This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Eight children among dead in attack in Syria’s Aleppo province
UN Children’s Fund UNICEF has said that eight Syrian children were killed and another eight injured in an attack on Monday in Tal Rifaat town close to the Turkish border.
According to reports, the incident involved shelling on the strategic town
in northern Aleppo province, along with two airstrikes in Idlib province, the last opposition-held enclave in northwest Syria.
In a statement, UNICEF spokesperson Ted Chaiban said that all of the victims in Tal Rifaat were under 15.
In the past four weeks, 34 children have been killed in the wartorn north, Mr. Chaiban added.
He said that violence is “relentless” and continuing in several parts of Syria – in complete disregard for the fundamental principle of protection of children.
Only one in five countries has strong health strategy against climate change
Protecting people’s health from climate change dangers such as heat stress and tropical storms has never been more important, yet most countries are doing too little about it, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
In its first global review of more than 100 countries, the UN agency found that while around half of them have a strategy in place, fewer than one in five is spending enough to implement all of their commitments.
The most common climate-related risks countries reported, were heat stress, injury or death from extreme weather events, along with problems relating to food and water security and vector-borne diseases, such as cholera, dengue or malaria.
But despite the clear risks, most countries reported that their findings had “little or no influence” on the allocation of human or financial resources to make the changes needed to protect people’s health.
Previous research from WHO has found that reducing carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050, through reductions in air pollution alone.
Zimbabwe ‘facing worst hunger crisis in a decade’
And finally, Zimbabwe is facing its worst hunger crisis in a decade with half of the population – 7.7 million people – food insecure, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
The alert follows last week’s warning from a UN-appointed independent rights expert that the country – once seen as the breadbasket of Africa - is in the grip of “man-made starvation”.
In Geneva, UN Spokesperson Bettina Luescher said that almost $300 million was urgently needed to supply some 240,000 tonnes of aid:
“The country has experienced normal rainfall in just one of the last five growing seasons… Subsistence farmers who rely on this increasingly unreliable rainy season; they grow maize, which is a very water-intensive crop, and many of th ese farmers are still recovering from the major 2014-16 El Nino-induced drought. The crisis is being exacerbated by a dire shortage of foreign currency, runaway inflation, mounting unemployment, lack of fuel, prolonged power outages and large-scale livestock losses, and they inflict the urban population just as well as rural villagers.”
WFP says that eight of Zimbabwe’s 59 districts now have “unprecedented” acute malnutrition rates of over five per cent.
The agency has now nearly doubled aid assistance in a bid to reach more than four million of those hardest-hit by the crisis.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.