I’m Dianne Penn with UN News
Disaster summit concludes with call for countries to urgently adopt early warning systems
A UN summit on disaster risk reduction concluded in Bali on Friday with a call for more countries to urgently adopt and improve early warning systems.
Representatives from some 184 countries attended the summit, officially the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, to review efforts to protect communities from a rising number of climate hazards and other catastrophes around the world.
Only 95 countries reported having multi-hazard early warning systems that give governments, agencies, and the public notice of an impending disaster, with particularly low coverage in Africa, as well as in the world’s Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.
The summit’s outcome document stated that “early warning systems should be inclusive of communities most at risk with adequate institutional, financial and human capacity to act on early warnings.”
A UN report published last month cited early warning systems as a critical defence against floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, and other disasters. The study warned that based on the current trajectory, the world will experience 560 disasters by 2030, or 1.5 a day.
UNHCR expands operations supporting Ukrainian refugees in Poland
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has expanded its operations in Poland to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees who have settled in the country, Spokesperson Olga Sarrado said on Friday.
Poland continues to be the main country of arrival for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. More than 3.5 million have arrived since the start of the conflict on 24 February.
Ms. Sarrado said that newly arrived refugees often come from areas heavily affected by the fighting, some of whom spent weeks hiding in bomb shelters and basements.
Health services and medical needs are their main queries. Other requests concern transportation, financial support, accommodation, and access to social services, including for people with disabilities and older persons.
Ms. Sarrado noted that the pace of arrivals has slowed down in comparison to early March, when over 100,000 people were arriving per day. This month, the figure was around 20,000 daily.
UN chief condemns recent spate of deadly attacks in Afghanistan
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on all sides in Afghanistan to ensure the protection of civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, as well as their right to freely practice their religion.
His appeal came on Thursday in response to recent deadly attacks in the country, including on passenger vehicles in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif and the Masjid Sharif Hazrat Zakaria mosque in the capital, Kabul.
The UN chief condemned the attacks, which resulted in numerous civilian deaths, among them members of the Hazara Shia community and at least 16 children.
The Secretary-General extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims, his Spokesperson said in a statement, adding that attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including mosques, are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law.
Dianne Penn, UN News.