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On this day December 10, 1948

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Palais de Chaillot, Paris.

Eleanor Roosevelt showing the Spanish version

Eleanor Roosevelt showing the Spanish version

The Guinness Book of Records describes the UDHR as the “Most Translated Document” in the world. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.

It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. Read More…

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1.8 million died of tuberculosis in 2008

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that over the last fifteen years, some 36 million people have been cured of tuberculosis, and about 8-million tuberculosis cases have been avoided.

The information is contained in the WHO’s 2009 Global Tuberculosis Control Report Update. The Direct Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) strategy was given credit for the success.

The report added, however, that millions of people still do not have access to high quality tuberculosis care. The disease is second only to HIV/AIDS in the number of people it kills each year. About 1.8 million died of tuberculosis in 2008. Read More…

1 Billion hungry people in World

The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) said today that for the first time in history, the number of hungry people worldwide will exceed one billion.

The huge number of people facing food insecurity has prompted the UN organization to appeal to individuals for the first time. The WFP launched the Billion for a Billion online campaign today, in an effort to get one billion people living in the developed world to give one euro (US$1.50) a week to the campaign.

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran commented that donor governments have supported WFP efforts in the past, but they cannot be expected to do so anymore because of the financial pressure they are facing in the worldwide economic downturn. She said that the WFP was projected to make only $3.7 billion in donations, about half of the $6.7 billion it had targeted for 2009. Read More…

UN hold first World Humanitarian Day

The inaugural World Humanitarian Day is in part dedicated to the memory of all those aid workers who have lost their lives while bringing assistance to others, the majority of them from the communities they are trying to help.

The UN hopes the event will focus attention on aid workers and increase support for their role. Aid staff are working in increasingly dangerous environments and are frequently targets of attacks, it says.

Last year 122 international aid workers were killed, a death toll that was higher than that for UN peacekeeping troops. Read More…

Number of hungry worldwide tops 1bn

The number of hungry people in the world is projected to reach an all-time high of 1.02 billion this year, according to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Food Insecurity in the World

Food Insecurity in the World

The report blames this latest spike in world hunger chiefly on the global economic recession, which has increased unemployment and reduced incomes among the poor, leading to greater food insecurity.

The report, published on Friday, estimates that over 1 billion people will go hungry each day in 2009, a first in human history. Read More…

WHO declares global swine flu pandemic

After holding an emergency meeting, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared a worldwide swine flu pandemic on Thursday. The agency increased its pandemic alert level to the sixth level, its highest.

“On the basis of available evidence, and these expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic have been met. I have therefore decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6,” said the the WHO’s director Margaret Chan in a press conference earlier today. Read More…