Disasters & Humanitarian Relief

ESCAP Holds High Level Meeting on Asia-Pacific's Food-Fuel Crisis and Climate Change [viewed]

L-R: Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Dr. N. Hassan Wirajuda and Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP

9 December 2008: The High-level Regional Policy Dialogue on “The Food-Fuel Crisis and Climate Change – Reshaping the Development Agenda,” organized by the Government of Indonesia and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), is convening in Denpasar, Indonesia, from 9-10 December 2008. The dialogue aims to identify strategies to address the impact of the food, energy and financial crises on Asia and the Pacific in the context of climate change, and prevent the triple crises from becoming a development emergency.

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WMO Releases MeteoWorld December Issue [viewed]

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World Bank Releases Report on Weather and Climate Services in Europe and Central Asia [viewed]

Climate Weather Data 6 December 2008: A new report released by the World Bank suggests that forecasting improvements in Europe and Central Asia can play a critical role in improving the economy and mitigating the impacts of disasters in the region. The report “Weather and Climate Services in Europe and Central Asia: A Regional Review” explains why improving weather monitoring systems can help mitigate damaging economic impacts of weather disasters, support increased productivity of agriculture, conserve energy, and promote safe aviation and transport by road and rail.

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WMO and Oman Co-Sponsor International Conference on Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change [viewed]

Nargis approaches Myanmar on 1 May 2008 (Image: NASA) December 2008: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Government of Oman are co-sponsoring the International Conference on Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change, which will take place from 8-11 March 2009, at the Sultan Qaboos University, Oman.

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US$380 Million Pledged to Central Emergency Relief Fund [viewed]

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5 December 2008: The UN has announced that approximately US$380 million has been pledged

to the voluntarily-funded Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). The CERF was

set up in 2006 to speed relief for natural and man-made disasters.

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UN Secretary-General Addresses Replenishment Conference for the Central Emergency Response Fund [viewed]

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 4 December 2008: In a message delivered at the High-level Conference on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), organized by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in New York, US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined the key role played by the Organization in terms of emergency assistance. He noted the importance of humanitarian disaster response for development, and stressed that the financial crisis, climate change and population growth are likely to increase demands for relief aid in the future.

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Inter-Agency Standing Committee Calls For Efforts to Reduce Climate-Induced Disaster Risks [viewed]

3 December 2008: The Inter-Agency Standing Committee, comprising nearly 20 UN agencies and aid organizations, appealed for increased global action to boost preparedness for effective response to disasters brought on by climate change.

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UN Secretary-General Calls on Asia to Foster Economic Growth While Mitigating Climate Change [viewed]

Clinton Global Initiative Asia Meeting Website

2 December 2008: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative that convened in Hong Kong, China, from 2-3 December 2008, in a video message. He underlined the interrelations between the financial turmoil, accelerating climate change, persistent poverty and hunger, and called on the Asia-Pacific region to play a “leading role” in averting a “human catastrophe.”

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OCHA Launches Humanitarian Impact of Climate Change Campaign [viewed]

A boy whose house was destroyed by Cyclone Nargis that hit Myanmar in May 2008 watches an approaching storm. [Photo: UNICEF/Adam Dean] 2 December 2008: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the humanitarian implications of climate change.

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FAO Releases Report on Impact of Climate Change-Related Disasters on Food Security in Pacific Islands [viewed]

2 December 2008: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released a report entitled Climate Change and Food Security in Pacific Island Countries, jointly published with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the University of the South Pacific. The report warns that climate change-related disasters such as cyclones, flash floods and droughts have constrained development efforts in the Pacific islands and are likely to have a serious impact on their food production.

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