Officials declare world’s first famine in six years

February 21, 2017 by  
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Officials have declared the first official famine in six years – in South Sudan. And it is entirely manmade. The United Nations and South Sudanese government said 100,000 people are already suffering, and one million more are expected to face starvation soon. Food and Agriculture Organization representative Serge Tissot said, “Our worst fears have been realized.” The United Nations said war and economic troubles are to blame for the famine, which has been officially declared in some areas of the Unity state but also threatens other parts of South Sudan. High food prices also make it harder for hungry people to obtain sufficient sustenance. Head of the World Food Programme (WFP) in South Sudan, Joyce Luma, said the famine is man-made – three years of strife has affected farmers and impacted crop production. Tissot said, “Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive.” Related: Severe drought and El Niño have put 32 million southern Africans in peril According to the WFP and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 4.9 million people desperately need food in South Sudan – that’s over 40 percent of the entire population. But that number could rise to 5.5 million people, or 47 percent of the population, by the summer, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). IPC’s report said acute malnutrition is a public health emergency in the country, as 14 out of 23 counties show Global Acute Malnutrition around or greater than 15 percent. UNICEF representative Jeremy Hopkins said they estimate over one million children are acutely malnourished in South Sudan. The report called for assistance, saying humanitarian help in 2016 was able to bolster and even improve food security in some areas. “It is of paramount importance that assistance not only continues in 2017, but scales up in the face of mounting food insecurity across the country,” the report states. But Luma warned there’s only so much assistance can do without peace in South Sudan. Via the BBC and the United Nations Images via European Commission DG ECHO on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Officials declare world’s first famine in six years

No, the Zika Virus wasn’t caused by genetically engineered mosquitoes

February 10, 2016 by  
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The World Health Organization and other global health groups have responded to rumors that the recent outbreak of Zika virus stemmed from the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Brazil. Experts are dismissing the notion, saying there is no evidence to support that GM mosquitoes had anything to do with the rampant spread of the virus, which causes birth defects. Although the rumor has all the sensationalism of a science fiction thriller, the facts simply don’t add up. Read the rest of No, the Zika Virus wasn’t caused by genetically engineered mosquitoes

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No, the Zika Virus wasn’t caused by genetically engineered mosquitoes

100 million roses grown for Valentine’s Day produce 9,000 metric tons of CO2

February 10, 2016 by  
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Roses may be red, but they’re definitely not green according to research from Scientific American . As millions of partners exchange bunches of red roses in the run up to Valentine’s Day , they may want to consider that the traditional flower of love has an environmental impact worse than most other crops. In fact, according to environmental flower site Flowerpetal.com , the 100 million roses grown for a typical Valentine’s Day in the US produce some 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Read the rest of 100 million roses grown for Valentine’s Day produce 9,000 metric tons of CO2

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100 million roses grown for Valentine’s Day produce 9,000 metric tons of CO2

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