Asia Pacific

UN coordinator in Tonga: ‘Resources on the ground are not enough’

As news coverage of the eruption and tsunami that hit Tonga starts to fade away, the United Nations Coordination Specialist in the country has a message to the outside world: Tonga’s people are going to need sustained support responding to a disaster of this scale. 

First Person: ‘We saw people running from the tsunami, screaming’

When a tsunami swept over much of Tonga last weekend, Joseph Sikulu, a Tongan national, was in Sydney, Australia, exiled from home by strict COVID-19 travel restrictions. For three days, with most communications lines severed, his family and friends were cut off from the outside world, and Mr. Sikulu feared the worst.

Rare coral reef discovered near Tahiti is ‘like a work of art’, says diver

One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres.

Horrors of Hiroshima, a reminder nuclear weapons remain global threat

Despite the annihilation of two major Japanese cities in 1945, atomic bombs have not been relegated to the pages of history books, but continue to be developed today – with increasingly more power to destroy than they had when unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki back in 1945.
 

Eight Afghan students die in explosion outside school

The use of explosives that lie dormant, particularly in populated areas, is “a persistent and growing threat to children and their families”, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday, expressing deep sadness over the death of eight students in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

Relief teams fear worsening aftermath of Super Typhoon Rai

Super Typhoon Rai which ripped through the Philippines over Christmas, has created a massive emergency with huge and ongoing needs, UN humanitarians said on Friday.

Harsh winter fuels ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

UN humanitarians warned on Tuesday that a harsh winter in Afghanistan is aggravating already severe conditions faced by millions across the country.

Pakistan: Smartcard registration drive for Afghan refugees ends

The first drive to verify data relating to around 1.4 million Afghan refugees on the move over past decade in Pakistan has been concluded, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.

Escalation in Yemen ‘worst in years’ – UN top envoy 

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said on Tuesday that a recent military escalation in the country is “among the worst” in years and increasingly putting civilians in crosshairs. 

UN expert underscores importance of human rights for Rohingya

A UN independent expert on Sunday commended Bangladesh for providing Rohingya refugees a safe haven, after they've fled atrocity crimes in Myanmar, offering to do all he can to “push for a stronger, more coordinated international response” to the crisis.