The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the parties to the Syrian conflict to allow badly needed food and medical supplies to get into Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, where at least 350,000 civilians remain besieged.
Humanitarian colleagues in Syria are deeply concerned about the situation for civilians in East Ghouta where children are reportedly suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The last United Nations inter-agency convoy reached the besieged enclave on 23 September with assistance for 25,000 people.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is increasingly concerned by escalating displacement in several key regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 3.9 million people are internally displaced and the challenges of getting aid to people in need are growing fast.
It will take more than 100 years to end child marriage in West and Central Africa at current rates of reduction, UNICEF reported today. The new projections, released during a high-level meeting on ending child marriage in Dakar, Senegal, this week, aim to bring the spotlight on the region where girls face the highest risk of marrying in childhood.
Approximately 589,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since 25 August, with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) saying today that nearly 7,000 Rohingya refugees have been admitted to Bangladesh after being stranded at the border for up to four days.
Irina Bokova, Executive Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, condemned today the killing of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta yesterday. She welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge to ensure justice in the crime against the right of free expression.
The Secretary-General, expressing his solidarity with the people of Somalia after the brutal attacks in Mogadishu, said he was disgusted by the unprecedented violence. He urged all Somalis to unite in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism and work together in building a functional and inclusive federal State.
With today marking one year since the start of the military campaign to retake Mosul from Da’esh, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq said that of the 1 million people who fled the city, some 673,000 are still displaced. She noted that the number of people who fled exceeded the worst-case projections of aid workers.
Concluding a visit to the Central African Republic, Adama Dieng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, told press in Bangui that those responsible for atrocities and those instrumental in inciting ethnic and religious hatred would be held responsible and would have to face justice.
Marking World Day against the Death Penalty, the Secretary-General said that the barbaric practice had no place in the twenty-first century and called on countries who continued to use it to stop executions. He also praised progress made, noting some 170 countries had either abolished or stopped using the death penalty.
In Bangladesh, aid workers and the Government continue scaling up operations and, as of 4 October, have given food assistance to 515,500 Rohingya refugees that have fled from Myanmar. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization and partners will launch the world’s second-largest cholera vaccination campaign in Cox’s Bazar.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today echoed the concern of the Secretary-General about the violence in south-west and north-west Cameroon. OHCHR calls on the Government of Cameroon to establish prompt, effective, impartial and independent investigations to ensure accountability.
United Nations agencies and their partners have dramatically scaled up the relief operation in Dominica as access improves across the island, OCHA reports. And in Antigua and Barbuda, $2 million has been mobilized to help provide permanent roofing on Barbuda.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that over 509,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar. Noting the “horrific” living conditions of the refugees, the Emergency Relief Coordinator and UNICEF’s Executive Director called for urgent funding to scale up the response.
The World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that it would cut food rations by 30 per cent for the 420,000 refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya due to insufficient funding. WFP urgently needs $28.5 million to adequately cover the food assistance needs for the refugees over the next six months.
UNICEF in Nigeria said today that the crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in north-east Nigeria has left more than 57 per cent of schools in Borno State closed as the new [school] year begins. UNICEF and partners have enrolled nearly 750,000 children and established more than 350 temporary learning spaces.
About the response to the cholera outbreak in Yemen, medicines procured by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the treatment of 30,000 patients have been airlifted to Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, for transfer across the Red Sea to the Yemeni port of Hodeidah.
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the open debate of the Security Council on Myanmar, in New York today:
Amid an escalating crisis in northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, United Nations Secretary-General today urged its Government to end military operations, allow unfettered access to those in need, and ensure the safe and voluntary return of displaced Rohingya to their homes.
As of 25 September, two days ago, there were nearly 740,000 suspected cholera cases in Yemen and more than 2,100 associated deaths recorded, with children accounting for more than half, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Aid workers have set up 250 diarrhoea treatment centres.