News in Brief 20 April 2016 (PM)

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Significant humanitarian needs remain in Fiji two months after cyclone

An enormous disaster response is still underway and the humanitarian needs remain significant two months after a cyclone hit the Pacific island nation of Fiji, the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, has said.

The cyclone and a massive storm surge on 20 and 21 February, killed more than 40 people, damaged or destroyed over 31,000 houses and wiped out life-sustaining food crops.

Humanitarian efforts must continue, the agency insists, even as longer-term recovery and reconstruction efforts begin.

Fiji's Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu, shared some of the programmes in place aimed at supporting the affected populations, like "Adopt a School" and "Helpful Homes Initiative."

"In rural communities in Fiji, the vast majority of Fijians are accustomed to building their own homes. The initiative gives them the hardware materials and knowledge to "build back better" and stronger than before. Households that have sustained damage to their homes will be given pre-paid credit electronic cards which can be used at select hardware retailers to select material to begin the rebuilding process."

The amount of money loaded on the card will depend on the extent of damage to the homes, he added.

The programme, estimated at US$ 70million, is designed to help low-income Fijian families who do not have the means to finance repairs on their own.

UN urges restraint following clashes in East Darfur

The hybrid UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has called for restraint following a recent outbreak of violence in the Sudanese region of East Darfur.

The outburst culminated in an attack on the residence of the Governor, commonly referred to as the "Wali" in the city of El Daien.

The Mission called on all parties involved in these "unfortunate" events to refrain from acts that could further aggravate the situation.

Usain Bolt, face of a vaccination week campaign in the Americas

Six-time Olympic gold medallist and 11-time world champion sprinter, Usain Bolt, is lending his face and voice to a campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

PAHO, a specialized international health agency for the Americas, also serves as a regional office for the World Health Organization (WHO).

Using slogans like "Go for the Gold – get vaccinated!" the Jamaican track superstar also known as the "world's fastest man" is helping to promote Vaccination Week which kicks off on 23 April.

Countries throughout the Americas celebrate the Week each year with activities focused on reaching populations who lack regular access to health services.

Vaccines do not make people sick, PAHO explains, but boost the power of a person's immune system and prepare the body to fight off disease when exposed to infectious agents in the future.

Duration: 3’02″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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