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  •  The UN and partners have rushed to support Afghanistan following a devastating earthquake that hit two provinces in the east of the country No fewer than 1 000 people were killed on Wednesday according to media reports and numbers are expected to rise Nearly 2 000 homes reportedly were also destroyed and scores of people displaced So far around 10 tonnes of essential medical supplies and medicines have been shipped to the affected areas This aid includes 30 emergency health kits and 50 surgical health kits according to UN Teams of surgeons medical doctors and several medical specialists have also been dispatched Food and tents are also being delivered and affected people are being directed to regional hospitals UN Secretary General Ant nio Guterres said he was saddened to learn about the tragic loss of life noting that Afghans were already reeling from the impact of years of conflict economic hardship and hunger The United Nations in Afghanistan is fully mobilised Our teams are already on the ground assessing the needs and providing initial support We count on the international community to help support the hundreds of families hit by this latest disaster Now is the time for solidarity Guterres said in a statement The 5 9 magnitude quake struck the Central Region of Afghanistan around 1 30 am local time on Wednesday UN humanitarian agency OCHA reported Four districts in Patika province Gayan Barmala Naka and Ziruk as well as Spera district in Khost province have been affected The earthquake registered at a depth of 10km OCHA said and was reportedly felt in neighbouring provinces including Kabul home to the country s capital as well as in Islamabad Pakistan and India Immediate needs include emergency trauma care emergency shelter and non food items food assistance and support for water and sanitation Afghanistan s Ministry of Defense is leading response efforts OCHA said The authorities have dispatched five helicopters to Paktika province to facilitate medical evacuations and more than 45 ambulances A medical team was also sent to Gayan district OCHA is coordinating the emergency response on behalf of UN agencies and humanitarian partners Everybody is responding in a very concise manner Ramiz Alakbarov UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan said speaking via videoconference to journalists in New York A rapid assessment of the situation is underway and he estimated that 15 million dollars will be required to respond to immediate needs Alakbarov who is also UN Deputy Special Representative in Afghanistan reported that mobile teams have already reached all locations Of course at the UN we do not have specific equipment to take people from under the rubble This has to rely mostly on the efforts of the de facto authorities which also have certain limitations in that respect he said The UN was already mounting one of the largest humanitarian operations in the world in Afghanistan where nearly 20 million people roughly half the population are going hungry Therefore sufficient personnel were already on the ground to be deployed immediately In a post on Twitter the World Health Organisation WHO stated that within a few hours its teams were supporting local health workers in saving lives and taking care of those affected by the disaster Rescue operations and humanitarian support are being carried out in a mountainous area near the border with Pakistan and amid unfavourable weather conditions following snow rain and falling temperatures The UN Children s Fund UNICEF reported that it has dispatched several mobile health and nutrition teams to provide first aid to the injured Dr Mohamed Ayoya UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan said staff were also distributing critical aid including kitchen equipment hygiene supplies such as soap detergent towels and sanitary pads as well as warm clothes shoes blankets tents and tarpaulins The de facto authorities have requested the support of UNICEF and other UN agency teams who are joining efforts to assess the situation and respond to the needs of the affected communities he said We stand in solidarity with the children and families affected during this difficult time Meanwhile the World Food Programme WFP is gathering data to direct its 239 strong fleet of trucks to deliver to the needy WFP currently provides food to some 800 distribution sites across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan one of the UN agency s most urgent emergencies The UN refugee agency UNHCR has deployed staff to the most affected areas in Pakitika and Khost provinces from its field office in the city of Gardez capital of Paktia province It is heart breaking to see this tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan on top of the ongoing humanitarian crisis that Afghans are going through every day Filippo Grandi UN High Commissioner for Refugees said This tragedy highlights once again that Afghans need and deserve the world s solidarity and support he added Similarly the President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid underlined his solidarity with families who have been impacted by the earthquake He urged UN Member States to support ongoing humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering from this unforeseen tragedy NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Earthquake: UN agencies send aid to Afghanistan to support victims
     The UN and partners have rushed to support Afghanistan following a devastating earthquake that hit two provinces in the east of the country No fewer than 1 000 people were killed on Wednesday according to media reports and numbers are expected to rise Nearly 2 000 homes reportedly were also destroyed and scores of people displaced So far around 10 tonnes of essential medical supplies and medicines have been shipped to the affected areas This aid includes 30 emergency health kits and 50 surgical health kits according to UN Teams of surgeons medical doctors and several medical specialists have also been dispatched Food and tents are also being delivered and affected people are being directed to regional hospitals UN Secretary General Ant nio Guterres said he was saddened to learn about the tragic loss of life noting that Afghans were already reeling from the impact of years of conflict economic hardship and hunger The United Nations in Afghanistan is fully mobilised Our teams are already on the ground assessing the needs and providing initial support We count on the international community to help support the hundreds of families hit by this latest disaster Now is the time for solidarity Guterres said in a statement The 5 9 magnitude quake struck the Central Region of Afghanistan around 1 30 am local time on Wednesday UN humanitarian agency OCHA reported Four districts in Patika province Gayan Barmala Naka and Ziruk as well as Spera district in Khost province have been affected The earthquake registered at a depth of 10km OCHA said and was reportedly felt in neighbouring provinces including Kabul home to the country s capital as well as in Islamabad Pakistan and India Immediate needs include emergency trauma care emergency shelter and non food items food assistance and support for water and sanitation Afghanistan s Ministry of Defense is leading response efforts OCHA said The authorities have dispatched five helicopters to Paktika province to facilitate medical evacuations and more than 45 ambulances A medical team was also sent to Gayan district OCHA is coordinating the emergency response on behalf of UN agencies and humanitarian partners Everybody is responding in a very concise manner Ramiz Alakbarov UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan said speaking via videoconference to journalists in New York A rapid assessment of the situation is underway and he estimated that 15 million dollars will be required to respond to immediate needs Alakbarov who is also UN Deputy Special Representative in Afghanistan reported that mobile teams have already reached all locations Of course at the UN we do not have specific equipment to take people from under the rubble This has to rely mostly on the efforts of the de facto authorities which also have certain limitations in that respect he said The UN was already mounting one of the largest humanitarian operations in the world in Afghanistan where nearly 20 million people roughly half the population are going hungry Therefore sufficient personnel were already on the ground to be deployed immediately In a post on Twitter the World Health Organisation WHO stated that within a few hours its teams were supporting local health workers in saving lives and taking care of those affected by the disaster Rescue operations and humanitarian support are being carried out in a mountainous area near the border with Pakistan and amid unfavourable weather conditions following snow rain and falling temperatures The UN Children s Fund UNICEF reported that it has dispatched several mobile health and nutrition teams to provide first aid to the injured Dr Mohamed Ayoya UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan said staff were also distributing critical aid including kitchen equipment hygiene supplies such as soap detergent towels and sanitary pads as well as warm clothes shoes blankets tents and tarpaulins The de facto authorities have requested the support of UNICEF and other UN agency teams who are joining efforts to assess the situation and respond to the needs of the affected communities he said We stand in solidarity with the children and families affected during this difficult time Meanwhile the World Food Programme WFP is gathering data to direct its 239 strong fleet of trucks to deliver to the needy WFP currently provides food to some 800 distribution sites across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan one of the UN agency s most urgent emergencies The UN refugee agency UNHCR has deployed staff to the most affected areas in Pakitika and Khost provinces from its field office in the city of Gardez capital of Paktia province It is heart breaking to see this tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan on top of the ongoing humanitarian crisis that Afghans are going through every day Filippo Grandi UN High Commissioner for Refugees said This tragedy highlights once again that Afghans need and deserve the world s solidarity and support he added Similarly the President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid underlined his solidarity with families who have been impacted by the earthquake He urged UN Member States to support ongoing humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering from this unforeseen tragedy NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Earthquake: UN agencies send aid to Afghanistan to support victims
    Foreign5 months ago

    Earthquake: UN agencies send aid to Afghanistan to support victims

    The UN and partners have rushed to support Afghanistan following a devastating earthquake that hit two provinces in the east of the country.

    No fewer than 1,000 people were killed on Wednesday, according to media reports, and numbers are expected to rise.

    Nearly 2,000 homes reportedly were also destroyed and scores of people displaced.

    So far, around 10 tonnes of essential medical supplies and medicines have been shipped to the affected areas. This aid includes 30 emergency health kits and 50 surgical health kits, according to UN.

    Teams of surgeons, medical doctors and several medical specialists have also been dispatched.

    Food and tents are also being delivered, and affected people are being directed to regional hospitals

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was saddened to learn about the tragic loss of life, noting that Afghans were already reeling from the impact of years of conflict, economic hardship and hunger.

    “The United Nations in Afghanistan is fully mobilised. Our teams are already on the ground assessing the needs and providing initial support.

    “We count on the international community to help support the hundreds of families hit by this latest disaster. Now is the time for solidarity,” Guterres said in a statement.

    The 5.9 magnitude quake struck the Central Region of Afghanistan around 1.30 am, local time on Wednesday, UN humanitarian agency OCHA reported.

    Four districts in Patika province – Gayan, Barmala, Naka and Ziruk – as well as Spera district in Khost province, have been affected.

    The earthquake registered at a depth of 10km, OCHA said, and was reportedly felt in neighbouring provinces including Kabul, home to the country’s capital, as well as in Islamabad, Pakistan, and India.

    Immediate needs include emergency trauma care, emergency shelter and non-food items, food assistance and support for water and sanitation.

    Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense is leading response efforts, OCHA said.

    The authorities have dispatched five helicopters to Paktika province to facilitate medical evacuations, and more than 45 ambulances.  A medical team was also sent to Gayan district.

    OCHA is coordinating the emergency response on behalf of UN agencies and humanitarian partners.

    “Everybody is responding in a very concise manner,” Ramiz Alakbarov, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, said speaking via videoconference to journalists in New York.

    A rapid assessment of the situation is underway, and he estimated that 15 million dollars will be required to respond to immediate needs.

    Alakbarov, who is also UN Deputy Special Representative in Afghanistan, reported that mobile teams have already reached all locations.

    “Of course, at  the UN we do not have… specific equipment to take people from under the rubble.

    “This has to rely mostly on the efforts of the de facto authorities, which also have certain limitations in that respect,” he said.

    The UN was already mounting one of the largest humanitarian operations in the world in Afghanistan, where nearly 20 million people, roughly half the population, are going hungry.

    Therefore, sufficient personnel were already on the ground to be deployed immediately.

    In a post on Twitter, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that “within a few hours” its teams were supporting local health workers in saving lives and taking care of those affected by the disaster.

    Rescue operations and humanitarian support are being carried out in a mountainous area near the border with Pakistan, and amid unfavourable weather conditions, following snow, rain and falling temperatures.

    The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that it has dispatched several mobile health and nutrition teams to provide first aid to the injured.

    Dr Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, said staff were also distributing critical aid, including kitchen equipment; hygiene supplies such as soap, detergent, towels and sanitary pads, as well as warm clothes, shoes, blankets, tents and tarpaulins.

    “The de facto authorities have requested the support of UNICEF and other UN agency teams who are joining efforts to assess the situation and respond to the needs of the affected communities,” he said.

    “We stand in solidarity with the children and families affected during this difficult time.”

    Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) is gathering data to direct its 239-strong fleet of trucks to deliver to the needy.

    WFP currently provides food to some 800 distribution sites across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan, one of the UN agency’s most urgent emergencies.

    The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has deployed staff to the most affected areas in Pakitika and Khost provinces from its field office in the city of Gardez, capital of Paktia province.

    “It is heart-breaking to see this tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan on top of the ongoing humanitarian crisis that Afghans are going through every day,” Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said.

    “This tragedy highlights once again that Afghans need and deserve the world’s solidarity and support,” he added.

    Similarly, the President of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, underlined his solidarity with families who have been impacted by the earthquake.

    He urged UN Member States “to support ongoing humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering from this unforeseen tragedy”. (

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   New armed Arab attacks on civilians in western Darfur since April 2022 have left hundreds dead thousands displaced and hundreds of civilian homes burned and property looted Human Rights Watch said today Large scale violence has been carried out particularly against civilians in Kerenik and Kulbus It underlines the failure of the Sudanese government to fulfill its duty to protect civilians and the urgent need for the United Nations to increase vigilance protection through its presence and public information on developments in Darfur The last two months have clearly shown the devastating dividends of withdrawing peacekeepers and ignoring the continuing need to protect civilians in Darfur said Mohamed Osman Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch It is hard not to feel that the international community which has watched Darfur with eagle eyes for years has completely abandoned these victims of ethnic cleansing The joint human rights office in Sudan of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan UNITAMS and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR should give priority to ensuring access regulate Darfur to investigate and publicly report abuses all parts of the UN mission the UN system and member states must support their work and increase protection monitoring and reporting capacity including by deploying a stronger monitoring presence in Darfur The UN reported that the latest attack on civilians in the town of Kulbus and neighboring villages in West Darfur between June 6 and 11 left at least 125 dead including five children more than 100 injured and 33 000 displaced According to reports most of the victims are from the non Arab Gimir community The attackers reportedly burned houses and farms and looted livestock The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA has reported that more than two dozen villages in Gimir were burned down over the course of five days allegedly by armed members of the Rizeigat and Abbala Arab communities who they had mobilized against the Gimir community following a dispute between two individuals In 2008 according to the then prosecutor of the International Criminal Court the town of Kulbus was the scene of indiscriminate aerial bombardment murder rape torture and forcible transfer by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Janjaweed forces United Nations peacekeepers maintained a presence in Kulbus until 2013 In December 2020 the United Nations Security Council rescinded the mandate of a joint United Nations peacekeeping force and the African Union The violence in Kulbus follows patterns of attacks on civilians by heavily armed Arab militias between April 22 and 24 in the West Darfur town of Kerenik which killed at least 165 people displaced 98 000 and destroyed important civil infrastructure The UN said these attacks also followed a dispute between individuals related to a cattle rustling incident Survivors told Human Rights Watch that the assailants pulled civilians including children out of houses and shot them They also burned others inside their homes or on the streets as they fled The violence from Kerenik spread to the town of al Genaina where witnesses described clashes between the Rapid Support Forces RSF and the Sudanese Coalition Forces a peace signing rebel group currently led by the governor of Western Darfur The International Organization for Migration reported in May that nearly 60 000 people remained displaced in Kerenik most sheltering in open areas schools or other public buildings and only seven percent of them said they intended to return home which indicating that security issues persist At least 75 000 people were recently displaced in Darfur and South Kordofan between January and May while another 11 000 fled to Chad as refugees according to the UN Western Darfur has suffered several large scale attacks following the end of the mandate of the United Nations African Union peacekeeping force In 2021 the regional capital of al Genaina experienced two major episodes of violence including an attack in January in which armed Arab militiamen backed by RSF forces attacked Kirindig a camp for ethnic Massalit IDPs In March 2022 48 people were reportedly killed and 12 000 displaced in Jebel Mun in attacks involving community level mobilizations by Sudanese state security forces Hospitals and medical staff have come under repeated attack during the violence in West Darfur making access to medical care difficult for the injured and reportedly including the killing of four medical staff during the violence of late April 2022 in Al Genaina The RSF which has a long history of serious violations in Darfur has sometimes sided with Arab militias in attacks against civilians most notably in Al Genaina in April 2021 Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that members of the RSF RSF also participated alongside Arab militias in the recent April attacks on Kerenik Government forces have failed to protect civilians during attacks Two survivors from Kerenik said that the Sudanese Armed Forces fired to warn the attackers not to approach their garrison where many people were sheltering but did not intervene to deter the attackers or protect civilians who could not reach the village Garrison The OHCHR reported that the joint security forces reportedly withdrew in the face of another large scale attack on Kerenik by Rezeigat assailants on April 24 On June 14 the UN warned that the violence in Kulbus was impeding humanitarian access to communities in need including those recently displaced by the violence This comes at a critical time as the World Food Program WFP reported in June that West Darfur is the state with the highest level of food insecurity in Sudan with 65 percent of the population currently insecure food If the current situation continues this could hinder the growing season that is scheduled to start In 2020 the now deposed transitional government of Sudan signed the Juba Peace Agreement JPA with Darfur rebel groups The security arrangements provided for in the agreement including the disarmament and reintegration of forces and the deployment of joint security maintenance forces have been delayed The UN reported in May that a first batch of 2 000 joint forces was being trained Neither the Sudanese transitional government nor the current military rulers have meaningfully addressed the underlying causes of the violence in Darfur including marginalization disputes over control and access to land and natural resources and lack of justice for past and current abuses Nor have they provided meaningful protection to civilians through the deployment of well trained vetted and rights respecting forces These failures have once again contributed to the escalation of violence and harm to civilians Human Rights Watch said Impunity for abuses remains the norm Although Ali Mohammed Abd Al Rahman known as Ali Kosheib commander of the Janjaweed militias is currently on trial at the International Criminal Court ICC for crimes related to the campaign of ethnic cleansing against civilians in Darfur that is the exception ICC arrest warrants for former President Omar al Bashir and two other officials who are in Sudanese custody are pending Human Rights Watch documented intimidation and attacks against people who filed complaints following the attacks in al Genaina including those who attempted to file complaints against RSF officials Survivors of the Kerenik attacks said logistical security and bureaucratic hurdles were hampering their ability to even file complaints The protection of civilians is multifaceted and requires genuine efforts aimed at addressing the root causes of potential conflicts addressing the fears of communities and holding officials and security forces accountable for their crimes Sudanese authorities should not only investigate government forces particularly the RSF s involvement in abuses but also the lack of response by other government forces during attacks as well as crimes committed by armed militias Human Rights said Watch The 2021 UN Security Council resolution renewing the transitional mission in Sudan also underscored the mission s role in monitoring ceasefire violations in Darfur On May 24 2022 the special representative of the secretary general told the Security Council that following formal complaints from parties the Ceasefire Standing Committee had opened an investigation into the events in Kerenik related to his mandate The findings of this investigation should be included in public UN reports on events in Darfur Human Rights Watch said In May 2020 the Sudanese transitional government committed under a new national plan to protect civilians in Darfur by deploying joint security forces and strengthening accountability The national mechanism that was supposed to carry out the plan largely suspended its activities after the coup on October 25 2021 The UN mission must prioritize strengthening its capacity to fulfill its monitoring mandate before the situation in Darfur deteriorates further Human Rights Watch said The UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Darfur which is expected to present its interim report to the Council in July is due to report publicly to the Council and the Council s 1591 Committee formed to monitor sanctions imposed over the situation in Darfur on the dynamics underpinning violence against civilians in West Darfur While such a briefing is not common as such UN Security Council expert panels rarely make public presentations the rules of procedure do not exclude it and the seriousness of the situation justifies it The designated expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan in carrying out his mandate should monitor the abuses in Darfur and promptly visit the region particularly West Darfur Sudan s leaders should facilitate his work Given the international community s decision to prematurely withdraw protection forces from Darfur they must ensure that the UN system has the means and political backing to improve its reporting on attacks against civilians in the region Osman said Hope for stability in Darfur depends on efforts to ensure that countless bereaved families and people who have lost everything can obtain protection and justice
    Sudan: New Deadly Attacks in West Darfur
      New armed Arab attacks on civilians in western Darfur since April 2022 have left hundreds dead thousands displaced and hundreds of civilian homes burned and property looted Human Rights Watch said today Large scale violence has been carried out particularly against civilians in Kerenik and Kulbus It underlines the failure of the Sudanese government to fulfill its duty to protect civilians and the urgent need for the United Nations to increase vigilance protection through its presence and public information on developments in Darfur The last two months have clearly shown the devastating dividends of withdrawing peacekeepers and ignoring the continuing need to protect civilians in Darfur said Mohamed Osman Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch It is hard not to feel that the international community which has watched Darfur with eagle eyes for years has completely abandoned these victims of ethnic cleansing The joint human rights office in Sudan of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan UNITAMS and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR should give priority to ensuring access regulate Darfur to investigate and publicly report abuses all parts of the UN mission the UN system and member states must support their work and increase protection monitoring and reporting capacity including by deploying a stronger monitoring presence in Darfur The UN reported that the latest attack on civilians in the town of Kulbus and neighboring villages in West Darfur between June 6 and 11 left at least 125 dead including five children more than 100 injured and 33 000 displaced According to reports most of the victims are from the non Arab Gimir community The attackers reportedly burned houses and farms and looted livestock The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA has reported that more than two dozen villages in Gimir were burned down over the course of five days allegedly by armed members of the Rizeigat and Abbala Arab communities who they had mobilized against the Gimir community following a dispute between two individuals In 2008 according to the then prosecutor of the International Criminal Court the town of Kulbus was the scene of indiscriminate aerial bombardment murder rape torture and forcible transfer by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Janjaweed forces United Nations peacekeepers maintained a presence in Kulbus until 2013 In December 2020 the United Nations Security Council rescinded the mandate of a joint United Nations peacekeeping force and the African Union The violence in Kulbus follows patterns of attacks on civilians by heavily armed Arab militias between April 22 and 24 in the West Darfur town of Kerenik which killed at least 165 people displaced 98 000 and destroyed important civil infrastructure The UN said these attacks also followed a dispute between individuals related to a cattle rustling incident Survivors told Human Rights Watch that the assailants pulled civilians including children out of houses and shot them They also burned others inside their homes or on the streets as they fled The violence from Kerenik spread to the town of al Genaina where witnesses described clashes between the Rapid Support Forces RSF and the Sudanese Coalition Forces a peace signing rebel group currently led by the governor of Western Darfur The International Organization for Migration reported in May that nearly 60 000 people remained displaced in Kerenik most sheltering in open areas schools or other public buildings and only seven percent of them said they intended to return home which indicating that security issues persist At least 75 000 people were recently displaced in Darfur and South Kordofan between January and May while another 11 000 fled to Chad as refugees according to the UN Western Darfur has suffered several large scale attacks following the end of the mandate of the United Nations African Union peacekeeping force In 2021 the regional capital of al Genaina experienced two major episodes of violence including an attack in January in which armed Arab militiamen backed by RSF forces attacked Kirindig a camp for ethnic Massalit IDPs In March 2022 48 people were reportedly killed and 12 000 displaced in Jebel Mun in attacks involving community level mobilizations by Sudanese state security forces Hospitals and medical staff have come under repeated attack during the violence in West Darfur making access to medical care difficult for the injured and reportedly including the killing of four medical staff during the violence of late April 2022 in Al Genaina The RSF which has a long history of serious violations in Darfur has sometimes sided with Arab militias in attacks against civilians most notably in Al Genaina in April 2021 Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that members of the RSF RSF also participated alongside Arab militias in the recent April attacks on Kerenik Government forces have failed to protect civilians during attacks Two survivors from Kerenik said that the Sudanese Armed Forces fired to warn the attackers not to approach their garrison where many people were sheltering but did not intervene to deter the attackers or protect civilians who could not reach the village Garrison The OHCHR reported that the joint security forces reportedly withdrew in the face of another large scale attack on Kerenik by Rezeigat assailants on April 24 On June 14 the UN warned that the violence in Kulbus was impeding humanitarian access to communities in need including those recently displaced by the violence This comes at a critical time as the World Food Program WFP reported in June that West Darfur is the state with the highest level of food insecurity in Sudan with 65 percent of the population currently insecure food If the current situation continues this could hinder the growing season that is scheduled to start In 2020 the now deposed transitional government of Sudan signed the Juba Peace Agreement JPA with Darfur rebel groups The security arrangements provided for in the agreement including the disarmament and reintegration of forces and the deployment of joint security maintenance forces have been delayed The UN reported in May that a first batch of 2 000 joint forces was being trained Neither the Sudanese transitional government nor the current military rulers have meaningfully addressed the underlying causes of the violence in Darfur including marginalization disputes over control and access to land and natural resources and lack of justice for past and current abuses Nor have they provided meaningful protection to civilians through the deployment of well trained vetted and rights respecting forces These failures have once again contributed to the escalation of violence and harm to civilians Human Rights Watch said Impunity for abuses remains the norm Although Ali Mohammed Abd Al Rahman known as Ali Kosheib commander of the Janjaweed militias is currently on trial at the International Criminal Court ICC for crimes related to the campaign of ethnic cleansing against civilians in Darfur that is the exception ICC arrest warrants for former President Omar al Bashir and two other officials who are in Sudanese custody are pending Human Rights Watch documented intimidation and attacks against people who filed complaints following the attacks in al Genaina including those who attempted to file complaints against RSF officials Survivors of the Kerenik attacks said logistical security and bureaucratic hurdles were hampering their ability to even file complaints The protection of civilians is multifaceted and requires genuine efforts aimed at addressing the root causes of potential conflicts addressing the fears of communities and holding officials and security forces accountable for their crimes Sudanese authorities should not only investigate government forces particularly the RSF s involvement in abuses but also the lack of response by other government forces during attacks as well as crimes committed by armed militias Human Rights said Watch The 2021 UN Security Council resolution renewing the transitional mission in Sudan also underscored the mission s role in monitoring ceasefire violations in Darfur On May 24 2022 the special representative of the secretary general told the Security Council that following formal complaints from parties the Ceasefire Standing Committee had opened an investigation into the events in Kerenik related to his mandate The findings of this investigation should be included in public UN reports on events in Darfur Human Rights Watch said In May 2020 the Sudanese transitional government committed under a new national plan to protect civilians in Darfur by deploying joint security forces and strengthening accountability The national mechanism that was supposed to carry out the plan largely suspended its activities after the coup on October 25 2021 The UN mission must prioritize strengthening its capacity to fulfill its monitoring mandate before the situation in Darfur deteriorates further Human Rights Watch said The UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Darfur which is expected to present its interim report to the Council in July is due to report publicly to the Council and the Council s 1591 Committee formed to monitor sanctions imposed over the situation in Darfur on the dynamics underpinning violence against civilians in West Darfur While such a briefing is not common as such UN Security Council expert panels rarely make public presentations the rules of procedure do not exclude it and the seriousness of the situation justifies it The designated expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan in carrying out his mandate should monitor the abuses in Darfur and promptly visit the region particularly West Darfur Sudan s leaders should facilitate his work Given the international community s decision to prematurely withdraw protection forces from Darfur they must ensure that the UN system has the means and political backing to improve its reporting on attacks against civilians in the region Osman said Hope for stability in Darfur depends on efforts to ensure that countless bereaved families and people who have lost everything can obtain protection and justice
    Sudan: New Deadly Attacks in West Darfur
    Africa5 months ago

    Sudan: New Deadly Attacks in West Darfur

    New armed Arab attacks on civilians in western Darfur since April 2022 have left hundreds dead, thousands displaced, and hundreds of civilian homes burned and property looted, Human Rights Watch said today.

    Large-scale violence has been carried out particularly against civilians in Kerenik and Kulbus. It underlines the failure of the Sudanese government to fulfill its duty to protect civilians and the urgent need for the United Nations to increase vigilance, protection through its presence and public information on developments in Darfur.

    “The last two months have clearly shown the devastating dividends of withdrawing peacekeepers and ignoring the continuing need to protect civilians in Darfur,” said Mohamed Osman, Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is hard not to feel that the international community, which has watched Darfur with eagle eyes for years, has completely abandoned these victims of ethnic cleansing.”

    The joint human rights office in Sudan of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should give priority to ensuring access regulate Darfur to investigate and publicly report abuses; all parts of the UN mission, the UN system and member states must support their work and increase protection monitoring and reporting capacity, including by deploying a stronger monitoring presence in Darfur.

    The UN reported that the latest attack on civilians in the town of Kulbus and neighboring villages in West Darfur between June 6 and 11 left at least 125 dead, including five children, more than 100 injured and 33,000 displaced. According to reports, most of the victims are from the non-Arab Gimir community. The attackers reportedly burned houses and farms and looted livestock.

    The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported that more than two dozen villages in Gimir were burned down over the course of five days, allegedly by armed members of the Rizeigat and Abbala Arab communities, who they had mobilized against the Gimir community following a dispute between two individuals.

    In 2008, according to the then prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the town of Kulbus was the scene of indiscriminate aerial bombardment, murder, rape, torture and forcible transfer by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Janjaweed forces. United Nations peacekeepers maintained a presence in Kulbus until 2013. In December 2020, the United Nations Security Council rescinded the mandate of a joint United Nations peacekeeping force and the African Union.

    The violence in Kulbus follows patterns of attacks on civilians by heavily armed Arab militias between April 22 and 24 in the West Darfur town of Kerenik, which killed at least 165 people, displaced 98,000 and destroyed important civil infrastructure. The UN said these attacks also followed a dispute between individuals related to a cattle rustling incident.

    Survivors told Human Rights Watch that the assailants pulled civilians, including children, out of houses and shot them. They also burned others inside their homes or on the streets as they fled. The violence from Kerenik spread to the town of al-Genaina, where witnesses described clashes between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Coalition Forces, a peace-signing rebel group currently led by the governor of Western Darfur.

    The International Organization for Migration reported in May that nearly 60,000 people remained displaced in Kerenik, most sheltering in open areas, schools or other public buildings, and only seven percent of them said they intended to return home, which indicating that security issues persist.

    At least 75,000 people were recently displaced in Darfur and South Kordofan between January and May, while another 11,000 fled to Chad as refugees, according to the UN. Western Darfur has suffered several large-scale attacks following the end of the mandate of the United Nations/African Union peacekeeping force.

    In 2021, the regional capital of al-Genaina experienced two major episodes of violence, including an attack in January in which armed Arab militiamen, backed by RSF forces, attacked Kirindig, a camp for ethnic Massalit IDPs. In March 2022, 48 people were reportedly killed and 12,000 displaced in Jebel Mun in attacks involving “community-level mobilizations” by Sudanese state security forces.

    Hospitals and medical staff have come under repeated attack during the violence in West Darfur, making access to medical care difficult for the injured, and reportedly including the killing of four medical staff during the violence of late April 2022 in Al Genaina.

    The RSF, which has a long history of serious violations in Darfur, has sometimes sided with Arab militias in attacks against civilians, most notably in Al Genaina in April 2021. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that members of the RSF RSF also participated alongside Arab militias in the recent April attacks on Kerenik.

    Government forces have failed to protect civilians during attacks. Two survivors from Kerenik said that the Sudanese Armed Forces fired to warn the attackers not to approach their garrison, where many people were sheltering, but did not intervene to deter the attackers or protect civilians who could not reach the village. Garrison. The OHCHR reported that the joint security forces "reportedly withdrew in the face of another large-scale attack on Kerenik by Rezeigat assailants on April 24."

    On June 14, the UN warned that the violence in Kulbus was impeding humanitarian access to communities in need, including those recently displaced by the violence. This comes at a critical time, as the World Food Program (WFP) reported in June that West Darfur is the state with the highest level of food insecurity in Sudan, with 65 percent of the population currently insecure. food. If the current situation continues, this could hinder the growing season that is scheduled to start.

    In 2020, the now deposed transitional government of Sudan signed the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) with Darfur rebel groups. The security arrangements provided for in the agreement, including the disarmament and reintegration of forces, and the deployment of joint security maintenance forces, have been delayed. The UN reported in May that a first batch of 2,000 joint forces was being trained.

    Neither the Sudanese transitional government nor the current military rulers have meaningfully addressed the underlying causes of the violence in Darfur, including marginalization, disputes over control and access to land and natural resources, and lack of justice for past and current abuses. Nor have they provided meaningful protection to civilians through the deployment of well-trained, vetted and rights-respecting forces. These failures have once again contributed to the escalation of violence and harm to civilians, Human Rights Watch said.

    Impunity for abuses remains the norm. Although Ali Mohammed Abd-Al-Rahman, known as Ali Kosheib, commander of the Janjaweed militias, is currently on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes related to the campaign of ethnic cleansing against civilians in Darfur, that is the exception. . ICC arrest warrants for former President Omar al-Bashir and two other officials who are in Sudanese custody are pending.

    Human Rights Watch documented intimidation and attacks against people who filed complaints following the attacks in al-Genaina, including those who attempted to file complaints against RSF officials. Survivors of the Kerenik attacks said logistical, security and bureaucratic hurdles were hampering their ability to even file complaints.

    The protection of civilians is multifaceted and requires genuine efforts aimed at addressing the root causes of potential conflicts, addressing the fears of communities, and holding officials and security forces accountable for their crimes. Sudanese authorities should not only investigate government forces, particularly the RSF's involvement in abuses, but also the lack of response by other government forces during attacks, as well as crimes committed by armed militias, Human Rights said. Watch.

    The 2021 UN Security Council resolution renewing the transitional mission in Sudan also underscored the mission's role in monitoring ceasefire violations in Darfur. On May 24, 2022, the special representative of the secretary-general told the Security Council that following formal complaints from parties, the Ceasefire Standing Committee had opened an investigation into the events in Kerenik related to his mandate. The findings of this investigation should be included in public UN reports on events in Darfur, Human Rights Watch said.

    In May 2020, the Sudanese transitional government committed under a new national plan to protect civilians in Darfur by deploying joint security forces and strengthening accountability. The national mechanism that was supposed to carry out the plan largely suspended its activities after the coup on October 25, 2021.

    The UN mission must prioritize strengthening its capacity to fulfill its monitoring mandate before the situation in Darfur deteriorates further, Human Rights Watch said.

    The UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Darfur, which is expected to present its interim report to the Council in July, is due to report publicly to the Council and the Council's 1591 Committee, formed to monitor sanctions imposed over the situation in Darfur. , on the dynamics underpinning violence against civilians in West Darfur. While such a briefing is not common as such, UN Security Council expert panels rarely make public presentations, the rules of procedure do not exclude it, and the seriousness of the situation justifies it. The designated expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, in carrying out his mandate, should monitor the abuses in Darfur and promptly visit the region, particularly West Darfur. Sudan's leaders should facilitate his work.

    "Given the international community's decision to prematurely withdraw protection forces from Darfur, they must ensure that the UN system has the means and political backing to improve its reporting on attacks against civilians in the region," Osman said. . "Hope for stability in Darfur depends on efforts to ensure that countless bereaved families and people who have lost everything can obtain protection and justice."

  •  A powerful earthquake struck a remote border region of Afghanistan overnight killing at least 920 people and injuring hundreds more officials said on Wednesday with the death toll expected to rise as rescuers dig into homes collapsed The 5 9 magnitude quake hit hardest in the rugged terrain to the east where people are already living in difficult conditions in a country mired in a humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban s seizure of power in August The death toll has risen steadily throughout the day as news of casualties trickled in from hard to reach areas in the mountains with the country s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada warning it was likely to rise further So far the information we have is that at least 920 people have been martyred and 600 injured Sharafuddin Muslim deputy minister for disaster management told a news conference in the capital Kabul Earlier a tribal leader from Paktika province one of the hardest hit areas said survivors and rescuers were rushing to help those affected Local markets are closed and all the people have rushed to the affected areas Yaqub Manzor told AFP by phone Photographs and video clips posted on social media showed dozens of badly damaged mud houses in remote rural areas Some footage showed local residents loading the victims into a military helicopter Offers of help Even before the Taliban took power Afghanistan s emergency response teams went to great lengths to deal with the natural disasters that frequently hit the country But with only a handful of airworthy planes and helicopters immediate response is often limited The government is working within its capabilities tweeted Anas Haqqani a senior Taliban official We hope that the international community and aid agencies will also help our people in this desperate situation The United Nations and the European Union were quick to offer help Inter agency assessment teams have already been deployed to several affected areas tweeted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA in Afghanistan Tomas Niklasson EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan tweeted The EU is monitoring the situation and stands ready to coordinate and provide EU emergency assistance to affected people and communities Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates Dozens of people were killed and injured in January when two earthquakes rattled rural areas in western Badghis province damaging hundreds of buildings In 2015 more than 380 people died in Pakistan and Afghanistan when a magnitude 7 5 earthquake struck the two countries with the majority of deaths in Pakistan From Vatican City Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims of the latest earthquake I express my closeness to the injured and those affected the 85 year old pontiff said at the end of his weekly audience The latest earthquake came at a time when Afghanistan is grappling with a serious humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban s takeover of the country Aid agencies and the United Nations say Afghanistan needs billions of dollars this year to deal with the crisis Aid agencies have particularly emphasized the need for greater disaster preparedness in Afghanistan which remains extremely susceptible to recurrent earthquakes floods and landslides The quake was felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan 480 kilometers 300 miles from the epicenter according to responses posted on the USGS and European Mediterranean Seismological Center EMSC websites
    At least 920 killed in Afghanistan earthquake
     A powerful earthquake struck a remote border region of Afghanistan overnight killing at least 920 people and injuring hundreds more officials said on Wednesday with the death toll expected to rise as rescuers dig into homes collapsed The 5 9 magnitude quake hit hardest in the rugged terrain to the east where people are already living in difficult conditions in a country mired in a humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban s seizure of power in August The death toll has risen steadily throughout the day as news of casualties trickled in from hard to reach areas in the mountains with the country s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada warning it was likely to rise further So far the information we have is that at least 920 people have been martyred and 600 injured Sharafuddin Muslim deputy minister for disaster management told a news conference in the capital Kabul Earlier a tribal leader from Paktika province one of the hardest hit areas said survivors and rescuers were rushing to help those affected Local markets are closed and all the people have rushed to the affected areas Yaqub Manzor told AFP by phone Photographs and video clips posted on social media showed dozens of badly damaged mud houses in remote rural areas Some footage showed local residents loading the victims into a military helicopter Offers of help Even before the Taliban took power Afghanistan s emergency response teams went to great lengths to deal with the natural disasters that frequently hit the country But with only a handful of airworthy planes and helicopters immediate response is often limited The government is working within its capabilities tweeted Anas Haqqani a senior Taliban official We hope that the international community and aid agencies will also help our people in this desperate situation The United Nations and the European Union were quick to offer help Inter agency assessment teams have already been deployed to several affected areas tweeted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA in Afghanistan Tomas Niklasson EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan tweeted The EU is monitoring the situation and stands ready to coordinate and provide EU emergency assistance to affected people and communities Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates Dozens of people were killed and injured in January when two earthquakes rattled rural areas in western Badghis province damaging hundreds of buildings In 2015 more than 380 people died in Pakistan and Afghanistan when a magnitude 7 5 earthquake struck the two countries with the majority of deaths in Pakistan From Vatican City Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims of the latest earthquake I express my closeness to the injured and those affected the 85 year old pontiff said at the end of his weekly audience The latest earthquake came at a time when Afghanistan is grappling with a serious humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban s takeover of the country Aid agencies and the United Nations say Afghanistan needs billions of dollars this year to deal with the crisis Aid agencies have particularly emphasized the need for greater disaster preparedness in Afghanistan which remains extremely susceptible to recurrent earthquakes floods and landslides The quake was felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan 480 kilometers 300 miles from the epicenter according to responses posted on the USGS and European Mediterranean Seismological Center EMSC websites
    At least 920 killed in Afghanistan earthquake
    Foreign5 months ago

    At least 920 killed in Afghanistan earthquake

    A powerful earthquake struck a remote border region of Afghanistan overnight, killing at least 920 people and injuring hundreds more, officials said on Wednesday, with the death toll expected to rise as rescuers dig into homes. collapsed.

    The 5.9-magnitude quake hit hardest in the rugged terrain to the east, where people are already living in difficult conditions in a country mired in a humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban's seizure of power in August.

    The death toll has risen steadily throughout the day as news of casualties trickled in from hard-to-reach areas in the mountains, with the country's supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada warning it was likely to rise further.

    "So far, the information we have is that at least 920 people have been martyred and 600 injured," Sharafuddin Muslim, deputy minister for disaster management, told a news conference in the capital Kabul.

    Earlier, a tribal leader from Paktika province, one of the hardest-hit areas, said survivors and rescuers were rushing to help those affected.

    "Local markets are closed and all the people have rushed to the affected areas," Yaqub Manzor told AFP by phone.

    Photographs and video clips posted on social media showed dozens of badly damaged mud houses in remote rural areas.

    Some footage showed local residents loading the victims into a military helicopter.

    Offers of help Even before the Taliban took power, Afghanistan's emergency response teams went to great lengths to deal with the natural disasters that frequently hit the country.

    But with only a handful of airworthy planes and helicopters, immediate response is often limited.

    "The government is working within its capabilities," tweeted Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban official.

    "We hope that the international community and aid agencies will also help our people in this desperate situation."

    The United Nations and the European Union were quick to offer help.

    "Inter-agency assessment teams have already been deployed to several affected areas," tweeted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Afghanistan.

    Tomas Niklasson, EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan, tweeted: "The EU is monitoring the situation and stands ready to coordinate and provide EU emergency assistance to affected people and communities."

    Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

    Dozens of people were killed and injured in January when two earthquakes rattled rural areas in western Badghis province, damaging hundreds of buildings.

    In 2015, more than 380 people died in Pakistan and Afghanistan when a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck the two countries, with the majority of deaths in Pakistan.

    From Vatican City, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims of the latest earthquake.

    "I express my closeness to the injured and those affected," the 85-year-old pontiff said at the end of his weekly audience.

    The latest earthquake came at a time when Afghanistan is grappling with a serious humanitarian disaster, made worse by the Taliban's takeover of the country.

    Aid agencies and the United Nations say Afghanistan needs billions of dollars this year to deal with the crisis.

    Aid agencies have particularly emphasized the need for greater disaster preparedness in Afghanistan, which remains extremely susceptible to recurrent earthquakes, floods and landslides.

    The quake was felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan, 480 kilometers (300 miles) from the epicenter, according to responses posted on the USGS and European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) websites.

  •   Released today OCHA s Annual Report covers a year of growing humanitarian need The report takes stock of OCHA s actions and activities during 2021 as the number of people in need increased due to conflicts in Afghanistan Ethiopia Syria and Yemen the hunger crisis in Madagascar and South Sudan and Cyclone and the earthquake in Haiti It highlights how OCHA was able to mobilize US 20 1 billion through UN coordinated humanitarian appeals a 6 4 increase from the US 18 9 billion raised in 2020 Thanks to the generous support of donors the UN and its partners reached 107 million people with some form of assistance The report also highlights the contributions of Member States and other UN partners and civil society to ensure that the most vulnerable people in crises receive timely and quality humanitarian assistance Read the report here Or download the report here
    OCHA launches Annual Report for 2021
      Released today OCHA s Annual Report covers a year of growing humanitarian need The report takes stock of OCHA s actions and activities during 2021 as the number of people in need increased due to conflicts in Afghanistan Ethiopia Syria and Yemen the hunger crisis in Madagascar and South Sudan and Cyclone and the earthquake in Haiti It highlights how OCHA was able to mobilize US 20 1 billion through UN coordinated humanitarian appeals a 6 4 increase from the US 18 9 billion raised in 2020 Thanks to the generous support of donors the UN and its partners reached 107 million people with some form of assistance The report also highlights the contributions of Member States and other UN partners and civil society to ensure that the most vulnerable people in crises receive timely and quality humanitarian assistance Read the report here Or download the report here
    OCHA launches Annual Report for 2021
    Africa5 months ago

    OCHA launches Annual Report for 2021

    Released today, OCHA's Annual Report covers a year of growing humanitarian need.

    The report takes stock of OCHA's actions and activities during 2021 as the number of people in need increased due to conflicts in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen, the hunger crisis in Madagascar and South Sudan, and Cyclone and the earthquake in Haiti.

    It highlights how OCHA was able to mobilize US$20.1 billion through UN-coordinated humanitarian appeals, a 6.4% increase from the US$18.9 billion raised in 2020.

    Thanks to the generous support of donors, the UN and its partners reached 107 million people with some form of assistance.

    The report also highlights the contributions of Member States and other UN partners and civil society to ensure that the most vulnerable people in crises receive timely and quality humanitarian assistance.

    Read the report here. Or download the report here.

  •   IOM seeks 66m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia IOM seeks 66m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia Aid Mogadishu June 10 2022 The International Organisation for Migration IOM on Friday appealed for 66 million U S dollars to reach more than 1 25 million people in Somalia with humanitarian assistance by February 2023 The UN migration agency said in a statement that it needed immediate funding to continue essential life saving programs and help communities adapt and withstand future shocks The response by IOM and its partners is preventing the worst outcomes but the needs are rising fast as the drought situation worsens According to the UN more than 7 1 million people nearly half of the total population are facing historic levels of drought in Somalia The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA confirmed it had received 260 million U S dollars for Somalia humanitarian relief responses in 2022 For facilitating efforts to provide immediate and life saving assistance to over 2 8 million people who have been affected by the ongoing devastating drought in the country The IOM said it is scaling up its response and has assisted more than 350 000 people affected by the drought the worst seen in decades following the fourth consecutive failed rainy season Nearly 800 000 people have been displaced due to drought since early 2021 at least half a million of them in the first four months of this year Women and children make up 80 per cent of the newly displaced population it said Extreme dry conditions are deepening Somalia s decades long humanitarian crisis caused by conflict instability recurrent weather shocks and disease outbreaks Acute water shortages the death of livestock approximately three million and rising food prices aggravate the needs of millions of people who urgently need support The country is facing a potential fifth failed rainy season later 2022 a climatic event with potentially fatal consequences if urgent action is not taken Somalia is on the front line of climate change with weather patterns becoming more unpredictable each year The climate crisis is outpacing some of the efforts being taken to save lives and livelihoods in the country the IOM said It said food water health care and shelter remain the most immediate needs with 213 000 people experiencing extreme levels of hunger NAN
    IOM seeks m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia
      IOM seeks 66m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia IOM seeks 66m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia Aid Mogadishu June 10 2022 The International Organisation for Migration IOM on Friday appealed for 66 million U S dollars to reach more than 1 25 million people in Somalia with humanitarian assistance by February 2023 The UN migration agency said in a statement that it needed immediate funding to continue essential life saving programs and help communities adapt and withstand future shocks The response by IOM and its partners is preventing the worst outcomes but the needs are rising fast as the drought situation worsens According to the UN more than 7 1 million people nearly half of the total population are facing historic levels of drought in Somalia The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA confirmed it had received 260 million U S dollars for Somalia humanitarian relief responses in 2022 For facilitating efforts to provide immediate and life saving assistance to over 2 8 million people who have been affected by the ongoing devastating drought in the country The IOM said it is scaling up its response and has assisted more than 350 000 people affected by the drought the worst seen in decades following the fourth consecutive failed rainy season Nearly 800 000 people have been displaced due to drought since early 2021 at least half a million of them in the first four months of this year Women and children make up 80 per cent of the newly displaced population it said Extreme dry conditions are deepening Somalia s decades long humanitarian crisis caused by conflict instability recurrent weather shocks and disease outbreaks Acute water shortages the death of livestock approximately three million and rising food prices aggravate the needs of millions of people who urgently need support The country is facing a potential fifth failed rainy season later 2022 a climatic event with potentially fatal consequences if urgent action is not taken Somalia is on the front line of climate change with weather patterns becoming more unpredictable each year The climate crisis is outpacing some of the efforts being taken to save lives and livelihoods in the country the IOM said It said food water health care and shelter remain the most immediate needs with 213 000 people experiencing extreme levels of hunger NAN
    IOM seeks m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia
    Foreign6 months ago

    IOM seeks $66m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia

    IOM seeks $66m to scale up humanitarian aid in Somalia IOM seeks $66m to scale up humanitarian aid in SomaliaAidMogadishu, June 10, 2022 The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Friday, appealed for 66 million U.S. dollars to reach more than 1.25 million people in Somalia with humanitarian assistance by February 2023.The UN migration agency said in a statement that it needed immediate funding to continue essential life-saving programs and help communities adapt and withstand future shocks.The response by IOM and its partners is preventing the worst outcomes, but the needs are rising fast as the drought situation worsens.According to the UN, more than 7.1 million people, nearly half of the total population, are facing historic levels of drought in Somalia.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed it had received 260 million U.S. dollars for Somalia humanitarian relief responses in 2022.“For facilitating efforts to provide immediate and life-saving assistance to over 2.8 million people who have been affected by the ongoing devastating drought in the country.”The IOM said it is scaling up its response and has assisted more than 350,000 people affected by the drought, the worst seen in decades following the fourth consecutive failed rainy season.“Nearly 800,000 people have been displaced due to drought since early 2021, at least half a million of them in the first four months of this year.“Women and children make up 80 per cent of the newly displaced population,” it said.Extreme dry conditions are deepening Somalia’s decades-long humanitarian crisis caused by conflict, instability, recurrent weather shocks and disease outbreaks.“Acute water shortages, the death of livestock approximately three million  and rising food prices aggravate the needs of millions of people who urgently need support.“The country is facing a potential fifth failed rainy season later 2022, a climatic event with potentially fatal consequences if urgent action is not taken.“Somalia is on the front line of climate change with weather patterns becoming more unpredictable each year.“The climate crisis is outpacing some of the efforts being taken to save lives and livelihoods in the country,” the IOM said.It said food, water, health care and shelter remain the most immediate needs with 213,000 people experiencing extreme levels of hunger.

    (NAN)

  •   The recent resurgence of the armed group M23 in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC constitutes a serious threat to peace security and stability in the region and urgent action is needed to curb the violence said a senior UN official to the Security Council on Tuesday It is imperative that this Council lend its full weight to ongoing regional efforts to defuse the situation and end the M23 insurgency once and for all said Martha Pobee UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs and Peace UN operations covering Africa call to disarm Civilians are paying a high price for the violence he said citing information from the UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA Some 75 000 people were displaced in last week s fighting in North Kivu province while another 11 577 crossed the border into Uganda Two peacekeepers from the UN Mission in the country MONUSCO suffered minor injuries in the fighting while at least 16 Congolese soldiers were killed and 22 wounded The UN and key regional and international partners have unanimously called for the M23 to lay down its arms and join the process of disarming and demobilizing combatants Ms Pobee told the ambassadors that she was encouraged by the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda had decided to refer to a verification mechanism under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region ICGLR its acronym in English known as EJVM to investigate reports of human and material damage caused by explosives ordinance from across their respective borders on May 23 indispensable dialogue The African Union chief also called on the leaders of the two countries to press for calm and a peaceful resolution of any disagreements Indeed every effort must be made to ensure that the parties make full use of existing mechanisms such as the EJVM which play an essential role in maintaining the climate of trust and cooperation that remains essential to effectively addressing address common security challenges facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their neighbors Ms Pobee told the ambassadors Ongoing dialogue between the governments involved remains essential to prevent a further escalation of violence in eastern DRC prevent another crisis The UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia addressed the Council via videoconference Speaking in French he said the current situation was reminiscent of M23 operations nearly a decade ago when the group seized the city of Goma the capital of North Kivu province He urged the ambassadors to do everything possible to avoid an escalation and another crisis that would have immeasurable humanitarian and political consequences for the region Mr Huang said that the eradication of armed groups in eastern DRC requires a comprehensive approach particularly in the context of the resurgence of M23 and persistent insecurity However he was convinced that the military option alone would not suffice and underlined his Office s continued efforts to find a compromise He also stressed the importance of continued high level dialogue among regional leaders and emphasized the need to continue the mobilization of bilateral and regional mechanisms including the ICGLR and the Nairobi Conclave political process The UN envoy will embark on a mission to all interested countries in the region starting tomorrow delivering a triple and simple message My message to the countries of the region is the following he said The region does not need a new crisis let us keep the channels of dialogue open at all levels including at the community level and help preserve the progress made in recent years thanks to the various cooperation mechanisms
    Security Council Urged to Support Efforts to End M23 Insurgency in DR Congo
      The recent resurgence of the armed group M23 in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC constitutes a serious threat to peace security and stability in the region and urgent action is needed to curb the violence said a senior UN official to the Security Council on Tuesday It is imperative that this Council lend its full weight to ongoing regional efforts to defuse the situation and end the M23 insurgency once and for all said Martha Pobee UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs and Peace UN operations covering Africa call to disarm Civilians are paying a high price for the violence he said citing information from the UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA Some 75 000 people were displaced in last week s fighting in North Kivu province while another 11 577 crossed the border into Uganda Two peacekeepers from the UN Mission in the country MONUSCO suffered minor injuries in the fighting while at least 16 Congolese soldiers were killed and 22 wounded The UN and key regional and international partners have unanimously called for the M23 to lay down its arms and join the process of disarming and demobilizing combatants Ms Pobee told the ambassadors that she was encouraged by the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda had decided to refer to a verification mechanism under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region ICGLR its acronym in English known as EJVM to investigate reports of human and material damage caused by explosives ordinance from across their respective borders on May 23 indispensable dialogue The African Union chief also called on the leaders of the two countries to press for calm and a peaceful resolution of any disagreements Indeed every effort must be made to ensure that the parties make full use of existing mechanisms such as the EJVM which play an essential role in maintaining the climate of trust and cooperation that remains essential to effectively addressing address common security challenges facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their neighbors Ms Pobee told the ambassadors Ongoing dialogue between the governments involved remains essential to prevent a further escalation of violence in eastern DRC prevent another crisis The UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia addressed the Council via videoconference Speaking in French he said the current situation was reminiscent of M23 operations nearly a decade ago when the group seized the city of Goma the capital of North Kivu province He urged the ambassadors to do everything possible to avoid an escalation and another crisis that would have immeasurable humanitarian and political consequences for the region Mr Huang said that the eradication of armed groups in eastern DRC requires a comprehensive approach particularly in the context of the resurgence of M23 and persistent insecurity However he was convinced that the military option alone would not suffice and underlined his Office s continued efforts to find a compromise He also stressed the importance of continued high level dialogue among regional leaders and emphasized the need to continue the mobilization of bilateral and regional mechanisms including the ICGLR and the Nairobi Conclave political process The UN envoy will embark on a mission to all interested countries in the region starting tomorrow delivering a triple and simple message My message to the countries of the region is the following he said The region does not need a new crisis let us keep the channels of dialogue open at all levels including at the community level and help preserve the progress made in recent years thanks to the various cooperation mechanisms
    Security Council Urged to Support Efforts to End M23 Insurgency in DR Congo
    Africa6 months ago

    Security Council Urged to Support Efforts to End M23 Insurgency in DR Congo

    The recent resurgence of the armed group M23 in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) constitutes a serious threat to peace, security and stability in the region, and urgent action is needed to curb the violence, said a senior UN official to the Security Council on Tuesday.

    “It is imperative that this Council lend its full weight to ongoing regional efforts to defuse the situation and end the M23 insurgency, once and for all,” said Martha Pobee, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peace. UN. operations, covering Africa.

    call to disarm

    Civilians are paying a high price for the violence, he said, citing information from the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA. Some 75,000 people were displaced in last week's fighting in North Kivu province, while another 11,577 crossed the border into Uganda.

    Two peacekeepers from the UN Mission in the country, MONUSCO, suffered minor injuries in the fighting, while at least 16 Congolese soldiers were killed and 22 wounded.

    The UN and key regional and international partners have unanimously called for the M23 to lay down its arms and join the process of disarming and demobilizing combatants.

    Ms. Pobee told the ambassadors that she was encouraged by the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda had decided to refer to a verification mechanism under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). its acronym in English), known as EJVM, to investigate reports of human and material damage caused by explosives. ordinance from across their respective borders on May 23.

    indispensable dialogue

    The African Union chief also called on the leaders of the two countries to press for calm and a peaceful resolution of any disagreements.

    “Indeed, every effort must be made to ensure that the parties make full use of existing mechanisms, such as the EJVM, which play an essential role in maintaining the climate of trust and cooperation that remains essential to effectively addressing address common security challenges facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo. and their neighbors,” Ms. Pobee told the ambassadors.

    "Ongoing dialogue between the governments involved remains essential to prevent a further escalation of violence in eastern DRC."

    prevent another crisis

    The UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia, addressed the Council via videoconference.

    Speaking in French, he said the current situation was reminiscent of M23 operations nearly a decade ago, when the group seized the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

    He urged the ambassadors to do everything possible to avoid an escalation and another crisis that would have immeasurable humanitarian and political consequences for the region.

    Mr. Huang said that the eradication of armed groups in eastern DRC requires a comprehensive approach, particularly in the context of the resurgence of M23 and persistent insecurity.

    However, he was convinced that the “military option” alone would not suffice, and underlined his Office's continued efforts to find a compromise.

    He also stressed the importance of continued high-level dialogue among regional leaders and emphasized the need to continue the mobilization of bilateral and regional mechanisms, including the ICGLR and the Nairobi Conclave political process.

    The UN envoy will embark on a mission to all interested countries in the region starting tomorrow, delivering a triple and simple message.

    "My message to the countries of the region is the following," he said. “The region does not need a new crisis; let us keep the channels of dialogue open at all levels, including at the community level; and help preserve the progress made in recent years thanks to the various cooperation mechanisms.”

  •   UN cuts refugee rations in Africa s Sahel amid alarming food insecurity UN cuts refugee rations in Africa s Sahel amid alarming food insecurity Rations Geneva May 20 2022 UN agencies on Friday reported that food rations for refugees and displaced people are being cut by half in parts of the Sahel due to a massive funding shortfall It said millions would go hungry as prices rise and climate shocks hit yields The UN humanitarian office OCHA estimates that some 18 million people would face severe food insecurity in the next three months across the arid belt that stretches across Africa beneath the Sahara OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said the office s 3 8 billion dollar appeal for the region was less than 12 per cent funded Laerke while briefing newsmen said the levels of food insecurity were the worst since 2014 adding that the situation has reached alarming levels in Burkina Faso Chad Mali and Niger where people will experience emergency levels of food insecurity during the lean season between June and August According to the World Food Programme WFP in Burkina Faso rations are currently at 75 per cent in areas that are hard to reach and the most food insecure and 50 per cent at other sites It said rations had already been cut by half for displaced people and refugees in Chad adding that the WFP would be forced to reduce them further from July if more funding was not received The WFP added that in Mauritania the food component of the food cash ration was being cut by 50 per cent at Mbera camp The conflict between major grains producers Russia and Ukraine was one factor that has driven up food prices in Africa and the crisis has also diverted aid from other areas Tomson Phiri from the WFP at the news briefing said why is it as bad now We have conflict in the West African region you have COVID still raging you have climate induced shocks you have rising costs which are all colliding to put basic needs out of reach for millions of people NAN
    UN cuts refugee rations in Africa’s Sahel amid ‘alarming’ food insecurity
      UN cuts refugee rations in Africa s Sahel amid alarming food insecurity UN cuts refugee rations in Africa s Sahel amid alarming food insecurity Rations Geneva May 20 2022 UN agencies on Friday reported that food rations for refugees and displaced people are being cut by half in parts of the Sahel due to a massive funding shortfall It said millions would go hungry as prices rise and climate shocks hit yields The UN humanitarian office OCHA estimates that some 18 million people would face severe food insecurity in the next three months across the arid belt that stretches across Africa beneath the Sahara OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said the office s 3 8 billion dollar appeal for the region was less than 12 per cent funded Laerke while briefing newsmen said the levels of food insecurity were the worst since 2014 adding that the situation has reached alarming levels in Burkina Faso Chad Mali and Niger where people will experience emergency levels of food insecurity during the lean season between June and August According to the World Food Programme WFP in Burkina Faso rations are currently at 75 per cent in areas that are hard to reach and the most food insecure and 50 per cent at other sites It said rations had already been cut by half for displaced people and refugees in Chad adding that the WFP would be forced to reduce them further from July if more funding was not received The WFP added that in Mauritania the food component of the food cash ration was being cut by 50 per cent at Mbera camp The conflict between major grains producers Russia and Ukraine was one factor that has driven up food prices in Africa and the crisis has also diverted aid from other areas Tomson Phiri from the WFP at the news briefing said why is it as bad now We have conflict in the West African region you have COVID still raging you have climate induced shocks you have rising costs which are all colliding to put basic needs out of reach for millions of people NAN
    UN cuts refugee rations in Africa’s Sahel amid ‘alarming’ food insecurity
    Foreign6 months ago

    UN cuts refugee rations in Africa’s Sahel amid ‘alarming’ food insecurity

    UN cuts refugee rations in Africa’s Sahel amid ‘alarming’ food insecurity

    UN cuts refugee rations in Africa’s Sahel amid ‘alarming’ food insecurity

    Rations

    Geneva, May 20, 2022 UN agencies on Friday reported that food rations for refugees and displaced people are being cut by half in parts of the Sahel due to a massive funding shortfall.

    It said millions would go hungry as prices rise and climate shocks hit yields.

    The UN humanitarian office (OCHA) estimates that some 18 million people would face severe food insecurity in the next three months across the arid belt that stretches across Africa beneath the Sahara.

    OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said the office’s 3.8-billion-dollar appeal for the region was less than 12 per cent funded.

    Laerke, while briefing newsmen, said the levels of food insecurity were the worst since 2014 adding that the “situation has reached alarming levels in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger, where people will experience emergency levels of food insecurity during the lean season between June and August.”

    According to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Burkina Faso, rations are currently at 75 per cent in areas that are hard-to-reach and the most food insecure, and 50 per cent at other sites.

    It said rations had already been cut by half for displaced people and refugees in Chad adding that the WFP would be forced to reduce them further from July if more funding was not received.

    The WFP added that in Mauritania, the food component of the food-cash ration was being cut by 50 per cent at Mbera camp.

    The conflict between major grains producers Russia and Ukraine was one factor that has driven up food prices in Africa and the crisis has also diverted aid from other areas.

    Tomson Phiri from the WFP at the news briefing said:” why is it as bad now?

    “We have conflict in the West African region, you have COVID still raging, you have climate-induced shocks, you have rising costs which are all colliding to put basic needs out of reach for millions of people.’’ (

    (NAN)

  •   Just weeks away from giving birth to her fifth child Homoroe Haova 33 looked down at her stomach and smiled certain she would be able to give birth safely and feed her children for weeks to come Ms Haova was among 800 women who waited in line all morning to meet UNFPA supported reproductive health specialists visiting her village in the drought stricken Grand Sud region of Madagascar On site midwives operated from three mobile health clinics acquired with the generous support of the Government of Japan The clinics are among eight UNFPA supported vehicles currently deployed in Madagascar traveling thousands of kilometers over rugged terrain to reach even the least accessible areas In adjoining maternity tents set up next to the local health center UNFPA supported medical staff provided advice on family planning while social workers raised awareness of gender based violence Meanwhile a few meters away hundreds of women most of them heads of households gathered to collect WFP rations of rice vegetables and liters of cooking oil to cover their families food needs for the next two weeks The United Nations World Food Program WFP reports that of the nearly 3 million people living in the Grand Sud region half are in urgent need of food assistance Recurring and unrelenting droughts have deprived women and girls of any means to support themselves or their children Already prone to weather disasters such as cyclones floods and droughts Madagascar experienced its worst drought in 40 years in 2021 and in the first few months of 2022 has already seen cyclones destroy thousands of homes and livelihoods Nutritional and reproductive support essential for maternal and neonatal health Through this joint UN partnership Delivering as One thousands of households were able to simultaneously access integrated sexual and reproductive health services from UNFPA and nutritious food rations from WFP On the same day around 180 women received prenatal consultations and 84 agreed to ultrasound scans More than 20 women decided to start using long acting contraceptive methods such as implants and another 320 received counseling on sexual and reproductive health gender based violence and family planning Women were also offered screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer and survivors of gender based violence were given dignity kits containing sanitary and hygiene products About 45 cases of gender based violence were received and managed or referred to a specialized medical unit Gender based violence including rape is devastatingly common in Madagascar with more than a quarter of all women experiencing physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner During this unprecedented drought displaced women and girls now have to travel longer distances to access water and food exposing them to an even greater risk of violence Visiting the distribution site US Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies HE Cindy McCain praised the joint initiative In any community in distress women and children are the most affected The fact that there is a food distribution to serve both children and adults and a mobile clinic for maternal health family planning and gender based violence services is definitely helping this community thrive she said Invest in the future of women and girls With drastic consequences on people s ability to pay for basic health care or access enough food consecutive climate disasters have led to chronic malnutrition and spiraling hunger in Madagascar Newborns and pregnant and lactating women in particular face a litany of health risks from childhood stunting to cognitive decline and micronutrient deficiencies such as anemia maternal undernutrition can be devastating to women people and societies as a whole The most vulnerable families are in danger of resorting to survival strategies such as child labour selling their belongings and transactional sex to put food on the table According to OCHA rates of child and forced marriage were already higher in the Grand Sud area before the crisis and rates of gender based violence and school dropout have only increased since then Poverty and limited information on sexual and reproductive health are exposing girls to higher rates of teen pregnancy sexually transmitted infections and contracting HIV Many remote communities in Madagascar have limited or no access to health facilities and the country currently only has one qualified midwife for every 7 000 people a critical shortage that is jeopardizing the safety of new and expectant mothers in the country Less than half of all births are attended by skilled health personnel and about 60 are home births UNFPA has been active in Madagascar for decades and supports 26 Listening and Legal Advice Centers across the country offering psychosocial and legal support to survivors as well as referrals to hospitals and health centers UNFPA also has multiple programs to train midwives which are crucial in a country where an average of seven women and three adolescent girls die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth At the joint event Ambassador McCain highlighted the humanitarian work of UNFPA and WFP and their role in building the resilience of communities in crisis These are all issues that need to be focused on in a situation like this Everyone involved here today who made this happen is a true humanitarian he concluded
    UNFPA and WFP join forces to meet soaring reproductive health and nutrition needs in southern Madagascar
      Just weeks away from giving birth to her fifth child Homoroe Haova 33 looked down at her stomach and smiled certain she would be able to give birth safely and feed her children for weeks to come Ms Haova was among 800 women who waited in line all morning to meet UNFPA supported reproductive health specialists visiting her village in the drought stricken Grand Sud region of Madagascar On site midwives operated from three mobile health clinics acquired with the generous support of the Government of Japan The clinics are among eight UNFPA supported vehicles currently deployed in Madagascar traveling thousands of kilometers over rugged terrain to reach even the least accessible areas In adjoining maternity tents set up next to the local health center UNFPA supported medical staff provided advice on family planning while social workers raised awareness of gender based violence Meanwhile a few meters away hundreds of women most of them heads of households gathered to collect WFP rations of rice vegetables and liters of cooking oil to cover their families food needs for the next two weeks The United Nations World Food Program WFP reports that of the nearly 3 million people living in the Grand Sud region half are in urgent need of food assistance Recurring and unrelenting droughts have deprived women and girls of any means to support themselves or their children Already prone to weather disasters such as cyclones floods and droughts Madagascar experienced its worst drought in 40 years in 2021 and in the first few months of 2022 has already seen cyclones destroy thousands of homes and livelihoods Nutritional and reproductive support essential for maternal and neonatal health Through this joint UN partnership Delivering as One thousands of households were able to simultaneously access integrated sexual and reproductive health services from UNFPA and nutritious food rations from WFP On the same day around 180 women received prenatal consultations and 84 agreed to ultrasound scans More than 20 women decided to start using long acting contraceptive methods such as implants and another 320 received counseling on sexual and reproductive health gender based violence and family planning Women were also offered screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer and survivors of gender based violence were given dignity kits containing sanitary and hygiene products About 45 cases of gender based violence were received and managed or referred to a specialized medical unit Gender based violence including rape is devastatingly common in Madagascar with more than a quarter of all women experiencing physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner During this unprecedented drought displaced women and girls now have to travel longer distances to access water and food exposing them to an even greater risk of violence Visiting the distribution site US Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies HE Cindy McCain praised the joint initiative In any community in distress women and children are the most affected The fact that there is a food distribution to serve both children and adults and a mobile clinic for maternal health family planning and gender based violence services is definitely helping this community thrive she said Invest in the future of women and girls With drastic consequences on people s ability to pay for basic health care or access enough food consecutive climate disasters have led to chronic malnutrition and spiraling hunger in Madagascar Newborns and pregnant and lactating women in particular face a litany of health risks from childhood stunting to cognitive decline and micronutrient deficiencies such as anemia maternal undernutrition can be devastating to women people and societies as a whole The most vulnerable families are in danger of resorting to survival strategies such as child labour selling their belongings and transactional sex to put food on the table According to OCHA rates of child and forced marriage were already higher in the Grand Sud area before the crisis and rates of gender based violence and school dropout have only increased since then Poverty and limited information on sexual and reproductive health are exposing girls to higher rates of teen pregnancy sexually transmitted infections and contracting HIV Many remote communities in Madagascar have limited or no access to health facilities and the country currently only has one qualified midwife for every 7 000 people a critical shortage that is jeopardizing the safety of new and expectant mothers in the country Less than half of all births are attended by skilled health personnel and about 60 are home births UNFPA has been active in Madagascar for decades and supports 26 Listening and Legal Advice Centers across the country offering psychosocial and legal support to survivors as well as referrals to hospitals and health centers UNFPA also has multiple programs to train midwives which are crucial in a country where an average of seven women and three adolescent girls die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth At the joint event Ambassador McCain highlighted the humanitarian work of UNFPA and WFP and their role in building the resilience of communities in crisis These are all issues that need to be focused on in a situation like this Everyone involved here today who made this happen is a true humanitarian he concluded
    UNFPA and WFP join forces to meet soaring reproductive health and nutrition needs in southern Madagascar
    Africa7 months ago

    UNFPA and WFP join forces to meet soaring reproductive health and nutrition needs in southern Madagascar

    Just weeks away from giving birth to her fifth child, Homoroe Haova, 33, looked down at her stomach and smiled, certain she would be able to give birth safely and feed her children for weeks to come.

    Ms. Haova was among 800 women who waited in line all morning to meet UNFPA-supported reproductive health specialists visiting her village in the drought-stricken Grand Sud region of Madagascar.

    On-site midwives operated from three mobile health clinics acquired with the generous support of the Government of Japan. The clinics are among eight UNFPA-supported vehicles currently deployed in Madagascar, traveling thousands of kilometers over rugged terrain to reach even the least accessible areas. In adjoining maternity tents set up next to the local health center, UNFPA-supported medical staff provided advice on family planning while social workers raised awareness of gender-based violence.

    Meanwhile, a few meters away, hundreds of women, most of them heads of households, gathered to collect WFP rations of rice, vegetables and liters of cooking oil to cover their families' food needs for the next two weeks. . The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) reports that of the nearly 3 million people living in the Grand Sud region, half are in urgent need of food assistance.

    Recurring and unrelenting droughts have deprived women and girls of any means to support themselves or their children. Already prone to weather disasters such as cyclones, floods and droughts, Madagascar experienced its worst drought in 40 years in 2021 and in the first few months of 2022 has already seen cyclones destroy thousands of homes and livelihoods.

    Nutritional and reproductive support essential for maternal and neonatal health

    Through this joint UN partnership, Delivering as One, thousands of households were able to simultaneously access integrated sexual and reproductive health services from UNFPA and nutritious food rations from WFP. On the same day, around 180 women received prenatal consultations and 84 agreed to ultrasound scans. More than 20 women decided to start using long-acting contraceptive methods such as implants, and another 320 received counseling on sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence and family planning.

    Women were also offered screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer, and survivors of gender-based violence were given dignity kits containing sanitary and hygiene products. About 45 cases of gender-based violence were received and managed or referred to a specialized medical unit.

    Gender-based violence, including rape, is devastatingly common in Madagascar, with more than a quarter of all women experiencing physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. During this unprecedented drought, displaced women and girls now have to travel longer distances to access water and food, exposing them to an even greater risk of violence.

    Visiting the distribution site, US Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies, HE Cindy McCain, praised the joint initiative. “In any community in distress, women and children are the most affected. The fact that there is a food distribution to serve both children and adults and a mobile clinic for maternal health, family planning and gender-based violence services is definitely helping this community thrive,” she said.

    Invest in the future of women and girls

    With drastic consequences on people's ability to pay for basic health care or access enough food, consecutive climate disasters have led to chronic malnutrition and spiraling hunger in Madagascar. Newborns and pregnant and lactating women, in particular, face a litany of health risks: from childhood stunting to cognitive decline and micronutrient deficiencies such as anemia, maternal undernutrition can be devastating to women. people and societies as a whole.

    The most vulnerable families are in danger of resorting to survival strategies such as child labour, selling their belongings and transactional sex to put food on the table. According to OCHA, rates of child and forced marriage were already higher in the Grand Sud area before the crisis, and rates of gender-based violence and school dropout have only increased since then. Poverty and limited information on sexual and reproductive health are exposing girls to higher rates of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and contracting HIV.

    Many remote communities in Madagascar have limited or no access to health facilities, and the country currently only has one qualified midwife for every 7,000 people, a critical shortage that is jeopardizing the safety of new and expectant mothers in the country. Less than half of all births are attended by skilled health personnel and about 60% are home births.

    UNFPA has been active in Madagascar for decades and supports 26 Listening and Legal Advice Centers across the country, offering psychosocial and legal support to survivors, as well as referrals to hospitals and health centers. UNFPA also has multiple programs to train midwives, which are crucial in a country where an average of seven women and three adolescent girls die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

    At the joint event, Ambassador McCain highlighted the humanitarian work of UNFPA and WFP and their role in building the resilience of communities in crisis: “These are all issues that need to be focused on in a situation like this. Everyone involved here today who made this happen is a true humanitarian,” he concluded.

  •   UN agency expects 3 million additional refugees from Ukraine Refugees Geneva April 26 2022 The United Nations says it is expecting an additional three million refugees from Ukraine this year in an attempt to flee the ongoing Russian invasion The UN refugee agency UNHCR has updated its projections and now estimated that a total of 8 3 million people would flee Ukraine this year A UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva said on Tuesday At present nearly 5 3 million refugees were believed to have left Ukraine for one of its neighbours she said She described the speed with which the Ukraine refugee crisis was unfolding as unprecedented in recent times More than 380 000 Ukrainian refugees had arrived in Germany according to a tweet by the Ministry of the Interior in Berlin However the exact number of refugees from Ukraine in Germany was not known due to the absence of passport controls at the EU s internal borders The Czech Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that more than 310 000 Ukrainian war refugees had been issued with Czech residence permits since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February Globally only Syria has been the source of more refugees than Ukraine the spokesperson said stressing that that was during the course of a far longer period of time The UNHCR said that it required an additional 1 85 billion dollars in funding by the end of the year to support Ukrainian refugees in Hungary Moldova Poland Romania Slovakia Bulgaria the Czech Republic and Belarus Within Ukraine 7 7 million people believed to have been displaced by the fighting according to UN estimates Another 13 million people were believed to have been stranded in various regions and unable to escape due to the security situation the UNHCR spokesperson said Before the Russian invasion Ukraine had a population of about 44 million The situation within Ukraine is deteriorating further according to a UN Office of Emergency Assistance OCHA spokesperson As a result OCHA has doubled its donation target for the year to 2 25 billion dollars It has so far received 980 million dollars it said The money was to be used to provide people in Ukraine with housing health care and clean water for the next six months The emergency relief office estimates that some 15 7 million people in Ukraine currently require humanitarian assistance www nannes ng NAN
    UN agency expects 3 million additional refugees from Ukraine
      UN agency expects 3 million additional refugees from Ukraine Refugees Geneva April 26 2022 The United Nations says it is expecting an additional three million refugees from Ukraine this year in an attempt to flee the ongoing Russian invasion The UN refugee agency UNHCR has updated its projections and now estimated that a total of 8 3 million people would flee Ukraine this year A UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva said on Tuesday At present nearly 5 3 million refugees were believed to have left Ukraine for one of its neighbours she said She described the speed with which the Ukraine refugee crisis was unfolding as unprecedented in recent times More than 380 000 Ukrainian refugees had arrived in Germany according to a tweet by the Ministry of the Interior in Berlin However the exact number of refugees from Ukraine in Germany was not known due to the absence of passport controls at the EU s internal borders The Czech Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that more than 310 000 Ukrainian war refugees had been issued with Czech residence permits since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February Globally only Syria has been the source of more refugees than Ukraine the spokesperson said stressing that that was during the course of a far longer period of time The UNHCR said that it required an additional 1 85 billion dollars in funding by the end of the year to support Ukrainian refugees in Hungary Moldova Poland Romania Slovakia Bulgaria the Czech Republic and Belarus Within Ukraine 7 7 million people believed to have been displaced by the fighting according to UN estimates Another 13 million people were believed to have been stranded in various regions and unable to escape due to the security situation the UNHCR spokesperson said Before the Russian invasion Ukraine had a population of about 44 million The situation within Ukraine is deteriorating further according to a UN Office of Emergency Assistance OCHA spokesperson As a result OCHA has doubled its donation target for the year to 2 25 billion dollars It has so far received 980 million dollars it said The money was to be used to provide people in Ukraine with housing health care and clean water for the next six months The emergency relief office estimates that some 15 7 million people in Ukraine currently require humanitarian assistance www nannes ng NAN
    UN agency expects 3 million additional refugees from Ukraine
    Foreign7 months ago

    UN agency expects 3 million additional refugees from Ukraine

    UN agency expects 3 million additional refugees from Ukraine

    Refugees

    Geneva, April 26, 2022 The United Nations says it is expecting an additional three million refugees from Ukraine this year in an attempt to flee the ongoing Russian invasion.

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has updated its projections and now estimated that a total of 8.3 million people would flee Ukraine this year.

    A UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva said on Tuesday.

    At present, nearly 5.3 million refugees were believed to have left Ukraine for one of its neighbours, she said.

    She described the speed with which the Ukraine refugee crisis was unfolding as unprecedented in recent times.

    More than 380,000 Ukrainian refugees had arrived in Germany, according to a tweet by the Ministry of the Interior in Berlin.

    However, the exact number of refugees from Ukraine in Germany was not known, due to the absence of passport controls at the EU’s internal borders.

    The Czech Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that more than 310,000 Ukrainian war refugees had been issued with Czech residence permits since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February.

    Globally, only Syria has been the source of more refugees than Ukraine, the spokesperson said, stressing that that was during the course of a far longer period of time.

    The UNHCR said that it required an additional 1.85 billion dollars in funding by the end of the year to support Ukrainian refugees in Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Belarus.

    Within Ukraine, 7.7 million people believed to have been displaced by the fighting, according to UN estimates.

    Another 13 million people were believed to have been stranded in various regions and unable to escape due to the security situation, the UNHCR spokesperson said.

    Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine had a population of about 44 million.

    The situation within Ukraine is deteriorating further, according to a UN Office of Emergency Assistance (OCHA) spokesperson.

    As a result, OCHA has doubled its donation target for the year to 2.25 billion dollars.

    It has so far received 980 million dollars, it said.

    The money was to be used to provide people in Ukraine with housing, health care and clean water for the next six months.

    The emergency relief office estimates that some 15.7 million people in Ukraine currently require humanitarian assistance. (www.nannes.ng)

    (NAN)

  •  A top UN humanitarian official in the Central African Republic CAR Ms Denise Brown on Wednesday condemned two recent attacks against aid workers operating in the south of the country Brown UN Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR in a statement on Wednesday said she was deeply shocked and dismayed by the attacks which occurred on April 7 and April 9 Six aid workers and a health district worker were injured The attacks forced one humanitarian organisation to suspend its mobile clinics and activities to improve access to clean water for some 11 000 people in remote areas in Basse Kotto prefecture Every time humanitarians come under attack the lives of thousands of vulnerable people are at risk Aid workers who assist people under extremely difficult conditions must not be attacked Brown said The CAR has a population of around five million people more than half of whom depend on humanitarian assistance The country is among the most challenging for aid workers according to the UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA and security incidents hamper delivery of desperately needed aid Between January 1 and April 15 some 43 incidents affecting humanitarian organisations there were recorded with 11 aid workers injured In 2021 at least one incident per day was recorded half of which were burglaries robberies and intrusions Civilians are the primary victims of the conflict in the Central African Republic and humanitarian assistance is a matter of life and death for millions of people Humanitarians who come to their rescue in a neutral and impartial manner must be granted free and safe access she said More than three million people in CAR 63 per cent of the population will need humanitarian assistance in 2022 The figure includes 2 2 million people with severe needs who humanitarians said may not survive without the required assistance and protection In 2021 agencies assisted some 1 8 million people in emergency situations NAN Source Credit NAN
    UN condemns attacks on humanitarian workers in Central African Republic
     A top UN humanitarian official in the Central African Republic CAR Ms Denise Brown on Wednesday condemned two recent attacks against aid workers operating in the south of the country Brown UN Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR in a statement on Wednesday said she was deeply shocked and dismayed by the attacks which occurred on April 7 and April 9 Six aid workers and a health district worker were injured The attacks forced one humanitarian organisation to suspend its mobile clinics and activities to improve access to clean water for some 11 000 people in remote areas in Basse Kotto prefecture Every time humanitarians come under attack the lives of thousands of vulnerable people are at risk Aid workers who assist people under extremely difficult conditions must not be attacked Brown said The CAR has a population of around five million people more than half of whom depend on humanitarian assistance The country is among the most challenging for aid workers according to the UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA and security incidents hamper delivery of desperately needed aid Between January 1 and April 15 some 43 incidents affecting humanitarian organisations there were recorded with 11 aid workers injured In 2021 at least one incident per day was recorded half of which were burglaries robberies and intrusions Civilians are the primary victims of the conflict in the Central African Republic and humanitarian assistance is a matter of life and death for millions of people Humanitarians who come to their rescue in a neutral and impartial manner must be granted free and safe access she said More than three million people in CAR 63 per cent of the population will need humanitarian assistance in 2022 The figure includes 2 2 million people with severe needs who humanitarians said may not survive without the required assistance and protection In 2021 agencies assisted some 1 8 million people in emergency situations NAN Source Credit NAN
    UN condemns attacks on humanitarian workers in Central African Republic
    Foreign7 months ago

    UN condemns attacks on humanitarian workers in Central African Republic

    A top UN humanitarian official in the Central African Republic (CAR), Ms Denise Brown, on Wednesday, condemned two recent attacks against aid workers operating in the south of the country.

    Brown, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR, in a statement on Wednesday, said she was deeply shocked and dismayed by the attacks, which occurred on April  7 and April 9.

    Six aid workers and a health district worker were injured.

    The attacks forced one humanitarian organisation to suspend its mobile clinics and activities to improve access to clean water for some 11,000 people in remote areas in Basse-Kotto prefecture.

    “Every time humanitarians come under attack; the lives of thousands of vulnerable people are at risk.

    “Aid workers who assist people under extremely difficult conditions must not be attacked,” Brown said.

    The CAR has a population of around five million people, more than half of whom depend on humanitarian assistance.

    The country is among the most challenging for aid workers, according to the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, and security incidents hamper delivery of desperately needed aid.

    Between January 1 and April 15, some 43 incidents affecting humanitarian organisations there were recorded, with 11 aid workers injured.

    In 2021, at least one incident per day was recorded, half of which were burglaries, robberies and intrusions.

    “Civilians are the primary victims of the conflict in the Central African Republic and humanitarian assistance is a matter of life and death for millions of people.

    “Humanitarians who come to their rescue in a neutral and impartial manner must be granted free and safe access,” she said.

    More than three million people in CAR, 63 per cent of the population, will need humanitarian assistance in 2022.

    The figure includes 2.2 million people with severe needs who humanitarians said may not survive without the required assistance and protection.

    In 2021, agencies assisted some 1.8 million people in emergency situations. (NAN) (

    Source Credit: NAN

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