The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued protection guidance encouraging States to ensure that Venezuelans seeking asylum had access to territory and refugee procedures. Given the situation in Venezuela, the High Commissioner said it was crucial that people were not deported or forcibly returned.
The Secretary-General told the Security Council today that, despite passing resolution 2401 (2018), there had been no cessation of hostilities in Syria. Violence continued in eastern Ghouta and beyond, and humanitarian aid continued to face blockages, with the humanitarian and human rights situation becoming more desperate by the day.
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan briefed the Security Council today. He said that Afghanistan had successfully hosted the second conference of the Kabul Process for peace and security, where participants endorsed direct talks between the Government and the Taliban without preconditions.
Humanitarian operations in Iraq are contracting in 2018 versus last year, when 6.2 million people were targeted with assistance. The 2018 humanitarian response plan, launched on 6 March, seeks $569 million to assist 3.4 million highly vulnerable people struggling in the aftermath of the conflict with Da’esh.
In Syria, a United Nations‑Syrian Arab Red Crescent‑International Committee of the Red Cross inter‑agency convoy entered Douma, in besieged eastern Ghouta, for the first time since 15 November 2017. Teams delivered food for 27,500 people, along with health and nutrition supplies, while fighting and air strikes continued.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned today that a extraordinary humanitarian disaster is about to hit south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, as the Province of Tanganyika plunges further into violence, triggering spiralling displacement and human rights abuses.
Held up as a shining example of positive developments in the region, Iraq had succeeded in overcoming many obstacles, yet challenges remained to establish lasting stability, the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) told the Security Council today.
Following is UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ statement, as prepared for delivery, to the Conference on Reconstruction in Iraq, in Kuwait City today:
Aid agencies launched the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Mali, seeking $263 million to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people. Some 4.1 million people in the country require aid in 2018, versus 3.8 million in 2017. More than 1 in 5 Malians are facing food insecurity this year.
Civilian returns to Iraq’s newly accessible areas continue to increase since the conclusion of major counter‑Daesh military operations late last year; 3.2 million previously displaced people have now returned home, surpassing the total number of displaced in the country for the first time since the crisis began four years ago.
The International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations reported that at least 71 United Nations and associated personnel — 53 peacekeepers and 18 civilians — were killed in malicious attacks in the line of duty during 2017. The casualties in 2017 are the highest number ever recorded by the Commission.
Despite making headlines for its nuclear programme, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea topped the list of the 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2017, according to a study released today by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and its partners.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched its revised Multi-Year Humanitarian Response Plan 2017-2018 for Haiti, requiring $252 million to provide assistance to 2.2 million of an estimated 2.8 million people in need. The launch coincides with the eighth anniversary of the 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
The United Nations is deeply concerned for the safety and protection of tens of thousands of people in north-eastern Syria displaced since 1 December due to increased fighting. Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Lowcock will conduct his first mission to Syria this week to assess and discuss ways to improve the aid response.
The Secretary-General’s envoy in Somalia, Peter de Clercq, expressed deep concern yesterday over reports of the unannounced destruction of settlements housing over 4,000 internally displaced persons and humanitarian infrastructure in Mogadishu. An assessment was carried out today to establish their immediate needs.
The protection of civilians site in South Sudan, next to the United Nations base in Melut in the Upper Nile region, has been successfully closed in South Sudan after internally displaced families expressed the desire and confidence to return to their former homes.
The United Nations refugee agency evacuated 74 refugees, mostly children and women, from Libya to Niger. In the Central African Republic, voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees has begun; since Tuesday, 230 refugees have arrived in Sudan. Agency-chartered flights will bring some 1,500 refugees home by the end of 2017.
A growing number of districts in Yemen are at risk of famine as the situation rapidly deteriorates, aggravated by protracted conflict, limited imports of essential commodities necessary for basic survival, lack of salaries and collapsing health, water and sanitation services, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports.
Some 350,000 children remain in need of support across the Caribbean three months after hurricanes Irma and Maria barrelled through the region, UNICEF reported today. More than 35 per cent of children in Dominica - particularly those in shelters - are yet to be enrolled in education activities, and many children and families in Antigua and Barbuda remain unable to return home.
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