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News in Brief 3 February 2023

News in Brief 3 February 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

UN aid convoys deliver lifesaving relief to Ukraine’s war-ravaged east

Two aid convoys have reached Ukrainian communities in acute need near the contact line in the country’s war-shattered east, UN aid coordinators have reported.

Medicines, roofing repair kits, bottled water and solar lamps were among the relief items delivered to the towns of Hulyaipole and Toretsk, on Tuesday and Thursday.

Thousands of people there are unable or unwilling to leave their homes, amid regular shelling attacks.

With more from Hulyaipole, here’s UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, Marco Rotelli:

“We’re very close to the contact line, and we’re unloading relief items, lifesaving items for a population of around 3,000 people, while they’re spreading around 30 of the villages all around this area. We brought medicines, we brought hygiene kits and bottled water, which is very important because there is no water supply.”

Since March last year, residents in Hulyaipole have had no electricity, as energy infrastructure has been damaged by fighting, and repairs are impossible while the violence continues.

WHO launches bid to tackle inequalities behind global breast cancer threat

A UN-led global initiative to tackle breast cancer could save 2.5 million lives by 2040, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Each year, more than 2.3 million women are diagnosed, making it the most common cancer in the world among adults.

Although a limited number of high-income countries have been able to reduce breast cancer deaths by 40 per cent since 1990, for women in poorer countries, one of the main challenges is getting a quick diagnosis.

Here’s WHO’s Dr. Bente Mikkelsen:

“Breast cancer survival is 50 per cent or less in many low and middle-income countries and greater than 90 per cent for those able to receive the best care in high-income countries.”

Launched to coincide with World Cancer Day on 4 February, the UN agency’s Global Breast Cancer Initiative provides guidance to governments on early detection, timely diagnosis and treatment.

Switzerland: UN rights panel hails asylum decision for Kurdish refugees

Finally to Geneva, where a top rights panel has applauded Switzerland’s decision to grant asylum and residency to four Kurdish refugee children from Syria.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said on Friday that the children’s mother had also been granted permission to stay by the Swiss authorities.

The family had faced deportation to Bulgaria where they were originally given refugee status, but the Committee explained that the children had been expelled from a Bulgarian refugee camp and forced to beg for food, while they were also at risk from their violent father.

At the request of the Committee, Switzerland suspended the deportation, before reopening the case and finally recognising the four as refugees.

This is the fifth time that Switzerland has granted children residence permits after their cases have been registered with the Committee, it said.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

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Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
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© UNICEF/Aleksey Filippov