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Hundreds of children seized by armed men from a village in South Sudan have generated fears that “they are going from the classroom to the front line,” says the top +UNICEF representative in that country who demanded their immediate release.

UNICEF reported that 89 children preparing for exams were forcibly recruited last month as child soldiers, but the agency now believes the number of children may be in the hundreds. In addition, adult males were also forcibly recruited during the raids that took place on 15 and 16 February.

Read more: http://ow.ly/JR5OL
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New cases of Ebola rose again in Guinea and transmission remains widespread in Sierra Leone, +World Health Organization (WHO) reported as it and the UN Ebola response mission both raised concerns about challenges in engaging communities to win the fight against the disease.

Both WHO and +UNMEER also noted unsafe burials of those who died from the disease posed as a challenge and that “a significant number” of individuals are still either unable or reluctant to seek treatment for Ebola, which has affected over 23,500 people and killed more than 9,500 mainly in the Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Read more: http://ow.ly/JJJGD
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Next time you feel like some cactus pear marmalade from Ethiopia but can’t make it to the town of Mekelle, check out the shelves of Italian gourmet food store Eataly.

Thanks to a partnership between the +Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and
+Eataly to support family farmers around the globe, a cooperative of women in Ethiopia are now ready to ship their 4,000 jars of jam to Rome, where they will soon reach the shelves.

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The +World Food Programme has announced the delivery of a first round of emergency supplies to more than 288,000 people in flood-affected Malawi, providing much needed relief amid continuing rains. 

The UN food agency explained that it had distributed more than 2,700 metric tons of food to 12 districts late last week and delivered more than 200 metric tons of relief items by air to thousands of people cut-off by flood waters.

Read more: http://ow.ly/JycPt
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Approximately 400,000 children whose schooling has been interrupted by the conflict in South Sudan will have the chance to return to their studies over the next 12 months.

The ‘Back to Learning’ campaign, which was launched in Juba today by +UNICEF and the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit, will reach out-of-school children in all 10 states, including areas currently engulfed in conflict. 

Read more: http://ow.ly/Jmji8
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The +World Bank announced that it has mobilized some $15 million in emergency financing to provide a record 10,500 tons of maize and rice seed to more than 200,000 farmers in the countries most-affected by the unprecedented Ebola outbreak, in time for the April planting season.

“Agriculture is the lifeline of the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice-President for Africa. “By speeding supplies of urgently needed seeds of major food crops to communities in West Africa, we are jumpstarting recovery in rural areas and preventing the looming specter of hunger in the countries hardest hit by Ebola.”

Read more: http://ow.ly/Jelxj
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Zero Discrimination Day this Sunday is a chance to celebrate diversity and to reject discrimination.

Join the call for compassion, tolerance and peace and stand up for ‪#‎ZeroDiscrimination‬ by submitting your photo or video here: http://ow.ly/I8Zm3
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Once an emerging threat, wildlife and forest crime has today transformed into one of the world's largest transnational organized criminal activities. With the involvement of organized criminal groups, the industrial-level operations have been devastating: In 2013 alone, some 20,000 African elephants were killed, while in South Africa last year, 1,215 rhinos were poached for their horns. 

To raise awareness about this, +UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime together with CITES have developed a new global awareness-raising campaign under the slogan: It's time to get #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime

Read more: http://ow.ly/JF3Tu
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The United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) held a meeting in New York today on the role of the extractive industry in Africa.

The event, which looked to the post-2015 development agenda and the African Union ‘Agenda 2063,’ explored how to enhance management of Africa’s extractive industries in order to fully harness their potential as important drivers for sustainable development, structural economic transformation and inclusive growth.

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The +World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that it has approved for use a rapid diagnostic test kit for Ebola that can provide results in 15 minutes and correctly identify 92 percent of patients infected by the disease that has killed more than 9,400 people.

Meanwhile at UN headquarters, Dr. Bruce Aylward, who leads WHO's response on Ebola, and Dr. David Nabarro, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Ebola, briefed Member States on the need to maintain the robust response to get the number of cases to zero.

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Mali used to see a drought every 10 to 15 years. But #ClimateChange has created a new normal: There have been three droughts in the last decade. 

More about #hunger in #Mali from +World Food Programme​: http://ow.ly/JirIh
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There is nothing romantic about 13.5 million child brides getting married every year – that's 37,000 every day.

This Valentine’s Day, join UNFPA and raise your voice against child marriage. Take your selfie featuring hashtag ‪#‎IDONT‬ to show your support.

Here are the top ten myths about child marriage debunked: http://bit.ly/1zOTM8T
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African news and analysis from the United Nations
Introduction
The Africa Renewal information programme, produced by the Africa Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information, provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today.

The programme produces the renowned magazine, Africa Renewal (formerly Africa Recovery) and the affiliated website www.un.org/africarenewal. It aspires to promote the work of the United Nations, Africa and the international community to bring peace and development to Africa.

Africa Renewal reports on and examines the many different aspects of the UN's involvement in Africa, especially within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It works closely with the many UN agencies and offices dealing with African issues, including the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa.