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News in Brief 22 March 2022

News in Brief 22 March 2022

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Time to negotiate end to ‘unwinnable’ war in Ukraine, Guterres declares

UN chief António Guterres on Tuesday said that it’s time for a diplomatic solution to be found to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and end its “unwinnable” and “indefensible” war there.

The Secretary-General was speaking to journalists outside the Security Council in New York, telling them from his own outreach efforts, “elements of diplomatic progress” were coming into view on several key issues.

“The war is going nowhere, fast. For more than two weeks, Mariupol has been encircled by the Russian army and relentlessly bombed, shelled and attacked. For what? Even if Mariupol falls, Ukraine cannot be conquered city by city, street by street, house by house. The only outcome to all this is more suffering, more destruction, and more horror as far as the eye can see.”

Nearly a month since Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 3.5 million refugees have fled the country, UN humanitarians have said.

In Poland, where two million Ukrainians are sheltering, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that many refugees had chronic health care needs, requiring urgent assistance.

Here’s Dr Paloma Cuchi, WHO representative in Poland:

“As you can imagine access to health care in Ukraine is very restricted. And on top of that, refugees are coming from a long, difficult and dangerous journey, you know, until they arrive at the border of Poland. Children are travelling for days without proper food, without the proper water. They are tired, they are worried.”

The development comes amid reports that Russian shelling has continued to target heavily built-up areas inside Ukraine.

Latest UN health agency data has now confirmed 62 attacks on health care inside Ukraine, since Russian forces invaded on 24 February.

Now humanitarians fear Ukraine fallout in Haiti

Reflecting the global commodity price crunch made worse by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, UN humanitarians in Haiti warned that it would likely hurt vulnerable people in the highly import-dependent island nation.

In an alert on Tuesday, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned that hunger levels in Haiti were “rising unabated, (amid) persistent political instability, growing inflation and recurrent disasters”.

Much of the island’s wheat comes from Russia and Canada, said WFP country director Pierre Honnorat:

“So if the wheat flour is going up, you will see a problem and as I said, the price has already multiplied by five in two years. So, we can only expect that it will multiply again.”

Needs remain high in the southern part of Haiti where communities are still reeling from a devastating earthquake that hit in August 2021.

In the north, heavy flooding in January hit Haitians hard, prompting WFP to scale up its response with daily food deliveries.

More than four in 10 Haitians are food insecure, including 1.5 million who require an emergency response.

Thousands continue to flee violence in northern Mozambique

In Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, unrelenting violence and bloodshed has forced thousands to flee their homes since the start of the year, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday.

It comes one year after attacks in the northern coastal town of Palma by suspected Al-Shabab militants, who began an insurgency in 2017.

UNHCR’s Boris Cheshirkov told journalists in Geneva that attacks by non-state armed groups between January and mid-March had displaced 24,000 people in Nangade district, in the far north.

They need humanitarian assistance and protection services urgently, said Mr. Cheshirkov, who added that hundreds of families are reportedly still on the move:

 “Those fleeing violence suffered and witnessed atrocities, including killings and the decapitation and dismemberment of bodies, sexual violence, kidnappings, forced recruitment by armed groups, and torture. The threat of renewed violence means the number of people arriving in Mueda continues to increase.”

UNHCR is working with partners and local authorities to help the displaced.

It is providing shelter materials and household items to vulnerable families, monitoring those with protection needs and supporting authorities to manage sites hosting the displaced.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

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  • Time to negotiate end to ‘unwinnable’ war in Ukraine, Guterres declares

  • Now humanitarians fear Ukraine fallout in Haiti

  • Thousands continue to flee violence in northern Mozambique

 

Audio Credit
Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
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© WHO/Anastasia Vlasova