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Health must come before the economy, insists top UN official for Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America, where much of the region has dealt with years of sluggish growth, the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing millions more into poverty, says Alicia Bárcena, the head of the UN regional body for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

World Day against Human Trafficking spotlights essential role of first responders

The UN commemorated World Day against Human Trafficking on Thursday spotlighting the essential – but often overlooked - role of first responders who identify the millions of victims worldwide, helping them secure justice, and rebuild their lives.

Ravages of acute hunger will likely hit six in 10 in Zimbabwe: WFP

The World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently seeking more international support to prevent millions of Zimbabweans plunging deeper into hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, UN humanitarians warned on Thursday.

Five things you should know about disposable masks and plastic pollution

The fight against plastic pollution is being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the use of disposable masks, gloves and other protective equipment soars, but UN agencies and partners insist that, if effective measures are put into place, the amount of plastics discarded every year can be significantly cut, or even eliminated.

Human rights report details ‘heartbreaking’ accounts of women detained in DPRK

Women forcibly returned to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are subjected to torture, ill treatment, sexual abuse, and other violations, according to a report published on Tuesday by the UN Human Rights office.

COVID-19 is not just seasonal, cautions WHO, as ‘first wave’ continues

The COVID-19 virus is likely not impacted by the changing seasons like other respiratory diseases, the UN health agency said on Tuesday, before urging much greater respect for physical distancing measures to stop it spreading.

Trade pact could boost Africa’s income by as much as $450 billion: World Bank

The African Continental Free Trade Area represents a major opportunity for countries to boost growth, reduce poverty, broaden economic inclusion and help “expand opportunities for all Africans”, hailed a World Bank official on Monday, which if fully implemented, could boost regional income by around $450 billion.

Spread of hepatitis B in children under five, lowest in decades: WHO

The global prevalence of potentially-deadly hepatitis B in children under age five, dropped to under one per cent in 2019 – down from five per cent in the pre-vaccine decades between the 1980s and early 2000s, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday.

Dramatic Arctic fires and sea ice melt, show need for urgent climate action

“Exceptional and prolonged” temperatures in Siberia, have left parts of the Arctic warmer than sub-tropical Florida, and fuelled “devastating” wildfires for a second consecutive year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday, while warning also of rapidly decreasing sea ice along the Russian polar coast.

Security Council stalemate frustrates families of Syria’s missing detainees

Families of the more than 130,000 people believed to be detained and forcibly disappeared in Syria, are deeply frustrated by the Security Council’s failure to unite and make progress on the issue, the 15-member organ was told on Thursday.