Asia Pacific

As monsoon rains pound Rohingya refugee camps, UN food relief agency steps up aid

Since 4 July, heavy monsoon rains and wind have pounded the refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, with deaths, displacement and major damage following in their wake, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.

Scores of Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh destroyed by flooding

Heavy monsoon rains in Bangladesh have drenched the Cox’s Bazar settlement, home to more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees, destroying some 273 shelters, and injuring 11 people, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday. The huge refugee camp has been hit by three days of non-stop rain, and more heavy downpours are expected throughout next week, with four months of the monsoon season still to go. 

Livelihoods of millions in East and Southeast Asia at risk from Swine Fever epidemic

The rapid spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across East and Southeast Asia is threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of households in the region which rely on pig farming, The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, reported on Tuesday.

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and DPR Korea

As the clicking of cameras and flash of lightbulbs captured on Sunday the first sitting United States President to set foot inside the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Secretary-General António Guterres offered his full support to a potentially reset relationship that may render a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Government internet ban leaves parts of Myanmar ‘in a blackout’, UN expert calls for immediate lifting

With “no media access” in parts of the country and “serious restrictions” on humanitarian organizations, the United Nations expert on the situation of human rights in Myanmar urged the Government on Monday to “reverse its decision” and lift the mobile internet ban.

UN chief accepts independent report on Myanmar, highlighting ‘systemic’ failure surrounding Rohingya crisis

An independent review into how the UN System operated in Myanmar in the years leading up to the mass exodus of the Rohingya following serious human rights abuses, has concluded there were “systemic and structural failures” that prevented a unified strategy from being implemented.

Civilians ‘must never be a target,’ says UN in Afghanistan, amid troubling number of casualties during Ramadan

The United Nations has urged all parties to the “ongoing intense conflict” across Afghanistan to meet their obligations to protect civilians from harm, denouncing a spate of attacks by militants which killed more than 100 civilians in Kabul alone during  Ramadan.

Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka fear for their safety, in wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks

Since the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka on April 21, there have been concerns for the safety of refugees and asylum seekers living in the country: in the immediate aftermath, there were reports of refugees being targeted and forced from their homes by angry mobs threatening reprisals for the Easter Sunday attacks which targeted Christian churches, as well as upscale hotels.

Asia-Pacific ‘regional parliament’ underway to advance equality, empowerment, for more than four billion citizens

The top United Nations body in the Asia-Pacific region opened its annual session this week, calling for greater empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalized groups if the region is to achieve the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and fulfill its promise to leave no one behind.

In Afghanistan, attacks against schools have tripled in one year

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday that much greater protection for educational facilities was needed across Afghanistan where attacks against schools have increased three-fold in just one year. The call coincides with the third International Conference on Safe Schools, taking place this week in Mallorca, Spain.