Middle East

As Yemen relief operations face funding gap, timing of surge in violence ‘couldn't be worse’

The situation in Yemen is “very fragile”, the top United Nations humanitarian official there has warned, noting that as many as 13 people have been killed and at least 70 wounded over the past three days during clashes in two governorates.

Millions in Idlib ‘counting on your support to make the violence stop’, UN relief chief tells Security Council

Despite an agreement signed nearly a year ago on a halt to further escalation in Syria’s war-battered Idlib, “the bombing and fighting go on in plain sight, day in and day out”, the UN humanitarian chief told the Security Council on Thursday.

Lack of funds forces UN to close down life-saving aid programmes in Yemen

The United Nations announced on Wednesday that it is being forced to close down several humanitarian programmes in Yemen because money pledged by Member States to pay for them has “failed to materialize”. 

‘Quash’ convictions and release women jailed for protesting against wearing veils in Iran, urge UN rights experts

Decades-long prison sentences handed down to three women protesting the strictly enforced wearing of veils in Iran, have drawn alarm and condemnation from six United Nations independent human rights experts.

Three more humanitarian workers killed in Syria, with civilian death toll ‘rising every day’

An attack in the south of Syria’s restive Idlib province that led to the deaths of a paramedic, an ambulance driver and a rescue worker, were added to the grim total on Thursday of more than 500 civilian fatalities documented in the country by the United Nations, over the past three and a half months alone.

UN food aid to Yemen will fully resume after two-month break, as Houthis ‘guarantee’ delivery

Life-saving food aid distribution is set to resume to 850,000 people in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, following guarantees by Houthi opposition forces that the supplies will reach those who need them most, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.

In wake of ‘collapsed’ agreement, new wave of violence threatens millions in Syria’s Idlib

Following the collapse of the latest truce in Idlib at the start of this week, the Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the UN’s Syria Envoy urged Member States on Thursday to increase their support for “critical humanitarian needs” in the country’s last opposition-held enclave.

Steps taken to end Saudi ‘guardianship’ system for women, ‘encouraging’ start

Allowing Saudi women to apply for passports and travel without their guardians’ permission is “an encouraging move” towards the “complete abolition of the ‘guardianship’ system,” independent United Nations rights experts said on Thursday, but more action is needed to fully dismantle these restrictions.

UN Afghan Mission ‘outraged’ by deadly Taliban attack in Kabul, as hardline group threatens election violence

The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed outrage at a Taliban attack in Kabul, that led to  “scores” of civilians casualties on Wednesday. In a Tweet, the Mission said that such “indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks in heavily populated civilian areas must stop”.

Intensified Al Qaeda and ISIL activity in Yemen ‘deeply worrying’, says UN Human Rights Office

Armed groups affiliated with the Al Qaeda and ISIL terror groups, appear to have intensified their activities in Yemen, Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) declared on Tuesday, describing the situation as an example of “deeply worrying developments” that have seriously impacted civilians over the past ten days.