This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
A shipment of 600,000 doses of vaccine has been delivered to authorities in Lebanon in an effort to control a fast-spreading outbreak of cholera, the first the country has seen in more than 30 years.
The vaccines have been supplied by the International Coordination Group, with the World Health Organization (WHO) covering the costs.
A vaccination campaign will begin on Saturday, which will target all refugees and host communities, even those as young as one-year-old babies.
It aims to reach 70 per cent of the target population. The hope is that 200,000 doses of the vaccine will be administered over the coming three weeks.
Since the first case was confirmed more than a month ago, over 3,000 suspected and confirmed cases of cholera have been reported across the country, including 18 deaths.
Children are most at risk from the deadly disease, with those under 14 making up more than 50% of cases.
Unilateral sanctions against Syria are perpetuating and exacerbating the destruction and trauma suffered by its people, according to a UN-appointed independent human rights expert, calling on States who have imposed sanctions to lift them.
Alena Douhan, the Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights, said that 90 per cent of Syria’s population is currently living below the poverty line, with limited access to the most basic of needs such as food, water, electricity, shelter and healthcare.
She said, Thursday, “With more than half of the vital infrastructure either completely destroyed or severely damaged, the imposition of unilateral sanctions on key economic sectors, including oil, gas, electricity, trade, construction and engineering have quashed national income, and undermine efforts towards economic recovery and reconstruction”, adding that no reference to good objectives of unilateral sanctions justifies the violation of fundamental human rights.
Committee on Enforced Disappearances to visit Iraq
A team of independent human rights experts is preparing to travel to Iraq on Saturday to investigate forced disappearances in the country.
The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances will spend nearly two weeks in Iraq, meeting victims, civil society organizations, international organizations, and national and human rights institutions.
Iraqi authorities agreed to the visit a year ago. They estimate that the number of people who have disappeared during decades of conflict and human rights abuses, could be anywhere between 250,000 and more than a million.
The three-member team will also hold discussions with Government officials, including those in charge of investigating and preventing enforced disappearances, those who work to locate the missing, and those responsible for establishing and implementing related public policies.
Nicki Chadwick, UN News.
- 600,000 doses of cholera vaccine arrive in Lebanon
- Syria: UN expert calls for lifting of long-lasting unilateral sanctions
- Committee on Enforced Disappearances to visit Iraq