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FAO Calls For Special Meeting To Address Global Food Price Spikes

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) “has called a special meeting on the recent spike in food prices, responding to fears of a repeat of the shortages that led to riots in parts of the world two years ago,” the Associated Press reports. The inter-governmental committee on grains will meet on Sept. 24, most likely in Rome, according to FAO spokesperson Christopher Matthews. “He said a large number of member countries had expressed concern about a possible repeat of the 2008 food crisis,” the AP reports (9/3).

Opinions: Bachelet Appointment; Sanitation MDG; Women’s Education; Smallholder Farms

Bachelet Appointment To U.N. Women Lends ‘Star Power’ To Gender Equality Agenda The appointment of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to head U.N. Women is an “excellent choice” that “adds stature and star power to the agenda for gender equality,” according to a Los Angeles Times editorial. The editorial cites…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Several blogs, publications examine the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit: The MDGs serve a dual purpose “helping the poor countries to fight poverty and the rich countries to preserve a sense of social solidarity,” writes Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute in a post on the Guardian’s…

Also In Global Health News: Kenya Votes On Constitution; Global Wheat Prices Soar; HIV And TB In China; Female Condoms In India; Malaria Centers Receive Funding

As Kenya Votes For Constitution, Abortion And HIV Rights Issues Remain Kenyans “voted peacefully” Wednesday on a constitution that most were “expected to vote in favour” of, according to surveys, Reuters reports (8/4). Kenyan officials have supported the constitution but, VOA News reports, “issues of abortion, land, and Islamic courts”…

Pakistan Floods Prompt Food Shortages, Devastate Farmland

Pakistanis in the northwest part of the country face “life-threatening shortages” of food after flooding has killed 1,400 and “devastated the lives of more than three million people,” Reuters reports. World Food Programme spokesman Amjad Jamal said, “People have lost their food stocks. The markets are not up and running. Shops have collapsed. People are definitely in the greatest need of food” (Ali, 8/4).

Opinions: Health And Agriculture; GHI’s Main Ideas; Recommendations To Improve Haiti’s Government; China And The Global Fund

Health, Agriculture Experts Should Collaborate More Often In a SciDev.Net opinion piece, Jeff Waage, director of the London International Development Centre, argues for more collaboration between agriculture and health experts. “The relationship between agriculture and health may seem intuitive and simple – grow more crops and people will have more food…

Also In Global Health News: Sanitation In Burkina Faso; Faith-Based Organizations And HIV/AIDS; Conditional Cash Transfer Programs

Burkina Faso Boosts Sanitation Investment To Meet MDG Burkina Faso will build 55,000 latrines each year to “improve access to proper sanitation for the population from the present 10 percent to 54 percent by 2015,” Inter Press Service reports. The health ministry highlighted that lack of access to toilets “leads to illness,…