GENEVA, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Efforts to stamp out West Africa’s
Ebola epidemic are being thwarted by villagers touching and
washing the infectious bodies of dead victims at secret burials
and difficulty in tracing those exposed to the virus, U.N.
officials said on Thursday.
The number of new cases rose for the first time this year in
the past week, coinciding with a looming funding shortfall and
the approach of the rainy season that will hamper aid efforts
from April, they warned. [ID: nL6N0VE530]
GENEVA (Reuters) – The number of new cases of Ebola rose in all three of West Africa’s worst-hit countries last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, ending several weeks of encouraging declines across the region.
Suspicion of aid workers, especially in Guinea, and unsafe local practices were continuing to hamper efforts to halt the deadly virus, the United Nations agency said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Islamic State militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive, a United Nations watchdog said on Wednesday.
Iraqi boys aged under 18 are increasingly being used by the militant group as suicide bombers, bomb makers, informants or human shields to protect facilities against U.S.-led air strikes, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.
GENEVA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A U.N. inquiry into possible war crimes in the Gaza conflict will produce its report on time next month, officials said on Tuesday, brushing aside a demand from Israel’s prime minister to shelve it after the chairman resigned.
It marked the latest chapter in fraught relations between Israel and the main U.N. rights forum, which the Jewish state and its ally Washington accuse of bias against Israel. Activists voiced concern that Israel was trying to derail the inquiry.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The parents of Mexican students believed murdered by a drugs gang appealed to the United Nations on Monday for help in seeking justice, saying they had no faith in the government’s ability to investigate the crime.
President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government said last week that the 43 trainee teachers who disappeared four months ago were killed on the orders of a drug cartel who mistook them for members of a rival gang.
GENEVA (Reuters) – West Africa will be lucky to wipe out Ebola this year, as the local population remains suspicious of aid workers, especially in Guinea, the Red Cross said on Friday.
The virus is “flaring up” in new areas in the region and not all infections are being reported, said Birte Hald, who leads the Ebola coordination and support unit of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
GENEVA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The number of new confirmed Ebola
cases totalled 99 in the week to Jan. 25, the lowest tally since
June 2014, the World Health Organization said on Thursday,
signalling the tide might have turned against the epidemic.
“The response to the EVD (Ebola virus disease) epidemic has
now moved to a second phase, as the focus shifts from slowing
transmission to ending the epidemic,” the WHO said.
GENEVA, Jan 28 (Reuters) – The European Commission’s 315
billion euro investment plan to spur growth could create more
than 2.1 million net new jobs, lowering the bloc’s jobless rate
by 1 percent by 2018, the International Labour Organization
(ILO) said on Wednesday.
But if the three-year plan, announced by Commission chief
Jean-Claude Juncker in November, fails to attract and leverage
private investment, it would create just 400,000 new jobs,
barely making a dent in the EU’s 23 million unemployed, it said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday it will create a contingency fund and an emergency workforce to respond quickly to crises after strong criticism of the agency’s delay in confronting the Ebola epidemic.
Director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said at an emergency meeting called to discuss the agency’s Ebola response that the outbreak showed the need to strengthen WHO’s crisis management and to streamline procedures for recruiting frontline workers.
GENEVA, Jan 25 (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation
(WHO) drew sharp criticism on Sunday over its response to the
Ebola epidemic, with donors and agencies urging the creation of
a contingency fund and an emergency workforce to respond quickly
to future crises.
Director-general Dr. Margaret Chan acknowledged that the
outbreak showed the need to strengthen WHO’s crisis management
and to streamline procedures for recruiting frontline workers.