Asia Pacific

Afghanistan: 270,000 newly displaced this year, warns UNHCR

The worsening security situation across Afghanistan in the wake of foreign troop withdrawal and Taliban advances, has forced an estimated 270,000 from their homes since January, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported on Tuesday, bringing the total internally displaced to more than 3.5 million.

Amidst COVID surge, Asia-Pacific region needs ‘immediate and stronger support’ 

With the coronavirus still raging in many parts of the world, the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, warned on Tuesday of vaccine shortages, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, and urged “immediate and stronger support” for the global COVAX initiative for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, “including for refugees and asylum-seekers”. 

UN chief appeals for dialogue in Samoa amid prime ministerial stand-off

The UN has called for dialogue in Samoa, where the first woman elected as Prime Minister was locked out of Parliament on Monday amid a bitter power struggle with the country’s long-standing leader.

Afghanistan: Top UN officials strongly condemn ‘heinous’ attack on girls school 

Two senior UN officials on Wednesday, condemned in the strongest terms, a terrorist attack targeting girls and their families outside a high school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. 

South Asia: ‘Real possibility’ health systems will be strained to a breaking point, UNICEF warns

Impacts of the deadly new surge in COVID-19 cases across South Asia are unlike anything the region has seen before, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said, warning of a “real possibility” that health systems there will be strained to a breaking point, leading to even more loss of life. 

UN atomic energy agency to work with Japan on Fukushima water disposal

The International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, said on Tuesday that it will work closely with Japan which is preparing to release a million tonnes of treated seawater used to cool the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.

India donates 200,000 vaccines to protect UN blue helmets against COVID

India shipped out 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to inoculate UN blue helmets serving in peacekeeping missions.

UN teams assisting tens of thousands of refugees, after massive fire rips through camp in Bangladesh

United Nations humanitarian personnel are on the ground evacuating tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees, after a devastating fire tore through the Kutupalong camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee camp. 

South Asia: Sharp rise in child and maternal deaths due to COVID-19

Severe disruptions in health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have resulted in an additional 239,000 child and maternal deaths in South Asia last year, United Nations agencies said on Wednesday. 

INTERVIEW: The women activists aiming to make history in Vanuatuan politics

The Republic of Vanuatu is one of the few countries in the world without a single woman representative in parliament, but two determined activists are committed to ending that situation, and ensuring that women’s voices are heard by the island nation’s most senior decision-makers.