SENIOR PERSONNEL APPOINTMENTS
Today, the Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Ms. Lynn Hastings of Canada as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, where she will also serve as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. She succeeds Jamie McGoldrick of Ireland to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service.
Ms. Hastings brings to this position over twenty years of experience in humanitarian affairs, development coordination and political affairs.
The Secretary-General is also appointing Ms. Anita Kiki Gbeho of Ghana as his new Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
Ms. Gbeho succeeds Raisedon Zenenga of Zimbabwe, who has been appointed as Assistant Secretary-General and Mission Coordinator of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service and contribution to the work of the United Nations in Somalia.
Ms. Gbeho brings over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, coordination and management in political, development and humanitarian affairs at UN Headquarters and in field operations.
Lastly, the Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Mr. Hiro Mizuno of Japan as the Special Envoy on Innovative Finance and Sustainable Investments. Mr. Mizuno is a Japanese financial executive and former Executive Management Director and CIO of the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan.
The Special Envoy will support the Secretary-General’s advocacy and engagement in global public-private dialogue to encourage action in new and unprecedented ways to shift public and private investments toward the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. As highlighted through the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 Initiative (FFDI), it is vital to increase the pool of sustainable finance, with particular attention to removing bottlenecks to blended finance and other innovative financing instruments.
Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, strongly condemned the attack at Aden airport upon the Yemeni Cabinet's arrival and the killing and injury of many innocent civilians.
He wished the Cabinet strength in facing the difficult tasks ahead. He added that this unacceptable act of violence is a tragic reminder of the importance of bringing Yemen urgently back on the path towards peace.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) today said that, following Sunday’s elections, the counting of votes continues. According to the National Elections Authority (ANE), more than 14 per cent of polling stations did not operate due to insecurity.
Election observation missions from the Africa Union (AU), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Community of Sahelo-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and the International Organization of La Francophonie noted that, despite security incidents, voters turned out in large numbers, particularly in Bangui
On Tuesday, the Deputy Special Representative for MINUSCA, Denise Brown, visited the ANE’s Data Processing Center, where election documents have begun arriving from Bangui districts. The publication of the first official results by the ANE is expected by 4 January.
The UN Mission also said that, on Tuesday, peacekeepers exchanged fire with unidentified combatants at the Yole checkpoint, which is located east of Bouar, in the Nana-Mambéré Prefecture. No UN Mission casualties have been reported.
Also, yesterday in Ouham Prefecture, several armed groups clashed in Bouca, in south Batangafo. More than 100 civilians fled and sought refuge at the MINUSCA temporary operating base and nearby areas. On Monday, in Carnot, in the Mambere-Kadei Prefecture, some 20 civilians took refuge at the local base after presumed 3R combatants fired shots.
MOZAMBIQUE/TROPICAL STORM CHALANE
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the tropical Storm Chalane made landfall north of Beira City in central Mozambique this morning. This is the same area that was struck with devastating effect by Cyclone Idai in March 2019.
According to OCHA, the storm brought rains and winds to parts of Sofala Province, including Dondo, Beira City and Buzi. Some damage has been reported, including in resettlement sites where people displaced by Cyclone Idai were staying in temporary shelters.
The Government and humanitarian partners in Mozambique pre-positioned emergency personnel and supplies ahead of the storm's arrival and are evaluating the first impacts of the storm today.
OCHA said the storm has since tracked inland through central Mozambique and is due to arrive in Zimbabwe, where it is expected to weaken to a tropical depression. Chimanimani and Chipinge districts – which were hardest-hit by Cyclone Idai – are among the districts most at risk in Zimbabwe. The Government and humanitarian partners have prepared ahead of the storm's arrival.
OCHA said that, while far weaker than Tropical Cyclone Idai, Tropical Storm Chalane is a salient reminder of the threat posed by the global climate crisis and the urgent need for collective action to reduce global warming.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today that it evacuated 130 vulnerable asylum seekers out of Libya to safety in Rwanda in the fourth and final evacuation flight of 2020.
This latest group included people from Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, most of whom were living in urban areas in Tripoli. Many had previously been held in detention centers across Libya.
UNHCR said that the international community must provide greater support to vulnerable refugees. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to restrictions leading to the loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, and lack of access to health, and it has also impacted access to legal pathways and solutions out of Libya.
With this latest evacuation, 811 vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers have been taken out of Libya this year, including 321 via resettlement. Nearly 45,000 refugees and asylum seekers are registered with UNHCR in Libya, of whom 329 are held in detention.
The evacuation flights will resume in 2021.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today that it is deeply concerned for the health and well-being of 10.4 million children projected to suffer from acute malnutrition next year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), northeast Nigeria, the Central Sahel, South Sudan and Yemen.
These are all countries or regions experiencing dire humanitarian crises while also grappling with intensifying food insecurity, a deadly pandemic and – with the exception of the Central Sahel – a looming famine.
UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore said that families already struggling to feed their children and themselves are now on the brink of famine. “We can’t let them be the forgotten victims of 2020,” she stressed.
In these countries and beyond, UNICEF is urging humanitarian actors on the ground and the international community to urgently expand access to and support for nutrition, health and water and sanitation services for children and families.
Despite challenges due to COVID-19, this year, UNICEF and its partners have continued to deliver lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable children and their families in the hardest to reach areas through adjustments on the existing programmes to maintain and increase access. UNICEF has appealed for more than $1 billion to support its lifesaving nutrition programmes for children in countries affected by humanitarian crises over 2021.
A full payment to the regular budget was received from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. So far, 143 Member States have paid in full for 2020.