This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN food agency begins partial pull-out of aid to opposition-held Yemen capital
The World Food Programme (WFP) confirmed on Friday that it has started a "partial suspension" of aid to areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi opposition forces.
Spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel told journalists in Geneva that the agency took the decision after efforts failed to prevent food aid being diverted from those who need it most:
“In any conflict areas, some individuals seek to profit from preying on the vulnerable and diverting food away from where it is most needed. WFP has been seeking the support of the Sana’a-based authorities to introduce a biometric registration system that would prevent diversion, and protect the Yemeni families we serve, ensuring food reaches those who need it most. Unfortunately, we are yet to reach agreement.”
The development means that aid will be cut to the capital, Sana’a, which is controlled by Houthis, affecting 850,000 people – although Mr. Verhoosel insisted that the agency will maintain nutrition programmes for malnourished children, pregnant and nursing mothers.
In total, WFP estimates that nine out of 12 million food insecure people in Yemen are in areas controlled by Houthis, who have been fighting a coalition of international forces backing the Government of President Abrdabbuh Mansour Hadi, for more than four years.
According to latest UN figures, nearly 10 million people are severely food insecure and do not know where their next meal will come from.
Central African Republic food crisis should be wake-up call to global community
To the Central African Republic now, where WFP has called for help from the international community to stave off severe and acute food shortages.
After years of ongoing conflict and mass displacement, nearly half the country’s people – more than 1.8 million – are unsure how they are going to feed themselves.
Of that number, more than 460,000 are expected to face emergency food insecurity during the current lean season, which lasts from May until August.
Among the areas worst affected are those hosting hundreds of thousands of people displaced by violence and insecurity.
These include Kaga, Bandoro, Obo and Zemio, along with three prefectures: Mbomou, Haute Kotto and Haut Mbomou, where security conditions remain volatile, despite a peace agreement signed in February.
Amid reports of regular attacks by armed groups who did not sign the deal, on major supply routes and around major cities, WFP says it needs more than $33 million to help 800,000 people every month until the end of the year.
DPRK at crossroads as UN independent investigator sees no improvement in people’s rights
And finally to DPRK, or North Korea, where UN-appointed independent rights expert, Tomás Ojea Quintana, has appealed to the State to ease people’s suffering.
Speaking at the end of a five-day mission to Seoul in South Korea, Mr. Quintana, expressed regret that he did not see any sign of improvement in the human rights situation of people in DPRK, before urging “profound legal and institutional reforms”.
Citing various sources in a new report, the expert spoke of “public executions…carried out by gunfire”, after trials between 2013 and 2017.
Victims faced charges including murder and drug dealing”, he said in his report, while also noting that people continue to live in fear of being sent to political prison camps for watching South Korean soap operas.
In a statement to the press, Mr. Quintana urged the Government of the DPRK to “be open about the political camps, which are called “kwanliso.”
At the same time, he called on the Government of China not to repatriate North Korean escapees, asking them to “give the primary consideration to what will happen to the escapees if repatriated to North Korea”.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.