This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Bid to deliver aid ‘to up to 14 million’ in Yemen where people risk becoming ‘living ghosts’: WFP
Efforts are being made to step up life-saving aid from eight million to 14 million stricken Yemenis a month, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, before urging warring parties to spare the key Red Sea port of Hudaydah.
The UN relief agency made the appeal amid a renewed spike of fighting around Hudaydah city and its port, which receives up to 70 per cent of the country’s aid.
In Geneva, WFP spokesperson Herve Verhoosel said that Yemen risked becoming a country of “living ghosts” unless fighting ceased between Government forces and Houthi opposition militia, who’ve clashed since March 2015:
“We are more-or-less confident that we can still import the food that we want. Obviously, the port needs to stay open. Today we have enough stock in the country for the urgent need of this month and next month. But for the future, with the plans we have to reach many more millions of people, we will need more access.”
Yemen is already the largest hunger crisis in the world, with millions of people living on the edge of famine in one of the poorest countries on the planet, the UN has warned repeatedly.
Youngsters are particularly at risk in Hudaydah and neighbouring governates, according to UN Children’s Fund UNICEF. where they account for 40 per cent of the 400,000 children in Yemen who suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
Cameroon alert as refugee arrivals reach 30,000 in Nigeria
To Nigeria now, where more than 30,000 Cameroonians have now arrived after fleeing violence at home that’s linked to a secessionist crisis which erupted last year.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said that four in five of those it has registered are women and children.
They’re sheltering in the Nigerian states of Akwa, Ibom, Cross River, Benue and Taraba, mostly with host communities.
Most of the latest arrivals said they had been ordered to leave their homes, amid clashes which have claimed 400 lives so far this year.
Here’s UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch:
“Based on what we are hearing inside Nigeria from those refuges, what they’ve been telling us is that gunmen, we know that recently, the violence has intensified between the separatists and the Government forces. And we were not present at the locations inside Cameroon where this has happened, so it’s very hard to establish, but these are accounts that refugees are giving us.”
Official border points are closed between the two countries, but UNHCR and partners are present inside Nigeria at informal access points, to assess needs and relocate people to safer settlements in Agadom and Anyake.
Access is very limited to Cameroon’s troubled north-west and south-west where UNHCR believes some 436,000 have been displaced by the crisis.
IOM migrant caravan survey
And finally, to the results of a study into why people joined one of the so-called “migrant caravans” that’s been heading northwards through Central America, bound for the United States.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which carried out the survey, almost four in five men, women and children who left San Salvador on 31 October to join a caravan of 1,700 people, said they were seeking a better quality of life.
Just under half said they were escaping violence or insecurity and less than one in 30 said they were relocating to be with a family member.
Additional data showed that adults make up more than four in five of all those travelling, while just over one in 10 are children.
IOM says that the information has been shared with Governments and civil society to help plan how to better respond in future to human caravans, which are a relatively common part of life in Central America.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.