Development North Africa 

An Illuminating Farmer-to-Farmer Story in Morocco

By Yossef Ben-MeirMarrakech Bill Nichols served as a volunteer consultant to the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) through the Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) for two weeks in January 2020. Originally from New Mexico, now residing in Boston, Bill collaborated as an F2F volunteer with four of HAF’s tree nursery cooperatives in southern Morocco. He was tasked with improving their productivity. One immediate benefit of his visits with Moroccan farmers at these sites is that he was able to share not only his technical and business skills but also to find ways for…

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Development North Africa 

A Model to Achieve the Model for Development in Morocco

By Yossef Ben-MeirThere may be irony in Morocco now reconsidering and revamping its development model, which is its national guiding frameworks for social and environmental fulfillment. I have long been and remain a believer in Morocco’s existing frameworks for the people’s development. There is, after all, a lot to like. Municipalities are to create development plans made from the participation of all communities and groups. Environmental management is understood to integrate the local people. Agricultural programs seek to achieve the value-chain with communities of small landholders. Morocco is committed to…

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Development Health Advice 

From fighting with guns to fighting the pandemic

“Before I did not have a trade but, thanks to this training, I am becoming a valuable asset to my country”, says Nassira Zakaria, from Kaga Bandoro, a northern market town in the Central African Republic (CAR). Ms. Zakaria, a trainee seamstress in a Community Violence Reduction programme, run by the UN peacekeeping mission in CAR, MINUSCA, says that she is glad to be able to turn away from armed conflict, learn new skills and, above all, be of use to her community. “By making face masks, I can contribute…

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Development Health Advice 

COVID-19: Countries support ‘one-stop shop’ to share science and research

They have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), a “one-stop shop” for sharing scientific knowledge, data and intellectual property in efforts to beat back the disease. A new #COVID19 Technology Access Pool to share data & intellectual property will give all countries & companies a chance to become a part of the solution for life-saving tools to benefit everyone, everywhere. Here is President @CarlosAlvQ & my opinion piece on the Pool launch ⬇️ https://t.co/k9zzwYt5Ko — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) May 29, 2020 “Tools to prevent, detect…

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Human Rights 

UN human rights office welcomes moves to curtail spread of hatred and violence online

The statement comes in the wake of a decision by Twitter to flag tweets by United States President Donald Trump earlier this week, which warned against potential electoral rigging this year, through states’ extending voting by mail. In response, President Trump on Thursday signed an Executive Order aimed at preventing online censorship, upholding free speech as “the bedrock of American democracy”, and protected by the country’s Constitution. On Thursday evening, he posted another tweet which the social media company flagged for violating  its rules against “glorifying violence”. In commenting on…

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Development Health Advice 

Nine in 10 smokers start before they are 18 years old, warns WHO

Smoking suffocates the lungs and other organs, starving them of the oxygen they need to develop and function properly, the WHO warned in a statement. “Educating youth is vital because nearly nine out of 10 smokers start before age 18. We want to provide young people with the knowledge to speak out against tobacco industry manipulation”, said Ruediger Krech, Director for Health Promotion at WHO. In a bid to help prevent addiction among 13-17-year-olds, the agency has highlighted commonly used tactics to watch out for. E-cigarettes are harmful It points…

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Human Rights 

US must take ‘serious action’ to halt police killings of unarmed African Americans

“I am dismayed to have to add George Floyd’s name to that of Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and many other unarmed African Americans who have died over the years at the hands of the police – as well as people such as Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin who were killed by armed members of the public”, said High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, in statement. She spelled out that authorities in the United States must take “serious action” to stop such killings, and to ensure that justice…

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Development Health Advice 

Security Council: Paralysis and ‘political infighting’ must end, to boost COVID-19 fight: EU foreign affairs chief

Josep Borrell said the novel coronavirus crisis – like climate change – shows the need for collective action and that the rules-based international order, with the UN at its core, must be upheld and strengthened. “At a time of global crisis, we need a Security Council able to take the necessary decisions and not one that is paralyzed by vetoes and political infighting”, said Mr. Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Revitalized system needed He added: “The world needs a revitalized multilateral system, but this…

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Development Health Advice 

Yemen: Humanitarians seeking $2.41 billion to keep aid flowing amid COVID-19 pandemic

The heads of 17 organizations representing the international humanitarian community issued a statement on Thursday, saying “we are running out of time” to keep operations in the war-torn country functioning through the end of the year. Yemen recorded its first case of COVID-19 in early April. Since then, there have been 260 cases and 54 deaths, according to latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the partners said further testing and analysis are needed to gain a true picture of the epidemic’s toll. “Official figures indicate that COVID-19…

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Development Health Advice 

Countries need to do more to stop harmful marketing of breast-milk substitutes, says UN

Titled Marketing of Breast‐milk Substitutes: National Implementation of the International Code – Status report 2020, the study highlights the need for stronger legislation to protect families from false claims about the safety of breast-milk substitutes or aggressive marketing practices, findings that take on increased importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Baby Food Action Network collaborated in the report’s publication. Impact of aggressive marketing “The aggressive marketing of breast-milk substitutes, especially through health professionals that parents trust for…

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