News by region: Middle East


Syria: UN health agency ‘unable to sustain’ operations without significant funding increase

27 March – Ahead of next week’s third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, the United Nations health agency’s top official in the country said today that more than 16 million Syrians and Syrian refugees are in need of health support, but that she had so far received no new funding to meet the $124 million needed to finance humanitarian operations in the country this year.


UNESCO calls for the protection of cultural heritage in Yemen

27 March – The escalation of armed conflict in Yemen threatens the country’s cultural heritage, warned the head of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the world body’s agency responsible for protecting cultural property.


At Security Council, Ban urges action to end violence against religious, ethnic minorities in Middle East

27 March – Millions of lives in the Middle East – and the very social fabric of entire countries – are at stake, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned this morning, calling for urgent action from the Security Council to end the religiously and ethnically-motivated violence sweeping the region and end impunity for those committing crimes against humanity.


Syria crisis ‘worsening’ amid humanitarian funding shortfall, warns top UN relief official

26 March – The situation on the ground in Syria has “dramatically” worsened as the country enters its fifth year of war amid escalating fighting and targeted attacks against civilians, the top United Nations humanitarian official warned today as she urged the international community to bring the violence to an end.


Losing sight of Middle East peace akin to ‘pouring more oil’ on region’s flames – UN special envoy

26 March – As Israeli and Palestinian parties do not appear ready to recommence talks, the international community must consider presenting a viable framework for negotiations, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said today during his final briefing to the Security Council, noting that “this may be the only way to preserve the goal of the two-State solution.”


Ban notes Saudi Arabia’s military operations in Yemen, urges protection of civilians

26 March – Noting Saudi Arabia’s announcement that, at the request of the Government of Yemen, it has begun military operations in the Gulf nation, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and emphasized that despite escalation, negotiations remain the only option for ultimately resolving the crisis.


2014 ‘devastating’ year for Palestinians, says UN humanitarian report

26 March – Amid a surge in hostilities and an ongoing blockade, 2014 was a traumatic year for millions of people living in the occupied Palestinian territory, a senior United Nations humanitarian official said today, as the Organization released its latest report on the situation on the ground.


Amid Yemen unrest, UNICEF warns of grave child rights abuses, spike in deaths

24 March – Grave violations of children’s rights are continuing to take place in Yemen, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirmed today, on the heels of a spate of recent attacks on mosques in Sana’a that killed 12 children and injured 20.


Palestinian conflict continues to destroy human life, dignity – UN rights official

23 March – Violations of human rights “fuel and shape the conflict” in the occupied Palestinian territories, a senior United Nations official reported to the Human Rights Council today.


At Security Council, UN envoy says Yemen on 'rapid downward spiral' as tensions rise

22 March – Yemen stands on the brink of civil war amid deepening political tensions and an uptick in sectarian violence, United Nations Special Adviser Jamal Benomar warned today as he explained that only through dialogue could the country achieve a peaceful political transition.