FRIDAY, 6 MAY 2022

On Monday, the Secretary-General will begin a two-day visit to the Republic of Moldova. During his stay in the country, he will express his solidarity and thank Moldova for its steadfast support for peace, and for its people’s generosity in opening their hearts and their homes to almost half a million Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Republic of Moldova’s membership to the United Nations, the visit will also be an opportunity to discuss and appreciate Moldova’s support and contribution to the work of the Organization, including in the field of peacekeeping. In Chișinău, the Secretary-General will meet with President Maia Sandu, as well as with Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita and with the Speaker of Parliament, Igor Grosu. 
He will visit a Refugee Centre run with the support of the United Nations agencies, and where refugees can find temporary places to stay, hot meals and register for cash assistance.
In that Centre, which also holds a Blue Dot – a support centre for emerging needs of children and their mothers - and an Orange Safe Space which provides refugee youth, women and older persons with a physically, emotionally, and socially protective environment, the Secretary-General will have a chance to listen to Ukrainians who were forced to leave their country. As the vast majority of Ukrainian refugees in Moldova are being hosted by families who have shown immense generosity, the Secretary-General will also meet with a local family hosting refugees. 
On Wednesday 11 May, the Secretary-General will start an official bilateral visit to Austria, with a strong focus on multilateralism, advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and addressing the climate emergency.  
In the Austrian capital, the Secretary-General will have meetings with President Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, as well as with the President of the National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka. He will also speak to students at the Vienna Technical University, with a focus on energy transition. 
On Thursday and Friday, 12 and 13 of May, the Secretary-General will bring together, as he does twice a year, the heads of the UN system organizations in an in-person meeting of the Chief Executives Board (CEB) and that will take place in Vienna. The CEB members will reflect on current world affairs as well as on the challenges to the global economic recovery and how to reverse the trend of losing momentum on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.   
The Board will also engage in a dedicated discussion on how the vision of ‘Our Common Agenda’ can contribute to overcoming these challenges. The CEB session will be hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which is based in Vienna as you know.
The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Abidjan, in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, from 7 to 9 May, at the invitation of the Government, and to attend, on behalf of the Secretary-General, the opening of the high-level segment of the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification. 
From 10-13 May, she will travel to Vienna, Austria, for meetings with the Regional Economic Commissions and the UN Sustainable Development Goals Principals meeting, on 10 and 11 May. She will of course join the Secretary-General in attending the Chief Executives Board meetings on 12 and 13 May. 

We, along with our humanitarian partners, are continuing to expand relief operations and have now reached more than 5.4 million people across the country with assistance since the war started weeks ago. This is 1.3 million people more than what we reported last week. 
More than 4.7 million men, women and children have received food assistance and nearly 1.5 million people have accessed critical health care. 
Cash interventions – which are prioritized in this humanitarian response in Ukraine - have increased, covering 550,000 people since 24 February with more than 230,000 children have received support to continue their education.  
Our humanitarian colleagues also provided protection services to more than 370,000 people; this includes assistance at border crossing points and psychological support for displaced people. 
This scale-up has taken place despite the high insecurity, lack of humanitarian access and, most recently lack of fuel, impacting organizations’ ability to travel long distances. The increasing lack of fuel in the country also limits people’s ability to move to areas away from active fighting. 

Turning to the Middle East you may have seen, concerning the terror attack in central Israel yesterday, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said  he is appalled by the attack in which three Israelis were killed and several others injured.  
He said that his thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those wounded. 
Mr. Wennesland also said it is deplorable that Hamas and others continue to glorify and encourage such attacks, which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and Israelis. All must condemn violence and stand up to terror, he said in a tweet.
Quick update from Lesotho, where the UN team led by Resident Coordinator Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, is supporting the country effort to tackle the pandemic and other challenges.  
More than 950,000 doses of vaccines have landed in Lesotho through COVAX, with more than 930,000 of these vaccines having been administered. Our team has trained healthcare workers in how to administer vaccines.  
We have provided nearly one million masks and more than 700 hand washing stations to schools, as well as monetary support for nearly 3,500 of the most disadvantaged children. 
We have helped nearly 60,000 households with food and cash vouchers, while more than 50,000 households have received drought emergency assistance. 

And lastly, our colleagues at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, say that global food commodity prices fell in April after a large jump in March. 
This was a result of small drops in the prices of vegetable oils and cereals. 
The FAO Food Price Index had jumped to an all-time high in March but was down 0.8 per cent in April.  
FAO warns that, although the small decrease in the Index is welcome, food prices still remain close to their recent highs and pose a challenge to the global food security.