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News from Latin America & Carribean

A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger.

“To search for solutions to hunger means to act within the principle that the status of a citizen
surpasses that of a mere consumer.”

CITY OF BELO HORIZONTE,
BRAZIL


Brasília, January 28, 2009 – Brazilians can now monitor the status of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the ‘Portal ODM’ (www.portalodm.org.br), which presents data related to the MDGs in each of the 5,564 Brazilian municipalities.

The global launch of the Portal will take place during the World Social Forum, which is being held in Belém, Brazil, from January 27 – February 1. However, the portal can be accessed as of today through www.portalodm.com.br/index.php.


Every minute a woman dies due to complications in pregnancy or
childbirth, adding up to half a million women dying every year. Another
10-15 million women suffer serious or long-lasting illnesses or
disabilities.

“No woman should die giving life,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.
“To have a healthy society, you have to have healthy mothers.”

In many countries, however, progress in maternal health has been slow.
In some, the situation has actually deteriorated over the last 20 years.


“Despite significant progress in the South, the pattern of cooperation has not been commensurate with the comprehensive nature of the commitments contained in the various declarations and other documents on South-South cooperation,” Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, told IPS. “The existing capabilities and capacities in the South have not been adequately acknowledged and utilised,” he added.


Small island States today called on industrialized countries to take a leadership role at the Bali Climate Change Conference and adopt targets to keep the world from warming past the point where catastrophic impacts would occur.

“No island should be left behind,” said Angus Friday of Grenada, the Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States. These vulnerable countries, he said, are already feeling the impact of climate change in the form of more hurricanes, cyclone and typhoons.


A new report released today by two United Nations agencies puts the number of people living with HIV at about 33.2 million, down from last year’s estimate of 39.5 million, attributing the decrease to more accurate data collection and analysis.