Middle East

UN uses text messaging to alert Iraqi refugees on new food aid

The United Nations is using text messaging on mobile phones to alert more than 33,000 vulnerable Iraqi refugees in the Syrian capital, Damascus, of the launch of the first food distribution programme for them tomorrow.

Ban Ki-moon orders probe into potentially hazardous material from Iraq found in UN building

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched an immediate internal investigation backed by outside expertise to determine how potentially hazardous material removed by United Nations arms inspectors from Iraq in 1996 ended up in a UN office instead of a properly equipped laboratory and remained there undetected for the past 11 years.

Israeli infrastructure divides West Bank into enclaves, hurts Palestinians – UN

Almost 40 per cent of the West Bank is now taken up by Israeli infrastructure, which limits Palestinians’ ability to move freely and fragments their communities from each other, according to a new report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Microcredit helps hard-pressed Palestinians survive, UN official says

With Palestinians going through “one of the most dramatic and difficult periods of their troubled history,” microcredit can play a vital role for survival and recovery in the occupied territory, a senior United Nations official said today.

UNICEF rushing emergency aid to cholera victims in northern Iraq

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is providing life-saving assistance to thousands of victims of a cholera outbreak in northern Iraq, as local authorities and their partners try to limit the spread of the infectious and often fatal water-borne disease.

UN weapons inspectors say archived vials from Iraq pose no immediate threat

United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq archiving their headquarters in New York have discovered vials that may contain a potentially deadly chemical removed from an Iraqi facility 11 years ago, but they said today that the containers are properly secured and pose no immediate threat to the public.

Ban Ki-moon ‘encouraged’ by recent progress in Middle East conflict

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he was encouraged by recent international efforts to return Palestinians and Israelis to the path of negotiations, but warned the leaders of both sides still face internal obstacles that may prevent any serious momentum towards peace.

UN nuclear watchdog chief circulates latest report on Iran

The head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has circulated his latest report on the nuclear programme of Iran to the agency’s Board of Governors.

UN Ambassador Angelina Jolie hears of suffering, courage from Iraqi refugees

Angelina Jolie, actress and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador, today wrapped up her first visit to Iraq and Syria, where she spoke with Iraqi refugees who have fled the violence in their home country.

UN health agency aids Iraqi Government in cholera response

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is assisting the Iraqi Government in responding to a recent outbreak of cholera in the northern governorate of Sulemaniyah which has already claimed 10 lives and left thousands ill.