News by region: Middle East

Ban welcomes decision to postpone Iraqi payments into fund set up after invasion of Kuwait

18 December – Iraq will not be obligated to deposit 5 percent of its oil proceeds into a fund set up by the United Nations to pay compensation for the 1990-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, a decision Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed in light of the “severe security and humanitarian crisis” confronting the Iraqi people.

Amid heightened tensions, Security Council extends UN mission in Golan

18 December – The United Nations Security Council this morning extended the mandate of its mission in the Golan until 30 June 2015, as it condemned recent fighting in the area and stressed that both Israel and Syria must “scrupulously” abide by the terms of the disengagement accord to prevent any breaches of the ceasefire.

UN launches appeal for life-saving aid to millions of Syrians, support to host communities

18 December – As Syria's war rages on into its fifth year, the needs for food, shelter and medicine are astronomical, several United Nations agencies said today as they launched a major appeal, requesting over $8.4 billion to help nearly 18 million people in Syria and throughout the region.

UN strongly condemns deadly Yemen bomb attacks

17 December – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Security Council have strongly condemned the bomb attacks in Radaa in Yemen’s Al Bayda province yesterday, which killed more than 25 people, including at least 15 schoolchildren.

Security Council renews cross-border aid delivery to Syria for a year

17 December – The United Nations Security Council has today renewed for 12 months the use of routes across conflict lines and several border crossings in Syria so that humanitarian assistance can reach communities in need, as it expressed outrage at the escalating violence that has killed nearly 200,000 people.

‘A dark day in a bleak year for children’: UNICEF condemns attack on schoolchildren in Yemen

16 December – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has deplored the killing of at least 15 school girls in a car bombing in Yemen adding to the grim toll of what it described as “a dark day in the closing weeks of a bleak year” for children around the world.

Syria: UN food agency's operations secure after funding drive; must raise more in 2015

16 December – Having raised $88 million in a 10-day global fundraising effort, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said its funding for December 2014 was secure and the agency could resume providing food assistance through electronic vouchers to 1.7 million refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey.

‘Even in war there are rules’ – UN official urges Security Council to enforce protections of Syrian civilians

15 December – Despite the United Nations Security Council’s best efforts to limit violence against non-combatants caught up in the ongoing Syrian conflict, civilians in the Middle Eastern country are being subjected to escalating levels of brutality as the war creeps into its fourth year, the top UN humanitarian official said today.

UNESCO chief condemns murder of Syrian television journalists

15 December – The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of three Syrian journalists, who were killed while reporting on fighting in the southern Syrian province of Deraa last week.

Lebanon: UN deputy chief pledges to ‘help as much as possible’ with refugee impact

15 December – With soaring numbers of refugees seeking asylum in Lebanon, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today pledged to “help as much as possible” to ensure that the tragic conflict in Syria will not spread into Lebanese society.