This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
First humanitarian flight to Kabul marks ‘turning point’: WFP
The return of humanitarian flights to Kabul since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, is a turning point in the crisis, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
More than nine in 10 families are struggling to find enough to eat, and with winter fast approaching, aid agencies have been “scrambling to meet massive needs before it is too late”, said WFP spokesperson, Tomson Phiri, who was speaking in Geneva.
The WFP-led Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has completed three cargo flights since the reopening of the air link to Kabul on 12 September, bringing in medical supplies on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO).
This has enabled “humanitarian responders and much-needed relief items to reach desperate Afghans in multiple locations across the country”, Mr. Phiri said.
WFP has been “stepping up its operations”, however, $30 million is needed to keep the air services going on top of the $200 million needed to replenish and deliver food supplies, the WFP spokesperson said:
“Our food convoys are moving across the country and in August alone more than 400,000 people received assistance. Of course, in order for us to avert a humanitarian catastrophe much more is needed. The World Food Programme needs to reach 9 million people a month by November if it is to meet its planned target of 14 million by the end of 2021.”
After 10 years of war in Syria, siege tactics make their return
The future for Syria’s people is “increasingly bleak”, UN-appointed rights experts said on Tuesday, highlighting escalating conflict in several areas of the war-ravaged country, a return to siege tactics and demonstrations linked to the plummeting economy.
The UN Commission of Inquiry’s findings come amid an uptick in violence in the northwest, northeast and south of the country.
“The parties to the conflict continue to perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity and infringing the basic human rights of Syrians,” said head of the Commission of Inquiry, Paulo Pinheiro.
Professor Pinheiro also described as “scandalous” the fact that many thousands of non-Syrian children born to former IS fighters continue to be held in detention in dreadful conditions in Syria’s north-east:
“Most foreign children remain deprived of their liberty since their home countries refuse to repatriate them. We have the most ratified convention in the world, the Convention on the Right of the Child, is completely forgotten. And democratic States that are prepared to abide to this Convention they neglect the obligations of this Convention in what is happening in Al Hol and other camps and prison places.”
Some 40,000 children continue to be held in camps including Al Hol. Nearly half are Iraqi and 7,800 are from nearly 60 other countries, according to the Commission of Inquiry report, which covers the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
Unremitting suffering in Yemen in spotlight at Human Rights Council
To Yemen finally, where years of war have continued to cause unremitting suffering for the country’s people.
In a new alert at the Human Rights Council on Tuesday, a panel of UN-appointed independent experts highlighted how all parties to the conflict have continued to commit serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws, many likely war crimes.
The expert panel pointed to a lack of political will by the international community, to push for an end to the fighting, while also calling for the supply of arms to Yemen, by third parties to stop.
According to the experts’ latest report, the last 12 months of conflict in Yemen have been marked by shelling incidents which have continued to kill and injure civilians.
The actions of all parties to the conflict have made the humanitarian crisis worse, they insisted, pointing to blockades and restrictions on food supplies and aid access.
Arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and torture have also continued, while fair trial rights have been denied, the experts said, before urging the Council to keep following the situation by renewing their mandate beyond one year and providing sufficient resources to do so.
Katy Dartford, UN News.