This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
UN chief continues efforts to avert war in Gulf
As the crisis in the Gulf escalates, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will continue to engage with relevant parties to prevent all-out war, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by his Spokesman.
It came after Iran launched missile attacks against military bases in Iraq hosting United States troops, in retaliation for the killing of one of its top generals in a US drone strike in Baghdad last week.
The UN chief underlined the need for world leaders to “exercise maximum restraint” and resume dialogue, in line with a passionate appeal he made on Monday.
Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said: “For his part, the Secretary-General will continue his active engagement with relevant actors,” adding that “it is our common duty to make every effort to avoid a war in the Gulf that the world cannot afford.”
The statement concluded by recalling that “ordinary people pay the highest price” during conflict.
International community supports aid delivery to displaced in West Darfur
The UN and authorities in Sudan are assessing rising humanitarian needs following recent deadly intercommunal violence in West Darfur state.
A joint delegation visited the state capital, El Geneina, earlier this week, where at least 40,000 displaced people are congregating in more than 30 locations in and around the city.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, informed that the Sudanese Government is leading the aid efforts with what she described as “top-up support” from the international community.
Said Ms. Son: “We have to provide urgent humanitarian assistance, with the first priority on protection services, to the most vulnerable population, particularly children, women and persons with disabilities.”
So far, UN agencies, their humanitarian partners and the Government have been providing those forced to flee with food, water and emergency household supplies, in addition to health, nutrition and protection services.
UN-backed project in Pakistan to benefit Afghan refugees, host communities
Afghan refugees in Pakistan and local communities hosting them will receive intensive coaching in agriculture and entrepreneurship, as well as access to financial services, through a UN-backed project aimed at providing them with sustainable livelihood opportunities.
Some 3,000 households in five locations will participate in the initiative which was launched on Wednesday by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF).
Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, believes efforts like these will have a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable people living in extreme poverty.
She said: “Once refugees have acquired a set of skills, they can work to build their self-reliance and be empowered. They will not only give back here but also play an important role in the economy when they return to Afghanistan.”
A pilot project launched last year benefitted 2,000 households, of which 70 per cent were Afghan refugees and 30 per cent were from Pakistani host communities.
Dianne Penn, UN News.