This is the news in brief from the United Nations.
Venezula asylum numbers already higher than last year: UNHCR
Some 117,000 Venezuelans have claimed asylum already this year - more than for the whole of last year, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.
Earlier, the agency welcomed the Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court’s decision to reverse a lower court judge’s ruling that briefly closed the country’s border with its northern neighbour.
UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler said that hundreds of Venezuelans cross into Brazil’s northern Roraima state every day in search of safety.
This had led to problems with existing residents, he told journalists:
“There were some tensions between the local people and Venezuelans. We understand that there has been a large influx in Roraima and that’s why we are helping the authorities to cope with the situation.”
To date, UNHCR has helped more than 800 Venezuelans relocate to other areas in Brazil in order to alleviate the strain on Roraima, which has seen the greatest influx of people seeking shelter.
The development comes amid reports of widespread food and medicine shortages in Venezuela, along with skyrocketing inflation, political unrest and violence.
More than 2,000 Somalis return home amid growing conflict in Yemen
Somali refugees stranded in Yemen are being helped to return home from the war-torn country, with more than 2,000 successfully repatriated to the Horn of Africa since last year, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has announced.
The latest returns arrived in the port of Berbera in Somalia on Monday after sailing from Aden at the weekend.
Yemen currently hosts over 250,000 refugees from Somalia; the majority live in Kharaz refugee camp and Basateen settlement, in the south of the country.
A smaller number of Ethiopians also require repatriation, according to IOM, the UN Migration Agency.
Earlier this week it helped more than 130 Ethiopians home from Hudaydah, the embattled Red Sea port, where a Saudi-led international coalition has been fighting to oust Houthi rebels.
Despite the violence, the number of arrivals from the Horn of Africa to Yemen is expected to reach 100,000 this year, as people seek work opportunities in the Gulf States to the north.
Indonesia quake has left ‘ghost towns’ and destruction
The full extent of the death toll and damage caused by the latest deadly earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok is still unknown, amid reports of more than 100 aftershocks.
At least 114 people died in Monday’s quakes, the strongest one registering seven on the scale of magnitude.
The latest disaster follows another deadly quake just over a week ago in Lombok, which also affected the neighbouring island of Bali.
IFRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said that residents are so scared of staying in their homes that they have abandoned them en masse.
Here’s spokesperson Matthew Cochrane:
“Teams speak of coming across ghost towns or villages that have been somewhat, essentially abandoned. People have left their homes, they are fearful of living, of staying inside or perhaps fearful of another major earthquake or a possible tsunami.”
Around 10,000 people have been displaced so far according to the authorities and 80 per cent of buildings have been destroyed.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.