Monday’s Daily Brief: World Humanitarian Day, Afghan massacre aftermath, Venezuelans in Brazil, Yemen war update, and reconciliation in Mali

19 August 2019

Our main stories today: Women celebrated on World Humanitarian Day; Afghanistan bloodshed mars 100 years of independence; Brazil’s ‘exemplary’ response to Venezuelans; UN urges Yemen’s warring parties to down weapons; and UN expert calls for Mali reconciliation efforts.

Paying tribute and strengthening the role of #WomenHumanitarians on World Humanitarian Day

The work of women humanitarians makes a “huge difference” to the lives of millions of women, men and children in urgent need, the United Nations chief said in his message for World Humanitarian Day.

Marking the official day’s tenth anniversary on Monday, the UN is honouring the contribution of tens of thousands of women humanitarian aid workers who provide life-saving support to vulnerable people caught up in crises in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

Here’s our full coverage.

Afghanistan bloodshed mars 100 years of independence

Afghanistan is at a “crucial moment” in its history as it marks 100 years of independence, the head of the UN Mission there said on Monday, following a series of terror attacks in recent days.

In a statement, Tadamichi Yamamoto, Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that despite decades of conflict, Afghans are committed to a nation that is stable, peaceful and prosperous, and that upholds the human rights of women and men alike. 

Mr. Yamamoto also expressed hope that elections due to take place next month would give voice to the people of Afghanistan, while also maintaining that there was “a real possibility for breakthroughs in peace” after so many years of war – a reference to on-going negotiations between Taliban extremists and the United States.

Read our story here.

UN refugee chief impressed with Brazil’s ‘exemplary’ response to plight of fleeing Venezuelans

While praising the “efficient, coordinated, humane and innovative response” by Brazil on behalf of fleeing Venezuelans, the UN refugee chief has said that the sheer number of those on the run is proving to be a major challenge, calling for greater international support.

“The solidarity of the people of Brazil with the Venezuelan refugees and migrants has been exemplary”, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Sunday from the Brazilian capital, Brasilia. “But the impact on the host communities in states such as Roraima and Amazonas, has been overwhelming”.

More on this here.

UN renews call to Yemen’s warring parties to down weapons

The UN’s top aid coordinator in Yemen has renewed her appeal for an end to the conflict.

In a statement on Monday, Lise Grande insisted that every aid worker in Yemen understands that the most important development the country’s people can hope for is for the belligerents to lay down their weapons and allow humanitarians better access.

Despite the dangers of working in Yemen, as Government forces continue to battle Houthi opposition forces in the north-west, Ms. Grande said that more than 12.5 million people still receive life-saving aid every month.

These people “would not survive without us”, Ms. Grande insisted, in reference to the fact that nearly eight in 10 Yemenis – 24 million people – need assistance, making it the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

Support Mali reconciliation efforts ‘in whatever way possible’, urges UN expert

Reconciliation initiatives in central Mali, to bring together local leaders and end ongoing violence, have been welcomed by the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, Alioune Tine, who said on Monday that they should be supported “in whatever way possible.”

The move follows warnings from the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, that central areas of Mali, especially around Mopti, are seeing an increased level of violence, including the killing and maiming of children.

Here’s more on the story.

 

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