Friday, 25 April 2014

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Major initiatives launched on the margins of GA

 Women lag far behind men in access to land, credit and decent jobs. Photo: UN WomenThe United Nations Headquarters in New York buzzed  with activities yesterday 27 September during the General Debate of world leaders this week which are by no means confined to the podium in the General Assembly.

Several important inititiative were launched and discussed on the margins of the General Assembly.

Here are some examples:

HELP SYRIAN REFUGESS: The United Nations and its humanitarian partners issued a revised appeal for nearly $488 million to assist the rapidly increasing numbers of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

While an earlier appeal launched in March projected an estimated 100,000 Syrians becoming refugees by the end of 2012, today’s appeal estimates that there may be up to 700,000 Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries by the end of the year, UNHCR says.

EMPOWER RURAL WOMEN: The UN launched a five year programme to empower poor rural women through economic integration and food security initiatives.

It will focus on improving food and nutrition security, increasing rural women’s incomes, enhancing leadership and participation in rural institutions, and creating a more responsive policy environment at national and international levels.

“When women are empowered and can claim their rights and access to land, leadership, opportunities and choices, economies grow, food security is enhanced and prospects are improved for current and future generations,” said Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

FIGHT UNDER NUTRITION: High-level political and private sector officials today met in New York to fight childhood and maternal under-nutrition with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praising the progress made so far, while stressing the importance of continuing to boost efforts on this front.

Mr. Ban praised the progress made by the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, which has been joined by 30 countries – including newest members Burundi and Kenya – which are home to 56 million children suffering from stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition.

The SUN Movement focuses on the critical 1,000-day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday, when proper nutrition can mean the difference between health and sickness, life and death. Poor nutrition during this period can lead to stunted growth and impaired cognitive development, among other consequences.

The initiative seeks to integrate various sectors of society to improve nutrition and involves farmers’ cooperatives, consumer associations, local and multinational businesses, health professionals, educators, lawyers, religious groups, human rights activists, development workers and politicians.

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