This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
UN ‘deeply concerned’ over hostilities in north-west Syria
United Nations humanitarian agencies have voiced “deep concern” over reports of fresh hostilities throughout north-west Syria, including in areas said to be in or near zones that are supposed to be demilitarized.
According to UN Deputy-Spokesperson Farhan Haq, several civilian casualties and temporary displacements have been reported due to clashes.
Three million women, children and men in the last rebel stronghold of Idlib are at risk should fighting escalate further, he warned.
Here’s Mr. Haq:
“The United Nations continues to reiterate that a full-scale escalation of hostilities must be averted at all costs, and that failure to do so will bring about humanitarian suffering at a scale not yet seen in the conflict.”
He also reminded the parties of their obligations under international law to protect civilians.
Over 1,000 families displaced following increased fighting in Afghanistan
Over 1,000 families have been displaced in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan and Ghazni provinces, following renewed conflict since 10 November.
Fighting is reported between Taliban extremists, supported by local Pashtun communities, and pro-Government Hazara militia, raising fears of intercommunal tensions.
According to an update on Wednesday from the UN humanitarian wing, OCHA, precise information on the impact of the fighting and civilian casualties cannot be verified due to disrupted road and telecommunications links.
There are also reports that homes have been burned and civilian vehicles stolen or confiscated. Food, medicines and essential supplies are said to be running out.
OCHA has called on all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law, protect civilians and support humanitarian relief efforts.
“This includes ensuring safe passage for civilians attempting to leave conflict-affected areas. Civilian objects, including schools and health facilities, must not be used for military purposes,” said OCHA.
World Diabetes Day
Wednesday, 14th November, also marks the World Diabetes Day.
This year’s theme focusses on how the deadly chronic disease impacts families, and the role that family members play in prevention, early diagnosis and management of the disease.
According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), more than 400 million people live with Diabetes worldwide, and that figure is likely to rise unless major lifestyle changes are made, especially when it comes to diet.
It is also a major cause of premature dying, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and amputation.
Besides the economic burden on national health-care systems, diabetes can also impose economic hardships on people it affects and their families, said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Universal health coverage, is therefore critical for essential diabetes care so families can be supported in their time of need, he urged.
Alongside, eating healthy food, physical activity and exercise, as well as regular health check-ups can reduce the risk of the disease, health experts say.
Vibhu Mishra, United Nations