Today, the Secretary-General spoke over the telephone with His Highness ⁠Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait. 
The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister discussed how to mobilize stronger support from the Gulf countries to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). 
They discussed the truce in Yemen, as well as prospects to improve regional security in the Gulf. 
The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also talked about the ongoing situation in Jerusalem. The Secretary-General reaffirmed his position that the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem must be upheld and respected. Any provocation, he said, must be avoided at all costs.

On Sunday, the Secretary-General spoke with H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey. The Secretary-General expressed his ongoing support for the Istanbul process in relation to the war in Ukraine and reiterated the need for humanitarian corridors for the distribution of aid and the evacuation of people.    
The Secretary-General and the President of Turkey also discussed the situation in Jerusalem.  The Secretary-General reaffirmed his position that the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem must be upheld and respected. He stressed that any provocation must be avoided at all costs.

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the continuing attacks on Ukrainian cities across the country, including most recently Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv, which are resulting in numerous civilian casualties and destruction in residential areas, as well as civilian infrastructure. The Secretary-General is greatly concerned by the continuing appalling humanitarian situation in the besieged city of Mariupol, which has been largely destroyed by weeks of unrelenting Russian attacks. The Secretary-General reminds all parties that they must take outmost care exert take all necessary efforts measures to avoid civilian casualties and any damage to residential areas and civilian infrastructure. The Secretary-General strongly urges all parties to enact an urgent and immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which will enable the safe and secure functioning of humanitarian corridors, help evacuate civilian residents and also deliver life-saving humanitarian and medical assistance. Genuine negotiations must be given a chance to succeed and to bring lasting peace. The Secretary-General and the UN stand ready to support such efforts.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that Ukraine has endured 136 attacks on healthcare facilities, which have killed 73 people, and injured 52 others. This means that Ukraine accounts for more than 68 per cent of all attacks on health care worldwide in 2022. 
Also today, our humanitarian colleagues said that more than one in four people in Ukraine has been displaced, amounting to 12 million people - including 4.9 million refugees and 7.1 million internally displaced persons. At the same time, returns to Ukraine are increasing. We have reports from border services that more than 870,000 people have returned since 24 February. Recent returnees include women and children and older people, and returnees are creating new challenges for the humanitarian response in terms of reconstruction and reintegration.                                                                 /... 
More than 1,300 UN staff in Ukraine engaged in the humanitarian response. We, along with our humanitarian partners, have eight operational hubs: Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Lviv, Uzhorod, Mukachevo, Chernivitzi, Luhansk and Donetsk. Hubs will also be set up in Odesa, Mariupol and Kharkiv, as conditions allow. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) office is reopening in Kyiv – and the Head of Office, Esteban Sacco, is there now. 
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that as of 15 April, more than 155,000 people have been assisted with multi-purpose cash, provided by 22 partners. This figure is expected to ramp up quickly. 
A convoy planned for 14 April from Odesa to Kherson could not proceed due to lack of security guarantees. The convoy was offloaded in Odesa on 13 April and the cargo was dispatched to two NGOs, which will distribute the supplies in Kherson oblast through the Ukraine Red Cross and voluntary organizations.                                     
The Ukraine Flash Appeal is 68 per cent funded as of 18 April, at $774 million.  
The Country-based Pooled Fund - the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund - has received $126 million to date, of which $66 million has been paid.

In northern Ethiopia, a 50-truck convoy carrying food and other humanitarian aid, as well as fuel, arrived in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, on Friday. 
The convoy was carrying about 1,000 tonnes of food aid, which is enough food for about 43,000 people, as well as 700 tons of health, nutrition, and water and sanitation items.  It also included three fuel tankers carrying 115,000 liters of fuel.  
This was the second convoy into Tigray since April 1st, following three-and-a-half months without any aid going in by road.  However, far more assistance, as well as fuel, is required to meet the humanitarian needs on the ground. 
Further convoys are ready to go from Semera to Mekelle by road. The UN continues engaging with all to make sure that additional convoys can depart safely as soon as possible, and that we can make these deliveries for conflict-affected people in Tigray - as well as in Afar and Amhara - on a regular and predictable basis.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is extremely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the province of Ituri, as violence continues.  
Last week, attacks in Djugu and Irumu territories resulted in the killing of at least 35 civilians —including one displaced person and 19 recent returnees.  
Insecurity has forced nine humanitarian organizations — one UN agency and eight international NGOs — to temporarily suspend their road movements in Irumu and Mambasa territories, delaying the provision of assistance to thousands of people. 
The humanitarian situation in Ituri has been deteriorating since October last year, when attacks on civilians increased, including on sites for displaced people. This has led to significant population movements and today, the province has more than 1.9 million people displaced. 
Persistent insecurity has also affected food production in Ituri, leaving thousands of families with insufficient food to eat. Food insecurity affects nearly 3 million people, particularly in Djugu territory where one in five people is facing emergency hunger levels.  
Over the past two years, between March 2020 and March 2022, some 211 schools have been destroyed or damaged, leaving over 55,000 children out of school across the province. 
The UN and its partners have managed to continue to operate and to provide assistance to civilians, despite the volatile situation. Eight projects in shelter, health, food security, nutrition, and protection are currently being implemented in the areas of Komanda and Mambasa.

Over the weekend, in a statement, the Secretary-General said he is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Jerusalem.   
He calls on leaders on all sides to help calm the situation. Provocations on the Holy Esplanade must stop now to prevent further escalation.  
He reiterates his call for the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem to be upheld and respected.   
The Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, is in close contact with key regional partners and the parties to calm the situation.   
The Secretary-General reiterates his commitment to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements. 

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Secretary-General congratulated Ms. Kristalina Georgieva and the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund for approving the new Resilience and Sustainability Trust, effective May 1st, 2022.  
This Trust is welcome news especially for countries facing compounded crises, including the impact of the war in Ukraine. The Trust builds in a long-term perspective and will support developing countries and vulnerable middle-income countries in addressing issues such as climate change and the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, while also improving resilience to future shocks. A long-term perspective is needed if we are to address not only the current three-dimensional crises but retain hope of rescuing the Sustainable Development Goals. 
Mindful of the current context, the Trust must be sufficiently and immediately capitalized to meet this challenge. At last week’s launch of the Global Crisis Response Group, the Secretary-General strongly encouraged donor contributions to the Trust and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, as well as rechanneling unused Special Drawing Rights from countries with strong external positions to countries most in need of resources to build resilience.

On Yemen, the Houthis – also known as Ansar Allah – have signed an Action Plan with the United Nations to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, the killing and maiming of boys and girls, attacks on schools and hospitals and other grave violations. 
Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, signed the Action Plan as a witness, from New York. She welcomed this additional measure to protect children in Yemen and called on all parties to the conflict in the country to use the opportunity of the current truce to prioritize the rights of children and the needs of children. As of today, the main parties to the conflict in Yemen have all signed commitments to end and prevent grave violations against children. Through the Act, the Houthis have committed to identifying and releasing children from their ranks within six months.         
Ms. Gamba reiterated the availability of the UN to support the Houthis in the implementation of the agreement.

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reports of civilian casualties, including women and children, as a result of airstrikes reported in Afghanistan. The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a quick recovery.

On the Philippines, the UN and its humanitarian partners are providing assistance in the wake of the heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Megi, which has resulted in the deaths of 172 people. Many people are still missing. 
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will provide water and sanitation supplies. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is also distributing hygiene kits, as well as sleeping kits and tents. IOM is helping to manage camps for displaced people and is providing mental health and psychosocial support.  
For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) has dispatched 24 trucks to transport food, sleeping kits and kitchen supplies. 

***The guest at the Noon Briefing was the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, who briefed reporters on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan.