UN: Conflict, drought bring ‘acute’ hunger to 124 million

A mother breastfeeds her child suffering from acute malnutrition at a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Aweil, northern Bahr al-Ghazal, South Sudan (AFP)
Updated 22 March 2018
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UN: Conflict, drought bring ‘acute’ hunger to 124 million

ROME: A UN-led report says 124 million people last year suffered such acute hunger that their lives were at risk, up from 108 million in 2016.
The increase was largely attributed to new or intensified conflicts in Myanmar, Nigeria, Yemen and South Sudan, as well as ongoing drought in several African countries.
The report warned the situation will continue in 2018, with Yemen expected to remain the country with the largest food crisis globally.
The Global Report on Food Crises is an annual intergovernmental report compiled by UN agencies, the European Union and food policy groups that was launched in 2016 to promote increased coordination in addressing food crises and conflict.
It measures “acute food insecurity” — hunger so severe that it poses an immediate danger to lives and livelihoods.


Britain condemns Israel bias at UN rights council

Updated 22 min 10 sec ago
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Britain condemns Israel bias at UN rights council

  • British foreign secretary Boris Johnson criticized the council’s controversial Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule exclusively devoted to discussing rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories.
  • Johnson noted however that the council had an important role to play in “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under the right agenda item.”

GENEVA: Britain on Monday urged the UN Human Rights Council to reform its treatment of Israel, joining the United States in demanding an end to the body’s alleged bias against the Jewish State.
Addressing the opening of the 38th council session, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson criticized the council’s controversial Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule exclusively devoted to discussing rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories.
“We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Johnson said.
Israel is the only country with a dedicated council item.
Washington, some European countries and Australia have sided with Israel in condemning Item 7 as prejudiced, noting that countries with arguably worse rights records in recent years, like Syria are spared such intense scrutiny.
While previous US administrations have criticized Item 7, President Donald Trump’s government has raised the prospect of withdrawing from the council unless it is scrapped.
Johnson noted however that the council had an important role to play in “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under the right agenda item.”
Each council session includes an agenda item on so-called country specific situations, known as Agenda Item 4, where debates on the crises in Syria, Burundi and others typically take place.