Lebanon, Deputy Secretary-General's Travels, Middle East & other topics- Daily Press Briefing

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21-Dec-2021 00:23:20
Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General spoke to the press in Beirut today, and he said that it grieves him to see the people of Lebanon suffering so much. Despite the strains they endure, he added, the warmth and generosity of the Lebanese people continues to shine.

The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, wrapped up her visit to Costa Rica yesterday.

Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council this morning and expressed his continued concern over recent developments in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in particular the deteriorating security situation.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is concerned about the unfolding security situation in Tripoli. The current mobilization of forces affiliated with different groups creates tensions and increases the risk of clashes that could spiral into conflict.

The situation in the northern region of Ethiopia remains highly fluid and unpredictable, despite some reported improvements in the security situation in areas where fighting has recently erupted, such as the border areas between Afar and Amhara.

Yesterday, multiple airstrikes struck at least six areas of Sana’a International Airport in Yemen. A UN team visited Sana’a airport today to assess the damage.

From Myanmar, the UN Country Team there remains deeply concerned over increasing internal displacement and more people needing humanitarian assistance as a result of conflict, political instability and COVID-19 since the military takeover on 1 February.

Today, at the end of a three-day visit to Iran, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, urged the international community to scale up its support to the Government and people of Iran, who are receiving Afghans fleeing a deteriorating situation in their country. According to preliminary estimates by the Government of Iran, up to 500,000 Afghans have arrived in Iran this year.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Barbados, Bolivia, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines recently received doses through COVAX which were donated by the United States and Spain. Some 56 per cent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated. Namibia is facing a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, with the recent detection of the Omicron variant contributing to this increase. As of 17 December, nearly 390,000 people had received their first vaccine dose, while more than 230,000 people were fully vaccinated. Namibia has received 108,000 doses through COVAX.

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