The Spokesman confirmed that the Secretary-General held a town hall meeting with staff in Afghanistan to outline what the UN system is doing to keep people safe and to keep our operations running.  
Most importantly, the Secretary-General was there to answer questions from staff in Kabul. He said that he understands the staff's deep anxiety about what the future holds, and said that we are taking measures to keep our staff safe and at the same time, ensuring that we are able to stay and deliver in Afghanistan in the face of mounting humanitarian needs. He and other senior officials at the UN are strongly
engaging with all actors in Afghanistan and other Member States.

In Port-au-Prince, Ramesh Rajasingham, the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, joined Haitian government officials and partners to launch a flash appeal to address the urgent needs of Haitians impacted by the August 14th earthquake, as well as tropical storm Grace. 
The emergency flash appeal requests just over US$187 million to provide urgent assistance to the most vulnerable 500,000 Haitians in the impacted areas. The funding will be used to provide shelter, water and sanitation, emergency healthcare, food, protection and early recovery assistance. 
Tomorrow, the guests at the noon briefing will be Mr. Rajasingham, as well as Bruno Lemarquis, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti. 

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, briefed Security Council members. 
She said the clock is ticking with only 46 days left until Iraq goes to the polls on October 10th and noted the Independent High Electoral Commission has reached several milestones. 
She added that the UN Mission continues to provide technical assistance wherever it can to the Commission.  
Preparations are also underway for the UN monitoring of the elections, and the Mission is also stepping up its communication efforts aimed at informing the Iraqi voters on election preparations and related UN activities, sharing facts and figures, tackling misinformation and managing public expectations. 
The Special Representative added that the elections clearly have the potential to be different from the elections of 2018 but warned that they cannot be the sole responsibility of the Electoral Commission. She called on all parties to commit to transparent and credible elections - in words and in deeds. 

In response to questions about the situation between Algeria and Morocco, the Spokesman said we have seen yesterday’s announcement by the Algerian Foreign Minister regarding the severing of diplomatic relations with Morocco. 
He added that the Secretary-General encourages the two neighboring countries to find a way forward to mend relations, including in pursuit of peace and security in the region. 

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF is concerned about the impact on children of new cases of the Bubonic plague in the eastern province of Ituri. 
They say the plague has been reported in areas that had not seen a case in over 15 years, and other cases in areas where they previously had very few or none. This is near the borders with South Sudan and Uganda. 
According to UNICEF, new research shows that children are especially at risk of contracting the plague, and they are appealing for help to support impacted communities through a rat and flea eradication campaign, as well as the construction of houses that are more resistant to rodents and dangerous insects. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization today released a guide that says forests and trees play a vital role in meeting the world's increasing demand for water and need to be managed for water-related ecosystem service. 
Launched during World Water Week, the Guide to Forest-Water Management is the first global publication to provide guidance on the contribution of forests for a holistic approach to water resource management, including the management, monitoring and valuation of forests to deliver water-related ecosystem services. 
UN News is launching a podcast tomorrow about the climate crisis. The podcast, called No Denying It, will have new episodes every week and will last until the beginning of COP26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow, in the United Kingdom. The guests include activists from all over the world as well as Messengers of Peace and Goodwill Ambassadors. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud or anywhere you listen to your podcasts. 
UN News also launched a Climate Newsletter which will go out twice a month and every day during COP26. It will include curated content from across the UN system, with links to major news developments, report launches, explainers and multimedia elements, all to be re-purposed.