Middle East

First Person: Levelling the gender playing field in Jordan

Discussing gender equality in Jordan can lead to difficult conversations, as Balqees Shahin, a volunteer for the UN Women gender equality campaign HeforShe, has discovered. Marking International Day of The Girl Child on Monday, Ms. Shahin told UN News that online games can help young people to address gender issues.

$383 million humanitarian plan to address ‘living nightmare’ in Lebanon

The UN and humanitarian partners on Friday announced a $383 million Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for Lebanon to provide critical life-saving assistance and protection to some 1.1 million citizens and migrants over the next 12 months. 

UN launches initiative to support returnees trapped in Syria camps

When the extremist militant group ISIL, or Da’esh, collapsed in Iraq and Syria, thousands of foreign nationals were hastily detained in prisons and camps. At least 42,000 foreign women and children, most under the age of 12, currently remain in squalid and overcrowded conditions inside camps in northeast Syria.  

Top UN envoy 'encouraged’ by recent engagement of Israeli and Palestinian officials 

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council on Wednesday that he was “encouraged” by the recent engagement of senior Israeli and Palestinian officials. 

First Person: The ‘bravery’ of Afghanistan's girls and women

Afghanistan’s girls and women are showing “bravery” in the face of real “fears and pressures” following the formation of the new, de facto authorities in Afghanistan,  according to a UNICEF member of staff, one of the few westerners to remain in Kabul.

Afghanistan: Security Council resolution calls for ‘equal and meaningful participation of women’  

The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Friday, specifying the importance of “equal and meaningful participation” of women in public life. 

Lebanon crisis: More international assistance needed urgently - WHO chief 

Lebanon’s enduring economic crisis risks reversing decades of gains in people’s wellbeing, the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.    

Syria ‘caught in a downward spiral’ UN relief chief tells Security Council 

The UN humanitarian affairs chief warned on Wednesday that Syria, after more than a decade of war, remains “caught in a downward spiral” and that “the country will continue to be a place of tragedy, so long as the conflict continues.” 

After 10 years of war in Syria, siege tactics still threaten civilians

The future for Syria’s people is “increasingly bleak”, UN-appointed rights experts said on Tuesday, highlighting escalating conflict in several areas of the war-ravaged country, a return to siege tactics and popular demonstrations linked to the plummeting economy.

IAEA strikes deal with Iran on monitoring of nuclear programme  

The UN atomic watchdog reached an agreement with Iran on Sunday allowing the Agency access to surveillance cameras inside its atomic facilities.