Middle East

UN agency calls on Israel to lift restrictions and ensure safety of its staff in Gaza

With the latest large-scale military operations by Israel severely disrupting its work, the United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees today called on the Government to allow its staff in Gaza to move about freely and to lift restrictions that inhibit their work.

As Middle East violence mounts, Annan urges both sides to renew search for peace

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced grave concern at the escalation of violence and the rising casualty toll on both sides in the Gaza Strip and adjacent Israeli areas in the past 24 hours, particularly the death and injuries of children.

One quarter of Iraqis still depend on food rations, UN agency survey shows

Some 6.5 million people in Iraq - about a quarter of the country's population - are highly dependent on food rations, according to a new survey by the United Nations emergency feeding agency, which has launched a multimillion dollar assistance programme to help the most vulnerable Iraqis.

Reacting to recent deaths, Annan asks Israel to ensure Palestinian civilians' safety

With Middle East violence intensifying following a recent string of civilian deaths during fighting, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Israel to ensure the safety of innocent Palestinians.

UN-backed workshop in Iraq charts new direction for juvenile justice

Senior members of the Iraqi Government attending a United Nations-backed workshop in Amman, Jordan, today took a step forward for children's rights by reaffirming standards for dealing with juveniles who come in conflict with the law.

Annan welcomes release of hostages in Iraq

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the news that Iraqi, Egyptian and Italian civilians held hostage in Iraq had been released, and again decried the use of kidnapping to further a cause.

Citing death of Palestinian girl by Israeli fire, UN urges protection of children

A senior United Nations official today voiced sorrow at the death of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl who earlier this month had been hit by a bullet while sitting at her desk at a UN-run school in Gaza.

UN health agency sends kits to test for possible hepatitis outbreak near Baghdad

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent hepatitis E testing kits to Iraq to help confirm whether there was a possible outbreak of the disease near Baghdad, the United Nations agency said today.

Israeli restrictions on staff movements in Gaza draw UN agency's protests

The main United Nations agency providing assistance to Palestinian refugees today protested to Israel following new restrictions imposed on UN staff moving in and out of the Gaza Strip.

$377 million awarded by UN for damages incurred in 1990 invasion of Kuwait

A United Nations panel today approved awards of nearly $377 million in compensation to victims of Iraq's 1990 invasion and subsequent occupation of Kuwait.