Firefighting approach to humanitarian aid not sustainable Deputy UN chief

Although the international humanitarian system is more effective than ever, poverty, climate change and other challenges are leaving multitudes vulnerable to the devastating impacts of war and natural disaster, according to the UN humanitarian coordination office OCHA.Speaking at the seventh annual Global Humanitarian Policy Forum, organized by OCHA, Ms. Mohammed spotlighted that Yemen remains on the brink of famine, Ebola is resurgent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and “some two billion people still lack safe drinking water – more than a quarter of the world.”“Global hunger has increased for a third consecutive year,” she continued. “Almost one-in-nine people suffer from hunger.” Noting that some 132 million people, mostly women and girls, will need aid and protection in 42 countries around the world, she commended generous donors and humanitarian workers, but stated: “We should be trying to prevent these crises from happening in the first place, rather than helping people to survive them once they erupt.”“We need political solutions; and we need to invest in sustainable development to resolve and prevent crises – of all kinds”, maintained the deputy UN chief.Under the theme “Solutions for Humanity: Creating opportunities for those furthest behind”, the forum is assessing the current humanitarian landscape to identify concrete approaches to challenges, such as compliance, financing and humanitarian-development collaboration.Ms. Mohammed called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “our blueprint” for long-term investment in resilient States and “our best tool” to prevent and overcome existing crises.She reminded everyone that the sustainable development goals (SDGs) represent a universal commitment to tackle root causes of crises, often generated by struggles over resources, issues of inequality and exclusion, unmet aspirations, and ethnic and religious divisions.According to Ms. Mohammed, children suffer the most in humanitarian crises, saying that in countries affected by emergencies, they often lose their homes, family members, friends, and sense of security and normal routine. “But without access to education, they are also at risk of losing their futures,” she added.,Pointing out that 60 per cent of preventable maternal deaths occur in crisis zones, and that girls are more than twice as likely as boys to be out of school there, she maintained that “implementing the SDGs is first and foremost about saving and improving the lives of people and preventing suffering.”“We also need to walk the talk by investing in women’s participation and gender equality,” she continued, highlighting that this effectively bolsters humanitarian aid programmes,,By the end of 2017 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced, from 59.5 million in 2014. Food insecurity escalated from 108 million in 2016 to an estimated 124 million. The average humanitarian appeal lasted seven years compared to four in 2005.,“Yet less than two per cent of our humanitarian aid goes to meeting this goal,” she lamented. “This must change.” She also cited the recent UN-World Bank study, Pathways for Peace, which estimated that conflict prevention could save some $34 billion in economic damage, annually.The deputy chief encouraged everyone present to think about innovative solutions and partnerships that could help address the challenges “that hinder our ability to prevent and exit existing crises while we continue to save lives and to do this at scale.”“Those furthest behind need and deserve opportunities and hope of a better future,” she concluded. read more

Russia will build missiles if US leaves treaty Putin warns

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedU.S. Russia in outright conflictOctober 13, 2016In “World”US-Russian spat over bombers landing in VenezuelaDecember 11, 2018In “World”Putin sworn in for fourth term as Russia presidentMay 7, 2018In “World” Russian President Vladimir Putin said the accusation was a pretext for the US to leave the treaty (EPA image)BBC– Russia will develop missiles banned under a Cold War agreement if the US exits the pact, President Vladimir Putin has warned.His comments follow Nato’s accusation on Tuesday that Russia has already broken the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.Signed in 1987 by the US and USSR, it banned both countries’ use of all short and medium-range missiles.But Mr Putin says the accusation is a pretext for the US to leave the pact.In televised comments, the Russian leader said many other countries had developed weapons banned under the INF treaty.“Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that [they] must also have such a weapon,” he said.“What’s our response? It’s simple – in that case we will also do this.”US President Donald Trump has previously said the country would leave the treaty because of Russian actions.Analysts say Russia sees the weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces.What has Nato said?On Tuesday, the Western military alliance formally accused Russia of breaking the treaty.“Allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security,” the Nato foreign ministers’ statement read.The statement said the member nations “strongly support” the US claim that Russia is in breach of the pact, and called on Moscow to “return urgently to full and verifiable compliance”.Speaking after the release of Nato’s statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia had 60 days to return to compliance with the treaty, after which time the US would suspend its own compliance.“During this 60 days we will still not test or produce or deploy any systems, and we’ll see what happens during this 60-day period,” he said.Russia has repeatedly denied breaking the Cold War treaty.In 2014, then US President Barack Obama accused Russia of breaching the INF Treaty after it allegedly tested a ground-launched cruise missile.He reportedly chose not to withdraw from the treaty under pressure from European leaders, who said such a move could restart an arms race.The last time the US withdrew from a major arms treaty was in 2002, when President George W Bush pulled the US out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned weapons designed to counter ballistic nuclear missiles.His administration’s move to set up a missile shield in Europe alarmed the Kremlin, and was scrapped by the Obama administration in 2009. It was replaced by a modified defence system in 2016. read more