This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Extreme weather ‘record’ likely in Arctic Circle: WMO
Reports that temperatures in a Russian town in the Arctic Circle at the weekend likely reached a record 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit), are further worrying indications that the world is warming up, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday.
The reading was taken in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk, during a prolonged Siberian heatwave and increase in wildfire activity.
According to the UN agency, the region of Eastern Siberia now in the spotlight is well known for weather extremes in winter and in summer.
Here’s WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis:
“Siberia has experienced unusual heat this spring; May was about 10 degrees Celsius above average in many parts of Siberia and it was this extraordinary heat which actually drove, made the warmest May on record for - certainly for - the northern hemisphere, and also we think at a global level as well.”
Once the Russian federal authorities confirm the record temperature observation, WMO will then refer the finding for a further detailed review by an international panel of experts.
This latest report of an Arctic temperature more typical of the Tropics comes a few months after an Argentine research base in the Antarctic peninsula, set a new record temperature of 18.4 degrees Celsius C (or 65.3Fahrenheit) in February.
600 million South Asian children at risk from COVID-19, says UNICEF
COVID-19 will continue to unravel decades of progress across South Asia, UN Children’s Fund UNICEF has warned, with some 600 million youngsters at risk.
In a call for urgent action, UNICEF said that the pandemic is causing growing food insecurity and the disruption of immunization, nutrition and other vital health services.
Taken together, these could be potentially life-threatening for around 459,000 children over the next six months.
Another major concern is school closures, which have pushed more than 430 million children into remote learning.
This has only partially helped, though, as many households in rural areas lack both internet access and electricity, UNICEF said, while also noting a surge in calls to help hotlines, amid violence and abuse during home confinement.
UN migration agency appeals for funding to help 460,000 people in central Sahel
Some 460,000 people facing severe hardship in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger need help urgently, the UN migration agency IOM said on Tuesday, in an appeal for nearly $38 million in funding.
Because of a rise in extremist and intercommunal violence, and a complex humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel region, 1.25 million people are now displaced.
More than three million are struggling with severe food insecurity and 9.4 million are in dire need of assistance.
The COVID-19 crisis has compounded their difficulties because markets and borders have been closed to prevent the spread of the disease, limiting livelihood opportunities and aggravating what the UN agency has described as “an already dire situation”.
If its appeal is successful, IOM intends to provide shelter and non-food items to communities most affected by displacement, and to temporary collective sites.
The agency will also continue implementing community projects to reinforce social cohesion among refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.