FAO Director-General calls for collaboration to combat malnutrition, obesity

Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, has called for a multi-sectoral approach in combating malnutrition and obesity, which are on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Speaking on day two of the FAO’s 35th Regional Conference for the LAC at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Tuesday (March 6), Mr. da Silva said there is a “disturbing change”, which has resulted in the prevalence of malnourished people increasing in countries of the Caribbean, South and Central American subregions.

“The prevalence of malnourished people increased in 2016. This includes here in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the numbers went up from 20 million to 42.2 million. So now it is time to take stock of the promise made, then find the reasons for this setback and draw conclusions on how to move forward to make sure that the numbers go down,” he said.

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service

Unusual weather across Region sparks concern; but no tsunami threat

Even as preparations are underway for the upcoming hurricane season that is predicted to be another active one, concern is high across the Region at the manifestation of the changing climate.

Over the past few weeks, the Caribbean has been experiencing unusually high tides, massive waves, flooding and coastal erosion.

Warnings of high surf, large waves, rip currents and floods have been issued several Member States, but there is no tsunami alert for the Region, contrary to information that has been circulating that some 30 countries are on tsunami alert following a large earthquake in Costa Rica. (more…)

World leaders join new drive to beat non-communicable diseases

 WHO is announcing today a new high-level commission, comprised of heads of state and ministers, leaders in health and development and entrepreneurs. The group will propose bold and innovative solutions to accelerate prevention and control of the leading killers on the planet – noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like heart and lung disease, cancers, and diabetes.

The WHO Independent Global High-level Commission on NCDs is co-chaired by President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay; President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka; President Sauli Niinistö of Finland; Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation; and Sania Nishtar, former Federal Minister of Pakistan.

Seven in 10 deaths globally every year are from NCDs, the main contributors to which are tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity. More than 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 70 years die from NCDs annually. Low- and lower-middle income countries are increasingly affected, with half of premature deaths from NCDs occurring in those countries. Many lives can be saved from NCDs through early diagnosis and improved access to quality and affordable treatment, as well as a whole-of-government approach to reduce the main risk factors.

Read more at: World Health Organisation

SIDS must never be denied concessional financing for climate resilience -SG


CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has called for the scaling up of climate finance for resilience in the health sector.

He also posited that small vulnerable countries must never be denied access to concessional financing in their quest for resilience against climate change.

These were among the issues he addressed recently, while speaking at the inauguration ceremony for the second term in office of Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Organisation (PAHO). The ceremony was held 1 February at PAHO Headquarters in Washington D.C.

With Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the front line, he said: “The WHO has recognised that climate change is one of the greatest threats to human health and the environment, as it affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.” (more…)