News in Brief 31 December 2015 (A

Efforts continue in the battle against a deadly cholera outbreak at the world’s largest refugee camp, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports.

UNHCR and its partners have been working with officials in Kenya to stamp out the disease at the Dadaab refugee complex in the north-east of the country, home to more than 340,000 people.

Cholera is a water-borne bacterial illness that causes fever, vomiting and watery diarrhoea. It is often fatal.

UNHCR says 10 people have died and about 1,000 others have become sick as a result of the outbreak, which began in mid-November.

The agency says the flare-up is linked to rains brought on by the El NiƱo phenomenon which has affected weather patterns across the globe.

General Assembly to hold high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS

An upcoming UN General Assembly meeting on HIV/AIDS will be “crucial” to ending the epidemic by 2030, the deadline for achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

That’s according to Dr Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, the UN agency that’s leading the charge to achieve this objective.

The General Assembly last year decided to convene the high-level meeting, which will be held in New York in June 2016.

“The high-level meeting at the General Assembly in New York will be crucial for us to move forward to the end of the AIDS epidemic. If ending AIDS is part of the SDGs, we need now to unpack this goal in terms of its implementation. And that is what the high level meeting is about. It’s an historic opportunity for the leaders of the world to say ‘Yes, we are going to end this epidemic, the AIDS epidemic, by 2030.'”

Cultural itineraries create benefits for tourists and local communities

Cultural routes such as the Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal, the Inca Trail in Peru and the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain not only provide valuable experiences for travellers but they also generate benefits for local communities.

That’s the assessment of the UN World Tourism Organization which has collaborated on a recent report on the subject.

The UN agency says cultural routes can create employment and even help in the development of small businesses.

They can also instil local pride and foster closer ties between visitors and host communities.

The report includes case studies of public-private cooperation to both develop and protect cultural itineraries and attractions.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Source: United Nations.