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Also In Global Health News: Pakistan Agriculture; U.K.’s Food Security Efforts; Clinton Addresses Yemen; Hunger In Niger; WB Head In Africa

U.S. To Support Agricultural Technology Projects In Pakistan

Bryan Hunt, the U.S. consulate general in Lahore, Pakistan, said Wednesday that the U.S. would help Pakistan with the development of agriculture technology aimed at boosting farmers’ productivity, the Nation reports. Hunt said agriculture technology is vital for increasing food security. “He said that the U.S. had already made commitment to provide U.S. $ 1.5 billion per year for the socio-economic development of people of Pakistan,” according to the newspaper (1/28).

U.K’s Lack Of Investment In Agriculture In Developing World Is ‘Missed Opportunity,’ Report Says

The British government has “consciously and deliberately” chosen not to support agriculture in developing countries, which is a “‘missed opportunity’ for the U.K. and wider development effort,” according to a report published Wednesday by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on agriculture and food for development, the Financial Times reports. Andrew Mitchell, shadow secretary of state for international development, said, “This hard-hitting report should give Labour ministers serious concern … Improving food security for the world’s poorest people is a matter of life or death, and should be an important part of our international development efforts” (Flood, 1/27).

Yemen Must Protect Girls, Women’s Rights, Enact Other Reforms To Increase Foreign Aid

At a meeting in London on Wednesday, “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton administered a dose of tough love, saying Yemen, an impoverished Arab nation, must earn increased foreign aid by rooting out corruption, settling internal strife and protecting the rights of girls and young women,” the New York Times reports. According to Clinton, the U.S. will increase nonmilitary aid to Yemen, but she “urged it to accept economic remedies proposed by the International Monetary Fund and to enact its own 10-point reform plan.” She “also criticized Yemen for rescinding a law that would have set 17 as the minimum age at which a girl could legally be married. In rural areas of the country, the average age for marriage is 12 to 13” (Landler, 1/27).

About 7.8M People In Niger Could Face Food Insecurity In 2010

“More than half of the population of Niger will go without food at some point this year, according to a leaked official survey contradicting public assurances by the government of the poor West African state,” Reuters writes. Le Canard Enchaine, a newspaper in Niger, reported that approximately 7.8 million people could face food insecurity. “‘These figures are the same as those found by our survey,’ an official involved in the study told Reuters on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity” (Massalatchi, 1/27). Also, the Famine Early Warning System, which is funded by the U.S., found that certain parts of southern Niger “are likely to see a rise in food shortages and malnutrition in the coming months,” IRIN reports (1/27).

World Bank President Arrives In Africa For 3-Country Tour

“World Bank President Robert Zoellick arrived in Sierra Leone Tuesday for the start of an eight-day, three-nation tour of Africa which will also take him to the Ivory Coast and Ethiopia. … The World Bank chief will visit projects in energy, agriculture and fisheries which have benefited and will benefit from the bank’s funding, officials” said, Agence France-Presse reports (1/26).

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