrian refugees in Jordan.



WFP receives funding from Japan to boost nutrition among children in Karamoja, Uganda

October 12, Kampala - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of US$2.5 million from the Government of Japan, intended for boosting the nutrition of 50,000 infants, mothers and pregnant women in Karamoja to prevent child stunting.

WFP provides its support through the district health centres, where the Government and NGOs provide antenatal and postnatal care, child immunization, growth monitoring services and health and nutrition education. WFP’s assistance is intended to boost the nutrition and health of children aged 6-23 months and raise awareness of good nutrition and hygiene practices.

WFP will use Japan’s contribution to purchase 1,700 metric tons of specialized foods, sugar and fortified vegetable oil for children aged 6-23 months and for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The food will be enriched with protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients essential in a child’s first 1,000 days, from conception to the child’s second birthday. Inadequate nutrition during this crucial period can lead to irreversible damage to minds and bodies, affecting a child’s ability to grow, learn and eventually rise out of poverty.



Republic of Korea becomes top donor to WFP in the Islamic Republic of Iran

October 5, Teheran - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed an unprecedented contribution of US$4 million from the Government of the Republic of Korea to support WFP food assistance to refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as helping to promote education for refugee girls.

WFP provides 30,000 of the most vulnerable refugees with a monthly ration of basic food items. In addition, WFP provides a take-home ration of vegetable oil enriched with vitamins and micronutrients to 3,000 refugee schoolgirls and their female teachers in 19 settlements across Iran. This ration helps bridge the gender gap and encourages parents to send their daughters to school.

This significant contribution from the Republic of Korea makes it the largest donor to WFP’s operations in Iran this year. The Islamic Republic of Iran hosts the world’s fourth largest refugee population, after Turkey, Pakistan and Lebanon, with nearly 980,000 registered refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq. WFP has been providing assistance to refugees in the country since the arrival of the first asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq in the late 1980s.



WFP Uganda welcomes UK contribution for refugees & Karamoja communities

October 5, Kampala - WFP today thanked the United Kingdom for recent contributions amounting to more than US$21 million to support WFP’s food assistance programmes in Uganda: US$12.4 million for community-based projects and nutrition assistance in Karamoja, and US$9.2 million to help WFP provide lifesaving food assistance for refugees. The UK Aid funding will help WFP, working closely with the UN refugee agency UNHCR, to provide two types of support for refugees: monthly food assistance – in the form of either food or cash – and livelihoods support aimed at reducing post-harvest food losses.

WFP is providing food assistance to refugees through cash transfers so they can buy the food they prefer in the local markets. WFP currently assists 65,000 refugees in Uganda with cash, and plans to expand cash-based assistance to 140,000 people by the end of the year, using funding from UK Aid and other donors.

The UK funds will also help sustain WFP’s livelihoods support activities, which assist longer-term refugees and host communities achieve self-reliance and peaceful co-existence. Such activities are part of a UN initiative - the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment strategy, or ReHOPE.



UK contribution helps maintain assistance to refugees in Tanzania

October 5, Dar Es Salaam - Thanks to a US$1.3 million contribution from Britain's Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has managed, in the short term, to avoid cutting rations destined for refugees in Tanzania. WFP was about to cut rations in October for nearly a quarter of a million refugees, given its lack of funds for its refugee operations in Tanzania. Now – and for the time being at least – these operations can continue as normal.

WFP distributes life-saving food to some 236,000 refugees living in three camps in Kigoma Region in north-west Tanzania. In addition to meeting the daily calorific requirements for refugees, WFP provides hot meals at transit and reception centres and camp health care facilities. In the refugee camps, WFP also assists pregnant and nursing women, as well as moderately malnourished children under the age of five.

Every day, hundreds of Burundian refugees are arriving at the Tanzanian border, amid continued unrest in their homeland. To keep refugee operations running until the end of the year, WFP needs US$7.6 million. A total of US$ 63.6 million is needed until August 2017.



WFP welcomes Japan’s continued support for food insecure Palestinians in Gaza

October 5, Ramallah - The Government of Japan has announced a US$2.6 million donation to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support the most vulnerable non-refugee Palestinian families living in Gaza. Japan’s contribution will enable WFP to provide wheatflour enriched with vitamins and minerals to 89,000 of the poorest non-refugee Palestinians for two-and-a-half months. WFP will also use the contribution to buy Japanese-produced, high-quality canned tuna – an excellent source of protein and micronutrients.

Over the past 10 years, Japan has contributed more than US$40 million to WFP programmes in Palestine, making Japan one of the top three donors in the country as well as one of the largest donors to WFP globally. These significant contributions from the Government of Japan have allowed WFP to maintain assistance to the poorest non-refugee Palestinians, as well as invest in the local economy through local purchases and cash and vouchers that people can redeem in local shops. Since 2011, more than US$200 million has been injected into the Palestinian economy through WFP’s local food purchases and electronic vouchers.




Peace and security


Japanese embassy funds vital humanitarian demining in Colombia

by Ingebjørg Sørenes, Emma Heidenreich

27October – (…) On Tuesday October 18, the Japanese embassy in Colombia officially signed over a donation of USD $555, 567 in support of NPA’s humanitarian demining pilot project in El Orejón, Antioquia. (…) The donation (…) will be put towards the costs of demining vehicles, demining equipment and associated operational costs. The donation comes at a critical time, as NPA continue to partner with DAICMA (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersona) and BIDES (Battalion de Desminado), clearing El Orejón of unexploded landmines and IEDs, a result of the violent confrontation between the National Colombian Army and FARC-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army). The area's contamination with such devices hinders agricultural development, one of its key means of income, as well as being a significant risk for its young population(…)



United Nations Mine Action Service launches a risk education and victim assistance management training course

25 October 2016, Erbil– With a generous contribution from the Government of Japan, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) opened a Risk Education and Victim Assistance Management training course. The three-week training course is delivered to enhance the capacity of 15 senior staff from the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) to plan, organize, implement and monitor risk education and victim assistance programme in line with International Mine Action Standards. UNMAS would like to thank and express gratitude to the participants from the IKMAA for their participation and continued commitment to ensuring the safety of civilians from the threat of mines and explosives.



EU continue mine action support in South Lebanon

7October – On the 15th of June 2016 a delegation from the European Union (EU) Beirut visited the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Humanitarian Disarmament programme in south Lebanon. NPA and the Regional Mine Action Centre (RMAC) met with delegation at the RMAC headquarters in Nabatiyeh. The RMAC presented the delegation with an update on the current explosive remnants of war situation in and around the south Lebanon. The cluster munition threat has been present in this area since the seventies and the land was mainly used by the local populace for agricultural purposes. In January 2016, NPA received a grant from the EU to support two cluster munition clearance teams until August 2018. This grant also contributes to the convention on cluster munition (CCM) and the Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC) clearance strategy of Lebanon being free from the effects of cluster munitions by 2021.






Innovation series: technology is helping to ensure polio workers are where they are most needed

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative gets polio workers to the most vulnerable locations

3 November – The polio eradication programme is using technology in innovative ways to map the activities of polio workers on the ground. More than 300 international consultants are deployed by the partners of the GPEI in some of the countries most vulnerable to polio. By strengthening surveillance, tracking the virus, identifying immunity gaps and supporting vaccination campaigns to fill them, these consultants provide an important boost to capacity in polio-affected or vulnerable countries. By using new technologies, the programme is mapping the activities of all consultants to capture the range of locations they travel to and the activities they carry out. Each week international consultants report on their activities using a smartphone application called Survey123. This tool enables the GPEI to capture data in real-time and ensure international consultants are being efficiently deployed in high risk polio areas.



One month on: Haiti Red Cross teams focus on stopping cholera and aiding tens of thousands of people in isolated hurricane-hit communities

3 November 2016, Port-au Prince—Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti one month ago, the Haiti Red Cross Society and other Red Cross partners have reached over 31,000 people with medical care, relief items, clean water, sanitation and hygiene support, with efforts focusing on stemming cholera and other diseases. The Haiti Red Cross will be supporting a cholera-vaccination campaign to begin on 8 November – led by Haiti’s Ministry of Health and supported by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other partners. Red Cross teams will provide the logistical assistance needed to bring the vaccine to 16 communities; some 350 Red Cross volunteers will also conduct door-to-door outreach to promote the campaign, which aims to administer the vaccine to over 820,000 people. Red Cross teams have distributed 4,500 relief kits with items such as soap, buckets, food, water purification tablets and plastic sheeting, while promoting good hygiene, healthy practices and ways to prevent disease spread.



FAO and OIE present initial battle plan in global campaign to eradicate Peste des petits ruminant

October 28, Rome/ Paris - The ground has been broken on a major international initiative to rid the world of Peste des petits ruminants (PPR)  - also known as sheep and goat plague - a highly contagious viral animal disease that causes major losses in regions home to millions of the world's poorest people.

The $996.4 -million plan launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) today is the first phase of what will be a 15-year effort to eradicate PPR by 2030.

In all, the annual global damage due to PPR is estimated to be between $1.4 and $2.1 billion.

Together, FAO and OIE will coordinate the global efforts of governments, regional organizations, research institutions, funding partners and livestock owners through the Joint PPR Global Secretariat, based in Rome.



Rotary’s World Polio Day event looks ahead to ending the disease for good

By Ryan Hyland – Rotary News

24October – While the fight to eradicate polio suffered a blow this year when the virus re-emerged in Nigeria, Rotary leaders and top health experts focused Monday on the big picture: the global presence of the paralyzing disease has never been smaller. The headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, served as the site of Rotary’s fourth annual World Polio Day event. (…) The total number of cases worldwide so far this year is 27, compared with 51 for the same period last year. Unfortunately, Nigeria slipped back onto the list of countries where polio is endemic this year, after cases appeared in the northern state of Borno, which was under the control of Boko Haram militants until recently.(…) The country was on the verge of celebrating two years without any polio infections. But this hasn’t stopped Rotary and its partners, who are working with the Nigerian government, Chad, Cameroun, and parts of the Central African Republic, from executing a sweeping emergency response. Shortly after the outbreak, a robust immunization campaign targeted about 1 million children with both oral and inactivated polio vaccines. (…)



Polio programme supports anti-fistula efforts in Ethiopia

12October, Ethiopia – The drive to eradicate polio has always been about more than polio alone. During polio vaccination campaigns in Ethiopia, polio frontline health workers and vaccinators are actively looking for women suffering from fistula. Fistulas are devastating injuries sustained by women during prolonged and obstructed labour, requiring surgical intervention to rectify. In Ethiopia, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and its regional fistula centres provides life-saving operations to affected women. More than 2,400 women have so far been identified with such injuries, particularly from remote areas, who can now be referred to the hospital for appropriate and urgently-needed intervention. The polio network routinely conducts surveillance for other diseases of public health importance, including measles, yellow fever, neonatal tetanus and avian influenza.



ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare reinstate commitment to Power Forward

by Cheryl Kravitz

1 October - ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare have reinstated their commitment to youth and sports development as they sponsor the third season of the Power Forward programme at the National Stadium in Kukwaba, Abuja. Power Forward, a partnership between ExxonMobil, the NBA and Africare, uses the game of basketball to teach and mentor students from secondary schools in Abuja about health literacy and life skills such as leadership, respect and personal responsibility. The event which had in attended former NBA player, Kelenna Azubuike, featured boys and girls championship games, performances from the Philadelphia 76ers Flight Squad and other youth competitions(…).The Power Forward project was initiated 2013 (…) to implement a youth development program that incorporates both life-skills training and public health education, using the convening power of basketball.




Energy and safety



Renewable energy on the move!

 November 1  (CPNN Bulletin) - Renewable sources of electricity overtook coal last year to become the largest source of installed capacity in the world, according to the International Energy Agency.

A recent graph is spectacular showing how the cost of solar energy has come down while the volume deployed has gone up. In 1975 a silicon solar energy module cost over $50 per watt, while now it is less than $1 per watt. The milliwatts installed have risen from 1 to 115,000! Since 2000 the deployment of solar has doubled seven times.And the trend promises to continue. Dubai recently received a bid for solar installations that would produce electricity at 3 cents per kilowatt hour, four times less than the average price paid for residential electricity in the United States. And the Middle East is not alone. Projects with similar low rates are reported from Mexico and China.

Last year, for the first time, global investment in renewable energy surpassed investment in fossil fuels. This year’s graph shows $286 billion dollar investment in renewable energy (mostly solar panels and wind mills) compared to $130 billion for fossil fuels. Developing as well as developed countries are involved, including China (over $100 billion), India (over $10 billion), South Africa, Mexico, Chile, Morocco, Turkey and Uruguay (all over $1 billion).



Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awards nearly $20 million in grants in the third quarter of 2016, announces new safe water strategy

by Julia Friedman

19 October – Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today (…) $19.53 million in grants during the third quarter of 2016, including $9.5 million across Safe Water Network, World Vision and PATH in support of a new approach for the Hilton Foundation’s Safe Water program area. For more than 25 years the Foundation has been committed to improving access to safe drinking water in low-resource settings of Sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico and India, with investments in the water sector having been guided by global ambitions, beginning first with the call to eradicate guinea worm followed by the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) drinking water target. The adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) gives the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector a new global ambition to strive for – pushing for bigger and better services.(…).The Foundation will make investments in three key focus areas: 1) advancing proven and promising solutions and models, 2) strengthening water governance and in-country systems, and 3) building and disseminating credible and actionable evidence. (…)



Energy Department announces new projects between U.S. and China to cut emissions

October 13 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced nine new energy performance contracting pilot projects that bring together U.S. and Chinese companies to boost the energy efficiency of buildings in China and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A combination of clean energy retrofits and upgrades will save the selected facilities on energy costs over the lifetime of the contracts by making them more energy efficient. The savings on utility bills created through the facility upgrades will be used to pay for the projects over the terms of the contracts, and the improved facilities will continue to save money and energy after the contract terms have ended. The new projects support the efforts of both countries to work together to address climate change as recently formalized under the Paris Agreement.



WFP and UK support disaster preparedness in  Kyrgyzstan through a smart application

October 10, Bishkek - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) today launched an online and mobile application to facilitate real-time management of disaster preparedness and response operations.

The Information Analysis and Management System (IAMS) application systemizes data collection and analysis of disasters. Thanks to DFID, the app was developed at a cost of US$110,000 as part of WFP's core activities to enhance disaster risk management and build people’s resilience to shocks in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The IAMS features a robust and dynamic web analysis tool to support identification of sites of disasters and enhanced coordination of emergency responses. The Ministry of Emergency Situations has already taken full ownership and control of the automated information platform following a series of trainings for Crisis Management Centre staff.

In addition to supporting the development of the IAMS, WFP and DFID have also provided the Crisis Management Centre with technical support and equipment, including a high-capacity server, High Definition displays, notebooks, smartphones and other equipment.



A global consortium launches initiative to accelerate the scaling of 100% renewable energy solutions

Playful Solar Park initiative in Rotterdam, Basel and Paris marks the launch of DSM campaign

 A group of companies are announcing the launch of the global Bright Minds Challenge to identify and help accelerate the scaling of solutions for 100% renewable energy – focusing on solar and energy storage. The challenge is initiated by DSM, together with Accenture; Greentown Labs; Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford; Solarcentury; SolarAid and Sungevity. The consortium will provide the most promising emerging solutions with a tailored package of commercial, technical and mentoring support to help scientists scale up their solution as quickly as possible.

The companies and organizations behind the #BrightMindsChallenge are committed to 100% renewable energy, and helping to lead the transition to a low carbon economy. The Challenge is designed to help scientists around the world with bright solutions to overcome barriers they face in scaling up their ideas and solutions. Anyone with a solution relevant to renewable energy – focusing on solar and/or renewable energy storage - can submit an entry..




Environment and wildlife


Antarctic protection a beacon of hope for ocean conservation globally

28 October – Today, 24 countries and the European Union have agreed on the world’s largest ocean protection plan, for the Ross Sea off Antarctica. At the 35th meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, Australia, member countries agreed today to protect 1,550,000 km2 of the Ross Sea by establishing: 1,117,000 km2 of fully protected marine reserve; a 110,000 km2 special research zone allowing for limited research fishing for krill and toothfish and a 322,000 km2 krill research zone allowing for controlled research fishing for krill. Today’s agreement is a turning point for the protection of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Over 1.5 million km2 is to be set aside for conservation with over 70 per cent of it as fully protected reserves.



Parties to the Desertification Convention take bold steps to make land resilient to degradation

Nairobi, 21 October - The fifteenth session of the Committee of the Review of Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CRIC 15) concluded its three day meeting last night in Nairobi, Kenya, with the adoption of an outcome would ramp up global efforts to curb desertification and drought.

Two issues were deemed particularly important for CRIC 15.

First, the elaboration of a strong strategy for implementation from 2018-2030. The current strategy expires in 2018. Parties agreed that the 2008-2018 strategic objectives are still relevant and should be retained. But they differed on the reporting procedures and the weight that should be given to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3, on land degradation neutrality. These changes would also affect the mandate of the CRIC itself.

The second important issue CRIC 15 dealt with is an ongoing exercise where countries are setting their voluntary national targets on land degradation neutrality. At the start of CRIC 15, more than 100 countries had committed to set a national target, exceeding the ambition for at least 60 countries to do so within the first year of the adoption of the SDGs. CRIC 15 delegates commended the commitment by countries to set voluntary national targets on land degradation neutrality and requested for UNCCD support to monitor, evaluate and report on these efforts.



Huge step taken to combat climate change

Nations agree to ban HFC refrigerant, a major greenhouse gas

October 14 - The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) salutes the decision of the 197 members of the Montreal Protocol to phase-out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have a major warming impact on the climate. This momentous decision was reached today in Kigali, Rwanda, during the 28th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. HFC use is expected to peak by 2028 at the latest and then gradually decrease until HFCs are 85 percent phased out in all countries by 2047 (developed countries, such as the United States, must act sooner, with their use of HFCs peaking in 2019).

The Montreal Protocol is arguably the most successful environmental treaty ever. Without it, the ozone layer would likely have disappeared by the middle of this century. Instead, the ozone layer is being replenished, and the ozone hole over the Antarctic is expected to disappear by 2060-2075. A 2015 report by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that saving the ozone layer prevented over 280 million cases of skin cancer (and 1.6 million skin cancer deaths), as well as 45 million cataracts in the United States alone.



Italy and FAO team up to promote agricultural heritage systems in Italy and other European areas.

New agreement aims to safeguard biodiversity, traditional knowledge and landscapes

October 14, Rome- The Italian Ministry for Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies and FAO will work closely together to identify and increase the number of ecosystems that play an important role as repositories of agricultural biodiversity, traditional knowledge, cultural heritage and landscapes.
GIHAS is an important system especially for smallholder farmers as it can contribute to boost livelihoods in rural areas and therefore food security. Since 2005, sites known as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) have been formally recognised by FAO around the globe. Such sites are different from conventional heritage sites or protected areas. They represent dynamic, human-managed agricultural ecosystems that reflect not only local ecological conditions but local traditions and culture.

The parties will also collaborate to develop research activities regarding the role of traditional landscapes and rural practices related to agriculture, forestry, fishery, pasture and rangelands as approaches to dealing with climate change. This five-year agreement also seeks to identify technological solutions aimed at supporting good practices in GIAHS. At present, there are 36 GIAHS sites in the world, located in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, Near East and Asia.



2016 Fuller Challenge winner announced

October 6, New York City – The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Fuller Challenge: the Rainforest Solutions Project (RSP), a collaborative effort between three environmental organizations, which played a critical role in developing one of the most extraordinary approaches to conservation, social justice, and indigenous rights in recent memory, resulting in a historically unprecedented multigenerational agreement.

RSP is an innovative project of Tides Canada Initiative formed by Greenpeace, Sierra Club British Columbia and Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics). The decades-long struggle over British Columbia’s enormous coastal rainforests culminated in one of the most extraordinary conservation, social justice, and indigenous rights victories in recent memory: a historic agreement between the region’s First Nations and provincial governments, forest companies and the environmental organizations to conserve and sustainably manage the 15 million acre Great Bear Rainforest, which has the largest expanses of old growth temperate rainforest on the planet. Eighty-five percent of these forests are now legally off-limits to logging.




Religion and spirituality


Muslim Council of Elders, Anglican Church meeting ends on high note in Abu Dhabi

4 November -  A two-day meeting of the Muslim Council of Elders and the Anglican Church ended today on a high note, with participants stressing the importance of promoting the principle of citizenship as people enjoy the same entitlements and responsibilities towards their countries and communities. They also emphasised the necessity of working on building a world that is based on understanding including the Muslim-Christian dialogue, with an aim of effectively bridging the gap that hinders the understanding of others and agreed that that the dialogue will contribute to the efforts of combating both extremism and the undermining of minority rights.



Christians and Hindus together for the care of creation

19 October - Hinduism and Christianity meet on the value of respect and care for creation: says a seminary organized by the "K.J.Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham" Hindu Institute, an organization that aims to promote and spread the eternal values enshrined in the Indian culture, pledging to cultivate the spirit of peace, harmony and universal fraternity, through education and dialogue.
These issues will be discussed during the international seminary "The teachings of Pope Francis on ecology and care for nature, in parallel with Hinduism" to be held in Mumbai on November 17. The auxiliary Bishop of Bombay, John Rodrigues will attend the seminary, in addition to Hindu and Muslim leaders.




Culture and education


WFP launches WiFi system connecting Syrian refugees in Northern Iraqi Camp with families in Syria

November 2, Erbil - The World Food Programme (WFP) today launched an innovative project that provides wireless internet access to Syrian refugees living in Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq, the largest refugee camp in Iraq which is home to 31,000 Syrian refugees.

Syrian refugees forced to flee the conflict in Syria can now use the internet through the WFP-led Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) Connectivity for Communities project to keep in touch with their families in Syria. Internet access also allows refugees to obtain information, maintain contact with the outside world, continue education online and make informed decisions about their own lives.Since the start of the project, 300 Internet vouchers were distributed to the community, providing each user with up to five hours of connectivity in the UNFPA Youth Centre each day. A second site for connectivity services, an Internet café, was established earlier this month by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Domiz camp.

The ETC Connectivity for Communities project in Iraq is being implemented by WFP with support from UNFPA, UNHCR as well as WFP’s Fast IT and Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) and Ericsson Response. WFP has plans to expand connectivity so that refugees can access the internet no matter where they are in Domiz camp. The project’s long-term ambition is to provide internet connectivity to camps in Iraq and other countries around the world.



CA Technologies announces continued support of education programs in India

1 November - CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA) today announced its continued support of education for India’s highest-need students through a $100,000 grant. CA’s contribution will help more than 15,000 rural, low-income children served by Pratham, India’s largest educational NGO, through the Science Learning Program and the Girls’ Education Program. Through its Science Learning Program, Pratham transforms science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education from rote recitation to activity-based, experiential learning. Pratham’s Girls’ Education program assists girls who have dropped out of school with getting their 10th grade completion certificate, a game changer for future job or education prospects. Many girls in India are forced to drop out of school because of socio-economic circumstances and cultural attitudes. India is home to one-third of the world’s child brides, and many young girls are tasked with household chores which make pursuing education a challenge. http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/39410-CA-Technologies-Announces-Continued-Support-of-Education-Programs-in-India


Greece welcomes refugee children to schools

19 October, Athens, Greece - The Greek Ministry of Education has secured classrooms and teaching staff on time and succeeded in welcoming asylum seekers under 15 years of age while preparing and integrating minors aged 15-18 in vocational education programs for the current school year.

As a result of their efforts, many of the refugee children joined school classes in various regions of Greece on October 10, starting from Attica, Central Macedonia and Epirus. The programme will be gradually extended throughout the country. The children travelled by buses provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to 19 schools and received school supplies and books.

The Ministry of Education expressed its gratitude to “teachers, parents’ associations, municipal authorities, numerous student volunteers and the Scientific Committee for their contribution to the success of the first school day for refugee children, and for their warm response towards the harmonious integration of refugee children at school” despite certain reactions in some communities.



The Ministry of Education, USAID and ANERA inaugurate a boys’ school in Jalqamous

10 October – On Thursday, October 6, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and its implementing partner ANERA inaugurated a state-of-the-art, greener boys’ school in the village of Jalqamous. USAID invested nearly $970,000 to construct and furnish a new, two-story building for the Jalqamous Secondary Boys’ School.  This includes five new classrooms, a faculty room, a library, computer and science labs, handicap-accessible bathroom facilities, outdoor recreational area, and boundary walls to enhance security. The school is also equipped with solar panels to make it more energy efficient. Creating nearly 370 short term jobs for Palestinian workers, this intervention was completed under the Palestinian Community Infrastructure Development (PCID) Program, which aims to increase Palestinians’ access to water and sanitation as well as other small and medium scale community infrastructure needs in the health, democracy and governance, and education sectors in the West Bank and Gaza.




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Next issue: 9 December 2016.


Good News Agency is published monthly (except August) in English, Italian and Portuguese. Past issues are available at www.goodnewsagency.org . Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000.Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi (sergio.tripi@goodnewsagency.org). Editorial research by Fabio Gatti (fabio.gatti@goodnewsagency.org), Isabella Strippoli, Community of Living Ethics, Elisa Minelli. Webmaster, media and NGO coverage: Simone Frassanito (simone.frassanito@goodnewsagency.org


Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations, NGOs, service associations, high schools and colleges as well as over 26,000 Rotarians around the world.


It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered, not-for-profit educational charity chartered in Italy in 1979 The Association operates for the development of consciousness and promotes a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity in diversity and on sharing. It is based in Via Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy. The Association is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.


* http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf - In section A - International Organizations, page 12, the Report says: ”Diffusion and exchange of culture of peace information via the Internet has become the major instrument for several international organizations, notably the Culture of Peace News Network, the Good News Agency and the Education for Peace Globalnet.”

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