News in Brief 23 January 2023

News in Brief 23 January 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations. 

UN rights chief Türk condemns killing of Eswatini human rights lawyer 

The killing in Eswatini of prominent human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko has been strongly condemned by UN rights chief Volker Türk. 

Mr. Maseko, who was also a pro-democracy activist, was shot dead in his home in the southern African kingdom at the weekend.  

In a statement calling for accountability, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged the Eswatini authorities to ensure “a prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigation” into the killing.  

Mr. Türk also insisted that those responsible should be given a fair trial and that all Eswatini people should be protected, including human rights defenders, journalists and political activists. 

At the time of his killing, Mr. Maseko was the lawyer for two members of parliament facing trial for offences allegedly committed during civil unrest in Eswatini in 2021. 

In 2015, he was acquitted on appeal and released from a year in detention for allegedly criticizing the judicial system, the UN rights chief also noted. 

$2.54 billion needed to tackle health emergencies in 2023: WHO  

Two and a half billion dollars: that’s how much funding the UN World Health Organization (WHO) needs this year, to help a record number of people facing disease and starvation. 

In its appeal, launched on Monday, the WHO said that a staggering 339 million people now need humanitarian assistance globally.  

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the UN agency’s Director-General, urged donors “to be generous” and help WHO to save lives, prevent the spread of disease within and across borders, and support communities as they rebuild”. 

The UN agency is already working in an “unprecedented” number of emergencies, from the fall-out of devastating flooding in Pakistan, to catastrophic food insecurity across the Sahel and in the greater Horn of Africa.  

The WHO is also heavily involved in alleviating suffering in Ukraine following the Russian invasion and it continues to work in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and northern Ethiopia, where conflict, COVID-19 and climate change have dangerously disrupted health systems.  

Yemen: UN migration agency unveils water network for conflict-hit Marib 

To Yemen, where UN workers have unveiled a drinking water network in Marib that will provide some relief to almost 15,000 people affected by the war.   

According to IOM, the UN migration agency that unveiled the project, “thousands of families have lacked adequate access to clean water in … (the) area for years”. 

The Al Sowayda Water Supply Project serves four displacement sites in Marib. IOM maintained that it is an example of “a durable solution” that allows people to access vital and more affordable services (and) become less reliant on aid”. 

In the coming months, the UN agency pledged to expand the project into more schools and health facilities in the displacement camps where it was unveiled at the weekend. 

Across Yemen, more than 15 million people require clean water and sanitation services, nearly eight years since conflict escalated between the internationally recognised Government backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, and Houthi opposition forces who occupy the capital, Sanaa. 

Daniel Johnson, UN News. 

 

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  • UN rights chief Türk condemns killing of Eswatini human rights lawyer

  • $2.54 billion needed to tackle health emergencies in 2023: WHO  

  • Yemen: UN migration agency unveils water network for conflict-hit Marib  

Audio Credit
Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
Audio
3'5"
Photo Credit
Volker Türk