This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
World Food Programme chief issues urgent plea for peace in Yemen’s ‘hell’
The worst famine the world has seen in modern history is looming in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme - WFP – said on Wednesday.
At the end of a two-day visit, agency chief David Beasley issued an urgent plea for peace and called for funding to help hungry families, describing the situation in the war-torn country as “hell”.
He was speaking after visiting a hospital caring for malnourished children in the capital, Sana’a, which is under the control of mainly Houthi opposition forces.
According to WFP, half of all children under five in Yemen – 2.3 million – are projected to face acute malnutrition this year; nearly 400,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are likely to die if they do not get urgent treatment.
WFP has prioritised monthly assistance to 11 districts where populations face famine-like conditions.
But more needs to be done for millions who could slip further into hunger amid ongoing conflict and displacement, fuel shortages and rising food prices.
Fourteen vessels carrying urgently needed fuel lie off Yemen’s Red Sea coast, unable to berth.
‘Global Champions’ call for urgent action on clean energy for all, by 2030
More than 20 UN Member State “Global Champions” have issued a call for affordable, clean energy for all by 2030.
The messages come as the UN launches a year of action on the issue, ahead of an energy summit in September.
They are in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7, which sets out targets for achieving affordable and clean energy by the end of the decade, and net-zero emissions by 2050.
The issue couldn’t be more important, as energy consumption accounts for three-quarters of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy.
Echoing the need for urgent action, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that if we are to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, “the world must cut carbon emissions by at least 45 per cent below 2010 levels within the next decade”.
He also insisted that COVID-19 economic recovery plans should be used to build a sustainable economy driven by renewable energy.
COVID contributed to ‘starvation’, executions in DPR Korea, Rights Council hears
Disturbing reports have emerged from North Korea - also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) - that people have starved or been executed because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in DPRK, Tomas Ojea Quintana, pointed to a “drastic” decline in trade and commerce, as well as an increase in the number of children and elderly people forced to beg.
Severe containment measures had also led to “a number of concerning consequences” that further isolate the country’s people from the outside world, Mr. Quintana said in a report to the Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
Cities had been locked down to prevent coronavirus transmission, while several individuals who were caught breaking anti-epidemic prevention measures were reportedly executed in public, he said.
Although the country has no recorded cases of infection, the pandemic has worsened an already bad economic situation in DPRK, the rights expert insisted.
Almost all humanitarian work has stopped as the country’s authorities have been effectively isolating their people from “social, political, economic” and even diplomatic engagements, including with the United Nations, Mr. Quintana explained.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.