united nations

World Bank today approved a US$50 million emergency project - Somalia Emergency Drought Response and Recovery Project (SEDRP, the Project) - to scale up the drought response and recovery effort in Somalia. Somalia is facing its worst drought in decades, with over half the population – an estimated 6.7 million people – in need of humanitarian assistance and recovery support. The Project will address the immediate needs of communities affected by the drought as well as supporting early recovery and improved resilience to future shocks.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday he is trying to convince U.S. President Donald Trump's administration of the value of investing in foreign aid and diplomacy and warned that if Washington pulled back as a global leader, other states would step up. Trump has proposed cutting U.S. diplomacy and aid budgets by about a third, or nearly $19 billion. This includes cutting some $1 billion from U.N. peacekeeping funding and a steep cut to funding for international organizations.

Malawi hopes global lenders will release funds frozen over a government graft scandal three years ago now that the World Bank has resumed its budget support programme. This support traditionally accounts for about 40 percent of the budget of the poor southern African country. [...] "The recent resumption of the World Bank budgetary support, the expected confirmation by the IMF that Malawi is on track in its pursuance of fiscal management reforms are all signs of international confidence coming back in our economic management," Gondwe said.

Australian officials have been working hard to secure one of two seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 term, pushing at international forums for voting countries to back their bid. [...] Just six months ago, during his visit to Australia, Special Rapporteur for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights François Crépeau said Australia’s human rights standing had been tarnished by its “regressive” migration policies falling behind international standards. Treatment of migrants by boat “served to erode their human rights.”

Every May 31, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The Ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) is organising this year's celebration under the theme, 'Tobacco a Threat to Health, Environment and Development' which will take place at Nyamirambo Stadium in Kigali. According to WHO, about 6 million people die from tobacco use every year. 

As the United Nations assesses the implementation of its 2030 Agenda for Development, including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the estimated funding needs keep skyrocketing --- from the initial millions and billions to trillions of dollars annually. Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch, said the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that all but a few countries have the necessary resources domestically to offer a dignified social protection floor to everybody.

The European Union’s new Consensus on Development stresses the role played by co-operatives in the implementation of the UN’s development agenda for 2030. [...] The EU is the world’s largest development aid donor, accounting for more than half of assistance worldwide. The consensus is a response to the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development. [...] The EU says it will also promote private sector initiatives and social enterprises, co-operatives, and women and youth entrepreneurs.

Protecting cultural diversity is vital for peacebuilding in the Middle East, the head of the UNESCO Irina Bokova said at Madrid Conference today. [...] “Violent extremists target both heritage and human lives – they target victims and minorities from all backgrounds, Shebak, Turkmen, Yezidis, Muslims, Christians..." [...] “Violent extremists target schools, because they know the power of knowledge to counter their rhetoric drawing on false visions of faith and history," Irina added. 

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