This is the news in brief from the United Nations.
Security Council heads to DR Congo as Ebola threatens regional stability
The 15-Member UN Security Council is visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, in an effort to highlight the on-going outbreak of deadly Ebola in one of the nation’s worst combat zones.
The Council issued a statement on the importance of getting medical teams to all areas affected by the latest outbreak, in north-eastern DRC, before it spreads to neighbouring countries, possibly impacting regional stability.
The appeal came after Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, WHO, briefed Council members.
He stressed that the response to the outbreak faced significant challenges, including the security situation in the Beni area of North Kivu, where recent attacks led to a break in operations for several days.
Council members will also be focusing on preparations being made in DRC for key national elections, due this December.
Shortages and infrastructure collapse, hampers Indonesia relief effort
The death toll continues to climb in Indonesia, following Friday’s deadly earthquake and tsunami, with the UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA, reporting on Thursday that nearly sixteen hundred have lost their lives, with more than two and a half thousand injured.
Around 66,000 houses are damaged and nearly 71,000 are now homeless.
Hospitals and clinics are reportedly overwhelmed and are experiencing shortages of medical supplies and staff.
More details, from UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.
“In addition to the destruction of roads and other critical infrastructure, there have been numerous land and mudslides, hampering the delivery of relief. UNICEF is planning to work on family tracing and reunification with the Government and the Red Cross, as well as providing psychosocial support to children. OCHA also stressed that, while much of the focus has been on ensuring that people receive life-saving assistance in Sulawesi, it is also important to remember that this disaster comes on the heels of a series of earthquakes in Lombok in July and August of this year. Efforts to help people affected there are ongoing.”
Global food prices drop more than 7 per cent year-on-year: FAO
World food prices fell 1.4 per cent from August and are now 7.4 per cent lower than their level in September last year, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Thursday.
The FAO Food Price Index measures monthly changes in the prices of five key commodities.
Cereals fell 2.8 percent, led by maize in anticipation of a bumper crop in the United States. Rice and wheat prices also fell, due primarily to strong sales and shipments from the Russia.
Vegetable and dairy prices also were down just under 2.5 per cent, with vegetables posting their eighth consecutive monthly decline, to a three-year low.
The FAO Sugar Price Index is 21 percent below its September 2017 level, while it rose 2.6 percent from August, due to low yield forecasts in Brazil, India and Indonesia.
Matt Wells, United Nations.