The U.N. on Wednesday said during a donor meeting in Geneva that “it needs $7.9 billion this year, $500 million more than it had originally sought, to fund relief operations in the face of spreading humanitarian crises in Africa and Asia,” Reuters reports (7/20).
“House Republicans sought to put their stamp on U.S. foreign policy Wednesday by advancing a bill that would slash federal payments to the United Nations and other international bodies and slap restrictions on aid to Pakistan, Egypt and others,” the Washington Post reports (Sheridan, 7/20).
The WHO “called on Wednesday for an immediate halt to the use of blood tests to detect active tuberculosis [TB], saying they were faulty and leave millions of people at risk,” Reuters reports.
Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday, Mark Bowden, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, said the U.N. had officially declared a famine in the southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions of Somalia, VOA News reports (7/20).
During a speech to the World Trade Organization on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon laid out his vision for his next term, telling “trade officials and diplomats that ‘the United Nations’ top priority for this year and many years beyond will have to be sustainable development’ â€“ lifting people out of poverty while working on environmental concerns,” the Associated Press reports. Ban “described sustainable development as a theme that would ‘tie together many other goals’ such as addressing climate change, global health, women’s issues and food, water and energy shortages,” according to the news service (Heilprin, 7/19).
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Sunday at the opening of the 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome “called … for an increase in access to drugs that help treat or prevent the spread of the disease, saying it is ‘morally wrong’ to keep millions of people off lifesaving medication,” the Associated Press/Boston Globe reports (7/18).
The WHO on Sunday said it will release a guidance later this week on widely used blood tests for tuberculosis (TB), warning “against using such tests for the infectious lung disease that affects some 14 million people worldwide” because they can produce incorrect results, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.
“The first U.N. emergency airlift flight arrived in” Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, on Sunday, “to assist the hundreds of thousands of Somalis who have fled the drought and famine afflicting their homeland,” ABC News reports (Hasan, 7/17). The jet, which was chartered by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), delivered 100 tons of tents meant for the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, the U.N. News Centre writes. An additional four flights are scheduled to arrive in Nairobi this week (7/17).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has recorded more than 3,000 cases and 192 deaths from cholera since March, according to a U.N. report on the outbreak, VOA News reports (7/14).
People who have fled the drought in Somalia to camps near the capital Mogadishu are being hit by cold, heavy rains, and at least five people have died of exposure, according to aid workers, BBC News reports.