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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, no. 257 – 13 May 2017


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


Afghanistan makes progress in fighting corruption, yet enormous challenges remain – new UN report

25 April 2017 - Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto and Abdul Basir Anwar, Afghanistan's Minister of Justice, launch new report on the country's progress in addressing corruption. While enormous challenges remain, Afghanistan authorities have made headway in their fight against corruption, according to a United Nations report released today, which also finds that the country is making progress in other areas, such as restoring institutional control over the delivery of public services.

In its report entitled Afghanistan’s Fight against Corruption: The Other Battlefield, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), highlights the country’s progress in addressing corruption. Drawing on internationally recognized best practices, it provides recommendations for how the Government, with the continued support of the public and the international community, can build on those achievements.

A key component of Afghanistan’s fight against corruption is the Anti-Corruption Justice Centre (ACJC). Its dedicated police and prosecution units, and a new national primary and appeals court, was established by Presidential Decree to operate with jurisdiction over the broad range of corruption offences specified in the current penal code. The Justice Centre’s scope also includes money laundering, destruction or selling of cultural and historical relics, crimes against internal and external security, illegal extraction of mines and land usurpation. In addition to outlining the advances made by the ACJC, which is actively investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating cases, the report indicates that Afghanistan is showing progress in restoring institutional control over the delivery of essential public services and management of public finances.




Human rights


World Press Freedom Day, 2017 

3 May 2017- Every year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.  See this Video Message by UN Secretary-General António Guterres(0:44); View Webcast of the DPI/NGO Briefing on 4 May 2017: Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies.”

The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.



UN Women Executive Board visits India

28 April 2017 - New Delhi, India — The Bureau of UN Women’s Executive Board concluded a three-day mission to India, where they gained first-hand understanding of UN Women’s work in the country through meetings and interactions with representatives from the government, development partners and media. The outcome of the mission will form part of an official report that will be presented to the Executive Board during its Second Regular Session in 2017. The purpose of the field visit was for member states to assess the contribution of UN Women and the UN System to support and help in the implementation of the national priorities of the Government of India.


Mexico: Senate’s approval of new law on enforced disappearances is a step forward which must be finalized soon

27 April 2017 - A bill on enforced disappearances approved today by the Mexican Senate could represent a step forward in the fight to tackle the country’s human rights crisis. Now all that is needed for the bill to become law is the approval of the Chamber of Deputies.
The definitive approval of the bill on enforced disappearances is crucial in order to begin to seriously address the nightmare which thousands of families face, searching for their loved ones in the face of serious risks and carrying out work which is the responsibility of the authorities.
This bill is a welcome advance, although there is room for improvement. It will come into existence within the context of a deficient search system and its implementation will require serious political commitment to grant justice, truth and reparation to the many families who have dedicated years to searching for their relatives.




Economy and development


RWANU helps Ugandan women grab life by the horns

3 May 2017  – Empowering women is smart economics. But in many parts of the world, tradition dictates the lives of men and women. Take the Karamoja region of Uganda, where many women are responsible for feeding their families, but lack purchasing power. When Joyce Owalinga first married, her husband Sagal chose when and how to spend the family money. Despite doing odd jobs and selling firewood and charcoal, Joyce failed to meet her family’s basic needs. Then, the USAID-funded and ACDI/VOCA-implemented Resiliency through Wealth, Agriculture, and Nutrition (RWANU) project brought opportunity in the form of a breed of goat called Galla, or “milk queens,” from neighboring Kenya. The RWANU project, through project partner Welthungerhilfe, organized livestock groups for 2,000 women, including Joyce, to care for the goats and become empowered earners. Joyce attended trainings and received five “milk queens” of her own. But in Karamoja, men traditionally manage livestock. Even though the project won community buy-in from village elders and others, change came slowly. A fodder bank that Joyce’s group used to feed their goats went up in flames, spurring rumors of arson, although no one was charged. Despite the setback, the group attended more trainings on health management and how to build shelters, and the goats thrived under their care. Soon Joyce grew her stock of goats from five to 15.



Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre scales up Africare’s Mwanzo Bora’s U.S. Government-supported SBCC Kit

by Samuel Lopez

3May 2017 – Approximately 40 participants from 15 different organizations came together for a national Training of Trainers (TOT) training conducted by the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC), co-facilitated by Africare’s Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program (MBNP), to scale up the project’s Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Kit—Mkoba wa Siku 1000. The kit uses peer support learning to replace negative nutrition behaviors with positive nutrition behaviors. An estimated 2.7 million Tanzanian children under the age of five suffer from stunting, a measure of chronic malnutrition. But investments in nutrition activities by the Government of Tanzania and its partners have begun to turn the tide, with childhood stunting declining sharply in Tanzania between 2010-2014. During this period, the Mkoba wa Siku 1000, developed by MBNP in close collaboration with the TFNC, has been part of this reversal.(…) The kit’s proven model was adopted by the Government of Tanzania as the official national tool to be used to implement positive nutrition practices and interventions in the country through the SBCC strategy. (…) The TFNC held a six-day Training of Trainers (ToT) training at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro. Participants were trained and oriented on the Mkoba wa Siku 1000 through presentations on the importance of SBCC, types of materials in the kit, and group role play sessions to understand the key promoted behaviors address in the kit. (…) The Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program (MBNP) is a seven-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.



IFAD to invest US$13.3 million to integrate smallholder goat breeders into emerging value chains in Argentina

21 April 2017, Rome– The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Argentina signed a financial agreement today to transform the lives of 40,000 people who rely on goat breeding as their main source of livelihood. During the next six years, the Goat Value Chain Development Programme (PRODECCA) will support smallholder goat breeders to increase their incomes through sustainable integration into emerging value chains, including meat, milk products and fibre, especially mohair and cashmere. The total cost of the project is US$25.45 million of which IFAD is providing a $12.30 million loan and a $1.02 million grant. Other co-financiers are: the Government of Argentina ($7 million), the provincial governments ($2.97 million) and the beneficiaries themselves ($2.16 million). Argentina is one of the largest economies in Latin America and one of the world's major producers of agricultural commodities, mainly from large-scale farms. However, there are also some 251,000 family farms in the country, many of which are run by poor families. About 46,000 farms, mainly smallholder, are raising goats. PRODECCA aims to develop markets for goat products and improve the functioning of value chains by supporting market analysis and promotion, improving exploration of new markets and providing technical assistance to processing companies. Beneficiary participation is central to the programme. Producers' organizations will participate in round-table discussions to prepare and monitor plans for the areas in which specific goat products are traded, and will develop, execute and monitor their own business plans. The programme will benefit some 8,000 rural families, including 5,600 smallholder and 2,400 indigenous families.



New partnership recognizes consumers as drivers for Zero Hunger

12 April 2017, Rome- FAO and Consumers International, a global federation of consumer rights groups, have agreed to intensify their collaboration to help end hunger. The agreement recognizes that consumers around the world can be a powerful force for change towards more sustainable and equitable food systems. Key areas of mutual interest for FAO and CI include the right to food, consumer protectionnutrition and food safety. The partnership aims to enhance Consumer International's access to FAO's wealth of knowledge and information while FAO can work more closely with the network of CI's member organizations who communicate with and advocate for consumers. Consumers International represents more than 240 consumer rights groups in 120 countries. It was founded in 1960 and it works to ensure that consumer voices, needs and perspectives are recognized in policy debates.

The partnership will also help strengthen consumer protection from food hazards.This includes promoting awareness among consumers on safe food handling and of standards for food processing along the value chain. The two organizations also aim to promote healthy nutritional habits and raise awareness on sustainable diets. In Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO and CI are already collaborating successfully. In the region, CI and its member groups are advocating for and supporting the development of public policies to improve access to healthy food and optimizing nutrition information.



IFAD-supported project to boost resilience and rural economic opportunities in Moldova

11 April 2017, Rome The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Moldova today signed an agreement to fund a new project aimed at driving the transformation of the country's rural economy and helping to generate employment for over 44,000 poor rural people. Through improved access to irrigation, productive agricultural lands and business planning, the Rural Resilience Project will create full time and seasonal employment for agricultural workers, especially women, in cultivation of high value crops as well as jobs in construction and agribusiness. The total cost of the project is US$38.7 million of which IFAD is providing an $18.2 million loan, a $500,000 grant and an additional grant of $5 million financed through IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme. The project is co-financed by the Government of Moldova ($2.9 million) the beneficiaries themselves ($9.5 million) and other participating financial institutions ($2.6 million).  Moldova is a small country where more than 61% of the people live in rural areas. Poverty is steadily decreasing thanks to the country's economic growth, increased remittances and modernization of agriculture. The project will cover the country's rural areas, giving priority to climate-vulnerable farmers to help them gain ground in commercial agriculture. It will also focus on agribusinesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises to drive this group towards more productive and profitable business practices. Young entrepreneurs will be targeted with tailor-made strategies to address their unique challenges and opportunities, and at least 30% of the recipients will be   smallholder women farmers.






Ethiopia: Red Cross delivering hay to prevent cattle deaths

5 May 2017 – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) are delivering hay to families affected by drought who have been displaced by violence in an effort to prevent the deaths of cattle the communities rely on. The hay is being delivered to 1,820 pastoral families displaced by intercommunal clashes in Mieso district, in Hararge in eastern Ethiopia. The 43,000 bales will help those families sustain their cattle during a difficult dry period. "The supply of the hay will have a significant contribution in preventing the death of the cattle of the communities who are heavily dependent on them," said Anwar Ahmed Wariyo of the Mieso district Pastoral Office. Each household will receive three bales of hay weekly over two months. The hay will be enough to feed either two cattle or 12 smaller animals like goats or sheep. "We try to act at two levels. First we provide essential household items when people are first displaced, enabling them to live in basic dignity with friends or relatives. Second we provide the means to households to restore their livelihoods, thereby preventing them falling into a downward circle of poverty," said Andrea Minetti, the Economic Security Program Manager of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia.



Tyson Foods and Cobb-Vantress Partner with OneEgg to Launch Sustainable Egg Farm in Haiti

Farm to produce much needed protein and ongoing economic boost in community

3 May 2017, Springdale, Ark., /CSRwire/ - Accessing the most basic necessity to sustain life is a challenge for many people in the island nation of Haiti. Hunger is chronic as one hundred thousand children under five years of age suffer from malnutrition in part due to the lack of access to animal protein. Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) announced today a $341,490 grant to OneEgg, a non-profit organization that delivers eggs to children in developing countries. The money will be used for construction of an egg-producing farm in Haiti that will provide animal protein to undernourished children while also establishing an economically sustainable business model from the sale of eggs produced at the farm. (…) Employees of Tyson Foods and Cobb-Vantress, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods, have provided technical assistance and training to previous OneEgg projects in Rwanda and Uganda, but Haiti marks the first financial commitment from the company. The farm will produce a continuous supply of eggs for sale in local markets, while providing new jobs for local residents.(…) The proceeds from this enterprise will remain in Haiti and keep the farm operational. (…)The project will also include research, education, and outreach efforts to continue to investigate the value of eggs on children’s physical development, and to share the farm business model with others in developing countries that could implement it(…)



Danish funding supports vulnerable people in Horn of Africa drought and South Sudan

2 May 2017, Nairobi - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a US$10.7 million contribution from the Government of Denmark to help roll back famine in South Sudan and to assist hungry people in Horn of Africa countries hit by drought. The contribution will assist people in South Sudan and support the drought response in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. It will also feed South Sudanese refugees who have fled into Uganda. Some of the contribution will help build longer-term food security and resilience. The Danish funds will help to rehabilitate a key supply road in Sudan along the northern corridor into South Sudan to supply assistance to 250,000 refugees and local people. In Somalia, the Danish funds will help provide immediate support to vulnerable people through cash-based transfers in drought-affected areas of the country so that families can buy the food of their choice using electronic vouchers at retailers with agreements with WFP. In Ethiopia, the contribution will support supplementary feeding for children under the age of five and pregnant and nursing women to combat malnutrition. The remainder of the funds will help children and pregnant and nursing women in areas with critical malnutrition levels. In northwestern Kenya, Danish funding will help WFP respond to high malnutrition rates among the most vulnerable women and children under the age of five because of drought.



Sudan: U.S. Welcomes Arrival of Food Aid in Port Sudan

2 May 2017, Khartoum — The United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has welcomed the third shipment of urgently needed food assistance for Sudan that arrived in Port Sudan in mid-April. In coordination with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), a maritime vessel arrived in the Sudanese harbour on 16 April to deliver 47,500 metric tons of emergency food (including sorghum) to support Sudanese families facing food insecurity, including those displaced by conflict, as well as vulnerable South Sudanese refugees in Sudan. In a press statement by the US Embassy in Khartoum yesterday, USAID said that as more refugees from neighbouring South Sudan have crossed the border into Sudan, USAID also provides urgent food assistance to those who need it most. The statement continues that the US have contributed over $95 million in emergency food assistance in year 2017, through WFP and other implementing partners in Sudan. In Sudan, an estimated 4.8 million people require humanitarian assistance, and two million Sudanese children are acutely malnourished. An estimated 400,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled into Sudan seeking shelter, further increasing humanitarian needs. Violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, and WFP has been moving food assistance through a corridor linking White Nile state with South Sudan's Upper Nile state.



WFP Nutrition Programme in Ethiopia receives crucial contribution from China

27 April 2017, Adama, Ethiopia - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today a vital new contribution of US$8 million from the Government of the People’s Republic of China for WFP’s life-saving nutrition support for children and women in Ethiopia. The funding comes at a crucial time as Ethiopia endures one of the worst droughts in more than 50 years, affecting 5.6 million people. The contribution allows WFP to give specialized treatment to more than 277,000 children and women suffering from moderate acute malnutrition. To help lower the prevalence of acute malnutrition, WFP provides fortified nutritious foods for moderately malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers in Ethiopia. Though Ethiopia has made significant progress in fighting undernutrition, the country’s malnutrition levels remain high, with 40% of children experiencing stunted growth and 9% wasting. WFP supports the Government of Ethiopia in its effort to combat hunger and malnutrition, especially through WFP Targeted Supplementary Feeding, which provides specialized nutritious foods to treat those with moderate acute malnutrition. Pregnant women and nursing mothers identified as being moderately malnourished receive fortified blended foods. Malnourished children under the age of 5 receive a particularly nutritious peanut-based supplementary food.



China contributes US$34 million to WFP for Emergency Food Assistance in six countries

25 April 2017, Beijing - The Government of China has made its largest single donation to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) with US$34 million towards its emergency operations to support people who are at risk of famine in Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, as well as those affected by severe food shortages in Kenya and Chad. Combined with earlier contributions, the Chinese government’s support for WFP totals more than US$138 million since 2005, and builds on China’s increasingly significant backing in recent years for WFP’s operations around the world. The contribution will assist approximately 2 million food insecure people in six countries: Somalia (US$10 million), South Sudan (US$5 million), Nigeria (US$5 million), Yemen (US$5 million), Kenya (US$5 million), and Chad (US$4 million), enabling WFP to provide critical food and nutrition assistance for those in greatest need, to relieve the current crisis and prevent a slide into famine. More than 70% of the total donation will be allocated to South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria - countries that are all facing famine - to meet the growing demands of people in the most acute need. The United Nations has issued a warning that the world is facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the U.N. was founded in 1945. WFP urgently needs funding to scale up operations with other humanitarian partners to save the lives of millions of people on the brink of starvation as well as addressing nutritional needs.



Japan contributes US$ 6.3 million to support efforts towards refugees and host communities in Uganda

25 April 2017, Kampala - The Government of Japan has contributed a total of US$ 6.3 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support refugees and host communities in Uganda over a period of one year from April 2017 to March 2018. This generous contribution by the Government of Japan will provide the much needed assistance to refugees and host communities, focusing on health; water, sanitation and hygiene; food assistance; and livelihoods.  UN agencies will collaborate with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other partners to strengthen the humanitarian and development nexus by addressing the immediate needs as well as managing future shocks using a more integrated development approach. This partnership is a part of an effort to implement the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) strategy, a transformative strategy which brings together a wide range of partners including the Government of Uganda, UN agencies, World Bank, development partners and the private sector in order to enhance self-reliance and resilience of refugees and host communities in Uganda. ReHoPE is an integral component of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and is in line with the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants. Uganda has become the largest refugee hosting country in Africa with more than one million refugees and asylum seekers. Since the escalation of conflict in South Sudan in July 2016, a total of 674,033 new refugees arrived in Uganda. Uganda’s refugee laws and policies are among the most progressive in the world. Refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to work, have freedom of movement and can access social services.



Japan plays key role in supporting food and nutrition security in Malawi

24 April 2017, Lilongwe - The Government of Japan has made a US$3.7 million contribution to food and nutrition security activities run by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF in Malawi. Of this sum, US$2.57 million went to WFP and US$1.13 million to UNICEF. The contributions – part of a larger Japanese regional assistance package – came after President Arthur Peter Mutharika issued an appeal to donors to complement government efforts. Last year, late rains and prolonged dry spells left some 6.7 million people – nearly 40% of Malawi’s population – facing food insecurity. WFP has used nearly US$1 million of Japan’s latest contribution to provide maize, pulses and vegetable cooking oil to food-insecure Malawians. A further $1 million will shore up efforts to break the cycle of hunger by means of road rehabilitation, irrigation and afforestation, while the remaining $600,000 will help WFP assist refugees at Dzaleka and Luwani camps – a chronically underfunded operation. The funding from the Government of Japan has meanwhile allowed UNICEF to prevent, screen and treat malnutrition in 285,000 children aged 6-59 months. It has also helped provide comprehensive health, nutrition and protection support to some 2,900 adults.



WFP Air-Lifts Life-Saving Supplies to people struck by drought in Somalia

21 April 2017, Dubai - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today air-lifted life-saving food supplies to drought-stricken Somalia for the most vulnerable people, particularly children, who are displaced from their homes and have no access to food or cooking facilities. A Boeing 747, donated by UPS Foundation, arrived in Mogadishu from Dubai this morning carrying 47 metric tons of high-energy biscuits (HEBs) – enough to assist 31,000 people for three days – as well as critical medical supplies on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO). The shipment was arranged by the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai. As the drought intensifies, particularly in parts of south and north-eastern Somalia, severe food insecurity has spread. Half of the population, including 330,000 acutely malnourished children, are in need of urgent assistance. HEBs are ideally used in emergency situations as they are rich in minerals and vitamins and do not require preparation. Following consumption of HEBs over three days, WFP then provides other types of live-saving food assistance. Over the past three years, an emergency food assistance response by WFP and its partners has supported drought-affected people with vital supplies, such as specialized nutritious foods, school meals programmes and cash-based transfers.



Australia announces funding to improve nutrition in Pakistan

17 April 2017 - The Australian Government today announced additional support worth one million dollars to the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Pakistan to improve nutrition, eliminate hunger and attain food security by fortifying food. The announcement followed the official launch of a strategy, which has support from the WFP Pakistan, the National Fortification Alliance (NFA) and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MNHSRC) and aims to layout key actions for overcoming the micronutrient deficiencies in Pakistan known as “hidden hunger”. The strategy states that the addition of vitamins and minerals to common foods is an effective, affordable and safe measure to lower the burden of micronutrient deficiencies. According to the National Nutrition Survey of 2011, more than half of women and two thirds of children in Pakistan are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. This is a serious public health problem, and it results in slow physical and cognitive development in children, inferior school performance and decreased productivity in adults. The problem imposes on Pakistan an annual economic burden of around 3.5 billion dollars, equivalent to around 2% of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).



Japan supports UN Humanitarian Air Service in Sudan

10 April 2017, Khartoum - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a generous contribution of US$1 million from Japan to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Sudan, which is managed by WFP. WFP will use this contribution to continue to provide reliable and safe air services through UNHAS to the humanitarian community, enabling travel to remote and hard-to-reach locations across Darfur and in central and eastern Sudan. Japan is an important donor to UNHAS in Sudan, contributing a total of US$10.7 million over the past five years towards the service. These contributions enabled WFP to provide much needed assistance to food insecure populations across the country. In 2016, UNHAS flew a total of 4,280 hours, providing its critical service to 22,158 passengers from 78 organizations, including UN and NGO staff, government officials, donor representatives and diplomats. It also transported 120 metric tons of light cargo and carried out 13 medical evacuations. Established in Sudan in 2004, UNHAS is run by a steering committee comprising representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and donors, but is directly managed by WFP Sudan. Currently, UNHAS has a fleet of five aircraft, including two fixed-wing aircraft and three helicopters; the helicopters facilitate humanitarian travel to areas that are inaccessible by road, either due to insecurity or poor road conditions.



New donor funding allows WFP to resume full food rations for refugees in Kenya

7 April 2017, Nairobi - After more than a year of ration cuts caused by a shortage of funds, new donor contributions have now allowed the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to resume providing full food rations to refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps starting on 1 April. With new resources received since the beginning of the year, WFP is now able to restore the full food ration for all refugees from April to July. However, the funding currently available for cash transfers – which make up 30% of the refugees’ food assistance – will last only until May. The following donors have announced contributions to WFP’s refugee operation in Kenya, allowing for the resumption of full-sized food rations: Canada (US$2.2 million), China (US$5 million), Germany (US$2.7 million as part of a multi-year contribution), Japan (US$2.2 million), Sweden (US$1 million), and the United Kingdom (US$5.1 million as part of a multi-year contribution). A US$22.5 million in-kind contribution from the United States has arrived in the country and is available for distribution. Insufficient funding forced WFP to reduce the size of refugees’ food rations by 50% in December 2016. Prolonged ration cuts compromise refugees’ food consumption, nutrition and health. Each month, WFP provides each refugee with a mix of food items – cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, and nutrient-enriched flour – and a cash transfer equivalent to a third of the minimum food requirement. The cash, sent through mobile telephones, allows refugees to buy food products of their choice from local markets.



Japan donates US$3.5 million to WFP for emergency needs in Northeast Nigeria

5 April 2017, Abuja – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US $3.5 million contribution from the Government of Japan to provide desperately needed food assistance to tens of thousands of internally displaced people in Northeast Nigeria. The funding allows WFP to deliver food to more than 160,000 people in Borno and Yobe States, where the Boko Haram insurgency has left many people severely food insecure, and experts warn of a credible risk of famine in some places. Currently, some 4.7 million people are in dire need of food assistance in the three most conflict-affected states – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa – a figure that is expected to rise to 5.1 million by June. For four consecutive months, WFP has reached more one million vulnerable people in northeastern Nigeria with cash-based transfers, food distributions and nutritional assistance targeting children under five, along with pregnant and nursing women. Indeed, WFP’s assistance increased in March to reach nearly 1.2 million beneficiaries, with plans to gradually scale up to reach 1.8 million people monthly during the coming lean season.




Peace and security


In Colombia's central Meta region, Security Council witnesses first-hand progress on peace deal

5 May 2017 - While touring the Amazon region of Colombia where one of the monitoring mechanism facilities was set up under a historic peace agreement, a delegation from the United Nations Security Council met today with members of La Referma community, as well as Government representatives and FARC-EP members. The purpose field visit is to witness first-hand implementation of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP), and to observe the progress as well as the challenges of carrying out the aims of a hard-won peace deal.



UNESCO publishes new guidance tool for policy-makers on the prevention of violent extremism through education

1 May 2017 - UNESCO just released its new guidance tool Preventing violent extremism through education: A guide for policy-makers. The new publication will help policy-makers within ministries of education prioritize, plan and implement effective actions for the prevention of violent extremism through education, and contribute to national prevention efforts.



Women Clearing Bombs in Cambodia

24 April 2017 - Mao Neav is the leader of a small group of bomb and mine clearers working in the Ratanakiri province of north-east Cambodia. Her job for the past two years has been to clear the bombs and land mines that litter what was once part of the so-called the Ho-Shi-Minh trail. With the Vietnamese border only 70 kilometres away, this area was part of the logical system that routed supplies for the North Vietnamese troops during the Vietnam War.



Belarus completes the destruction of 3.4m stockpiled landmines

5 April 2017– Today the Republic of Belarus announced that it has completed the destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines. As a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, Belarus had failed to meet its deadline of 1 March 2008 to destroy its stockpiled landmines, making the completion long overdue. As a result, the country had been in violation of the Article 4 of the Mine Ban Treaty for nearly a decade. On 5 April 2017 the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus in a statement published online, declared that the country ‘has fully fulfilled its international obligations under the Ottawa Convention” by completing the destruction of “3.4 million antipersonnel mines PFM-1 with the support of the European Union”.  According to the Landmine Monitor, Belarus had stockpiled a total of approximately 4.5 million antipersonnel landmines. It completed the destruction of non-PFM types landmines in 2006. In 2010 the European Union announced the provision of €3.9 million to assist Belarus in the destruction of the PFM-1 mines. Only three other States Parties have remaining legal obligations to destroy their stockpiled mines. Oman, the newest State Party to the treaty, must complete destruction by its 2019 treaty deadline. Greece and Ukraine are in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty, having missed their destruction deadline by several years.






Drop to Zero

A major global polio event to be held at the Rotary Convention

5 May 2017 – On June 12, 2017, global leaders will come together at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, to pledge additional resources and reaffirm their commitment to achieving a polio-free world. Last year, a record low number of children contracted polio – just 37 in three countries. This is a dramatic reduction from just three decades ago, when 40 children were paralyzed by polio every hour. In order to finish the job, the polio program needs an additional US$1.5 billion. With this funding, health workers will be able to reach hundreds of millions of children every year until certification with polio vaccines, as well as provide other lifesaving vaccines and essential health services. This funding will also support all countries in keeping up rigorous disease surveillance networks so they can closely track the poliovirus and ensure it doesn’t gain a foothold. At an event titled “Drop to Zero” on June 12, global leaders will recommit to the importance of a polio-free world and celebrate the incredible progress made so far. Following this event, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will deliver a keynote presentation in the plenary session to a delegation of more than 20,000 Rotarians recognizing the efforts of all those, including Rotarians, who have brought the world to the brink of eradication. http://polioeradication.org/news-post/drop-to-zero/


Tajikistan: ICRC provides medical supplies to Ishkashim District Hospital

5May 2017  – Dushanbe (ICRC) – Today, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provided medical supplies to Ishkashim District Hospital in Gorno–Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast in Tajikistan. The supplies, which include materials for infusions, dressings and sutures, will help to treat wounded people transferred from across the border in Zebak District, in the north‑eastern province of Badakhshan, Afghanistan, where there has been a recent outburst of armed violence. "These supplies will cover people's present needs," said Claudia Azzolini, head of the ICRC's mission in Dushanbe. "But if the fighting continues in Badakhshan and more wounded people are transferred to Tajikistan, we will need to send more assistance." "The hospital can now provide emergency care to the ten wounded people currently undergoing treatment," said Dr Parviz Borakov, the hospital's chief physician. In cooperation with the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan and the local authorities, the ICRC will continue to assess the hospital's needs in order to be able to respond quickly should additional medical supplies be needed.



Rotary uses virtual reality to inspire others

4May 2017 – Rotary is working with Google’s virtual reality team to offer an experience that showcases the impact of compassion to a global audience. We’re producing a three-minute virtual reality film that emphasizes the two themes of polio and peace, and how Rotary’s work to eradicate the disease is  increasing stability across the world.  Through the power of virtual reality, viewers will follow the extraordinary journey of a child whose world has been torn apart by conflict. The film will immerse viewers in this child’s world, and they’ll experience for themselves the impact that small acts of compassion, protection, and kindness can have on others.  We’ll premiere the film on 13 June at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It will be widely released in time for World Polio Day on 24 October. This isn’t Rotary’s first experience with virtual reality. With support from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Rotary premiered its first virtual reality film, “I Dream of an Empty Ward,” in October 2016. In that film, viewers visit India, which has been polio-free since 2011, to follow Alokita, a young woman paralyzed by the disease as a child. Traveling through the streets of Delhi, viewers get a close look at life in India and what’s being done to keep the country polio-free. And, through a visit to India’s only polio ward, at St. Stephen’s Hospital, they witness Alokita’s triumphant first steps after 11 years.



Local villagers lend their eyes and ears in the struggle to keep Somalia polio-free

Parents, community leaders and students are hunting down the poliovirus in inaccessible areas in Somalia

3 May 2017  – As the world edges closer to becoming polio-free, keeping up the guard in countries at high risk of polio importation is more of a priority than ever. With polio continuing to circulate in the three  remaining polio-endemic countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria ‒ any country is at risk of the virus returning. Among the most vulnerable of at-risk countries is Somalia. A poor country plagued by decades of civil strife, Somalia is home to 1.1 million internally displaced persons. Shortages of resources and constant insecurity hamper the ability of the country’s health system to provide essential health services, including routine immunization, to its population. The  prospect of polio returning to Somalia is not an idle threat. Three years ago, after six years polio-free, Somalia was rocked by an explosive polio outbreak that paralysed close to 200 children in the Horn of Africa neighbourhood. Following a swift multi-country immunization response led by national governments and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, polio transmission was stopped and the outbreak was declared closed after 18 months. For Somalia, this has called for new and innovative tactics. In ‘no-go zones’, WHO and partners rely heavily on the support of community members to actively seek out and report cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) – a major indicator for polio characterized by ‘floppiness’ in limbs. This network of local village polio volunteers (VPVs) – students, mothers, fathers, and community leaders – are trained by WHO to recognize symptoms of AFP and on reporting protocols, and travel from house-to-house in their villages or towns observing children for signs of paralysis. When AFP is detected, the case is immediately reported to a district focal point and a case investigation is mounted.



Democratic Republic of Congo: MSF staff treat measles cases across five provinces

28 April 2017 – Since November 2016, Médecins Sans Frontières has vaccinated over 675,000 children against measles, and cared for more than 14,000 patients in health zones throughout five provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Maniema, South Kivu, Tanganyka, Ituri and Equateur. MSF teams are currently supporting the Ministry of Health’s fight against measles. “We are facing a serious situation that requires a significant response effort. Time is of the essence for everyone involved: MSF, the Congolese authorities and other partners”, explains Jeroen Beijnsberger, head of the MSF mission in Kinshasa. To guarantee effective immunisation coverage (the vaccination of 95% of children aged 6 months to 14 years) the teams must cover even the most remote areas. In a country as huge as the DRC, which also lacks road infrastructure, this can mean travelling hundreds of kilometres on motorbike, crossing rivers in dugout canoes, or walking for days through an inhospitable forest. Logistics can be particularly challenging in more dangerous regions affected by the presence of armed groups, such as South Kivu and Tanganyka. In addition to immunisation campaigns, MSF teams are delivering medical care to measles patients, mainly children under the age of ten, providing outpatient treatment of symptoms, with a particular focus on malnourished children suffering from measles, as they are particularly vulnerable.



United States funding helps WFP provide vital nutrition support in Mozambique

19 April 2017, Maputo - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes an additional US$2.7 million contribution from the United States to support pregnant and nursing women, and people living with HIV (PLHIV) or TB on anti-retroviral treatment. The funding will be used to buy, transport and distribute fortified blended food for the treatment of malnutrition among these vulnerable groups, whose situation has been made worse by the recent drought. The additional funding will enable 170 health centres in the worst-affected provinces of Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Sofala and Tete to provide 21,000 people with nutritional assistance throughout the year. So far, 100 metric tons of fortified food has been distributed, with an additional 770 metric tons to be given out soon. The contribution comes from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Mozambique is one of 22 countries in Africa receiving PEFPAR support and one of eight UNAIDS priority countries within the Southern Africa region, where efforts need to be fast-tracked to achieve the end of AIDS by 2030. PLHIV or TB are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition. Moreover, the antiretroviral medication they take loses efficiency unless combined with good nutrition. When PLHIV do not have enough to eat, they are less likely to adhere to their treatment – this can lead to increased viral load, opportunistic infections and progression of the disease. Food insecurity has been found to exacerbate gender-based violence and force people into harmful coping strategies such as transactional sex, which in turn can make them more vulnerable to HIV infection. Since 2004, the PEPFAR programme has been providing anti-retroviral treatment, life-saving food assistance and nutrition rehabilitation for malnourished PLHIV and TB in Mozambique.




Energy and safety



DLR supports the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) through satellite-based risk mapping

Humanitarian Technology: High-tech for relief workers

19 April 2017 - 795 million people worldwide – or one in nine – do not have enough to eat. And the consequences of climate change continue to exacerbate this already precarious situation, with failed crops due to extreme periods of drought or flooding being just one example. Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is now supporting WFP in the risk mapping and early detection of critical weather/climate developments to help prevent, mitigate and prepare for natural disasters as an essential part of WFP's mandate to combat global hunger. The Spatial Risk Calendar (SpaRC), piloted by WFP's Emergency Preparedness & Support Response Division in collaboration with the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping Unit (VAM), aims to identify environmental risks recurring in certain regions and intervals, by monitoring droughts and designing the humanitarian response to save lives. To this end, DLR is contributing its specialist experience and technical know-how in the area of remote sensing. Experts from the DLR Earth Observation Center (EOC) will analyse the data and models used by the UN until now, compare them with high-resolution satellite images and devise scientific support to further develop the system. Risk calendars and maps, such as SpaRC, observe changes and recurring patterns in order to provide a global overview that is classified according to several risk factors and their short and long-term development. The focus is on vegetation, droughts, soil erosion as well as changes in land cover. The development of these environmental parameters has a direct impact on harvests and the availability of food. Heavy rainfalls can cause flooding of arable land, removing its humus layers and leaving the soil infertile. Risk mapping can include particularly threatened regions, as well as the occurrence and timing of extreme weather events.



We Mean Business Newsletter - Good news on green energy!

“Ethical Markets welcomes all this good news on the global transition to green sectors, which we verify in our latest Green Transition Scoreboard ® “DEEPENING GREEN FINANCE “released this week now downloadable at www.ethicalmarkets.com, Hazel Henderson, Editor“ Welcome to the April newsletter of the We Mean Business coalition, where we highlight bold progress in the transition to a low-carbon economy, while preparing for the challenges ahead. Walmart has set new standards for working collaboratively with supply chains to achieve bold science-based targets, with the launch of its transformational goal to cut 1 gigaton of indirect (scope 3) emissions by 2030. The coalition also welcomes the unprecedented clarity and vision provided by the official launch of Mission 2020, the Energy Transitions Commission’s ‘Better energy, Greater prosperity’ report and the latest report from WWF, Ceres, Calvert and CDP detailing the progress being made by Fortune 500 companies.  Economic opportunity through bold climate action - “Despite the scale of the challenges facing us, we firmly believe the required transition is technically and economically achievable if immediate action is taken.” Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission.




Environment and wildlife


UN Forum to consider forest-based solutions to improve people’s lives and reduce poverty

The United Nations Forum on Forests will meet for its 12th session (UNFF12) from 1 to 5 May 2017 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The meeting marks the first session of the Forum since the historic adoption of the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 by the United Nations General Assembly on 27 April 2017. Discussions at UNFF12 will focus on technical issues related to sustainable forest management and strategies to promote implementation of the Strategic Plan. The UN Strategic Plan for Forests was forged at a special session of the UN Forum on Forests held in January 2017 and provides an ambitious vision for global forests in 2030. The Plan features a set of six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets to be reached by 2030, which are voluntary and universal. One of the bold, groundbreaking aspects of the Strategic Plan is a target to expand the world’s forests by 3%, an area of 120 million hectares, by 2030. Forests presently cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s land area, or nearly 4 billion hectares. Sustainably managed forests are healthy, productive, resilient and renewable ecosystems, which provide vital goods and ecosystem services to people worldwide. An estimated 25 per cent of the global population – 1.6 billion people – depend on forests for their subsistence, livelihood, employment and income.




Religion and spirituality


India - A new Home of the Missionaries of Charity in Orissa

6 May 2017 - Bhubaneswar (Agenzia Fides) – The Missionaries of Charity open a new home in the state of Orissa, East India. As Agenzia Fides learns, the new Mother Teresa religious community is located in the famous district of Kandhamal, which was the scene of anti-Christian violence in 2008. The opening ceremony, with the blessing of the community, is scheduled for May 13, 2017, on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. It will be the third community of Missionaries of charity in that district.

The other two convents are in the parish of St. Sebastian in Saramuli and Maria, and in the parish of the Mother of God in Sukananda, two other places in Kandhamal.



Brazil - Assembly of Bishops: "It is urgent to resume the path of ethics to rebuild social fabric"

5 May 2017 - Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Brazil, almost at the end of their 55th General Assembly celebrated in Aparecida, which ends on May 5, have issued an official note on the historic moment Brazil has been living in recent times. On May 4, the Presidency of the Bishops' Conference (CNBB) outlined a work report and submitted the note to journalists. The note sent to Fides stresses that Brazil is "a bewildered Country, with public and private actors who ignore ethics and are without moral principles". In the text the Bishops warn: "It is urgent to resume the path of ethics to rebuild social fabric in Brazil. Only then society will be able to combat its most obvious evils: violence against people and life, against the family, drug trafficking and other illicit activities, excessive use of police force, corruption, tax evasion, misappropriation of public property, abuse of economic and political power, manipulation of the media, environmental crimes".
http://www.fides.org/en/news/62214_Assembly of_Bishops_It_is_urgent_to_resume_the_path_of_ethics


Interreligious prize at Nyon festival 2017

2 May 2017, Nyon (SIGNIS/INTERFILM). An interreligious jury by SIGNIS and INTERFILM have been present at the Festival Visions du Réel in Nyon (Switzerland) since 2005. The jury includes a representative of a member of INTERFILM and SIGNIS and a member of Jewish and Muslim faith. The jury awards a feature-length film of the international competition and possibly a commendation that sheds light on existential, social or spiritual questions as well as human values. The prize of CHF 5,000 is donated by both the Swiss Catholic Church and Médias-pro, the Media Department of Reformed Churches in the French-speaking part Switzerland (CER), and the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities. This year, the interreligious jury awards its prize endowed with CHF 5000 to the film: The gaze of the sea, by José Álvares (Mexico, 2017) The Gaze of the Sea glows with beauty and grace. Giving voice to a community of Mexican fishers struck by loss and grief, the film shows us what it is to be human. In these fragile men and women, forgiveness and redemption materialize. The film illuminates how love empowers them to overcome pain and find reconciliation with each other and with nature.



Toronto, Canada named host of the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions in 2018
02 May 2017 – Toronto acclaimed by the United Nations as the most diverse city in the world and home to six million Canadians—has been chosen as the host city of the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be convened in November 2018. The selection of Toronto was made by the Board of Trustees of the governing organization at its April 2017 meeting. More than 10,000 people will participate in the 2018 Parliament, which will last for seven days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops, and dialogues, alongside music, dance, art and photography exhibitions, and related events presented by the world’s religious communities and cultural institutions.  Since the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, modern Parliaments have attracted participants from more than 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations to its international gatherings in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009), and Salt Lake City (2015). These Parliament events are the world’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive gatherings of the global interfaith movement.



Beirut Declaration enhances role of religions in promoting human rights

An article from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights

A “Faith for Rights” initiative launched at a recent gathering of faith-based and civil society actors from around the world aims to unite religious communities of various faiths to counter discrimination and religious-based violence through a shared objective to promote human rights and to uphold the freedom of religion or belief. “Our objective is to foster the development of peaceful societies, where diversity is not just tolerated but fully respected and celebrated,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a video message to participants at the two-day meeting hosted by the UN Human Rights Office in Beirut.“Religious leaders, with their considerable influence on the hearts and minds of millions of people, are potentially very important human rights actors,” said Mr. Zeid. Building on the 2012 Rabat Plan of Action that laid out religious leaders’ core responsibilities in countering incitement to hatred, the Beirut Declaration (pdf) expands those responsibilities to the full spectrum of human rights. It calls on believers of all faiths to join hands and hearts in articulating ways in which they can stand together in defending fundamental rights against discrimination and violence.




Culture and education


Ready to Respond: Joint UNICEF and WFP preparedness investments in Indonesia and the Aceh earthquake response

8 May 2017 - Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with a population of over 252 million people spread across some 18,000 islands. The country is one of the most disaster-prone in the world, regularly experiencing weather-related calamities and more earthquakes per year than any other country on earth. The Government of Indonesia is taking proactive measures to ensure populations receive appropriate and rapid assistance when a disaster strikes. Since 2014, national authorities have been closely partnering with WFP and UNICEF through the Ready to Respond project to implement preparedness actions that positively enhanced the country’s readiness. The Ready to Respond project, supported by DFID, helped in providing faster, better and cheaper relief operations through a range of preparedness investments: strategic prepositioning of response equipment, establishment of rapid response teams, reinforcing supply systems for aid delivery, and enhancing people’s skills and awareness for disaster responses. During the project, a team of WFP logistics experts was set up and is now ready to be deployed at 12 hours’ notice anywhere in Indonesia to complement Government’s emergency responses as required. UNICEF also purchased items for child protection and education which were pre-positioned with support from the Government and NGOs. WFP and UNICEF also conducted training and simulations of disasters situations to reinforce people’s readiness to act in case of large emergencies. Over 250 partners from Government and civil society in 8 provinces attended training on education, child protection, nutrition, and water and sanitation in emergencies.



Denmark 64th State to endorse Safe Schools Declaration
5 May 2017 - UNESCO commends the Danish government for endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration, an international political commitment to protect students, teachers, schools and universities from attack in times of armed conflict.  By endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration on 3 May 2017, Denmark has become the 64th country to join an expanding community of states committed to protecting education during armed conflict.  The Safe Schools Declaration, was developed through consultations with States in a process led by Norway and Argentina in Geneva in early 2015 and was opened for endorsement at the 2015 Oslo Conference.


Peace, human security at forefront of UN intercultural dialogue forum

4 May 2017 – The integration of migrants in cities, countering the rise of violent extremism, as well as youth radicalization on the Internet are just some of the issues being discussed at a United Nations conference opening on Friday in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Fourth World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, hosted by the Government of Azerbaijan in partnership with the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will provide an opportunity to examine effective responses to challenges facing human security, including massive migration, violent extremism and conflicts. The Forum brings together heads of government and ministers, representatives of intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, policy-makers, cultural professionals, journalists and civil society activists under the theme ‘Advancing Intercultural Dialogue – New avenues for human security, peace and sustainable development.



WFP celebrates School Meals Day in Tajikistan for healthy school children

4 May 2017, Rudkai District - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Tajikistan and its technical partner, the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI), today held an event to celebrate School Meals Day at School No 1. in Rudaki District. The event highlighted the achievements and activities of the WFP School Meals Programme through three master classes in healthy cooking, as well as competitions organised by the Athletic Federation of Tajikistan and Olympic track and field gold medalist Dilshod Nazarov. Tajikistan’s School Meals programme is the largest activity supported by WFP in the country.

When it started in 1999, the programme supported 5,000 schoolchildren in 33 schools. It has since expanded and now provides a daily hot lunch to around 370,000 schoolchildren in over 2,000 schools in rural Tajikistan, which is more than 50% of all schools in the country. Participants of School Meals Day were able to view the improvements made in the school kitchen and canteen and had a chance to sample daily fresh lunches served at school. Deputy Ministers of Health and Social Protection, Education and Science attended the event together with representatives of the Russian Federation and Japan. School No 1 is a new to the programme, and will serve as a centre for training and knowledge exchange for managers and technical staff from 2,000 other schools participating in the WFP programme.



Community based disaster risk management and school safety programmes launched in Balochistan

18 April 201, Quetta - The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) - Balochistan in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) Pakistan launched two new programmes aimed at reducing the risks posed by natural disasters in Balochistan – Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) and School Safety programmes. The Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE) has provided the financial support for the implementation of these projects in two hazard-prone districts Nasirabad and Jaffarabad of Balochistan.

WFP’s CBDRM and school safety programmes will benefit as many as 6,546 people including school children, teachers, school safety committees, local community members, trainers, local and district government officials from 40 schools in 14 villages in two selected districts. The programme initiatives will also benefit more than 3,000 community members by increasing their knowledge on minimizing loss of lives and properties during disasters or emergencies.

In addition, WFP will provide school safety kits; search and rescue kits; first aid kits; and information, education and communication material, including a students’ learning booklet, a teachers’ guidebook and flip charts of major hazards, to all selected schools and local communities to create awareness on disaster preparedness and response. The CBDRM and School Safety programmes are part of the joint 2017-18 Annual Work Plan Agreements of WFP, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and PDMA and also of the Framework of Cooperation signed between WFP and NDMA for 2016-18.




Earth Day around the World – 2017

A survey by CPNN

On the website http://earthday.org we find the following quotation: “Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 50,000 partners in nearly 195 countries to build environmental democracy. Looking at the list of Earthday partners, we find many countries represented, although the vast majority are limited to the United States. If one counts the partners of Sister Cities International , there are already 145 since they have “2,000 partnerships in 145 countries around the globe.” (...) The largest number of celebrations in the rest of the world were the satellite marches for science, in solidarity with the march in Washington. On the website of Science Magazine  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/04/march-science-live-coverage we find descriptions of the satellite marches in Seoul, Tokyo, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Tromsø and Svalbard in Norway, Bonn and Berlin in Germany, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra in Australia, Aukland in New Zealand. According to Africa News, there were satellite marches in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, Ghana’s capital Accra, Kampala in Uganda, Blantyre in Malawi and Cape Town as well as Durban in South Africa among other cities. In the Philippines, there was a satellite march in Quezon City.




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Next issue: 16 June 2017.


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 (WANGO) and of the Union of International Associations (UIA).


* 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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