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News in Brief 17 October 2022

News in Brief 17 October 2022

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

1.2 billion worldwide living in acute multidimensional poverty

The UN and partners on Monday released their latest global poverty index which shows around 1.2 billion people, in 111 developing countries, are living in acute multidimensional poverty.

That’s nearly double those classified as poor, based on the definition of having to survive on less than $1.90 per day, and it doesn’t take into account the current cost of living crisis, or effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the new index finds that reducing poverty at scale is possible and unveils new ‘poverty profiles’ that can offer a breakthrough in development efforts to reduce it, said the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The analysis looks beyond income, to understand how people experience poverty in different aspects of their daily lives – from access to education and health, to living standards such as housing, drinking water, sanitation and electricity access.

Human rights system must speak to ‘every human being’ says new OHCHR chief

The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk took office on Monday in Geneva, vowing to champion a global “human rights system that speaks to every human being.”

He said his office OHCHR, would be guided first and foremost, “by the impact our work has, on the people that we serve.”

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to every situation,” he added.

Mr. Türk said the mandate for the High Commissioner encompasses deep engagement with everyone, including governments, human rights defenders, civil society, as well as “very clearly speaking out when it is necessary.”

He said he would not be bound by any agenda beyond the founding Charter of the UN, adding that he did not see engagement and public advocacy as incompatible but rather mutually reinforcing.

Deadly floods decimate lives and livelihoods across West Africa

And finally, above-average rainfall and devastating flooding across West and Central Africa has affected five million people in 19 countries across the region, claiming hundreds of lives, the World Food Programme said on Monday.

Tens of thousands have been displaced and over a million hectares of cropland have been lost, in a region already in the grips of an unprecedented hunger crisis.

This climate-related disaster is one of the deadliest the region has seen in years and is likely to deepen the already worrisome hunger situation for millions.

“These floods act as a misery multiplier and are the final straw for communities already struggling to keep their heads above water,” said Chris Nikoi, WFP’s Regional Director for Western Africa.

He said the agency was on the ground helping flood-hit families get back on their feet by providing an immediate response package.

Matt Wells, UN News.

  • 1.2 billion living in acute multidimensional poverty
  • UN rights system must focus on the people we serve, vows incoming chief
  • West Africa hit hard by climate crisis as floods decimate lives
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Matt Wells, UN News
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