This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations
Record-high number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan: UN Report
Afghanistan has seen record-high levels of civilian casualties in the third quarter of 2019, stemming mainly from the violence between rival political party supporters, the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) revealed in a report published Thursday, which concluded that more must be done to protect the country’s people.
In just the first nine months of 2019, UNAMA counted more than 8,200 civilian casualties - 2,563 killed and 5,676 injured - similar to figures in the corresponding nine-month periods from 2014 to the present. This latest quarter, however, has seen an “unprecedented number of civilian casualties”, UNAMA said.
In July, the Mission documented the country’s bloodiest month on record, with the highest number of civilian casualties in a single month since the UN began systematic documentation in the country , in 2009.
The Wednesday report found that 41 per cent of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan were women and children.
Fiona Frazer, Human Rights Chief at UNAMA called the impact of the conflict on Afghan people “appalling”, and said the UN will continue its advocacy work until the country sees the number of civilians injured or killed, at zero.
Tuberculosis infections declining, but not fast enough among the poor
A staggering 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis (TB) last year, the UN health agency said on Thursday, in an appeal for far greater funding and political support to eradicate the curable and preventable disease.
TB commonly causes persistent coughing, fatigue and weight loss.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its latest Global TB Report, around 10 million people developed TB in 2018 and three million sufferers “are not getting the care they need”.
Countries where people suffer most are China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa.
Highlighting some good news, WHO also pointed out that Brazil, China, the Russian Federation and Zimbabwe - all of which have high TB burdens - achieved treatment coverage levels of more than 80 per cent, in 2018.
Nonetheless, although the 2018 TB toll was marginally better than in 2017, the burden remains stubbornly high among poor and marginalized populations, particularly those with HIV.
New labour research identifies strategies for tackling poverty and inequality
Efforts to increase the availability of decent work and tackle poverty are significantly more effective when job search assistance programmes, are combined with income support.
That’s according to new research conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), released on Thursday, which assessed the partnership of so-called “active labour market policies”, such as training, and career advice, with income support for job seekers.
The analysis found that while income support and government assistance programmes both had drawbacks when implemented separately, “the beneficial effects tend to be unequivocal”, when the two work together.
ILO terms the combined support “gainful employment” and has deemed it the most reliable way of escaping poverty.
Beneficiaries have greater chances of finding work, and they generally get better quality jobs.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.