New Year could bring more misery to children in DR Congos restive

“This nutrition crisis and food insecurity in the Kasai region follows the displacement of thousands of families who have been living for months in very harsh conditions,” said Tajudeen Oyewale, the acting head of UNICEF in the African nation, in a news release underlining the scale of the catastrophe. “The true scale of the problem is becoming clear as people are returning home in some areas where the security situation has improved and health services have started functioning again.” According to estimates, at least 750,000 children across the Kasai region are acutely malnourished and some 25 health zones are in a situation of nutritional crisis – a state when the severely has exceeded emergency thresholds. The dire situation is primarily the result of over 18 months of insecurity and violence that has resulted in displacement of over 1.4 million and has severely reduced agricultural production with some two-thirds of households not to work their land to grow crops. The level of food insecurity is not expected to improve before June next year as the planting seasons for crops which would have been harvested by then has already been lost. Making matters much worse is the “devastation” of health facilities, according to UNICEF. Approximately 220 health centres have been destroyed, looted or damaged, access to treatment for communicable diseases as well as care for the children severely malnourished extremely difficult. “Guaranteeing access to basic health and nutrition services to returning populations is essential to help malnourished children survive and thrive,” said Mr. Oyewale. In response to the crisis, UNICEF and partners provided therapeutic nutritional care to more than 50,000 children aged between 6-59 months in the region this year. However, lack of resources has severely impacted aid delivery. With just days remaining in the year, the UN agency has received a mere 15 per cent of the funds it required for 2017. read more

Dwarf wrestlers slam charity that succeeded in banning freak show tour

In 2011 Martin Henderson was left paralysed after a man threw him into the air outside a pub in Somerset. She has also criticised the company for using the term “midget”.”It has strong historical associations with the Freak Shows of days gone by at which people with dwarfism were paraded and ridiculed. It is widely considered to be deeply offensive to most people in the dwarfism community,” she said. A spokesman for the show said it would be “first time a show of its kind will be seen in the UK since the Victorian times”.He said that in the USA, “the term Midget Wrestling is perceived by those that partake in the sport to offer a proud lineage. “However, in the UK the term is seen as degrading, so the term was not used in the posters or marketing here in the UK.” Lorenzo Jordan said: “I kinda feel hurt by it, because this is a choice, and I love to do it.”Another wrestler, Michael Stone, said: “We’re going out there, working, providing for our families. We’re just trying to have fun and do our jobs.”Michael Colitti, another wrestler, said: “I am deeply upset with why one of the venues in England has decided to cancel our show calling it grotesque and horrific. “I was under the impression that the UK as a whole had moved away from the Victorian pitch-fork mentality, waiting at castle gates telling people like myself are not welcome around these parts.”  The shows include elements which "encourages violence in real life" such as picking up and throwing people with dwarfism Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A row has broken out after a charity succeeded in banning “freak show” dwarf wrestling events. At least two shows in a planned UK tour by “Dwarfanators” performers, based in Texas, USA have been cancelled after protests from British charity the Restricted Growth Association. Performers have protested that they will lose two weeks of earnings if the tour is cancelled and called the criticism from the RGA “rude”. And a local politician has backed the wrestlers, arguing that the performers will lose money. James Lusted, an actor and county councillor in Rhos-on-Sea, north Wales, who has dwarfism, said he was “really frustrated” at the cancellation. “If they want to wrestle then let them crack on. If you don’t agree with it don’t go,” he told BBC Radio Wales.”That’s how they’ve chosen to live, that’s how they’ve chosen to support their families, pay their bills. Why don’t we just encourage and support them in that.”These professional entertainers, they’re well trained and fit but they’re actually going to lose finances now. I feel sorry for them.”The events in Leicester and Ferndown, near Bournemouth were pulled by the venues after the criticism. But Mr Luster said planned shows in Cardiff and Swansea should go ahead.  He added: “Many of the wrestlers in the show have not left the USA and have invested time, money and in some cases, their life savings to be able to tour the UK.”Mr Luster’s comments came as the wrestlers themselves defended their show. One performer, Ashley Waterhouse, said not working for two weeks would “hurt me, bad”, adding: “nothing about it is a freak show”.  Events in Leicester and Ferndown, near Bournemouth were pulled by the venues after the criticism. The shows include elements which “encourages violence in real life” such as picking up and throwing people with dwarfism On Wednesday Gillian Martin, from the RGA, said: “We remain resolute in our belief that such events are primarily about encouraging audiences to laugh at people with dwarfism and the spectacle of violence against dwarf bodies as entertainment for average height people.”She said the shows include elements which “encourages violence in real life” such as picking up and throwing people with dwarfism. Events in Leicester and Ferndown, near Bournemouth were pulled by the venues after the criticism. read more