News in Brief 26 November 2015 (AM)

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Climate change has serious implications for agriculture and food security. Photo: FAO/L. Dematteis

US$16 billion climate plan unveiled for Africa

A new plan that calls for US$16 billion in funding to help Africa adapt to climate change and build up the continent's resilience to climate shocks has been unveiled by the World Bank.

The Bank will present the Africa Climate Business Plan at the global climate talks which begin in Paris, France on Monday.

Here's Jamal Saghir, Senior Regional Adviser for Africa.

"This plan is ambitious. This plan will have to reverse the way we do business. So far, around 3 billion dollars of investment are done for adaptation to climate change in Africa. We believe we have to go to an investment program of around 16 billion dollars for the next few years, to be able to address this issue more seriously."

Developing world agriculture sector hit by natural disasters

Nearly a quarter of damages caused by natural disasters on the developing world are borne by the agricultural sector; that's according to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The study is based on an analysis of 78 disasters in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Pacific, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean between 2003 and 2013.

Alexander Jones is from FAO.

"The frequency and severity of disasters that are triggered by natural hazards has continued to increase over three decades. Their economic cost has also tended to increase. Twenty-two per cent of all the damage and loss caused by these disasters in developing countries in the last decade fell on the agriculture sector."

Afghan heroin and opium trafficked through Balkans valued at US$28bn

The total value of illicit heroin and opium trafficked from Afghanistan to Western Europe through the Balkans amounts to some US$28 billion every year. That's according to a new report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The report, entitled Drug Money: the illicit proceeds of opiates trafficked on the Balkan route, shows that the total value generated by Afghan heroin and opium in Europe is one third bigger than the entire gross domestic product or GDP of Afghanistan itself.

The four largest European markets for heroin are France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy.

The report also shows Iran and Turkey as the two countries which intercept the highest percentage of heroin and opium destined for Europe.

Iran seizes about 30 per cent of the 155 tons of heroin and opium entering its territory every year, while Turkey seizes 17 per cent.

"No improvement" in human rights situation in North Korea

The human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea shows no signs of improvement, according to a UN independent expert.

Marzuki Darusman said crimes against humanity documented two years ago "appear to continue."

Those crimes detailed in the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry, include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, sexual violence, political violence, abductions and deliberate starvation.

Mr Darusman has just returned from a 5-day visit to neighbouring South Korea.

He was unable to enter North Korea.

He's due to brief the Geneva-based Council in March next year.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 3’26″

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