This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Hottest June on record – it's official
Let’s start with the weather, because we’ve just had the hottest June on record.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), both land and sea surface temperatures were the highest yet recorded last month - 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.95 degrees Celsius above the global average.
These unprecedented temperatures - which surpassed previous highs in June 2016 - happened across central and eastern Europe, northern Russia, Asia, Africa, South America, the north Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Using global data, WMO also says that nine of the 10 warmest Junes have occurred since 2010.
The impacts of these high temperatures include wildfires in the Arctic Circle and unprecedented shrinking sea ice, the UN agency says, while also pointing out that the northern-most permanent settlement on Earth – which is called Alert, in Canada—reached 70 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 21 degrees Celsius) for the first time in recorded history this week.
Don’t panic, support DRC in fight against deadly Ebola virus, UN health agency urges
To the Democratic Republic of the Congo now (or DRC), where the World Health Organization said on Friday that the Ebola virus is just one challenge among many facing communities there.
It has reiterated an appeal for the international community to show support and solidarity for its people.
Speaking in Geneva, spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris noted that measles has already killed more people this year than the Ebola outbreak, which began last August.
“It’s not top of their agenda; they’d like good roads, they’d like clean water, they’d like to know their children can reach their fifth birthday and not die from measles.”
According to WHO, more than 2,000 people have died from measles in 2019, while the Ebola outbreak in Ituri and Nord Kivu provinces in the country’s north-east has claimed 1,705 lives.
In addition to measles and malaria and a lack of basic services, since early June, more than 300,000 in the resource-rich Ebola-hit provinces have been displaced by violence linked to armed groups, according to UN humanitarian coordination agency, OCHA.
One in two Venezuelan families on the move face ‘drastic’ choices to survive
And finally, more than half of Venezuelan families who have left their country amid economic and political turmoil face what the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, calls “specific risks” while they are on the move.
After speaking to nearly 8,000 people this year in Latin American countries and the Caribbean, the agency says that more than six in 10 were unemployed or working informally, while four in 10 faced problems finding accommodation.
More than three in 10 also said they had no permit to stay in the country where they are sheltering, while UNCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell noted that the region’s asylum application system remains “overwhelmed”.
“It is clear that we are seeing in some places increasing border restrictions, more rigorous requirements for Venezuelans to enter a particular country, that as we have frequently underscored does increase the risk of people taking irregular routes, which then of course then exposes them further to dangers, to the risk of trafficking.”
The result of these difficulties is that the most vulnerable have to beg, send their children to work or even resort to “so-called survival sex ”, she said.
According to UNHCR, well over 3.3 million Venezuelans now live outside the country.
Daniel Johnson, UN News