Reuters examines food prices in Africa after the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization last week said its global Food Price Index hit a record high. “The United Nations may have sounded the alarm about soaring global food prices, but in Africa a string of bumper harvests and a changing diet means the political fallout may be more muted than to past price bumps,” the news service reports.
The U.N. has mostly achieved its short-term goals since a major earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, Nigel Fisher, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Haiti, said during a video teleconference on Monday, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports.
Reflecting On What Has Gone Wrong And Right “[A]s we frankly assess and learn from what’s gone wrong in Haiti, we must also study and build upon what has gone right, and why,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake writes in a Miami Herald opinion piece. Lake calls what faced Haiti…
CQ Today examines how Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), House Foreign Affairs Committee chair, “has vowed to use her new [position] to take on the U.N. and some of its more controversial practices.” Ros-Lehtinen scheduled a public briefing titled ‘The United Nations: Urgent Problems that Need Congressional Action’ Jan. 12, during which the “committee will hear from a host of groups long critical of the U.N., including the Heritage Foundation and U.N. Watch,” according to the news service.
On Friday, the Office of the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti said that 63.6 percent of the aid international donors “pledged to Haiti in 2010 after a devastating earthquake nearly one year ago” has been disbursed, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports (1/7).
Lancet World Report Examines Health Risks Associated With Inaccurate TB Tests, WHO’s Upcoming Recommendations
With “scores of commercial serology tests for tuberculosis … being sold in high-burden countries,” the “WHO is due to release a negative policy recommendation â€“ the first of its kind for the organisation” â€“ after several reviews have “indicated poor performance of these tests,” Lancet World Report writes in a piece that documents the health risks associated with a growing number of inaccurate TB tests. However, “[m]anufacturers continue to claim that their tests are effective and fill a diagnostic niche, especially in sputum smear-negative patient groups,” the journal notes.
Abdolreza Abbassian, an economist with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Friday “warned of a ‘worrying rise’ in food prices which will affect millions of people following unexpected shortfalls in major cereals owing to bad weather in 2010,” Agence France-Presse reports.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the names of four experts to be part of an independent panel that will “investigate the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, which some Haitians blame on U.N. peacekeepers,” Reuters reports (Worsnip, 1/6).
Newborn Resuscitation Innovation Breeds Additional Innnovation: In a USAID “Impact” blog post, Lily Kak, USAID senior maternal and newborn health advisor, writes about the the Global Development Alliance, which represents a “new way of doing business in the field of newborn health and has now become a key USAID strategy…
The New York Times reports on how microlending has “prompted political hostility in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua and other developing countries.” Such negativity “toward microfinance is a sharp reversal from the praise and good will that politicians, social workers and bankers showered on the sector in the last decade.” The article notes “[p]hilanthropists and investors poured billions of dollars into nonprofit and profit-making microlenders, who were considered vital players” in helping to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the MDG target to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Such attention “helped the sector reach more than 91 million customers, most of them women, with loans totaling more than $70 billion by the end of 2009,” with half of all borrowers from India and Bangladesh.