News in Brief 13 February 2016 (PM)

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Members of an Indian farmers group measure local groundwater levels at an observation well. Photo: FAO/Noah Seelam

Help small farmers adapt to climate change: FAO

Agriculture holds the key to eradicating poverty and hunger in addition to helping keep climatic conditions stable, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The UN agency is urging greater support for small farmers in developing countries to help them adapt to rising temperatures, as the world strives towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking on Monday at the World Government Summit in Dubai, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva warned that failure to act now will "seriously compromise" food production in many regions and could hamper global efforts to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030.

He said although innovative approaches to improve farming exist, these farmers face "major barriers" such as lack of access to credit, knowledge and information.

"Adaptation to climate change makes economic sense," he stated, adding that the benefits "are much bigger than the costs."

Blue helmets reinforce presence near town in eastern CAR

Peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been deployed to an area near Bambari after halting the advance of a rebel coalition on the eastern town this past weekend.

The blue helmets are serving at the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA, whose chief mandate is to protect civilians.

MINUSCA has urged the rebel group, known as the FPRC, and its rival, known as the UPC, to immediately cease hostilities.

UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq has more:

"On Saturday, members of the coalition led by the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique were approaching Bambari, increasing the threat of violent clashes in the town.  The UN mission had no other choice but to stop the advance of the group and the threat it posed, and a helicopter from the UN mission intervened. The mission reports today that UN peacekeepers established a temporary operating base at Tagbara bridge to prevent further movement of the FPRC coalition towards Bambari. Peacekeepers, including special forces, were also deployed to the area. The UN mission reiterates its call to both the Mouvement pour l'Unité et la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) and the FPRC coalition to immediately cease hostilities and to resolve this dispute through dialogue."

Condemnation for "heinous and cowardly attack" at DRC hospital

A recent deadly attack at a hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been condemned by the UN humanitarian affairs agency, OCHA.

The incident occurred last Thursday (9 February) following intercommunal clashes in Mbayo, located in Manono Territory, Tanganyika Province.

Militiamen entered a nearby hospital, killing a patient and his wife.  Medical staff also were also assaulted, the agency reported.

OCHA has strongly condemned what it called "this heinous and cowardly attack," recalling that health facilities and medical staff are neutral and impartial and must be protected at all times.

"Failure to comply with this basic norm would deprive thousands of people from medical assistance that is often vital," the agency stated.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3’06″


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