Middle East

A year after the Beirut explosions: a UN Resident Coordinator blog

On August 4th, 2020, a devastating blast in a warehouse destroyed much of the centre of the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Many neighbourhoods were destroyed, downtown Beirut looked like a war zone. Thousands were injured and some 200 people tragically lost their lives on that day and the days that followed. For many, their property and livelihoods were literally blown away.

Gaza: Humanitarian response underway, but political solutions still needed 

Although the international community is providing urgent assistance to Gaza in the wake of the most recent round of hostilities, a political solution is still needed to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, a senior UN official in the region said on Wednesday. 

Free, fair Palestinian elections, must include East Jerusalem: UN experts

Landmark elections in the Occupied Palestinian territory must be rescheduled soon and include East Jerusalem, three UN independent human rights experts said in a statement on Monday. 

Lebanon: Public water system on the verge of collapse, UNICEF warns

The public water system in Lebanon is “on life support” and could collapse at any moment, putting 71 per cent of the population, or more than four million people, at immediate risk of losing access to safe supply, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, warned on Friday. 

First Person: ‘Syrians still have ambition and hope’

As a witness to the impacts of Syria’s internal conflict over the last decade, Bassel Al-Madani, a young engineer and former volunteer with the UN, was inspired to set up Entrepioneers 2030, a group that rallies youth to get involved in shaping the future of their country. 

Syria’s last cross-border aid lifeline must stay open, insist UN humanitarians

The imminent closure of the last cross-border aid lifeline to northwest Syria must be postponed beyond the 10 July deadline, UN humanitarians said on Friday, noting that no cross-line supplies had reached Idlib from Damascus, in 11 months.

UN officials appeal for extension of lifesaving cross-border aid operations into Syria

Humanitarian convoys from Turkey that bring lifesaving aid into northwest Syria must continue, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday. 

Yemen ‘a tale of missed and then lost opportunities’, outgoing envoy tells Security Council

Yemen’s warring sides have been unable to overcome their differences, dashing hopes for peace, the UN Special Envoy for the country said on Tuesday in his final briefing to the Security Council in the role. 

UN strongly condemns ‘appalling’ attack on Syrian hospital

Senior UN officials have condemned a deadly attack on a hospital in Syria this past weekend, underlining the need for accountability for crimes committed in the country’s decade-long war. 

Yemen: Health, environment and economy remain under threat from stricken oil tanker 

There has been no further investigation into the state of the FSO Safer, a stricken tanker anchored just 4.8 nautical miles off the Yemen coast, meaning the risk of a massive oil leak continues to grow with each passing day, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Thursday.