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05 Mar 2015 description

HIGHLIGHTS

  • FAO has further raised its estimate of the 2014 world cereal production and its forecast for global cereal stocks. Early prospects for cereal supplies in 2015/16 are mostly favourable, partly sustained by large stocks accumulated over the previous two seasons.

  • FAO’s first forecast for global wheat production in 2015 indicates a likely small contraction, mostly reflecting an expected decline in Europe from last year’s record output.

05 Mar 2015 description
report Radio Free Asia

A commentary by Andrei Lankov

Seemingly, in recent days some good economic news began to emerge from North Korea. Last month, the World Food Program published its estimates of North Korea’s 2014 harvest. It seems that the harvest is better than the year before, even though the 2013 harvest was also remarkably good. It is estimated that in 2014 the North Korean farmers harvested some 5.1-5.2 million tons of grain, well above the level of 4.5 million tons which was the norm until recently.

03 Mar 2015 description

Afghanistan: Heavy snowfall has caused avalanches in northern, central and eastern Afghanistan; 280 people have died. Panshir province is most affected. Communication lines have been disrupted in places, power supplies to Kabul have been cut. Priority needs are for NFIs and emergency shelter; access to isolated areas is difficult.

25 Feb 2015 description
report Radio Free Asia

Michael Kirby, a former Australian judge, chaired the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in North Korea. The report, which documented widespread abuses in North Korea, was released in February 2014 and approved by the U.N. General Assembly in December. At a conference in Washington marking the first anniversary of the report’s release, RFA Korean’s Sooil Chun interviewed Kirby. Following is an abridged transcript of the interview.

24 Feb 2015 description

Snapshot 18-24 February 2015

Myanmar: 90,000 people are now reported to have been displaced by continuing violence between government troops and multiple armed groups in Kokang, Shan state. Aid organisations have been subject to attack – seven people were wounded in two separate incidents.

17 Feb 2015 description

Snapshot 11–17 February 2015

Myanmar: Fighting between the Myanmar army and the MNDAA, an insurgent group in the Kokang area of Shan state, displaced tens of thousands of people. Some fled into central Myanmar, while between 30,000 and 50,000 are thought to have crossed into Nansan, Yunnan province, China.

15 Feb 2015 description

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Production of 2014/15 early season crops is forecast to decrease significantly

  • Main season paddy production in 2014 was reduced but maize output increased

  • After three consecutive years of strong growth, aggregate 2014/15 food production expected to remain stagnant

  • Higher cereal import requirements forecast for 2014/15 marketing year (November/October)

  • With stagnant harvest in 2014/15 food insecurity is likely to remain high

13 Feb 2015 description
report Human Rights Watch

Birthday Recalls Mass Starvation, Executions, Forced Labor

(Seoul, February 13, 2015) – North Korea’s so-called dear leader, Kim Jong-Il, should be remembered as his country celebrates his birthday on February 16, 2015, for presiding over one of the world’s most brutal and repressive governments, Human Rights Watch said today. During his 17 years of rule, Kim presided over the country’s worst famine and oversaw systematic crimes against humanity against his own people.

11 Feb 2015 description

NATURAL DISASTERS AND CONFLICTS IN ASIA-PACIFIC

FEWER LIVES LOST

In 2014, Asia and the Pacific experienced 126 natural disasters, which affected a total of 85 million people. Significantly, casualties were a quarter of what they were in 2013, with nearly 4,000 people killed by disasters in the region. Floods and landslides were the primary causes of death according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).

10 Feb 2015 description

Snapshot 4–10 February 2015

Guinea: An increase in Ebola case numbers has been reported for the second consecutive week. Resistance to the response remains high in Forecariah, worst affected by the outbreak; though ten prefectures have reported at least one incident of resistance. Clashes between armed forces and the community were reported in Matoto, Conakry.

10 Feb 2015 description
report Human Rights Watch

Testimonies Detail Crackdown on Fleeing, Unauthorized Phone Calls

(Seoul, February 10, 2015) – North Korea is expanding efforts to control its borders and reduce information flows in and out of the country by harshly punishing people trying to flee the country, and hitting those aiding them with harsher sentences, Human Rights Watch said today.

03 Feb 2015 description

Highlights

After increasing markedly for three consecutive years, food production remained stagnant in 2014 with the aggregate output put at 5.94 million tonnes (including cereals, soybeans and potatoes in cereal equivalent). This figure comprises the official estimate of the 2014 main harvest and forecast for the 2015 early crops from cooperative farms, as well as FAO projections of production from sloping land and household gardens.

03 Feb 2015 description

Snapshot 28 January – 3 February 2015

DRC: 30,000 refugees have fled CAR for Equateur province since December. In North Kivu, 18,000 new IDPs need humanitarian assistance; another 21,000 are in need in South Kivu. Nationwide, food security is worsening: over one-third of territories are in Crisis or Emergency phases.

30 Jan 2015 description
report UN Children's Fund

In the programming context in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), structural causes of vulnerability remained unchanged; life-saving humanitarian assistance continues to be a critical need across areas of nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education – particularly in the north-eastern provinces and remote counties. Support is critically needed to address the underlying drivers of vulnerability.

29 Jan 2015 description
report Human Rights Watch

Collective Punishment, Forced Labor, Torture, and Abuse in Spotlight

(Seoul) – Dynastic North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un and senior members of his government should be held accountable for overseeing grave rights abuses and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The North Korean government denies basic freedoms in the country and operates a network of political prisons and forced labor camps that systematically brutalize and often result in the deaths of those the government accuses of crimes.

27 Jan 2015 description

Snapshot 21-27 January

Nigeria: Boko Haram attacks continue, with Borno state capital Maiduguri and nearby military bases targeted on 25 January. Security forces pushed BH back from Maiduguri, but further attacks are expected. BH also raided villages in Michika local government area, Adamawa state. There are reports that BH has forbidden the use of vehicles in areas under its control.

23 Jan 2015 description

In January 2015, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator allocated US$99.5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to boost life-saving relief in 12 countries where humanitarian needs are high but financial support is low. Some $77.5 million will go to six countries affected by the crisis in Syria. Another $14 million will support aid operations in three countries in the Great Lakes Region in Africa, where the long running conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to have disastrous effects.

23 Jan 2015 description

(New York, 23 January 2014) – The United Nations humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, has allocated some US$100 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to boost life-saving relief work in Syria and 11 other countries where humanitarian needs are high but financial support is low.

20 Jan 2015 description

Snapshot 14–20 January

Cameroon: 50,000 people are estimated displaced due to the recent increase in Boko Haram (BH) attacks in the northern regions. In the past week, an attack on a military base in Kolofata resulted in 143 BH killed, subsequently, BH kidnapped 80 people from one village – with three killed and 24 later released. The conflict has escalated regionally, with Chad pledging military support in Cameroon’s fight against Boko Haram.

15 Jan 2015 description
report Voice of America

Hyunjin Kim
January 14, 2015 4:34 PM

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) says it will increase its aid for North Korea by $1 million this year.

Hler Gudjonsson, a regional IFRC communications delegate for East Asia, told VOA the organization has decided to offer about $6.6 million in 2015.