Humanitarians fear for Indonesia’s worst-hit quake areas
Four days after a deadly earthquake and tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, UN agencies and partners have warned that some communities have yet to be reached and the death toll is likely to rise.
According to the Government of Indonesia, 1,234 people have died so far, 800 people have been seriously injured and nearly 100 people are still missing.
UN agencies are partners have already responded to Government calls for assistance, but access is still difficult to coastal and central areas of Sulawesi, where the full scale of the damage is unknown.
The potential impact on youngsters is particularly concerning, UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said, with more than 40 per cent of under-fives in Central Sulawesi already stunted from malnutrition.
The fact that only 33 per cent of births are registered in the area is also a potential obstacle to reuniting unaccompanied minors with their families, UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said.
“We are worried about what we know in terms of the impact of children but what we don’t know yet as information about the full extent of the disaster is still emerging,” he told journalists. “In Central Sulawesi we have concerns not only for the safety of children in Palu, but also in the city of Dongala and other communities still cut off from humanitarian aid.”
New cholera vaccine campaign underway in Yemen
A new cholera vaccination campaign is underway in Yemen to prevent a third major wave of the disease in the embattled country, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
The development comes amid what WHO describes as an “important increase” in the reported number of suspected cases of cholera in recent weeks.
An estimated 540,000 people in Hudaydah and Ibb governorates are being targeted after receiving a first dose of vaccine in August.
Since April 2017, there have been more than 1.2 million cases of suspected cholera in Yemen, and more than 2,500 deaths from the preventable disease.
Around 30 per cent of cases involve children under five years old, WHO says.
Escalating conflict since March 2015 in Yemen has created the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
More than 16 million people lack access to basic healthcare and only 50 per cent of health facilities are functioning.
Smoking destroys the environment and undermines sustainable development
And finally, to tobacco production and a new study that highlights how tougher controls could save lives and promote sustainable development.
Launched to coincide with a global tobacco control meeting in Geneva, the UN report shows how almost 90 per cent of all tobacco growing happens in the developing world.
Of the top 10 tobacco growing countries, nine are developing and four are low-income countries where there is a shortage of food. These include India, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, and Malawi.
Globally, more than 32 million tonnes of green tobacco – and more than 22 billion tonnes of water - are used to produce six trillion cigarettes.
Most of the profits from the tobacco industry end up in developed countries, according to the authors of the report, who underline the “excessive” environmental impact of tobacco compared to other crops and call for farmers to be given help to switch to alternative crops.
Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.