The Secretary-General welcomes the Security Council’s decision to extend the UN cross-border mechanism in north-west Syria via the Bab al-Hawa border crossing.
Cross-border humanitarian assistance remains a lifeline for millions of people in the area and beyond. The reauthorization will ensure humanitarian assistance continues for over 3.4 million people in need, including 1 million children.
However, needs continue to outstrip the response. As the Secretary-General has highlighted to the Council, with additional crossings and expanded funding, the United Nations could do more to help the rising number of people in need.
The UN continues to engage with all parties to also facilitate crossline convoys. They are critical for the expansion of the overall response as humanitarian needs continue to grow.
The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all parties to the conflict to ensure humanitarian access to all people in need in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The Secretary-General and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke yesterday to discuss the extremely concerning humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
The Secretary-General welcomed the Prime Minister’s assurances that the Government of Ethiopia will facilitate immediate access to Tigray for humanitarian organizations, as well as the Prime Minister’s commitment that essential basic services, including power and communications, will resume swiftly.
The Secretary-General also acknowledged the Government’s pledge to use the ceasefire to facilitate urgent humanitarian assistance, including regular United Nations humanitarian flights into Tigray, as well as support for agricultural activities.
The Secretary-General reiterates his call that all parties must meet their obligations to protect civilians, provide unimpeded humanitarian access and to observe international humanitarian law.
This morning, the Secretary-General spoke virtually to the third G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors which is being held in Venice in Italy.
He told ministers that to restore trust in multilateralism, we need to deliver on vaccines, economic recovery and climate finance.
On the pandemic, the Secretary-General reiterated his call for a Global Vaccine Plan to at least double production of vaccines and to ensure equitable distribution, using COVAX as the platform.
On economic recovery, the Secretary-General said that many developing countries are teetering on the verge of debt default. He called on the G20 to expand the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework for Debt Treatment to include vulnerable middle-income countries and small island developing states.
And on climate change, he said that he was deeply concerned over the lack of progress on public climate financing and once again called on the G20 to mobilize $100 billion annually as agreed to in 2009.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General Helen La Lime continues to be in contact with Haitian leaders and other interlocutors stressing the urgent need to reach an inclusive political compromise to maintain stability and to chart the way forward for Haiti. The solution to Haiti’s challenges will come from Haitians themselves. We continue to stand by Haiti and the Haitian people to provide support.
On the humanitarian aspect, our colleagues are telling us that following the assassination of the President, efforts to respond to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the country are being put at risk. The situation is also threatening efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, especially food and water, to people who have been internally displaced due to recent gang attacks.
UN Humanitarian Air Service flights were cancelled on 7 and 8 July, and the UN Department of Safety and Security has restricted road movements for UN humanitarian staff. Members of the Humanitarian Country Team are reviewing preparedness and contingency plans.
The International Organization for Migration and our humanitarian colleagues estimate that, as of 4 July, some 18,000 people were displaced in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Of those, nearly 14,700 were displaced since the beginning of the gang clashes in early June. Humanitarian partners are currently drafting a strategy and budget to support efforts.
The UN Children’s Fund said today that 1.5 million children, which represents nearly one-third of all children in the country, are in urgent need of emergency relief due to the rising violence, constrained access to clean water, health and nutrition, disrupted education and protection services in times of COVID-19, as well as hurricanes.
UNICEF warned that this is the worst humanitarian crisis Haiti has faced over the past few years, and that it’s deteriorating week after week.
UNICEF tells us that more than 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived today in Afghanistan. Donated by the United States to COVAX, the doses were delivered through the COVAX Facility’s dose-sharing scheme to the Government of Afghanistan.
UNICEF noted that this is the first of two vaccine consignments to arrive this month, bringing the total donation to around 3.3 million doses.
Also, today, the World Health Organization warned that humanitarian needs in Afghanistan are enormous and complex. WHO said that the worsening security situation has led to a sharp increase in civilian casualties.
In response to questions on recent events in Bolivia I can tell you that in relation to the legal action taken against former government officials and authorities in the country, the Secretary-General recalls the importance of upholding due process guarantees and full transparency in all legal proceedings.
The Secretary-General encourages all political and social leaders to continue working together with a strong commitment to democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and dialogue efforts in addressing current political, economic, social [and health] challenges.
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
Lynn Hastings, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said she visited Gaza yesterday, to see what progress has been made nine weeks since the beginning of the hostilities with Israel. Unfortunately, she said, since the beginning of the escalation on 10 May, entry of goods through Kerem Shalom has been limited to food, medical supplies, fuel, fodder, a few agricultural inputs, and some other items. She called for a return to the regular and predictable entry of goods into Gaza.
We currently estimate that 250,000 people are still without regular access to piped water, and that 185,000 are relying on unsafe water sources or paying higher prices for bottled water.
Ms. Hastings urged Israel to ease the restrictions on the movement of goods and people to and from Gaza, with the goal of ultimately lifting them. Only by fully lifting the debilitating closures can we hope to sustainably resolve the humanitarian crisis and contribute to longer term stability, she said.
I have an update for you from our UN team in Brazil on what they’re doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic there.
Led by Resident Coordinator Silvia Rucks, they continue to help authorities address the multiple impacts of COVID-19, including by focusing on indigenous people in the Amazon region.
UN agencies are helping indigenous communities by increasing access to medical care and mental health support to indigenous communities, migrants, Venezuelan refugees and host communities.
Our colleagues have also delivered personal protective equipment, hygiene kits, fuel and agricultural tools.
UN Women, the UN Population Fund and UNHCR launched campaigns in Portuguese, Spanish and indigenous languages to ensure that women are aware of their rights and services available to them, as cases of violence against women are on the rise.
This morning at the High-Level Political Forum of ECOSOC Member States addressed two important topics: first, the urgent need to help Small Island Developing States so they may get on a path to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. It then turned to a discussion on how to mobilize science, technology, and innovation and strengthen the science-policy-society interface.
This afternoon, the first week of the Forum will conclude by shining a spotlight on the vision and priorities of civil society, the private sector and other major groups and stakeholders in realizing the SDGs during the COVID-19 recovery. The session will explore how to advance an inclusive pathway to recovery, as well as possible reforms to strengthen the realization of political and social rights, so as not to leave anyone behind.
Yesterday the Council convened for a briefing on the ongoing disagreement involving Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
The heard from our colleagues Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, and Inger Anderson, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.
On Monday, we will be joined virtually by experts from the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Food Programme to launch of the flagship report “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021-- an annual flagship report which shares progress towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition. It provides in-depth analysis on key challenges for achieving this goal in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.