FRW news in brief

    | July 7, 2014

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    1-Zimbabwe: Children not being tested for HIV

    Zimbabwean children who lack parental permission to undergo HIV testing are being turned away from clinics, and many do not come back.

    The UN’s Development Program found that 200,000 Zimbabweans between 10 and 14 years of age are living with HIV. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reports that children between six and 15 years old are not getting adequate HIV testing and counselling.

    In Zimbabwe, a child under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a consenting legal guardian to receive testing. The government is being urged to change its guidelines and to increase awareness of the high prevalence of HIV in children.

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    2-South Sudan: Children suffering from lack of education

    One and a half million people have been displaced in South Sudan since the fighting between government and rebel forces began last December. About half of these are children.

    According to the international NGO Save the Children, families are fleeing from camps for Internally Displaced People, or IDP camps, and taking their children across borders. Refugee camps often have better provision for children’s education than IDP camps.

    Since the fighting began, more than 110,000 children in South Sudan have received only emergency education. As of May 2014, the education service had received 32 per cent of its required funding, far behind health at 52% and mine clearance, which has received 74% of needed funds.

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    3-Djibouti: UN warns of drought

    A UN official in Djibouti says the tiny Horn of Africa nation is confronting its fourth consecutive year of drought.

    The city of Djibouti is facing a huge influx of people fleeing disease and malnutrition in the countryside. The UN Resident Coordinator for Djibouti, Robert Watkins, is appealing to donor countries to help meet the UN appeal for $74 million US.

    Mr. Watkins says the biggest issue facing people in Djibouti is the lack of water. A countrywide water shortage has caused many cattle to perish. Unless rehydration centres are supported, many people may die from dehydration.

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