Data are from an annual report of the International Food Policy Research Institute. “Hunger levels in developing countries have fallen 29 percent since 2000, but efforts to curb hunger must be accelerated in order to meet an international target to eradicate it by 2030, according to an annual index published on Tuesday. Hunger levels are “alarming” in seven countries, with Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Zambia experiencing the worst levels, according to the 2016 Global Hunger Index. Haiti, reeling from last week’s Hurricane Matthew and still recovering from a massive 2010 earthquake, has the fourth highest hunger score. Another 43 countries, including India, Nigeria and Indonesia, have “serious” hunger levels. At the current rate of decline, more than 45 countries – including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan – will have “moderate” to “alarming” hunger scores in the year 2030, the authors of the index said.” (TRF http://bit.ly/2dVo6ei)

Another Set of Colombia Peace Talks to Being…The Colombian government and the country’s second largest rebel group have announced the start of peace talks October 27 in the capital of Ecuador. Monday’s announcement of talks with the 2,000-strong National Liberation Army comes just days after Colombian voters stunned diplomats and world leaders by rejecting a peace deal ending a half century of fighting between the Bogota government and the much larger FARC insurgency. In an address after Monday’s announcement, President Juan Manuel Santos vowed that “peace won’t slip through our fingers.” Instead, he said, “it will be stronger… and it will be complete.” (VOA http://bit.ly/2dibBbH)

Quote of day: “But the concern is if we don’t take action now for the longer impact… three to four months when the foods stop coming we are going to have a real famine.” – Haiti’s interim president Jocelerme Privert on the “apocalyptic destruction” of Hurricane Matthew. (BBC http://bbc.in/2dif7mq)

Africa

Many guns imported by the Somali government with U.N. approval are being resold by arms dealers on the black market in the nation’s capital Mogadishu, two Western diplomats said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dier0g)

A ruling party official and two others were killed in a bar in southern Burundi, an official said on Tuesday, as the toll from 18 months of political violence grows. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2direQd)

Former child soldiers forced to fight in a brutal Congolese militia over a decade ago remain stigmatised, suicidal and live in constant fear, experts told an international court on Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2d5dcDe)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled support for protesters demanding wider freedoms in Ethiopia during a visit to the country on Tuesday, saying “a vibrant civil society is part and parcel of a developing country.” (AP http://yhoo.it/2diaXLr)

A major Kenyan pilots’ union has called for an indefinite strike beginning Oct. 18 to protest what it described as poor management at the troubled national carrier Kenya Airways, the union’s general secretary said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2dtZo12)

Hundreds of Ethiopian troops pulled out of a town in central Somalia Tuesday, at least the second location vacated by their forces in recent weeks, a Somali security official said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2e4zpNA)

A pledge by South Sudan’s government to allow the deployment of more U.N. peacekeepers and to improve access for U.N. troops already on the ground in a bid to avoid an arms embargo is yet to translate into action, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dIB0KV)

Gunmen have kidnapped a Romanian engineer in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta, police said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2e4gYIP)

South African riot police fought stone-throwing students for a second consecutive day at a university campus on Tuesday amid national calls by demonstrators for free higher education. (AP http://yhoo.it/2e4gzGB)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Tuesday his government wants to reform an electoral system which has excluded the opposition, in response to months of bloody protests. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2e4iwCY)

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will be prosecuted for fraud, officials said Tuesday, in a move that sent the rand tumbling over concerns about political in-fighting and the country’s fragile economy. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2dIOqqc)

MENA

 

Airstrikes on rebel-held parts of the besieged city of Aleppo killed at least eight people Tuesday, while shelling of a government-held neighborhood in a southern Syrian city hit a school, killing at least six people, among them children, activists and state media said. (AP http://yhoo.it/2diet8o)

Outraged by Russia’s intensified air strikes on rebels in Syria, the European Union is now less likely to ease sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine, diplomats say, and some in the bloc are raising the prospect of more punitive steps against the Kremlin. (Reuters http://yhoo.it)

Asia

Gunmen disguised as police officers attacked a Shiite shrine packed with hundreds of worshipers in the Afghan capital late Tuesday and may have taken hostages in a shootout that left at least five people dead and dozens wounded, officials and witnesses reported. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2dVn8Pm)

Police in Vietnam have arrested a blogger for anti-state writings which they said distorted the truth, tarnished the country’s leaders and instigated the public to oppose the government. (AP http://yhoo.it/2dibflk)

China’s defense ministry has rejected as “malicious speculation” allegations by a U.S.-based group that Chinese peacekeepers had abandoned their posts in South Sudan in July instead of protecting civilians. (VOA http://bit.ly/2e4bKNh)

A group of advocacy organizations has awarded its annual prize for human rights defenders to imprisoned Chinese Muslim minority economics professor Ilham Tohti, shining new attention on a case that has brought strong international condemnation. (AP http://yhoo.it/2e4alX5)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is turning to another battle aside from illegal drugs: smoking. (AP http://yhoo.it/2e4B31G)

The Americas

Brazilian prosecutors said on Monday that they brought new charges against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, adding yet another accusation to a series of corruption charges against the embattled left-leaning leader who is also a presidential hopeful for 2018. (VOA http://bit.ly/2dib0GW)

Haiti faces a humanitarian crisis that requires a “massive response” from the international community, the United Nations chief said, with at least 1.4 million people needing emergency aid following last week’s battering by Hurricane Matthew. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2e4aMAS)

Two weeks shy of his first birthday, doctors began feeding Jose Wesley Campos through a nose tube because swallowing problems had left him dangerously underweight. Learning how to feed is the baby’s latest struggle as medical problems mount for him and many other infants born with small heads to mothers infected with the Zika virus in Brazil. (AP http://yhoo.it/2e4bn5D)

The World Health Organization is sending 1 million doses of cholera vaccine to Haiti, where more than 200 cases of the killer disease have been reported since Hurricane Matthew. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2du16jc)

…and the rest

Albania’s Interior Ministry says heavy rain and flooding in northwestern Albania has killed one person and damaged many homes. (AP http://yhoo.it/2e4gIcS)

Countless communities around the world scavenge on open dumps – with terrible health consequences. As the UN convenes city leaders for a global summit, what can be done to improve the lives of the world’s waste pickers? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2di9BQt)

The U.N. health agency on Tuesday recommended that countries use tax policy to increase the price of sugary drinks like sodas, sport drinks and even 100-percent fruit juices as a way to fight obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. (AP http://yhoo.it/2dV7gMA)

Charities working with refugees and migrants living in a slum-like camp in northern France objected Tuesday to the government’s plan to dismantle the site and disperse the occupants, saying French authorities should not act in haste. (AP http://yhoo.it/2e4zDnY)

Opinion/Blogs

Here’s what policies actually work to end female genital mutilations. A conversation with Charles Kenny (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/2dVno0v)

In the Wake of Hurricane Matthew, Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic Could Get Much Worse (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2dVqHVL)

United Nations: Now it will be 80 years without a woman at the helm (Guardian http://bit.ly/2e4asSv)

Why Child Marriage Isn’t an Easy Win for Campaigners (TRF http://bit.ly/2e4gd2E)

The politics of food aid in Myanmar’s Rakhine state (IRIN http://bit.ly/2dUTsl8)

After failed coup, what sort of Turkey does Erdogan want? (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2d5ezSs)

Shutdown–On the death of compromise in South Africa (Africa is a Country http://buff.ly/2e74u4s)

Digital sweatshops in disaster zones: who pays the real price for innovation? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2d5p08D)

Why Ethiopia is under a state of emergency (AP http://yhoo.it/2dIOBBW)

Evaluating Australian aid evaluations (Devpolicy http://buff.ly/2e74t0F)
The Way Forward: What the ‘No’ Vote Means for Peace in Colombia (Justice in Conflict http://buff.ly/2dVc3h6)

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