Middle East

UN official voices concern at humanitarian conditions facing Palestinians

Raising concerns about the humanitarian conditions facing Palestinians, the top United Nations political official today told the Security Council that planned Israeli measures could further hamper relief efforts.

Number of people fleeing inside Iraq could rise, UN refugee agency warns

Monitoring developments on the Iraq-Turkey border, the United Nations refugee agency today warned that the number of Iraqis displaced by conflict could rise beyond the already staggering 4.7 million who have fled either within the country or across borders.

UN reports shortage of anaesthetics in occupied Palestinian territory

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today voiced concern about reports from the Gaza Strip that a shortage of anaesthetics, caused by Israeli import restrictions, has resulted in the closure of surgery rooms and health-care centres.

UN envoy to visit Iraq in two weeks for talks on broader role, official says

The new United Nations envoy for Iraq will travel to the country in two weeks for talks on a broader role for the world body there, a senior UN official told the Security Council today.

Ban Ki-moon, Israeli official stress importance of upcoming Middle East meeting

Next month’s United States-sponsored international meeting will be critical to the Middle East peace process, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ehud Barak emphasized today during talks at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Secretary-General concerned at Turkish move on attacking Kurdish targets in Iraq

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern today about the Turkish Parliament’s decision this week to enable the country’s armed forces to take cross-border military action in Iraq against targets of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Fire ravages UN refugee agency warehouses in Syria

The United Nations refugee agency today reported that a fire in its warehouses near Damascus destroyed tents worth about $1 million, setting back operations in Syria, which is home to over a million Iraqis who have fled violence in their home country.

Ban Ki-moon reports decline in Iraq violence, plans stepped up UN role

A new report on Iraq by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sees a moment of opportunity for achieving progress amid declining violence, and envisages an expanded United Nations role in support of this goal.

UN refugee agency reports increase in people-smuggling through Gulf of Aden

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that the rate of smuggling boats reaching the shores of Yemen after crossing the Gulf of Aden has increased during the first half of October, along with the appalling death toll.

Secretary-General lauds Israeli-Hizbollah exchange of humanitarian gestures

Welcoming the exchange of humanitarian gestures by Israel and Hizbollah mediated by his facilitator, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced hope that this will create momentum to push both sides to comply with the key humanitarian demands of Security Council resolution 1701, which ended last year’s war in Lebanon.