Global perspective Human stories

News in Brief - 2 August 2022

News in Brief - 2 August 2022

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.  

Vital programmes in DR Congo cut due to funding shortfall: UNHCR  

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says that it’s been forced to cut vital programmes for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) because of insufficient funding.  

The cuts will have a “significant impact” on the lives of over half a million refugees and asylum seekers, and more than 5.6 million internally displaced people, warned Dominique Hyde, Director of UNHCR’s Division for External Relations.  

DRC is currently the most underfunded of UNHCR’s operations worldwide.  

Since 30 June only 19 per cent of the $225 million budgeted for at the start of the year has been secured.  This means that 82 per cent of the country’s internally displaced people will not receive adequate shelter support. UNHCR also cannot help to send a single refugee child to secondary school this year.  

Ms. Hyde said: “We should all be angry. The inability to respond, to provide against the toxic cocktail of conflict, climate shocks, Covid 19, the war in Ukraine and rising food prices”.  

Horn of Africa’s ‘catastrophic’ food insecurity -- WHO  

A warning now from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst food insecurity situations in the last 70 years. 

More than 37 million people, including seven million children under the age of five, face acute hunger in the region.  

While finding food and safe water is the top priority, WHO has reiterated that responding to health needs is essential to avert preventable disease and death.  

WHO appealed for $123.7 million to respond to the rising health needs and prevent a food crisis from turning into a health crisis.  

“The situation is already catastrophic, and we need to act now,” said WHO’s Assistant Director General for Emergencies Response, Ibrahima Soce Fall. “We cannot in this underfunding crisis”. 

WHO Incident Manager Sophie Maes said that the situation is deteriorating because of climate change, conflict, rising food prices and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, compounding one of the worst droughts in recent decades: 

“There are now four seasons where the rain didn’t come as predicted and a fifth season is estimated to also fail. Places where there is drought the problem keeps on worsening and worsening. And we are looking at something that is going to get worse in the near future.”  

Harassment of rights defenders in West Bank must end: UN experts 

UN-appointed independent human rights experts spoke out on Tuesday against Israel’s alleged harassment of human rights defenders and humanitarian workers in the occupied West Bank hamlets of Masafer Yatta.  

The experts also denounced the threats of mass forced evictions and arbitrary displacement of communities there. 

In May, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected appeals against eviction orders of Palestinians in Masafer Yatta.  

Since then, dozens of families have been left homeless without warning as Israeli authorities issued more demolition orders and established military checkpoints. 

Reports that human rights defenders and humanitarian workers have been harassed by the Israeli military in Masafer Yatta were a “direct assault on the core of human rights”, the experts said. 

They pointed to the case of protester Sami Hureini as being of particular concern, after his reported arrested in June.  

He is being tried for allegedly obstructing and assaulting a soldier and entering a closed military zone in January 2021 despite a lack of physical evidence substantiating the allegations, the experts said.

Katilena Dartford, UN News. 

  • Vital programmes in DR Congo cut due to funding shortfall: UNHCR

  • Horn of Africa’s ‘catastrophic’ food insecurity -- WHO

  • Harassment of rights defenders in West Bank must end: UN experts

Audio Credit
Katilena Dartford, UN News Geneva
Audio Duration
Photo Credit