With food prices rising and funds falling, UN seeks urgent aid for southern Africa

Struggling to feed millions of people in Southern Africa and already facing a nearly $200 million funding shortfall, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today voiced “serious concern” over soaring maize prices, which could deprive aid from all but a fraction of those who will need it.

African traditional medicine could contribute to HIV prevention – UN

Traditional health practitioners who have strong advisory roles and influence on community behaviour in Africa could contribute significantly to HIV prevention efforts on the continent, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

Sudan reacts positively to future talks between Government and rebel Eastern Front

A senior UN official met today with Sudanese Acting Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail and said the minister reacted positively to the idea of holding talks with the rebel Eastern Front, at a date to be determined, with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the eastern region’s problems.

Security Council establishes UN integrated support team for Sierra Leone

With the six-year-old United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone set to close its doors in January, the Security Council today authorized the establishment of a follow-on UN integrated office to help achieve long-term stability and sustainable development as the West African country continues to recover from a bloody civil war during the 1990s.

UN official says Côte d’Ivoire nationals must take ownership of peace process

The peace process in the Côte d’Ivoire has moved from globalization, with United Nations involvement, to Africanization, with African Union (AU) mediation, and now Ivorians must take responsibility for nationalizing the next steps, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country said today.

Somalia: UN-backed project registers 57,000 out-of-school children in Puntland

In only two months, some 57,000 out-of-school children in northeast Somalia have been registered -- by youngsters their own age -- in a United Nations-sponsored initiative to get children in the war-torn country involved in the Back to School campaign.

Malawi: UN launches ‘unprecedented smart appeal’ to counter food crisis

The United Nations today launched an $88 million ‘smart’ flash appeal for Malawi, where some 4.2 million people – 34 per cent of the population – face acute food shortages, in an unprecedented two-track approach to both address immediate needs and prevent a recurring crisis.

Refugees could return to south Sudan after rainy season – UN official

Visiting a camp in north-western Kenya, the chief of the United Nations refugee agency today promised that thousands of people driven from their homes in South Sudan by two decades of fighting could return to the region after the rainy season ends in October.

New Burundian Government faces challenge of high voter expectation, says UN official

The newly elected Burundian Government, led by former rebels, faces the challenges of voter expectations for an improved economy, the reduction of high unemployment and an end to Tutsi-Hutu ethnic strife and persistent impunity for massacres and military coups, a senior United Nations official said today.

Security Council urges speedy, full settlement to Sudan's Darfur crisis

With peace talks between the Sudanese Government and rebel factions based in the western Darfur region set to reopen on 15 September in Abuja, Nigeria, the United Nations Security Council today strongly urged the parties to quickly reach agreement to end the two-year civil war that has killed nearly 180,000 people and driven more than 2 million from their homes.