This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
100 days into Ukraine war, humanitarian needs remain massive
One hundred days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, UN humanitarians on Friday issued a fresh alert about the enormous needs there.
At least 15.7 million people in Ukraine are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection, Ukrainians have been displaced multiple times, and women are giving birth in highly dangerous conditions.
Here’s the UN Population Fund’s Jaime Nadal, speaking from Lviv in western Ukraine:
“We have received reports and heard testimonies from doctors about deliveries, including C-sections, taking place in the basements of maternity hospitals, in shelters, and even in metro stations, while others took place in hard-to-reach areas with gynaecologists giving remote, online instructions during childbirth to save the lives of both the mother and newborn.”
There are also serious concerns about rising global food insecurity, as millions of tonnes of cereals remain blocked in Ukraine ports.
Top UN officials have held talks in Moscow to facilitate the movement of grain and fertilizer from Russia, but the UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine, Amin Awad, told journalists in Geneva that there’s no “clear-cut” solution emerging yet.
Yemen truce extension welcomed but children still at risk from years of conflict – Guterres, agencies
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the two-month truce renewal in Yemen; he also urged the parties to implement the terms of the agreement “without delay”.
The ceasefire between Government allied forces in Yemen and Houthi opposition fighters has also been welcomed by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which on Friday said that for the past eight weeks, the people of Yemen “have seen violence and hostilities decrease”.
Fighting escalated between Yemeni Government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, in 2015.
Today the country is in crisis, lacking food, health care and fuel, not least in the city of Ta’izz, said OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell, who urged the warring parties to make serious efforts to ensure that roads into the city are reopened.
“Ta’izz has essentially been under siege by Ansar Allah since 2015. There is a current dire humanitarian situation there. People face huge challenges in getting water, buying food and accessing medical services .”
Mixed results from eight round of Syria talks in Geneva
The eighth round of talks on a new Syrian constitution between the country’s Government and opposition representatives ended on Friday in Geneva, where the UN negotiator leading the process has urged them to look for compromises, to take the process forward.
In a statement late on Friday, UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said that several areas of a potential new constitution for Syria had been discussed in Geneva all week.
But work proceeded at a “slow pace”, Mr. Pedersen noted, adding that there was a “continuing inability to identify and conclude concrete areas of provisional agreement”.
Delegates attending the discussions should try to work towards constitutional texts “that would attract broad support among Syrians”, he suggested, ahead of a ninth round of talks scheduled in the Swiss city late next month.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.