Amid ongoing fighting in north-east Syria, civilians continue to flee violence
Shelling and clashes in northern Syria on the border with Turkey continue to cause people to flee, the UN said on Friday, despite a ceasefire deal between Turkish forces and Syrian-backed Kurdish military.
The agreement comes nine days into a military campaign launched by Turkey against Kurdish-held territory on its southern border, east of the Euphrates river.
To date, more than 166,000 people have been displaced.
Here’s Jens Laerke from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): “Despite the announcement of the ceasefire…shelling and intermittent clashes continue to be reported around Ras-al-Ain as of this morning, although the situation is reportedly calm elsewhere.”
In Geneva, several UN agencies said that they were continuing to deliver aid and provide basic services in the conflict zone “where access allows”.
The World Health Organization reported that Tal Tamr hospital is now the main reception point for people wounded by the conflict in Ras al Ain, but that it is struggling to cope with the influx of patients.
The World Food Programme (WFP), meanwhile, announced that it plans reach 580,000 people in affected areas this month.
Lack of drinking water to 400,000 people is still a serious concern in Al-Hasakeh, and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said, in an appeal for access to supply fuel for back-up pump generators.
On the Syria-Iraqi border, meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency said that for the fifth consecutive day, hundreds of mostly women, children and the elderly continue to seek help after fleeing the conflict.
Unprecedented flooding affects thousands of locals, refugees in South Sudan
Flooding not seen in 40 years in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state has affected nearly 200,000 people who need support urgently, the UN said on Friday.
The inundated area, near Maban’s capital town of Bunj, is prone to flooding at this time of year because of heavy seasonal rains.
But the situation has been getting worse because rainfall in neighbouring Ethiopia is becoming more intense and irregular, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR’s Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva:
“People are seeking safety from the flood waters wherever they find dry land, mostly on small islands as unprecedented water levels have submerged vast areas.”
Mr. Mahecic said that with the help of local partners and the authorities, UNHCR plans to reach the area, which shelters more than 150,000 refugees from Sudan.
It has pre-positioned emergency shelter kits and material assistance to help more than 5,000 affected families rebuild and repair damaged shelters, but says that more support is needed.
Today, South Sudan hosts almost 300,000 refugees - mainly from Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan. An additional nearly 1.5 million are displaced inside the country.
Modern-day ‘farm slave’ rescue highlights pervasive human trafficking in Ukraine
And finally to Ukraine, where the UN migration agency, IOM, has warned of the dangers posed by human traffickers who prey on jobless people in order to turn them into modern-day slaves.
In support of EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October, IOM highlighted a case in which more than 80 people were lured to work at a farm, with the promise of free accommodation and food.
After police stepped in to arrest the recruiters, IOM said that nearly all the people it helps in Ukraine are victims of forced labour linked to criminal gangs.
This week the agency provided assistance to 22 of the victims from Dnipropetrovsk Region, some of the more than 600 people it has helped this year.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.