News in Brief 12 January 2023

News in Brief 12 January 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

2022 confirmed as one of warmest years on record: WMO

The UN weather agency, WMO, said on Thursday that 2022 was among the hottest years ever.

The development adds to deep concerns that the likelihood of breaching the 1.5 degree Celsius (or 34.7 Fahrenheit) limit of the Paris Agreement “is increasing”.

In its alert, the World Meteorological Organization explained that 2022 was the eighth consecutive year that global temperatures have risen at least one degree above pre-industrial levels, fuelled by rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat.

The cooling effect of the La Niña phenomenon – now in its third year - prevented 2022 from being the warmest ever, WMO said.

But the UN agency added that La Niña’s cooling impact “will be short-lived and will not reverse the long-term warming trend” that’s caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

‘Soaring needs’ in Central African Republic: OCHA

To Central African Republic    , where humanitarian needs are “soaring”, and more than one in two people need help and protection.

That’s according to the UN aid coordination office, OCHA, which said that 3.4 million people are at risk today.

That number is 10 per cent higher than last year and it includes two million people “who have such severe needs that their physical and mental well-being is at risk”.

OCHA explained that although there are fewer clashes between armed groups in rural areas now, violence against civilians continues to prevent several million from securing food, water and healthcare.

Among the most worrying findings from the latest nationwide humanitarian survey in Central African Republic: that rising hunger and gender-based violence affect   thousands of women and girls.

Data showed that 10 subprefectures have recorded an increase in violence against women and girls and five are one step away from “catastrophic” food insecurity.

In villages along the Bouca-Batangafo axis, the UN Office also reported that 93 per cent of residents said that a family member had gone to sleep hungry in the previous month, because there was not enough to eat.

Uzbekistan: WHO urges withdrawal of contaminated medicines

A medical alert finally for anyone in Uzbekistan and beyond, where the World Health Organization, WHO, has urged people not to take Ambronol or Dok-1 Max syrup, as they contain banned substances.

Lab analysis by the Uzbek authorities found that the products were contaminated with unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol.

Diethylene glycol is a widely used solvent and ethylene glycol is found in antifreeze. Both are toxic to humans when consumed in sufficient quantities and can prove fatal.

WHO’s European directorate which issued the alert said on Thursday that the liquid medicines may already be available in other countries in the region.

For identification purposes, the agency noted that the stated manufacturer on both products is Marion Biotech, based in Uttar Pradesh, India. 

It is important to quickly detect and remove these substandard products from circulation to prevent harm to patients, WHO explained.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

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Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
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