#UN; #HumanitarianAid; #Yemen; #War; #UNOCH; #OCHA
UN, Oct 19 (Canadian-Media): Parties to the conflict in Yemen must do more to protect civilians, a senior UN humanitarian official there has said, as the number of civilian deaths has witnessed a sharp rise over the last few weeks in the war-ravaged country.
Tents and makeshift shelters at an IDP camp in Yemen. Years of conflict has left millions at crisis levels of hunger, with some facing starvation due to COVID. Image credit: UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi
“Innocent Yemenis continue to die and suffer because of this terrible war,” Lise Grande, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, said in a statement on Saturday.
Since the end of September, several civilians – including children – have been killed and many more injured in fighting in Hudaydah governorate and Taizz, according to the statement. Important civilian infrastructure, including schools and health centres have also been damaged.
“We share our condolences with the many grieving families and wish the injured a swift recovery, added Ms. Grande.
Famine looming In the statement, Ms. Grande also said that with famine looming and funding for humanitarian assistance running out, the parties “have to find the strength” to end fighting and start dialogue.
“We have to be clear, absolutely clear about this … Parties which have taken up arms are responsible, morally and legally, for doing everything possible to protect civilians and ensure they receive the assistance they are entitled to and need,” she stressed.
“There are political options on the table to end the fighting and move to political dialogue. With famine looming and funding running out, the parties have to find the strength and courage to do this,” added the UN official.
World’s worst humanitarian crisis Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the result of five years of a brutal conflict, disease, economic collapse and a breakdown of public institutions and services.
A staggering 80 per cent of Yemen’s population – over 24 million people – require some form of humanitarian assistance and protection, including about 12.2 million children. A total of 230 out of Yemen's 333 districts (69 per cent) are at risk of famine.
Despite a difficult operating environment, humanitarians continue to work across Yemen, responding to the most acute needs. However, funding remains a challenge: as of mid-October, only $1.4 billion of the $3.2 billion needed in 2020 has been received.
Bad situations ‘only get worse’ without disaster risk governance, UN chief says on International Day
UN, Oct 13 (Canadian-Media): With nations facing multiple crises simultaneously and a dramatic rise in extreme weather events in recent decades, the UN Secretary-General has called for strengthening disaster risk governance, to build a safer, more resilient world.
In a message commemorating the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, Secretary-General António Guterres warned that without good disaster risk governance, “bad situations only get worse.”
Noting that disaster risk isn’t the “sole responsibility” of local and national authorities, Mr. Guterres highlighted the need for political commitment at the highest level to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
“Good disaster risk governance means acting on science and evidence,” he added.
COVID-19 and disaster risk reduction The Secretary-General also referred to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact, highlighting that lessons from the global crisis can be applied to strengthen disaster risk governance.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to the importance of strengthening disaster risk reduction … COVID-19 has shown us that systemic risk requires international cooperation,” he said.
“To eradicate poverty and reduce the impacts of climate change, we must place the public good above all other considerations,” he added.
Multi-sectoral policies Meanwhile, Mami Mizutori, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, also highlighted the lessons from COVID-19.
In a separate message, she explained that COVID-19 has underscored the need for “clear vision, plans and competent, empowered institutions acting on scientific evidence.”
“We need to see strategies which address not just single hazards like floods and storms but those that respond to systemic risk generated by zoonotic diseases, climate shocks and environmental breakdown,” she urged.
“Good national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction must be multi-sectoral linking policies in areas such as land use, building codes, public health, education, agriculture, environmental protection, energy, water resources, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation,” added Ms. Mizutori, who is also the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
The International Day The theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is strengthening disaster risk governance – one of the Priorities for Action of the Sendai Framework – to build a safer and more resilient world.
Disaster risk governance refers to the way in which the public authorities, civil servants, media, private sector, and civil society coordinate at community, national and regional levels in order to manage and reduce disaster and climate related risks.
Held every 13 October, the International Day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. The International Day was designated by the UN General Assembly in 2009.
#UN; #UNDP; #Covid19Pandemic; #Migration; #Poverty
United Nations, Sep 26 (Canadian-Media): The fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic is adding a “deadly layer of complexity” to the global challenge of preventing more people from falling into poverty, a view articulated in a photographic exhibition sponsored by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
A migrant labourer in India holds a photo of his mother who was killed in a road accident as they returned home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Image credit: UNDP India/Dhiraj Singh
One hundred million more people are expected to be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, an unfolding human tragedy which has been captured on film by eight photographers who have travelled across the world to tell the stories of the most vulnerable.
The impact on people’s access to health, education, work and property is documented in a series of intimate images.
Their photographs are being displayed at the Photoville Exhibit in New York City until the end of November 2020.
Read more here about the exhibition and how photographers are depicting a “once-in-a-century crisis”.
The pandemic has added a deadly layer of complexity to those pressing challenges. It’s a once-in-a century crisis, with consequences that will leave deep scars for years to come.
With up to 100 million more people being pushed into extreme poverty in 2020, 1.4 billion children affected by school closures, and record unemployment, COVID-19 is a huge impediment to human progress. UNDP has predicted that global human development is on course to decline this year for the first since the concept was introduced.
UNDP’s Photoville exhibit, in New York City shines a spotlight on the pandemic’s effects as it sweeps over the rich and the poor—from the deserted streets of the mighty economic engine of New York City, to the so-called “Sewage Slum” of Nairobi, where some of the world’s most vulnerable people face even more hardship.
The full exhibition will display at the Photoville Exhibit at Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City, 15 September through 29 November 2020.
#UN; #WFP; #Famine; #Hunger; #poverty; #HungerPademic
Geneva/UN, Sep 25 (Canadian-Media): The UN is warning of an impending hunger pandemic across the world, partly a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the World Food Programme (WFP) preparing to launch an unprecedented food aid operation, UN News spoke to WFP Assistant Executive-Director Valerie Guarnieri, on the devastating rise in hunger, and the scale of funding needed to feed those most vulnerable.
A child receiving food in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. COVID-19 risks undermining efforts to reduce hunger. Image credit: WFP/Saikat Mojumder
In her role as WFP deputy chief, Valerie Guarnieri leads programme and policy developments towards ending hunger, including efforts to ensure protection and inclusion; expand school meals and nutrition programmes; empower women; build resilient food systems; and support cash transfers and social protection.
In this interview, part of an SDG Media Zone series, taking place during the high-level opening of the General Assembly, Ms. Guarnieri warned that billions are still needed to fund the agency’s projects, and explains why food systems urgently need to be transformed.
UN News: Why has COVID-19 dramatically increased the threat of hunger?
Valerie Guarnieri: Before COVID-19, we were already seeing a rise in hunger, after decades of having hunger on the run, because of conflict and because of climate change.
What we're seeing is that that hunger is being taken to new levels. On the one hand, food prices are going go up and, at the same time, people are feeling the hit of the socio-economic crisis. So, families are struggling to afford the food they need, to survive and to thrive.
UN News: WFP is launching what is possibly the largest food aid operation in history. What does that look like?
Valerie Guarnieri: We’re scaling up to reach 138 million people this year. It’s a huge operation for us and means that we need to mobilize the resources that we need. We’re still $5 billion short of our target.
We need to be buying food, getting it ready to reach the people who have been affected, and then we need to ramp up our cash assistance for households, pump-priming our cash programmes to ensure that people can buy food in the market.
So, it's a massive undertaking for which we need a lot more support. A few months ago, we called on donor governments to advance financing that they had already committed for the year. And many did that.
But what we've seen is that, with COVID, the impact on hunger is really growing, and so our programs have had to scale up even further.
Governments have also turned to WFP to assist them in buying the food that they need to keep their social protection systems going, or to help make those programs more effective. That’s why we need an additional $5 billion before the end of the year, so that we can deliver on those promises.
UN News: For many people, food systems just aren't working. Two billion people are obese, a trillion dollars-worth of food is wasted every year, yet millions go hungry. What's the answer?
Valerie Guarnieri: When we're looking at food systems, we're basically talking about everything from farm to fork, and here we need to make sure that those systems, and each step in that value chain, is delivering food security for all, in a sustainable way for the planet.
Food systems are also a huge contributor to climate change, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and in terms of deforestation. That’s why the UN Secretary-General has called for a Food Systems Summit next year.
This is a great opportunity for us to align public sector, private sector, and everything that needs to come into place, to make sure that food systems really deliver for all.
The World Food Programme (WFP) grain stored in Hudaydah's Red Sea Mills has been inaccessible for over five months and is at risk of rotting.
UN News: David Beasley, the head of the World Food Programme, recently addressed the Security Council and raised the alarm of a “hunger pandemic”. Do you share his fears?
Valerie Guarnieri: We are on the verge of famine in a number of countries. And this comes as a result of conflict. It comes as a result of climate shocks, but it's also compounded and exacerbated by the effect of COVID-19.
And we've seen donor nations stepping up to provide resources, to support WFP programs and also partner programs that target the most vulnerable and seek to support them. But it's not enough.
There's a huge amount of wealth in the public sector and in the hands of very wealthy individuals. And it's essential that it comes together, to prevent this from happening.
The famine is absolutely preventable, but it requires political, and financial innovation.
UN News: We’re speaking in the United States, the richest country in the world, but even here, there are many people who are suffering food insecurity and going to bed hungry.
Valerie Guarnieri: Well, countries like the United States have the wherewithal to ensure that no child goes to sleep hungry. And in situations like we have now, it's absolutely imperative that the US matches the stimulus support that they're providing, with efforts to ensure that it reaches, and targets, those who are most vulnerable.
But that's not enough. It's also essential that the U S and other rich nations reach out and support those around the world, whose governments don't have the wherewithal to provide that support.
I think COVID-19 has shown us, almost more than anything else, how connected we all are. And it is incumbent on all to ensure that we reach those furthest behind.
UN News: for many vulnerable children, school may be their only chance of getting a meal. Are you in favour of reopening schools?
School meals are the largest global safety net, and they provide a lifeline for children. You can't learn on an empty stomach. Valerie Guarnieri, Assistant Executive-Director, World Food Programme
Valerie Guarnieri: It's absolutely essential to get children back to school, wherever it's safe for them to do so, so that they can have access to the learning that comes through being in school, and engaging directly with their teachers and their peers, but also so that they can access a nutritious meal.
School meals are the largest global safety net, and they provide a lifeline for children both to ensure that their food needs are met, but also to help them benefit more from the learning. You can't learn on an empty stomach.
UN News: You must often have to deal with some harrowing situations. Is the situation regarding hunger bleak, or are you seeing any positive signs?
Valerie Guarnieri: One of the really positive signs that we've been seeing at WFP is how nations are really stepping up to ensure that their systems are catering to the most vulnerable.
Fifty nations have approached the WFP specifically for help to ensure that their systems are adapted, are more efficient, and more effective in reaching the most vulnerable.
At the end of the day, nations are on the frontline for addressing the problems for keeping hunger and the hunger pandemic at bay. And for me, it's been really encouraging to see the number of nations who are really stepping up to do that.
#UN; #Palestine; #Covid19; #UNWRA; #Refugees; #UNHCR
UN, Sep 5 (Canadian-Media):The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a health and socio-economic emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory, the UN agency for the region warned on Friday, noting a swell of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
A health worker provides COVID-19 information to a patient visiting the Jerusalem Health Center. Image credit:: UNRWA/Louise Wateridge
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA), said that it requires some $95 million to cover the emergency needs of 5.6 million registered Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, until the end of December.
The funds will, among other things, focus on health, cash assistance and education.
Until now, UNRWA’s efforts to contain the virus among those it assists have been largely successful.
But spokesperson Tamara Alrifai, said that between July and September, the number of cases soared from 200, to nearly 4,000.
COVID-19 cases surged in the West Bank, Lebanon and Syria in July, she said, with more recent increases in Jordan, and the first cases of local transmission was recorded in late-August.
“That’s a really dramatic jump…mostly due to the longer-term socioeconomic impact of the lockdown and the closures and the fact that beyond a few weeks, it was not possible to keep everybody confined in camps because Palestine refugees needed to go back to work”, she explained.
Refugees must work To minimize contagion risks, UNRWA was able to adjust its working methods to provide healthcare and hospital care, including switching to remote learning.
To avoid crowds in its distribution centres, the UN agency delivered medicines and food to people’s homes, which also helped containment of the virus.
However, the recent surge has made this even more challenging because of the longer-term impact of the lockdown and closures on household economies.
Fear of worsening spread Unless the UN is able to support refugees to stay in camps and meet people’s medical needs, Ms. Alrifai flagged growing fears of an outbreak in very densely populated communities.
“This funding is crucial for controlling the spread of the pandemic in Palestine refugee camps and to help prevent a major outbreak”, the UNRWA spokesperson stressed.
Schools in session Meanwhile, despite financial and other challenges, over half a million children are enrolled in 711 UNRWA schools in the West Bank – encompassing East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon – where they receive a quality education, including classes on human rights, and conflict resolution.
UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, made the decision to open schools for the new academic year, primarily to ensure that every girl and boy has access to equitable quality education.
He believes that resuming classes also gives children a greater sense of normality within what is a highly unpredictable region.
#Beirut; #UN; #WaterBorneDiseases; #WaterShortage; #UNICEF; Hygiene; Covid19
Beirut/UN, Aug 29 (Canadian-Media): Risk of water-borne diseases is rising in Beirut, in the aftermath of the devastating explosion in early August, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned, calling for urgent action to ensure families and responders have access to safe water and sanitation.
Scenes of destruction at the port area due to the massive explosion that tore through Beirut, Lebanon. Image credit: © UNICEF
Rising cases of COVID-19 is complicating an already difficult situation, according to the head of the UNICEF office in Lebanon.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, it is more critical than ever to ensure that children and families whose lives were turned upside down by the explosion have access to safe water and sanitation,” said Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Lebanon Representative.
“When communities don’t have access to this critical necessity, the risk of water-borne diseases, as well as COVID-19, can skyrocket,” she added.
The situation is particularly distressing for some 300,000 people – including around 100,000 children – whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the blast.
Though public water sustained only minor damage and remains mostly functional, the explosion cut off more than one hundred buildings from the water supply network and damaged the water systems in over 500 others. This compounded an already precarious situation in terms of access to safe water and sanitation in the greater Beirut area.
UNICEF response In the immediate aftermath of the 4 August explosion, UNICEF along with partners and water authorities assessed the damage to water infrastructure and began responding to pressing needs, supporting repairs where needed.
UNICEF and partners also reconnected over one hundred buildings to the public water system and installed 570 water tanks in damaged ones, trucked water for households, provided water to first responders, and distributed over 4,300 hygiene and 620 baby kits to affected families.
UNICEF is also providing training and resources to equip thousands of young people across Lebanon with the skills they need to help rebuild their country, including training on repairs and maintenance of critical water and sanitation infrastructure.
Ensuring people can wash hands safely, against COVID Making sure communities can wash hands with soap and safe water is also vital to protect against coronavirus.
“One of our immediate priorities was ensuring that children and families affected, as well as critical frontline responders, had access to safe water,” said Ms. Mokuo, adding:
“Working with the relevant authorities and our partners we’ve been able to reach more than 6,650 children and their families, but there is so much more to do, and time is of the essence.”
#UN; #Chad; #IOM; #Migrants; #HumaitarianAid
Chad/UN, Aug 28 (Canadian-Media): More than 360,000 internally displaced persons in Chad’s Lake province are facing a “double” crisis, exposed to security and environmental risks, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported, highlighting the need to strengthen resilience of affected communities.
Women walk at a camp sheltering internally displaced persons in Mellia, Lac region, in western Chad. (file photo). Image credit: OCHA/Ivo Brandau
According to Paul Dillon, an IOM spokesperson, while the region has been a target of repeated attacks by insurgents since 2015, the situation has worsened dramatically in 2020.
"Recurrent security attacks and incursions by non-State armed groups since the beginning of the year prompted the Chadian Government in March to declare the departments of Fouli and Kaya, two of Lake Chad’s borderlands departments ‘war zones’,” he said.
Since April, the number of the displaced has increased by almost 22 per cent, according to the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix, a tool to monitor displacement and movement of people in emergency or crisis situations.
Located in the western part of Chad, the Lake (or Lac) region borders Nigeria and Niger. The three nations along with Cameroon form the Lake Chad Basin, where thousands have lost their lives and millions forced to flee their homes due to attacks by non-State armed insurgents.
The crisis has also exacerbated food security, leaving many dependent on humanitarian assistance.
This is a worrying trend as the displacement is recurrent, protracted due to the deterioration of security and environmental situations, and involves large in numbers of people – IOM spokesperson
In addition to the security challenges, the situation in the Lake region has been further complicated by some of the heaviest rainfall in nearly 30 years, with roughly 400 millimetres of rainfall that resulted in flash floods in villages and fields.
“This is a worrying trend as the displacement is recurrent, protracted due to the deterioration of security and environmental situations, and involves large in numbers of people,” said Mr. Dillon.
In response, IOM is providing emergency assistance to vulnerable populations. It has delivered more than 2,500 transitory and semi-permanent shelters to nearly 13,000 persons; and over 2,700 non-food item packages including hygiene kits, sleeping mats, clothes and basic cooking equipment for over 14,000 persons.
However, much more is needed immediately as many families are facing heavy rainfall without proper housing, with the added complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, three-quarters of the displaced persons IOM identified live in displacement sites, most of which are made of straw and metal shelters.
Many of them sleep in the open without adequate protection from bad weather, with limited access to amenities such as water, hygiene facilities, health services and COVID-19 protective equipment.
#UN; #Kenya; #HumanitarinAid; #WFP
UN/Kenya, Aug 23 (Canadian-Media): Hundreds of tons of fresh and edible vegetables which are typically dumped because they do not meet the aesthetic requirements for export are ending up on the plates of hungry Kenyan students thanks to the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).
Vegetables which don't meet certain aesthetic standards set by importers are often destroyed. Image credit: Unsplash/Markus Spiske
Each day, farms in Kenya reject up to 83 tons of perfectly nutritious vegetables simply because they are considered too ugly and off-putting for consumers, especially in the developed world, to buy.
WFP has piloted a project in three schools in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, which has provided 11,000 pounds or 5.5 tons of green beans, peas, and broccoli which has been tuned into lunch for 2,200 children over 75 school days.
Read more here about how ugly veggies are feeding Kenya’s hungry kids.
What does food waste have to do with childhood malnutrition? Consider these two facts:
Over four months, the U.N. World Food Programme helped rescue more than 11,000 pounds of green beans, snow peas, snap peas and broccoli — enough to feed 2,200 children for 75 school days.
Protecting people from conflict, cyclones and COVID-19 in Mozambique: a UN Resident Coordinator blog
#UN; #Mozambique; #Conflict; #HumanitarianAid; #cyclones; #Covid19
United Nations/Mozambique, Aug 23 (Canadian-Media): By the UN Resident Coordinator Myrta Kaulard, Laura Tomm-Bonde, IOM Chief of Mission and Samuel Chakwera, UNHCR Resident Representative, all based in Mozambique.
Zaina's mother, Cremesta, has moved into her daughter's home in Montepuez after fleeing from conflict. Image credit: UN Mozambique/Philip Hatcher-Moore
In the town of Montepuez, Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique, Zaina, a mother of four, is hosting her elderly mother, sister, and ten nieces and nephews, all of whom fled their villages due to the escalation of violence in the province. Now the relatives live together in Zaina's two-bedroom home and Zaina has welcomed them to stay while they are unable to return.
Normally, Zaina makes and sells popcorn and cakes to support her children. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, street sales are no longer allowed and she is currently seeking alternatives to provide for her household which has grown from five to 17 people.
The UN Secretary-General, in the Policy Brief: COVID-19 and People on the Move, points out that COVID-19 hits the most vulnerable people the hardest, including refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs). They are at increased risk, many having fled conflict and natural disasters, living in potentially crowded conditions in host communities or camps with limited resources to protect themselves, and often with a precarious livelihood.
COVID-19 compounding existing problems
These risks are also present in Mozambique. Just last year, Mozambique experienced two severe cyclones, Idai and Kenneth. As a result of the cyclones, over 100,000 people live now in resettlement sites, and hundreds of thousands more are still recovering. At the same time, drought has affected southern parts of the country while insecurity in the north has displaced over 250,000 people. The health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 are worsening these already complex dynamics.
Kiza Onesphor, a 49-year-old refugee and physician from Democratic Republic of the Congo, lives in Maratane Refugee Camp in the Province of Nampula. He was recruited as a Community Health Volunteer, along with other members from the refugee and local communities, to disseminate COVID-19 prevention measures.
Kiza describes COVID-19 as a bomb for which no one was prepared. He believes the dangers of COVID-19 are not fully understood and aims to expand the understanding and self-protection capacities of around 9,500 refugees and asylum seekers living in Maratane.
For Zaina, Kiza and their families, COVID-19 is a crisis on the top of other crises. Yet, they share the little they have, demonstrating the power of solidarity and how it is key to defeating COVID-19. Recognizing their contributions, the contributions of people on the move, is very important for COVID-19 response plans to include refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs and host communities.
Together with the Government and partners, the UN is working in full coordination with local and national authorities on harmonizing providing life-saving and life-sustaining assistance for all people living in Mozambique.
Preventing the virus spreading in displacement camps
When providing humanitarian assistance, the priority is to save lives, ensuring that those who are most vulnerable are protected. To this end, the UN is supporting the national authorities-led health response to COVID-19 in scaling up Mozambique’s preparedness and response operations, especially by helping to prevent the spread of the virus in resettlement, transit and refugee camps; it is also supporting food assistance interventions.
The UN, humanitarian community, Mozambican institutions and partners are coming together and - along with host communities and local leaders – fostering a dialogue on how to strengthen communities’ support networks and resilience.
Peacebuilding and health education programmes in northern Mozambique are working in communities with large numbers of displaced families, to educate on COVID-19 prevention and promote community dialogue to strengthen social cohesion and mitigate social tensions induced by displacement. The UN is also providing shelter support for displaced families in northern Mozambique, to reduce crowding in host communities, and enable improved adherence to physical distancing precautions.
We need to prioritize the creation of income-generating opportunities with focus on a recovery process that builds back better. From supporting tailors and community members in resettlement sites and refugee camps to produce hand-made face masks and providing families in resettlement sites with training and equipment to rear chickens and boost their livelihoods, UN Mozambique recognizes and is responding to the need for people on the move and host communities to support themselves and their families during and after the pandemic.
We need to truly engage communities and harness their power, particularly the power of youth, to successfully trace the path towards a resilient society that can overcome COVID-19, security challenges and support people on the move with lasting peace. It is only through trust building and cohesion that we will be able to continue protecting and empowering people on the move and host communities.
National institutions’ response to contain and prevent the COVID-19 outbreak was swift, focused, and effective in reducing the spread of the disease. Three months after identifying the first case, there are currently over 2,000 cases in Mozambique. This demonstrates the urgency of continued preventive measures against the coronavirus.
UN $103 million appeals
The UN and humanitarian community recently launched two appeals, the COVID-19 Flash Appeal and the Rapid Response Plan for Cabo Delgado, totaling approximately $103 million, to address the most critical needs of millions of people facing severe humanitarian conditions, who would be unable to withstand the health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic, including those who have been displaced by the increasing insecurity in northern Mozambique.
Through these plans, the United Nations and the humanitarian community will continue to support Mozambique with progress toward sustainable development through the COVID-19 response. The UN has joined efforts with the international community to support cohesion in policies and engagement and to complement resource mobilization to provide Mozambique with the vital support needed during the COVID-19 period.
We have done all we could with the resources we had. A lot has been done, but additional efforts and resources are urgently needed. This is a time for true solidarity; a time for partners worldwide to stand together with Mozambique and to help protect the lives of the most vulnerable, to protect the lives of the many Zainas, Kizas and their families across the country.
The United Nations is committed to continue working together hand in hand with Mozambican institutions and civil society to act and advance the lives of people on the move and the most vulnerable in Mozambique during this crisis and beyond.
The UN Resident Coordinator
The UN Resident Coordinator, sometimes called the RC, is the highest-ranking representative of the UN development system at the country level. In this occasional series, UN News is inviting RCs to blog on issues important to the United Nations and the country where they serve.
Rohingya crisis needs lasting solutions, renewed commitment amid COVID-19 pandemic, UN refugee agency
#UN; #Bangladesh; #UNHCR; #Refugees; #Covid19
Bangladesh/UN, Aug 22 (Canadian-Media): Three years after violence in Myanmar forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh, the international community must adapt its assistance to the critical needs of those displaced and the host communities supporting them, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.
August 2020 marks three years on from the last exodus of Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar and sought sanctuary in Bangladesh.
Image credit: © UNHCR/Areez Tanbeen Rahman
“The COVID-19 pandemic has added additional complexities,” UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told journalists the regular news briefing in Geneva.
Bangladesh hosts 9 of 10 Rohingya refugees
Mr. Mahecic said UNHCR and the Government of Bangladesh have individually registered over 860,000 Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazar settlements.
The country now hosts nine out of 10 Rohingya refugees registered in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring their protection and offering life-saving support. “This generosity must be acknowledged through continued investment in both Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities,” Mr. Mahecic said.
Holistic approach to safe return
Creating conditions that are conducive to the Rohingya people’s safe and sustainable return to Myanmar will require whole-of-society engagement, he said, as well as resumed dialogue between Myanmar authorities and Rohingya refugees.
It will also require measures to build trust, Mr. Mahecic said, such as lifting restrictions on freedom of movement, reconfirming that internally displaced Rohingya can return to their villages and providing a clear pathway towards citizenship.
Outside Myanmar, UNHCR said collective efforts must aim to both ensure dignity and improve long-term prospects. Advancing lasting solutions in Myanmar will be pivotal. Mr. Mahecic also called for providing study and work opportunities outside of asylum countries, and third-country pathways for the most vulnerable.
Solution lies in Myanmar
Ultimately, the agency said,the solution to the plight of Rohingyas lies in Myanmar - and fully implementing recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine state, to which the Government has committed.
The strength of the Rohingya in exile in Bangladesh and elsewhere have formed the backbone of UNHCR’s humanitarian response,Mr. Mahecic said. Recognizing their courage means ensuring they are not forgotten as the crisis enters a fourth year.
COVID-19 pushes Rohingya towards Malaysia
Since the global health crisis began, the agency has reported an increase in the number of Rohingyas moving from Bangladesh and Myanmar, towards Malaysia and other countries in Southeast Asia.
“No solution, great poverty and lack of opportunities in the camps in Bangladesh, now maybe also couple with the lockdown that was made necessary by COVID that has added to the hardship,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said in comments coinciding with World Refugee Day, commemorated annually on 20 June.