News in Brief 25 January 2018

25 January 2018

“Urgent concrete steps” needed to reverse current course in Middle East

“Urgent concrete steps” need to be taken to change the course of Israeli-Palestinian relations, to avert serious conflict and a “humanitarian disaster”.

That’s the plea from Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefing the Security Council on Thursday.

He urged all parties not to give up on a two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living securely, side by side.

He said the current impasse over peace talks was not new and expressed his deep concern about the effects of the US withholding millions of dollars in funding for the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA.

He said the reduction in funding would only increase suffering and anxiety for the 5.3 million Palestinians living in refugee camps.

“We can wait no longer to reverse the current negative trajectory of the conflict. Every illegal settlement advancement, every person killed and every failed effort in Gaza makes it more difficult for Palestinians and Israelis to overcome their divisions, to rebuild trust, to invest in the goal of resolving the conflict. It is time to break the destructive pattern and begin again to lay the foundations for peace.”

Libya appeal launched to provide “lifesaving” help for 940,000

At least $313 million is needed this year to provide lifesaving assistance to around 940,000 Libyans, who continue to suffer the effects of the oil-rich country’s protracted political crisis.

That’s the message coming from the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Maria Ribeiro, launching the 2018 Libya Humanitarian Response Plan.

In a statement, she said that this third coordinated international appeal, would help to implement 71 projects by 22 different organizations, including national NGOs.

More details, from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

“These projects aim to extend protection to civilians, to ensure access to basic services for internally displaced people, returnees, and the most vulnerable Libyans, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The funds will also help to strengthen families’ capacity to cope with the continued pressures of a life of instability, fragmentation and economic decline.”

Eastern DRC violence fuels one of the “worst displacement crises” for children

At least 1.3 million people — including more than 800,000 children — are facing one of the world’s worst displacement crises due to violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday.

The worst fighting has been between government troops, militia and other armed groups in the provinces of Tanganyika and South Kivu, in the east of the country, driving hundreds of thousands from their homes.

Children in DRC are also being sexually abused and forced to fight, with UNICEF and partners identifying more than 800 cases of sickening abuse.

The true scale of sexual violence being perpetrated is believed to be much larger.

UNICEF said it was “deeply concerned by how the fighting has impacted children’s health and nutritional well-being”.

The agency’s emergency response to the displacement includes multisectoral help and a $65 million appeal for support.

Audio Credit:
Matt Wells, UN News
Audio Duration:
2'54"

 

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