Middle East

Syria: ‘Violence, displacement’ and cold kill 11 infants ‘in the past two days’

“Violence, displacement and extremely harsh conditions” in northern and eastern Syria have killed at least 32 children since December – including 11 infants in the past two days, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed on Thursday.

UN relief chief urges Security Council to back aid delivery, more funding for millions of Syrians hit by harsh weather

With people in Syria “suffering a cold, hard winter”, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator on Wednesday appealed for international funding, backed by UN Security Council support for safe aid delivery, to alleviate the conditions faced by millions struggling for survival amidst rain, snowfall and freezing temperatures across the still war-torn nation.  

Despite setbacks, ‘political will’ to end Yemen war stronger than ever: top UN envoy

The ceasefire in Yemen’s crucial port city of Hudaydah is “generally holding” and deadlines have had to be extended, but the UN’s Special Envoy said on Monday that “more than any time in the past” the political will remains to end years of conflict that has left millions on the brink of starvation.

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the announcement by the Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees and displaced persons affected by the recent severe weather in the Middle East.

Crucial medical supplies airlifted to north-east Syria to meet ‘desperate need’

In response to the growing health needs of people in north-east Syria, the World Health Organization (WHO) has airlifted urgent medical supplies to the region, for the second time this month.

Hopes for Palestinian State hit by ‘facts on the ground’ : senior UN official

The possibility of establishing a “viable, contiguous Palestinian state” has been “systematically eroded by facts on the ground,” Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council on Tuesday, ahead of the quarterly open debate on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine).

Fuel crisis rapidly draining last ‘coping capacities’ of Palestinians in Gaza

A worsening fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip enclave is putting patients’ lives at risk with power supplies for operating theaters under constant threat, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Iraq: UN demining agency rejects desecration accusations, involving historic Mosul churches

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq issued a statement on Thursday rejecting allegations made earlier this week by a non-profit organization  there, alleging that personnel had carried out explosive hazard clearance inside two historic churches in Mosul “in a barbaric and arbitrary manner.”

Iran: women hunger strikers entitled to medical care, UN rights experts urge

A group of six independent United Nations rights experts called on Iran Wednesday to urgently provide Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Narges Mohammadi access to appropriate health care, and reiterated calls for their immediate release, as they continue a hunger strike in protest.

Yemen: Security Council backs new mission in support of key port city truce

The Security Council unanimously voted on Wednesday in favour of deploying up to 75 observers to monitor a fragile ceasefire in Yemen's port city of Hudaydah which went into effect late last month; a lifeline for millions of Yemenis on the verge of starvation.