This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Ukraine war: neighbouring countries struggling to welcome influx
The exodus of millions of Ukrainians from their country following the Russian invasion could overwhelm neighbouring countries, UN humanitarians warned on Wednesday.
To date, more than two million people have fled Ukraine; most have found shelter in Poland and more than 200,000 have reached Hungary.
Slovakia has taken in more than 150,000 from its embattled neighbour since 24 February, when Russian forces began shelling and bombarding Ukrainian cities.
Latest estimates from UN aid agencies suggest that four million refugees are likely by the end of the war, which represents about 10 per cent of Ukraine’s population.
The development follows news alerts that a Russian strike at a hospital in Mariupol has left children buried under the rubble.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 18 confirmed attacks on Ukraine health facilities.
Fears grow for Syria amid rising violence, deepening humanitarian crisis
Top UN-appointed rights investigators on Wednesday urged renewed efforts for a political solution to Syria’s devastating war, amid an uptick of violence and a deepening humanitarian crisis.
The latest UN Human Rights Council-mandated report on the conflict points to “hundreds of thousands” of civilians killed after more than 10 years of conflict, more than half of the pre-war population now displaced and 14.6 million people dependent on humanitarian aid.
In Syria’s northwest, many people forced from their homes “are still living in flimsy tents, stuck in snow, rain, mud”, the investigators said, while in the northeast, tens of thousands of women and stateless children linked to ISIL fighters are still being held in the notorious Al Hol camp complex.
Here’s Commissioner Lynn Welchman:
“The conditions in Al Hol are absolutely appalling, and the number of children and other numbers of mostly women who are detained-cum-interned there. It’s a dreadful situation, humanitarian-wise and security-wise. And it’s one of the things that we are most concerned about in terms of what’s happened…In some cases, it could at least be addressed by third nations who are able to take back their nationals with their children.”
The Commissioners said that the camp has seen more than 90 murders and 40 attempted murders in the past year.
UNICEF provides boost to mother and child care, in northeast Nigeria
To Nigeria, where the UN is giving a boost to lifesaving mother and child care, to conflict-affected communities in the country’s northeast.
“For 13 years, women and children have paid the highest cost of the conflict in northeast Nigeria,” the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Wednesday, adding that 170 youngsters died in 2020, as a result of the insecurity.
UNICEF announced the initiative, after delivering essential medicines worth more than $430,000 to Yobe and Borno states.
An additional half a million dollars has also been pledged to help implement the roll-out of primary healthcare in both states.
The development means that pregnant women in Yobe and Borno will be able to access healthcare in their communities and receive essential drugs, tests and basic medical support, close to their homes.
WHO issues new guidelines on abortion to help deliver lifesaving care
New guidelines on abortion are now available from the UN health agency, in a bid to prevent more than 25 million unsafe terminations that happen each year.
“Nearly every death and injury that results from unsafe abortion is entirely preventable,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has insisted.
To keep women and girls safe, it’s released over 50 recommendations spanning clinical practice, health service delivery, and legal and policy interventions to support quality abortion care.
The medical procedure is “simple and extremely safe” when it is carried out using a method recommended by WHO, the UN agency said.
But worldwide, only around half of all abortions take place safely, causing around 39,000 deaths every year and resulting in millions more women hospitalized with complications.
The recommendations are easy to find; just search online for WHO.INT
Daniel Johnson, UN News.