The Secretary-General addressed the Group of 20 virtual summit on the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that transmission of the virus must be suppressed as quickly as possible through a coordinated response mechanism guided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations in Iraq expressed her strong concern today over the suspension in granting access letters to humanitarian actors carrying out critical missions in support of the country’s vulnerable people.
Peacekeepers are now patrolling the Central African Republic city of Alindao to protect civilians displaced by violence, including some 400 people who have sought shelter at the United Nations base after deadly clashes last week between the country’s armed forces and an armed group associated with the ex-Seleka coalition.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees launched a Refugee Response Plan for Sudan today in Khartoum, calling for $477 million to help more than 900,000 refugees and nearly a quarter million of their Sudanese hosts.
The United Nations is in touch with the Government of the Philippines, which is leading the response to the Taal volcano eruption in the Calabarzon region, some 70 kilometres south of Manila. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that 18,000 people have taken shelter in evacuation centres.
Food prices around the world are at their highest levels in five years, the food price index from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says. According to FAO, prices rose for the third consecutive month in December, with vegetable oil, sugar, dairy and cereals among the commodities driving up world food prices.
The Qatar Fund for Development and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees signed an agreement yesterday under which Qatar will contribute $20.7 million to support Palestine refugees’ access to basic services in Syria. This contribution brings the Qatar Fund’s total support to the Agency to $40 million.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said at least 58 people died after a vessel from the Gambia carrying some 150 migrants sank as it approached Mauritania, while 83 others who swam ashore are receiving medical assistance. IOM is providing first aid kits and blankets to those injured.
The Special Representative for Iraq told the Security Council that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis - from all walks of life – have taken to the streets out of love for their homeland, expressing frustration for the lack of progress and calling for the country to reach its full potential for the benefit of all Iraqis.
A record 45 million people across southern Africa will be severely food insecure in the next six months, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, who are calling for funding to prevent a major hunger crisis.
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria launched the Syrian-led, Syrian-owned inclusive Constitutional Committee in Geneva today, bringing together for the first time Government and opposition nominees, with women making up 30 per cent of the 150 participants, following a nearly nine-year-long conflict.
Figures released today by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan show record-high levels of civilian casualties in the country during the third quarter of 2019, including 2,563 killed and 5,676 injured, a 42 per cent increase from the same period in 2018.
In the Central African Republic, violence in the town of Birao has displaced more than 14,000 people, who are now being protected by United Nations peacekeepers in a camp next to the United Nations base and airstrip. The United Nations Mission has taken additional steps to prevent new clashes and restore calm.
United Nations humanitarian officials in the Philippines report that the Government declared a national dengue epidemic yesterday. There have now been more than 146,000 reported cases of dengue fever and 622 confirmed fatalities since the beginning of 2019, mostly affecting children between 5 and 9 years old.
The United Nations Children’s Fund announced a partnership to build a first-of-its-kind factory to convert plastic waste in Côte d’Ivoire into modular plastic bricks, which will be used to build classrooms. Côte d’Ivoire needs 15,000 classrooms; 500 will be constructed through the partnership in the next two years.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says more measles cases continue to be recorded in the Philippines, with nearly 23,000 so far, including 333 deaths officially reported, a 385 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2018. More than half the cases involve children under the age of five.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is concerned about armed clashes in the southern Philippines between the army and non-State armed groups that have uprooted more than 47,000 people. The United Nations and humanitarian partners are helping the Government deliver aid to nearly 35,000 displaced people.
A measles outbreak continues to surge in the Philippines, where the Government is conducting a mass immunization campaign with assistance from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). At least 280 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the year.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a new report today which presents mounting evidence that the biodiversity underpinning global food systems is disappearing, putting the future of food, livelihoods, health and environment under severe threat, according to information from 91 reporting countries.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
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