Zimbabwe facing man-made starvation, says UN expert
Man-made starvation is “slowly making its w ay into Zimbabwe” and most households are unable to obtain enough food to meet their basic needs.
That’s the warning issued on Thursday by UN-appointed independent expert on the right to food, Hilal Elver.
Following an 11-day visit to the country, the Special Rapporteur said that hyperinflation had left more than six in 10 people – 5.5 million people - “food-insecure”, in a country once seen as the breadbasket of Africa.
Women and children are bearing the brunt of the crisis, the expert added, noting that nine in 10 children aged six months to two years are not consuming the minimum acceptable diet.
Citing poor rains and erratic weather patterns which have impacted on harvests and livelihoods, Ms Elver said that poverty and high unemployment, widespread corruption and economic sanctions risked making the crisis even worse.
Ebola healthworkers pay highest price in eastern DRC amid attacks by armed groups
“Constant” attacks by armed groups have once again claimed the lives of frontline healthworkers helping to confront the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
The violence overnight killed four people responding to the Ebola outbreak and injured five more at a camp in Biakato Mines and an Ebola response coordination office, the agency said in a statement.
The dead included a member of a vaccination team, two drivers and a police officer.
No WHO staff were among those killed but one staff member was injured; most of the other victims were from the Ministry of Health.
In an appeal for the “constant” attacks to stop in the east of the country, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said that her “heart goes out to the family and friends of the first responders killed in these attacks”.
The latest violence comes after at least 19 people were reportedly killed on Wednesday by armed militants in a village in Oicha, near Beni.
In its latest update on the outbreak, the DRC’s Ministry of Health noted the “disruption of (health) activities” in Beni and Butembo “following popular demonstrations at the killing of civilians”.
To date 2,198 people have died from the Ebola epidemic out of more than 3,300 confirmed cases, while more than 1,000 have recovered.
It is the country’s 10th outbreak of Ebola and transmission is still occurring in Mandima, Mabalako, Oicha, and Beni health zones, albeit at a very low level compared with the peak of the outbreak in April, when there were over 120 cases a week.
UN expert on human rights in North Korea visit to Japan
And finally, amid ongoing diplomati c talks between Pyongyang and Tokyo, UN Special Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Tomás Ojea Quintana has said he’s to visit Tokyo next week.
Announcing his visit to Japan from 2 to 4 December, Mr Quintana said that he intends to exchange views on human rights issues in DPRK - also known as North Korea - with Japanese Government officials and Members of Parliament.
In addition, the rights expert will also talk to the families of Japanese people allegedly abducted by North Korea, as well as others who went to North Korea as part of a resettlement programme between the 1950s and 1984 and later returned to Japan.
The Special Rapporteur will report his findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council at its next session in March 2020.