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25 Feb 2007 description

By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - As scientists warn that climate change will lead to stronger storms, the World Bank is launching on Monday the first disaster insurance plan to offer emergency money to 18 Caribbean countries immediately after they are hit by hurricanes or earthquakes.

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) will allow stricken nations to begin disaster response right away with the guarantee of access to enough money to fund emergency measures.

14 Feb 2007 description

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must renew and strengthen a genocide-prevention envoy's post when it expires at the end of next month, top rights groups said on Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Institute for Global Policy told Ban in a letter they fear the position of the U.N. special adviser on the prevention of genocide would lose clout if it were merged with another U.N. role.

"This has been a very important post," said Yvonne Terlingen, Amnesty International's U.N.

12 Feb 2007 description

By Missy Ryan

WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - The United States, the world's largest donor of food aid, needs to budget more than a proposed $1.2 billion a year to fight hunger effectively around the world, an anti-hunger coalition recommended on Monday.

"International food aid has, without a doubt, both reduced the chronic food gap in sub-Saharan Africa and mitigated the impact of crises," the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, a Washington advocacy group, said in a new report.

But more funds are needed to intervene in acute food emergencies, as well as …

29 Jan 2007 description

By Robert Evans

GENEVA, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Asia was the world's most dangerous region for natural disasters in 2006, accounting for three-quarters of more than 21,000 deaths, a U.N.-backed report said on Monday.

The report, compiled by the Belgian-based research centre CRED and the U.N.'s disaster reduction agency ISDR, covered disasters such as floods, tidal waves, landslides, storms and earthquakes.

In Europe, it said, deaths caused by extreme weather rose 5 percent to 15 percent of the …

11 Apr 2005 description

ADDIS ABABA, April 11 (Reuters) - Seven east African countries on Monday signed a deal to create a 3,000-troop standby brigade to intervene in crises like the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

04 Jan 2005 description

BRUSSELS, Jan 4 (Reuters) - The European Union is considering setting up an international reaction force able to deal with disasters such as the Asian tsunamis.

A crisis management corps could be made up of about 5,000 experts identified by national governments, trained together and placed under central co-ordination in an emergency, the EU's external relations Commissioner said.

17 Jan 2003 description

GENEVA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - El Niño, which has brought drought and storms to many parts of the world since last May, has more bad weather in store for tropical Pacific areas before starting to fade around mid-year, scientists said on Friday.

Their research, collected by the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), confirmed that the phenomenon, a large-scale oceanic warming, has wreaked less havoc than during its last incarnation in 1997-8, when it caused $34 billion of damage.

Described as a "moderate event", the current El Niño has coincided with climate …

18 Apr 2002 description

By David Brough

ROME, April 18 (Reuters) - Natural disasters are increasing around the world, adding to the need for United Nations food aid shipments and planning for emergencies, delegates at a conference said on Thursday.

"The number of people affected by natural disasters will probably double over the next 30 years," Dianne Spearman, director of strategic planning of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), told delegates at a two-day WFP shipping conference.

30 Jan 1998 description
By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The El Nino weather phenomenon that has brought heavy rains and flooding to some parts of the world and drought to others is likely to weaken after May, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Friday.

Most climate models foresee conditions beginning to return to normal, but some show El Nino may be followed by a cold
weather event known as La Nina, which would bring abnormal cold to the eastern Equatorial Pacific beginning from July to
September, the WMO said in a report.
30 Nov 1997 description

10:49 PM EST

By Jim Loney

MIAMI (Reuters) - For the hurricane-weary people of the Caribbean and the southeastern United States, the 1997 Atlantic