This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Migrant lives at ‘immediate risk’, warn UN agencies
UN agencies and humanitarian partners have called on authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to act urgently to help hundreds of migrants who are without shelter, in freezing winter temperatures.
The migrants and asylum seekers lost their housing, after the Lipa Emergency Tent Camp, in the north-west of the country, was closed and then destroyed in a fire on the 23rd of December.
The Lipa camp was built earlier this year in response to over-crowding and unsuitable conditions elsewhere. It was never “winterized”, a process that generally includes adding thermal floor mats and insulation to shelters, as well as distributing blankets, heating stoves and fuel.
Migrants at the destroyed camp are resorting to makeshift efforts, such as lighting fires inside the remaining tents to keep warm, raising the risk of another catastrophe.
UN peacekeepers patrol polling stations during CAR elections
Huge numbers of voters turned out for presidential and legislative elections in the Central African Republic on Sunday, despite rebels opening fire in some areas, the UN Mission in the country, MINUSCA, has reported.
UN blue helmets patrolled the streets of Bangui, the CAR capital, to ensure the safety of voters during Sunday’s elections, posting armoured vehicles outside polling stations.
The vote was reportedly calm in Bangui, but other parts of the country were more unstable: in the northern town of Birao, MINUSCA personnel were needed to safely open polling stations.
World must prepare for the next pandemic, UN urges
The United Nations has been emphasizing the need to learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, and the importance of investing in measures to cope with future health emergencies.
On the first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, celebrated on Sunday, the UN highlighted the need for strong health systems and social protection, support for communities on the frontlines, and technical cooperation for countries.
Mr. Guterres said that the world should always be guided by science, and that solidarity and coordination are crucial. He also honoured medical professionals, front-line personnel and essential workers globally for their “remarkable commitment” in face of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a separate message, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the importance of a “One Health Approach”, which aims to integrate human health, animal health and plant health, as well as environmental factors.
Conor Lennon, UN News.