Middle East

Iraq needs support to ‘leave violent past behind’, says UN envoy as Security Council extends UN mission for one year

Iraq’s democratic transition – weighed down by political infighting, weak institutions, corruption, and the constant threat of ISIL – needs more international support, “lots of time and lots of hard work,” the top United Nations official in the country said on Tuesday.  

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

In Syria, it is suspected that children whose fathers fought for terrorist group ISIL are being held in unidentified “settlements” and “secret detention facilities” away from their mothers, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday.

Libya on verge of civil war, threatening ‘permanent division’, top UN official warns Security Council

The damage done to Libya will already take “years to mend” but unless fighting around the capital Tripoli stops, the country risks “descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country”.

Hunger in Yemen: WFP considers aid suspension in face of repeated interference by some Houthi leaders

The UN emergency food relief agency said on Monday that without full access and “freedom to decide” who receives lifesaving aid, in Houthi rebel-controlled areas of Yemen, it could be forced to implement a “phased suspension”.

Risk grows of ‘catastrophic humanitarian fallout’ in Syria’s Idlib, where 3 million are trapped: top UN officials urge unity in Security Council

The UN’s Political and Humanitarian Affairs chiefs on Friday called on the Security Council to unite in support of an immediate de-escalation of fighting around Syria’s Idlib province, and work towards an enduring political solution on behalf of the Syrian people.

Deadly Yemen airstrikes that claim children’s lives in capital Sana’a, strongly condemned by UN

Thursday’s airstrikes on Yemen’s capital Sana’a that reportedly killed five children and injured dozens more, have been strongly condemned by UN agencies, which have warned of the “brutal toll” on civilians of more than four years of conflict.

Humanitarian situation increasingly dire for displaced Syrians stranded in camp near Jordanian border

Food supplies are dwindling and the humanitarian situation has become increasingly dire in a camp for displaced people in south-east Syria, a senior UN official said on Thursday, while condemning ongoing airstrikes and retaliatory shelling in opposition-held territories in the north-west.

Yemen war ‘a test of our humanity’, and we’re ‘badly failing’ warns UN Children’s Fund chief

“Fifteen million children in Yemen are asking you to save their lives” the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) told the 15 members of the Security Council on Wednesday, in an impassioned plea for action to end four years of fighting which has left at least 7,300 children killed or seriously injured. 

UN monitoring team in Yemen verifies pullout of armed forces from crucial port zones

The UN team set up to monitor the ceasefire agreement between warring parties in Yemen has formally verified the pullout of armed Ansar Allah, or Houthi forces, from port zones in the country that are crucial to the flow of humanitarian aid, describing cooperation they have received so far as “very good.”

Gaza blockade causes ‘near ten-fold increase’ in food dependency, says UN agency

At a time when Muslims globally are observing the holy month of Ramadan, more than half the population in Gaza depends on the international community for food aid, the director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Monday, citing a “near ten-fold increase” in need.