24 billion tons of fertile land lost every year, warns UN chief on World Day to Combat Desertification

Climate Change
UN News/Daniel Dickinson

In a video message released in advance of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, marked on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the world loses 24 billion tons of fertile land every year, and that the degradation in land quality is responsible for a reduction in the national domestic product of up to eight per cent every year.

UNICEF/Jimmy Adriko

Friday’s Daily Brief : Sudan and South Sudan, Ebola, ECOSOC elections, risks of 5G tech

This Friday, we cover: Ebola in central Africa still not declared an international emergency, by the World Health Organization; looming famine in South Sudan; humanitarian concerns in Sudan; new elections at the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); and how 5G technology can jeopardize early warnings of natural disasters.

WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua

South Sudanese facing famine in all but name, warns UN food agency

Record numbers in South Sudan – some seven million people – face acute food shortages, while more than 20,000 are close to famine, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Friday.

UNICEF/Fuad

Yemen: maternal and newborn health ‘on the brink of total collapse’, UNICEF alerts

After more than four years of grinding conflict in Yemen, healthcare for mothers and their babies is “on the brink of collapse”, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday, in a report that highlights the difficulties of childbirth and parenting in a war zone.

UN Photo/Albert Gonzlez Farran

UN suspending handover of camps in Darfur, peacekeeping chief tells Security Council

The joint African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), is suspending the handover of any more camps for displaced civilians to the Sudanese military, against a backdrop of worsening violence and insecurity across the country.

Ahmed Bahhar/Masarib

Sudan: top UN official demands cessation of violence and rape against civilians by security forces

Following recent reports of attacks and rape by security forces and paramilitaries against the pro-democracy protesters in Sudan who have been holding a sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, expressed “grave concern” on Thursday and called for an “immediate and complete” end to the violence.

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