This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
‘Tremendous gap’ between refugee resettlement needs and placement: UNHCR
While there was a modest increase in refugee resettlement in 2019, a “tremendous gap” persists between needs and placement, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported on Wednesday.
UNHCR estimated that 1.4 million refugees worldwide were in urgent need of resettlement last year, but the agency was able to place less than 64,000.
Most of the refugees were from Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Myanmar.
They were mainly relocated to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany.
Last year, UNHCR joined Governments, NGOs and civil society in launching a three-year strategy to boost the number of resettlement places and admissions, and to expand the number of countries offering these programmes.
The strategy also set a target of 60,000 resettlement departures to 29 countries in 2019, which was achieved.
UN refugee chief wraps up Sahel visit
And, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi, has wrapped up a visit to three countries in Africa’s Sahel region, where the activities of terrorist groups and organized criminal groups have caused humanitarian emergencies and mass displacement.
During his last stop, in Burkina Faso, Mr. Grandi met with women and children who had witnessed their husbands, fathers and sons murdered for refusing to fight alongside armed groups.
The terrorists also raped women and girls, destroyed homes and schools, and looted farms.
Mr. Grandi, who is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, also visited Niger and Mauritania to assess how displacement is affecting host countries. Both nations are sheltering scores of people fleeing violence in Mali.
“We always look at the Sahel, we think about terrorism …we think about what, in theory, threatens Europe”, said the UNHCR chief from Burkina Faso, “but the real problem is here…It’s here that we must intervene before this crisis becomes unmanageable”, he added.
South Sudan launches campaign to protect 2.5 million children against measles
A massive vaccination campaign is underway in South Sudan, where communities are in the grip of an unprecedented and deadly measles outbreak that began a year ago.
Since last January, the country has seen more than 4,700 confirmed cases of measles, and 26 deaths.
The campaign aims to protect two and a half million children across the country, where routine vaccination coverage is at only 59 per cent – well below the 95 per cent threshold that’s deemed necessary to safeguard communities.
Without the vaccination, unprotected children are vulnerable to rashes, eye and respiratory infections, diarrhoea and death, the World Health Organization said.
Working together for the next month and a half, the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, UN Children’s Fund UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, plan to target every last child in hard-to-reach areas.
To do this, vaccination posts have been set up throughout the country, and parents have been encouraged to take part in the campaign.
Dianne Penn, UN News.