Go to the Home Page

Good News Agency

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

Monthly – year 17th, number 261 – 20 October 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


Join global treaty to root out the scourge of illegal fishing, urges UN food security agency

6 October 2017 – Calling for strengthening the fight against illegal fishing, the United Nations food security agency has urged all countries to join a landmark global treaty that aims to rid the world of the multibillion-dollar scourge. The Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) – approved by the Conference of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in November 2009 – entered into force last June, making it legally binding on its parties to conduct rigorous inspections of vessels by port rather than flag States. According to José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of FAO, the PSMA is not only the “main tool” to tackle illegal fishing, it also helps to tackle other serious problems including trafficking of drugs and persons. “We need all countries around the world to be part of the [the Agreement] for it to be highly effective,” he said, speaking at a conference in Malta. So far about 50 countries are parties to the treaty, but many more are needed, added Mr. Graziano da Silva. As part of its commitments to implement the Agreement, FAO has set aside seed money to fund support programmes for poorer countries develop their technical, scientific and legal capacity. These resources will be bolstered by voluntary contributions. Also in his remarks, the FAO Director-General announced pledges of $41.9 in funding initiatives for programs aimed at the fisheries sector, including improving fisheries management and livelihoods around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. With these funds FAO aims to reverse the trend of overexploitation of fish stocks and strengthen the livelihoods of poor coastal communities, which depend heavily on small-scale fishing. The UN agency also announced today that it will spend some $1 million to assist small island developing States through its Blue Growth initiative, geared at providing developing countries with a framework which allows them to rebuild and grow their aquatic economies in a sustainable ecological manner while benefitting coastal communities.



Finally, Argentina Has a Law on Access to Public Information

28 september 2017 - After 15 long years of public campaigns and debates in which different political, social and business sectors held marches and counter-protests, Argentina finally has a new law that guarantees access to public information. This step forward must now be reflected in reality, in this South American country where one of the main social demands is greater transparency on the part of the authorities. The Law on the Right of Access to Public Information, which considers “all government-held information” to be public, was approved by Congress in September last year and enters into force Friday Sept. 29.



At UN, Guatemalan President pledges government’s full commitment to fight corruption

19 September 2017 – Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, addressing the United Nations General Assembly today, pledged the firmest intention to strengthen and support the International Commission against Impunity of Guatemala (CICIG), while stressing that no institution should interfere in the country’s administration of justice. The agreement between the UN and Guatemala that established the CICIG was the first of its kind in the world, he said. It was vital that it was complied with faithfully. Having started its work in 2007, its mandate had been extended five times, demonstrating a firm commitment to strengthen and support its work, he explained.




Human rights


Iran's brave human rights defenders and their struggle against the death penalty

12 October 2017 - On 10 October, people around the world marked the World Day against the Death Penalty. This year is particularly significant for us at Amnesty International because it marks 40 years since the organization first began campaigning for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty in 1977. Since this landmark moment, countries that use the death penalty have become an increasingly isolated minority. In fact, as of September 2017, more than two-thirds of the countries around the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. However, as the world moves away from the death penalty, Iran continues to execute hundreds of people every year and comes second only to China in the number of executions carried out annually. Amnesty International recorded nearly 1,000 executions in Iran in 2015 and at least 567 in 2016.



African voices raised in support of people with albinism

10 October 2017 - On the remote East African island of Ukerewe in the middle of Lake Victoria, people with albinism whose voices have been largely unheard, are now writing and voicing their experiences into songs. Ukerewe is the largest inland island in Africa and is part of Tanzania. This East African country has the highest prevalence of albinism in the world: about one in every 1,400, compared to the US's one in 17,000. In Africa the prevalence is estimated to range between one in 1100 to one in 15,000. Since 2006, more than 520 attacks on people with albinism in 28 countries have been recorded, according to the Canadian charity Under The Same Sun. People with albinism in Africa face a range of prejudices and social stigmas. They are often dismissed as belonging to another race, or as ghosts or spirits.



Greece: Vote on legal gender recognition: historic step forward for transgender rights

10 October 2017 - The passing of a new law reforming the legal recognition of gender identity, is an historical step forward for transgender people in Greece, said Amnesty International. The new law adopted today expressly states that transgender people can change their papers without the requirement of medical interventions or tests. “Today’s reform is a hard-won victory for transgender rights activists in Greece who have fought for equality for transgender people for years. It sends out a clear message that no one should be forced to go through medical procedures in order to be officially recognized for who they are,” said Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director.



South Africa: Human Rights Reflected Through Art

26 September 2017 - An exhibition at the Johanness Stegmann Gallery in Bloemfontein featured the works of renowned artists, poets and social activists to create a collection of thought provoking images which reflect and respond to the values and ideals instilled in the South African Bill of Rights. The Art of Human Rights Print Portfolio is an of Art for Humanity (AFH) initiative. 29 South African artists and 27 poets have created works that reflect and respond to the values and ideals instilled in the South African Bill of Rights, which is found in Chapter Two of the Constitution.



New UN Trust Fund initiative in Moldova aims to protect elderly women from domestic violence

26 September 2017 - HelpAge International, in partnership with Gender Centru, launched a 3-year initiative which aims to inform elderly women in Moldova about their rights and protect them from domestic violence. The project, "Ensuring Gender and Age Dimensions of Human Rights are realized in Moldova,” is supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund). The project aims to increase elderly women’s knowledge about their rights, encourage them to access support services, and work with civil society to mobilize eight communities in the south and center of the country to get involved in preventing violence against elderly women.



Central America and the Caribbean make historic strides to end child marriage

15 september 2017 - Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador and Guatemala abolish discriminatory legislation which allowed this harmful practice against girls and adolescent women. Up until 2012, 29 per cent of Latin American girls were getting married under the age of 18. Despite this bleak picture, Central American and Caribbean countries have made historic steps in recent months, kindling hopes that the tides could be turning for girls and adolescent women in the region. On 12 July, the Honduran Congress modified the National Family Code revoking all legal exceptions that until then allowed the marriage of minos. Though technically forbidden, marriage of girls as young as 16 was possible with parental consent. A month later, neighboring Guatemala and El Salvador took similarly decisive steps. In Guatemala, legal reforms were approved which effectively banned marriage for any person under 18 years of age, while in El Salvador all legal exceptions for child marriage were derogated. Meanwhile, last June, Trinidad and Tobago amended the Marriage Act, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, the Hindu Marriage Act, the Orisa Marriage Act and the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act with an aim at ending the practice of underage marriage.




Economy and development


FAO-World Bank launch $36 million programme to scale up famine-fighting in Yemen

3 October 2017, Cairo/Rome - The World Bank and FAO have launched a $36 million project aimed at providing immediate assistance to over 630,000 poor and food-insecure people in Yemen - more than 30% of whom are women - as well as increasing longer term agricultural resilience in the conflict-ridden country. The grant funds for the three-year "Smallholder Agricultural Production Restoration and Enhancement Project (SAPREP)" come from the World Bank's Global Agriculture Food Security Program (GAFSP).With an estimated 17 million people facing emergency or crisis levels of acute food insecurity, Yemen is currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The ongoing conflict has severely affected the agriculture sector and has had a devastating impact on the food security, nutrition and livelihood of Yemenis. The grant will enable FAO to support priority projects, such as those in the areas of providing food-security support and rehabilitation of water resources that will increase smallholders' production, income and nutrition, as well as build the capacity of stakeholders involved in various projects related to the grant. FAO currently operates in 13 governorates in Yemen, including all the governorates hosting the largest number of food-insecure households. In 2017, FAO is aiming to support more than 3 million of the most food- and nutrition-insecure people in the most-affected governorates in Yemen and has already vaccinated more than 1 million livestock.



Burundi to receive a US$24.9 million IFAD grant to enhance financial inclusion services in rural areas

3 October 2017, Rome – A total of 99,200 Burundian rural households in 17 provinces will benefit from a financial agreement signed today between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Burundi. The financing agreement for the Project to Support Agricultural and Rural Financial Inclusion in Burundi (PAIFAR-B) will enhance the availability of financial services in rural areas where demand currently far outstrips supply. Particular attention will be given to the most vulnerable groups, including women and young people. The project will be co-financed by the Government of Burundi ($2.6 million) and by the participants themselves ($2.1 million). In Burundi, rural populations have extremely limited access to financial services. To start agricultural or non-agricultural activities, they often have no choice but to borrow from traders and “loan sharks” who can charge excessive interest rates as high as 1,000 per cent. PAIFAR-B aims to provide access to financial as well as other diversified services, in order to foster the emergence of a wide range of income generating enterprises, with a focus on assisting the rural poor. The project will involve various partners, including the Bank of the Republic of Burundi for regulatory issues, as well as the private banking sector for managing funds and refinancing the microfinance establishments (MFEs). The MFEs will finance the small-scale farmers, traders, processors, craftsmen and the cooperatives working in the agricultural and non-agricultural rural sector.



Heifer International and UN’s IFAD strengthen partnership to build resilience of rural people

18 September 2017, New York– Heifer International and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) have agreed to seek opportunities to collaborate on market-driven development, climate-smart agriculture, access to finance and several other areas involving smallholder farmers. For more than 10 years, Heifer has been working with IFAD, a specialized agency of the United Nations and international financing institution that focuses on ending rural poverty in developing countries through long-term investment. The two organizations have collaborated in Nepal, Rwanda and Tanzania. Under a new memorandum of understanding signed by Heifer and IFAD, the two organizations will explore ways to build on their successes in these areas:

Market-driven development, inclusive business models

Climate-smart agriculture, sustainable resource management

Financial literacy, access to finance

Capacity-building of local communities

Improved food security and nutrition through integrated crop/livestock farming

Stronger resilience through increased incomes, assets

Management of post-harvest loss

Social capital, women’s empowerment



UN agency IFAD and Mars Incorporated commit to working together to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in developing countries

18 September 2017, New York –The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Mars Incorporated signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to work to increase incomes and economic opportunities for thousands of smallholder farmers in developing countries. The agreement outlines how IFAD and Mars will work together to provide farmers in Mars’ extended supply chain with greater access to the tools, technology and training that will help them improve their livelihoods. The signing of the MOU follows the launch of Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation plan, in which it will invest $1 billion over the next few years to tackle urgent threats including climate change, poverty in the supply chain and scarcity of resources. As part of the plan, Mars has announced an ambition to meaningfully improve the working lives of one million people in its value chain to enable them to thrive. As part of the new agreement, IFAD and Mars will work together to provide farmers with training and technical guidance that will increase productivity and quality standards, and support more environmentally sustainable farming methods. In addition, the two will explore opportunities to support smallholders in Mars’ value chains by brokering greater access to markets that will in turn help farmers increase their incomes. The focus on increasing incomes is also a key part of Mars’ newly launched Farmer Income Lab, a collaborative “think-do tank,” focusing on generating the missing insights needed to eradicate smallholder poverty.



New partnership between ITU and FAO to bolster ICT innovation in agriculture

18 September 2017, New York - The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will leverage synergies to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).The principals of the two organizations, Houlin Zhao (ITU) and José Graziano da Silva (FAO), signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that seeks to facilitate the development of e-Agriculture policies and regulations as well as ICT-centric innovation clusters that strengthen national and regional agricultural competitiveness. The MoU is also aimed at enhancing the capacity of rural communities to adopt and use ICTs in agriculture, climate change monitoring and disaster-prevention. The MoU builds upon the ongoing collaboration between ITU and FAO to assist member states in adopting a strategic approach to make the best use of ICT developments for agriculture. In 2016, the two institutions jointly developed the E-agriculture Strategy Guide that suggests a framework for countries to develop their national e-agriculture strategy and master plan. FAO has a longstanding history of fostering exchanges of ideas and best practices in ICT for sustainable agriculture and rural development. In 2007, FAO and a group of founding partners launched the e-Agriculture Community of Practice an online space with over 12,000 members from 170 countries and territories.



WFP and partners embark on new strategic plan to fight hunger in Mozambique

13 September 2017, Maputo - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched its five-year Country Strategic Plan (CSP) for Mozambique. The plan is designed to ensure that people have more reliable and nutritious food to eat, and to make them more resilient to the climate shocks to which Mozambique is increasingly prone. The product of two years of nationwide consultations, the Strategic Plan fully supports Mozambique’s key national development priorities, including the Government’s Five Year Plan 2015-19. In addition to ensuring that vulnerable people can meet their food and nutrition needs, even in times of crisis, the CSP focuses on eradicating malnutrition among children in chronically f00d-insecure areas and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Despite Mozambique achieving its Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of hungry people in the country, nearly a quarter of its people face chronic food insecurity or malnourishment. The country remains one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world - highly vulnerable to extreme climatic events which destroy infrastructure and restrict economic growth, undermining attempts to eradicate poverty and hunger. While maintaining strong humanitarian assistance capacity, WFP’s new plan focuses on supporting longer-term resilience-building efforts, as well as strengthening partnerships, national systems and institutions needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) by 2030. The Country Strategic Plan for Mozambique, budgeted at US$ 167 million, was approved and came into effect in July.






Through WFP, Japan supports vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza

10 October 2017, Ramallah - The Government of Japan has announced an approximately US$3.2 million contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) that will provide six months of food assistance for to 52,000 of the most vulnerable non-refugee Palestinians living in Gaza. Japan’s contribution will allow WFP to provide families with monthly food assistance that includes wheat flour and vegetable oil enriched with minerals and micronutrients in addition to pulses and iodized salt. Recipient families, comprised mostly of women and children, are among the poorest in Gaza and depend on the Ministry of Social Development Social Safety Nets assistance programme, which includes food provided by WFP. WFP will also use the contribution to buy Japanese-produced, high-quality canned tuna, which is an excellent source of protein and micronutrients such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron. WFP will store part of the purchase of canned tuna as a contingency stock in case of an emergency. Japan’s support also enables WFP to invest in the local economy through local purchases and cash and vouchers that people can redeem in local shops. Since 2011, WFP has injected more than US$242 million into the Palestinian economy through its local food purchases and use of electronic vouchers. Japan’s generous and predictable contributions have been significant for WFP to maintain assistance to the poorest non-refugee Palestinians, particularly in Gaza where food insecurity affects four out of ten people and unemployment and poverty are rampant.



Essential Supplies and Emotional Support for the Children of Puerto Rico

Save the Children Sends Additional Staff, Supplies to Help Children and Families Affected by Hurricane Maria

6 October 2017 Fairfield, Connecticut— Millions of Americans in Puerto Rico, including nearly 700,000 children, continue to face the aftereffects of Hurricane Maria. More than two weeks after the hurricane hit the island, electricity, fuel, and clean water are still scarce. This week, Save the Children sent additional staff and supplies to address the most urgent needs for children and their families. The organization’s staff arrived in the immediate aftermath of the storm and, working with partners and local officials, has already distributed essential supplies for toddlers and young children in seven shelters on the island, with additional distributions scheduled. (…) In addition to distributing supplies, Save the Children is helping support children’s physical and emotional wellbeing through its signature Child-Friendly Spaces—safe, well-supervised areas within shelters where children can play, socialize and begin to recover from the disaster, while allowing their parents to concentrate on addressing the family’s immediate and longer-term needs. Students are still out of school, and fewer than half of Puerto Rico’s 1,100 public schools have been assessed for damage so far. Child-Friendly Spaces will help these students return to some sense of normalcy while they wait for schools to reopen. Save the Children is helping conduct damage assessments at childcare centers and schools, as well as training experienced social workers from the island to lead Child-Friendly Spaces in locations across Puerto Rico.



20K Meals and Critical Supplies Delivered to Puerto Rico to Aid in Disaster Relief

Donation kicks off Food Bank For New York City’s campaign calling for New Yorkers to support hurricane recovery

5 October 2017, New York /CSRwire/ - Last week, Food Bank For New York City sent approximately 20,000 meals and critical supplies to its sister food bank, Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico. JetBlue and its partner, Atlas, delivered the items to Puerto Rico, where they’ll be distributed to victims of Hurricane Maria. Packages that included bottled water, shelf stable food, and other needed supplies, like diapers and feminine hygiene products, were wrapped and made ready for distribution before being loaded into trucks headed for JFK Airport.  “Sandy taught us that in a disaster the first thing you want to know is that you are not forgotten, and sending needed supplies is an important way to show New York stands with Puerto Rico,” said Food Bank For New York City President and CEO Margarette Purvis.(…) “JetBlue crewmembers regularly volunteer at Food Bank’s Community Kitchen.  When we heard about the citywide effort to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico, we immediately jumped in, along with our partner, Atlas,” said Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility, JetBlue.(…)Food Bank also opened collection sites across the City to accept donations of food and supplies for ongoing shipments to the Caribbean. New Yorkers can find drop-off sites and lists of needed items at:



WFP providing food, logistics and telecoms support to hurricane-hit Island of Dominica

29 September 2017, Rome -  Emergency food supplies from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have been delivered for distribution on the Caribbean island of Dominica which was devastated by Hurricane Maria early last week. Some 10 metric tons of WFP high-energy biscuits were transported by ship to the eastern Caribbean island this week and then delivered to communities in the remote interior by helicopter and to coastal communities by boat. Overall, WFP plans to provide a range of food assistance to some 25,000 people for three months. WFP has already discussed with the government a system to supply hurricane-affected people with vouchers to be exchanged for food in local markets once they reopen. WFP is also providing critical logistics, air service and telecommunications support to Dominica and the humanitarian relief response. The WFP Emergency Telecommunications Team – with the support of experts from the Ericsson Response Team and the Government of Luxembourg — has set up connectivity in Dominica to some 400 registered users including the Government Emergency Operations Centre, the island’s airports and hospitals, and the Dominican, Venezuelan and French fire brigades. In the wake of a series of hurricanes which have ravaged the Caribbean, WFP – from its operational hubs in Barbados and Antigua - has been working closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, island governments and international partners.



Aid arrives in Cuba as island nation begins recovery from destructive Hurricane Irma

25 September 2017 Havana/Panama– A massive consignment of Red Cross aid arrived in Cuba over the weekend, bringing much needed support to thousands of people who lost their homes and livelihoods to Hurricane Irma. The consignment comprises 33 tons of hygiene kits, tarpaulins, kitchen sets, tool kits, buckets, jerry cans, mosquito nets and aqua-tab tablets. It flew from the Red Cross’ logistics hub in Panama on a cargo plane provided by the global logistics company, UPS. Irma struck Cuba on 8 September as a Category 5 hurricane, bringing days of destructive winds and torrential rains. It is estimated that the hurricane destroyed or damaged 215,000 homes, affecting more than 5 million people and leaving hundreds of thousands in need of humanitarian assistance. A major priority is re-establishing access to clean water and sanitation. Heavy seas, damage to sanitation facilities and flooded rivers have contaminated water tanks along Cuba’s east coast. Additional needs include the restoration of electricity, and the provision of items such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, water filters, buckets, hygiene kits and roofing materials. IFRC has launched an emergency appeal for just under 7.1 million Swiss francs to provide assistance in shelter, water and sanitation, psychosocial support, and restoring family links. The Red Cross operation will focus on 25,000 people in provinces devastated by Irma.



US donates around US$100 million for WFP Northeast Nigeria Emergency Response

20 September 2017, Abuja -  The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a significant contribution of nearly US$100 million from the United States, which guarantees continued life-saving food assistance in northeast Nigeria through early 2018.WFP will use the funds for multiple purposes, including local purchase of sorghum, dried beans, salt, rice and vegetable oil for food distributions, and also for providing cash or vouchers for people to redeem at participating stores. The US contribution will also be used to cover the transportation and delivery costs of 5,000 metric tons of rice donated by the Nigerian government for WFP emergency operations. Yet another portion of the funding will be used to buy specialized nutritional foods for the most fragile populations — notably pregnant and nursing mothers, and small children. WFP’s life-saving assistance has reached more than one million people each month in the conflict-affected areas in northeast Nigeria, and has been instrumental in providing stability to people facing hunger and conflict. The USAID contribution comes during the tail end of the ‘lean season’ between harvests, which has left roughly 5.2 million people in northeast Nigeria uncertain of where their next meal will come from. A funding shortfall earlier this year left WFP with no choice but to scale back its operations and focus solely on nutritional assistance to children under the age of two.



World Bank donates US$50 million to fight hunger and malnutrition in South Sudan

12 September 2017, Juba -  Three United Nations agencies leading the response to a dire hunger and nutrition crisis in South Sudan today welcomed a US$50 million donation from the World Bank to address food insecurity and malnutrition in the country. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said the World Bank’s support, channeled through South Sudan’s Ministry of Agriculture, is vital to maintain the momentum of helping millions of men, women and children who would face starvation without sustained assistance. Thanks to a massive emergency response, including large-scale food and nutrition assistance, famine conditions in South Sudan have abated. However, six million people still do not know where their next meal will come from. Across the country, more than 1.1 million children are estimated to suffer from malnutrition, with almost 290,000 severely malnourished in need of urgent humanitarian aid. UNICEF’s efforts to prevent and treat severe acute malnutrition in children will be significantly scaled up over the next year because of the donation from the World Bank of over US$16 million. WFP will receive nearly US$26 million for food and nutrition assistance to 110,000 people particularly in areas with acute hunger and threatened by famine. FAO will receive nearly US$8 million to support the recovery of crop, livestock and fisheries production in areas hard hit by food insecurity. By restoring their livelihoods, ending hunger and extreme poverty can become a reality.




Peace and security


Colombia: New UN Mission begins operation; focus on reintegrating ex-fighters

27 September 2017 - The second post-conflict United Nations mission in Colombia has started its operations, succeeding the UN entity which was mandated to verify the implementation agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) concerning the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, and laying down of arms.


International Day of Peace 2017

26 September 2017 - ICRC calls on parties to armed conflict to protect civilians, including youth. The commemoration raised awareness on AU instruments on Youth, Peace and Security and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) and to push for the resolution's rapid implementation in Member-States facing armed threats or actively working to prevent conflicts. UNSCR 2250 advocates for increased inclusion of youths in conflict and post conflict situations, puts youth at the center of processes and policies for peace, security and sustainable development.



Algeria eliminates last antipersonnel landmines

19 September 2017 – On 18 September 2017 Algeria celebrated the 20th adoption anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty by destroying its last antipersonnel landmines. After completing landmine clearance and becoming a mine free country in 2016, Algeria decided not to retain any landmines anymore. “Following the largest African country destroying its last landmines and becoming mine free, Algeria's neighbors such as Libya and Morocco and other states not party have to stop making excuses, they should take action to join the Mine Ban Treaty to help achieving a mine-free region.” Said Ayman Sorour, Director of Protection Against Armaments and Their Consequences, a member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. In November 2005, Algeria completed the destruction of its stockpile of 150,050 antipersonnel mines. The country has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines but did import and use them in the past. Over 7,000 Algerians have been killed or injured by mines and explosive remnants of war and under the Article 6.3 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Algeria has an obligation to continue assisting all landmine survivors, affected families and communities. The Landmine Monitor findings show that Algeria needs to take action to develop central data collection mechanisms to improve planning of victim assistance program; formally endorse and implement the victim assistance action plan which was developed in collaboration with NGOs and mine survivors; and ensure that all victims are registered and therefore able to receive pensions and other benefits. Algeria signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified it on 9 October 2001, and became a State Party on 1 April 2002.






Madagascar: Red Cross scaling up efforts as plague crisis worsens

6 October 2017Antananarivo/Nairobi/Geneva— The Malagasy Red Cross is scaling-up community surveillance, contact tracing and communication in an effort to prevent further spread of a plague outbreak that has killed 30 people in Madagascar. The outbreak started following the death in late August of a 31-year-old man in the central highlands where plague is endemic. In Madagascar, cases of bubonic plague– spread between animals to humans through flea bites– occur nearly every year. The bubonic plague bacterium can travel to a person’s lungs, causing pneumonic plague, which can spread quickly from person to person through droplets in the air. Pneumonic plague–the most virulent strain of the bacteria– is fatal if not treated early with antibiotics. The urban spread of this outbreak has created panic across the country. Public schools are closed and the Government had forbidden public gatherings to prevent further spread of the disease. The Malagasy Red Cross has responded to past plague outbreaks in the country and is working closely with the Government and international partners to scale up response efforts. Malagasy Red Cross has mobilized 700 volunteers in response to the outbreak. (…) IFRC is releasing funds from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to provide technical and financial support to response efforts on the ground and ensure that resources are at hand to bring in supplies and personnel to the affected area. Infectious disease and community-health experts will be deployed to Madagascar to support the Red Cross response.



EU and FAO bring combined weight to bear on food waste, antimicrobial resistance

29 September 2017, Rome- EU Commissioner of Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today agreed to ratchet up collaboration between the two organizations to address food waste, food safety, and antimicrobial resistance in supply chains. In a new letter of intent signed today, FAO and the EU pledge to work closely together to halve per capita food waste by 2030, a goal established under the new Sustainable Development Goals global agenda. It also commits them to intensified cooperation on tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on farms and in food systems. Globally, one-third of all food produce for human consumption - 1.3 billion tonnes -- is lost or wasted, each year, causing massive financial losses while squandering natural resources. In Europe alone, around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted each year, with associated costs estimated at €143 billion, according to EU estimates. Meanwhile, the increased use -- and abuse -- of antimicrobial medicines in both human and animal healthcare has contributed to an increase in the number of disease-causing microbes that are resistant to antimicrobial medicines used to treat them, like antibiotics. This makes AMR a growing threat that could lead to as many as 10 million deaths a year and over $100 trillion in losses to the global economy by 2050, according to some studies. Today's strengthened partnership reflects the intersection of FAO and EU priorities in the realm of food safety and food security.



Expanding Social Mobilization approaches to protect every last child

28September 2017 – Equipping every frontline worker to utilize every opportunity to vaccinate a child in the remaning polio-endemic countries has become a key strategic approach during and between polio campaigns. Vaccinators are trained in inter-personal communication approaches to ensure they skillfully engage caregivers at the doorstep, while increasingly, social mobilizers are being equipped with vaccine to identify and subsequently immunize those children missed during campaigns. In Nigeria, 21,000 UNICEF and CORE-supported Volunteer Community Mobilizers (VCMs) in the highest-risk northern states work between immunisation campaigns to register and refer pregnant women for antenatal care, conduct birth registration, promote routine immunization and provide life-saving messaging on handwashing with soap, exclusive breastfeeding, the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea, and screening of malnutrition. (…) In Afghanistan, nearly 7,000 full-time social mobilizers and supervisors are the face of the polio programme in urban areas and instrumental in building trust and demand for vaccination in their communities. (…) In Pakistan, more than 14,000 full-time Community-Based Vaccinators work throughout the month to reach every child in their area with vaccine, and generate demand for routine immunization. (…) A joint WHO-UNICEF training curriculum is being rolled out to ensure vaccinators have strong inter-personal communication skills, with more than 46,500 vaccinators in Afghanistan and 2,500 Area-in-Charges in Pakistan trained to date.



New stunting prevention initiative launched by Government of Balochistan and WFP

28 September 2017, Quetta - A new programme to prevent stunting among children in Pakistan’s Balochistan province has been launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the provincial government’s Planning and Development Department. The three-year project in Pishin district will provide nutrition support to more than 20,000 pregnant and nursing women, and children under five years of age. Malnutrition rates in Balochistan are alarmingly high. Currently, more than half of all children under five are stunted – have low growth for their age - and 16% of the population is malnourished. Anemia affects 70% of children and three quarters of pregnant and breast-feeding women. The new initiative is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is aligned with the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and Global Nutrition Targets under Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. It will be implemented in 22 Union Councils of Pishin district and will engage more than 188 female health workers in providing WFP’s ready-to-eat nutritious products along with key behaviour change messages to the target groups. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the provincial Nutrition Cell; the provincial Lady Health Worker Programme and the Health Department of Balochistan. Other collaborating partners including UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the provincial Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative which will provide technical and implementation support.



Polio vaccines reach vulnerable children in hard to reach areas of Syria

13September 2017 – Three mass immunization rounds have been carried out in Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa governorates, Syria, in response to an outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type-2 (cVDPV2). The latest round, targeting resident, refugee and internally displaced children less than five years in Deir Ez-Zor concluded 28 August. “The detection of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus indicates that there has been low population immunity in affected areas for a considerable period of time,” said Chris Maher, manager of WHO’s regional polio eradication programme based in Amman, Jordan. As of the end of August, 39 cases of cVDPV2 have been confirmed in Syria. In addition to supporting the response, WHO and partners are also working with neighboring countries to enhance immunization and disease surveillance activities in high-risk areas. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus can occur in rare instances when population immunity against polio is very low. In these settings, the weakened virus found in the oral polio vaccine can spread between under-immunized individuals and over time, mutate into a virulent form that can cause paralysis. The only way to stop transmission of vaccine-derived poliovirus is with an immunization response, the same as with any outbreak of wild polio. http://polioeradication.org/news-post/polio-vaccines-reach-vulnerable-children-in-hard-to-reach-areas-of-syria/


Cyclists crisscross India to support polio eradication

By Arnold R. Grahl

Two young athletes from Bangalore, India, are cycling 20,000 kilometers (12,430 miles) across India to raise awareness for polio eradication and draw attention to the work Rotary is doing in communities around the world. MJ Pavan and Bhagyashree Sawant, both members of the Rotaract Club of Bangalore Orchards, plan to begin their six-month journey in early October in the Himalayan city of Leh, and cruise to a triumphant finish in their hometown of Bangalore in March. Along the way, they plan to visit 400 rural and government schools, talking to students about the importance of getting immunized against polio and other diseases and promoting healthy hygiene habits. With help from Rotary clubs throughout their district, they are promoting the ride as an attempt to set a record for the longest distance traveled by bicycle in a single country, a move designed to attract even greater media exposure in the days leading up to World Polio Day, 24 October, and beyond. Jeep India, a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is sponsoring their record attempt by sending a Jeep Compass to follow the cyclists and post frequent social media updates.  “We definitely want to build up Rotary’s public image,” says Sawant. “Only a little over a third of India’s population is aware of Rotary.” Pavan says knowing that India is polio-free, but that the disease could come back at any time, is what motivates him.(…)Both are no strangers to adventure. Sawant, who holds a master’s of psychology from Surana College, is a mountaineer, national cyclist, national rugby player, and international karate fighter(…).Pavan, a mechanical engineer, is a national badminton player and regularly cycles 60 kilometers (37 miles) a day(…).During their six-month journey, they will average about 110 kilometers (68 miles) a day through all kinds of terrain, making three stops a day at schools, Rotary clubs, and Rotaract clubs. Their schedule will require a few daily rides of up to 270 kilometers (168 miles). In addition to polio eradication, the cyclists will also promote literacy. They plan to conduct an assessment of each school they visit, analyzing the status of sanitation, hygiene, infrastructure, and education quality(…)




Energy and safety



Monticello Coal Plant Closing its Doors in January 2018

Will Improve Air Quality and Public Health Throughout Texas and Neighboring States

6 October 2017 – Seattle, WA — Luminant, a subsidiary of Vistra Energy, announced today that it will retire the Monticello coal power plant in January 2018.  Monticello – located in Mt. Pleasant, TX – stands as a major threat to public health.  A study by Dr. George Thurston found that the plant spews thousands of tons of harmful air pollutants which cause premature deaths, heart attacks, asthma attacks and chronic bronchitis, causing more than $600 million of damages to public health every year. Coal-fired power plants are also the single biggest source of greenhouse gases in the United States, accounting for more than a third of all emissions. Retiring the Monticello plant will also improve air quality in the scenic Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks in Texas, as well as national parks and wilderness areas in neighboring states.“Families in Texas can breathe a little easier today knowing that the Monticello plant – one of the dirtiest in the country – will finally be closing its doors for good,” said Shannon Fisk, Managing Attorney at Earthjustice. “While we celebrate this major milestone in the fight to transition to a clean energy future that will be a win for our economy and public health, we urge decision makers to take steps to ensure a just transition for the coal plant workers and community."




Environment and wildlife


New €45 million initiative seeks to curb unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve biodiversity and improve food security

10 October 2017, Rome - A €45 million multi-partner programme launched today at FAO seeks to help African, Caribbean and Pacific countries halt unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve their natural heritage and strengthen people's livelihoods and food security. Funded by the European Commission, the seven-year programme is an initiative of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Led by FAO, it will also rely on the expertise of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).The programme will contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in forests, savannas and wetlands by regulating wildlife hunting, strengthening the management capacities of indigenous and rural communities and increasing the supply of sustainably produced meat products and farmed fish. This will help to avert a looming protein deficit for poor rural families and meet the growing rural and urban demand for food. Participating countries in the project include Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guyana, Madagascar, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Many countries are already facing a "wildmeat crisis". If hunting wildlife for food is not reduced to sustainable levels, not only will biodiversity be lost, but also countless numbers of families, whose livelihoods depend on natural resources, will suffer soaring levels of food insecurity and debilitating child malnutrition.The Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme will work closely with national authorities to provide rural communities with alternative protein sources such as chicken, livestock or farmed fish. Doing so will help deter hunting of endangered species, support recovery of their populations and reduce food safety risks that can be associated with the consumption of wild meat. The programme aims to help governments develop proactive policies and strengthen legal frameworks to reduce wildmeat consumption to sustainable levels without compromising food security of people who depend on wildlife hunting for their livelihoods and nutritional needs. The initiative also focuses on creating jobs in the farming sector, empowering women, and securing the rights of indigenous and traditional people to access the natural resources their livelihoods and cultures depend upon.



Leaders commit to ocean conservation

6 October 2017, Malta– Our Ocean, a conference of global leaders on ocean conservation, hosted by the European Union in Malta, concluded today with a series of major commitments from governments, business and civil society in response to the steep deterioration of ocean ecosystems. Demetres Karavellas, head of delegation for WWF and CEO of WWF-Greece said: “(…) we are beginning to see leaders in government, civil society and the private sector standing up to be counted to make tangible commitments to conservation (…) We must now turn these commitments into real change, and recognize at the same time that much more needs to be done.” The conference heard repeatedly that the world is coming close to the point of no return for coral reefs, mangroves, important fish stocks and other ocean natural assets, and that leaders must ramp up efforts to rescue the ocean from destructive fishing, poorly managed coastal development, climate change and pollution. It was reiterated that the ocean is the world’s seventh largest economy but will only be productive in future if humanity takes much greater care of it. WWF made a series of commitments at the conference including a concerted, regional effort in the Mediterranean to improve small-scale fisheries, to be delivered in partnership with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and other NGOs.The European Union made a series of commitments including to develop the sustainable blue economy approach; the Chilean government committed to increase protection to cover nearly half the country’s ocean area; Sky committed to support new marine protected areas in Europe, working with WWF; and many other commitments were made. John Tanzer, Leader, Oceans at WWF International said (…) “One of the key themes of the conference, and a priority for WWF, is to help create a new way of doing business for the ocean and coasts that is genuinely sustainable. No one should think that the challenges in delivering a truly sustainable blue economy approach will be easily overcome but I’m very pleased to see the interest in tackling it coming from the conference. It’s clearly an idea whose time has come.”



Carnival Corporation Announces Commitment to Responsible Chicken Sourcing

2 October 2017 Miami /CSRwire/ -  Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company announced it will shift purchasing policies across its nine leading cruise line brands by 2024 to improve the welfare of sourced chicken, becoming one of the first companies in the travel industry to commit to adopting comprehensive broiler chicken welfare policies. Working with animal protection organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The Humane League, Carnival Corporation is committed to aligning welfare standards for broiler chicken, ensuring that 100 percent of chicken sourced will be certified by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) (…) "With this latest initiative, we will expand on our responsible sourcing efforts across the corporation by working closely with our suppliers to assure that the broiler chickens we purchase are treated humanely, under appropriate animal welfare standards." said Julia Brown, chief procurement officer for Carnival Corporation.  By 2024, Carnival Corporation will require sourced chicken to be GAP-certified and produced under standards that require all chickens to be given more space and enhanced environments – including litter and lighting. Additionally, these new policies will ensure that Carnival Corporation’s chicken suppliers process their products in a humane manner through a multi-step controlled-atmosphere system and demonstrate compliance with these standards. (…)



FAO links with Unilever to reduce food loss and waste

19 September 2017, New York - FAO is entering an innovative strategic partnership with Unilever aimed at helping countries in their efforts to reduce food loss and waste and tackle climate change, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Paul Polman, Chief Executive of Unilever and SDG Advocate, signed a Letter of Intent to help ensure better access to food and the promotion of sustainable agriculture. The collaboration between FAO and Unilever is geared to pursue five strategic points of intervention, including digital innovation, land governance and resilience building for smallholder farmers as well as climate change and food loss and waste. The alliance will cover countries throughout the globe, starting with Latin America, and is part of FAO's Strategy for Partnerships with the Private Sector to achieve core Sustainable Development Goals. Unilever - which has committed to halving food waste by 2025, agrees to work with FAO to launch joint initiatives to reduce food loss and waste through awareness-raising campaigns, involving governments, civil society and the private sector. Joint advocacy platforms will also be developed in the climate change arena, including in the context of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).



Giving new life to degraded lands in Small Island Developing States

14 September 2017 Speeding up efforts to reverse or prevent land degradation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is vital in the next few years if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved. An assessment of degraded lands in Small Island Developing States is being developed based on the collection and analysis of land-use information and management practices of the land users. The data is obtained using the Land Degradation Assessment (LADA) methodology which has already been successfully applied in over 30 countries. The assessment results will be used in formulating policies and making decisions to address climate change and boost the resilience of people and their landscapes. In addition, under a partnership with Google funded by Germany and the European Union, FAO aims by mid-2018 to show global trends in land coverage, land productivity and carbon installations above and below ground. FAO is so far working with 30 countries to produce national data, including training local teams to assess land use changes and degradation by using remote sensing and participative approaches in working with local communities. The assessment tool has already been used successfully in the Great Green Wall initiative to build a wall of trees across the width of Africa, and is now a vital instrument in providing critical information to understand the true dimension of restoration needs in Small Island Development States. To achieve land degradation neutrality quicker, FAO and the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification strengthened their collaboration through an agreement signed at the high-level event.




Religion and spirituality


AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Peace is built with prayer: visit of the Community of Taizé in South Sudan

13 October 2017 - Rumbek (Agenzia Fides) - Peace is born from the heart of every man and is built in society and in the nation through prayer: this is the message left by the representatives of the Community of Taizé to the youngsters in schools in South Sudan. As Fides learns, the girls of a Catholic secondary school in South Sudan, under the guidance of the Sisters of Loreto, continue to draw inspiration from the Community of Taizé, an ecumenical community founded in France.



ASIA/INDIA - Orissa, theater of anti-Christian violence, becomes a place of pilgrimage and inspiration

12 October 2017 – Bhubaneswar (Agenzia Fides) – The victims of anti-Christian violence perpetrated in the Indian state of Orissa in 2007 and 2008 "are testimonies of authentic faith, that overcame difficulties and persecution, and today inspire many people in India and abroad". The district of Kandhamal, theater of that violence, has become a "place of pilgrimage where one listens to the testimony of survivors and therefore share solidarity with the victims, who are economically poor people, but strong and rich spiritually" explains the Bishop As Fides learns, a delegation of 45 women, representatives of 14 Indian regions, convened by the Bishops' Conference of India for the National Meeting on "The Role of Women in creating the Family" gathered in Kandhamal. 



ASIA/INDIA - New consecrated women in the Catholic Community of Orissa

3 october 2017 - Bhubaneswar (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic community in the Indian state of Orissa (or Odisha), which has suffered violence and massacres in recent years, is not discouraged and generates new vocations to consecrated life.The October 2 , was a memorable day for Sister Rebika Pradhan and Sister Anjali Singh, from the community of Kandhamal district, Orissa, who took their final profession of vows at St. Vincent's Church in Bhubaneswar, along with other 5 Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy, who come from the states of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. For the occasion there were 30 priests, 35 sisters and 2,000 faithful.



AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Bilateral ceasefire between Government and ELN has begun, the Church protagonists in the path to peace

2 October 2017 - The bilateral ceasefire between the Colombian Government and ELN started at midnight on 1 October, agreed upon for three months until 9 January, but with the prospect of being extended on the basis of the Commission's monitoring, verification and prevention. The Commission is made up of a delegation from the United Nations, the 20 Bishops of the dioceses involved, as well as by army and police generals, government members and guerrillas. The monitoring on the respect of the ceasefire will be done in the 33 municipalities where ELN is present. The news is crucial for all those social sectors that want peace with profound democratic reforms. Moreover, negotiations with ELN in Quito could be faster than those in Havana, given the experience gained in the process with the FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces). The Catholic Church, protagonist at the dialogue table, also presents a well-structured organization at a local level. In each of the 20 dioceses involved, the Bishops can form a Commission with people prepared for this task. There are 3 levels of verification, he explained, one at a national level, chaired by the President of the Episcopal Conference, the second at a regional level and the third in each diocese.




Culture and education


Former Microsoft CEO and Wife Pledge $60 Million to Fight Social Inequality

By Maria Di Mento

Steve and Connie Ballmer are giving $60 million over six years to a program created by StriveTogether, a national nonprofit that seeks to improve education for low-income children. Mr. Ballmer, the former chief executive of Microsoft, and his wife are giving the money through the Ballmer Group, a grant maker they set up last year to devote their nearly $34 billion fortune to fight intergenerational poverty across the country. The program, called StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, centers on reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities in educational success and improving partnerships among school systems, education service organizations, and other groups that provide human services to needy families. The group helps education, charity, business, and civic leaders collaborate to improve the lives of children from kindergarten through college and early in their careers. Other Gifts : in addition to their latest donation, the Ballmers have made a number of other large contributions in recent years totaling more than $250 million. (…)



All committed for girls to better learn math and science in Niger

06 october 2017 ­- Since 2013, the Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme in Niger, coordinated by UNESCO Dakar, has been supporting the Nigerien government in its efforts to retain girls in school by improving their performance in mathematics and in science.



Restoration completed on Lion of Al-lāt statue from ancient city of Palmyra, damaged by ISIL

5 October 2017 - The 2000-year old statue Lion of Al-lāt, that once watched over the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, stands proudly once again, thanks to UNESCO’s Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage project. The limestone lion, also known as the Lion Statue of Athena, measuring 345 centimetres and weighing 15 tons, once marked and protected the entrance to the temple of Al-lāt. Since its discovery by Polish archaeologists in 1977, it has been a renowned fixture of the Museum of Palmyra. The statue suffered extensive damage in May 2015, when ISIL forces captured Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site.



UNESCO Partners with French National Museum of Natural History

4 october 2017 - On 3 October 2017, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the President of the French National Natural History Museum, Bruno David, signed a partnership agreement between the two institutions that covers several fields of competence and follows the close cooperation between the Musée de l’homme (which depends on the National Museum of Natural History) and UNESCO, within the framework of the exhibition “Us and Them - From Prejudice to Racism", running until the beginning of 2018.



Canadian Teachers’ Federation vows to support immigrant families in Francophone minority settings

Text by: Education International

3October 2017 – Through its launch of a new resource aimed at immigrants, the Canadian Teachers’ federation is working to facilitate the integration of newcomers and their families in French-language schools. Together with the Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française (ACELF), the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) launched the second edition of Voir grand ensemble at the ACELF Conference in Calgary, Alberta, on 28 September. Voir grand ensemble helps immigrant families and teachers in French-language schools to facilitate their integration via the education system. “This booklet is intended for the entire school community within the context of its cultural diversity, especially teens, parents of immigrant families and teachers in French-language schools,” said CTF President, H. Mark Ramsankar. “Francophone communities in provinces and territories where French is the language of the minority are increasingly hopeful that immigration will counter population decline and help maintain school populations” he added (…)



New school, new future in South Sudan

3 october 20017 – In South Sudan, an estimated 2 million children of primary school age are out of school due to the ongoing violence across the country. The conflict has also forced one fourth of schools to shut down.  UNICEF is working with partners to improve access to education in the country. Learn how one newly constructed school in the town of Rumbek is offering children a second chance.



Expansion of Hot School Meals Programme in Kyrgyz Republic

28 September 2017, Bishkek - Signaling a fresh start for the new academic year, 16 rural schools in Chui and Issyk-Kul provinces of the Kyrgyz Republic today start with hot meals for 5,000 primary school students. This development – part of a School Meals Optimization project begun in 2013 - been made possible by funding from Japan and the technical expertise of the United Nations World Food programme (WFP). The contribution from Japan, amounting to approximately US$83,000, has allowed the schools to buy industrial kitchen equipment, including electric stoves, multi-deck ovens, dough-mixing machines, refrigerators and water boilers. WFP provided advice on the design of the meals, training of the school chefs, and improvement of water and electricity supply to the school.  Recognizing the success of the 16 pilot schools in introducing hot school meals, the local authorities in Chui and Issyk-Kul provinces have created plans for improving school meals across the whole of their provinces. The local authorities themselves will purchase the required kitchen equipment and the renovate the school dining facilities. The school meals programme is implemented by WFP in partnership with the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education and the Alliance of Development Initiatives, a national non-governmental organization.



Ghana Makes Secondary Schools Free

18 September 2017 - On September 12, Ghana's new President Nana Akufo-Addo made good on his  campaign promise to deliver free secondary education for children across the country. The President pledged "there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science center fees, no computer laboratory fees, no examination fees, no utility fees. There will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free." All great news for Ghana's more than 400,000 students entering secondary school this year.




* * * * * * *



Next issue: 17th November 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.


* 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.”


* * * * * *


If you received the Good News Agency from a colleague or a friend and wish to receive it directly, just send us a message to the address info@goodnewsagency.org. If you do not wish to receive the next issues, please send us a message with "unsubscribe" in the subject line and in the text the address to be deleted. 

Go to the Home Page