Asia Pacific

UN food agency sees partnership with China as key tool in war on global hunger

A strong partnership between the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency and China, and the world’s most populous country, could have enormous bearing on the fight against global hunger, the agency’s chief said today.

Annan appoints former US President George H.W. Bush as envoy for quake recovery

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appointed former United States President George Herbert Walker Bush as his Special Envoy for the South Asian Earthquake Disaster, representing the UN system in the national and international response to the destruction of 8 October.

Vast UN-backed Asian Highway moves ahead to link St. Petersburg to Singapore

Major upgrading projects and funding needs were identified today for the United Nations-backed 140,000-kilometre Asian Highway Network that will link the vast region from St. Petersburg to Singapore and Seoul to Istanbul, facilitating trade and tourism and opening up landlocked countries.

UN agency urges media to encourage tourists’ return to tsunami-hit countries

The United Nations tourism agency has once again called on the world’s media to help promote a resurgence of the industry in the Indian Ocean countries devastated by last year’s tsunami by informing the public on the progress made such as refurbished hotels, new tourism products and safety improvements.

Pakistan: UN quake appeal only 40 per cent funded, 2.4 million blankets needed

More than nine weeks after a devastating earthquake in Pakistan killed more than 70,000 people, injured 70,000 more and left up to 3 million people homeless, the United Nations relief appeal faces a shortfall of some 60 per cent, with a new survey showing an urgent need for 2.4 million blankets as the harsh winter sets in.

UN environment agency team examines fallout from China’s chemical plant blast

A four-member team from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is on a fact-finding trip to northeastern China to see firsthand the problems caused by the pollution released last month in a chemical plant explosion there.

Afghanistan: UN officials hail justice and reconciliation plan to bury past enmity

Citing lessons from truth commissions in other States seeking to surmount troubled pasts, United Nations officials today hailed the Afghan Government’s adoption of a plan for justice and reconciliation as a “new and very important dimension” for peace in a country torn asunder by 25 years of war and violence and abuses.

Pakistan: UN agency braced for health crisis in quake region as winter hits

As the temperature drops in the mountainous regions affected by the 8 October earthquake, the head of the United Nations health agency has arrived in Pakistan, warning that the cold and the cramped living conditions is leading to an increase in the risk of hypothermia and respiratory infections.

Myanmar: Annan praises Asian States for backing release of Aung San Suu Kyi

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today commended the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) for its call on Myanmar to “expedite” both its political reform efforts and its release of political detainees, including democracy activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

UN food aid distributed to ex-fighters and their families in Afghanistan

Needy ex-fighters and their families in Afghanistan have begun receiving United Nations food packages under an initiative of the country's New Beginning Programme.