This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Detained children at ‘grave risk’ of contracting coronavirus – UNICEF chief
Hundreds of thousands of children in detention around the world are at “grave risk” of contracting COVID-19, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday, calling for their urgent release. Executive Director Henrietta Fore painted a picture of children detained in overcrowded spaces with inadequate access to nutrition, healthcare and hygiene services – conditions highly conducive to spreading disease.
“An outbreak in one of these facilities could happen at any moment”, she said in a statement, adding that these children were also more exposed to neglect, abuse and gender-based violence, especially with low staffing levels or care negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Middle East envoy warns COVID-19 could jeopardize Palestinian Authority
And the negative impacts of the new coronavirus could affect the viability of the Palestinian Authority and collapse the economy of the occupied territories, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has said.
“I am concerned about the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 health crisis on the Palestinian people, particularly vulnerable communities in Gaza”, said Nickolay Mladenov.
He added that “the negative shock to the Israeli and Palestinian economies will have profound implications for public welfare, employment, social cohesion, financial and institutional stability.”
He noted that the Palestinian Government does not have access to the conventional monetary and fiscal tools necessary to remedy the crisis, which lie with Israel, emphasizing that “preserving the functioning and stability of the PA is vital to the security and well-being of both Palestinians and Israelis alike.”
UN offers support to Pacific island nations hit by Tropical Cyclone Harold
The UN stands ready to support four Pacific island nations devastated by the passing of Tropical Cyclone Harold last week. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said he’s deeply saddened by reports of the loss of lives and destruction in Vanuatu, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Tonga, according to a statement issued on Sunday by his Spokesperson.
"The Secretary-General expresses his deep solidarity with the people of the Pacific as they face the impact of this cyclone, along with other climate-related challenges, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, which adds a worrying new dimension to existing vulnerabilities", said Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.
Mr. Guterres commended the governments and first responders in the affected countries for their pre-emptive work to make people safe ahead of the storm and to meet their immediate needs afterwards.
Matt Wells, UN News.