UN CALLING ASIA: South Asia faces huge challenges to end open defecation

Sapa, Viet Nam – Rice fields in a hill tribe village. Kibae Park/UN Photo

South Asia faces huge challenges to end open defecation

2.5 billion people don’t have access to adequate sanitation and just over one billion still practice open defecation—that's according to the latest United Nations estimates.   Girish Menon from Water Aid, a London-based non-governmental organization, says that to some it is hard to imagine a world where this basic service is not available.   But numbers clearly show that many people live their lives without access to water and sanitation facilities.   In fact, 6 million people in India still defecate in the open.   Mr. Menon spoke to UN Radio’s Derrick Mbatha about the situation of water, sanitation and sustainable energy in Asia.

550 million people food insecure in Asia-Pacific region

A woman farmer harvesting beans, Sri Lanka. FAO@PHOTO

The Asia and Pacific region needs to improve its methods of food production or face significant food security problems within the next generation according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO).   The Millennium Development Goal of reducing global hunger by half by 2015 is on course to be met across the region.   But there are still over 550 million hungry people; that’s more than in all the other regions of the world combined.   Officials from 40 countries in Asia and the Pacific met in Mongolia this month to discuss how to improve food security.   Sandra Ferrari asked David Dawe a Senior Economist at the FAO in Bangkok about the challenges countries face.

UN nuclear agency involves public in tackling nuclear emergencies

A woman farmer harvesting beans, Sri Lanka. FAO@PHOTO

After the Fukushima Daiichi Accident in 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, initiated a series of meetings on preparing and dealing with nuclear incidents and emergencies.   Radiation Protection and improving public involvement was the focus at the most recent meeting last February.   To tackle nuclear agencies, experts discussed a unique approach of involving more young professionals from the nuclear field.   Steve Thachet filed this report from the IAEA.

Presenter:  Stephanie Coutrix
Production Assistant:  Beng Poblete-Enriquez
Duration: 10’00″


Filed under UN Calling Asia.
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