End Poverty 2015 - Latin America &amp; the Caribbean http://endpoverty2015.org/en/taxonomy/term/13/0 en Hundreds Stand Up in Trinidad http://endpoverty2015.org/en/end-hunger/news/hundreds-stand-trinidad/29/sep/10 <p>In Trinidad and Tobago, the Walk the World Committee of Rio Claro staged a Stand Up event in the Rio Claro town centre on Sunday September 19.<br> <br> That morning, more than 850 people - including local government representatives, community organizers, cultural performers, school children, and other local residents - walked through the streets of Rio Claro carrying specially-designed banners to demonstrate their support for the Millennium Development Goals.<br> <br> Following the walk, participants gathered for a program of presentations supporting the day's theme, and to read the Stand Up pledge.<br> </p><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4146/5036248935_b7a4845bce.jpg" width="490" height="325" > End Hunger Global Universal Education Gender Equity Child Health Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Latin America&amp;the Caribbean Maternal Health Combat HIV/AIDS Environmental Sustainability Global Partnership English Wed, 29 Sep 2010 17:31:31 +0000 chiara 1071 at http://endpoverty2015.org Colombia Stands Up for MDGs http://endpoverty2015.org/en/end-hunger/news/colombia-stands-mdgs/21/sep/10 <p>The UN Information Centre in Bogota, along with the local Secretary of Education, organized awareness activities such as workshops, rallies and paintings exhibitions in 60 public schools, gathering more than 35,000 participants on September 17 as part of &ldquo;Stand Up and Take Action.&rdquo; One of the central acts in Bogota was held in one of the main public schools, Bogotá Enrique Olaya Herrera. The Mayor of Bogota and UNIC director attended the event with 3,000 students, joining activities including artistic and cultural exhibitions. </p> <p>In addition, the United Nations in Colombia, in partnership with the National Soccer League, invited approximately 12,000 spectators of one of the most important soccer matches of the season to Stand Up on September 19. </p> <p>The Colombian Foundation &ldquo;Caridad Universal&rdquo; organized several activities in 13 cities in Colombia, which included Stand Up moments, workshops about the MDGS, delivering food and clothes to poor communities and organizing recreational activities to orphans. Communities in vulnerability were the target public for these events. A total of 2,777 participants Stood Up. </p> <p>Additionally, one of the most important theater companies in Bogota, MISI, joined Stand Up by inviting 2,700 spectators at their weekend shows to Stand Up. </p> <p>A variety of other events were held around the country. In total, more than 63,000 people participated.<br> </p> <p>To view more photos <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cinubogota/sets/72157624852899565/show/">CLICK HERE</a> </p> End Hunger Global Universal Education Gender Equity Child Health Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Latin America&amp;the Caribbean Maternal Health Combat HIV/AIDS Environmental Sustainability Global Partnership English Tue, 21 Sep 2010 19:59:33 +0000 chiara 1053 at http://endpoverty2015.org Local governments and citizens in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, unite to end hunger and bring real change for the poorest http://endpoverty2015.org/en/end-hunger/news/local-governments-and-citizens-belo-horizonte-brazil-unite-end-hunger-and-bring-real-change-poorest/06/apr/09 A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger. <p> “To search for solutions to hunger means to act within the principle that the status of a citizen surpasses that of a mere consumer.”<br> </span></font><b><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black; font-weight: bold;">CITY OF BELO HORIZONTE</span></font></b><b><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black; font-weight: bold;">, BRAZIL</span></b> </p><p> In writing Diet for a Small Planet, I learned one simple truth: Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy. But that realization was only the beginning, for then I had to ask: What does a democracy look like that enables citizens to have a real voice in securing life’s essentials? Does it exist anywhere? Is it possible or a pipe dream? With hunger on the rise here in the United States—one in 10 of us is now turning to food stamps—these questions take on new urgency. </p><p> To begin to conceive of the possibility of a culture of empowered citizens making democracy work for them, real-life stories help—not models to adopt wholesale, but examples that capture key lessons. For me, the story of Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a rich trove of such lessons. Belo, a city of 2.5 million people, once had 11 percent of its population living in absolute poverty, and almost 20 percent of its children going hungry. Then in 1993, a newly elected administration declared food a right of citizenship. The officials said, in effect: If you are too poor to buy food in the market—you are no less a citizen. I am still accountable to you. </p><p> The new mayor, Patrus Ananias—now leader of the federal anti-hunger effort—began by creating a city agency, which included assembling a 20-member council of citizen, labor, business, and church representatives to advise in the design and implementation of a new food system. The city already involved regular citizens directly in allocating municipal resources—the “participatory budgeting” that started in the 1970s and has since spread across Brazil. During the first six years of Belo’s food-as-a-right policy, perhaps in response to the new emphasis on food security, the number of citizens engaging in the city’s participatory budgeting process doubled to more than 31,000. </p><p> The city agency developed dozens of innovations to assure everyone the right to food, especially by weaving together the interests of farmers and consumers. It offered local family farmers dozens of choice spots of public space on which to sell to urban consumers, essentially redistributing retailer mark-ups on produce—which often reached 100 percent—to consumers and the farmers. Farmers’ profits grew, since there was no wholesaler taking a cut. And poor people got access to fresh, healthy food. </p><p> When my daughter Anna and I visited Belo Horizonte to write Hope’s Edge we approached one of these stands. A farmer in a cheerful green smock, emblazoned with “Direct from the Countryside,” grinned as she told us, “I am able to support three children from my five acres now. Since I got this contract with the city, I’ve even been able to buy a truck.” </p><p> The improved prospects of these Belo farmers were remarkable considering that, as these programs were getting underway, farmers in the country as a whole saw their incomes drop by almost half. </p><p> In addition to the farmer-run stands, the city makes good food available by offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to bid on the right to use well-trafficked plots of city land for “ABC” markets, from the Portuguese acronym for “food at low prices.” Today there are 34 such markets where the city determines a set price—about two-thirds of the market price—of about twenty healthy items, mostly from in-state farmers and chosen by store-owners. Everything else they can sell at the market price. </p><p> “For ABC sellers with the best spots, there’s another obligation attached to being able to use the city land,” a former manager within this city agency, Adriana Aranha, explained. “Every weekend they have to drive produce-laden trucks to the poor neighborhoods outside of the city center, so everyone can get good produce.” </p><p> Another product of food-as-a-right thinking is three large, airy “People’s Restaurants” (Restaurante Popular), plus a few smaller venues, that daily serve 12,000 or more people using mostly locally grown food for the equivalent of less than 50 cents a meal. When Anna and I ate in one, we saw hundreds of diners—grandparents and newborns, young couples, clusters of men, mothers with toddlers. Some were in well-worn street clothes, others in uniform, still others in business suits. </p><p> “I’ve been coming here every day for five years and have gained six kilos,” beamed one elderly, energetic man in faded khakis. </p><p> “It’s silly to pay more somewhere else for lower quality food,” an athletic-looking young man in a military police uniform told us. “I’ve been eating here every day for two years. It’s a good way to save money to buy a house so I can get married,” he said with a smile. </p><p> No one has to prove they’re poor to eat in a People’s Restaurant, although about 85 percent of the diners are. The mixed clientele erases stigma and allows “food with dignity,” say those involved. </p><p> Belo’s food security initiatives also include extensive community and school gardens as well as nutrition classes. Plus, money the federal government contributes toward school lunches, once spent on processed, corporate food, now buys whole food mostly from local growers. </p><p> “We’re fighting the concept that the state is a terrible, incompetent administrator,” Adriana explained. “We’re showing that the state doesn’t have to provide everything, it can facilitate. It can create channels for people to find solutions themselves.” </p><p> For instance, the city, in partnership with a local university, is working to “keep the market honest in part simply by providing information,” Adriana told us. They survey the price of 45 basic foods and household items at dozens of supermarkets, then post the results at bus stops, online, on television and radio, and in newspapers so people know where the cheapest prices are. </p><p> The shift in frame to food as a right also led the Belo hunger-fighters to look for novel solutions. In one successful experiment, egg shells, manioc leaves, and other material normally thrown away were ground and mixed into flour for school kids’ daily bread. This enriched food also goes to nursery school children, who receive three meals a day courtesy of the city. </p><p> “I knew we had so much hunger in the world. But what is so upsetting, what I didn’t know when I started this, is it’s so easy. It’s so easy to end it.” </p><p> <stong> The result of these and other related innovations?</strong> </p><p> In just a decade Belo Horizonte cut its infant death rate—widely used as evidence of hunger—by more than half, and today these initiatives benefit almost 40 percent of the city’s 2.5 million population. One six-month period in 1999 saw infant malnutrition in a sample group reduced by 50 percent. And between 1993 and 2002 Belo Horizonte was the only locality in which consumption of fruits and vegetables went up. </p><p><strong> The cost of these efforts?</strong> </p><p> Around $10 million annually, or less than 2 percent of the city budget. That’s about a penny a day per Belo resident. </p><p> Behind this dramatic, life-saving change is what Adriana calls a “new social mentality”—the realization that “everyone in our city benefits if all of us have access to good food, so—like health care or education—quality food for all is a public good.” </p><p> The Belo experience shows that a right to food does not necessarily mean more public handouts (although in emergencies, of course, it does.) It can mean redefining the “free” in “free market” as the freedom of all to participate. It can mean, as in Belo, building citizen-government partnerships driven by values of inclusion and mutual respect. </p><p> And when imagining food as a right of citizenship, please note: No change in human nature is required! Through most of human evolution—except for the last few thousand of roughly 200,000 years—Homo sapiens lived in societies where pervasive sharing of food was the norm. As food sharers, “especially among unrelated individuals,” humans are unique, writes Michael Gurven, an authority on hunter-gatherer food transfers. Except in times of extreme privation, when some eat, all eat. </p><p> Before leaving Belo, Anna and I had time to reflect a bit with Adriana. We wondered whether she realized that her city may be one of the few in the world taking this approach—food as a right of membership in the human family. So I asked, “When you began, did you realize how important what you are doing was? How much difference it might make? How rare it is in the entire world?” </p><p> Listening to her long response in Portuguese without understanding, I tried to be patient. But when her eyes moistened, I nudged our interpreter. I wanted to know what had touched her emotions. </p><p> “I knew we had so much hunger in the world,” Adriana said. “But what is so upsetting, what I didn’t know when I started this, is it’s so easy. It’s so easy to end it.” </p><p> Adriana’s words have stayed with me. They will forever. They hold perhaps Belo’s greatest lesson: that it is easy to end hunger if we are willing to break free of limiting frames and to see with new eyes—if we trust our hard-wired fellow feeling and act, no longer as mere voters or protesters, for or against government, but as problem-solving partners with government accountable to us.</span></font></p> <div class="x_MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"><font face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Verdana;"> <hr align="center" color="gray" noshade="noshade" size="2" width="100%"> </span></font></div> <table class="x_MsoNormalTable" style="width: 416.25pt;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="555"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 0in; width: 357.75pt;" valign="top" width="477"> <p><b><i><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 8.5pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Frances</span></font></i></b><b><i><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 8.5pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;"> Moore Lappé</span></font></i></b><i><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 8.5pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black; font-style: italic;">&nbsp;wrote this article as part of&nbsp;</span></font></i><b><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 8.5pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black; font-weight: bold;"><a href="redir.aspx?C=291d9100b5994a509115137a9a7b3320&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.yesmagazine.org%2farticle.asp%3fid%3d3271" title="http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?id=3271" target="_blank"><font title="http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?id=3271" color="#a6231b"><span title="http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?id=3271"><span style="color: rgb(166, 35, 27); text-decoration: none;">Food for Everyone</span></span></font></a></span></font></b><i><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 8.5pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black; font-style: italic;">, the Spring 2009 issue of&nbsp;</span></font></i><font color="black" face="Verdana" size="1"><span style="font-size: 8.5pt; font-family: Verdana; color: black;">YES!<i><span style="font-style: italic;">&nbsp;Magazine. Frances is the author of many books including&nbsp;</span></i>Diet for a Small Planet<i><span style="font-style: italic;">&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span></i>Get a Grip<i><span style="font-style: italic;">, co-founder of&nbsp;<a href="redir.aspx?C=291d9100b5994a509115137a9a7b3320&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.foodfirst.org%2f" title="http://www.foodfirst.org/" target="_blank"><font title="http://www.foodfirst.org/" color="#a6231b"><span title="http://www.foodfirst.org/"><span style="color: rgb(166, 35, 27); text-decoration: none;">Food First</span></span></font></a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="redir.aspx?C=291d9100b5994a509115137a9a7b3320&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.smallplanet.org%2f" title="http://www.smallplanet.org/" target="_blank"><font title="http://www.smallplanet.org/" color="#a6231b"><span title="http://www.smallplanet.org/"><span style="color: rgb(166, 35, 27); text-decoration: none;">Small Planet Institute</span></span></font></a>, and a YES! contributing editor.</span> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/end-hunger/news/local-governments-and-citizens-belo-horizonte-brazil-unite-end-hunger-and-bring-real-change-poorest/06/apr/09#comments End Hunger Latin America &amp; the Caribbean English Mon, 06 Apr 2009 15:45:44 +0000 Sebastian Majewski 496 at http://endpoverty2015.org New Portal Shows Status of Millennium Development Goals in Brazilian Municipalities http://endpoverty2015.org/en/latin-america-caribbean/news/new-portal-shows-status-millennium-development-goals-brazilian-municipalities/29/jan/09 <p>Brasília, January 28, 2009 – Brazilians can now monitor the status of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the ‘Portal ODM’ (www.portalodm.org.br), which presents data related to the MDGs in each of the 5,564 Brazilian municipalities.</p> <p>The global launch of the Portal will take place during the World Social Forum, which is being held in Belém, Brazil, from January 27 – February 1. However, the portal can be accessed as of today through www.portalodm.com.br/index.php.</p> <p>The ‘Portal ODM’ permits citizens to monitor the situation in their municipalities so they can participate in the process of implementing public policies. At the same time, the private sector can take advantage of this important tool to help them define social and corporate responsibility actions at the municipal level.</p> <p>The Brazilian <span class="caps">MDG</span> Municipal Portal has indicators for all 5,564 municipalities in the country. These indicators are presented in two formats. First, the Portal offers easy access to data related to each specific municipality. Second, the Portal gives access to a DevInfo database that creates the possibility of generating maps, tables and graphs. The DevInfo database goes beyond the indicators presented in html format, bringing extra information about the Brazilian municipalities. Both combined are an excellent source of information about MDGs at the municipal level in the country.</p> <p>The Portal was developed by <span class="caps">ORBIS</span> (Sustainability Indicators Observatory), a programme conducted by <span class="caps">SESI</span> in Paraná State, the <span class="caps">FIEP</span> system, and the Institute of Development Promotion (<span class="caps">IPD</span>) under the coordination of the United Nations Development Programme (<span class="caps">UNDP</span>), with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (<span class="caps">UNICEF</span>), the We Can Movement of Paraná, the Nucleus of Support to Public Policies (<span class="caps">NAPP</span>), the Ministry of Planning, and the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic.</p> <p><strong>MDGs Evolution</strong></p> <p>A survey conducted with data gathered by the <span class="caps">ODM</span> Portal points to the main advances and challenges faced by recently-elected mayors throughout Brazil. The study was carried out with municipalities grouped according to the proportion of inhabitants living below the poverty line. Some of the findings include:<br /> <ul><br /> <li><em>Malnutrition:</em> in those municipalities with the highest proportion of people living below the poverty line, the percentage of malnourished children (under 2 years of age) fell by 56% between 2000 and 2007, e.g. to 12% in 2000 and 5% in 2007.</li></p> <p><li><em>Poverty: </em> of the 20% of municipalities with the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line, more than 80% are living in the Northeast region. The North represents 12% of those municipalities, despite having only 2% of the Brazilian municipalities. On the other hand, considering the 20% municipalities with the highest poverty percentage, as much as 95% are in the South and Southeast regions.</li></p> <p><li><em>Labour market:</em> Women have larger participation in the formal labour market in the municipalities with the highest proportion of people living below the poverty line than in those with the lowest proportion. 2007 data reveal that in the first group the participation of women is 58 percent, and in the second group it is 39 percent.</li></p> <p><li><em>Child mortality: </em> in the Southeast region, the number of municipalities whose child mortality rate was lower than 15/1,000 live births increased twofold: from 27% in 1996 to 54% in 2006. 62% of the municipalities in the South are in this situation.</li></p> <p><li><em>Pregnant women’s health:</em> over the past eight years, maternal mortality rose by 11% in the municipalities with the highest proportion of people living below the poverty line, and fell by 27% in those with the lowest proportion.</li></p> <p><li><em>Fight against HIV-AIDS:</em> although HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span> has typically disseminated throughout large urban centers, 72% of the municipalities with less than half of the population living in urban areas registered cases between 1990 and 2006.</li></p> <p><li><em>Environment:</em> the municipalities in the North and Northeast regions reported the highest number of episodes impacting the environment during the past 24 months (93% and 94% respectively). 22% of the municipalities in the North and 26% in the Northeast stated that these occurrences did affect the life of the population.</li></p> <p><li><em>Digital inclusion:</em> only 2% of the primary schools and 25% of the secondary schools in the municipalities with the highest proportion of people living below the poverty line have access to the internet. On the other hand, in the municipalities with the lowest proportion, these figures rise to 55% and 81% respectively.</li><br /> </ul></p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/latin-america-caribbean/news/new-portal-shows-status-millennium-development-goals-brazilian-municipalities/29/jan/09#comments Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Global Partnership English Thu, 29 Jan 2009 23:41:46 +0000 Sebastian Majewski 448 at http://endpoverty2015.org 8 Ways to Change the World: Local Authorities Guide http://endpoverty2015.org/en/global-partnership/resource/8-ways-change-world-local-authorities-guide <p><a href="/files/LOCAL_NORTH_SOUTH_19_06_06_WEB2.PDF">Download the Brochure</a> (pdf)</p> <p>Concrete proposals for Local Authorities both from the North and the South to promote the MDGs at the local level.</p> Africa Germany Italy Portugal Spain Arab Region Asia Europe Latin America &amp; the Caribbean North America Oceania Global Partnership English local authorities Tue, 15 Apr 2008 10:12:28 +0000 admin 328 at http://endpoverty2015.org UNFPA Scales Up Efforts to Save Millions of Women http://endpoverty2015.org/en/maternal-health/news/unfpa-scales-efforts-save-millions-women/14/feb/08 <p>Every minute a woman dies due to complications in pregnancy or<br /> childbirth, adding up to half a million women dying every year. Another<br /> 10-15 million women suffer serious or long-lasting illnesses or<br /> disabilities.</p> <p>“No woman should die giving life,” said <a href="http://www.unfpa.org/">UNFPA</a> Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. <br /> “To have a healthy society, you have to have healthy mothers.”</p> <p>In many countries, however, progress in maternal health has been slow.<br /> In some, the situation has actually deteriorated over the last 20 years.<br /> The reason is insufficient political will and inadequate resources, as<br /> women’s health is often pushed off the agenda in favour of other priorities.</p> <p>&#8220;It is critical to invest in women if we are to achieve the <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org">Millennium Development Goals</a><br /> Ms. Obaid. &#8220;We urge countries to dedicate more<br /> resources to improving national health systems, training skilled birth<br /> attendants and promoting family planning. Millions of deaths and<br /> disabilities could be prevented, if every woman had access to<br /> reproductive health services.&#8221;</p> <p>Improving maternal health and reducing maternal deaths are at the heart<br /> of <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org">Millennium Development Goal number 5</a>.</p> <p>The thematic fund, which <a href="http://www.unfpa.org/">UNFPA</a> has established in partnership with governments, United Nations organizations and other international partners, will help countries increase their access and use of quality maternal health services that would reduce maternal deaths and<br /> disabilities. It will also increase the capacity of health systems to<br /> provide a broad range of quality maternal health services, strengthen<br /> mechanisms to reduce health inequities, and empower women to exercise<br /> their right to maternal health.</p> <p>The thematic fund will focus on supporting 75 countries with the<br /> greatest need. The goal is to raise $465 million during 2008-2011</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/maternal-health/news/unfpa-scales-efforts-save-millions-women/14/feb/08#comments Africa Germany Italy Portugal Spain Arab Region Asia Europe Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Maternal Health North America Oceania English maternal health Millennium Development Goals UNFPA Thu, 14 Feb 2008 22:09:24 +0000 262 at http://endpoverty2015.org Stand up speak out - Latin America http://endpoverty2015.org/en/node/208 http://endpoverty2015.org/en/node/208#comments End Hunger Universal Education Gender Equity Child Health Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Maternal Health Combat HIV/AIDS Environmental Sustainability Global Partnership poverty Stand up speak out Fri, 08 Feb 2008 21:41:23 +0000 admin 208 at http://endpoverty2015.org South-South Cooperation Key to MDGs Achievement http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/south-south-cooperation-key-mdgs-achievement/30/dec/07 <p>&#8220;Despite significant progress in the South, the pattern of cooperation has not been commensurate with the comprehensive nature of the commitments contained in the various declarations and other documents on South-South cooperation,&#8221; Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, told <span class="caps">IPS</span>. &#8220;The existing capabilities and capacities in the South have not been adequately acknowledged and utilised,&#8221; he added.</p> <p>For its part, the government of Qatar has been very active in promoting South-South cooperation. Most recently, the High Level Meeting on Oil and Gas Development was hosted by Qatar and held in Doha from Sep. 8-10, 2007. The meeting brought together senior officials from 42 countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and from United Nations agencies and international organisations with the objective of sharing experiences among the petroleum-exporting countries of the South.</p> <p>In June 2005, the government of Qatar hosted the Second South Summit, a meeting of world leaders from the 132 developing nations, who discussed strengthening their partnership.</p> <p>Al-Nasser currently serves as the president of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. <span class="caps">IPS</span> U.N. correspondent Mithre J. Sandrasagra recently interviewed Al-Nasser:</p> <p>IPS: Why is South-South cooperation increasingly important to the world’s developing nations? Can South-South cooperation be viewed from a development angle rather than a political angle?</p> <p>Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser: South-South Cooperation derives its importance from the fact that sustained economic growth since the late 1980s has led an increasing number of developing countries to become regional centres of economic dynamism.</p> <p>Such importance also stems from the fact that the countries of the South can work together in solidarity to secure and share in gains from the emerging new international trade geography, and design and implement strategies to ensure that the dynamism evident in the new geography of international economic relations is sustained and has a positive multiplier effect throughout the South.</p> <p>IPS: Are there any trends indicating significant growth in trade and investments among countries of the global South?</p> <p>NAAN: The volume of trade among the countries of the South, according to 2004 statistics, has grown significantly to make up 26 percent of developing countries’ exports for that year. It is estimated that the rate has grown during 2005 to 43 percent. Moreover, the 1990s witnessed a faster growth in the South-South foreign direct investment flows than North-South flows. Apparently, the causative factor behind this was the large accumulation of financial surpluses by many developing countries through trade.</p> <p>IPS: One of the key elements of enhancing South-South cooperation is the sharing of experience and expertise. Could you share some of the successes or best practices learned during the recent High-Level meeting Qatar hosted to enable current petroleum-exporting countries share their knowledge and experience with emerging and potential oil and gas-producing nations?</p> <p>NAAN: The objective of the meeting was to share experiences and lessons learned in efficient and effective development and management of the petroleum sector, which is of crucial importance to the economies of the countries of the South in their quest for economic and social advancement, including achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Much discussion focused on ways in which existing oil- and gas-producing countries can help countries which are emerging producers to strengthen their capacities in the sector. Countries held various bilateral discussions. Some existing oil and gas producers offered to welcome emerging producers on study tours in order to share experiences on specific issues or approaches to hydrocarbon management and broader policy requirements.</p> <p>IPS: Can South-South cooperation help developing countries meet targets set by the U.N.’s MDGs, including the eradication of poverty and hunger, and the fight against HIV/AIDS?</p> <p>NAAN: South-South Cooperation is the vehicle to accelerate development as it fosters partnerships among the middle income developing countries and least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing states and countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with the view to increasing volume and rate of South-South exchanges in trade, finance, technology exchange and development enterprises. This approach will help accelerate development, thus assisting developing countries to achieve the MDGs, including halving poverty by 2015, as well as combating hunger and fighting HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span>.</p> <p>IPS: During the Second South Summit in 2005 His Highness Sheik Hamad Khalifa Al-Thani launched the South Fund for Development and Humanitarian Circumstances to address problems of hunger, poverty, and human catastrophes. Could you tell us what the status of the Fund is now?</p> <p>NAAN: The proposed agreement on the establishment and operationalisation of the Fund was transmitted to the Group of 77 and China in 2005. Since that time, it has been the subject of review… Many valuable comments were made and pertinent amendments to the original proposal were introduced. Nevertheless, there still remain a few points to agree upon. These points are currently under active discussions between the Group and the Qatari authorities. Once a final agreement on these points is reached, the Fund will be operationalised, without any further delay.</p> <p>IPS: The GA High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation has called upon the U.N. to mainstream South-South cooperation as a crosscutting issue at the heart of the development agenda and within its regular programmes. How is Qatar helping with this process?</p> <p>NAAN: Qatar has proved, throughout its membership in the United Nations, to be a serious member which discharges its obligations responsibly. It has unfailingly strived to live up to the ideals of the United Nations. As such, and as an active player in the international arena, it will spare no effort to help the United Nations to achieve its objectives in these areas.</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/south-south-cooperation-key-mdgs-achievement/30/dec/07#comments Africa Arab Region Asia Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Global Partnership Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser Qatar Role of Southern Countries south-south cooperation Sun, 30 Dec 2007 16:02:00 +0000 admin 171 at http://endpoverty2015.org At UN conference, small island countries seek action on climate change http://endpoverty2015.org/en/latin-america-caribbeannews/un-conference-small-island-countries-seek-action-climate-change/09/dec/0 <p>Small island States today called on industrialized countries to take a leadership role at the Bali Climate Change Conference and adopt targets to keep the world from warming past the point where catastrophic impacts would occur.</p> <p>“No island should be left behind,” said Angus Friday of Grenada, the Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States. These vulnerable countries, he said, are already feeling the impact of climate change in the form of more hurricanes, cyclone and typhoons.</p> <p>Grenada, once deemed to be safe from hurricanes, has been devastated twice in the last seven years causing damage that amounted to 200 per cent of the country&#8217;s gross domestic product, he said. Countries such as the Maldives were already spending considerable sums on adaptation efforts, which include building 14 “safe islands,” he added, calling for the Bali meeting to support the launch of an adaptation fund.</p> <p>The conference ended its first week with negotiations in full swing on key issues. According to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Convention, Bali has to deliver on several issues of importance to developing countries, including adaptation, transfer of climate friendly technology, strengthened capacity building and progress on reducing emissions due to deforestation. In addition, he said, Bali needs to launch a process beyond 2012 when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires.</p> <p>The negotiations, Mr. de Boer said, seemed to be progressing well on a number of fronts. With Rajendra Pachauri formally presenting the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the Conference yesterday, Mr. de Boer said he believes the message of the report is “loud and clear” and that is to “act now.”</p> <p>Today was also &#8216;Forest Day&#8217; in Bali, a day-long event by the Center for International Research on Forests to help inform the Climate Change Conference process on deforestation issues. Deforestation in developing countries causes roughly 20 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p>The Bali Conference is presently discussing methods to design a comprehensive plan to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries that may include assessments in changes in forest cover, how to demonstrate reductions in deforestation emissions, and how to estimate the amount of emission reduction.</p> <p>“These are very important first steps for fighting emissions from deforestation,” Mr. de Boer told the Forest Day meeting. “They will provide a good basis for further action.”</p> <p>He pointed out that forests worldwide contain more than the amount of carbon in the entire atmosphere. “Cutting them down immediately releases carbon stored in the forest carbon pools as CO2 emissions.”</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/latin-america-caribbeannews/un-conference-small-island-countries-seek-action-climate-change/09/dec/0#comments Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Environmental Sustainability Oceania Bali climate change small island states Sun, 09 Dec 2007 05:47:22 +0000 admin 154 at http://endpoverty2015.org Revised UN estimates show over 33 million people worldwide living with HIV http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/revised-un-estimates-show-over-33-million-people-worldwide-living-hiv/20/nov/07 <p>A new report released today by two United Nations agencies puts the number of people living with <span class="caps">HIV</span> at about 33.2 million, down from last year’s estimate of 39.5 million, attributing the decrease to more accurate data collection and analysis.</p> <p>The new data show global <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence, or the percentage of people living with <span class="caps">HIV</span>, has levelled off and that the number of new infections has also fallen, thanks in part to global <span class="caps">HIV</span> programmes. In addition to the 33.2 million people estimated to be living with <span class="caps">HIV</span> in 2007, 2.5 million people have become newly infected and 2.1 million people have died of <span class="caps">AIDS</span>.</p> <p>The findings were presented by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span> (<span class="caps">UNAIDS</span>) and the World Health Organization (<span class="caps">WHO</span>) in their report, 2007 <span class="caps">AIDS</span> Epidemic Update.</p> <p>“These improved data present us with a clearer picture of the <span class="caps">AIDS</span> epidemic, one that reveals both challenges and opportunities,” said <span class="caps">UNAIDS</span> Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot.</p> <p>“Unquestionably, we are beginning to see a return on investment – new <span class="caps">HIV</span> infections and mortality are declining and the prevalence of <span class="caps">HIV</span> levelling. But with more than 6,800 new infections and over 5,700 deaths each day due to <span class="caps">AIDS</span> we must expand our efforts in order to significantly reduce the impact of <span class="caps">AIDS</span> worldwide.”</p> <p>The findings also show that <span class="caps">AIDS</span> is among the leading causes of death globally and remains the primary cause of death in Africa.</p> <p>According to the data, there were an estimated 1.7 million new <span class="caps">HIV</span> infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007. While that represents a significant decrease from 2001, the region remains the most severely affected.</p> <p>The report shows that an estimated 22.5 million people living with <span class="caps">HIV</span> – or 68 per cent of the global total – are in sub-Saharan Africa. Eight countries in this region now account for almost one-third of all new <span class="caps">HIV</span> infections and <span class="caps">AIDS</span> deaths globally.</p> <p>The two agencies cite an “intensive reassessment” of the epidemic in India as the primary reason for the reduction in global <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence figures in the past year. The revised estimates for India, combined with important revisions of estimates in five sub-Saharan African countries (Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe) account for 70 per cent of the reduction in <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence as compared to last year.</p> <p>Paul De Lay, Director of Evidence Monitoring and Policy at <span class="caps">UNAIDS</span>, told reporters that the report shows that overall global declines are partly attributed to strong treatment and prevention programmes.</p> <p>“Data from countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand are showing that there are behavioural data that supports this epidemiologic data,” he told a press briefing in New York via video-link from Geneva. “It is encouraging that we’re seeing returns on the investments made in many parts of the world.”</p> <p>The UN Population Fund (<span class="caps">UNFPA</span>) agreed, stating in a press release that the new numbers show that investments in prevention programmes are clearly working.</p> <p>“This new report of <span class="caps">UNAIDS</span> communicates what we have know for many years – namely, prevention works,” said Steve Kraus, Chief UNFPA’s HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span> Branch. “Young people, when provided with accurate and comprehensive information, education and services postpone sexual debut, reduce the number of sex partners, and ensure the use of condoms.”</p> <p>The Fund adds that so far, the new data also suggests that <span class="caps">HIV</span> transmission among young people is declining in nine countries – Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Haiti, Malawi, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These trends, combined with evidence of significant declines in <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence among young pregnant women in urban and or rural areas from five countries (Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe) indicate that <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevention efforts are having a significant impact in some of the worst affected countries.</p> <p>“We are seeing a return on investments made in the past several years,” stated Mr. Kraus. “We need to continue these investments, knowing that universal access to sexual and reproductive health allows countries and communities to scale up <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevention services and help make the money work.”</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/revised-un-estimates-show-over-33-million-people-worldwide-living-hiv/20/nov/07#comments Africa Arab Region Asia Europe Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Combat HIV/AIDS HIV/Aids UNAIDS UNFPA WHO Tue, 20 Nov 2007 16:25:31 +0000 admin 144 at http://endpoverty2015.org