UNICEF official shares memories of “a horrible year” for children in Yemen

For children in Yemen, there could not have been a worse year than 2017.

That’s the assessment of the Representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the war-torn country, Meritxell Relaño.

Besides ongoing deadly conflict, children there have faced a cholera epidemic, looming famine, a disruption in health services and a blockade hampering delivery of much-needed supplies.

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Involving men plays crucial role for women’s empowerment, says activist

Men should be playing a more active role in empowering women, and helping to end the scourge of gender-based violence.

That’s one of the messages being expressed on the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, by Inna Modja, a Malian singer and activist, who suffered female genital mutilation, or FGM, when she was just 4-years-old.

Jonathan Ernst/World Bank

UN and Africa: Industrialization in Africa, and Peacekeeping efforts in DR Congo and South Sudan

Industrialization in Africa will help eradicate poverty, transform economies

Urban demand could be “a lever” for industrialization across Africa.  That’s according to Giovanie Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), which has launched a report on industrial development on the continent.  With an increasing fraction of the population living in cities, Africa faces growing challenges in terms of services and infrastructure.  Ms Biha spoke with Priscilla Lecomte about how th

UNHCR/Will Swanson

South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass one million mark: UNHCR

The number of people from South Sudan seeking refuge in Uganda has reached one million, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned.

An average of 1,800 South Sudanese civilians have been crossing into Uganda every day during the past year.

Another one million or more South Sudanese are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

UN Photo/D. Gair (file)

Only 1 in 5 women addicts seeks treatment, warns UN expert

Only one in five women addicts seeks treatment for drug abuse, the president of the International Narcotics Board (INCB) has warned.

Viroj Sumyai highlighted these challenges during a presentation of his agency’s annual report to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Furthermore, he warned that there has been a disproportionate increase in overdoses among women.

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

More protection needed for LGBTI defenders in Honduras

Authorities in Honduras are being urged by UN human rights experts to do more to protect activists who defend the rights of sexual minorities in the Central American country.

The joint appeal was sparked by the attempted murder in July of Osmin David Valle Castillo, a prominent human rights defender of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

The attack happened several months after Mr Castillo had requested protection for his organization and its members, who have been intimidated and threatened.

UN Photo/Isaac Billy

South Sudan force will allow for more peacekeeper patrols

The arrival of a UN regional force in South Sudan will enable the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, to free up additional peacekeepers to mount “more patrols along insecure roads,” the head of the Mission, David Shearer, has said.

Mr Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan, was speaking in the capital, Juba, following the weekend arrival of the first 120 soldiers of the Rwandan battalion of the Regional Protection Force (RPF).

Dianne Penn reports.