Deep concern continues for up to 2.5 million civilians in Syria’s Idlib
UN humanitarian agencies continue to be deeply concerned about the safety of up to 2.5 million civilians who are living in mostly rebel-held areas of Idlib Governorate in Syria.
The uptick in fighting between armed groups in the enclave plus a spike in the number of displaced Syrian civilians who’ve sought refuge there means that the humanitarian response is now at a breaking point, a senior UN official said on Monday.
Here’s UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
“We continue to be deeply concerned for the safety and protection of up to 2.5 million civilians in Idlib Governorate, including some 1.2 million internally displaced people, following continued air strikes in the area. At least 66 women, children and men have reportedly lost their lives, and scores more have been injured in air strikes over the past week.”
Highlighting continuing efforts by the UN Special Envoy for Syria to bring warring parties to the negotiating table, Mr. Dujarric said that Staffan de Mistura, had invited senior Iranian, Russian and Turkish officials to Geneva for consultations next week.
Terrorism diverting resources away from development in Central Africa, warns UN envoy
The fight against terrorism is diverting much-needed resources away from development towards “costly” security measures, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa, François Louncény Fall, told the Security Council on Wednesday.
All 11 countries that are under his area are experiencing political tensions, including countries impacted by conflict such as the Central African Republic or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said.
Mr. Fall also stressed that the situation in the Central African Republic continues to have a negative impact on the situation in the region, with massive movements of population.
Here’s Stéphane Dujarric again.
“Mr. Fall detailed recent political developments in Chad, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Burundi. He also stressed that violence in Cameroon, both linked to Boko Haram and to tensions in the anglophone areas, were a source of major concern. The UN will continue to call on all people to refrain from any act of violence, he said.”
Infant mortality among Palestine refugees is not decreasing, says new UN study
In most parts of the world, infant mortality is decreasing, but not for families in Gaza being served by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, otherwise known as UNRWA.
That’s according to a new report from the agency, which said that it was a “warning sign” of an alarming trend in health conditions being faced not only by infants, but refugees of all ages.
The Director of UNRWA’s Health Department, Dr. Akihiro Seita, said the grim statistics on infant mortality were “a barometer of the health of an entire population”.
The new study found that the infant mortality rate among Palestine refugees in Gaza stands at 22.7 per 1,000 live births, similar to figures previously reported in 2015 and 2006.