News in Brief 12 September 2017 (PM)

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WFP giving out emergency food in Haiti, now moving to help those in Caribbean worst hit by Hurricaine Irma. Photo: WFP

Aid distribution hub established on Antigua for Irma victims

A new operational hub for distributing emergency aid to victims of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean has been established on the island of Antigua, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Tuesday.

Irma decimated many islands in the region as it barrelled west towards Florida, including Barbuda.

Almost the entire population – some 1400 people – has been evacuated to Antigua.

WFP is providing around 20 metric tons of high-energy biscuits, enough to feed 17,000 for three days.

Life-saving assistance is being followed up with cash payments for around 20,000 in the eastern Caribbean, who have lost homes and livelihoods.

More details from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"WFP is also launching an emergency operation for the Western Caribbean islands including Turks and Caicos territory which is serving as an operational hub for that region. Also being transported by WFP to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean are crucial non-food items, including mobile storage units, tarpaulins, prefabs, generators and other logistics and telecommunications support equipment. WFP has also offered to support the government of Cuba by providing food and logistical assistance where it is needed."

UN chief welcomes latest Security Council resolution on North Korea

The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the Security Council adoption of a resolution tightening sanctions against North Korea, following its sixth nuclear test.

António Guterres said that "firm action" by the Council sent a clear message that DPRK must comply fully with its international obligations.

He added there needed to be a return to dialogue on ending the country's nuclear weapons programme, and he called on all Member States to ensure Security Council resolutions were implemented.

More from Stéphane Dujarric again.

"The Secretary-General also said that he has taken note of the Security Council's desire for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation, as well as its urging of further work to reduce tensions. He reaffirmed his commitment to work with all parties to this end and to strengthen communications channels."

Five decades of occupation has "hollowed-out" Palestinian economy: UNCTAD

Following 50 years of Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, development is going backwards for Palestinians living there, due to dire socioeconomic conditions, weak infrastructure, and falling aid.

That's according to a new report from UN trade agency, UNCTAD.

The report says that a vicious cycle of tightening occupation has hollowed out the agricultural and industrial sectors, and weakened the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The real GDP per capita in Gaza remains the same as it was eight years ago.

"Extreme" youth unemployment, highlighted by the UNCTAD report, is a threat to the future of the Palestinian people as they are forced to find jobs under dangerous and biased conditions, often without any health or social safety net.

The vast majority of people in Gaza still receive food aid while half of the population are food-insecure.

UNCTAD also points out that falling donor support will have a negative impact on the Palestinian economy.

Despite the ongoing challenges, the agency continues to provide assistance to Palestinian trade, finance and economic development.

Civilian casualties down in Ukraine, but ceasefire fails to take hold

There was a drop in civilian casualties due to conflict in eastern Ukraine during August, likely due to a June ceasefire which never full took-hold.

That's according to the latest report by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, which recorded 26 conflict-related civilian deaths and 135 injuries between mid-May and mid-August of this year.
The Mission says that more than 2,800 civilians have been killed and up to 9,000 injured in the conflict overall, between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Matt Wells, United Nations.



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