Assessing progress toward Millennium Development Goals

Scores of world leaders assembled in New York and vowed to accelerate progress on the eight Millennium Development Goals to ward off a looming failure to meet the targets by 2015. They adopted an extensive 31-page document that reaffirms their determination to reach the goals, such as reducing poverty and hunger, increasing access to education, boosting maternal health and combating disease. To keep the pressure on, the document asks for annual reports on where the goals stand, plus another special summit on the matter in 2013. Read more here.

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Africa urged to adopt new poverty model

African countries should include disaster risk reduction in their national development plans if efforts to reduce poverty are to succeed. African governments have to take more proactive steps to minimize on the damage and cost of disasters, such as droughts and floods, which have been on a steady rise. According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, more than 1,800 disasters killed more than 700,000 people in Africa over the past 30 years and affecting 300 million others. Read more here.

East Africa: Cattle Fever Dealt a Blow on the Nose

Scientists and wildlife authorities are starting field trials of the first promising vaccine for a devastating cattle disease that plagues farmers across East Africa. Malignant catarrhal fever is transmitted from wildebeest to cattle during the annual migration of over a million wildebeest across the Serengeti and Masai Mara in Kenya and Tanzania. The vaccine’s efficacy has to be gauged before venturing into commercial production. Read this story here.

Beans climb to new heights in Rwanda

Climbing beans suited to rainy high-altitude areas are being distributed in Rwanda after a decade of research. The beans are resistant to legume diseases, high yield and take only 4 month to mature. Read this story here.