Africa’s advances in maternal, infant mortality face setbacks: WHO 

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa, 390 women will die in childbirth for every 100,000 live births.   This is more than five times higher than Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) targets – and well above the global average of 211. “For many African women, childbirth remains a… Continue reading Africa’s advances in maternal, infant mortality face setbacks: WHO 

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‘We cannot give up’ on the millions suffering in drought-stricken Horn of Africa, urges WFP official

In an interview with UN News, Mr. Dunford said: “Unfortunately, we have not yet seen the worst of this crisis. If you think 2022 is bad, beware of what is coming in 2023. What that means, is that we need to continue to engage. We cannot give up on the needs of the population in… Continue reading ‘We cannot give up’ on the millions suffering in drought-stricken Horn of Africa, urges WFP official

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First Person: The Liberian police inspector working to end sexual and gender-based violence

26 November 2022Women Inspector Muna Meah is a Commander in the Liberia National Police Force, and the county coordinator for the Women and Children’s Social Protection Centre in Sanniquille, north-central Liberia. For the past seven years, she has investigated cases of violence against women and children and supported survivors to access the help they need.… Continue reading First Person: The Liberian police inspector working to end sexual and gender-based violence

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Stronger action required to address changing dynamics of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report on the issue, Martha Pobee, an Assistant Secretary-General in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), warned of a shifting situation that will require greater response. The decline in incidents is the result of concerted efforts by national authorities, supported by regional and international partners, both on land and… Continue reading Stronger action required to address changing dynamics of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

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Horn of Africa: UNFPA launches $113 million appeal for drought-impacted women and girls

The funding will be used to scale-up life-saving reproductive health and protection services, including establishment of mobile and static clinics in locations such as displacement sites.  Overall, more than 36 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya require humanitarian assistance because of the drought.  Safeguarding critical services  Conflict, locust infestations and the lingering impacts of… Continue reading Horn of Africa: UNFPA launches $113 million appeal for drought-impacted women and girls

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Liberia: Put people before profit, experts on human rights and business urge

“The present climate of irresponsible business practices provides profit for companies but does little for people”, members of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights said in a statement marking the conclusion of their first visit to the country.  “A sustainable and stable peace calls for accountability, transparency, equality, social cohesion, the rule… Continue reading Liberia: Put people before profit, experts on human rights and business urge

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Terrorism intensifying across Africa, exploiting instability and conflict 

“Terrorists and violent extremists including Da’esh, Al-Qaida and their affiliates have exploited instability and conflict to increase their activities and intensify attacks across the continent”, Amina Mohammed said on behalf of Secretary-General António Guterres.   “Their senseless, terror-fuelled violence has killed and wounded thousands and many more continue to suffer from the broader impact of terrorism… Continue reading Terrorism intensifying across Africa, exploiting instability and conflict 

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Delivering justice for Libya not ‘Mission Impossible’, Security Council hears

“If we are willing to forge new partnerships…look at new ways of working together…[and] coalesce around human values…we can do much better in delivering justice for the people of Libya and hopefully that will assist in a wider hope for sustainable peace”, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan told the ambassadors via video link. Recounting his experiences… Continue reading Delivering justice for Libya not ‘Mission Impossible’, Security Council hears

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Egypt: Rights chief calls for immediate release of jailed blogger and activist

8 November 2022Human Rights UN Human Rights High Commissioner Volker Türk on Tuesday appealed for Egypt to free a prominent blogger and activist whose life is in imminent danger following a seven-month hunger strike, that has escalated with the start of the COP27 climate summit being hosted there.  Alaa Abdel Fattah has been arrested many… Continue reading Egypt: Rights chief calls for immediate release of jailed blogger and activist

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Humanitarians call for greater support to prevent famine in Horn of Africa

Humanitarians must urgently prepare to continue their life-saving work in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, as the drought – the longest and most severe in recent history – is set to run well into the coming year.  Even though nearly 21 million people are highly food insecure – with some areas of Somalia still projected to… Continue reading Humanitarians call for greater support to prevent famine in Horn of Africa

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Northern Ethiopia facing devastating spike in preventable disease: WHO

“There are 5.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Tigray; that number includes 3.8 million people who are in need of health assistance and we need to reach these people,” said Ilham Abdelhai Nour, World Health Organization Team Lead for Ethiopia, Incident Management System and Emergencies Operations. ‘No access to Tigray’ “We have… Continue reading Northern Ethiopia facing devastating spike in preventable disease: WHO

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Sudan: Justice for protesters against coup, key to ending cycle of violence

To break the country’s cycle of turmoil, they also called for an independent accountability and transitional justice mechanism with a mandate to address human rights violations committed during protests.  This would also involve a focus on the gendered nature of the violence, and the provision of suitable reparations to victims.  Ongoing abuse  “Over the past… Continue reading Sudan: Justice for protesters against coup, key to ending cycle of violence

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UN rights chief deplores deadly use of force against protestors in Chad

Human Rights High Commissioner Volker Türk has deplored the deadly use of force against demonstrators, including killings by live ammunition, the Office said in a statement.  Thousands took to the streets in the capital, N’Djamena, and other cities on Thursday, to protest the 24-month extension of the transition to civilian rule.  ‘Lethal repression’  Some 50… Continue reading UN rights chief deplores deadly use of force against protestors in Chad

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Children in Africa five times less likely to learn basics: New report

20 October 2022Culture and Education African leaders gathered in Mauritius on Thursday, to mull solutions to the education gap highlighted by a new UN education agency report which shows children on the continent are five times less likely to learn the basics, than those living elsewhere. The ability of education systems to ensure even rudimentary literacy… Continue reading Children in Africa five times less likely to learn basics: New report

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Rights experts calls for urgent action to implement South Sudan peace deal

The appeal by the members of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan follows a visit to Ethiopia where they urged African countries, and other stakeholders, to renew support for the deal’s implementation.  They said the conflict in South Sudan has become increasingly complex but the level of suffering for millions of civilians… Continue reading Rights experts calls for urgent action to implement South Sudan peace deal

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WHO supports Uganda Ebola response, faces challenges fighting Haiti cholera outbreak

So far, 39 people have died, he reported.  Overall, there have been 64 confirmed cases, and 20 probable cases, while 14 people have recovered from the disease.  Authorities are conducting active follow-up of more than 660 contacts. “Our primary focus now is to support the Government of Uganda to rapidly control and contain this outbreak,… Continue reading WHO supports Uganda Ebola response, faces challenges fighting Haiti cholera outbreak

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Guterres: UN-African Union partnership a ‘cornerstone of multilateralism’

He called on all leaders – in the Council, on the continent and beyond – to spare no effort in supporting the AU so that it can achieve its goals.    ‘A unique partnership’  The 55-member body was founded in July 2002, and ambassadors met to discuss how UN collaboration with the organization has grown,… Continue reading Guterres: UN-African Union partnership a ‘cornerstone of multilateralism’

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DR Congo sees deadly surge in intercommunal violence

11 October 2022Peace and Security More than 140 people have been killed in horrific intercommunal violence in the west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday, briefing journalists in Geneva, that some victims had been beheaded. The conflict between the Teke and Yaka communities was reportedly… Continue reading DR Congo sees deadly surge in intercommunal violence

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UN rights report details ‘unconscionable’ violations of migrants returning from Libya

“This desperate situation requires all concerned to ensure that no migrant is compelled to accept assisted return to an unsafe or unsustainable situation in their country of origin”, said acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif. Amidst a lack of protection within and outside Libya, migrants are subjected to sub-standard treatment in a… Continue reading UN rights report details ‘unconscionable’ violations of migrants returning from Libya

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Nearly half of world’s terror victims are African, with organised crime increasingly entrenched

UNODC chief Ghada Waly said there were around 3,500 victims of terrorist acts in sub-Saharan Africa last year, nearly half of those recorded worldwide. The vast Sahel region in particular has become home to some of the most active and deadly terrorist groups, and it is essential to gain more understanding of the links between… Continue reading Nearly half of world’s terror victims are African, with organised crime increasingly entrenched

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Make suicide prevention in Africa a priority, UN health agency urges governments

6 October 2022Health Did you know that Africa has the highest suicide rate in the world? To reverse that worrying statistic, the UN health agency WHO on Thursday launched a social media campaign to raise awareness around mental health illness, which is believed to account for up to 11 per cent of the risk factors that… Continue reading Make suicide prevention in Africa a priority, UN health agency urges governments

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Sudan committed to achieve national reconciliation, General Assembly hears

Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan Abdelrahman Al-Burhan, the President of the Transitional Government of Sudan, called for more multilateral action to find sustainable solutions to global challenges and to reduce terrible repercussions for people worldwide, particularly in countries affected by conflict and in the least developed countries.

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Guterres says Central African Republic must ‘spare no effort’ to help bring killers of UN peacekeepers to justice

5 October 2022Peace and Security The UN Secretary-General has expressed his deep sadness over the death of three peacekeepers from Bangladesh who were killed on Monday in the Central African Republic (CAR), following a roadside bomb explosion near the border with Cameroon. Others were injured, and one remains in a critical condition. The ‘blue helmets’… Continue reading Guterres says Central African Republic must ‘spare no effort’ to help bring killers of UN peacekeepers to justice

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Fight against human trafficking must be strengthened in Ethiopia’s wartorn north

3 October 2022Human Rights Throughout Ethiopia’s Tigray, Afar and Amhar regions, women and girls are becoming increasingly vulnerable to abduction and sex trafficking as they flee ongoing armed conflict, a group of UN-appointed independent human rights experts warned on Monday. The protracted conflict in the three northern regions have heightened risks of trafficking for sexual exploitation… Continue reading Fight against human trafficking must be strengthened in Ethiopia’s wartorn north

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DR Congo: Humanitarian situation worsens; UN mission continues to battle armed militias

Special Representative Bintou Keita told the UN Security Council that following a resurgence of the M23 rebel movement, confidence in the UN mission, known by its French acronym, MONUSCO, has deteriorated. ‘Hatred, hostility and violence’ Violent demonstrations and serious incidents have caused the death of several dozen protesters and four mission staff, she said, strongly condemning… Continue reading DR Congo: Humanitarian situation worsens; UN mission continues to battle armed militias

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Guinea: UN pledges support for justice and accountability, as stadium massacre trial begins

The UN chief on Wednesday paid tribute to the hundreds of victims and their families, of a 2009 stadium massacre in the capital of Guinea, as some of the ringleaders allegedly responsible for the gruesome death of more than 150 people that day, went on trial. Alongside the deaths, during the opposition rally protesting military rule on… Continue reading Guinea: UN pledges support for justice and accountability, as stadium massacre trial begins

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South Sudan violence proliferating, warn independent rights experts

Deeply disturbing violence is escalating “all over” South Sudan, top independent UN human rights experts have warned. Women and girls continue to be gang-raped and survivors have been described as “zombies, physically and emotionally dead”, according to the UN Commission on Human Rights in the world’s youngest nation. Police the peace In an alert, Commission… Continue reading South Sudan violence proliferating, warn independent rights experts

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Central African Republic: Said trial opens at International Criminal Court

The trial of a paramilitary commander accused of carrying out or ordering crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Central African Republic (CAR) began on Monday in The Hague. “The victims all hope that the trial which opens today before you constitutes a guarantee that never again such crimes will be committed.” – Sarah… Continue reading Central African Republic: Said trial opens at International Criminal Court

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High-level independent panel on security and development in crisis-torn Sahel region launched at UN

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and African leaders have launched a high-level panel to assess the situation in the Sahel and make recommendations on ways to foster international engagement and map out responses to the region’s complex challenges. The independent panel was formally announced on Saturday in New York on the margins of the General Assembly’s… Continue reading High-level independent panel on security and development in crisis-torn Sahel region launched at UN

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister calls for improved climate commitments at COP27

Egypt, which is hosting the 2022 UN Climate Conference this November, is calling on the international community to act on climate pledges made to developing countries, the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, declared on Saturday. In his speech to the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly, Sameh Hassan Shoukry Selim said that the world… Continue reading Egypt’s Foreign Minister calls for improved climate commitments at COP27

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Mali reports progress in political transition process, fighting terrorism

The process to restore civilian rule in the wake of the August 2020 military coup in the West African country will conclude in March 2024, when power will be transferred to elected authorities.  “I’m pleased to underline that some significant progress has already been made,” he said, referring to the passing of the electoral law,… Continue reading Mali reports progress in political transition process, fighting terrorism

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Half of Sudan’s most vulnerable children could die without aid

The situation for Sudan’s most vulnerable children is so desperate that half of the most severely malnourished youngsters are expected to die without urgent humanitarian intervention, UN agencies said on Friday. “As we speak today, 650,000 kids are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. If not treated, half of them will die,” said UN Children’s Fund… Continue reading Half of Sudan’s most vulnerable children could die without aid

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South Sudan: Vice-President highlights commitments and challenges to peace

The Revitalized Peace Agreement, signed by the Government and opposition groups four years ago, ended years of conflict in the world’s youngest nation, independent since July 2011.  “Owing to relative peace, the internally displaced and the refugees have been voluntarily returning home, although more formal reintegration remains a challenge due to limited resources,” said Mr.… Continue reading South Sudan: Vice-President highlights commitments and challenges to peace

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Sudan committed to achieve national reconciliation, General Assembly hears

On the recent political developments in Sudan, he reiterated his commitment to peaceful transition to establish real democracy that includes fair, free and transparent elections at the end of the transition period, in order to establish a civilian regime that represents all Sudanese people. The Sudanese President went on to share that starting in July,… Continue reading Sudan committed to achieve national reconciliation, General Assembly hears

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Somalia committed to tackling twin threats of looming famine and terrorism, President tells UN Assembly

Despite efforts to move past decades of drought and conflict, Somalia is facing some of the most complex crises in the world, its President said today at the UN General Assembly, urging international partners to help the nation avert a looming famine and defeat the scourge of terrorism. “In Somalia, we are working tirelessly to… Continue reading Somalia committed to tackling twin threats of looming famine and terrorism, President tells UN Assembly

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Ethiopia: Civilians again mired in intractable and deadly war, Human Rights Council hears

In their first, extensive report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia said that they believed that crimes against humanity had also been committed in the on-off war that erupted in the northern region in November 2020. #HRC51 | Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia told the Human Rights Council… Continue reading Ethiopia: Civilians again mired in intractable and deadly war, Human Rights Council hears

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Seven Ebola cases, one death confirmed in Uganda, WHO scales up response

The UN health agency, WHO, announced on Wednesday that it is speeding up efforts to respond to a fresh outbreak of the deadly, infectious Ebola disease in Uganda. So far, seven cases of the rare Sudan strain of the virus, including one death, have been confirmed in the east African country. The announcement comes two… Continue reading Seven Ebola cases, one death confirmed in Uganda, WHO scales up response

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As global economic crises ‘pile up’, Ghanaian leader says it’s time for urgent attention

It was doubtful that any generation of Earth’s inhabitants has ever witnessed “such a perfect storm of global economic chaos, a war with global consequences, and an unwillingness or inability to find a consensus to deal with the catastrophe,” the President of Ghana told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. President Akufo-Addo’s address to the… Continue reading As global economic crises ‘pile up’, Ghanaian leader says it’s time for urgent attention

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Libya working towards a democratic transformation, President tells UN

Libyan President Muhammad Yunus Al-Manfi told the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that as it moves towards building a State of institutions and establishing principles of democracy, his country has through a decade of “pain and hope”. He upheld his commitment to the Libyan Political Agreement, and as “the supreme political… Continue reading Libya working towards a democratic transformation, President tells UN

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Africa is doing its part but must do more, says Rwandan President Kagame

Referring to a world in a state of turbulence, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on Wednesday called for multilateral cooperation and efforts to address intersecting crises, including climate change, food price inflation, conflict and migration.  The Secretary-General’s landmark report Our Common Agenda has only grown in value since it was launched one year ago. But… Continue reading Africa is doing its part but must do more, says Rwandan President Kagame

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DR Congo President denounces ‘aggression’ by Rwanda, calls on UN to support African-led mediation

“Peace and security for all, controlling climate change, relaunching the global economy post-COVID economic recovery; combatting poverty and promoting collective well-being” are today’s most pressing challenges, he said.  Overcoming them will require working in greater concert, with more cooperation and solidarity between States and nations, the DRC leader said in his adress to the opening… Continue reading DR Congo President denounces ‘aggression’ by Rwanda, calls on UN to support African-led mediation

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Burundi must engage in ‘credible and inclusive’ move towards democratic rule

Despite commitments and measures taken by the government, the human rights situation there has not changed in a substantial and sustainable way, said Fortuné Gaétan Zongo, who was appointed on 1 April as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi. “It is crucial and urgent to initiate reforms and a credible and inclusive democratization process… Continue reading Burundi must engage in ‘credible and inclusive’ move towards democratic rule

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Catastrophic hunger levels leave 500,000 children at risk of dying in Somalia

Catastrophic hunger levels in Somalia have left more than 513,000 children at risk of dying, 173,000 more than during the 2011 famine, UN humanitarians warned on Tuesday. In a call for immediate funding to help vulnerable communities hit by successive droughts, high food prices and conflict, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, the World Food Programme… Continue reading Catastrophic hunger levels leave 500,000 children at risk of dying in Somalia

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Nigeria: UN expert calls for more advances in protecting older persons

Despite commendable progress on legal and policy safeguards for older persons, a UN-appointed independent human rights expert said on Friday that Nigeria must implement already adopted measures to protect them against ageism and age discrimination, both of which are still prevalent. Ending a 12-day visit to the country, Claudia Mahler, the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of… Continue reading Nigeria: UN expert calls for more advances in protecting older persons

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UN health agency kicks off meningitis vaccination campaigns in Africa

With the COVID-19 pandemic delaying meningitis vaccination campaigns for more than 50 million children in Africa, the region is at a heightened risk of outbreaks of meningitis type A, the UN health agency said on Thursday. The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have launched a roadmap to stop by 2030, bacterial meningitis outbreaks on… Continue reading UN health agency kicks off meningitis vaccination campaigns in Africa

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Somalia: UN’s top humanitarian forum warns of ‘tipping point’ as famine risk rises

Somalia is at a “tipping point”, with hundreds of thousands of people at immediate risk of famine, the heads of the UN’s highest-level humanitarian coordination forum have warned.  In a statement issued on Monday, the principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) called for increased support and humanitarian access to save lives. Famine is already unfolding in Baidoa… Continue reading Somalia: UN’s top humanitarian forum warns of ‘tipping point’ as famine risk rises

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Somalia receiving unprecedented levels of food aid, with ‘famine at the door’

As UN relief chief Martin Griffiths warned of an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe on Monday, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it is delivering more food aid to Somalia than ever before. WFP noted that, despite so far reaching an unprecedented 3.7 million people with relief and over 300,000 with nutrition support, famine is an… Continue reading Somalia receiving unprecedented levels of food aid, with ‘famine at the door’

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Sierra Leone: Female genital mutilation ‘amounts to torture,’ impunity must end

Following criminal proceedings over the death of a 21-year-old student who was subject to the brutal practice in the Bonthe District, three Special Rapporteurs issued a statement condemning female genital mutilation as “a grave form of violence against women and girls that amounts to torture”. “It violates the fundamental rights of its victims, including their physical integrity and… Continue reading Sierra Leone: Female genital mutilation ‘amounts to torture,’ impunity must end

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UN steps up post-COVID support in Africa; battles cholera in Malawi

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of our continent’s health infrastructure and the urgent need to strengthen the overall health system to secure access to quality care for all Africa’s people, when and where they need it, without incurring financial hardship,” said WHO’s Africa Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti. Rebuilding good health To rethink and rebuild… Continue reading UN steps up post-COVID support in Africa; battles cholera in Malawi

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African Health Ministers announce ‘pivotal’ new strategy to combat communicable diseases

With the burden of cardiovascular disease, mental and neurological disorders and diabetes rising in the region, African health ministers on Tuesday, endorsed a new strategy to boost access to the diagnosis, treatment and care of severe noncommunicable diseases. The health ministers, gathering for the seventy-second session of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee… Continue reading African Health Ministers announce ‘pivotal’ new strategy to combat communicable diseases

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WHO supports DR Congo authorities as Ebola resurges in volatile east

Ebola has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) following confirmation of a case in the restive eastern province of North Kivu, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Tuesday, citing authorities in the country.  The case concerns a 46-year-old woman who died on 15 August in the town of Beni.  She had… Continue reading WHO supports DR Congo authorities as Ebola resurges in volatile east

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Africa drought: Some children just ‘one disease away from catastrophe’ UNICEF warns

On Tuesday, UN Children’s Fund UNICEF warned that children in the Horn of Africa and the vast Sahel region “could die in devastating numbers” without urgent intervention and support. In the last five months, the number of people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia without reliable access to safe water, has risen from 9.5 million to… Continue reading Africa drought: Some children just ‘one disease away from catastrophe’ UNICEF warns

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WFP scales up support for millions who ‘cannot wait’ for food aid amid Horn of Africa drought

As the threat of famine looms in the Horn of Africa, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Friday that it is scaling up operations to support millions going hungry who “cannot wait” for assistance. The region is in the grip of a historic drought, brought on by four consecutive failed rains.  The crisis has… Continue reading WFP scales up support for millions who ‘cannot wait’ for food aid amid Horn of Africa drought

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WHO warns of disease threat amid Horn of Africa drought

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday highlighted the need to support millions facing starvation and disease in the Horn of Africa. Speaking from Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said drought, conflict, climate change and increasing prices for food, fuel and fertilizer, are all contributing to lack of access to sufficient food.  The… Continue reading WHO warns of disease threat amid Horn of Africa drought

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Ethiopia: Loan from UN fund allows FAO to scale up fertilizers for farmers in Tigray

A $10 million loan from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will allow the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to scale up the procurement of fertilizers to support farmers in the restive Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, the agency announced on Monday.  Since conflict erupted in November 2020, Tigray and other regions have seen… Continue reading Ethiopia: Loan from UN fund allows FAO to scale up fertilizers for farmers in Tigray

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Healthy life expectancy in Africa grows by nearly 10 years

Healthy life expectancy among Africans living in mainly high and upper middle-income countries on the continent, has increased by almost 10 years, the UN health agency, WHO, said on Thursday. The World Health Organization announced the good news after examining life expectancy data among the 47 countries that make up the WHO African Region from 2000 to 2019,… Continue reading Healthy life expectancy in Africa grows by nearly 10 years

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UN delegation returns from human rights fact-finding mission in Ethiopia

Three UN-appointed independent human rights experts returned from Ethiopia on Tuesday after working to negotiate access to areas important for investigations. The UN International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia is mandated to conduct a thorough and impartial probe into allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law. Specifically, it will investigate violations… Continue reading UN delegation returns from human rights fact-finding mission in Ethiopia

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Sudan: World Bank provides $100 million in emergency support

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Sudan has received a $100 million contribution from the World Bank to assist with critical emergency cash and food sustenance in Sudan. In the first-ever direct contribution between the two UN agencies in the country, the Sudan Emergency Safety Nets Project aims to provide cash transfers and food… Continue reading Sudan: World Bank provides $100 million in emergency support

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Hunger still rising across East Africa, says new UN-backed report

Issued by the region’s Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the IGAD Regional Focus on Food Crises report sounds the alarm over escalating food insecurity and malnutrition in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. “The current food security situation across the Horn of Africa is dire after four consecutive rainy seasons have failed, a climatic event not seen… Continue reading Hunger still rising across East Africa, says new UN-backed report

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Kenya: UN expert hails historic reparations ruling in favour of indigenous peoples

An independent UN human rights expert on Monday hailed a decision by the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, to award reparations to the Ogiek indigenous peoples, for harm that they suffered due to “injustices and discrimination.” The historic ruling follows a landmark judgment delivered by the Court on 26 May 2017, finding that… Continue reading Kenya: UN expert hails historic reparations ruling in favour of indigenous peoples

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South Africa ‘on the precipice of explosive xenophobic violence’, UN experts warn

A group of independent UN human rights experts have condemned reports of escalating violence targeting foreign nationals in South Africa, and called for accountability against rising xenophobia, racism and hate speech aimed at migrants, refugees, asylum seekers – and even citizens perceived as outsiders – throughout the country. In a statement released on Friday, the… Continue reading South Africa ‘on the precipice of explosive xenophobic violence’, UN experts warn

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Animal-to-human diseases on the rise in Africa, warns UN health agency

Diseases transmitted from animals to people in Africa have jumped 63 per cent in last decade, compared with the previous ten year period, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) analysis released on Thursday. “And more than 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases, are caused by pathogens shared with wild or domestic animals,” WHO… Continue reading Animal-to-human diseases on the rise in Africa, warns UN health agency

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Ghana prepares for possible first-ever Marburg virus outbreak

Preliminary findings of two Marburg virus cases have prompted Ghana to prepare for a potential outbreak of the disease. If confirmed, these would the first such infections recorded in the country, and only the second in West Africa. Marburg is a highly infectious viral haemorrhagic fever in the same family as the more well-known Ebola… Continue reading Ghana prepares for possible first-ever Marburg virus outbreak

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Greater democratic rule vital to boost security in West Africa and the Sahel

Khatir Mahamat Saleh Annadif was presenting the latest report of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), which he heads, covering developments over the past six months in areas such as politics, security and human rights.  Mr. Annadif highlighted some of the dichotomies across a vast region that continues to “develop at… Continue reading Greater democratic rule vital to boost security in West Africa and the Sahel

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Brazil: ‘Racialized’ police killings, evidence reforms are needed, say experts

“We have repeatedly raised our concerns about the excessive and lethal use of force used by Brazilian law enforcement officials and the disproportionate impact on Brazilians of African descent,” the three experts said in a statement. “However, the latest reports of police brutality appear to show that such human rights violations continue with impunity”. Human… Continue reading Brazil: ‘Racialized’ police killings, evidence reforms are needed, say experts

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UN needs $68.4 million to help Central African Republic where 2.2 million are acutely food insecure

A sharp increase in essential goods in the Central African Republic (CAR) linked to war in Ukraine will likely have a devastating impact on the already dire humanitarian situation there in coming weeks, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday. Some 2.2 million people are already acutely food insecure in the Central African Republic, meaning… Continue reading UN needs $68.4 million to help Central African Republic where 2.2 million are acutely food insecure

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Libya: new suspected mass graves found in Tarhuna, says UN human rights probe

New suspected mass graves have been uncovered in Tarhuna, Libya, a Human Rights Council probe reported on Monday, highlighting continuing extreme rights abuses in the country that have affected children and adults alike. Speaking in Geneva, Mohamed Auajjar, chair of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, told journalists that a culture of impunity still prevailed… Continue reading Libya: new suspected mass graves found in Tarhuna, says UN human rights probe

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Cabo Verde: ‘Unprecedented’ food insecurity triggers social and economic emergency

The island nation of Cabo Verde is facing record levels of food insecurity due to drought, the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, affecting some 181,000 people, or 32 per cent of the country, the World Food Programme (WFP) reported on Thursday.  Recent hard-won gains in food security and nutrition are at risk, the… Continue reading Cabo Verde: ‘Unprecedented’ food insecurity triggers social and economic emergency

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Conflict, drought, and dwindling food support threaten 20 million Ethiopian lives

“The combination of conflict and drought have caused inflation to soar,” the World Food Programme (WFP) added, noting that as of April, the Food Price Index in Ethiopia was up by 43 per cent compared to the same month last year. Meanwhile, the prices for vegetable oil and cereals are up by over 89 per… Continue reading Conflict, drought, and dwindling food support threaten 20 million Ethiopian lives

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Nigeria: crisis in northeast will worsen without urgent help, says OCHA

UN humanitarians issued an alert on Tuesday over the deteriorating situation for millions of mainly women and children in northeast Nigeria who continue to be affected by protracted armed conflict, just as the country enters the lean season. Well over eight million people are in need of assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states,… Continue reading Nigeria: crisis in northeast will worsen without urgent help, says OCHA

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Window of opportunity closing for South Sudan, on road to lasting peace

With eight months remaining, the window of opportunity is closing for South Sudan to meet critical benchmarks required to complete its transition away from long-running civil conflict, the Special Representative for the country told the Security Council on Monday, pressing parties to the November 2018 peace deal, to implement their commitments in letter and spirit… Continue reading Window of opportunity closing for South Sudan, on road to lasting peace

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Côte d’Ivoire welcomes families home, as refugee status formally ends

The resolution of a civil conflict fuelled-displacement crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, that at its height forced more than 300,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries and beyond, is “a welcome bright spot amid a rising global trend of forced displacement”, said the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on Monday. The process to formally end refugee status… Continue reading Côte d’Ivoire welcomes families home, as refugee status formally ends

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Urgent support needed for 14,000 who fled following Burkina Faso massacre

In Burkina Faso, UN humanitarians on Friday appealed to the international community for help, after attacks by armed groups forced thousands to flee their homes in the east of the country. According to an alert from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, almost 16,000 mostly women and children, have been displaced to Dori, after gunmen killed at… Continue reading Urgent support needed for 14,000 who fled following Burkina Faso massacre

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Tanzania: more violence feared over bid to evict Maasai from ancestral lands

The reported use of live ammunition by security forces in Tanzania, against ethnic Maasai herders, and the death of a police officer, have been condemned by top UN-appointed independent rights experts. The development follows the alleged encroachment on traditional Maasai lands and housing and the potential eviction of 150,000 tribespeople, to make way for a… Continue reading Tanzania: more violence feared over bid to evict Maasai from ancestral lands

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Horn of Africa braces for ‘explosion of child deaths’ as hunger crisis deepens

To illustrate continuing deep concern about emergency levels of malnutrition in Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa, UN Children’s Fund UNICEF reported meeting parents who had to bury their emaciated children by the roadside, as they trekked hundreds of kilometres to seek medical help. News Release: Food insecurity and malnutrition are worsening across Somalia. The risk… Continue reading Horn of Africa braces for ‘explosion of child deaths’ as hunger crisis deepens

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Sudan: UN chief calls for ‘good faith’ effort by all, ahead of direct talks

The UN chief has called for military authorities in Sudan and civilian representatives and political leaders, to enter direct talks over the future of the country in “good faith”, following continued unrest. A military coup in October, led to the suspension of a power sharing between civilian representatives and senior officers, which had been established… Continue reading Sudan: UN chief calls for ‘good faith’ effort by all, ahead of direct talks

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From the Field: Ethiopia’s worst drought threatens ‘deadly consequences’ for women

Women and girls face “deadly consequences” in the Somali region of Ethiopia due to the worst drought conditions for forty years, according to the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA. A family in the Somali region of Ethiopia build a temporary shelter after fleeing their home., by © UNFPA Ethiopia/Paula Seijo More than 286,000 people have… Continue reading From the Field: Ethiopia’s worst drought threatens ‘deadly consequences’ for women

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Africa: Dramatic drop forecast in COVID deaths, but no time to ‘sit back and relax’

That’s down from a “catastrophically high” average of 970 fatalities each day last year to around 60 a day by the end of 2022. “The low number of deaths expected this year is a huge achievement for the region and a testament to the efforts of countries and partners,” WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso… Continue reading Africa: Dramatic drop forecast in COVID deaths, but no time to ‘sit back and relax’

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Somalia: ‘Dire and grim’ drought, impacting more than 7 million

“The situation is extremely dire and grim: 7.1 million people are going to be affected by this drought situation before the end of this year,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula. 1.4 million children ‘facing acute malnutrition’ He said that around 1.4 million children were facing “acute malnutrition this year, and 330,000 are likely… Continue reading Somalia: ‘Dire and grim’ drought, impacting more than 7 million

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FAO ramps up support to Sudan farmers as starvation threat grows in East Africa

Food insecurity is soaring in the country, driven by the combined impacts of armed conflict, drought, the COVID-19 pandemic, low production of key staple crops due to infestation by pests and diseases, and economic turmoil.   [email protected]‘s largest allocation of funds to @FAO comes at a critical time. Thanks to this generous contribution, we will… Continue reading FAO ramps up support to Sudan farmers as starvation threat grows in East Africa

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Rights office welcomes Zambia’s pledge to abolish the death penalty

Zambia’s plan to abolish the death penalty adds to the growing global chorus against the practice, the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, said on Friday in welcoming the decision.  President Hakainde Hichilema announced the development on Tuesday in a speech on the eve of Africa Day, according to media reports.  “We warmly welcome the Zambian… Continue reading Rights office welcomes Zambia’s pledge to abolish the death penalty

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18 million in Africa’s Sahel on ‘the brink of starvation’

As 18 million people in Africa’s Sahel region teeter on the edge of severe hunger over the next three months, the UN released on Friday an additional $30 million from its emergency humanitarian fund, to boost the humanitarian response across four countries. Food insecurity is set to reach its highest level since 2014, warned the… Continue reading 18 million in Africa’s Sahel on ‘the brink of starvation’

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Demand for lifesaving aid up 10 per cent this year: UN relief chief

The number of people in need has risen by around 10 per cent this year so far, the UN’s humanitarian affairs chief said on Thursday. Martin Griffiths, who is also the Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that around 303 million living in 69 countries, were in need of humanitarian aid and protection, compared with 274 million… Continue reading Demand for lifesaving aid up 10 per cent this year: UN relief chief

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First polio outbreak in 30 years declared in Mozambique

Health authorities in Mozambique declared an outbreak of wild poliovirus on Wednesday after confirming that a child in the country’s north-eastern Tete province, had contracted the disease. This marks the second imported case of wild poliovirus in southern Africa this year, following an outbreak in Malawi in mid-February, said the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional… Continue reading First polio outbreak in 30 years declared in Mozambique

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Relief chief underlines need for urgent support as millions face drought in Horn of Africa

Humanitarians continue to call for scaling up assistance in the Horn of Africa, where the worst drought in 40 years is affecting some 15 million people across Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.  The drought follows four consecutive failed rainy seasons, and the fear is the number could jump to 20 million if the current below-average rains… Continue reading Relief chief underlines need for urgent support as millions face drought in Horn of Africa

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Ethiopia: Essential aid reaches Tigray region, but more still needed

A convoy carrying desperately needed humanitarian aid arrived in the capital of the restive Tigray region in northern Ethiopia this past weekend, the UN reported on Thursday.  The 27 trucks delivered nearly 1,000 metric tonnes of food and other essential items to the city of Mekelle, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told journalists in New York. … Continue reading Ethiopia: Essential aid reaches Tigray region, but more still needed

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Mali’s Press ban reflects growing regional intolerance, says UN rights office

Mali’s ban on two major international broadcasters operating inside the country is a worrying development in itself but it also reflects growing regional intolerance towards freedom of expression, the UN rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday. Highlighting the “pervasive chilling effect on journalists and bloggers” of the situation in the west African nation, OHCHR spokesperson… Continue reading Mali’s Press ban reflects growing regional intolerance, says UN rights office

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Ebola vaccination campaign begins in DR Congo to counter new outbreak

An Ebola vaccination campaign has begun in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to halt the spread of a deadly new outbreak in the country, where the disease is endemic. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that people have now been inoculated in Mbandaka, the capital city of Equateur Province west. It follows… Continue reading Ebola vaccination campaign begins in DR Congo to counter new outbreak

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‘This is the worst drought in forty years’: Millions of Ethiopians at risk from failed rains

Ethiopia’s eastern Somali Region has been hit by three consecutive below-average rainy seasons, worsening the already deteriorating humanitarian situation for around 3.5 million people, more than half the local population. As a result of the drought, Zeineba, 60, was forced into the most difficult decision of her life: to leave her neighborhood behind and move… Continue reading ‘This is the worst drought in forty years’: Millions of Ethiopians at risk from failed rains

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Worsening drought in Horn of Africa puts up to 20 million at risk: WFP

Time is fast running out, the UN agency warned, with Somalia facing “the very real risk of famine” in the coming six months.    🔴#Somalia: risk of famine in coming months🔴#Kenya: half a million people facing emergency levels of hunger🔴#Ethiopia: 7.2 million people in drought-affected areas wake up hungry every day Extended drought is fueling… Continue reading Worsening drought in Horn of Africa puts up to 20 million at risk: WFP

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UN releases $100 million to fight hunger in 6 African countries and Yemen

The UN has allocated $100 million to fight hunger in Africa and the Middle East as the spillover effects of the war in Ukraine threaten to push millions even closer to famine.  The contribution from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), announced on Thursday, will go towards relief projects in six African countries and Yemen. … Continue reading UN releases $100 million to fight hunger in 6 African countries and Yemen

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Africa experiencing longest-running decline in COVID-19 infections

COVID-19 cases in Africa have fallen for the past 16 weeks, and deaths have dropped during the last eight, marking the longest-running decline in infections on the continent since the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.  Infections have plummeted from over 308,000 cases weekly at the start of the… Continue reading Africa experiencing longest-running decline in COVID-19 infections

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West Africa: WFP working to feed millions amid record hunger, rising costs

The conflict in Ukraine is driving up global food and fuel prices which is affecting efforts to feed millions in West Africa, where hunger levels have reached a 10-year high, the World Food Programme (WFP) reported on Thursday.  Operational costs for 2022 are set to rise by $136 million in the region alone, the agency… Continue reading West Africa: WFP working to feed millions amid record hunger, rising costs

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Mali: UN expert calls for independent probe into Moura massacre

A UN human rights expert on Wednesday called for a full and independent investigation into alleged mass crimes committed in central Mali’s Mopti region late last month, and pleaded with all parties to ensure the “absolute protection” of civilians and an end to the current vicious cycle of violence. Alioune Tine, the Independent Expert on… Continue reading Mali: UN expert calls for independent probe into Moura massacre

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Darfur war crimes suspect appears before International Criminal Court

The first trial of a person accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region, has got underway at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (also known as “Ali Kushayb”) appeared in Trial Chamber I of the ICC on Tuesday, with Judge Joanna Korner presiding, alongside Judge… Continue reading Darfur war crimes suspect appears before International Criminal Court

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South Sudan: $1.7 billion plan launched to meet humanitarian needs

The UN and partners on Thursday launched a $1.7 billion Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for South Sudan, to meet the needs of some 6.8 million vulnerable people this year.  The funding will be used to provide urgent life-saving assistance and protection in a country where it is estimated more than two thirds of the population,… Continue reading South Sudan: $1.7 billion plan launched to meet humanitarian needs

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Libya detention centres remain places of violations and abuse: experts

On the sidelines of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, head of the Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, Mohamed Auajjar, told journalists that investigators had uncovered further evidence of serious rights violations, which they first made public last October. These abuses against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are detailed in a report which will be presented… Continue reading Libya detention centres remain places of violations and abuse: experts

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Human rights crackdowns in Libya having ‘a seriously chilling effect’

A deepening crackdown on civil society in Libya, has prompted the concern of the UN human rights office, which noted on Friday that arbitrary arrests and a campaign of social media vilification are having “a seriously chilling effect on human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, and other civil society actors.” Members of the Internal Security Agency… Continue reading Human rights crackdowns in Libya having ‘a seriously chilling effect’

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South Sudan bracing for ‘worst hunger crisis ever’

More than 70 percent of South Sudan’s population will struggle to survive the peak of the annual ‘lean season’ this year, as the country grapples with unprecedented levels of food insecurity caused by conflict, climate shocks, COVID-19, and rising costs, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Friday. While global attention is focused on… Continue reading South Sudan bracing for ‘worst hunger crisis ever’

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Restoring safety and dignity to women in Malawi, displaced by Tropical Storm Ana

Tropical Storm Ana left a trail of destruction in its wake in Malawi, particularly in hardest-hit southern districts, after it struck the country in late January. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has been at the forefront of efforts to help pregnant women and mothers by providing medical supplies, and reproductive services. “The prospect of another… Continue reading Restoring safety and dignity to women in Malawi, displaced by Tropical Storm Ana

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South Sudan: Condemnation for attempted ambush on food convoy

The interagency convoy of 59 trucks was carrying WFP food and nutrition assistance on Monday when it was attacked by armed gunmen near Gadiang, located in Jonglei state, some 160 kilometres from the state capital, Bor.  UNMISS peacekeepers were protecting the convoy, which was travelling to various locations to preposition much needed assistance for some… Continue reading South Sudan: Condemnation for attempted ambush on food convoy

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Guterres strongly condemns arrest of UN personnel in Central African Republic

Secretary-General António Guterres has called for the release of four members of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) who were arrested in the capital, Bangui, earlier this week, his spokesperson said on Wednesday.  Local gendarmerie arrested the personnel on Monday while they were escorting a senior military officer from the mission,… Continue reading Guterres strongly condemns arrest of UN personnel in Central African Republic

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Long-awaited local elections will offer Central Africans opportunity to expand political space

Local elections in the Central African Republic (CAR), which have been pending since 1988 and are slated for September, will deepen efforts to decentralize power and expand political space, the UN envoy for the country told the Security Council on Tuesday, encouraging the new Government to “deploy all possible efforts” to calm the political climate.… Continue reading Long-awaited local elections will offer Central Africans opportunity to expand political space

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WHO reveals countries to produce first COVID-busting mRNA vaccines in Africa

Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia will be the first countries on the African continent to receive the technology needed to produce game-changing mRNA vaccines, which have proved crucial to the fight against COVID-19, the head of the UN health agency said on Friday. The announcement was made at a ceremony hosted by… Continue reading WHO reveals countries to produce first COVID-busting mRNA vaccines in Africa

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Child sex abuse in Madagascar ‘widespread and tolerated’

In Madagascar, child sex abuse is “widespread and tolerated” in tourist hotspots, UN-appointed rights experts said on Thursday. In a call to the authorities to take action to protect youngsters from child prostitution and other violations, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child heard that the majority of children who had sex for money, do so to… Continue reading Child sex abuse in Madagascar ‘widespread and tolerated’

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Africa’s Sahel region facing ‘horrendous food crisis’

As the Sahel region “stares down a horrendous food crisis”, the UN emergency food relief chief warned on Wednesday that the number of people on the brink of starvation has “increased almost tenfold” over the past three years and “displacement by nearly 400 per cent”. The vast Sahel, which runs nearly the breadth of the… Continue reading Africa’s Sahel region facing ‘horrendous food crisis’

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South Sudan: ‘violence against aid workers must stop’, humanitarian coordinator urges

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan on Wednesday strongly condemned the continued violence across the country, which is affecting the safety of civilians and humanitarian workers, constraining humanitarian access, and disrupting the delivery of aid and services to thousands of vulnerable people. In a statement, Sara Nyanti, condemned the killing of a nurse working… Continue reading South Sudan: ‘violence against aid workers must stop’, humanitarian coordinator urges

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Mozambique: Sexual and reproductive health services boosted in wake of Storm Ana 

Mozambique may have been spared by Tropical Cyclone Batsirai, but it is still reeling from the devastating impacts of Tropical Storm Ana. Humanitarians are continuing to support the country’s recovery, and the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA is focusing on fortifying their services to support women and girls.  Making landfall on 24 January in Angoche District… Continue reading Mozambique: Sexual and reproductive health services boosted in wake of Storm Ana 

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Madagascar: Emergency teams deploy to areas hit hard by deadly cyclone

Humanitarians are continuing to support Madagascar in the wake of Cyclone Batsirai which hammered the island nation this past weekend, the UN said on Thursday.  The storm left 92 people dead and has affected another 112,000, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, wrote on Twitter.  Some 17,000 homes were damaged.  Latest on Cyclone #Batsirai –… Continue reading Madagascar: Emergency teams deploy to areas hit hard by deadly cyclone

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Africa on track to control pandemic this year but vigilance is key: WHO

Africa is on track to control the COVID-19 pandemic this year if current trends continue, but vigilance will remain key, the head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office said on Thursday.  Since the first case on the continent was identified nearly two years ago, Africa has faced four waves of COVID-19, each with… Continue reading Africa on track to control pandemic this year but vigilance is key: WHO

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UN’s top court orders Uganda to pay $325 million to DR Congo

Uganda must pay the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) $325 million in reparations related to the brutal conflict between the two nations from 1998 to 2003, the UN’s highest court ruled on Wednesday.  Delivering its judgement, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) broke down the compensation, awarding the DRC $225 million for damage to… Continue reading UN’s top court orders Uganda to pay $325 million to DR Congo

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Tunisia: Dissolution of judicial independence body a ‘big step in the wrong direction’

Dissolving the Tunisian body that deals with judicial independence, known as the High Judicial Council, is a “clear violation” of the country’s obligations under international human rights law, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned on Tuesday. Tunisian President Kais Saied announced his decision to dissolve the Council on Sunday, which is mandated to ensure… Continue reading Tunisia: Dissolution of judicial independence body a ‘big step in the wrong direction’

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Severe drought threatens 13 million with hunger in Horn of Africa

Three consecutive failed rainy seasons in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, have decimated crops and caused abnormally high livestock deaths, while, shortages of water and pasture are forcing families from their homes and triggering conflict between communities. “Harvests are ruined, livestock are dying, and hunger is growing as recurrent droughts affect the Horn of Africa”, said… Continue reading Severe drought threatens 13 million with hunger in Horn of Africa

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Guterres says Africa is ‘source of hope’ for the world

António Guterres also argued that, for the last 20 years, the African Union (AU) “has helped to bring this hope to life, in order to enable the continent to realize its enormous potential.” The UN chief addressed the 35th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the AU, taking place in Addis Ababa this weekend,… Continue reading Guterres says Africa is ‘source of hope’ for the world

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Daughters of Somalia, a continuous pledge to end female genital mutilation

In Somalia, over 90 per cent or more of girls and women, have been subjected to female genital mutilation, or FGM. Despite the practice having devastating health ramifications for women and girls – including pain, bleeding, permanent disability and even death – discussion over how to end the harmful tradition, remains taboo. The United Nations… Continue reading Daughters of Somalia, a continuous pledge to end female genital mutilation

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Africa needs to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination rate six-fold

The COVID-19 vaccination rate in Africa needs to increase six-fold for the continent to meet the 70 per cent target set for the middle of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.  Although vaccine supplies have risen significantly, the continent is struggling to expand rollout, with only 11 per cent of the population fully vaccinated. To… Continue reading Africa needs to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination rate six-fold

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Northern Ethiopia: A record 9 million now need food assistance

Meanwhile, across all three conflict-affected regions of the north, more than nine million people now need humanitarian food assistance, the highest number so far, since conflict erupted in November 2020, between Government and rebel forces.  According to the Tigray Emergency Food Security Assessment, 83 per cent of people are food insecure. Families are exhausting all means to… Continue reading Northern Ethiopia: A record 9 million now need food assistance

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In central Sahel, ‘needs are growing faster than generosity’

“Needs are growing faster than generosity” in the central Sahel, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs told a group of senior officials on Thursday, meeting to discuss the worsening humanitarian situation across the vast African region.  According to Martin Griffiths, nearly 15 million people in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, will need humanitarian assistance this year. That’s four… Continue reading In central Sahel, ‘needs are growing faster than generosity’

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UN assisting thousands affected by Tropical Storm Ana in Mozambique

UN teams are on the ground in Mozambique assisting thousands of people affected by Tropical Storm Ana, which made landfall in central and northern regions of the country earlier this week.  More than 45,000 people, including 23,000 women and children, are likely to need humanitarian aid, UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said on Thursday.  UNICEF is… Continue reading UN assisting thousands affected by Tropical Storm Ana in Mozambique

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UN mourns ‘true pioneer’: Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu 

For the United Nations’ Secretary General, Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, who passed away this week in her home country, Ghana, was “a true pioneer.”  In a heartfelt statement released on Tuesday night, António Guterres said Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu “made history in peacekeeping as the first female Deputy Force Commander in the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in… Continue reading UN mourns ‘true pioneer’: Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu 

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UN relief chief pledges support for Nigeria

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths, has ended a four-day visit to Nigeria, pledging support and promising the United Nations will do everything it can to help rebuild the lives of vulnerable families who have been impacted by violence and extremism there.  The UN humanitarian affairs chief travelled to the country to see firsthand the humanitarian… Continue reading UN relief chief pledges support for Nigeria

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1.5 million children lack treatment for severe wasting in Eastern and Southern Africa

At least 1.5 million children are not receiving life-saving treatment for severe wasting in Eastern and Southern Africa, warned the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday.  The number represents almost half of the estimated 3.6 million children in urgent need, who are not being reached in time to save their lives or keep them from permanent… Continue reading 1.5 million children lack treatment for severe wasting in Eastern and Southern Africa

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West Africa: Extreme poverty rises nearly 3 per cent due to COVID-19

Extreme poverty in West Africa rose by nearly three per cent in 2020, another fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, a UN-backed report launched on Thursday that looks at the socio-impact of the crisis has revealed.  The proportion of people living on less than $1.90 a day jumped from 2.3 per cent last year to 2.9… Continue reading West Africa: Extreme poverty rises nearly 3 per cent due to COVID-19

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Africa’s fourth COVID wave flattens out after six-week surge

After a six-week surge, Africa’s fourth pandemic wave, which has been mainly driven by the Omicron variant, is flattening, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. WHO said that this marked the shortest surge since the pandemic began on the continent, where total cases have exceeded 10.2 million. Recorded cases of infection show that… Continue reading Africa’s fourth COVID wave flattens out after six-week surge

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Sudan: 15 attacks on health facilities and workers in two months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.  According to WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the Organization is following the escalating crisis “with great concern”.  So far, 11 incidents have been confirmedin the capital, Khartoum, and other cities.  “Most of these attackswere committed against healthcare workers in the… Continue reading Sudan: 15 attacks on health facilities and workers in two months

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Tunisia: UN rights office calls for release of former justice minister

Authorities in Tunisia are being urged to immediately release – or properly charge – former justice minister Noureddine Bhiri, and another man, who have been detained under suspected terrorism offences, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday. Mr. Bhiri, a parliamentarian with the Ennahdha party, was taken outside his home on 31 December… Continue reading Tunisia: UN rights office calls for release of former justice minister

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Three Tanzanian peacekeepers injured in Central African Republic 

Three Tanzanian peacekeepers  serving on the United Nations’ mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were injured on Thursday, when their vehicle struck an unidentified explosive device.   One of the soldiers was seriously hurt, and needed to be evacuated to Bouar for treatment and then on to the capital, Bangui, MINUSCA informed.  The ‘blue helmets’ were in the… Continue reading Three Tanzanian peacekeepers injured in Central African Republic 

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Sudan: Food looted in Darfur, 730,000 people left without 

Last Tuesday evening, a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse located in the Borsa area of El Fasher town, the capital of North Darfur State, came under attack from unknown armed groups.  Over 1,900 metric tons of food commodities that were meant to feed 730,000 vulnerable people for a month were stolen.  The incident followed the looting and reported violence last week at the former UN-African Union Hybrid Operation (UNAMID) base in… Continue reading Sudan: Food looted in Darfur, 730,000 people left without 

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Lives on the line as UN and partners launch 2022 humanitarian plan for Somalia

Roughly 7.7 million people in Somalia will need assistance and protection in 2022, a 30 per cent rise in just one year, the UN and partners said on Monday, launching a nearly $1.5 billion Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for the country.  The funding will support 5.5 million of the most vulnerable as Somalia faces its… Continue reading Lives on the line as UN and partners launch 2022 humanitarian plan for Somalia

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Democratic Republic of the Congo declares Ebola outbreak over 

The latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu Province that began in October, is officially over, national health authorities announced this Thursday.   The end of the outbreak, the second in 2021, was declared after no new cases were reported at the end of 42 days, the equivalent of two incubation periods since the last confirmed case… Continue reading Democratic Republic of the Congo declares Ebola outbreak over 

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COVID cases surging in Africa at fastest rate this year, but deaths remain low

An 83 per cent surge in COVID-19 cases during the past week in Africa, driven by the Delta and Omicron variants, is causing fewer deaths than previous spikes, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed on Tuesday, but more waves could be on the way, due to the continent’s slow vaccine rollout. Updated forecasts warn that… Continue reading COVID cases surging in Africa at fastest rate this year, but deaths remain low

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UN steps up action on sexual misconduct in wake of CAR allegations

The UN continues to take steps to address allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the wake of the repatriation of Gabonese troops three months ago.  Updating journalists on Monday, Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq reported on action by the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA, and engagement with troop-contributing… Continue reading UN steps up action on sexual misconduct in wake of CAR allegations

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Seven UN peacekeepers killed in latest Mali attack 

On Wednesday morning, seven UN peacekeepers from Togo died and three others were seriously injured when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in the Bandiagara region in central Mali.  The peacekeepers were part of a convoy travelling from Douentza to Sevare, informed the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. António Guterres strongly condemns this heinous attack, he told correspondents in New York at the regular daily briefing.   Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said the UN… Continue reading Seven UN peacekeepers killed in latest Mali attack 

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35.8 million face lean season food crisis in West Africa and Sahel

Growing food insecurity that is already affecting tens of millions of people across West Africa and the Sahel, must not be ignored by the international community, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday. The alert comes as new data from the region indicated that almost 36 million people are expected to be acutely food insecure by the… Continue reading 35.8 million face lean season food crisis in West Africa and Sahel

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The Gambia: Guterres calls for ‘credible and transparent’ election 

As Gambians prepare to choose their next president on Saturday, the UN Secretary-General asked on Friday for voters to help foster “a peaceful environment” at the polls.   In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres calls “on the electoral management body, candidates, political party leaders and their followers, through their conduct, to ensure a peaceful environment conducive to a credible, inclusive and… Continue reading The Gambia: Guterres calls for ‘credible and transparent’ election 

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Rights experts call for end to violence against women in Tigray conflict

In a statement issued on Friday, they expressed grave concern about the widespread sexual and gender-based violence attributed to Ethiopian, Eritrean, Tigray and Amhara forces, as well as allied militia.  These incidents constitute some of the most egregious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, according to the experts.  ‘A deliberate strategy’  “They appear to… Continue reading Rights experts call for end to violence against women in Tigray conflict

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Violence in Cameroon, impacting over 700,000 children shut out of school 

Over 700,000 children have been impacted by school closures due to often brutal violence in Cameroon, according to an analysis released by the UN humanitarian arm, OCHA, on Thursday.  Two out of three schools are closed in the North-West and South-West regions of the country. On 24 November, four children and one teacher were killed in an attack in Ekondo Titi, in the South-West.  Lockdown  A recent lockdown imposed by a non-State armed… Continue reading Violence in Cameroon, impacting over 700,000 children shut out of school 

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First Person: ‘Disability reminds us that there is no such thing as normal’

This feature has been edited for clarity and length. Eddie Ndopu was talking to Melissa Fleming, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. You can hear the full interview on the UN podcast, Awake at Night. “At the age of two, I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative condition that affects the muscles… Continue reading First Person: ‘Disability reminds us that there is no such thing as normal’

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9.4 million people are ‘living their worst nightmare’ in northern Ethiopia due to ongoing conflict 

“Today, 9.4 million people are living their worst nightmare,” Tomson Phiri, the agency’s spokesperson, told journalists in Geneva.  80 per cent ‘behind battle lines’  Of the people across northern Ethiopia in need of assistance, more than 80 per cent – 7.8 million – “are behind battle lines”.    The largest jump in numbers has occurred in Amhara region with 3.7… Continue reading 9.4 million people are ‘living their worst nightmare’ in northern Ethiopia due to ongoing conflict 

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WHO labels new COVID strain Omicron, designates it a ‘variant of concern’

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), preliminary evidence also suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant of concern, as compared to other strains, such as Delta. Currently the number of cases appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. WHO explains that the variant has been detected at… Continue reading WHO labels new COVID strain Omicron, designates it a ‘variant of concern’

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Ethiopia: Humanitarian aid needed as situation deteriorates in Tigray

With the dire humanitarian situation in Tigray, Ethiopia, continuing to deteriorate, it is critical to establish a regular flow of humanitarian aid into the region, the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday.  Yesterday, almost 40 trucks with humanitarian supplies, including food, left the Afar capital of Semera for Tigray – the first convoy to do so since 18 October.   Meanwhile, trucks containing fuel and medical supplies are still waiting for clearance in Semera.  Around… Continue reading Ethiopia: Humanitarian aid needed as situation deteriorates in Tigray

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Worsening drought affects 2.3 million people in Somalia 

With about 2.3 million people already suffering with serious water, food and pasture shortages in Somalia, a rapidly worsening drought could lead to an “extreme situation” by April next year.   The warning comes from the United Nations and the Somali Government. Climate projections show that the country is facing a fourth consecutive failed rainfall season.  In a joint statement on Friday, the organizations said it is… Continue reading Worsening drought affects 2.3 million people in Somalia 

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Madagascar: ‘World cannot look away’ as 1.3 million face severe hunger

The international community must step up support to Madagascar, where more than one million people in the south are facing severe hunger, the top UN aid official there said on Thursday in a renewed appeal for solidarity and funding.  The impacts of the most acute drought in over 40 years, combined with sandstorms and pests,… Continue reading Madagascar: ‘World cannot look away’ as 1.3 million face severe hunger

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Bachelet condemns killings of peaceful protesters in Sudan 

At least 39 people have been killed by security forces in Sudan since the 25 October military coup, 15 of whom were reportedly shot dead on Wednesday, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.   On Thursday, Michelle Bachelet condemned the killings, saying it is “utterly shameful” that live ammunition keeps being used against protesters.   “Shooting into large crowds of unarmed demonstrators, leaving dozens dead and many more injured, is… Continue reading Bachelet condemns killings of peaceful protesters in Sudan 

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Completion of Somalia elections more important than ever: UN envoy

Although progress has been made in Somalia’s electoral process, it has been slow and uneven, the UN Special Representative for the country said in a briefing to the Security Council on Wednesday. James Swan, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), welcomed completion of the indirect elections for the Upper House of the… Continue reading Completion of Somalia elections more important than ever: UN envoy

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Ethiopia: Mass arbitrary arrests target Tigrayans, says UN rights office

Over the past week, mass arrests of people reportedly of Tigrayan origin have continued in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and elsewhere, the UN rights office said on Tuesday.  The alert from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) comes as the World Food Programme (WFP) described the aid situation for vulnerable people in Tigray as “hand-to-mouth”.  Citing reports, OHCHR said that at least 1,000 individuals are believed… Continue reading Ethiopia: Mass arbitrary arrests target Tigrayans, says UN rights office

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Central African children in crosshairs, UN calls for their protection 

The report on children and armed conflict in CAR highlighted that between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2021, 1,280 children suffered one or more grave violations, with girls accounting for more than 40 per cent of all victims.   While most were committed by armed groups, five per cent were attributed to the national armed forces, FACA.  “The security situation in the Central African Republic has… Continue reading Central African children in crosshairs, UN calls for their protection 

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Ethiopia: $40 million in aid relief for victims ‘living on a knife-edge’

As the humanitarian crisis grows in Ethiopia’s conflict-affected north, the UN announced on Monday that $40 million in funds have been made available to scale up emergency operations.  The UN’s top emergency relief official, Martin Griffiths, said that millions of people in northern Ethiopia are now “living on a knife-edge, as the humanitarian crisis is growing deeper and wider”.  After returning from visiting Ethiopia, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief… Continue reading Ethiopia: $40 million in aid relief for victims ‘living on a knife-edge’

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