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Showing posts from September, 2014

The World Food Programme, One of the Largest UN Agencies in Humanitarian Aid

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Once again, Impakter has published one of my articles on the United Nations - this time, about the World Food programme - and of course, always under my real name (Claude Forthomme). After all, that's the name everyone knew when I worked there - and after 25 years of service, lots of people knew me, particularly as I was an evaluation specialist, checking out on projects and programmes...and people!


WFP – From Small to Giant Steps on 17 September, 2014 at 14:38 The World Food Programme: From a Small FAO Unit to Top UN Humanitarian Agency When children outgrow their parents…That is what happened to the World Food Programme that started as a small unit within FAO back in 1961 and is now one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency addressing hunger and ‘food security’. It was the brainchild of US Senator George Mc Govern who promoted the idea of using US grain surplus to feed “the underprivileged at home and abroad”as he put it. By 1962, his Food for Peace…

Digital Revolution Act III: Is Publishing Dying?

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos starts his High Order Bit presentation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) We all know what Act One was all about and it started with a bang: on a November day like any other in 2007, the Kindle was launched by Jeff Bezos, Amazon's brilliant founder and within five hours it had sold out. The whole world of e-reading was changed forever. Years later, Bezos admitted in an interview that he was surprised at how fast the Kindle sold in its first two holiday seasons.

We all know what Act II was like, a wild, exciting ride starting with several unknown writers achieving sudden stardom: Amanda Hocking, Bella Andre, Hugh Howey . But there were many many others, often mid list authors led by Jo Konrath, re-publishing their back list and finding success. The Indie revolution was born, drawing in hordes of aspiring writers and mid-list authors alike.

Traditional publishers looked on, initially dazed. But they too caught on. They used to sell the digital version of their new…

Hemingway Fan Fic: a 6-word Short Story

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This is 6-word short story I mentioned sometime ago on this blog and that is now published on Readwave, click here to see it on the site. If you like it, please click that heart below it, that would make me so happy!

Title of the story: MELANCHOLY
For sale, wedding ring, never used The way the story is presented is what makes of Readwave an exceptional digital showcase for your fiction. And it's a very lively place too, full of good reads.

Also, it is a fact that 6-word short stories are a show that will never die, ever since Hemingway started the fashion. Now Readwave, with a dedicated section, carries on the show...Click here to see it, there are over 40 short stories there, and, as the Readwave editors say, "A picture may be worth a thousand words; the challenge is describing it in only six."

Of course, my story is Hemingway fan fic, I plead guilty. I'm sure you all remember it: "Baby shoes for sale, never used"...

By the way, that illustration is taken …

What Makes for an Expert Book Review

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The joy when a reviewer "gets" your book! This morning it happened to me and I wanted to share this joy with you. It concerns my latest book, Forever Young, my climate fiction set in the near-future - well, not so near, 200 years from now because that's the time I figure it will take for mankind to face extinction on Earth. Contrary to most science fiction and climate fiction that set environmental and societal catastrophe at some 40 to 50 years ahead, I wanted to give my novel a chance to be plausible: I really believe this final disaster will require about 200 years to mature...

So here is what Australian author Alana Woods wrote:

"Some time ago I read Nougat’s short story compilation Death on Facebook, Short Stories for the Digital Age and was impressed with the range of stories and the skill with which they were presented. One that caught my imagination was I will not leave you behind, the futuristic story of a 122 year old woman who is part of an elite progr…

The World Health Organization and the Ebola Challenge

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Another one of my articles published under my real name on Impakter. I never worked for the WHO but having spent 25 years of my life with another specialized UN agency (FAO), I believe I have an insider's ability to understand what works and what doesn't work in the UN system...


The World Health Organisation and Ebola on 8 September, 2014 at 08:00
Ebola is a perfect example of what is wrong with the World Health Organization. More and more people have been asking, why is it not present on the ground? Why didn’t it issue a warning sooner? In short, what is it doing (if anything)?

With close to 1900 people already dead since the beginning of the outbreak this year, the international medical agency Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) has warned that “the world is losing the battle” to contain Ebola and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) expects severe food shortages in the three countries most affected by Ebola, Guinea, Sierra …

Diary of a UN Official #2: The Gentleman from Iran

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Another memory emerging from the mists of my past - again published on Impakter  under my real name Claude Forthomme:


Diary of a UN Official #2: The Gentleman From Iran on 1 September, 2014 at 11:27 My (Adventurous) Life at the United Nations: An Unexpected End to a Drafting Committee Session.
14 November 1991, 26th FAO Conference in Rome. I glance at my watch, midnight already. The delegates, thirteen in all, are sitting around the table, looking glum, staring at the papers in front of them; coming from every region, they are the result of delicate diplomatic negotiations: three each from Africa and Asia, two from Europe and Latin America, plus the United States, Australia and the Chairman  from Denmark. A portly gentleman with a bold head and red cheeks, he is sitting next to me at the head of the table. Behind us, a vivid mural depicts a field of corn plants, the green stalks standing straight in a row, like soldiers at attention, and with a sun-bleached vil…