Stronger South-South Cooperation Key to Tackling Climate Change, Rising Inequality, Global Leaders Stress as High-Level Conference Begins in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES, 20 March — Amid complex and rapidly evolving global challenges, the tried-and-tested platform of South-South cooperation — a system of exchanging knowledge and resources between developing countries — must play a promine…

Read More

Raising Living Standards Boosts Overall Well-Being of Societies, Speakers Say, as Commission for Social Development Continues Session

Smart fiscal policies and minimum wages set well above the cost of living top the list of strategies countries can use to improve their populations’ health, happiness and overall well-being, said delegates today as the fifty-seventh session of th…

Read More

Nearly $4 billion needed to protect 41 million children from conflict and disaster

Speaking in Geneva, the agency’s Director of Emergency Operations, Manuel Fontaine, warned that conflict is at a 30-year high: “There’s never been as much conflict in the world in the past 30 years as this year, so it is obviously a particular threat,” he said.

”Eight years after the start of the conflict in #Syria, there are still 2.5 million Syrian #refugee children living in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Demand for services such as health and education far outstrips the existing capacities”, informs @UNICEF.

— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) January 29, 2019

Amid countless reports of deadly attacks on civilians and places of shelter – both of which are prohibited under international law – Mr. Fontaine insisted that the long-held notion that children should be protected above all others is also being undermined.

He said it was “being accepted as a new normal of attacks on schools and hospitals and detention of children,” adding that increasingly, “children are being seen not only as victims, when they’ve been actually recruited by an armed group or used by a particular armed group, but also as a perpetrator and detained once they’ve been released by an armed group.”

A total of 59 countries are to benefit from UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 appeal, as the agency pursues its goal of providing 41 million children with safe water, food, education, health and protection.

Syria still number one concern

Child protection funding amounting to $385 million includes more than $120 million for youngsters affected by the Syria crisis, whose needs are estimated at $904 million – the largest part of UNICEF’s overall appeal.

“Nearly eight years after the conflict broke out, we still have 2.5 million Syrian children living as refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey where demand for basic services such as health and education outstrip the capacity of institutions and infrastructure to actually respond,” Mr. Fontaine explained, noting that aid was needed for Syrian refugees and host communities.

Asked if he expected a significant number of Syrian families to return to the country, the UNICEF official replied that such a development was likely premature.

“There might be cases of some families, some children who decide they want to go back and we accompany them,” he said. “I think it’s a bit early right now to see how that’s going to happen in practice.”

Yemen: Two million children need food support

Needs in Yemen represent UNICEF’s second largest individual appeal, at just over $542 million, as a fragile and as-yet unimplemented ceasefire deal between Houthi militants and the internationally recognised government over the Red Sea port of Hudaydah continues to cause serious concern among humanitarians.

Nearly four years since conflict escalated, more than 22 million people need humanitarian assistance, including two million Yemeni children who will require food assistance this year. “Projections from 2019 are that nearly 400,000 children will suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in Yemen during the course of the year,” Mr. Fontaine warned.

[embedded content]

Other emergency situations include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a vast country facing a significant escalation of violence and armed conflict linked to terrible rights abuses. An ongoing outbreak of deadly Ebola virus in the east of the country has made matters worse.

“Violations against children include forced recruitment by armed groups and rampant sexual abuse,” the UNICEF official explained. “The insecurity has also seriously hindered the response to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri and aggravated disastrous malnutrition conditions across the country.”

According to the UNICEF appeal, an estimated 1.4 million children – over three times the number at risk in Yemen – are projected to require lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2019.

Venezuela’s adolescents in dire need of protection

Turning to Venezuela, where 40 people have died in recent clashes between demonstrators and security forces, according to UN human rights office, (OHCHR), Mr. Fontaine appealed for children to be protected.

“We are very concerned about the risk of violence,” he said. “We are obviously calling on everyone to protect children in this particular moment and adolescents in particular.”

The UNICEF official confirmed that an estimated three million people have left the troubled South American country in recent years, and that the agency is “working in the neighbouring countries, in Colombia, Brazil Ecuador and other countries to help the struggling host communities receiving families and children that are crossing the border”.

‘Toxic stress’ last longer than physical wounds

Faced with such unprecedented needs, UNICEF is appealing for funding that can be allocated where it is needed most urgently, not least to under-reported emergencies including the Lake Chad region, where nearly 21 million people in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have been affected by ongoing conflicts.

Despite the challenges, Mr. Fontaine insisted that the agency has been successful in helping vulnerable children, not least those whose mental scars caused by the “toxic stress” of conflict often take longer than physical wounds to heal.

“At the same time, I would say we’ve also made great progress,” he insisted. “It is the behaviour of parties to conflict that actually creates this kind of situation. Should they give us more access, should they give us more ways to protect children and should they themselves respect the sanctity of the protection of children, things would actually go a lot better.”

Read More

Continuing its Regular Session, Non-Governmental Organization Committee Recommends 35 Entities for Consultative Status, Defers Action on 67 Others

Continuing its 2019 regular session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 35 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on the status of 67 others.The 19-member Co…

Read More

Text adopted – Situation in the Central African Republic – P7_TA(2013)0602 – Thursday, 12 December 2013 – Strasbourg – Final edition

The European Parliament,
–  having regard to its resolutions of 17 January 2013(1)
and 12 September 2013(2)
on the situation in the Central African Republic,
–  having regard to UN Security Council resolutions 2088 (20…

Read More

General Assembly Adopts 4 Resolutions Aimed at Strengthening Coordination of Humanitarian, Disaster Relief Assistance

Speaker Notes Crises Now Last Longer, Majority Being Man-MadeThe General Assembly today adopted four resolutions on coordinating humanitarian and disaster relief aid, as Member States echoed concerns that global crises and attacks on humanitarian perso…

Read More

General Assembly Adopts 4 Resolutions Aimed at Strengthening Coordination of Humanitarian, Disaster Relief Assistance

Speaker Notes Crises Now Last Longer, Majority Being Man-MadeThe General Assembly today adopted four resolutions on coordinating humanitarian and disaster relief aid, as Member States echoed concerns that global crises and attacks on humanitarian perso…

Read More

Sustainable Development ‘Best Tool’ for Resolving, Preventing Crises, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Global Humanitarian Policy Forum

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s opening remarks at the seventh Global Humanitarian Policy Forum, in New York, today:It is a pleasure to open the seventh Global Humanitarian Policy Forum, on the theme:  Solutio…

Read More

Adopting Two Resolutions, General Assembly Speakers Stress That Healthy, Resilient Oceans, Seas Play Central Role in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

The General Assembly today adopted two texts on the oceans and seas linked to the implementation of the landmark 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, with speakers asserting during the annual debate on the matter that healthy, pro…

Read More

Strengthening indigenous food systems is key to achieving a zero-hunger world

9 November 2018, Rome – Indigenous Food systems and indigenous traditional knowledge have survived hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, therefore they may have some of the answers we are looking for, FAO Director-General José Graziano da S…

Read More

Typhoon Yutu, refugee investment, and climate dragons: The Cheat Sheet

Here’s the IRIN team’s weekly take on humanitarian news, trends, and developments from around the globe.

On our radar

Typhoon Yutu holds the record — for now
The strongest storm recorded anywhere on the planet this year has cau…

Read More

Africa Needs More Financing, Debt Relief from International Partners to Realize Shared Vision of Sustainable Development, Speakers Tell General Assembly

Realizing the shared vision of “leaving no one behind” of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 is contingent on the international community’s ability to mobilize resources, tr…

Read More

Unilateral Trade Practices, Measures Harm Most Vulnerable Nations, Speakers Say, as Second Committee Takes Up Macroeconomic Policy

Unilateral coercive measures and trade practices harm the global economy as well as countries at the regional and national levels, speakers told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today during its debate on Macroeconomic policy question…

Read More

Delegates Call for Education Access, Gender Parity in Labour Markets, as Third Committee Concludes Debates on Promoting Rights of Women, Children

Calling for access to education and eliminating child labour, as well as bolstering equal treatment for women in the labour market, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) concluded its debates on children’s rights and women&rsquo…

Read More

Speakers in Second Committee Underline Need for Reformed, Better-Funded Human Settlements Programme

Committee also Concludes General Debate, Co-Hosts Panels on Circular Economy with Economic and Social CouncilSpeakers stressed the need for a revamped, better‑funded United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to bolster its…

Read More

Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary‑General

The following is a near‑verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary‑General.**India

In New Delhi today, the Secretary‑General laid a wreath in honour of Mahatma Gandhi at the R…

Read More

Tripoli clashes, dying with dignity, and AI for good: The Cheat Sheet

Here’s the IRIN team’s weekly take on humanitarian news, trends, and developments from around the globe.
On our radar:
The (ending) age of Aquarius
MSF’s Mediterranean rescue ship, Aquarius, has been at the centre of a series of diplo…

Read More