This is the news in brief from the United Nations.
Escalating conflict in Syria’s southwest drives displacement to 270,000
Conflict in Syria’s southwest is worsening and has led to potentially some of the largest displacement numbers there since the start of the war, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.
Some 270,000 people have fled aerial bombardment and ground fighting since June 20, after Government forces launched an assault on Dera’a governorate against opposition militia, according to UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.
In response to the emergency, the World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered enough food for 200,000 people for a month.
Spokesperson Bettina Luescher described the exodus as the “largest population displacement in southern Syria” since the beginning of the war, in 2011.
She added that the violence had also displaced “hundreds” of WFP partner staff, threatening future aid distribution.
“This is limiting our ability to respond on the ground so we are exploring other solutions to accelerate distributions of food and other supplies.”
Palestinian Bedouin community faces demolition, warns UN rights office
A Palestinian Bedouin community is under threat from a demolition order within days to make way for Israeli settlement expansion, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, warned on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Liz Throssell said that the imminent destruction of buildings used by Khan al Ahmar al Helu residents comes after the Israeli High Court ruled against any further delay.
“The community is home to 181 people - more than half of them children - and is one of the 46 Bedouin communities in the central West Bank that the UN views as being at high risk of forcible transfer due to an environment generated by Israeli practices and policies that coerces people and communities to move.”
A school is among the buildings facing demolition.
Destruction orders were issued on the grounds that all the structures were illegally built, Ms Throssell said.
She added that international humanitarian law prohibits the forced transfer of the population of an occupied territory, regardless of the motive.
Poorer countries set to be “increasingly dependent” on food imports: FAO
Poorer countries with rising populations and scarce natural resources are likely to be “increasingly dependent” on imports to feed their people, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Tuesday.
In a report looking at trade in edible commodities over the next decade, the agency says that exports are likely to increase from countries with “abundant” land for agricultural use, notably in the Americas.
This is not the case for the Middle East and North Africa region, where limited land and water will make “import-dependence…high for most commodities”.
More frequent, extreme climate-related events are also expected to challenge these poorer countries, which in addition to limited natural resources, face food insecurity and rising malnutrition.
To tackle the problem, FAO’s Agricultural Outlook recommends that countries move away from water-thirsty cereals and invest in sustainable, rural development and higher-value products.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.