Middle East

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

Amid the world’s largest humanitarian crisis still unfolding in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has gained access to the rebel-held northern district of Nihm, for the first time since the war between Houthis and the Saudi-backed Government coalition escalated in 2015.

Syria: Thousands of children ‘hemmed in’ by ‘brutal and gratuitous’ spike in violence

A marked escalation in fighting has put tens of thousands of children in northwest Syria at “imminent risk of injury, death and displacement”, the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) chief warned on Thursday.

Eight years in, Syria still embroiled in conflict ‘that no longer sparks outrage’, Security Council hears

After eight years of deadly air strikes and terrorist attacks that have left hundreds of thousands of Syrians dead and millions of others injured, United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller asked the Security Council on Tuesday, the hard-hitting question: “Can’t this Council take any concrete action when attacks on schools and hospitals have become a war tactic that no longer sparks outrage”?

Yemen update: UNICEF chief condemns attack in Taiz that claims lives of seven children

Nowhere is safe in Yemen, the head of the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said, after an attack in the city of Taiz claimed the lives of 12 civilians, including seven youngsters – the latest victims of the country’s more than four-year war. 

Iraq needs support to ‘leave violent past behind’, says UN envoy as Security Council extends UN mission for one year

Iraq’s democratic transition – weighed down by political infighting, weak institutions, corruption, and the constant threat of ISIL – needs more international support, “lots of time and lots of hard work,” the top United Nations official in the country said on Tuesday.  

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

In Syria, it is suspected that children whose fathers fought for terrorist group ISIL are being held in unidentified “settlements” and “secret detention facilities” away from their mothers, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday.

Libya on verge of civil war, threatening ‘permanent division’, top UN official warns Security Council

The damage done to Libya will already take “years to mend” but unless fighting around the capital Tripoli stops, the country risks “descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country”.

Hunger in Yemen: WFP considers aid suspension in face of repeated interference by some Houthi leaders

The UN emergency food relief agency said on Monday that without full access and “freedom to decide” who receives lifesaving aid, in Houthi rebel-controlled areas of Yemen, it could be forced to implement a “phased suspension”.

Risk grows of ‘catastrophic humanitarian fallout’ in Syria’s Idlib, where 3 million are trapped: top UN officials urge unity in Security Council

The UN’s Political and Humanitarian Affairs chiefs on Friday called on the Security Council to unite in support of an immediate de-escalation of fighting around Syria’s Idlib province, and work towards an enduring political solution on behalf of the Syrian people.

Deadly Yemen airstrikes that claim children’s lives in capital Sana’a, strongly condemned by UN

Thursday’s airstrikes on Yemen’s capital Sana’a that reportedly killed five children and injured dozens more, have been strongly condemned by UN agencies, which have warned of the “brutal toll” on civilians of more than four years of conflict.