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UNICEF Has Been Big Boost To Child Survival

"The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reduced child mortality significantly over the past decade and has expanded its mandate to cover protecting youngsters from exploitation, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the consequences of extreme poverty, outgoing Executive Director Carol Bellamy said today. In a farewell news Conference at UN Headquarters in New York, she summed up UNICEF's work in recent years, saying global child mortality had dropped by 16 per cent in the last 15 years - and by 34 per cent if AIDS-devastated sub-Saharan Africa's data were excluded." Read more...
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Curbing World’s Most Dangerous Pollutants

From UN News Service: "As part of a United Nations-backed effort to rid the planet of some of the worst pollutants tied to cancer, birth defects and immune system damage, 800 government officials and observers from 130 countries will gather next week in Uruguay for the first meeting of a treaty banning the world's most dangerous pesticides and chemicals."
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UN Launches Relief Operations in Horn of Africa

"UN agencies in the Horn of Africa have launched a major relief operation after days of torrential rains caused severe flooding in Ethiopia and Somalia and left more than 40 people dead, swept away entire villages and destroyed critical farmlands. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the relief agencies have been scrambling to get food and basic supplies to desperate families after crashing floodwaters from the cresting Wabe Shabelle River and driving rain had battered both Somalia and Ethiopia for the past two days." LINK
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Clinton: Tsunami Effort a Model for Handling Future Disasters

"Bill Clinton says the response to the Asian tsunami could serve as a model for future disasters if donors make sure the stricken region recovers. The former US president, who is now the United Nations envoy for tsunami relief, told a New York conference of senior American executives yesterday that the recovery stage was just beginning to diversify seafront economies and build houses." Full Story
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UN Military Team Sent to Lebanon to Verify Syrian Withdrawal

"Secretary-General Kofi Annan is dispatching a United Nations military team to Lebanon today to verify whether there has been a full and complete withdrawal of all Syrian troops, military assets and intelligence apparatus as mandated by Security Council resolution 1559. A UN spokesman said Mr. Annan had asked the mission to complete its work as soon as possible following an accord worked out earlier this month by his special envoy on this issue, under which Syria agreed to withdraw from its smaller neighbour by 30 April, ending a physical presence that began with the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war." More...
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Jackie Chan Fights AIDS for UN

UN News Service: "Taking time off from battling fictitious villains, action film superstar and United Nations ambassador Jackie Chan wrapped up a visit today to Viet Nam, joining in the real-life fight against AIDS and sending a powerful message that more must be done both for prevention and advocacy. "I may be a movie hero, but the real heroes are the people I've met in Viet Nam, among them grandparents, mothers and wives, and many young people and children, who are showing real courage in dealing with living with HIV/AIDS and who just be supported much more," said the star of such films as Rush Hour and Rumble in the Bronx. During his three-day visit, Mr. Chan, a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), travelled to Quang Ninh province, north-east of Hanoi, which has the highest HIV prevalence in the country. There he heard how stigma and discrimination continue to inflict pain and alienation and also hamper efforts to stop the spread of the disease."
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WP: In Sudan, the Daily Battle to Administer Aid

"Julius Lanya, a nurse in mud-caked work boots, rushed out of his office, leaned over Haja Hamid and began gently examining the gaunt 12-year-old girl, limb by limb, as she rested on a straw mat under a tree.... Lanya is one of more than 10,000 humanitarian workers operating under the auspices of the United Nations in this region of western Sudan. Their tasks range from monitoring tubes at infant feeding centers to digging sanitation ditches and boreholes for water outside one of the dozens of squalid refugee camps that dot Darfur's war-shattered landscape. Like Lanya, a Kenyan, the vast majority are from the continent -- Africans trying to help fellow Africans." Full Story
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World Ignores Republic of Congo’s Crisis

ALERTNET: "Less than 3 percent of funds needed to tackle a humanitarian emergency in the Republic of Congo have been received, highlighting the oil-producer's plight as a forgotten nation in crisis, the United Nations said. Congo's civil war officially ended in 1999 but sub-Saharan Africa's fourth biggest oil producer has no peacekeeping force and is struggling to disarm former rebels who continue to attack civilians in the Pool region, far from international eyes. "This is scandalous. We need to have a better response to this emergency," Aurelien Agbenonci, the head of the U.N. in Congo, told Reuters in an interview."
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Business Roundtable to Work With UN on Disaster Response

"An unprecedented gathering of U.S. business leaders, United Nations officials and representatives of the world's leading nonprofit relief organizations will meet at the United Nations on April 25, 2005, to begin to outline ways to respond more effectively to global disasters and emergencies in the future." LINK