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Wednesday's Daily Brief: UN bid to aid diabetics, Israel-Gaza attacks, climate change in Nepal, Iraq envoy appeal to MPs

A blood glucose test is used to check for gestational diabetes, which may appear for the first time during pregnancy.
WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel
A blood glucose test is used to check for gestational diabetes, which may appear for the first time during pregnancy.

Wednesday's Daily Brief: UN bid to aid diabetics, Israel-Gaza attacks, climate change in Nepal, Iraq envoy appeal to MPs


A recap of Wednesday’s stories in brief: UN leads plan for insulin supply boosts; ‘No justification’ for Gaza border violence; Iraqis paying ‘unthinkable price’ in protests; $1.35 billion needed for Venezuela crisis; Record flooding affects 100,000 Nigerians.

UN leads bid for cheaper insulin, expanding access for diabetics worldwide

A health worker checks a diabetic patient's blood sugar levels.

Overly expensive insulin could be a thing of the past – and life-changing news – for millions of diabetics under a plan launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday to diversify production globally, just ahead of World Diabetes Day.

The two-year pilot programme, launched Wednesday, aims to boost access to quality-assured insulin products for the growing number of people living with the illness, which has nearly doubled since 1980.

The agency highlighted that around 65 million people with type 2 diabetes need insulin, however only half are receiving it due to high prices.  

Here’s our full story.

‘No justification’ for attacks against civilians in Gaza cross-border violence

Rimal neighborhood in Central Gaza City. Smoke rising after strikes on the Eastern Part of the city. 4 May, 2019.

Following Israel’s targeted killing of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza on Tuesday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has expressed his growing concern over increasing rocket fire across the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

“I am very concerned about the ongoing and serious escalation between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel”, Nickolay Mladenov said in a statement on Wednesday..

More in our story, here. 

Iraqis paying an ‘unthinkable price’ to be heard, UN envoy tells politicians in Baghdad

UN Iraq Special Representative, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, visits Tahrir Square in Baghdad.

Noting that the people of Iraq were at “a critical juncture”, the top UN Envoy in the country told parliamentarians there on Thursday that over the past six weeks, hundreds of thousands have been peacefully voicing their “genuine, legitimate, demands, loud and clear”. 

“The Iraqi people have paid an unthinkable price to get their voices heard”, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in her address to the Council of Representatives in Baghdad.

She noted that since the start of the protests on 1 October, at least 319 people have been killed and around 15,000 injured, including both “peaceful protesters and members of the security forces”

Our full coverage here.

Over $39 million earmarked by UN-backed fund to combat effects of climate change in Nepal

 Rural woman farmer Chandra Kala Thapa works in the fields near Chatiune Village, Nepal. (File)

More than $39 million in funding was approved on Wednesday for a project that will build resilience and mitigate the effects of climate change, benefitting nearly one million Nepalis, according to the Board of the UN-backed Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Decades of unsustainable use of natural resources have resulted in forest degradation, floods and soil erosion.  And the negative effects on downstream communities have been exacerbated by increased droughts and extreme weather events precipitated by the climate crisis.

Co-funding the initiative, Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoFE) is adding another $8 million for a total of more than $47 million, which will see the project to fruition over the course of seven years. 

Here’s our coverage.

$1.35 billion humanitarian gap for fleeing Venezuelans

Steven of Venezuela and three friends attempt to hitchhike to the Paramo de Berlin (3,000m), the highest peak on their journey from Cucuta, Venezuela, to Bogota, Colombia.

A $1.35 billion appeal has been launched to meet the increasing humanitarian needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean and to support the communities hosting them. 

The ongoing political and economic crisis in the South American country has forced more than 4.6 million citizens to flee, nearly 80 per cent of whom are sheltering in the region. 

If current trends continue, numbers could reach 6.5 million by next year, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which launched the plan on Wednesday. 

More in our story. 

Nigerian’s affected by record flooding climbs to 100,000 

A mother and child attempt to escape the flood water in Niger State, Nigeria, following torrential rains which have hit the region since mid-July 2018. (file October 2018).

Nigeria is seeing the worst flooding in seven years, and more than 100,000 people have reportedly been affected across seven areas of the country since late last month, the UN humanitarian office, OCHA, confirmed on Wednesday.

Around 19,000 people have been displaced by the floods, which has compounded “an already dire humanitarian situation” in Adamawa state, which is one of the worst-affected by the 10-year conflict against extremists in northeast Nigeria, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told correspondents in New York.  

The Government is leading the response, while the UN and partners are scaling up assistance to the country, providing reproductive kits, farming supplies, and other aid, he said. 

So far, only 59 per cent of the $848 million called for in the country’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, to aid some 6.2 million people, has been funded.

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