Category Archives: Media

Clashes in Central African Republic force thousands to seek refuge at UN peacekeeping base

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bambari, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bambari, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

CAR, 27 August 2015 – Clashes between rival militias in the past few days have forced several thousand people to flee their homes in the Central African Republic (CAR) town of Bambari and seek shelter at a former cotton factory inside the compound of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, the UN refugee agency said today.

“We are extremely concerned by the mounting violence in Bambari and its impact on the civilian population. Our staff have reported the displacement of people who are extremely frightened,” Kouassi Lazare Etien, the Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in CAR, said in a press release. Continue reading

As Libyan political talks resume, UN envoy urges parties to set aside differences, agree unity government

A new round of Libyan political dialogue got underway on 27 August 2015 in Skhirat, Morocco. Photo: UNSMIL

A new round of Libyan political dialogue got underway on 27 August 2015 in Skhirat, Morocco. Photo: UNSMIL

Libya, 27 August 2015 – The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has announced that a round of Libyan political dialogue began today in Skhirat, Morocco, with discussions expected to focus on expediting the process towards finalizing the Libyan Political Agreement, including reaching agreement on a Government of National Accord.

In a statement UNSMIL explained that it has been informed by the GNC (Libyan General National Congress) that its team will not be attending this round of talks in Skhirat, explaining that it needs to reorganize its negotiating team following the resignation of two members. Continue reading

Aid community must scale up support to troubled Lake Chad region, urges senior UN official

The market in the town of Bol on the outskirts of Lake Chad. Lack of clean water and health centres remain major concerns. Photo: OCHA/Pierre Peron

The market in the town of Bol on the outskirts of Lake Chad. Lack of clean water and health centres remain major concerns. Photo: OCHA/Pierre Peron

Lake Chad, 27 August 2015 – A senior United Nations relief official today called on the international community to ramp up its support in response to the multifaceted humanitarian challenges affecting Chad, the seventh largest refugee-hosting country in the world.

“Now is the time for the aid community to scale up its support for humanitarian action, especially for people in the Lake Chad region,” where, “prior to this recent crisis, a quarter of the nation’s population needed humanitarian assistance,” advocated UN Regional Humanitarian for the Sahel, Toby Lanzer, at the end of a four-day visit to Chad and the Lake Chad Basin. Continue reading

UN humanitarian agencies reach thousands of South Sudanese cut off for months

People in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan collect food from WFP. Photo: WFP/Peter Testuzza

People in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan collect food from WFP. Photo: WFP/Peter Testuzza

South Sudan, 27 August 2015 – Emergency relief teams from the United Nations have managed to reach more than 27,000 people in a town in South Sudan cut off by insecurity since March where “there were only some fish and a few tomatoes for sale in the market, and almost nobody had the means to buy them.”

“With little or no services available, children are going without nourishing food and healthcare in these villages,” said Jonathan Veitch, Representative for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in South Sudan. Continue reading

Ban welcomes South Sudanese leader Kiir’s signature of agreement to resolve conflict

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan at the signing ceremony in the country's capital, Juba. UN Photo/Isaac Gideon

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan at the signing ceremony in the country’s capital, Juba. UN Photo/Isaac Gideon

South Sudan, 27 August 2015 – Welcoming President Salva Kiir’s signing of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the move is “a critical and necessary step towards ending the 20 month-long conflict that has devastated [the country] and subjected its people to unspeakable suffering.”

In a statement issued late yesterday by his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban commended the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Partners Forum (IGAD)-led mediation for its tireless efforts to bring the peace talks to a successful conclusion. Continue reading

UNICEF demands that water not be used to achieve ‘military and political gains’ in Syria

In the Tishreen camp for displaced persons in Aleppo, Syria, a boy carries a jerrycan he filled at a water tank built by OXFAM with UNICEF support. Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi

In the Tishreen camp for displaced persons in Aleppo, Syria, a boy carries a jerrycan he filled at a water tank built by OXFAM with UNICEF support. Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi

Syria, 26 August 2015 – Amid the unremitting brutality of the war in Syria and a scorching summer heat wave, there is increasing evidence that parties to the conflict are using water to achieve military and political gains, warned the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Clean water is both a basic need and a fundamental right, in Syria as it is anywhere else,” reminded Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in a press release. “Denying civilians access to water is a flagrant violation of the laws of war and must end.” Continue reading

UN food relief now reaching more than 400,000 flood victims in Myanmar

Chin State, remote and mountainous and one of the poorest regions in Myanmar, was among the hardest-hit by floods. Photo: UNICEF/Mohammad Badrul Hassan

Chin State, remote and mountainous and one of the poorest regions in Myanmar, was among the hardest-hit by floods. Photo: UNICEF/Mohammad Badrul Hassan

Myanmar, 26 August 2015 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is now delivering rice, beans, cooking oil and salt to more than 400,000 people affected by flooding in Myanmar and “reachable only on foot, after floods and landslides destroyed roads across the country,” the agency said today.

More than 1.7 million people in Myanmar have been affected by widespread flooding and landslides as a result of heavy monsoon rains since early August.

In a press release issued in Yangon, Myanmar, WFP said it is appealing for $12.3 million urgently required to meet flood needs. Continue reading

Sierra Leone begins 42-day countdown to be declared free of Ebola virus transmission – UN health agency

Adama Sankoh, who is the last Ebola case in Sierra Leone so far, was released from the Makheni Ebola treatment unit on 24 August 2015. Photo: WHO/M. Harris

Adama Sankoh, who is the last Ebola case in Sierra Leone so far, was released from the Makheni Ebola treatment unit on 24 August 2015. Photo: WHO/M. Harris

Sierra Leone, 26 August 2015 – Sierra Leone today began its countdown to be declared by the World Health Organization as free of Ebola virus transmission as the West African nation’s President described the release of the last patient treated for the disease at a treatment centre as “the beginning of the end of Ebola.”

“For first time in more than a year, there are no people being treated for Ebola virus disease and no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country,” WHO reported, but noted that President Ernest Bai Koroma reminded the nation that Ebola transmission would not be considered ended in Sierra Leone “until the WHO declares we have gone 42 days with no case.” Continue reading

Ebola response panel studying ways to enforce compliance with key UN legal health instrument

Chair of the Review Committee on the Role of International Health Regulations in the Ebola Outbreak and Response Didier Houssin briefs the press in Geneva. Photo: WHO Webcast video capture

Chair of the Review Committee on the Role of International Health Regulations in the Ebola Outbreak and Response Didier Houssin briefs the press in Geneva. Photo: WHO Webcast video capture

Geneva, 26 August 2015 – A special United Nations international panel reviewing the role of existing international health regulations in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is studying the use of possible sanctions and other mechanisms to ensure better compliance with what it described as “a very important legal instrument in order to improve the global health security.”

“In many countries, even in the Ministry of Health… sometimes the regulations about the International Health Regulations are not well known, so I think that there is a question of information communication, there is a question of capacities, there is a question of compliance to the rules; that’s very important,” said Didier Houssin, newly-elected Chair of the Review Committee on the Role of International Health Regulations in the Ebola Outbreak and Response. Continue reading

At Security Council, UN envoy says Libyan parties must come together, make ‘final push’ for peace

Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Léon (shown on screen), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Léon (shown on screen), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Libya, 26 August 2015 – With the United Nations-supported political dialogue process in Libya nearing its last stages, “time is running out” for leaders on all sides and at all levels to make the “final push,” the head of the UN Mission in the country (UNSMIL) told the Security Council today.

“Overcoming the political polarization and divisiveness in Libya will be no easy task…the onus is on Libya’s leaders on all sides, and at all levels, to make that final push towards peace,” said Bernardino León, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the North African country. Continue reading