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U.N., Aid Groups Highlight Food Aid Need In North Korea

World Food Program (WFP) delegates “on Wednesday stressed the need for major food aid for North Korea, while a cautious South Korea called for transparent distribution of any assistance,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Health Advocates File Petition With U.N. Over Proposed Trade Agreement Among Several Countries

Several health advocacy groups have submitted a letter [.pdf] to U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health Anand Grover “outlining their objections” to negotiations over a trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) agreement being negotiated by the governments of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam, claiming that the agreement would inhibit access to low-cost medications in developing countries, BMJ News reports.

Also In Global Health News: Sanitation Workshop; Bachelet’s Leadership; Measles In DRC; Global Water Shortages In Urban Areas By 2050

Regional Urban Sanitation, Hygiene Workshop Opens In Rwanda A three-day regional workshop on urban sanitation and hygiene kicked off on Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda, the New Times/allAfrica.com reports. The workshop, which is bringing together more than 60 urban sanitation and hygiene professionals from several countries in the region, aims to “provide a…

WHO Director-General Responds To Draft Report On Agency’s Handling Of H1N1 Pandemic

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Monday responded to the first results of a probe into the agency’s response to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, Agence France-Presse reports. While calling attention to where the external panel committee commended the agency’s actions, Chan also addressed the criticisms and recommendations issued in the draft report (3/28). Her comments came as the review committee held its “fourth and final public session” in Geneva to receive “feedback from countries and organizations on its preliminary report,” CIDRAP News reports (Schnirring, 3/28).

Social Unrest In Yemen Impeding Humanitarian Aid Delivery, U.N. Official Says

Almost one-third of Yemen’s 23 million people do not have enough food, and social unrest in the country is making it difficult for aid groups to reach those in need, Valerie Amos, U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said on Monday, Reuters reports.

Also In Global Health News: Aid Group In Darfur; Future Of Aid In Afghanistan; USAID Donation In Ghana; Earthquake In Myanmar; HIV/AIDS In Mauritania

After Concerns Of Forced Shutdown, Aid Group In Darfur Allowed To Resume Food Distribution The aid agency Catholic Relief Services “has been allowed to resume distribution of food in West Darfur, narrowly averting a shutdown of the programme” that would have potentially cut off 400,000 people from food rations, Reuters reports (Babington, 3/29).…

Report Examines How New Technologies Can Aid In Humanitarian Response To Disasters

A new report examines how new technologies, including digital mapping, can influence emergency relief work and says technology will not be able to fully transform humanitarian aid without “better coordination and communication between digital volunteers and veteran agencies in the relief field, like the United Nations and the Red Cross,” the New York Times reports (Lohr, 3/28).