News in Brief 11 November 2022

News in Brief 11 November 2022

This is the New in Brief, from the United Nations.

UN hosts Black Sea Grain Initiative talks

A Russian delegation is holding talks in Geneva with senior UN officials over the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has enabled unimpeded exports of food and fertilizers from some of Ukraine’s Black Sea Ports.

While helping to stave off a global hunger crisis, there has been no guarantee, as yet, that Russia will continue to honour the deal.

Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Vershinin, began talks on Friday with the UN Conference on Trade and Development head, Rebeca Grynspan, and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths.

Secretary-General António Guterres, has urged both Russia and Ukraine to extend the deal, which could expire on 19 November.

At the end of October, Russia suspended its participation in the initiative for several days, saying that Ukraine was using the agreement as cover to target Russian ships in Crimea.

Mozambique: Funds dry up amidst looming hunger

One million desperately vulnerable people in northern Mozambique could see their life-saving support cut unless funding is urgently found to help, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.

The warning comes amid intensifying extremist violence in Cabo Delgado – the most food-insecure province in the country and home to 1.15 million people in ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’ hunger levels.

WFP is extremely worried that the funding shortage will coincide with the hardest months of the upcoming hunger season in February.

The agency said that although difficult for some time, the funding situation is now running out of options.

It is appealing to donors to continue life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable.  

Winter hardships for displaced families – UN Refugee Agency

Millions of people from Ukraine, Afghanistan and across the Middle East displaced by conflict or persecution could face a perilous winter as freezing temperatures add to the misery already induced by spiralling prices, the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather linked to the climate crisis, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

UNHCR spokesperson Olga Sarrado said on Friday that millions of the world’s most vulnerable people will be without essential basics.

“For many of the world’s forcibly displaced, this coming winter will be far more challenging than in recent years, with many displaced families will have no option but to choose between food and warmth as they struggle to heat their shelters, source warm clothing and cook hot meals”.

Despite worsening humanitarian needs, funding for life-saving aid programmes and assistance remains bleak and has already forced UNHCR to scale back essential aid in several countries.

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  • UN hosts Black Sea Grain Initiative talks

  • Mozambique: Funds dry up amidst looming hunger

  • Winter hardships for displaced families – UN Refugee Agency

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Nicki Chadwick, UN News Geneva
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© WFP/Denise Colletta