This week the Secretary-General is looking at the impact of COVID-19 on education. At a minute after midnight tonight, he will launch the Policy Brief entitled Education during COVID-19 and Beyond.
According to the Policy Brief, the pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in all countries and all continents. It has also exacerbated education disparities.
WOMEN IN CEASEFIRE AND PEACE PROCESSES
Today, UN Women and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs launched a joint Policy Brief entitled 'COVID-19 and Conflict: Advancing women’s meaningful participation in ceasefires and peace processes'.
In support of the Secretary-General's call for a Global Ceasefire, the Brief addresses the importance of women’s full, equal and meaningful participation to an effective pandemic response and to peacemaking efforts.
It also provides a preliminary analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on women’s participation in ceasefires and peace processes and offers a series of recommendations, including on ‘building back better’.
The UN Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, commended the Yazidis’ resilience in preserving their culture and land, and determinedly pursuing their rights despite the odds, six years after the atrocities committed by Da’esh.
She urged Baghdad and Erbil to reach agreement without delay to provide this beleaguered community with the tools and the right environment to rebuild their lives.
She said she took heart in the determination of the many Yazidis pursuing freedom and justice for their community. Still, she stated, their ordeal is not over, as the people of Sinjar continue to suffer – from insecurity, the absence of adequate services and the lack of a unified administration.
The UN remains concerned about a possible humanitarian disaster in Libya should the current escalation and mobilization around Sirte lead to military operations. The lives of more than 125,000 people in and around Sirte are at great risk.
COVID-19 cases continue to increase across Libya, with 3,837 cases reported and 83 deaths to date, most of them in the western and southern parts of the country.
Capacity for testing, tracing and treating people remains extremely low across the country and continues to be concentrated in Tripoli and Benghazi.
In response to the severe shortage of swabs for testing in the south, health authorities in Tripoli have dispatched a shipment of 20,000 swabs to Sebha.
Fuel shortages and electricity cuts of more than 18 hours a day are exacerbating poor living conditions for many across the country. Health facilities have also suffered from electricity cuts, forcing some to temporarily suspend operations.
The UN and humanitarian partners are at the forefront in supporting the national authorities with its COVID-19 response, particularly in the provision of health supplies and personal protection equipment.
In Pakistan, where there have been more than 280,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 6,000 deaths, the UN and our humanitarian partners are supporting the Government in responding to the pandemic.
More than $3 million in cash was distributed to people affected by drought in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, while food aid was provided to 12,000 households affected by a snow emergency in Kashmir.
Emergency food assistance is being finalized for more than 120,000 people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to help them cope with the economic fallout due to COVID-19.
Cash assistance has also been given to 35,000 refugee families so far, while nearly 3 million people have received water, sanitation and hygiene services.
The Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 seeks $146 million and is 25 per cent funded so far.
The head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Audrey Azoulay, today condemned the murder of a journalist named Anwar Jan, in Barkhan in Balochistan province.
She called on authorities to investigate this crime and hold its perpetrators to account, stressing that a clear message must be sent whereby “gunpoint censorship cannot go unpunished.”
The UN Mission recently organized a forum in Western Bahr el Ghazal to increase understanding of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in the country, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Political officials, religious and community leaders, and civil society representatives took part in this event. Those attending agreed to continue to work together, using social media and text messaging to foster dialogue.
In Montenegro, where more than 3,200 COVID-19 cases have been reported, and more than 50 deaths due to the virus, the UN team is being led by Resident Coordinator, Fiona McCluney.
By re-directing more than $2 million and fundraising more than $5.5 million, the UN is supporting the country's response on several fronts. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) secured medical and protective equipment.
For its part, the World Health Organization provided advice to boost clinical and laboratory capacity and the UN Children’s Fund supported risk communication support.
The UN Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration have also provided services to vulnerable communities.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has expressed its dismay at the violent death of a transgender woman seeking asylum in Guatemala.
The woman’s body was found on Saturday at her home in Guatemala City. She had fled El Salvador in 2017 after having suffered violence due to her gender identity and the persecution of gangs.
UNHCR called on the Guatemalan authorities to fully investigate the death in light of its commitment to protect people in the LGBTI community and people seeking international protection in the country.