Bloomberg: UN’s Ban Announces ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ to End Malnutrition – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a “Zero Hunger Challenge” to rid the world of malnutrition. Ban said that “in a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry,” and said he wanted to see an end to hunger within his lifetime. Ban went on to say that “ending hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and help protect the environment, as well as foster peace and stability.” (Rudy Reuitenberg)
Washington Post: Opinion: In Liberia, U.S. aid is a matter of life or death – Following a decade of civil war, Liberia is on the mend, but as other African nations “were reducing child mortality, Liberia regressed . . . and more than one in 10 children die before their fifth birthday.” Two of the largest killers of children are pneumonia and diarrhea – conditions that are preventable by existing vaccines. In addition, malaria nets and proper treatment against the mother to child transmission of aids can reduce child mortality rates. Combine these approaches, and you will see results like in Senegal, Kenya and Rwanda, where reductions in child mortality are running at more than 8 percent a year. (Michael Gerson)
VOA: Zimbabwe MPs Take HIV Tests to Fight Stigma – More than 60 lawmakers in Zimbabwe went to voluntary HIV tests on Thursday in an effort to break down the stigma about HIV/AIDS in their country. On Friday, several “male members of parliament are expected to be circumcised as the country intensifies efforts to combat HIV and AIDS.” The United Nations has reported that the HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe has declined from 29 percent to 13 percent in the past decade. (Sebastian Mhofu)
Reuters: Refugees Accuse Sudan of Scorched-Earth Offensive – Refugees report that Sudan’s armed forces are attacking villages in the Blue Nile border state in a “counter-insurgency campaign that rights activists say could include war crimes.” Aid agencies now “fear a humanitarian disaster in Blue Nile and in South Kordofan, another border state, as food stocks dwindle.” Refugees in the Blue Nile region now number close to 100,000 and many are dying of malnutrition and dehydration.