- UN humanitarian staff said on Monday that access for aid deliveries in Ethiopia's Tigray region is improving since the cessation of hostilities, but is still not up to what is needed.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it has seen "some gradual but tangible improvements in access" since the signing of the November 2 agreement between the Tigray Popular Front for the Liberation and the federal government.
Since the middle of the month, relief deliveries began moving to the northernmost region of Tigray, including the regional capital of Mekelle, along the Semera and Kombolcha corridors and to other parts of Tigray along the Gondar corridor in the Amhara region, the office said.
Additionally, OCHA said UN Humanitarian Air Service flights for staff have resumed for Mekelle and Shire.
However, the more than 450 trucks carrying government, UN and non-governmental organization aid to Tigray between November 15 and 24 are far from what is needed to receive aid in the area, OCHA said. Most of the trucks were carrying food aid and medical and agricultural supplies. Some fuel and cash were brought.
"More than 5 million people are in need of food assistance and approximately 30 percent of children face acute malnutrition," the office said. "It is critical to sustain and build on these movements to ensure that food and other necessary items can reach all those in need."
The office said access to most of the neighboring Amhara and Afar areas had also improved in recent weeks.
"We, together with our partners, are providing food and other assistance, including to displaced people and those who have returned," OCHA said. "We need to be able to scale up our work to help everyone in need."
The fighting in Tigray lasted almost two years. Now Ethiopia is in a historic drought.
In addition, the office said that the Bale area of the Oromia region and the Liban area of the Somali region are experiencing a cholera outbreak with nearly 500 people affected, including 20 deaths. Hundreds of thousands more remain at risk.
"We, together with our partners, are providing assistance in health, water and sanitation," OCHA said. "The conflict in western Oromia also continues to drive people from their homes and has hampered our ability to provide aid." ■
- Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon, announced Monday that it will be water positive (water+) by 2030, returning more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations.
The company also announced its 2021 global water use efficiency (WUE) metric of 0.25 liters of water per kilowatt-hour. As part of this new commitment, AWS will report annually on its WUE metric, new water reuse and recycling efforts, new activities to reduce water use at its facilities, and progress on new and existing replenishment projects.
"Water scarcity is a significant problem around the world and with today's positive water announcement, we are committed to doing our part to help solve this rapidly growing challenge," said Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS.
AWS has been driving four key strategies to become water+ by 2030: improving water efficiency, using sustainable water sources, returning water for community reuse and supporting water replenishment projects, the company said. ■
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for action in three areas to prevent the biological weapons disaster.
Guterres made the appeal in a video message to the participants of the Ninth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva.
The first area of action is to strengthen the convention's accountability provisions to ensure that scientific advances are not exploited for hostile purposes, Guterres said. "Let us ensure that science and technology are used for the benefit of humanity, not for its destruction, and that peace remains at the center of all scientific development and cooperation."
Second, update your thinking about verification and compliance to fit today's threats. The world has changed dramatically in the last five decades. The convention should change with that, he said.
Third, give the convention the increased financial and human resources it needs to carry out this important work, Guterres said.
"The world generously supports global regimes against chemical weapons and nuclear proliferation. We should do the same for biological weapons with a significant increase in the convention budget," he said. "Now is the time to close all avenues for the development and use of these weapons."
Fifty years ago, when the Biological Weapons Convention was open for signature, the world community came together and declared the deliberate use of disease as a weapon an affront to humanity. The convention affirms the conscience of humanity, Guterres said.
"The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. Now imagine a different kind of disease, one that is deliberately engineered and can spread through the world's population even faster," he said. “Biological weapons are not the stuff of science fiction. They are a clear and present danger. That is why strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention is more important than ever." ■
- Argentina registered its first death from monkeypox of an adult man with underlying pathologies, the Ministry of Health announced on Monday.
In a bulletin, the ministry said the 44-year-old man "had been in intensive care on a ventilator since October 9," adding that he had risk factors for HIV/AIDS.
Until November 22, the South American country accumulated 895 cases of monkeypox, a weekly increase of 3.46 percent, according to official data.
More than 66.4 percent of the confirmed cases were registered in the city of Buenos Aires, which together with the provinces of Buenos Aires and Córdoba concentrated 94.9 percent of the national infections, the bulletin reported.
Meanwhile, infections have been registered in 15 of the country's 24 provinces since the first case was detected on May 27, while the average age of reported cases was 35 years, with a range of 10 to 78 years.
The Argentine Ministry of Health installed a work team for surveillance and specific recommendations for health teams and the population after the first cases of the disease were reported in non-endemic countries. ■
- The "Sound of the Classics" concert was held Monday night in Paris to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China Cultural Center in Paris.
During the concert, Chinese and foreign artists performed Chinese and foreign classical music pieces, including "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai" (The Butterfly Lovers) and "Carmen."
Lu Shaye, Chinese Ambassador to France, said that in the past 20 years, the Center has become a window for the French public to discover Chinese culture and a bridge for cultural exchanges between the two countries, contributing to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship. between the two towns.
He stressed that people-to-people and cultural exchanges will always be the strongest pillar of Sino-French relations.
Josiane Gaude, first deputy mayor of the 7th district of Paris, said all the rich and varied activities of the Center have contributed to the development of Sino-French relations in the fields of culture, art and education.
Opened in 2002, the China Cultural Center in Paris was the first cultural center established by the Chinese government in the West. Through the organization of various activities, it has become an important platform for Sino-French cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, said She Mingyuan, director of the Center. ■
- More than 11,200 patients in the United States were hospitalized with the flu in the past week, the highest rate in the same time period since 2010, according to data released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). from USA
Seasonal flu activity is elevated across the country, the CDC said.
Five pediatric flu-associated deaths were reported in the week ending Nov. 19, and a total of 12 pediatric flu-related deaths have been reported so far this season, according to the CDC.
The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 6.2 million cases of flu, 53,000 hospitalizations, and 2,900 deaths from flu. ■
- The Republic of Congo's economy is recovering, with an estimated growth rate of 2.6 percent in 2022, Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso said in Brazzaville on Monday during a statement to parliament.
The growth is linked to the rise in the price of oil in the international market, the reforms undertaken within the framework of the program with the International Monetary Fund, and the reforms of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, said the president.
The country's economy has registered falls in 2020 and 2021. ■
- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), ahead of World AIDS Day, warned that progress in the prevention and treatment of HIV for children, adolescents and pregnant women has almost stagnated in the last three years, and many regions are not yet in the pre-COVID-19 stage. 19 service coverage.
Around 110,000 children and adolescents (0-19 years old) died of AIDS-related causes during 2021, while another 310,000 became infected for the first time, bringing the total number of young people living with HIV to 2.7 million, according to the latest UNICEF Global Panorama on Children and Adolescents. HIV/AIDS, which was published on Monday.
This stagnation adds to an existing and growing gap in treatment between children and adults.
"Although children have long lagged behind adults in the AIDS response, the stagnation seen over the past three years is unprecedented and puts too many young lives at risk of disease and death," said Anurita Bains, Deputy Chief of HIV/AIDS of UNICEF. "Children are being forgotten because we collectively fail to find them, evaluate them and give them life-saving treatment. Every day that passes without progress, more than 300 children and adolescents lose their fight against AIDS."
Despite representing only 7% of overall people living with HIV, children and adolescents accounted for 17% of all AIDS-related deaths and 21% of new HIV infections in 2021. A Unless the causes of inequalities are addressed, ending AIDS in children and adolescents remains a distant dream, UNICEF warned.
However, the snapshot shows that longer-term trends remain positive. New HIV infections among the youngest children (0-14 years) fell by 52% between 2010 and 2021, and new infections among adolescents (15-19 years) also fell by 40%. Similarly, lifetime antiretroviral treatment (ART) coverage among pregnant women living with HIV increased from 46% to 81% in a single decade.
While the total number of children living with HIV is declining, the treatment gap between children and adults continues to grow. In UNICEF HIV priority countries, ART coverage for children was 56% in 2020, but fell to 54% in 2021. This decline is due to several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises , which have increased marginalization and poverty. , but is also a reflection of waning political will and a flagging response to AIDS among children. Globally, an even lower percentage of children living with HIV accessed treatment (52 per cent), which has only increased marginally in recent years.
Meanwhile, coverage among all adults living with HIV (76 percent) was more than 20 percentage points higher than among children. The gap was even greater between children (52 percent) and pregnant women living with HIV (81 percent). Alarmingly, the percentage of children between the ages of 0 and 4 who are living with HIV and not receiving ART has increased in the last seven years, reaching 72 percent in 2021, as high as in 2012, the snapshot shows. .
Many regions (Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Eastern and Southern Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Western and Central Africa) also experienced drops in treatment coverage for pregnant and lactating women during 2020, with Asia- Pacific and Middle East and North Africa experience further declines in 2021.
With the exception of West and Central Africa, which continues to experience the highest burden of mother-to-child transmission, none of the aforementioned regions have recovered to the coverage levels achieved in 2019. These disruptions put the lives of newborns at greater risk . In 2021, more than 75,000 new childhood infections occurred because pregnant women went undiagnosed and started treatment, the snapshot shows. ■
- Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (Meta Ireland), a data controller of the social network Facebook, has been fined 265 million euros (about 275 million US dollars) for violating data protection rules, the Privacy Commission said. Ireland's Data Protection Agency (DPC) on Monday.
The decision was made last Friday following the conclusion of an investigation in Meta Ireland regarding its possible breach of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, the DPC said in a statement.
Along with the fine, the DPC also issued a reprimand and an order requiring the company to take a series of specific corrective measures within a specified time frame, the statement said.
The investigation into Meta Ireland began in April 2021 following media reports that a large amount of Facebook users' personal data was available on the internet, the DPC said.
The DPC carried out an examination and assessment of the Facebook search tools, Facebook Messenger contact importer and Instagram contact importer in relation to the processing carried out by Meta Ireland during the period from May 2018 to September 2018. 2019, the commission said.
The investigation found that Meta Ireland breached Articles 25(1) and (2) of the GDPR, the DPC said. (1 euro = 1.04 US dollars) ■
- Sweden's largest nuclear reactor will go off-grid next week for repairs as electricity prices soar during the winter season.
Reactor 3 at the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in the country's southeast will go offline on December 9, Sweden's nuclear power operator OKG said on Monday. Then a faulty generator can be fixed, he explained.
The reactor is expected to be shut down for nine days until December 18.
With a peak power of 1,450 megawatts (MW), Oskarshamn 3 is one of the largest boiling water reactors (BWR) in the world.
According to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, several nuclear reactors were decommissioned during 2017-2020, widening the gap in electricity prices between different regions. Recently, prices in the south peaked at around SEK 8 (about 76 US cents).
The Statistics Sweden figure shows that electricity prices increased by an average of 25.6 percent in October compared to the same month last year.
Magnus Genrup, head of the Department of Energy Sciences at Lund University, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper on Monday that the planned shutdown of the reactor exposes the vulnerability of the Swedish energy system.
“This shows that we no longer have margins, and that is serious,” he said.
In late August, OKG announced that another reactor, Ringhals 4 in the southwest of the country, would be down for months due to a damaged pressure vessel. He later said that the shutdown of the reactor, which has a capacity of 1,130 MW, is expected to last until January 31. ■