This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UNHCR appeals for $147 million for up to 100,000 Ethiopians fleeing to Sudan
$147 million is urgently needed to support people fleeing Ethiopia’s Tigray region into neighbouring Sudan, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Monday.
More than 43,000 people have fled fighting in Ethiopia in recent weeks and almost half of them are children.
Leading the appeal, UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi welcomed Sudan’s open-border policy to vulnerable people, before noting that the Government of Sudan “needs a lot of help”.
The UN agency is expecting 100,000 people to arrive by April next year, although the worst-case scenario is for an influx of 200,000.
The new appeal aims to fund crisis response by the UN and partners in Sudan for the next six months.
In a related development, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that lack of funding had forced it to cut rations for refugees in East Africa, while WFP Ethiopia urgently needs $209 million to help 6.2 million people from now until next May.
The UN agency said that the fighting between the Ethiopian national forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front had displaced more than 100,000 civilians, including those who had fled into eastern Sudan since 4 November.
COVID-19 threatens global progress against malaria, warns UN health agency
The coronavirus pandemic is undermining efforts to curb malaria, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
According to the World Malaria Report, released on Monday, the situation is particularly concerning in high-burden countries in Africa.
The continent accounts for more than 90 per cent of the overall disease burden.
Though preventable and curable, malaria continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives each year. According to WHO, nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of the disease and most cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
The UN agency urged nations and health partners to step up the fight against malaria, with better targeting of interventions, new tools and increased funding.
“It is time for leaders across Africa – and the world – to rise once again to the challenge of malaria, just as they did when they laid the foundation for the progress made since the beginning of this century,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Through joint action, and a commitment to leaving no one behind, we can achieve our shared vision of a world free of malaria,” he insisted.
UN rights office spotlights killings in Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua
Alarm now over escalating violence in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, where the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Monday that there have been “repeated reports of killings and intimidation of protesters and rights defenders.”
In a call for “meaningful and inclusive dialogue” to address communities’ longstanding economic, social and political grievances, the UN office expressed concern at reports that military and security forces and nationalist militias were involved in the escalating situation.
In one incident just days ago, a 17-year-old was shot dead and another teenager was injured in an alleged police shootout in West Papua, OHCHR said.
The violence began when armed Papuan elements killed 19 people working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga regency in December 2018.
In September and October this year at least eight people were killed, including two members of the security forces and activists and church workers, OHCHR noted.
The UN office also pointed to the arrest of at least 84 people detained on 17 November ahead of the implementation of the Special Autonomy Law in Papua and West Papua provinces, amid longstanding calls for independence.
In a statement, OHCHR urged the Government of Indonesia “to uphold people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association in line with its international obligations.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.