HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST 2014
U.N. HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS CONTINUE TO ASSIST DISPLACED PEOPLE ARRIVING FROM SINJAR IN IRAQ
- According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Dr. Marzio Babille, today continued his assessment of the humanitarian emergency and response in Dahuk Governorate.
- He met with displaced people in Zakho, the majority of whom are from Sinjar, as well as local government officials. Zakho now hosts at least 100,000 displaced people in various locations around the city.
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported a significant decrease in the numbers of new arrivals at the Peshkhabour border crossing point in Dahuk Governorate. The total number of displaced people arriving from Sinjar since 6 August at Peshkhabour is estimated to be close to 80,000 people.
- The World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners are providing food assistance for some 100,000 displaced people a day in Dahuk. Since 4 August, WFP and its partners have provided almost two million meals to displaced people in Dahuk from six field kitchens, while in the town of Zakho 15,000 families have received ready to eat food rations - enough for a family of five for three days.
- The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pre-positioned 30 truckloads of relief supplies closer to areas where displaced people are arriving. With its partners and the local authorities, UNICEF has delivered aid to 73,000 children, women and their families.
- It has also distributed 34,000 high energy biscuits for children under five and is also providing support to displaced children who have been separated from their families.
- In a statement issued on 14 August, the Secretary-General commended the decision of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to withdraw his candidature and his pledge to support Mr. Haider al-Abbadi as nominee to succeed him.
- He said that this will allow the crucial process to form a new government to proceed swiftly and within the time frame provided for in the Constitution. He acknowledged Mr. al-Maliki’s decision as a demonstration of his commitment to the orderly transfer of power in the best interest of the country.
- The Secretary-General urged all political leaders in Iraq to build on this historic opportunity by redoubling their efforts to work together so as to build consensus on how to address the many urgent and grave challenges facing their country.
- He looks forward to the swift formation of an inclusive, broad-based government ready to immediately tackle these pressing issues.
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, also welcomed the decision and urged all political blocs and people of Iraq to stand-up to the threats posed by terrorism, sectarianism and division.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND SUMMER YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
- The Secretary-General arrived in Nanjing, China, earlier today, and he will attend the opening ceremony of the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games there tomorrow.
- While in Nanjing, he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
- The Secretary-General is returning to New York on Sunday.
EBOLA: W.F.P. TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE AT QUARANTINE ZONES IN WEST AFRICA
- Regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced it is planning on providing food assistance to 1 million people living in quarantine zones at the borders between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
- Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed that staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.
- WHO is coordinating a massive scaling up of the international response, marshalling support from individual countries, disease control agencies, agencies within the United Nations system, and others.
- WHO also reiterated yesterday its advice against travel bans to and from affected countries, as Ebola is not airborne and can only be transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with the disease.
U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN CONDEMNS CLASHES IN BENTIU
- The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) condemned clashes this morning in Bentiu, Unity State. Heavy, sustained small arms and artillery fire was heard to the South East of the Mission’s Base in Bentiu, and one artillery shell exploded next to it.
- During the violence, approximately 400 civilians fled from Bentiu and took shelter with UNMISS troops stationed at the airport.
- They were escorted from the airport to the Protection of Civilians (POC) area in the UNMISS compound outside Bentiu.
- Toby Lanzer, who is Officer-in-charge of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, said he was deeply troubled by this morning’s outbreak of violence and called on those responsible for today’s hostilities to refrain from any further violence.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN ENVOY ON VIOLENCE IN EASTERN D.R.C.
- The Humanitarian Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Moustapha Soumare, condemned today the attack on Mayangu, a village in the Eastern Province of the DRC. A man was killed in this attack and three children abducted, presumably by combatants of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
- The humanitarian community stresses that the LRA still represents one of the main threats to the population in this province of the DRC. Last year, more than 30 people were killed and 180 kidnapped.
650 FAMILIES DISPLACED BY RECENT CONFLICT IN NORTHERN YEMEN
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that its humanitarian partners confirm that 650 families (4,550 people) have been displaced in northern Yemen after conflict arose in the Al Jawf Governorate on 10 August. Additional unconfirmed reports from local sources indicate that between 7,000 and 14,000 people have been displaced.
- Displaced people are reportedly staying with relatives or host communities in neighbouring areas, where they reportedly need food, water, healthcare, and basic living items. Shelter is urgently needed for displaced people who have not found any accommodation.
- The humanitarian presence is extremely limited in Al Jawf due to persistent insecurity. Plans are underway to provide money through the Emergency Response Fund and partners are working to better assess needs.
- The Security Council will hold a meeting at 3:00 this afternoon to consider a resolution on threats to peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
- The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, will visit Iran for meetings on 17 August with Iranian leaders and senior officials. The visit is part of the efforts to advance dialogue and cooperation between the Agency and Iran.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
16 – 22 AUGUST 2014
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 16 August
The Secretary-General will attend the opening ceremony of the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Monday, 18 August
At 11 a.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Secretary-General and education advocate and the co-founder of the Malala Fund, Malala Yousafzai, will hold an interactive conversation on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to mark the 500 Days of Action for the MDGs.
At 1:15 p.m. in Conference Room 7, the United States Mission and the Navajo Nation will hold a special event on Protecting and Preserving Indigenous Sacred Sites.
In Geneva, the Working Group on Communications of the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights will hold its 15th session.
Tuesday, 19 August
Today is World Humanitarian Day.
At 9:30 a.m. in the Secretariat Building South Lobby, the Secretary-General will attend the wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 11thanniversary of the Baghdad bombing.
At 1 p.m. in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, the Secretary-General will attend an event to mark World Humanitarian Day. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is expected to publish a new report on violence against aid workers.
Thursday, 21 August
The guest at the noon briefing will be Wu Hongbo, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the 3rdInternational Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He will discuss the upcoming SIDS Conference, which will take place from 1 to 4 September in Apia, Samoa.