Wednesday April 20, 2016
Kabul (BNA) Reducing food waste and changing the way people consume calories will help deliver a sustainable food system and reduce emissions, a study suggests.
The global demand for food could more than double by the middle of the century, yet an estimated one third of produce is lost or wasted each year. By cutting this waste will help food security and reducing agriculture's climate burden, the researchers added. The findings appear in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. As the global human population is set to reach in excess of nine billion people by the middle of this century, up from the current seven billion, the importance of reducing food loss and waste in order to deliver food security is well documented. However, a team of scientists have also considered what steps need to be taken to tackle food production's contribution to global carbon emissions. Lifestyle and die is increasing the global impact of the food sector. Prof Jurgen Kropp from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, one of the study's co-authors said that previous studies had highlighted that "agriculture was playing an increasingly important role when it came to carbon dioxide emissions".
"We have worldwide lifestyle changes where people are moving towards a meat-rich diet and we need more food, of course," he told BBC News. "The richer a country becomes, there is a move towards more meat-rich diets and, of course, more calorie-rich diets". For one calorie of meat, you have to utilize one to eight calories of cereal. It is an inefficient form of food production," he observed. "On the other hand, rich countries are wasting more food. A lot of the food we are producing at the moment, we do not see on our plates." Prof Kropp added that this trend was projected to have a considerable impact on the global carbon budget by the middle of the 21st Century. They calculated that about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could be traced back to food waste by 2050. However, the team examined past datasets and used future scenarios to identify pathways that could deliver improvements in food security and CO2 emissions. The team observed: "The global food requirement changed from 2,300 [calories per person each day] to 2,400 [calories per person each day] during the past 50 years, while the food surplus grew from 310 [calories per person each day] to 510 [calories per person each day]." Over the same period, the team found that greenhouse gas emissions associated with food surplus increased from 130 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year to 530 million tons - an increase of more than 300%.
Future scenarios did not make comfortable reading. They calculated that emissions associated with the food wasted may "increase tremendously" to up to 2.5 giga-tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. Prof Kropp added: "As many emerging economies like China or India are projected to rapidly increase their food waste as a consequence of changing lifestyle, increasing welfare and dietary habits towards a larger share of animal-based products, this could over proportionally increase greenhouse-gas emissions associated with food waste [while] undermining efforts for an ambitious climate protection.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Kabul (BNA) The Ministry of Public Health along with its partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a campaign today to vaccinate every child under the age of 5 against polio in all districts in the Southern, Eastern, Southeastern Regions and 28 districts in the Northern, Northeastern and Western Regions. The campaign will reach around 5.2 million children living in low-performing districts and will run until 22 April.
Polio is a crippling disease that is incurable and can only be prevented through vaccination. Every child under the age of five in Afghanistan should be vaccinated during each round. Only two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan – are still considered polio-endemic countries.
“Wherever children are not immunized, children’s lives are at risk all over Afghanistan. We urge all parents and caregivers to vaccinate their children against polio since the polio vaccine is the only way to protect children from permanent paralysis and even death,” said H.E. Minister of Public Health Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz.
The polio vaccine is safe and the only effective prevention for polio disease. Polio vaccines are halal and have been specifically endorsed by leaders of the Islamic community. It is important to note that the polio vaccine is safe for newborn, sleeping and sick children. The vaccine has no side effects and it will not interact with other illnesses.
The campaign, which runs for four days with an additional day on Friday for vaccinators to revisit “missed” children, will be carried out by around 25,000 trained vaccinators. These vaccinators and other frontline health workers are trusted members of the community and they have been chosen because they care about children.
Eradication of polio in Afghanistan is possible within the next year if each child is reached during every vaccination campaign. Parents who miss having their children vaccinated over the next four days are urged to visit local health centres where their children can be vaccinated against polio.
Saturday April 16, 2016
Kabul (BNA) The authorities of the MoPH and MoE said that vacancies have been announced and employment process is going on. Due to thousands of vacancies, the MoPH Ferozuddin Feroz and MoE Assadullah Hanif Balkhi were summoned to the house of people.
According to the IAARCS, about 13000 and 2096 vacancies exist in the two abovementioned ministries respectively. Lawmakers said that under current situation that thousands unemployed youth are leaving the country, these vacancies are disturbing. MoE Assadullah Hanif Balkhi said, “Out of the approved organization and vacancies of 1394 of the 263961 position MoE, only 12766 vacancies are not filed. 6 months ago, the president ordered refilling of these positions. The vacancies have been announced and in some provinces competitive examinations have also been taken and so far 1904 vacancies have been filled. Majority of vacancies are in volatile districts in which no one is ready to be employed even with additional salaries, while there are no vacancies in the center of provincial capitals or urban areas. The MoE plans to transfer 50 vacancies from each insecure district to provincial capitals due to urgent need. He added, 725 schools are closed in volatile areas with 1500 vacant positions. We are corruption: Two years ago president Ghani had said that until imagining schools are not identified and corruption is not eradicated, no more vacant position will be given to MoE.
MoPH Ferozuddin Feroz said, “There were 2099 vacant positions in that ministry and 1500 people were employed through administrative reforms and this process is going on. The main problem exists on 311-320 vacant position in insecure provinces and remote areas and no one is ready to be employed there. Second deputy speaker of the house Nematullah Ghafari who had chaired the house session said, “It is proper to give two months moratorium to these two ministries to fill these vacant positions and after expiry of this time we would question them again.” Ghafair added, “All other ministries have also been instructed to announce their vacant positions and employee eligible applicants. Corruption is a serious problem in employment process which has always been criticized by people and lawmakers. Experts said that the MoLSA has time and again talked on vacant positions in different ministries and announced this number to media but this is the first time that the house of representatives has summand these two senior authorities for questioning due to vacant positions. Haroon Mir an expert said, “If the NUG intends to follow these issue closely, no vacant position will remain in the ministries, because at present thousands educated youth are unemployed and wandering. The NUG should employ qualified, deserving educated people transparently and refuse employment, of their relatives and nepotisms. If the government doesn’t prevent unemployment we will be witnessing additional migrations of educated youth to European countries. Mustafa on unemployed educated youth said, “If the government paves the way for employment of educated people and opportunity to us, well never migrate abroad. In previous weeks the MoLSA announced over 5, 0000 vacant positions in government departments but it was the first time that two ministers were summand to the house for questioning.
Wednesday April 13, 2016
KABUL (BNA) Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health has said that some six million of tobacco users are passing away, while half a million are critically affected by the wicked substance and its derivatives, Bakhar News Agency said the other day.
The ministry said it had set a committee to work out under the chapter 3 of the tobacco control law to protect the life of the society members, said the ministry as quoted by the agency. The ministry expressed over what is said an increase in the number of tobacco users spread out among the youths and elderly and advised that addressing the problems should firstly be sought within the households. The Ministry of Hajj and Endowment, the ministry said had also the responsibility to prevent the use of tobacco among the youths through a public awareness, said the ministry.