UN food relief agency doubles assistance in DR Congo Ebola hotspots
As the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Friday that it plans to double food assistance to people affected by the disease.
One year after the start of the complex outbreak in the volatile eastern part of the DRC – and 10 days since the first reported case in Goma, the region’s biggest city – a WFP spokesperson said that the UN agency is “stepping up preparations for a potential further escalation of the epidemic”.
Over the next six months, WFP will significantly ramp up food assistance and nutritional support to 440,000 Ebola-affected people in DR Congo, the spokesperson announced, adding that this would include “primarily contacts of victims and their families, as well as confirmed and suspected cases”.
Military chief of UN’s ‘most dangerous mission’, in Mali, confident that progress can be made
The head of the UN’s Mission in Mali, reputedly the most dangerous in the world, has been speaking to UN News about the many challenges he and his troops face.
The force under the command of Swedish General Dennis Gyllensporre, has sustained severe and regular casualties from the activities of armed groups in the north of the country, and many civilians have borne the brunt of the instability, which includes deadly inter-ethnic clashes.
In an interview with UN News, General Gyllenspore said that, despite the considerable risks, his resolve to help stabilize Mali remains strong.
It is a difficult Mission and, unfortunately, we have had too many fatalities in the Mission. The way forward is to stay firm, adjust to the threat environment, and be unpredictable with regard to these armed groups which challenge security. We will continue to do so, we are determined and we are focused on our mandate.
And you can hear the rest of that interview on the UN News Website’s audio hub, via the UN News app.
Eliminating hepatitis calls for ‘bold political leadership, with investments to match,’ UN health chief says
Calling for “bold political leadership” ahead of World Hepatitis Day, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged countries to take advantage of recent reductions in the costs of diagnosing and treating viral hepatitis, and scale up investments to eradicate the disease.
A new study by WHO, published on Friday in the Lancet Global Health magazine, found that investing $6 billion per year to eliminate hepatitis in 67 low- and middle-income countries would avert 4.5 million premature deaths by 2030, and more than 26 million deaths beyond that target date.
A total of $58.7 billion is needed to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat in these 67 countries by 2030. This means reducing new hepatitis infections by 90 per cent and deaths by 65 per cent.