Asia Pacific

Drop in refugees from Sri Lanka shows progress towards peace: UN official

Ahead of Wednesday’s peace talks on Sri Lanka between Tamil Tiger separatists and the Government, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today that the drop in the number of Sri Lankans fleeing regional insecurity showed that all people on the island want an end to the 20-year conflict.

UN official on tsunami assessment mission in Indonesia and India

More than a year after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, a senior United Nations official is travelling in Indonesia and India this week to assess the recovery effort and look at what's being done to provide shelter for the victims displaced by the disaster.

UN assessment team arrives in Philippines after last week’s deadly landslide

Following the deadly landslide in the Philippines, where almost 1,400 people are still missing, the United Nations coordinating unit said today that a UN assessment team had now arrived in the country and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) had mobilized an additional $100,000 to help the victims.

Bangladesh and UNICEF gear up for world’s largest campaign against measles

With measles the fifth leading cause of death among children under five years of age in Bangladesh, this Saturday the Government, supported by its international partners, will launch the largest-ever vaccination campaign for around 34 million children, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today.

Annan saddened by Philippines landslide disaster; UN sends team

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today offered his condolences to those affected by a landslide in the Philippines that may have buried up to 2000 people, and announced that a UN assessment team is being sent to the region to find out how best to alleviate the suffering.

UN needs $24 million to maintain helicopter operation for Pakistan quake victims

Emphasizing the “crucial” role played by helicopters in getting emergency assistance to victims of last year’s deadly earthquake in northern Pakistan, the United Nations World Food Programme called today for $24 million to maintain this lifeline until the end of August for thousands of survivors.

In Pakistan, UN refugee agency restores quake-damaged link across Indus

Hundreds of people, including refugees living in the largest relief camp in northern Pakistan, can go home or carry on businesses now that the United Nations refugee agency has helped to repair a vital quake-damaged cable way linking Meira Camp to the Allai Valley, across the Indus River.

Tokelau: Annan says he respects people’s decision to keep current status

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today that he respected the decision of the people of Tokelau, who voted in a recent poll to remain a Non-Self-Governing Territory administered by New Zealand.

Security Council endorses development compact for Afghanistan

The United Nations Security Council today endorsed a framework for future partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to bolster the war-torn country’s security, economic development and counter-narcotics efforts.

Global support crucial to keep Laotian farmers from opium – UN official

Once the third-largest opium producer in the world, Laos and its farmers need the global community’s support so poverty doesn’t force its farmers to rely on opium production, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said today.