This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
$7 million funding appeal to help most vulnerable children in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, children suffering from the most serious form of malnutrition may die, unless $7 million in funding is found within weeks, UNICEF said on Friday.
UN Children’s Fund spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told journalists in Geneva that two million children are acutely malnourished and 600,000 are in an even worse state.
He likened the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country to “one of the worst disasters on earth”.
“I can tell you from experience and I’m not a nutritionist, but when you have 600,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, some of them are in a very bad condition and some of them need to be treated immediately. And it’s likely that some of them will die; I’m just not in a position and my nutritionist colleagues are not in a position to tell you how many in a reliable and evidence-based (way) but it’s extremely worrying.”
Forty years of violence and last year’s severe drought have compounded problems in the west and north of the country, Mr. Boulierac said.
The problem is particularly acute because UNICEF is the sole provider of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Afghanistan, providing supplies to health facilities across all 34 provinces.
UN health agency applauds Brazilian compensation bid from tobacco giants
The Brazilian government’s bid to tackle tobacco giants to recover the cost of caring for people who’ve fallen ill from smoking - or exposure to tobacco smoke - has been applauded by the UN health agency.
In a statement, the World Health Organization (WHO) cited the view of the authorities that public health spending triggered by tobacco consumption in Brazil amounted to billions of dollars annually.
And it warned that the so-called “tobacco epidemic” was still one of the biggest public health threats in the world, killing more than seven million people a year.
The WHO comment is in line with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control - a global pact signed by 181 countries that helps governments tackle the burden that the product places on people and national health systems.
Myanmar refugees face even greater water shortages in Bangladesh camps
And finally to Bangladesh, where water shortages have reached critical levels for 140,000 Rohingya refugees living on the country’s Teknaf Peninsula.
UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday that it was expecting to begin delivering water by truck within 10 to 12 days, and put in new projects that will help the region cope with longer dry seasons.
Here’s spokesperson Andrej Mahecic:
“Because of the changing weather patterns, we’ve had more six months of longer dry season without sufficient rainfall resulting now in critical cuts in the daily supply of water to refugees. We are talking here about 20 litres a day, this is a minimum standard in an emergency, and we, because of the shortage of water, had t o go even lower now, to 15 litres a day per person. This is supposed to meet all of people’s needs for water during the day.”
The Rohingya make up the majority who fled Myanmar during a government-led security operation against separatists in Rakhine State in the summer of 2017.
Trucking water to them and host communities will cost some $60,000 a month, according to UNHCR, which has warned that its humanitarian appeal for more than 900,000 people is only one-fifth funded so far this year.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.