No justification for deadly Afghanistan bombing: UN Mission chief
A deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan on Wednesday has been condemned by the top UN official in the country.
At least 29 people died in the blast which occurred near a shrine in the capital, Kabul, where people had gathered to celebrate Nowruz, a festival marking the start of spring.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), issued a statement underlining that there is no justification for such attacks.
He said: “Today’s egregious attack runs counter to the meaning of Nowruz, a time of renewal and celebration, and a time for promoting the values of peace and solidarity.”
The UN official expressed condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured, while also calling for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.
FAO appeals for $236 million to support drought-affected cattle farmers in Somalia
Prolonged drought in Somalia has resulted in massive livestock deaths, with some areas reporting that 60 per cent of herds have been wiped out.
That information comes from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is warning that these losses could worsen people’s access to food.
The UN agency is calling for urgent support to help pastoralist communities in the Horn of Africa country to build resilience and shore up their livelihoods.
It is appealing for $236 million to assist some 2.7 million rural Somalis this year: for example, by helping farmers to secure a good harvest or through providing cash transfers to the most vulnerable families so that they can afford to eat.
FAO explained that “providing livelihood support and cash in rural areas not only fights hunger, but minimizes displacement and the sale of productive assets that ultimately feed people and sustain their livelihoods.”
UN agriculture agency urges investment in urban forests
In more news from FAO:
The UN agency is promoting the value of green spaces in cities which make urban areas healthy and pleasant places to live while also benefiting the planet.
Although cities occupy only 3 per cent of the Earth’s surface, FAO said they consume nearly 80 per cent of energy and emit 60 per cent of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming.
With more of the global population living in cities, FAO is calling for investment in urban forests to address pollution and climate change in its message on the International Day of Forests, observed on 21 March.
Here’s the agency’s chief, José Graziano da Silva, speaking at a celebration held at FAO headquarters in Rome:
“Trees in urban areas can cool down the air and reduce air conditioning needs, for example; save energy. Forests around the urban areas can also help filter the water and regulate the water flow, and this can benefit millions of people. Forests also can provide habitat for plants and animals, helping to keep the biodiversity. And, of course, trees and urban areas and forests can support a new healthy style of life, stimulating some exercise, especially nowadays that we are facing an epidemic issue on obesity.”