Also In Global Health News: Global Risks Report; Japan’s Donation To WFP; Global Fund Freeze On Ivory Coast; Pneumonia Vaccine In Kenya

World Economic Forum Global Risks Report Highlights Concerns Over Demand For Food, Water

“Nations are in no position to deal with any more big shocks, the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday, yet risks are rising with the threat of ‘disastrous impacts,'” the organization noted in its Global Risks 2011 report, the Financial Times reports (Giles, 1/12). “Global Risks 2011 highlights three risk clusters of particular concern: the relationship between illicit trade, crime, corruption and state fragility; a set of interconnected risks tied to water, food and energy; and risks related to global macroeconomic imbalances,” according to a World Economic Forum summary of the report (1/12). “Demand for food, water and energy resources is growing by double digits. Yet chronic fiscal deficits are threatening investments in infrastructure crucial to improving availability and access to them,” explained President of Oliver Wyman Group John Drzik, who contributed to the report, according to the Financial Times (1/12).

WFP Announces $196.6M Donation By Japan To Be Used For Emergency Food Aid, Nutritional Assistance In Africa, Asia

Japan has donated $196.6 million to the U.N. World Food Program, which will “be used for emergency food aid and nutritional assistance in 20 countries in Africa and Asia,” the agency announced Tuesday, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports (1/11). The donation, “the largest-ever single contribution to the agency … will benefit people in need in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger and Uganda,” U.N. News Centre reports. “The funds will be used to provide food to conflict and disaster-affected people, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups, including malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women,” according to the news service (1/11).

Global Fund Halts Distribution Of Some Aid In Ivory Coast Amid Political Tensions

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Tuesday that it has “halted the distribution of some aid in Ivory Coast because of ongoing political tensions” believed to be behind the violence that the U.N. estimates killed “as many as 210 people” since late November,  Bloomberg reports. “The fund is also keeping 8 million bed nets, used to combat the spread of malaria, in storage in the West African country, Veronique Taveau, a spokeswoman for the fund, said today in a telephone interview from Geneva,” according to the news service (Doherty, 1/11). “However, the Geneva-based fund would allow procurement and distribution of life-saving drugs against the HIV virus and malaria, to continue, provided partner agencies, including the charity CARE, seek its prior authorization,” Reuters writes (1/11).

Pneumonia Vaccine To Be Introduced To Public Hospitals In Kenya In January, Business Daily Reports

Business Daily reports on plans in Kenya for a pneumonia vaccine to be introduced into all government hospitals in January in an effort “to reduce the rate of child deaths by over 70 percent by the end of the year.” According to the newspaper, “[c]hildren will receive three injections, each at an interval of four weeks,” the initiative is supported by GAVI Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Cherono, 1/11).

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