Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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01-Aug-2018 00:11:40
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Today, the Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Helen Meagher La Lime of the United States as his Special Representative for Haiti and Head of the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

Ms. La Lime will succeed Susan D. Page of the United States, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedicated service and effective leadership of MINUJUSTH.

Ms. La Lime has had a distinguished career with the United States Foreign Service. She most recently served as the Ambassador of the United States to Angola from 2014 to 2017, and as Director of Outreach of the US Africa Command in Germany, from 2011 to 2013.

The UN Mission there today welcomed the announcement by the Independent Election Commission of the date for the presidential election which will take place on 20 April 2019.

According to the Election Commission, more than 8.9 million Afghans, including more than three million women have registered to vote in both the parliamentary and presidential elections.

The UN has confirmed that an employee of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) was killed in yesterday’s attack on the Department of Refugees and Returnees in Jalalabad. The attack claimed the lives of at least 13 civilians and injured 20 others. One of the injured was also an IOM colleague.

“We mourn the loss of our colleague and, in tribute, commit ourselves to re-double our work to serve Afghanistan and its peoples,” said Mr. Yamamoto. IOM Director General William Lacy Swing also expressed his condolences and said there is no justification for such acts of terror.

In a joint statement issued today, the senior UN humanitarian officials in the occupied Palestinian territory have expressed their deep concern over the continued violation of children’s rights in and around the Gaza strip. The statement was issued by the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jamie McGoldrick, along with James Heenan, the head of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UNICEF’s Special Representative in the State of Palestine, Genevieve Boutin.

The senior UN officials describe how children in Gaza continue to be killed and injured. Meanwhile, children in Israel and Gaza continue to be exposed to fear, trauma and grave injuries.

They called on all sides to put children’s rights ahead of any other considerations and to take immediate steps to alleviate their suffering.

Yesterday, a convoy of 186 people from southwestern Syria – many of them women and children – arrived in northwestern Syria following a local agreement reached between the parties in their location of origin.

Most of the internally displaced people (IDPs) received assistance from an NGO-run reception centre. They will then move to locations where they can be supported in the northwest. However, communities in the northwest are already overstretched as they are supporting over 1.3 million IDPs throughout the area.

With this evacuation, the total number of people that have been evacuated from southwest Syria to the northwest has risen to over 10,000.

The United Nations was not party to the negotiated agreements or their implementation, but stands ready to provide all people in need with humanitarian assistance, wherever they are.

We remind all parties to the conflict that any evacuation of civilians should be safe, voluntary, well informed and to a place of their own choosing. All people displaced through such agreements must retain the right of return as soon as the situation allows.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that seasonal flooding due to the monsoons are impacting several countries across southeast Asia.

In Myanmar, 148,000 people have been displaced by flooding since 9 July. Several UN agencies and NGOs are assessing needs and providing assistance.

In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the rains that caused the collapse of the Attapeu Province dam have not yet receded. Search and rescue operations continue with assistance from the UN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, many countries and the private sector.

In Cambodia, more than 4,700 families have been affected by flooding with at least two deaths reported. Rising flood waters in the Mekong River pose a further risk.

In Thailand, five provinces have been affected by flooding after the Mekong banks burst.

The UN is liaising closely with the national governments and providing assistance.

As rains continue in many areas, the risk of further flooding remains acute and the UN is on stand-by to respond as required to assist communities in need.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today appealed for $120 million dollars to reach 3.6 million people who urgently require humanitarian and agricultural assistance.

In a new report, FAO identified the most underfunded crises in the world which include emergencies in Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria which have been hit by drought, Bangladesh which has been affected by a severe monsoon season, a resurgence of violence in the Central African Republic, the upcoming hurricane season in Haiti, and lean seasons in Iraq, Myanmar and the Sahel.

Without adequate funding, these crises could push millions of people into acute hunger and food insecurity, jeopardizing their well-being, lives and future, FAO warned.
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