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News in Brief 4 September 2023

News in Brief 4 September 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Africa bears brunt of global warming it did little to cause: WMO

Africa is buckling under the devastating burden of extreme weather while having contributed very little to climate change, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.

According to WMO’s new research, released just as leaders gather for the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya this week, African countries are responsible for less than 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but are suffering disproportionately from weather disasters amplified by human-induced climate change, from prolonged droughts to floods.

 WMO warned that increasingly extreme weather on the continent was harming food security, ecosystems and economies, fuelling displacement and “worsening the threat of conflict over dwindling resources”.

Agricultural productivity across Africa has declined by over a third since 1961 due to climate change, WMO said, and projected annual food imports are expected to increase threefold by 2025, to $110 billion.

The UN agency said that more than 110 million Africans were directly affected by weather, climate and water-related hazards in 2022, which caused 5,000 reported deaths – although the true toll is “likely to be much higher” – and more than $8.5 billion in economic damages.

Sudan: ‘Dire’ health situation faces those fleeing violence

Children from war-torn Sudan who crossed the country’ borders fleeing for their lives are now in mortal danger once again, with malnutrition and disease on the rise in several receiving countries, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Monday.

Amid outbreaks of cholera and measles, the health situation among new arrivals is “dire”, UNHCR said.

“It is deeply distressing to receive reports of children dying from diseases that are entirely preventable” if only aid partners had had sufficient resources, said Mamadou Dian Balde, UNHCR Regional Bureau Director.

The UN agency, together with 64 other organizations appealed for $1 billion to provide essential aid and protection to over 1.8 million people expected to arrive in the five countries neighbouring Sudan by year’s end: Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

This is a two-fold increase from May’s estimate, as displacement and corresponding needs continue to soar, UNHCR said. More than one million refugees, returnees and third country nationals have already fled the country.

Ukraine: ‘Immense challenges’ block justice for war victims

Justice and accountability for Ukraine’s war victims were among the topics raised by the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine during its latest country visit, which concluded on Monday.

Speaking in Kyiv, Commission Chair Erik Møse pointed to continuing patterns of violations by the Russian armed forces, including wilful killings, unlawful confinement, torture, rape and other sexual violence.

 Violations also include unlawful transfers and illegal deportations – many of which qualify as war crimes.

 According to the Commission, the Ukrainian legal system faced “immense challenges” to provide accountability and justice to the victims and ensure comprehensive redress for the survivors.

The Commission, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate violations committed since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, said that it has “followed closely” discussions about the establishment of comprehensive reparations programmes.

The rights experts also stressed that the delivery of urgent mental health and psychosocial support to victims remained a challenge.

Dominika Tomaszewska-Mortimer, UN News.

  • Africa bears brunt of global warming it did little to cause: WMO
  • Sudan: ‘Dire’ health situation faces those on the run, $1 billion support package needed: UNHCR
  • Ukraine: ‘Immense challenges’ impede justice for war victims say rights experts
Audio Credit
Dominika Tomaszewska-Mortimer, UN News - Geneva
Audio Duration
Photo Credit
TANBAT 6/Kaptain Mwijage Inyoma