This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
COP26 made progress, but climate catastrophe not averted: UN chief
Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed some “important steps” taken at the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, but said that “our fragile planet is hanging by a thread”.
In a statement released at the end of the two-week conference, António Guterres hailed deals made to end deforestation and reduce methane emissions drastically –and to involve private finance in reducing our carbon footprint to net zero.
But he insisted that the world “is still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe”, with temperatures set to rise “well above two degrees Celsius by the end of the century”, based on today’s emissions.
Coal needs to be phased out and a price put on carbon, the UN Secretary-General maintained, before repeating his call for richer nations to “make good” their $100 billion pledge to support developing countries withstand climate shocks.
“Protecting countries from climate disaster is not charity. It is solidarity and enlightened self-interest”, said Mr. Guterres, who also committed to setting up an expert group to measure net zero commitments from non-State actors.
$40 million in aid relief to Ethiopia for victims of conflict, drought
As the humanitarian crisis grows in Ethiopia’s conflict-affected north, the UN announced on Monday that $40 million in funds have been made available to scale up emergency operations.
The UN’s top emergency relief official, Martin Griffiths, said that millions of people in northern Ethiopia are now “living on a knife-edge, as the humanitarian crisis is growing deeper and wider”.
He said that needs are rising across the country, and that the funds would help aid organizations reach some of the most vulnerable.
The situation has spiralled since November 2020, when central government troops clashed with forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
“Women, boys and girls continue to bear the brunt of the conflict, yet their protection needs remain underfunded”, Mr. Griffiths warned.
In addition to providing help to Ethiopia’s conflict-affected northern regions, communities will also receive support for an early drought response in the south of the country, the Oromia regions and in Somali.
‘Under $1’ HIV/syphilis test kits approved to stop mother-baby transmission
Dual test kits for HIV and syphilis that cost less than $1 are now available for pregnant women to stop mother-to-child disease transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) said
Every year, 1.3 million women with HIV become pregnant and nearly one million more are infected with syphilis.
The development follows a partnership between the Clinton Health Access Initiative, MedAccess and SD Biosensor, making the dual test the lowest priced of the three that have WHO approval.
The UN health agency said that although many African countries are introducing testing for HIV and syphilis among pregnant women, global take-up is only 23 per cent.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.