SENIOR PERSONNEL APPOINTMENT
The Secretary-General is announcing today the appointment of Major General Cheryl Pearce of Australia as Force Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, or UNFICYP.
Major General Pearce succeeds Major General Mohammad Humayun Kabir of Bangladesh. The Secretary-General is grateful to Major General Kabir for his dedication and leadership during his two years of service in UNFICYP.
Major General Pearce has had a distinguished career in the Australian Defence Force, most recently as Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy. The Academy provides undergraduate and postgraduate education as well as military training and education for future leaders of the Navy, Army and Air Force.
The United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams completed the delivery of life-saving assistance for 50,000 people in need at the Rukban camp near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
During the five-day mission, the teams delivered assistance to those in need, including food, water, sanitation and hygiene materials, nutrition supplies and health materials and other emergency items. In addition, the teams conducted rapid need assessments inside the camp, met with community leaders and monitored the distribution of aid.
The teams also conducted a vaccination campaign where more than 5,000 children were reached with polio and other vaccines.
Other than the provision of water and basic health care from Jordan, this was the first assistance to Rukban Camp since last January and the first time that assistance has been provided to Rukban from within Syria.
Despite the welcome completion of this delivery, many people continue to live in dire conditions in makeshift or semi-permanent shelters. Some have been in Rukban camp for as long as three years now.
The United Nations continues to call on all parties to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs remains deeply concerned by escalating conflict in Yemen. Fighting has continued around the outskirts of Hodeidah City in the last 24 hours. Local authorities reported that about 50 more families had fled areas adjacent to fighting in the city. This is in addition to some 300 families who reportedly fled earlier. Since 1 June, the conflict has displaced more than 570,000 people from across Hodeidah Governorate.
Humanitarian agencies have consistently warned that protracted fighting inside Hodeidah City, or any incidents that interrupt port operations, could set off a humanitarian catastrophe, as some 70 per cent of the population live in proximity of Hodeidah and Saleef, where most of Yemen’s food is imported.
The Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has made clear that any military escalation does not help the ongoing efforts to re-launch the political process. We hope to see the first steps for de-escalation in Yemen, as we move forward towards convening political consultations between the parties, before the end of the year.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Migration Agency (IOM), today announced that the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide has now reached three million.
The majority of them, a little over one million, are in Colombia. Peru is currently hosting half a million, and the remaining ones are in Ecuador (220,000), Argentina (130,000), Chile (100,000), and Brazil (85,000).
The UNHCR-IOM Joint Special Representative for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, Eduardo Stein, praised these countries’ open-door policy, but warned that their reception capacity is severely strained and a more robust response from the international community is needed.
The UN, through its Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform, is strengthening the operational response and is working on a humanitarian Regional Response Plan to be launched in December.