News In Brief 22 January 2018

22 January 2018

“Dignity is Priceless” global campaign launches for Palestine Refugees

A global fundraising campaign got underway on Monday, following a major cut in funding announced by the United States last week for the UN agency which supports Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The #DignityIsPriceless campaign aims to raise $500 million in order to carry on funding education, emergency food and cash assistance for around 1.7 million vulnerable refugees, said the agency.

Speaking at the campaign launch in Gaza, UNRWA chief, Pierre Krähenbühl, said that the agency stood with all Palestinians as “witnesses to your historic plight”.

He said the US contribution of $60 million this year, down from around $350 million last year, would represent an unprecedented cut in funding, including the right to education for around 525,000 boys and girls at more than 700 UNRWA schools.

Mr Krähenbühl pledged to keep schools and vital health facilities open, adding that UNRWA’s unique mandate was “firmly protected” in the UN General Assembly by a large majority of Member States.

“We are determined to connect with this solidarity and sympathy and I call on all people of good will around the world; on private individuals; on institutions; on the Palestinian diaspora; to join us and to ensure that Palestine refugees continue to be supported and to ensure that UNRWA is funded. Each human being on this planet deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and that includes Palestine Refugees.”

Unemployment stabilizes through recovery, but 192 million still jobless

Global unemployment is expected to decrease slightly this year, but remain high overall due to a growing labour force.

That’s according to the International Labor Organization’s latest “World Employment and Social Outlook” report published on Monday.

Here’s ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, who said around 192 million would remain jobless this year.

“The global economy still does not generate enough jobs to significantly lower the number of unemployed, but the unemployment rate is expected to decrease slightly, from 5.6 per cent in 2017, to 5.5 per cent in 2018. That’s the first decrease in three years.”

The ILO data shows that unemployment would fall mainly in developed countries, but rise in emerging and developing labour markets, where the workforce is outstripping jobs growth.

Almost 1.4 billion workers were estimated to be in so-called “vulnerable employment” last year, and an additional 35 million are expected to join them by 2019.

In developing countries, three out of four workers fall into this category.

Nearly 3 billion needed to tackle multiple crises in war-torn Yemen

$2.96 billion is needed to provide life-saving assistance to just over 13 million people across war-torn Yemen, according to the latest UN Humanitarian Response Plan for the country.

Yemenis are not only facing intensified conflict between government and rebel forces, but also the heightened risk of famine, disease outbreaks, collapse of basic services, and mass unemployment.

Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, stressed that the rapidly deteriorating situation has pushed millions of people into a “downward spiral” of crisis.

“Yemen is grappling with outbreaks of cholera – more than one million suspected cases in the largest-ever outbreak in a single year – and diphtheria,” he highlighted, in his foreword to the plan.

Mr McGoldrick also called for “a sustained and unconditional” flow of commercial imports and essential basic goods, without which, he said, Yemen was sliding towards “complete catastrophe”.

Audio Credit:
Matt Wells, United Nations
Audio Duration:


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