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Relief Efforts In Syria Trying To Keep Pace, U.N. Humanitarian Aid Chief Says

“Relief efforts are failing to keep pace with the scale of the emergency in Syria, where the death toll has risen to nearly 70,000, the U.N.’s head of humanitarian operations said on Wednesday,” the Guardian reports. “Baroness Valerie Amos said the U.N. and its partners were struggling to cope with the number…

IOM Report Offers Recommendations To Combat Distribution Of Fake, Substandard Medicines

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies “is urging stronger regulation of pharmaceuticals around the world to combat the growing problem of fake and poor-quality medicines,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports (Knox, 2/13). “The risks of fake and flawed medicines have leapt from developing nations to Western supply chains, thanks…

Debating U.N. Resolution On Universal Health Coverage

Writing in the “UHC Forward” blog, Nkem Wellington, program officer at the Results for Development Institute (R4D), summarizes a debate that took place on the Performance-Based Financing Community of Practice online discussion forum following the December 12 U.N. General Assembly vote on the “Global health and foreign policy” draft resolution, which focused…

UNDP Administrator Calls For ‘Permanent’ Focus On NCDs

At the London launch of a Lancet series on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on Monday, U.N. Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark said if NCDs are placed “permanently on the global development agenda, people’s lives, opportunities, and future prospects will improve — thereby advancing sustainable human development overall,” Devex’s “Development Newswire” blog reports. “In…

U.N. Secretary General Condemns Violence Against Health Workers In Nigeria

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday “strongly condemned the killing in north-eastern Nigeria of three doctors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, calling the attack and other recent incidents of violence against health workers ‘unacceptable,'” the U.N. News Centre reports (2/11). “Those killings came quickly after gunmen shot dead at least nine female polio vaccinators…

WFP To Feed 1.6M People In Somalia This Year, Agency Reports

“The World Food Programme (WFP) reports it plans to feed 1.6 million people in Somalia this year, including more than one million people who are in a state of crisis” because of an ongoing insurgency by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, VOA News writes. WFP “reports the situation in Somalia is somewhat…

Former U.N. Official Criticizes NGO Efforts To Campaign For Aid To Sudanese

“The former head of the U.N. in Sudan has criticized [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] for failing to campaign for aid to flow to people trapped in a war zone on the border with South Sudan,” the Guardian reports. “Mukesh Kapila, who crossed into the war zone without government permission during a visit last…

Disruption Of Water, Sanitation Services Threaten Health In Syria; Conflict Causes Surge In Number Of Syrian Refugees

“The severe disruption of water and sanitation services and a lack of access to basic hygiene in Syria have increased the risk of waterborne diseases among children, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) [warned Friday], following a nationwide assessment,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The agency found that in areas affected by…

IPS Interviews UNFPA Director On U.N. Efforts To End Practice Of FGM/C

Noting the United Nations on Wednesday observed the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C), “an act that is shocking and inhumane to much of the world but remains a tradition among a significant minority,” Inter Press Service correspondent Marzieh Goudarzi interviews U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive…