Worst case scenarios could become reality without more funding for El Niño

With 60 million people across the world affected by droughts, floods and other extreme weather events triggered by El Niño, the top United Nations relief official today called on the international community to act now to address urgent humanitarian needs and support building communities’ resilience to future shocks.“I am here to sound the alarm. Again. We must act today to help people whose entire way of life and survival is threatened,” Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in Geneva during a conference on responding to El Niño. “We are here today to make a global call for support and action. Sixty million people already require our urgent assistance today, tonight, tomorrow. Together we can avert the crisis from worsening. But the longer we wait, the longer and more costly our response will need to be,” continued Mr. O’Brien, underscoring that inaction also risked undermining decades of investments to development. As a reminder, and to put that into perspective, he recalled that the El Niño of 1997-98 killed around 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth $36 billion.“In this crisis we are not held back by political barriers, violent attacks or major access challenges. We must respond quickly to immediate, life-threatening needs, but we must also help people to become more self-reliant, and build individual and community capacity to respond to future shocks,” he stressed.According to the UN, the current El Niño is one of the strongest on record affecting an estimated 60 million people including some of the most vulnerable in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Pacific. The impact of El Niño-induced droughts is picking up in late 2016 and early 2017, and the situation could become even worse if a La Niña event – which often follows an El Niño – strikes towards the end of this year.“El Niño has already severely affected the health and food security of so many families and communities across the world. I am deeply worried about rising acute malnutrition among children under five and the increase in water- and vector-borne diseases. People urgently need food, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as health services,” Mr. O’Brien added.Over the past months, UN agencies, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other relief partners have stepped up El Niño-related preparedness and response work. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicated that response plans have been completed in 13 countries, requesting some $3.6 billion to meet critical needs for food and agricultural support, as well as nutrition, health and emergency water and sanitation needs. But OCHA says the funding gap for the combined global El Niño-related response stands at over $2.2 billion. As some countries have not yet finalized their humanitarian response plans, this figure is expected to rise. In Somaliland and Puntland, close to two million people are affected by the drought amid the El Niño phenomenon. WFP/Petterik Wiggers UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator, Izumi Nakamitsu, said it is critical to invest now to help ensure vulnerable communities can cope better with the next El Niño or other crises.“This shows again the importance of humanitarian and development agencies working together to support national and local governments during crises, to identify the risks for future disasters and build resilience. We can predict most crises, which gives us an opportunity to invest in prevention, preparedness and disaster risk reduction to reduce or end humanitarian need,” Ms. Nakamitsu said.Mr. O’Brien added that the World Humanitarian Summit, to be convened by the UN Secretary-General in Istanbul in a month’s time, on 23 and 24 May, provides a critical opportunity for the international community to change the way it manages climatic risks, including future El Niño and La Niña events. read more

Magnetic inversion data helps identify more gold at Nullagine

first_imgMillennium Minerals’ new exploration targeting methodology at the Nullagine gold project in Western Australia has come up trumps, with a new greenfield target identified 1.8 km southwest of its flagship Golden Eagle deposit.The new target, which has already been the subject of reconnaissance drilling, was identified through a combination of 3D magnetic inversion, structural analysis and soil geochemistry.Drilling has returned what Millennium calls a “significant” 12 m intercept comprising a broad zone of highly anomalous mineralisation with a similar alteration to Golden Eagle – where the company has defined 334,400 ounces of resources grading 1.4 g/t Au – including a narrow zone of high-grade gold.The assay that so far best characterises this is a 12 m interval averaging 0.87 g/t Au from 184 m depth, which includes 1 m at 3.13 g/t Au from 191 m.The 3D magnetic inversion models have also outlined an alteration zone measuring 400 m in strike Millennium is planning to follow up with drilling, it said.This whole approach is something very new for Millennium, CEO Peter Cash said.“While most of our exploration at Nullagine has historically been directed towards outcropping geochemical targets – which have been very successful in delivering ongoing increases in resources and reserves – we believe that an integrated targeting methodology based on a mineralised system approach has the potential to unlock major new discoveries,” he said.“Three dimensional magnetic inversion data has never previously been used to identify gold mineralisation at Nullagine, and we are really excited to now have confirmation that this technology can successfully define new gold targets in the Mosquito Creek Basin.”He said the use of 3D data represents an “enormously important technical breakthrough” for the area and Millennium.Millennium produced 70,371 ounces of gold at Nullagine in the year to the end of June.last_img read more