News in brief (PM)

"Undernutrition", obesity costing Latin America billions: WFP

The combined impact of not eating enough healthy food and obesity, also known as the "double burden of malnutrition" is costing Latin American economies billions in lost revenue, a new UN report has found.

The World Food Programme (WFP) released a ground-breaking study on Tuesday, revealing that malnutrition can affect a person's health, their life expectancy, educational outcomes and productivity.

Therefore, the agency adds, it carries huge economic consequences for individuals who are affected, communities and nations.

According to the study, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in each country shrinks every year as a result of losses is productivity caused by this double burden.

Losses are estimated at US$500 million in Chile, representing 0.2 percent loss of GDP and US$4.3 billion in Ecuador, representing 4.3 percent of GDP.

Children in drought-hit Somalia face measles threat: UNICEF

The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, and partners are conducting an emergency vaccination campaign in Somalia to protect children against measles.

The viral respiratory infection is highly contagious, spreading through the air and via contact with infected saliva.

The disease also thrives in congested, unsanitary displacement camps, which have mushroomed across Baidoa town and surrounding areas.

Close to 30,000 young children, many displaced by the searing drought, will receive single shots in the upper arm or thigh.

UN Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric has more.

"Many of the children have never been immunized before � they come from remote areas health workers often cannot reach because of a decades-old conflict that has ravaged the impoverished country in the Horn of Africa.

So far this year, almost 5,700 cases of suspected measles have been reported across the country, more than the total number of cases in 2016."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization's Representative in Somalia is conducting a review of the cholera situation and outbreak response in Baidoa with Somalia's Minister of Health and Social Services.

Since January 2017, more than 18,000 cases and 317 deaths have been reported in southwestern Somalia � that's more than 60 percent of all the cholera cases reported in the country since the start of the outbreak.

Rising hostility on Korean Peninsula must cease, urges UN rights expert

A UN human rights expert has made an urgent appeal asking global leaders to lower "political and military tensions" in the Korean Peninsula over continued missile tests by the authorities in Pyongyang, the capital of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, DPRK.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in DPRK, better known as North Korea, issued a statement on Tuesday.

The present "war of words" is already having an impact on citizens, he warned.

The "conflict rhetoric" as Mr Quintana described it, comes at a time when the international community needs to come together to protect the rights of people in the East Asian nation.

Instead, the world is witnessing a rise in incitement to armed confrontation, he underscored.

The appeal by the Special Rapporteur follows a series of declarations and military actions which have fuelled tensions in the region, including North Korea's programme of nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and the deployment of a United States aircraft carrier group to the area.

Source: United Nations Radio