The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola in Bikoro in Equateur Province yesterday after lab results confirmed two cases of the deadly virus. The World Health Organization is working closely with the Government to rapidly scale up its operations and mobilize health partners.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is warning today that a surge in violent clashes in Unity, Jonglei and Central Equatoria States is having a devastating impact on thousands of civilians and on humanitarian agencies.
The new Permanent Representative of Madagascar to the United Nations, Arisoa Lala Razafitrimo, presented her credentials to UN Secretary General António Guterres today.
Humanitarian needs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have doubled over the last year, with 13 million people in need of assistance, in a context of persistent insecurity and bureaucratic impediments, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council today after a visiting mission.
About 83,000 people have been impacted by Tropical Cyclone Ava, with some 29 dead and 22 missing. The cyclone damaged 17 health centres and affected 141 schools. It also cut off road access to some south-eastern and south-western parts of the country. Humanitarian partners are supporting the Government in the provision of sanitation, water and medical supplies, as well as camp management.
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 is meeting for the first time with his High-level Advisory Board on Mediation, established to help his efforts to build stronger partnerships in preventing and resolving crises. The Secretary-General emphasized in his remarks the experience and knowledge of Board members and the critical role they could play in preventive diplomacy.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged Australia to address the imminent humanitarian crisis for refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea, stressing his profound concern over the risks of “offshore processing” arrangements, for which Australia seeks to decrease support by the end of October.
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.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and the Government of Uganda jointly appealed urgently today for massive support for the thousands of refugees from South Sudan who continue to arrive in Uganda daily. Uganda already hosts more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees, including 572,000 new arrivals.
The Security Council met for its debate on Afghanistan this morning, during which it renewed the mandate for the United Nations Mission there (UNAMA). The Secretary-General’s Special Representative highlighted the challenging security environment in the country, which in 2016 resulted in UNAMA recording the highest number of civilian casualties in a single year.
The Secretary-General, in his first field visit, arrived in Somalia earlier today to highlight the ongoing risk of famine and cholera faced by millions in the country and appeal for international support. More than half the population is in need of humanitarian aid and 300,000 children are acutely malnourished.