Haitians finding shelter, Jordan’s mines lifted, Thai migrants get affordable HIV help
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Warnings of impending civil war in Syria came from the UN’s Special Envoy Kofi Annan Tuesday 8 May, backed up by an International Red Cross appeal Tuesday for CHF24.5 million in funds to help the tens of thousands of displaced Syrians. But the news from international organizations in Geneva in recent days is not all gloomy. A sampling:
The IOM (International Organization for Migration) reports this week that “the number of people living in displacement camps in and around Haiti’s capital Port au Prince has declined by 14% to an estimated 421,000 since February, according to figures collected by IOM. This is the steepest decline in the camp population since early last year. Some 73% of the original population has now left Haiti’s camps since the height of the crisis in 2010, when an estimated 1.5 million people were made homeless by a massive earthquake, which the government says killed up to 300,000 people.”
The AP Mine Ban Conventionreported that Jordan “became the first country in the Middle East to have removed all minefields in its territory in accordance with its international obligations.” The 60 million m2 or more “of areas known or suspected to contain mines were cleared. Many of these areas were subsequently made available for major development projects, including for agriculture in the Jordan Valley, for religious pilgrimages to locations such as the Christian Baptism Site, and for tourism in Aqaba,” says the Convention office in Geneva.
Five million migrants in Thailand who come mostly from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar will have better access to HIV treatment under a new regional governments agreement following a meeting organized by the UN Development Programme, UNDP. “Government representatives agreed to examine ways to use intellectual property rights and free trade agreement flexibilities to lower the cost of treatment services and increase coverage for migrants. They also agreed to harmonize treatment and medical referral protocols across countries and ensure that in addition to treatment, migrants have better access to HIV services overall.”