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News in Brief 25 January 2023

News in Brief 25 January 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Latin America, Caribbean ‘must step up’ to tackle rising hunger: FAO

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean “can and must step up” to tackle rising levels of hunger, poverty and inequality, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAOsaid on Wednesday.

According to the UN agency, between 2019 and 2021, the number of people who went hungry in the region increased by 30 per cent, to 56.5 million.

This alarming food insecurity spike happened even though Latin America and the Caribbean is the world’s largest net food exporting region. It had also outperformed other regions in reducing hunger and poverty, in the decade up to 2015.

Amid concerns that the region could see a decade’s worth of progress lost on fighting hunger and poverty, FAO has urged Latin America and Caribbean States to expand food supply in the Caribbean, where healthy diets are expensive.

Greater investment in water infrastructure and food production is also needed in Central America, where droughts and migration create additional challenges for growers, the UN agency insisted.

We must stand with Lake Chad region and tackle root causes of crisis: OCHA deputy chief

To the Lake Chad basin, where the UN’s deputy emergency relief chief, Joyce Msuya, has appealed to the international community to stand with communities who remain exposed to violence and climate shocks.

The Lake Chad region - which connects Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon – is home to more than 24 million people who’ve been affected by the protracted crisis, and about 5.3 million who’ve been displaced.

Speaking at the 3rd High-level Conference on the Lake Chad Region in Niamey, Niger, Ms. Msuya said that the UN was determined to continue delivering life-saving assistance to millions, “who endure appalling conditions daily”.

But she warned that the crisis would continue, unless the root causes can be addressed, namely extreme poverty, climate change, violent conflict and a lack of social services.

“Our commitment must be measured in decades and not in years. This is how we build resilience in a region clamouring for change,” the UN official added.

Odesa added to UNESCO's World Heritage List amid threats of destruction

Finally to Odesa in Ukraine, which has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, 11 months since the Russian invasion.

The announcement on Wednesday by the UN body for education, science and culture is in recognition of the historic port’s “outstanding universal value” and the duty of all humanity to protect it, UNESCO said.

The World Heritage Convention which UNESCO administers has 194 States Parties.

All signatories – including Russia - have committed not to undertake any deliberate step that may directly or indirectly damage the World Heritage site and to assist in its protection.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay described Odesa as “a free city” and “legendary port” that had “left its mark on cinema, literature and the arts”.

Ms. Azoulay added that while the war continues, Odesa’s inscription on the World Heritage list showed a “collective determination” to ensure that the city was preserved from further destruction.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

Audio Credit
Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
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© Brent Stirton/Getty Images for FAO, CIFOR, CIRAD and WCS