With Africa in crisis, UN food agency head calls for long-term strategies

Declaring that Africa is facing its worst humanitarian crisis in history, the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today called for aid to be used not just as a “band aid” in emergencies but as part of a long-term strategy to enhance self-reliance for the African people themselves.

Hundreds of Liberians flee into Guinea fearing continued fighting – UN agency

Hundreds of Liberian refugees continue to flee into Guinea, fearing persistent fighting between government and rebel forces in the central part of the country despite an overall improvement in the security situation, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Annan selects commanders of UN peacekeepers in Liberia and DR of Congo

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced his intention to appoint generals from Kenya and Nigeria to lead United Nations peacekeepers in Liberia and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Security Council sanctions committee to visit Somalia in bid to boost arms ban

Members of the United Nations Security Council committee overseeing sanctions against Somalia will visit the area next month in a bid to boost enforcement of the arms embargo.

Guinea-Bissau parties pull back from brink following coup d’état – UN official

The civil and military groups in Guinea-Bissau “seem to have pulled back from the brink” but the country will need international assistance to ensure a successful transition to civilian rule following a coup d’état in that country earlier this month, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today.

Donor assistance to Africa on the increase but undercut by trade policies - Annan

There are signs of a possible rebound in donor assistance following the decline in the 1990s, but aid is often undercut by trade policies and other constraints, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message to over 20 African Heads of State gathered in Tokyo for a vital summit on the continent's development.

Peace agreement for Sudan may be signed as soon as year end, UN envoy says

The United Nations top humanitarian envoy for Sudan said today he was confident there will be peace in the Sudan, with an agreement signed perhaps as soon as the end of the year.

West African troops in Liberia set to don UN blue helmets on Wednesday

West African troops now in Liberia are set to don the blue helmets of United Nations peacekeepers on Wednesday, according to the UN mission in that country.

Calling crisis ‘incredibly serious,’ UN seeks urgent food aid for southern Africa

Declaring the situation “incredibly serious," the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that millions of people in southern Africa will face massive food shortages as early as next month due to major funding shortfalls, particularly in Zimbabwe and Mozambique where food needs are greatest.

UN welcomes rescinding of death sentence for adultery in Nigeria

The United Nations human rights office today welcomed the rescinding of a death sentence by stoning imposed on a Nigerian woman for adultery, calling it a step in the direction of decency and justice.