Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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22-Oct-2019 00:22:04
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that nearly two weeks after the start of the Turkish operations in northeastern Syria, more than 176,000 people have been displaced, including nearly 80,000 children. Also, critical infrastructure has been damaged. Apart from the Alouk water station, power lines have been damaged and at least four medical facilities are reported to be affected.

The Alouk water station, which serves over 400,000 people in Al-Hassakeh city and the surrounding displacement camps, has received temporary repairs, and generators are now being used to supply safe water for the population in the area.

Imran Riza, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, visited the northeast, and upon his return to Damascus, said he is grateful that appeals for humanitarian access were successful and that the teams were able to restore water and avert more serious humanitarian problems for residents in the area.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has reached families trapped in Yemen’s Durayhimi City with much-needed humanitarian assistance. This is only the second time in over a year that WFP has been able to reach the town, which lies about 20 kms south of Hodeidah.

While most of the city’s residents have fled, some 200 civilians remain and are now highly vulnerable as fighting rages around them. There are no functioning health facilities and shops are bare. Finding enough to eat is a struggle.

Last week, WFP and sister UN agencies distributed a three-month supply of food, as well as nutrition supplements, water, medicine, and hygiene kits.

The United Nations are closely following developments in Bolivia and are concerned about the reports of incidents of violence following the elections.

In this phase of the electoral process, the United Nations urge all political leaders and their followers to reduce tension, abstain from acts of violence and follow legal means for electoral dispute resolution.

The United Nations call on all Bolivians to exercise restraint and maintain the commendable civic spirit demonstrated by participating in these elections.

The Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, will travel to the South Caucasus region from 24 to 30 October, in connection with the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and to pay working visits to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

David Beasley, the Head of the World Food Programme (WFP), wrapped up a two-day visit to Sudan today.

There, he met with leaders of the new Government, noting after his meeting with Prime Minister Hamdok that WFP is ready to support the Government and people during this historic moment.

Mr. Beasley also travelled to Kosti, where he saw three WFP-contracted barges carrying humanitarian food aid, enough for 370,000 people for one month. The resumption of river transport down the Nile to South Sudan was made possible by collaboration between the two governments and a recognition by all parties that the transport of humanitarian assistance is vital to conflict-affected civilians in South Sudan.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), reiterated the UN’s commitment to supporting the region.

In remarks delivered in Senegal, at the 9th meeting of the Steering Committee of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, Mr. Chambas said that the success of the UN’s intervention in the region relies on the partnerships we build and as we coordinate our efforts, internally and externally.

The meeting’s objective was to review the current initiatives and also to explore ways to strengthen the implementation of the UN strategy to address the growing complexity of the situation in the Sahel.

UN agencies who were also at the meeting raised the many challenges facing humanitarian response, in particular constraints to humanitarian access and protection.

They also stressed the need to ensure that resources are mobilized in a timely manner to assist governments of the region to address the security and development challenges they face.

UNICEF says lack of funding threatens lifesaving humanitarian programmes for millions of children living in areas affected by conflict and disaster.

To date this year, UNICEF has received only about half of the $4 billion needed to meet the basic health, education, nutrition and protection needs of 41 million children in 59 countries.

Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF, said that while they continue to appeal for an end to conflicts and better readiness to emergencies, they need additional donor support to meet children’s most basic needs.

The emergencies with the largest funding gaps include: Pakistan, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Venezuela.

Large-scale emergencies in Syria and neighboring countries, in Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bangladesh also remain significantly underfunded.

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