This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
Palestine refugee agency chief steps down amidst mismanagement probe
The Commissioner-General for the UN relief and works agency serving Palestine refugees, UNRWA, resigned Wednesday afternoon, hours after the UN announced preliminary findings of an investigation into misconduct allegations, and the Secretary-General's appointment of an interim replacement.
Former UNRWA chief, Pierre Krähenbühl was placed on leave earlier in the day, as UN chief António Guterres said that Christian Saunders was being named acting Officer-in-Charge of the agency, based on preliminary report findings from the UN’s internal oversight body.
The findings excluded “fraud or misappropriation of funds" by the Commissioner-General however, there are “managerial issues that need to be addressed”, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told correspondents in New York.
“At this time, it is vital that Member States and other partners remain committed to UNRWA and the services it provides.
It is also critical for the international community to support the crucial work performed by the Agency in the areas of health, education, and humanitarian assistance, which is a source of stability in a volatile region.”
“The Secretary-General expresses his appreciation to UNRWA for their excellent and dedicated work”, added Mr. Dujarric, “which is essential to the well-being of Palestine refugees.”
Sudan cholera campaign moves to protect Khartoum state
In Sudan, a campaign is under way to prevent the spread of a deadly cholera outbreak to Khartoum state, UN medics said on Wednesday.
Latest figures from Sudan’s health ministry indicate that there have been 332 suspected cases of cholera and eight deaths, mainly in Blue Nile and Sennar States, since the waterborne disease was declared on 2 September.
Two cases of cholera were confirmed in Khartoum State in mid-October. “The risk of cholera spreading is very real,” said Dr Naeema Al Gasseer, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Sudan.
She added that the disease could have serious consequences if it is not properly managed in Khartoum state.
More than eight million people live there, but the health system has been affected by economic crisis, flooding, and other infectious diseases.
At the request of the Government, WHO has identified high-risk areas in the state which are more likely to be at increased risk of an outbreak, such as Sharq Elnil and Ombada localities.
Pakistani actress Mahira Khan named UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, on Wednesday appointed a new National Goodwill Ambassador, actress Mahira Khan, famed in South Asia for her roles in Bollywood and her roles in television and cinema in her native Pakistan.
Ms. Khan, who boasts some 5.1 million Instagram followers, will serve as a public face for the Agency, helping ensure its humanitarian efforts are amplified worldwide.
Speaking at the appointment ceremony in Pakistan’s Islamabad, Ms. Khan said she felt privileged to have been chosen to serve this noble cause”, and paid tribute to the country for hosting more than a million Afghan refugees.
Prior to becoming an ambassador, she visited Afghan refugees in Peshawar in 2018 as part of a high-profile UN delegation, during which she said she was a witness to their resilience.
“I see an incredibly strong people filled with hopes and dreams, like you are me there is nothing that a refugee can’t do”, she said.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.