This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
394 million people in Europe require rehabilitation care: WHO
Nearly one in two people in Europe needs specialist rehabilitation treatment but “most are not getting the care they need”, the UN health agency said on Tuesday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a new report that almost 400 million people are affected – and that 49 million years’ worth of healthy lives are lost because of it.
Some of the most common conditions that require rehabilitation include lower back pain, fractures, hearing and vision loss, along with stroke and dementia.
The reasons for the problem include Europe’s rapidly ageing population, as well as the significant increase in the number of people living with a chronic condition.
The key barriers that prevent people from getting the care they need include little awareness of what rehabilitation is, misconceptions about how much it costs, and a serious shortage of qualified professionals, WHO said.
Drought, conflict force 80,000 Somalis into Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps
Tens of thousands of people have sought shelter in recent weeks at Kenya’s Dadaab camps, forced from their homes by extremist violence in neighbouring Somalia and “unrelenting” drought, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday.
An estimated 24,000 people have arrived at the camp complex since the end of September, but overall, more than 80,000 taken in there in the past two years.
Space for the new arrivals is lacking and cholera has also broken out, said UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov:
“In one area that UNHCR teams recently visited, a family was hosting up to 28 people, eight of them had already been infected. Treatment centres need more personnel and supplies to help curb any further spread of the disease.”
The UN refugee agency and partners have provided assistance, such as clean drinking water and sanitation and hygiene facilities at the outskirts of the camps, for the new arrivals.
Developing countries face ‘impossible trade-off’ on debt: UNCTAD chief
Spiralling debt in low and middle-income countries has compromised their chances of sustainable development, the head of UN trade facilitation agency UNCTAD has warned.
Speaking in Geneva, Rebeca Grynspan said that between 70 and 85 per cent of the debt that emerging and low-income countries are responsible for, is in a foreign currency.
This has left them highly vulnerable to the kind of large currency shocks that hit public spending – precisely at a time when populations need financial support from their governments.
Ms. Grynspan explained that so far this year, at least 88 countries have seen their currencies depreciate against the US dollar. And in 31 of these countries, their currencies have dropped by more than 10 per cent.
This has had a hugely negative impact for many African nations, where the UNCTAD chief noted that currency depreciations have increased the cost of debt repayments “by the equivalent of public health spending in the continent”.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.