This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
Tropics, northern hemisphere facing hotter temperatures
Warmer sea temperatures across large parts of the planet during the months of May and June are expected to have a similar effect on land temperatures in coming months, UN weather experts have said.
The World Meteorological Organization forecast comes as the WMO confirmed that last April was as hot as the same month in 2016 - the warmest April on record - even though there is no strong El Nino event now, as there was then.
Regions that are likely to be worst-hit by the hotter conditions are those in the Tropics and much of the northern hemisphere.
The global warming trend is a contributory factor to this, according to the weather agency, which said that global temperatures in January, February and March of this year were also the warmest or second warmest on record.
COVID-19 pushes millions more in Middle East, North Africa into food crisis
Forty-seven point six million people; that’s the number of people in the Middle East and North Africa who are unable to see a way of feeding themselves owing to the pandemic, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
In an alert linked to the COVID-19 crisis, the UN agency said that the economic impact will likely leave an additional 6.7 million people struggling for sufficient food.
That assessment is based on the rising cost of staple foodstuffs in places like Sudan, where sorghum cost 14 per cent more in March than a month earlier.
In Syria, food costs are now at the highest price recorded since the start of the conflict in 2011, while in Yemen, food baskets in the capital Sana’a have recorded the highest monthly increase to date.
Today, WFP helps more than 23 million people in the Middle East and North Africa; two-thirds are in Yemen and Syria.
The agency has also pre-positioned stocks of food and cash to provide at least three months of supplies or cash for priority operations.
But it has warned that nearly 3.8 million children in 11 countries no longer receive WFP meals at school after they were closed to prevent the spread of infection.
In 11 countries which include Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Lebanon, WFP has found new ways to support families, such as by providing take-home rations, delivering food to people’s homes and providing cash or vouchers.
Nigeria violence forces 23,000 refugees into Niger in a month
Finally, violence in northwestern Nigeria forced 23,000 mainly women and children to flee to Niger last month, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.
The agency has described “relentless attacks” by armed groups in Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states, which have forced people into Niger’s Maradi region, often with few belongings.
The deadliest incident claimed 47 lives in Kankara, Danmusa and Dusi-ma in Katsina.
Since the first influx of displaced people last April, the number seeking shelter has risen to more than 60,000.
Victims have spoken of murders, kidnappings for ransom and pillaging.
An additional 19,000 Niger nationals have also been displaced inside their own country, said UNHCR, adding that the violence had been attributed to farmers and herders of different ethnic groups, as well as vigilantes.
Despite COVID-19 border closures, those in need have been allowed to cross from Nigeria to Niger.
UNHCR is now working closely the Niger authorities to relocate at least 7,000 refugees to safety, in villages away from the border where water, food, shelter, access to health and other basic assistance can be provided.
This will also help to ease the pressure on host communities in border areas, where basic infrastructure and services are lacking, the UN refugee agency said.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.