This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
WFP reaches a record 5 million people in DRC
The World Food Programme (WFP) has significantly expanded its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), reaching a record five million acutely food-insecure people this year, the UN agency reported on Thursday.
That’s double the number of Congolese reached in 2017, achieved through contributions by a range of donors in Europe, Asia and North America.
Improved funding has quickly expanded food assistance operations in the troubled eastern provinces of Ituri,Tanganyika and North and South Kivu—areas of deepening conflict, displacement, and poor food harvests.
A previous surge in food assistance by WFP averted famine in the Kasai and Kasai-Central provinces.
Assistance came in the form of commodities and cash, including fortified foods to battle acute malnutrition.
According to WFP, 13.1 million Congolese are considered acutely food insecure, and 4.6 million children are acutely malnourished.
Two deadly Ebola outbreaks this year have complicated humanitarian access in DRC, meanwhile some 380,000 Congolese nationals have been expelled from northern Angola, to the already food insecure Kasai region.
WFP Country Director Claude Jibidar expressed thanks to donors, “during a period of record needs,” and said the agency was counting on their “continued backing during what will surely be a challenging 2019.”
Unimaginable horrors’ facing migrants and refugees in Libya
The pattern of serious human rights violations and abuses for migrants and refugees in Libya paints a picture of “unimaginable horrors,” a new report by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) details.
The findings come from some 1,300 first-hand accounts, gathered by human rights officers over the course of 20 months, which trace the journey of migrants and refugees northwards through the country, with many hoping to reach Europe for a new life.
The report says that they face serious risks from the moment they cross the southern border.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of gruesome acts perpetrated by State officials, armed groups, smugglers and traffickers, Libyan authorities have been largely unable or unwilling to end the abuses.
The joint authors of this Libya migration report, previously outlined recommendations to remedy the situation in a similar 2016 publication, which failed to be implemented.
The climate in the country has been one of lawlessness, after years of armed conflict and political unrest have weakened Libyan institutions; paving the way for human trafficking, extortion, and torture of people on the move.
New Migration Pact Highlights Key Role of Business in Protecting Migrants, say UN experts
In Geneva, UN experts welcomed a call for Member States and businesses to join forces in protecting the rights of migrants, following the recent adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration on 10 December.
The freshly-adopted compact places emphasis on genuine public-private partnerships, to ensure migrants see the economic benefits generated by their work, and are protected from human rights abuses.
“Migrant workers all over the world are too often subjected to unethical recruitment processes, indecent work conditions and lack of social protection,” the experts said. “In fact, these challenges are among the most critical that our societies face”
The experts urged Member States to strengthen labour inspections, and take measures to ensure employers do not confiscate migrant workers’ identity documents, while private sector employers must do their part in ensuring migrant workers receive proper contracts.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.