This is the news in brief from the United Nations.
UN health agency secures lifesaving medical supplies to Afghanistan
Lifesaving medical supplies reached Afghanistan by air on Monday, the first UN shipment to arrive since the Taliban takeover more than a week ago.
Announcing the news, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the successful airlift meant that it could “partially replenish” health facilities’ reserves and ensure that services can continue – for now.
More than 12 tonnes of supplies arrived in the northern airport of Mazar-i-Sharif airport, aboard a plane provided by the Government of Pakistan.
WHO said that the shipment consisted of trauma kits and emergency health kits, enough to cover the basic health needs of more than 200,000 people.
The supplies will be delivered immediately to 40 health facilities in 29 provinces across Afghanistan, the UN agency added.
In a related development, UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi, has appealed for help for the many millions in need in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries.
In an appeal on Monday for long-term solutions for Afghans whose lives have been blighted by 40 years of war, the High Commissioner for Refugees said that although thousands had managed to escape via Kabul airport, “there will still be millions who need the international community to act”.
COVID jabs needed for educators and kids to keep schools open
As the school year begins for millions of children in the northern hemisphere, the UN on Monday issued a series of COVID-19 risk reduction measures to ensure that in-person lessons can go ahead, despite rising infection rates.
All school staff should receive a coronavirus vaccine – and so should vulnerable children aged 12 and above – said UN Children’s Fund UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the 53 countries that make up the WHO European Region, the UN agencies also urged better ventilation in the classroom, smaller class sizes, physical distancing and regular COVID-19 testing.
The development comes amid a rise in COVID infections caused by the Delta variant that have made the risk of transmission within schools “much more likely”, both UN agencies warned.
To counter this – and another year of disrupted schooling - more people need to be offered the COVID-19 jab which remains “our best line of defence against the virus”, said WHO’s Dr Hans Kluge.
He insisted that for the pandemic to end, “we must rapidly scale up vaccinations fairly in all countries…to protect the most vulnerable, everywhere”.
Ensuring the right to a nationality more pressing than ever: UNHCR
Ensuring everyone’s right to a nationality is more important than ever, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Monday, marking the 60th anniversary of the UN convention to end statelessness.
In an appeal for more countries to adopt the convention, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said that modern-day challenges like COVID-19 and climate change, had added to the problems of stateless people.
“Having a nationality – and the protection of a government that nationality affords – can make a life-saving difference, even more so in times of crisis, whether it’s vaccination, evacuation or providing a social safety net that is needed,” Mr Grandi said.
Globally, 4.2 million people are known to be stateless - but the true number of persons not recognized as citizens by any country, is likely to be much higher, given gaps in data collection.
To date, 77 States have joined the 1961 Convention.
Since 2010, 40 States have formalized their commitment to reduce statelessness by becoming parties.
In the same period, more than 800,000 stateless people are known to have had their statelessness resolved.
Katy Dartford, UN News.