News in Brief 15 December 2016 (PM)

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Drone taking off for Kamuzu Central Hospital. UNICEF and Government of Malawi test the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to reduce waiting times of infant HIV tests. Photo: UNICEF/Khonje

First humanitarian drone testing corridor launched in Malawi

An air corridor in Malawi has been established as the first location to test potential humanitarian use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) also known as drones, according to the UN's Children Fund, UNICEF.

The UN agency is working with the Malawi government to use the drones to deliver aid during emergencies such as droughts and flooding.

The corridor will run for a maximum distance of 40 km and become fully operational by April 2017.

Testing will focus on three main areas: imagery, connectivity and transport, such as for delivery of medical supplies.

World's Least Developed Countries "caught in poverty trap"

The world's most vulnerable countries will face increasing levels of poverty and lose economic ground without stronger global support, a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has found.

The proportion of the global poor in those countries has more than doubled since 1990, to well over 40 per cent.

There are currently 48 low-income countries designated by the UN as "least developed countries" or LCDs.

They represented the poorest and the weakest segment of the international community and have exclusive access to specific international support in areas of trade, development assistance and general support.

UNCTAD chief economist, Rolf Traeger, noted that the world economy is going through a prolonged period of slow growth and international trade has been stagnant for 5 years.

"So, these countries need to find new sources of growth, particularly in terms of the domestic market but also by strengthening their efforts in regional integration. Be it in the case of Africa or in the case of Asia."

Many of these countries are stuck in poverty, where the only way out is with finance, trade and technology support.

EU donates over US $1 million to assist families in Lake Chad Basin

The European Union (EU) has donated over US $1 million to the UN's food agency, WFP, to support families in Africa's Lake Chad basin.

More than 12,500 people will receive emergency relief.

This contribution brings the EU's financial support to WFP in that region to more than US $4.6 million.

The region, which includes Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, has been suffering dramatically from insecurity and malnutrition rates are near emergency threshold.

Massive population displacement has also contributed to a deterioration of the food and nutritional situation.

Andita Listyarini, United Nations.

Duration: 2’36″

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