News in Brief 25 May 2023
This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Africa Day: UN chief calls for international solidarity to realize continent’s potential
Africa’s “breathtaking potential” can be realized if the international community steps up to help the continent overcome multiple injustices and crises, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message marking Africa Day on Thursday.
He highlighted the boundless possibilities offered by the continent’s free trade area – the largest in the world – which could lift 50 million people out of extreme poverty by 2035, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
But holding Africa back were conflict, insufficient access to debt relief and lack of representation in global governance institutions, the UN chief said.
He called for strengthened action by multilateral development banks to help attract private finance “at reasonable cost” to developing economies, solidarity from the developed world on climate financing, and support to peace efforts across the continent.
“With international cooperation and solidarity, this can be Africa’s century,” Mr. Guterres said.
Half of Sudan’s population needs humanitarian aid
In conflict-torn Sudan, an estimated 24.7 million people, or half the population, require urgent humanitarian assistance and protection, according to the UN’s top humanitarian official in the country, Abdou Dieng.
Mr. Dieng noted that this number had risen by 57 per cent since the beginning of the year.
He said that aid partners have provided food for over 500,000 people in the country since the beginning of May, in addition to supplying water, healthcare and hygiene support to hundreds of thousands of displaced people, whenever access was possible.
Mr. Dieng stated that humanitarians are ready to deliver assistance to over four million in need and called on the relevant authorities to allow aid workers to move supplies “swiftly and safely”.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that more than two-thirds of hospitals are out of service because of fighting in Sudan, while in areas that did not see fighting, medical facilities are running low on supplies and staff, fuel, oxygen and blood bank services.
Children in east Asia and Pacific most threatened by climate shocks: UNICEF
Out of all the children in the world, those growing up in east Asia and the Pacific face the greatest exposure to climate disasters, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
A child living in the region today faces six times more climate-related shocks than their grandparents did, UNICEF said.
More than 440 million children in the region are highly exposed to three or more types of environmental hazards, which include cyclones, coastal flooding, water scarcity and pollution.
UNICEF warned that when these overlapping shocks are compounded by food insecurity, malnutrition and the spread of infectious diseases, it becomes “especially hard” for the most vulnerable youngsters to cope and recover.
The agency called for governments and businesses to urgently invest in climate-resilient education, healthcare and water supply and sanitation, as well as early warning systems and social protection.
- Africa Day: UN chief calls for international solidarity to realize continent’s potential
- Half of Sudan’s population need humanitarian aid
- Children in east Asia and Pacific most threatened by climate shocks