News in Brief 30 November 2017 (PM)

South-South expo draws to a close

Representatives from southern hemisphere countries have underscored their commitment to strengthening partnerships and cooperation to achieve global development goals.

That's the outcome of this week's Global South-South Development Expo, which wrapped up in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday.

More than 800 participants from 120 countries participated in the meeting.

Jorge Chediek is Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

"Many of the achievements of the expo are not reflected in these very impressive numbers themselves. They are reflected in the partnerships that are being established; in institutional friendships and agreements that are been developed and that will certainly generate results."

Needs on the rise in Somalia: UN humanitarian affairs office

Despite a massive scale-up in assistance in Somalia this year, humanitarian needs across the country are on the rise and are increasingly severe, the United Nations has reported.

The UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, estimates 6.2 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection next year.

This figure represents half of the country's population.

OCHA is calling for urgent and more sustainable investment, as well as extending famine prevention efforts.

Cactus pear a valuable food asset: FAO

Climate change and increased risk of droughts could be reasons to make the cactus pear an essential crop in dry areas.

Making the case is the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which has gathered experts on the hardy plant to pool their knowledge in efforts to help farmers and policy chiefs, make greater use of this natural resource.

Cactus pear is native to Mexico where it has been consumed for centuries.

FAO said it provided food and water for people and animals during the recent intense drought in Madagascar.

The UN agency added that cultivation is "catching on" elsewhere.

For example, cactus pear is now "a well-entrenched gourmet tradition" in Sicily, in Italy, in addition to being grown in Brazil, North Africa and the Tigray region in Ethiopia.

Source: United Nations Radio