$38 million appeal launched for conflict-hit Ukraine
Critical humanitarian needs in eastern Ukraine have prompted a UN appeal for nearly $40 million to help more than 300,000 people this year — a significant increase in the number reached to date.
Four years of conflict between government forces and separatists have left communities in the contact zones unable to fulfil their most basic needs.
Joel Millman is a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM):
“We note that the 340,000 people in critical need this year is an increase on the 215,000 the organization has assisted over the four years since the start of the conflict. […] Acute humanitarian needs persist, these include the basics: health care, food, water and, of course, employment.”
Latest IOM data indicates that more than 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting and a further 240,000 injured.
Some 1.2 million people are without enough food to eat, which is double the number in 2016.
And damage to public facilities has left more than 3 million in the east with insufficient water to drink, wash or cook with.
The ongoing unrest has also provoked an increase in human trafficking.
Last year, IOM assisted more than 1,200 victims of trafficking, nearly all of whom were exploited during the conflict.
Mali violence spike drives thousands to Burkina Faso
Violence in Mali has driven thousands of people to seek refuge in neighbouring Burkina Faso, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, warned on Tuesday.
In central regions, dozens of people have been killed in intercommunal clashes between the Dogon and Peul communities in recent months, mainly in the Koro area of Mali’s Mopti region.
In the north, where armed extremists took control in 2012 before being ousted by French troops, ongoing insecurity has forced several thousand people to leave their homes in Soum province.
UNHCR’s William Spindler told journalists in Geneva that the agency feared more displacement and increased humanitarian needs amid a rise in extremist and intercommunal violence.
He urged the new arrivals in Burkina Faso to move to a camp located away from the border with Mali, so they can have access to basic social services.
“With many afraid to travel by road, for fear of kidnappings and murder, they arrived via unofficial border crossings, on foot or in light vehicles. The new displacement adds to the challenges faced by people of the region. Food insecurity is high due to a lack of rain, affecting crops. Health facilities are equally overstretched, with gaps in medicines and staff.”
In Timbuktu in the north of the country, an attack on UN peacekeepers last weekend left one blue helmet dead and seven more injured, along with two civilians.
This was the third attack this month against the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Rights committees join forces for migrant children
New UN guidelines have been devised to help boost protection for migrant children amid a sharp increase in the number of youngsters on the move.
The recommendations coincide with a meeting of the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
It devised the guidelines — known as Joint General Comments — with the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Their publication comes as new UN data indicates that at least 300,000 children in 80 countries are either unaccompanied or separated from their parents.
That’s a rise of almost 500 per cent on the number documented in 2010-2011.
Reasons for migration include a lack of opportunities and human rights violations, the UN Committee on Migrant Workers heard.
On a positive note, Committee member Pablo Ceriani Cernadas noted that thousands of irregular migrants had been able to access their rights in a “realistic, effective and reasonable way”, thanks to States which had responded to their needs with employment and housing initiatives.
But the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families has one of the lowest levels of support of all human rights treaties.
What is more, no major destination country for migrants has ratified it, the Committee heard.