This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Global aid appeal targets more than 93 million most in need next year
Tens of millions of people urgently need help in trouble-spots around the world, the UN said on Tuesday, in an appeal for funds that could top $25 billion to support aid projects in over 40 countries.
The organization’s relief chief, Mark Lowcock, told journalists in Geneva that 132 million people will need assistance in 2019; of that number, the UN and its partners aim to support 93.6 million.
“Something like one person in 70 around the world is caught up in crisis and urgently needs humanitarian help or protection. We have a larger number of people displaced, mostly by conflict than we have seen in the world before, nearly 70 million.”
Although Yemen is the largest humanitarian emergency in the world, Mr. Lowcock said needs will remain “exceptionally high” in Syria next year, along with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan.
In Afghanistan, people’s insecurity has also worsened significantly, because of drought, political instability, and an influx of returning refugees, while Cameroon and the Central African Republic (CAR), have seen growing insecurity linked to conflict.
To prepare for natural disasters such as drought and tropical storms next year, the UN has also warned that there is an 80 per cent chance of an El Niño happening, which is linked to extreme weather events.
Yemen’s warring parties ‘yearning’ for end to conflict: WFP chief
Amid preparations for as-yet unconfirmed talks to discuss an end to the fighting in Yemen, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) has said that all the warring parties may finally be “yearning for a solution” to the conflict.
David Beasley’s comments in Geneva follow his recent visit to the war-torn country, which took in Government-held Aden in the south, opposition-held Sana’a in the north, and the embattled Red Sea port of Hudaydah in the west.
“I sensed - from all sides - exhaustion, mentally, spiritually, physically about this war. I think from the ones I have talked to, they are yearning for a solution and let’s hope that these peace talks that start tomorrow, the day after, will yield to a path forward to providing some hope for the children of this country.”
Mr Beasley highlighted the food insecurity “catastrophe” that has affected millions of civilians in Yemen and said that in addition to humanitarian aid, what Yemen needs most is sustained economic support from the international community.
Currently, WFP feeds about one-third of the population, some eight million people, and it plans to increase support to another four million.
Talks are slated to begin in Sweden on Thursday, led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.
War used as ‘selling point’ by people smugglers to ship migrants to Yemen
And staying with Yemen, people-traffickers are believed to be using the war there to encourage more migrants to head there from Djibouti, across the Red Sea.
According to IOM, the UN migration agency, nearly 150,000 people from the Horn of Africa are expected to enter Yemen this year, in the hope of finding work in the Gulf States to the north.
That’s 50,000 more than in 2017 and more than 90 per cent are from Ethiopia.
Here’s spokesperson Joel Millman:
“We understand that for a couple of years now smugglers have been using the conflict and the violence and the war always as marketing points, as a way to say the authorities in Yemen, where there is authority, are way too preoccupied with the civil unrest and the security situation to properly monitor the borders, so this is your opportunity. That’s been a huge selling point.”
In a bid to warn people about the dangerous Red Sea crossing and manage migration flows better, IOM is hosting talks in Djibouti between seven countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.
written by Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva