This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
$2.6 billion pledged to help millions of wartorn Yemenis
Donors have pledged $2.6 billion to provide urgently needed support to millions of Yemeni people facing an “overwhelming humanitarian calamity”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a pledging conference in Geneva, Mr. Guterres welcomed the generosity of Member States, who had pledged 30 per cent more than last year.
But he appealed for an end to the conflict, amid desperate and widespread suffering:
“Tens of thousands of people have been killed or injured since the conflict escalated, many of them civilians. Many more have died from preventable diseases, exacerbated by malnutrition. Twenty million people cannot reliably feed themselves or their families. Almost 10 million are just one step away from famine… One credible report puts the number of children under five who have died of starvation at more than 80,000.”
Mr Guterres also announced that the World Food Programme (WFP) has finally been able to reach the Red Sea Mills in the key port city of Hudaydah, where it has more than 50,000 tonnes of wheat, which is enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month.
Ebola response risks slowing amid massive funding shortages
The response to a deadly Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) risks “backsliding” without more support from the international community, the head of the UN health agency has said.
The latest outbreak in eastern DRC has claimed 529 lives.
But 257 people have survived, while more than 80,000 people have been vaccinated and at least 400 have received treatment.
The virus has also been contained and prevented from spreading to neighbouring countries.
In an appeal for nearly $150 million, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that less than $10 million has been found.
This is despite “unprecedented” challenges linked to the insecurity of the outbreak zone, where a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) facility was attacked on Sunday night, and where more than 100 armed groups operate.
With ongoing virus transmission in Butembo and Katwa, Dr Tedros warned that there is a risk it could reach “into even more volatile and dangerous areas”, where almost no-one can operate safely.
UN’s emergency aid chief travels to Zimbabwe, Malawi amid rising food insecurity
And finally to Zimbabwe, where the UN’s top emergency relief coordinator is to visit people hardest hit by food insecurity linked to an economic crisis and erratic rainfall.
More than five million Zimbabweans are believed to be in urgent need of assistance today, according to UN humanitarian office, OCHA.
Needs are growing, after outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases, drought and flooding in the second part of last year.
And UN Children’s Fund UNICEF has warned that up to one million people are at risk of cholera nationally.
During his tour, which begins on Wednesday, UN Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock is due to meet senior Government officials in Zimbabwe and humanitarian organizations.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.