This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
As Za’atari refugee camp turns 10, war-weary Syrians still face uncertain future
Ten years since Jordan’s Za’atari camp opened its doors to 80,000 displaced Syrians, poverty now affects an increasing number of residents who face an uncertain future, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday.
Increasing global food and energy prices that have been made worse by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have seen many refugee families “struggling to meet their basic needs on a daily basis”, it insisted.
Despite the provision of food assistance, overall, household incomes have declined rapidly, while poverty levels have increased worryingly in the camp.
Humanitarians are also worried about children in Za’atari. Here’s Dominik Bartsch, UNHCR Representative in Amman:
“Limited mobility of means, limited opportunities, and perhaps most depressingly, limited opportunities for the many children who are born in the camp and have seen no other environs than the camp itself.”
According to UNHCR, two in three refugee families in Za’atari say they are in debt and 92 per cent reported resorting to negative coping strategies, such as reducing food intake or accepting high-risk jobs.
Injectable HIV drug deal could be lifesaver for developing countries
A landmark agreement has been reached for the production of low-cost, injectable HIV medicines in 90 developing countries where the majority of infections occur, UNITAID said on Friday.
Selected manufacturers will be able to develop, manufacture and supply lower-cost generic versions of long-acting Cabotegravir (CAB-LA), in line with a deal reached with pharmaceutical firm ViiV Healthcare.
The deal is significant because injections of the dru g will only be needed once every few months, removing the need to take tablets every day, which can attract stigma and discrimination.
Here’s UNITAID spokesperson, Hervé Verhoosel:
“This product will not be there for everybody, that’s first for people who are there the most at risk… The price of that product for one year in the US for example is approximately 20,000 US dollars, and that’s a lot of money; that’s why that product cannot be used in low and middle-income countries.”
Least-developed, low-income, lower middle income and sub-Saharan African countries will benefit from the deal.
In the 90 countries where the injected drug will be available, 80 will not have to pay royalties and 10 will pay a smaller contribution, UNITAID said.
Lebanon: spare refugees from street violence, urges UNHCR
To Lebanon finally, where the UN has spoken out against rising tensions that have erupted in street violence, with refugees targeted.
The development has followed a Government-led plan to return thousands of Syrian refugees every month, and an ongoing deep economic crisis in Lebanon.
Condemning the impact on everyone in Lebanon, which hosts around 1.5 million Syrians displaced by the war, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said that secure access to food and other basic needs should be guaranteed.
The UN agency also warned on Friday that it was increasingly concerned with “restrictive practices and discriminatory measures” that have affected refugees and others.
It called for continued international assistance for Lebanon and appealed directly to the authorities, to ensure rule of law and the protection of all persons in the country.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.