News in Brief (AM)

Haiti recovery plan needs strong support

Countries are being urged to support a nearly US$3 billion plan to help Haiti recover from Hurricane Matthew, the deadly storm which hit the island nation last October.

The appeal was made on Monday by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Robert Glasser said the hurricane "revealed disturbing truths" about the capacity of least-developed countries to adequately respond to climate change and weather-related disasters.

"While the government's civil protection system prevented many deaths," he said, "it is unacceptable that over 600 people should have died in a hurricane that was so well-forecast"

Hurricane Matthew also followed two years of drought, he added, as well as the devastating 2010 earthquake which killed more than 200,000 people.

Mr Glasser's comments came on the eve of a regional meeting on disaster-risk reduction which opens in Montreal, Canada, on Tuesday.

He called for strong support for the Haiti recovery plan devised by the government, the UN and partners, which seeks US$2.72 billion over a three-year period.

It focuses on the need to build back better, reduce future risk and improve early warning systems.

Japan contributes US$15 million to fight hunger in Syria

The government of Japan has donated more than US$15 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to assist families affected by the crisis in Syria.

Almost six million people in the Middle Eastern country have been impacted by the conflict which is now approaching its sixth year.

Nicolas Oberlin, WFP Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe said, "Thanks to this contribution, WFP will be able to continue supporting vulnerable Syrian families with food assistance and livelihood projects to help those in stabilized areas restore their ability to provide for themselves and their families."

WFP provides food rations to more than four million people in Syria alone, and also provides food vouchers and livelihood projects to another 1.5 million refugees and host communities in Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt.

Japan has contributed over US$88 million to WFP emergency response efforts within the region since the conflict began.

EU supports WFP school meals project in Burundi

In more news from the World Food Programme (WFP):

A Euros 5 million contribution from the European Union (EU) will help WFP to feed 20,000 children, mothers and pregnant women in central Burundi.

The funding, which is just over $US5.2 million, will support the agency's Home Grown School Feeding project in Gitega province which combines education, promotion of agricultural production and prevention of malnutrition.

WFP will use the money to purchase food commodities from local smallholders to provide hot school meals and fresh milk to school children.

The agency says the school feeding programme has proven effective in increasing attendance rates.

It is also expected to bring back children who had quit school because they did not have food at home.

Source: United Nations Radio