“India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday hailed the country’s success in slashing new HIV/AIDS infections by half in the past decade, but warned against complacency,” Agence France-Presse reports. Speaking at a conference on AIDS in New Delhi, Singh said the country’s HIV prevention program “can justifiably claim a measure of success,” but “there should be no room for complacency,” as an estimated 2.4 million Indians are living with the disease, according to AFP.
Global food production will have to increase 70 to 100 percent by 2050 to feed the world’s predicted 9 billion people, and that increase is only possible if more sustainable farming methods are used, according to the U.N.’s annual World Economic and Social Survey released on Tuesday, VOA News reports (7/5).
“Responding to the growing threat of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea, the European Union announced on Monday that it will provide about $14.5 million in emergency aid to feed more than some 650,000 North Koreans,” the New York Times reports (Castle/McDonald, 7/4).
“More than half of working women in the world, 600 million, are trapped in insecure jobs without legal protection, according to the first flagship report of the new agency U.N. Women. A similar number do not have even basic protection against domestic violence, it finds, while sexual assault has become a hallmark of modern conflict,” the Guardian reports.
Laws that require graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging impact more than one billion people in 19 countries, but more needs to be done to cut smoking rates worldwide, the WHO said Thursday in its third report on the global tobacco epidemic, Reuters reports (Kelland, 7/7).
With the global population expected to reach seven billion by October this year, U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin told Inter Press Service that “seven billion represents a challenge, an opportunity and a call to action.”
Significant progress is being made toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline, but the poorest countries are not progressing as quickly and more must be done to improve health and development outcomes in those nations, according to this year’s MDG report (.pdf), VOA News reports. “Despite the global economic downturn and the food and energy crises, we are on track to meet the MDG targets for poverty-reduction,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the launch of the report on Thursday in Geneva (Schlein, 7/7).
“India will not compromise on drug licensing norms and [will] continue to produce generic drugs for free treatment to HIV-positive patients, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said” on Wednesday, the IANS/Times of India reports.
High rates of malnutrition in the Horn of Africa, combined with violence in Somali, “are threatening ‘a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions,’ the UNHCR warned” on Wednesday, the AFP/Daily Telegraph/Vancouver Sun reports. More than 12 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda have been hit by severe drought and rising food prices, forcing thousands to leave their homes and seek assistance in already-overflowing refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, the newspaper notes (Flood, 7/7).
The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) on Monday, World Population Day, launched the 7 Billion Actions campaign to “promote dialogue on what it means to live in a world with so many people and encourage action on issues that affect us all. UNFPA offices and their partners throughout the world will…