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U.N. Officials Call On Security Council, International Community To Tackle Complex Crisis In Sahel

“Top United Nations officials [on Monday] called on the Security Council and the wider international community to support efforts to develop an integrated strategy to tackle the complex and multifaceted crisis facing the Sahel region of West Africa,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “‘The warning lights for the Sahel region continue to flash,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Council, as it met to discuss the situation in a region that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria,” the news service writes. “In addition to political instability in Mali, the region — particularly in its west — suffers from extreme poverty, with human development levels among the lowest in the world, porous borders that present significant security challenges, as well as human rights problems,” according to the news service.

FAO Report Calls For Increased Investments In Global Agriculture To Eradicate Hunger

“Excessive corruption, poor infrastructure and scarce government resources were deterring investment in agriculture and contributing to high levels of malnourishment around the world,” Xinhua writes, noting the release on Thursday of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) annual report. “A new investment strategy is needed that puts agricultural producers at its center,” FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said, Xinhua notes. According to the report, farmers in low- and middle-income countries invest more than $170 billion annually in their farms, which is “three times as much as all other sources of investment combined, four times more than contributions by the public sector, and over 50 times more than official development assistance to these countries,” Xinhua reports (12/7).

Also In Global Health News: Cholera In Haiti; Food In Ghana; Health Care Access In Afghanistan; Violence Against Women In Somalia; Male Circumcision Study

CDC Report Documents Cholera’s Spread In Haiti Haiti’s cholera outbreak has spread across the country and infected more than 91,000 people, while more than 2,000 people have died as a result, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was published on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times…

Also In Global Health News: Infectious Disease; Aid Money Needed For Afghanistan, Haiti; Increasing Rice Production; Family Planning In Rwanda

Species Extinction Could Lead Humans To Become More Vulnerable To Infectious Diseases “[T]he loss of biodiversity may make humans more vulnerable to infectious diseases,” according to a review article published Thursday in the journal Nature, VOA News reports (DeCapua, 12/6). “The review analyses studies of 12 diseases, including West Nile…

Also In Global Health News: Drought In Middle East; HIV/AIDS, TB In Indonesia; MSF Warnings Over Needs Of HIV/AIDS Patients; Non-Profit At Work In Uganda

IPS Examines Impact Of Drought On Farmers In Middle East Inter Press Service examines the effects a “devastating drought this fall” has had on farmers in the Middle East, particularly those living in Syria. Once “[a] large wheat exporter, the drought’s impact has now forced the agriculturally self-reliant Syrian government…

Africa Can Produce Enough Food To Feed Itself, Study Says

Africa is capable of producing enough food to feed itself within a single generation, according a “study released to coincide with a meeting of several African leaders in Tanzania on Thursday, as well as U.N. talks on slowing climate change in Cancun, Mexico,” Reuters reports (Doyle, 12/2).

$1.2B Needed To Aid Women, Children In 28 Countries ‘In Crisis,’ UNICEF Says

UNICEF on Thursday launched a $1.2 billion appeal aimed at providing “life saving emergency assistance to millions of children and women in dire need,” VOA News reports (Schlein, 2/4). “The appeal is part of UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action Report 2010, released in Geneva … which spotlights the desperate situation of children and women in 28 countries and territories facing deep humanitarian crises,” the U.N. News Centre writes (2/4).

Also In Global Health News: N. Korea Harvest; Zimbabwe’s Health System; Malaria Parasite; Training India’s Rural Health Workers; Myanmar Recovery; Health In Uganda

Poor Grain Harvest To Worsen Food Shortages In N. Korea A poor grain harvest in 2009 is likely to exacerbate North Korea’s severe food shortages, Agence France-Presse reports (2/9). “The North is estimated to have produced 4.1 million tons of grain last year, a drop of about 200,000 tons compared…

GM Crops Can Help Bolster Global Food Security, Scientists Say In Special Journal Issue

Acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops in agriculture will help bolster global food security as the world faces population growth and the potential effects of climate change, Nina Fedoroff, science and technology advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and colleagues write in an article published in a special issue of the journal Science, the Times of London reports.