Disasters & Humanitarian Relief

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Calls for Human Rights Approach to World Food Crises [viewed]

4 June 2008: Speaking at the FAO High-Level Conference on

World Food Security, which convened in Rome, Italy, from 3-5 June 2008, Louise

Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the food crisis is a

forceful signal “about individual human rights and the need for collective

action.” Reporting on a special session of the Human Rights Council on the food

emergency, she called for a human rights framework to analyze the causes of the

crises and “to clarify the power imbalances inside and between countries that

trigger or exacerbate the food crisis, including unfair trade practices or

skewed policies involving incentives and subsidies.”

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WHO Urges Priority Action in Hot Spots of Malnutrition [viewed]

Laroche

3 June 2008: Noting that food choices and nutrition are

highly sensitive to food prices, World Health Organization (WHO)

Director-General Margaret Chan sent a message to the FAO High-Level Conference

on World Food Security, which convened in Rome, Italy from 3-5 June 2008,

highlighting that “the food crisis is a direct threat to much hard-won progress

in health development.”

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UN Secretary-General Reports Task Force Recommendations at FAO Conference [viewed]

Ban_kimoon_fao

3 June 2008: UN Secretary-General Ban

Ki-moon urged “bold and urgent steps” to tackle the global food crisis in his

statement to the FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security, which

convened in Rome, Italy, from 3-5 June 2008. Noting that food production will

have to rise by 50% by the year 2030 to meet rising demand, he said “it is

important that our longer term focus is on improving world food security - and

remains so for some years.”

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FAO Director-General Calls for Investments in Agriculture [viewed]

Jacques_diouf

3 June 2008: In his opening statement to the High-Level

Conference on World Food Security in Rome, Italy, FAO Director-General Jacques

Diouf called on Heads of State to make urgently needed investments in

agriculture to address the global food crisis and ensure long term food security.

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UN World Food Programme Calls on Global Community to Address Collective Challenge of Food Security [viewed]

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June 2008: Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme

(WFP), speaking at the FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security, which

convened from 3-5 June 2008, warned that the global food crisis is threatening

to “plunge another 130 million people into life threatening hunger.” She said

the world has the means to defeat hunger, but high fuel and food prices

threaten to “short circuit” this potential by undoing many of the achievements

made towards global food security. She endorsed the UN Task Force's plan of

action and outlined the WFP's contributions towards its implementation, including

working with governments to assess needs and vulnerabilities at the household

level and scaling up safety net programmes.

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UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Calls for New Deal for Agriculture [viewed]

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June 2008: Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food,

reminded participants at the High-Level Conference on World Food Security,

which convened from 3-5 June 2008 in Rome, Italy, that the right to food

imposes obligations on countries vis-à-vis populations outside of their

territory. Noting the need to protect the most vulnerable segments of

populations, he called for an institutional framework to: identify emerging

threats at the earliest possible stage; improve coordination among ministries

and levels of government; and ensure participation, particularly of the most

food insecure segments of population.

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IFAD President Urges Scaling Up Support to Smallholder Farmers to Address Food Crisis [viewed]

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June 2008: Lennart Båge, President of the International Fund for Agricultural

Development (IFAD), told the High-Level Conference on World Food Security, at

its 3-5 June 2008 meeting in Rome, Italy, that “complacency” with food

surpluses has led to underinvestment in agriculture, for which the world is now

“literally paying the price.” Drawing attention to the under-utilized capacity

of smallholder farmers, he called for investments in rural agriculture,

including: improved access to essential inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer;

microfinance institutions; rural infrastructure; market linkages and access to

market information; and food processing.

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UN/ISDR: Drought Risk Reduction Networks Discussed at CSD16 [viewed]

7 May 2008: The UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) intervened during the discussion of “drought” at the sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which convened in New York, US, from 5-16 May 2008. The UN/ISDR delegation highlighted that regional and sub-regional networks that address drought risk reduction exist or are in the process of being formed, although their establishment has not been as successful as desired due to “overlapping political jurisdictions, differences in the types of participants and policy issues in each region, varying degrees of interest among potential regional participants, and different implementation timelines.”

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World Bank Institute: Online Distance Learning Programme on Natural Disaster Risk Management [viewed]

May 2008: As part of its Global Distance Learning Programme on Natural Disaster Risk Management, the World Bank Institute (WBI) will hold a series of online courses on natural disaster risk management, including on climate change and disaster risk management, from 26 May 2008 to 1 May 2009.

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ISDR: Virtual Disaster Reduction Library II to be Released [viewed]

15 May 2008: On the occasion of the second International Disaster Reduction Conference, to be held in Davos, Switzerland, from 25-29 August 2008, the UN/ISDR Secretariat will release the 2008 Virtual Disaster Reduction Library II.

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