Briefing the Security Council, the High Commissioner for Refugees stressed today that there is an unprecedented stigmatization of refugees and migrants in the media and in politics, and that this should concern us all as it is creating a toxic environment that makes it increasingly difficult to tackle this issue.
The flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai has caused at least 122 deaths and affected more than a million people in both Mozambique and Malawi, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Close to 83,000 people are displaced in Malawi and more than 17,000 in Mozambique, OCHA says.
The United Nations refugee agency says it is seeing a surge in refugee arrivals from South Sudan into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the past few days, an estimated 5,000 refugees have arrived in several border villages near the town of Ingbokolo in north-eastern Ituri Province, according to local village chiefs.
The Government of the Philippines declared a major outbreak of measles last week in Metro Manila and Central Luzon, which has now expanded to other areas, according to humanitarian affairs officials. More than 4,300 suspected cases of measles have been reported since January, with at least 70 deaths.
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Anatolio Ndong Mba (Equatorial Guinea):
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, expressed grave concern following the upsurge in violence in the country’s north-east that has led to massive displacement and created “a humanitarian tragedy”. Some 260 aid workers have been withdrawn from impacted areas since last November.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as his Special Coordinator for Lebanon.
In Yemen, the humanitarian situation remains catastrophic, with 24 million people – or 80 per cent of the population – needing aid, Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock told the Security Council this morning. The World Food Programme is expanding assistance to soon reach 12 million people a month.
Confirming the existence of tunnels dug under the “Blue Line” separating Lebanon and Israel, the head of United Nations peacekeeping told the Security Council today that they represent a violation of Council resolution 1701 (2006).
In Afghanistan, humanitarian organizations in Herat City have started distributing food and non-food items to displaced people who have been affected by drought. As part of the ongoing full-scale drought response, WFP and its partners reached nearly 287,000 affected people from 6 to 12 December with food and cash assistance.
The Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the State of Palestine’s Minister for Social Development launched a $350 million humanitarian response plan today aimed at providing critical aid to 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, amid rising challenges.
Special projects funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan are improving the lives of communities countrywide by providing access to clean water, education and health care as well as safe houses for vulnerable women, and by strengthening the justice system to hold perpetrators of sexual violence to account.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today it had evacuated 133 refugees from Libya to Niger, most of them women and children who were previously detained in Libya.
In Katowice, Poland, today the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a report which says that meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone.
UNESCO today launched its Atlas on the retreat of Andean glaciers and reduction of glacial waters. The atlas shows that if trends continue, some of the lower-altitude glaciers of the tropical Andes could lose 78 to 97 per cent of their volume by the end of the century, reducing the region’s freshwater resources.
The United Nations agencies in Mexico have staff in place, with more to be deployed in the coming days, to cooperate closely with local and federal authorities, among others, to attend to migrant needs in Tapachula, Chiapas and nearby towns.
The UN refugee agency today drew attention to a collapsing health situation among refugees and asylum-seekers at off-shore facilities in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, calling on the Government of Australia to urgently act to prevent a further tragedy to people forcibly transferred under its off-shore processing policy.
In Gaza, Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick informed donors that the United Nations emergency fuel programme has run out of money. New funds are needed immediately to prevent a potentially catastrophic breakdown in service delivery at health centres, sewage treatment plants, water and sanitation facilities.
The Security Council extended today the mandate of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) until 31 August 2019, calling on that Government to develop a plan to increase its naval capabilities, with the goal of decreasing the Mission’s Maritime Taskforce and transitioning activities to the country’s armed forces.
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