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Agencies Mark World Food Day, Call For Increased Transparency In Commodity Markets

At a ceremony marking World Food Day on Monday, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) “called for more transparency on commodity markets to prevent sharp spikes in global food prices and deplored the scale of world hunger,” Agence France-Presse reports (Le Roux, 10/16). “FAO chose the theme of ‘Food Prices — From Crisis to Stability’ for this year’s day to shed light on the trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable,” the U.N. News Centre writes.

Globe And Mail Reports On Death Of Zambian HIV/AIDS Advocate Winstone Zulu

Toronto’s Globe and Mail reports on the death on Thursday of Winstone Zulu, an HIV/AIDS advocate from Zambia who lived with the virus for two decades. “His death has devastated the international community of AIDS activists,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Winstone was a one-man force who played a key role in reshaping the global response to HIV/AIDS and (tuberculosis) TB. He personally lobbied every G8 leader; he spoke to mass rallies on five continents; he inspired audiences at schools and in churches and in parliaments in dozens of countries.”

U.N. Secretary-General Calls For Continued Support Of Women's, Children's Health In Developing Countries

“Developing countries are making efforts to improve the health of women and children but more needs to be done, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said” at an awards ceremony in New York, United Press International reports. “‘As of today, more than 60 countries have committed to step up efforts to improve women and children’s health,’ Ban said,” the news agency writes (10/14).

Clinton Opposes GOP Bill To Cut U.S. Funding To U.N., Poll Finds Majority Of Americans Also Against Legislation

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday “warned House Republicans about pushing ahead with a bill to cut funds for the United Nations, saying she would recommend that President Barack Obama veto the legislation” that is expected to be considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “Clinton said the bill would severely limit U.S. participation in the world body, undercut U.S. interests and damage the security of Americans at home and abroad,” AP writes (10/12).

VOA News Examines How A Public-Private Partnership Will Combat Cancer Among Women In The Developing World

This VOA News editorial examines how a public-private partnership between PEPFAR, the George W. Bush Institute, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, as well as private sector partners will launch a program called Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon to “combat cervical and breast cancer for women in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.” “In the developing world, women’s cancers are often neglected and associated with stigma that discourages women from seeing a doctor,” VOA writes. The editorial quotes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who said, “If we want to make progress on some of the toughest challenges we face in global health — fighting HIV, preventing childhood deaths, improving nutrition, stopping malaria, and more — then investing in women must be at the top of the agenda” (10/11).

Escalating Sexual Violence Amid Famine In Horn Of Africa Is 'Going Largely Ignored'

In this Guardian opinion piece, Lisa Shannon, founder of A Thousand Sisters, Run for Congo Women, and co-founder of Sister Somalia, examines how, in the context of famine, sexual violence in the Horn of Africa, and particularly in Somalia, “is being de-prioritized as primarily a psychosocial issue,” and asserts that grassroots international organizations offer a solution “outside the traditional big-aid model.”

WHO Says Global TB Cases Decline For First Time Ever But Warns Funding Gap, Resistant Strains Put Progress At Risk

New data published in the WHO’s 2011 Global Tuberculosis Control Report on Tuesday, “shows that the number of people who fell ill with [tuberculosis (TB)] dropped to 8.8 million in 2010, after peaking at 9 million in 2005,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The report shows that the TB death rate dropped 40 percent between 1990 and 2010, and all regions, except Africa, are on track to achieve a 50 percent decline in mortality by 2015,” the news service writes (10/11). “The countries the WHO especially noted for progress in the fight against the disease were Kenya, [Tanzania], Brazil and China,” Reuters reports (Selyukh/Ulmer-Nebehay, 10/11).

U.S. Donates 'Record' $56M To WFP For Nutrition Programs In Ethiopia

The U.S. has pledged a record $56 million donation from PEPFAR to the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) aimed to “dramatically increase resources for programs in Ethiopia providing vital nutrition assistance to people living with HIV (PLHIV),” according to a WFP press release. With the donation, “WFP will work in Ethiopia’s least developed regions … to improve the nutritional status, treatment success and quality of life of PLHIV,” the press release states (10/11).

WHO Reports Several Large Measles Outbreaks In Europe, Africa

The WHO reported on Friday “that several large measles outbreaks have continued to spread in the past six months in Europe and Africa, and to a lesser degree in the Americas,” the U.N. Media Centre reports, adding, “So far, 40 European countries have recorded 26,025 cases between them since the start of the year. France has been the most affected, with 14,025 cases, and the Government has responded by modifying its vaccination schedule as well as offering vaccines in schools free of charge.”