Honoring Diana, Prince Harry urges land mine-free world by 2025

Britain's Prince Harry, delivers a keynote address as he attends an event hosted by the world's two leading landmine charities, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and The HALO Trust, at Kensington Palace in London on Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 06 April 2017

Honoring Diana, Prince Harry urges land mine-free world by 2025

LONDON: Britain’s Prince Harry threw his support behind a campaign to rid the world of land mines by 2025 on Tuesday, two decades after his mother, Princess Diana, walked through a minefield in Angola to highlight the plight of victims.
Even though the production and use of land mines has dropped since a 1997 treaty to prohibit their use, more than 60 million people are at risk of death or injury from land mines globally, the UK Department for International Development (DfID) says.
Hard to detect, difficult to clear and often designed to maim rather than kill, land mines linger in the soil for decades.
The number of people reported killed or injured by land mines rose by 75 percent in 2015 to nearly 6,500, largely due to conflicts in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, according to the Landmine Monitor. Most of the casualties were civilians.
Harry, who is third in line to the throne, used a speech to mark International Mine Awareness to urge the international community to help end the use of land mines.
“My mother had been shocked and appalled by the impact that land mines were having on incredibly vulnerable people ... she refused to accept that these destructive weapons should be left where they were,” said Harry at an event in Kensington Palace.
The prince, 32, said the world “should celebrate the huge progress which has been made,” but added that more needed to be done.
“The sooner we are able to clear all remaining land mines the less chance there is of innocent lives being lost or changed forever,” he said.
“Let’s make future generations proud and finish what we started.”
Memorial service for London
terror attack victims
Prince William, his wife Kate and his brother Prince Harry spoke with survivors and the families of those killed in the terror attack outside the British Parliament at a memorial service on Wednesday.
The royals joined those affected by the assault at a “Service of Hope” at Westminster Abbey, just across Parliament Square from the scene of the attack on March 22.
The assault killed four people, including a police officer guarding the gates of Parliament.
Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old convert to Islam known to the security services, drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing policeman Keith Palmer to death. Masood was later shot and killed by officers in the Parliament’s forecourt.
Leslie Rhodes, 75, a retired window cleaner; Aysha Frade, 44, a school administrator; and Kurt Cochran, 54, an American tourist, were killed on the bridge.
Cochran’s wife Melissa attended the service in a wheelchair, having suffered a broken leg and rib and a cut head in the attack.

William, second in line to the throne, laid a wreath at the Innocent Victims’ Memorial outside the abbey.
During the service, he read the parable of the Good Samaritan from the Bible.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the interior minister, also gave readings.
Witnesses and emergency service workers involved in the response effort were among the 1,800 people who attended, along with the speakers of both houses of Parliament.
The injuries were still evident for some victims, many of whom arrived on crutches, with their legs in plaster or with visible wounds.
John Hall, the Dean of Westminster, led the service, telling the congregation that the attack had left people “bewildered and disturbed.”
He said it was “likely that we shall never know” Masood’s motivation for the attack.
After the service, the royals met privately with survivors and the families of those killed.
Twelve people arrested in connection with the attack have all been released and face no further police action.

Global body warns of looming food crisis in Rohingya camps

Updated 11 min 20 sec ago

Global body warns of looming food crisis in Rohingya camps

  • The WFP needs $24 million a month to sustain its operations in Cox’s Bazar which includes $16 million to feed people

DHAKA: The world’s largest humanitarian organization on Wednesday made an urgent appeal for donations to help plug a $40 million (SR150 million) shortfall in funding to feed nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees.

With stocks expected to run out within two months, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned of an imminent food crisis in squalid camps at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh unless donors released more funds soon.

Hervé Verhoosel, spokesman for the UN’s food-assistance arm, told journalists in Geneva on Friday that it cost the organization about $16 million every month to feed the Rohingya refugees.  

The UN’s Joint Response Plan (JRP) was launched earlier this year to raise $920 million for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. According to the financial tracking system of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only 38 percent of the target had been raised so far this year.

Out of the funds released by donors, around 35.8 percent were used for food security while 17.3 percent and 34.7 percent were allocated to health and nutrition respectively.

“We have two months’ worth of food in stock and have a funding shortfall of around $40 million for the period of August to January,” Gemma Snowdon, WFP spokeswoman at Cox’s Bazar, told Arab News.

“The JRP is only around one-third funded which means that the implementation of programs will suffer this year. Funding is always a concern for aid organizations, especially as we’re two years into this crisis,” she said.

The WFP needs $24 million a month to sustain its operations in Cox’s Bazar which includes $16 million to feed people. The organization also undertakes engineering and disaster risk-reduction work at the camps and runs nutrition, livelihoods and school feeding programs for the Rohingya refugees.

The funding shortfall has also created concern among other aid agencies which have been working on the ground there since August 2017.

“As the largest responder in all 34 camps, we have been working closely with the Inter Sector Coordination Group and working in every area of humanitarian assistance in the Rohingya camps. We will discuss the funding issues at the next JRP meeting which will take place shortly,” said Sajedur Hasan, director of BRAC, a Bangladeshi non-government organization.

BRAC has been working for the well-being of the Rohingya from the very beginning of the refugee crisis, employing more than 2,000 staff to provide humanitarian assistance.

“We don’t have any contingency plan regarding the food support program,” Hasan said.

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees at camps in Cox’s Bazar, after a majority of them fled the Myanmar army from their Rakhine state homeland in August 2017.