Wednesday's Daily Brief: New food agency partnership for children, conference on solidarity for Venezuela, snow leopard at risk of extinction

23 October 2019

A recap of Wednesday's top stories:  UN food agency partnership to feed millions of hungry children; Solidarity conference for 4.5 million Venezuelans on the move;  new panel to aid internally displaced persons; healthy working conditions still not universal - UN rights expert; Environment Programme to help endangered snow leopard.

New partnership between WFP and Education Cannot Wait to benefit children in emergencies

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and a global education fund that supports children in emergency and crisis settings, have teamed up to ensure millions of young people do not miss out on school because they are hungry.

The partnership between WFP and the multilateral global fund, Education Cannot Wait, will help meet the nutrition and education needs of children who risk being left behind.

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, explained that a school meal might be the only thing a child in a crisis-affected country eats all day.  It also could be an incentive for families to send—and keep—their children in school.

Globally, around 73 million children living in extreme poverty are attending school but are missing out on school feeding, health and nutrition programmes which are essential to their ability to learn.

Meanwhile, around 75 million children and youth worldwide have had their education interrupted due to armed conflict, forced displacement, natural disaster and protracted crises.  Families caught in these situations often lack the means to feed their children, or to send them to school.

With 4.5 million Venezuelans on the move, UN and partners reaffirm call for support

Since 2015, approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans have fled their country as the Latin American nation's political, humanitarian and economic crisis drags on, creating one of the “direst” displacement crises in the world, the UN and European Union said on Wednesday, ahead of a solidarity conference next week.

In a press statement from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), the European Union (EU) and the UN migration wing (IOM), the entity’s jointly called for host countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to show solidarity toward Venezuelans, with around 80 per cent of those who have left, sheltering in the region.

On 28 and 29 October, the three partners will organise an International Solidarity Conference in Burssels, to convene humanitarian and development actors, financial institutions, civil society, and others, to raise awareness of the crisis, reaffirm global solidarity, assess progress and pitfalls in addressing the problem, and call for greater financial cooperation with the region. 

More in our story here.

New High-Level Panel to support millions internally-displaced

Around the world, the number of internally displaced persons has continually grown in recent years, with 41 million uprooted from their homes at the start of 2019, as a result of armed conflict - with natural disasters pushing out millions more. 

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday announced the establishment of a High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, to coincide with the ten year anniversary of the adoption of the only legally binding instrument for the protection of the displaced, known as the Kampala Convention.

The UN chief noted that internal displacement poses unique risks to persons’ livelihoods, health and well-being, with “ever more” people displaced for longer periods.

The Panel will be charged with increasing global attention and support for displaced communities, while delivering lasting solutions for implementation by Member States.

Safe and healthy working conditions still not upheld as universal human right

Although healthy working conditions are a globally recognized human right, they remain “more a privilege”, the UN independent expert on hazardous substances, Baskut Tuncak, declared on Wednesday. 

The right of all workers to safe and healthy conditions has been recognized worldwide for over 50 years, yet the International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that some 2.7 million workers die as a result of hazardous conditions every year. 

Mr. Tuncak’s latest report, published in July, highlights the need for safe conditions and control of hazardous substances in the workplace, and outlines principles of health hazard prevention and the right to treatment for injured or harmed workers.

UN Environment campaign to help disappearing snow leopard thrive

One of the most endangered cat species in the world, often referred to by locals who know them as “the ghosts of the mountains”, are elusive by nature, but the snow leopard, native to Central and South Asia is now at risk of completely disappearing.

Only between 4,000 and 7,500 leopards are left in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Red List Species. 

On Snow Leopard Day, recognized annually on 23 October, the UN’s Environment wing (UNEP) has teamed up with regional partners in Tajikistan and the Kyrgz Republic to better understand the big cat’s vulnerabilities, and help the population coexist alongside humans, as part of it’s Vanishing Treasures initiative. 

Demand for the leopard’s fur, and increasing pressures on their habitats imposed by climate change and pastoralists, has landed the endangered cat a place on the International Red List of threatened species, alongside some 28,000 other animals at risk of extinction. UNEP's  Wild for Life campaign, rooted in the UN’s 2030 targets to protect and restore the planet, is donating funds to a snow leopard science trust to save the animal from extinction.

Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 23 October on SoundCloud:  

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.