This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
‘Indiscriminate’ rocket fire in Israel-Gaza ‘must stop immediately’
Amid rocket fire by Gaza militants and Israeli forces, triggered by the Tuesday assassination of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander, the UN is working “urgently” to de-escalate the situation, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has said.
Expressing his concern over the “ongoing and serious” escalation between the extremist group and Israel, Nickolay Mladenov said “the indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars against population centres is absolutely unacceptable and must stop immediately.”
“There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians”, said the top UN envoy adding the violence was “yet another attempt to undermine the efforts to improve the dire socio-economic conditions in Gaza”, and another devastating conflict had to be avoided.
$1.35 billion humanitarian gap for fleeing Venezuelans
In an effort to accelerate the response to the increasing humanitarian needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, and the communities hosting them, UN partners on Wednesday launched an appeal for $1.35 billion.
The UN refugee agency and International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced the 2020 Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) in the Colombian capital, Bogota, alongside 137 other organizations .
Around 4.6 million Venezuelans have now fled their home country, with nearly 80 per cent taking refuge in Latin America and the Caribbean, mostly in neighboring Colombia.
If the trend continues, 6.5 million Venezuelans could become refugees by the end of next year.
The new joint initiative puts a strong focus on ensuring the social and economic inclusion of refugees and migrants, in addition to providing essential healthcare, education, food, nutrition and shelter.
Joint UNHCR-IOM representative on the matter, Eduardo Stein said that despite ongoing efforts, “the dimension of the problem is greater than the current response capacity...More support to governments is needed, with a focus on development concerns in addition to immediate humanitarian needs.”
Diabetes cases nearly doubling, UN chief urges more action ahead of World Day
It’s a disease effecting 420 million people worldwide, and speaking just ahead of World Diabetes Day, marked on Thursday, Secretary-General António Guterres voiced his support for everyone living with diabetes.
Mr. Guterres noted in his message for the day, that the treatable and often preventable disease is often driven by unhealthy lifestyles, and lack of access to proper services and medicines.
Those worst affected mainly reside in low and middle-income countries, and since 1980, diabetes cases have nearly doubled worldwide.
The disease “undermines educational and employment aspirations for many” he said, and forces families into economic hardship through “catastrophic medical expenses”. Blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and limb amputation can all be detrimental outcomes of the disease if not treated.
The UN chief said early detection and access to health services are crucial to prevention, and the push to achieve healthcare for all by 2030.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.