The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a new programme to bolster development efforts in mountain communities, in which almost one-third – or 245 million people – of the world’s hungry live.The Decentralized Cooperation scheme pools FAO’s knowledge together with the resources and expertise of highland communities in Italy, France and Spain to aid fellow mountainous region dwellers in developing countries.With a total budget of $13 million, 18 projects will target the neediest mountain areas in the world.“Mountain people often have a natural connection despite vast geographic distance and different income levels and lifestyles,” said José Antonio Prado, FAO’s Forest Management Division Director.Local groups in countries of differing levels of prosperity will share skills and traditional practices, referred to as decentralized cooperation, and this benefits the poor by providing access to resources, education, goods and services.Problems faced in developing countries are compounded in highland areas by the climate, limited transportation options and isolation from urban areas.Wealthier countries also stand to benefit from such an alliance through new markets for goods, through the development of new products such as specialty coffees and medicinal plants and through the protection of valuable natural repositories of freshwater.While only 12 percent of the world’s population lives in mountainous regions – which cover one-quarter of the earth’s surface – many of these people are chronically undernourished even though mountains are the source of half of the world’s freshwater supply.Aid to mountain communities in developing nations could be crucial in protecting and improving freshwater resources while also bridging the economic gap between those living in the highlands and lowlands.FAO is also involved in other projects designed to alleviate the plight of the mountain poor, hosting the Secretariat of the Mountain Partnership, which was established in 2002 and comprises 47 countries, 15 intergovernmental organizations and 82 private sector and civil society groups. 20 June 2007The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a new programme to bolster development efforts in mountain communities, in which almost one-third – or 245 million people – of the world’s hungry live.
A Bartician make-up artist, Arian Dahlia Richmond, has taken to social media to highlight an alleged rape incident, which she claims took place when she was a teenager contesting in a beauty pageant.The young woman took to her Facebook page and detailed the alleged rape and named Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall as her rapist.In the post, which has since gone viral, the makeup artist stated, “On the night Gifford Marshall raped me, he told me of an instance he stepped into the Bartica’s Police Station and aiding the release of (name withheld) after he was accused of beating and raping a girl who decided to leave the relationship”.Arian Dahlia RichmondIn her social media post, the young woman accused the Mayor of being “a strategic politician so he said this to ensure I knew the extent of his power”.“I wasn’t surprised when he posted he’ll launch an investigation knowing fully well he is one of the perpetrators,” the young woman posted on her Facebook account on Friday morning.Meanwhile, Commander of F Division (Interior locations), Kevin Adonis when contacted told this publication that there is no report of Richmond’s alleged rape.Mayor of Bartica, Gifford MarshallHe confirmed that he personally contacted Crime Chief and Deputy Police Commissioner, Lyndon Alves to enquire whether the said allegation of rape was reported to any other police station in the country but it was revealed that Richmond is yet to make an official report.Independent probeMeanwhile, former Deputy Mayor of Bartica, Kamal Persaud, who worked directly with Mayor Marshall, told this newspaper that an independent investigation into such an allegation needs to be done immediately.“I am calling for a full investigation into this matter because it is not a light allegation being made, it is an allegation of rape, and, therefore, it is only fair to have an independent investigation to bring closure and justice in this situation.I also support Dahlia for coming forward since doing so, and even going to social media as her medium to publicise it, takes courage. This is unfortunate and I understand how the Mayor would feel as well, but only an independent probe can ascertain what really transpired and if the story is true or false,” the former Deputy Mayor said.On the other hand, Mayor Marshall took to his Facebook page on Saturday morning acknowledging the rape allegation made against him.“I have since brought this allegation to the attention of my attorney and the police, it is now engaging their attention. I categorically deny any such allegation. Many thanks to all of you for your prayers and support,” Marshall’s post read. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTrinidad trade unionist charged with rape, indecent assaultMay 17, 2016In “Court”Tuschen man appears in Court for allegedly raping 17-yr-old girlSeptember 11, 2017In “Court”Bible college student slapped with rape charge; granted $200,000 bailFebruary 18, 2019In “Court”