This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN envoy calls for extending and expanding ‘transformational’ truce in Yemen
Warring parties in Yemen are urged to renew their historic truce which has largely held for nearly four months, the UN Special Envoy for the country, Hans Grundberg, said on Thursday.
The truce will expire on 2 August, and the Government and Houthi rebels “must rise to the occasion and not miss this opportunity”, he said.
The Special Envoy has intensified his engagement towards expanding and extending the agreement, which was first announced in April - initially for just two months.
It was extended in June for an additional two months, marking the longest period of relative calm in more than seven years of war in Yemen, with a significant decrease in civilian casualties.
Mr. Grundberg said despite shortcomings in implementation, the truce has been “transformational” for the country.
“An extended and expanded truce will increase the benefits to the Yemeni people,” he said, adding that “ultimately, the aim is to move toward a political settlement that comprehensively ends the conflict.”
Monkeypox cases surpass 14,000 worldwide: WHO
More than 14,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported across 71 countries, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday in remarks to an expert group that is monitoring the evolution of the outbreak.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said while there has been an apparent declining trend in some countries, others are still seeing an increase, with six countries reporting their first cases last week.
The vast majority of monkeypox cases continue to be reported among men who have sex with men.
Tedros said this represents both an opportunity for targeted public health interventions, but also presents challenges because of life-threatening discrimination in some countries.
He warned of the “very real concern” that men who have sex with men could be stigmatised or blamed for the outbreak, thus making it much harder to track and stop infections.
WHO welcomes funding to expand lifesaving malaria vaccine rollout in Africa
In more health news:
WHO has welcomed historic funding to expand the rollout of the world’s first-ever malaria vaccine in Africa.
Countries on the continent can apply for funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has allocated $160 million over the next three years to support increased access to the lifesaving RTS,S vaccine.
WHO said malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2020, nearly half a million boys and girls died from the disease, or one child every minute.
The vaccine was first introduced three years ago in a pilot programme in three countries - Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. So far, roughly 1.3 million children have been inoculated.
Dianne Penn, UN News.