Monday’s Daily Brief: #ClimateAction for the Pacific, Gaza blockade, attack in Burkina Faso

13 May 2019

This Monday, top stories are: Gaza's aid dependency due to the ongoing blockade; a special focus on climate change and its impact on islands and people of the Pacific; UN condemnation after a deadly attack in Burkina Faso.  

Gaza blockade causes ‘near ten-fold increase’ in food dependency, says UN agency

More than half the population of Gaza depends on food aid from the international community. (file 2010)

At a time when Muslims globally are observing the holy month of Ramadan, more than half the population in Gaza depends on the international community for food aid, the director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Monday, citing a “near ten-fold increase” in need.

According to UNRWA, it must secure an additional $60 million by June to continue providing food to more than one million Palestine refugees in Gaza, including some 620,000 “abject poor” who cannot cover their basic food needs and are surviving on $1.6 per day.

>> Read our full coverage here.

Listen to Matthias Schmale, UNRWA's Director of Operations in Gaza:

Climate action: 4 shifts the UN chief encourages Governments to make

Secretary-General António Guterres attends a morning breakfast with climate action-focused Maori and Pasifika youth.

Speaking to young Māoris and people of the Pacific Islands in New Zealand on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “nature does not negotiate” and emphasized four key measures that Governments should prioritize in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

For this, he called on nations worldwide to make four pivotal shifts: 1/ tax pollution, not people; 2/ stop subsidizing fossil fuels; 3/ stop building new coal plants; 4/ focus on a green economy.

>> Find out more about his proposals here.

Climate change ‘a threat to our human rights’, says Australian minority community

Secretary-General António Guterres with a traditional ceremony on his arrival in Auckland, New Zealand.

In a related development, indigenous Australians are set to ask the UN Human Rights Committee to investigate its claim that the government is doing too little to limit climate change.

According to reports, Torres Strait islanders in the north of the country say that global warming is a threat to their survival, thanks to rising seas, tidal surges and coastal erosion. They maintain that the lack of action by the authorities is a threat to their human rights.

As part of their claim, the group is calling for the UN panel – which is one of 10 human rights committees that meet regularly throughout the year in Geneva – to call for Australia to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.

UN condemns deadly attack on Burkina Faso church

A family go in search of water in Burkina Faso where more than 950,000 people are severely food insecure, notably in the conflict-hit northern regions.

Senior UN officials, including Secretary-General António Guterres have voiced their outrage at a deadly attack on a Catholic church in the north of Burkina Faso on Sunday, during which six people were reportedly killed by gunmen.

According to media reports, the attack took place in the town of Dablo, situated in a region that has seen a spike in violence in recent months. The church was burned to the ground, along with other buildings including a health centre.

>> Find our full coverage here.


Listen to or download our audio  News in Brief for 13 May 2019 on SoundCloud: 



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