SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Nearly half of Yemenis go to bed hungry every night as political instability compounds a global food and fuel price surge, giving the Arabian Peninsula state the world’s third-highest rate of child malnutrition, the World Food Program said on Sunday.
Yemen has been in turmoil since last year’s revolt against 33 years of rule by Ali Abdullah Saleh when already weak state control in outlying regions broke down as the army split into pro- and anti-Saleh factions and al-Qaeda militants occupied some areas.
Forced to import most of its food needs because of a paucity of arable land, Yemen has also suffered from a rise in global food and fuel prices, WFP spokesman Barry Came told Reuters.
“Five million people, or 22 percent of the population, can’t feed themselves or buy enough to feed themselves ... These are mostly landless laborers, so they don’t grow their own food, and with high food prices they can’t buy it either,” said Came.
“In addition, there is another five million who are being really hard hit by high food prices and on the edge of being food insecure. So10 million people in this country go to bed hungry every night.”
The number of people receiving daily WFP food rations has risen from 1.2 million in January to over 3.8 million, but poor infrastructure and fear of kidnappings by tribes have complicated the logistics of providing food aid.
“They are really hit by fuel and food price rises ... but there’s also political instability, conflict, terrorist activity and huge population displacement,” he said. “Without political security and stability you can’t solve the problem.”
Thirteen percent of Yemeni children were now acutely malnourished as a result of the political and economic strains of the past year, giving Yemen the third-highest rate of child malnutrition in the world, he said.
Saleh was forced to stand down in February after over 2,000 people died. Came said there were now 500,000 internally displaced Yemenis after the fight with militants in the south and Saleh’s 2009/10 war against Shi’ite Islamists known as Houthis north of Sanaa.
International donors pledged $1.46 billion in aid to the country of 24 million at a meeting in New York on Thursday attended by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who said the pledge would help Yemen avoid a civil war.
Donors, who include permanent U.N. Security Council members China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States, as well as Gulf Arab states, had already promised $6.4 billion but will expect more action on political and security reform in return.
Restoring stability has become an international priority for fear Islamist militants will further entrench themselves in a country neighboring top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and lying on major world shipping lanes.
Central government also faces a campaign of suicide attacks and assassinations by militants in revenge for army operations and U.S. missile strikes against them.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Arabiya
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Bronzing on a tanning bed increases the risk of the lethal form of skin cancer, melanoma, by 20 per cent, a new review suggests.
European researchers set out to look for any relationship between use of tanning beds and skin cancer.
Most provinces don't regulatethe the use of tanning beds by minors. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)
In this week's issue of the British Medical Journal, they concluded a review of 27 studies on the topic published between 1981 and 2012.
Mathieu Boniol of the International Prevention Research Institute and his co-authors estimated that of the 63,942 cases of melanoma diagnosed every year in 18 Western European countries, about 3, 438 cases of melanoma and 784 related deaths could be attributed to bronzing with tanning beds.
"The risk of cutaneous melanoma is increased by 20 per cent for those who were ever users of indoor tanning devices with artificial ultraviolet light," the study's authors concluded. "The risk of melanoma was doubled when use started before the age of 35 years."
The researchers believe that earlier studies tended to underestimate the risks of indoor tanning because use of the the devices is relatively new.
They said figures from Iceland, where sunny days are relatively uncommon, suggested that the incidence of skin cancer increased sharply in young females after 1990, then decreased in 2000 when authorities imposed stricter controls on tanning beds.
"Prevention of the harmful effects associated with sunbed use must be based on tougher actions," they concluded.
Restrictions for minors
Boniol's team called for restrictions on tanning by people under the age of 18 and bans on unsupervised tanning salons.
Last month, a CBC News test of tanning salons across Canada shows people under 18 are being allowed to tan without their parents' consent, contrary to voluntary industry guidelines.
In a response at the time, Steven Gilroy, executive director of the Joint Canadian Tanning Association, said his members welcome professional standards on who can use tanning beds.
Nova Scotia has had legislation prohibiting anyone under the age of 19 from using tanning beds since May 31, 2011. Quebec passed a ban for those under the age of 18 last month and other provinces have proposed similar legislation.
Australia and several European countries have implemented restrictions on tanning bed use by teens. California issued a ban for people under the age of 18 last October, the researchers said.
"If sunbed use by teenagers and young adults does not substantially decrease in the short term, then more radical actions should be envisioned, such as the nationwide prohibition of the public use of tanning devices, which was implemented by the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency84 in November 2009," the researchers suggested.
Health Canada's voluntary guidelines for tanning salon operators recommend they assess factors such as a client's ability to tan, the client's history of sunburn and the use of any medication that could react with UV radiation. Those guidelines note that children under 16 should not use tanning equipment.
An estimated 5,800 Canadians will learn they have melanoma this year, according to Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012, published by the Canadian Cancer Society.—www.shafaqna.com/english