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News in Brief 5 July 2022

News in Brief 5 July 2022

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Ukraine reconstruction is a ‘long road’ but it must start now: Guterres

UN chief António Guterres lent his support on Tuesday to international efforts to rebuild Ukraine, as a conference began in Switzerland to garner support for the war-shattered country.

In his video message to some 40 country representatives meeting in Lugano, the Secretary-General highlighted the tragic human impact of the conflict, as well as the long-term challenges that lie ahead:

“Russia’s war in Ukraine has taken thousands of lives and forcibly displaced millions of people.  Millions of Ukrainians have lost their livelihoods and over half of the population is at risk of falling into poverty. The damage and devastation to homes, hospitals schools will take years to rebuild…This is a long road, but it must start now.”

In addition to the UN, international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank attended the meeting.

On the agenda, projects to promote climate protection, the digital economy and the diversification of energy sources.

The development comes as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a bid to help Ukrainian farmers save their summer harvest later this month.

The $17 million project, funded by Japan, also aims to support the export of grain to unnamed “alternative” international markets, while also strengthening food security for countries that are dependent on importing Ukrainian cereals, vegetable oil and other commodities. 

It involves restoring storage silos for Ukraine’s grain, and also ensuring that the country’s farmers have the tools they need to work in future, FAO said in a statement.

UN needs $68.4 million to help Central African Republic

A sharp increase in the cost of essential goods in the Central African Republic (CAR) linked to war in Ukraine will likely have a devastating impact on the already dire humanitarian situation there in coming weeks, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

Some 2.2 million people in CAR are already acutely food insecure, warned Tomson Phiri, WFP spokesperson, who said that the global food, fuel and fertilizer crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will put basic food commodities and staples “out of the reach of many”:

“The figure may not shock you out of your seats, but when you look at the population size, that’s nearly half the population of the Central African Republic. …We expect a 30 per cent increase in rice, a 67 per cent increase for the price of wheat flour and a staggering 70 per cent increase in the price of vegetable oil.”

To put CAR’s food insecurity crisis into context, the country is on a par with Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan, in terms of its proportion of acutely food insecure people.

UN agencies urge EU States to end child detention

To Europe where UN agencies have urged the continent’s countries to find alternatives to child immigration centres.

The facilities had a “profound and negative impact” on the health of youngsters, insisted UN migration agency IOM, UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

Detention “is known to exacerbate psychological distress”, the agencies said, highlighting that children held in detention are at risk of depression and anxiety, as well as violence and abuse.

In a review of 38 European countries, the agencies uncovered “many worrying examples” of child detention.

But they also found positive alternatives available to detention, such as supported independent living, and foster and family-based care already in place in various European countries that offer viable and cost-efficient solutions for host States.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

  • Ukraine reconstruction must start now, says UN chief
  • $68.4 million appeal launched to help Central African Republic: WFP
  • EU States urged to end child detention
Audio Credit
Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
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© WFP/Bruno Djoyo