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Mozambique pledging conference hopes to soften devastating blow of back-to-back cyclones

As some 1.85 million people in Mozambique try to recover from back-to-back cyclones Idai and Kenneth, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday kicked off a two-day pledging forum to drum up funds to help get the vulnerable country get back on its feet.

UN expert criticizes States for ‘ganging up’ on Wikileaks’ Assange; warns against extradition, fearing ‘serious’ rights violations

After visiting Julian Assange in a London prison, an independent UN human rights expert expressed urgent concern on Friday, for the Wikileaks co-founder’s well-being, accusing “a group of democratic States” of “ganging up” on the prisoner to “isolate, demonize and abuse” him and warned against extraditing the controversial publisher to the United States. 

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

Amid the world’s largest humanitarian crisis still unfolding in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has gained access to the rebel-held northern district of Nihm, for the first time since the war between Houthis and the Saudi-backed Government coalition escalated in 2015.

From philanthropy to profit: how clean energy is kickstarting sustainable development in East Africa

Until recently, Namacurra district, in the Zambezia province of Mozambique, some 1,500 km from the capital Maputo, did not have any basic services – such as schools, health centres, or even energy – connecting the region to the electricity grid would be extremely time-consuming, and costly. But a new UN-backed clean energy initiative looks set to change the outlook for Namacurra, and, within a matter of months, kickstart sustainable development for the benefit of the thousands of people, relocated to the area following the devastating rains of 2015, and it could herald an improved outlook for other economically disadvantaged parts of Africa.

Mozambique: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom meets the child cyclone survivors who’ve lost everything

Visiting storm-ravaged Mozambique, UN Children’s Fund Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom, listened to devastating stories of children who lost everything in Cyclone Idai, while observing on Thursday that UNICEF-built safe spaces have given them “a sense of normality”.

Syria: Thousands of children ‘hemmed in’ by ‘brutal and gratuitous’ spike in violence

A marked escalation in fighting has put tens of thousands of children in northwest Syria at “imminent risk of injury, death and displacement”, the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) chief warned on Thursday.

A major win for transgender rights: UN health agency drops ‘gender identity disorder’, as official diagnosis

“To reflect critical advances in science and medicine”, the World Health Organization, WHO, has removed so-called “gender identity disorder” from its official manual of diagnoses, which is being hailed as a major win for transgender rights.

The UN’s unyielding effort to tackle sexual abuse and exploitation: our quarterly update

In the first quarter of 2019, according to latest figures released on Thursday, the United Nations recorded a total of 37 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) against UN personnel, including civilian and uniformed personnel from peacekeeping operations, agencies, funds and programmes. So far, most of these allegations remain under investigation.

‘Ground-breaking innovation’ needed in cities, where battle for sustainable development will be won or lost, says UN agency chief

If the battle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to be won or lost in cities, then they need to “achieve a lasting impact on communities and to ensure that no one is left behind,” the head of the UN agency dealing with sustainable urban development said on Wednesday.

‘Save Tuvalu; save the world’; UN chief echoes rallying cry from front lines of global climate emergency

Further inaction on climate change is “simply not an option”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday in an opinion piece where he called for “rapid and deep change in how we do business, generate power, build cities and feed the world.”