This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Afghanistan: aid teams deployed to assess impact of fighting
UN aid teams have deployed in southern Afghanistan where fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people.
It follows days of intensifying clashes between Afghan National Security Forces and the Taliban near Lashkargah city, in Helmand province.
Peace talks between the two sides began last month in Qatar.
In an alert, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, said that two assessment teams have assisted hundreds of people so far.
Accessing affected areas is dangerous as the highway between Kandahar and Lashkargah is off-limits because of the risk of improvised explosive devices.
Citing local authorities, OCHA reported that 35,000 people are now sheltering in Lashkargah city, and that hundreds of casualties are receiving medical care.
But disruption to electricity and telecommunications networks has affected the work of humanitarian partners and raised concerns that tens of thousands may lose access to critical health services.
Progress in tackling tuberculosis at risk from COVID crisis
To the ongoing health threat posed by tuberculosis now, and concerns that there could be a “dramatic” rise in the number of infections globally of TB, linked in part to the COVID crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday that in many countries, human, financial and other resources have been reallocated from TB to battling COVID-19.
This has affected essential data collection and reporting systems which are needed to assess risks and indicate where to focus efforts to tackle TB, which is preventable.
WHO said data from more than 200 countries showed “significant reductions” in the number of TB case notifications this year.
Even more worrying is the fact that three high-burden countries - India, Indonesia and the Philippines – saw a 25-30 per cent drop in registering the number of actual cases between January and June 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s deadliest infectious killer, WHO says.
It is caused by bacteria that most often affect the lungs and can be spread in the air by those who suffer from it.
Around 90 per cent of those who fall sick with TB each year live in 30 countries.
Most people who develop the disease are adults, and there are more cases among men than women.
Talks begin to resolve disputed Lebanon-Israel maritime border
Finally, talks have been held between Lebanon and Israel over their disputed maritime border, facilitated by the United States and the UN.
A statement released on Wednesday by the US administration and the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, noted that the Israeli delegation was headed by Udi Adiri, Director General of the Ministry of Energy.
The Lebanese delegation was headed by Brigadier General Bassam Yassine, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations from the Lebanese Armed Forces.
According to Lebanese media, the meeting broke up after an hour.
Described as an initial meeting, the joint US and UN statement said that the representatives held “productive talks and reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations later this month”.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.