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As famines of ‘biblical proportion’ loom, Security Council urged to ‘act fast’

21 April 2020

The world is not only facing “a global health pandemic but also a global humanitarian catastrophe”, the UN food relief agency chief told the Security Council on Tuesday via video link.

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Green practices’ boost blue economy

21 April 2020

The introduction of “green” or sustainable practices supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is helping the “blue economy” of an Indian Ocean archipelago to thrive.

Assistance ramped up to DR Congo’s South Kivu as floods kill dozens

21 April 2020

Aid is being rushed to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where deadly flooding has swept away people and homes and affected tens of thousands more, including many displaced by violence, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday

Keep critical food supply chains operating to save lives during COVID-19, urges new UN-backed report

21 April 2020

A new study on food insecurity by an alliance of UN, governmental, and non-governmental agencies analyzes what is fueling global food crises and examines how, among other emergencies, the COVID-19 pandemic is perpetuating downward cycle for millio

UN agencies pledge scaled-up efforts to protect uprooted children as pandemic upends lives

20 April 2020

Two UN agency chiefs are pledging to accelerate work to expand refugee children’s access to protection, education, clean water and sanitation, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe.  

UN issues appeal to bolster COVID-19 ‘logistics backbone’ or response could stutter to a halt 

20 April 2020

The heads of major UN humanitarian agencies and offices have launched an urgent appeal for $350 million to support global aid hubs to help those most at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: Actors Idris and Sabrina Elba launch new UN fund for rural farmers

20 April 2020

A new global coronavirus relief fund launched on Monday by actor, filmmaker and humanitarian Idris Elba and actress, model and activist Sabrina Dhowre Elba on behalf of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), aims to reduc

COVID-19: ‘Phased process’ for lifting restrictions is key, WHO chief urges G20

19 April 2020

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told a virtual meeting of the G20 leading global economies on Sunday that although it was encouraging for some countries to be planning to ease lockdowns against COVID-19, “it is critical that these

UN staff step-up and step-in to support front line heroes battling COVID-19 in New York

19 April 2020

A devastating surge in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks in New York City, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, has prompted United Nations staff to stand in solidarity with their host city, by stepping up support for healthcare workers

Tough times for tourism, but UN travel organization predicts holiday traffic will return

17 April 2020

Tourism may have been brought to a near-standstill by COVID-19, but the industry – which accounts for 10 per cent of global GDP – finds itself in a unique position to help put the global economy back on its feet, once the pandemic has passed. 

Coronavirus economics: Debt-laden countries at risk, as financial markets screech to a halt

17 April 2020

Economists and finance experts are warning that countries with “high” or “distressed” public debt levels are at risk of severe economic shocks amid the COVID-19 pandemic and calling for restructuring plans based on the principle of solidarity.

Africa mobilizing to minimize losses as COVID-19 pandemic continues worldwide advance

15 April 2020

From procuring test kits to promoting debt relief, the UN will stand in solidarity with Africa as it braces against the unprecedented economic, social and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary-General António Guterres pledged on Wedne

Migrants among most vulnerable, as IOM ramps up coronavirus response worldwide

15 April 2020

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has expanded the scope of its Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP), to include far-reaching interventions that aim to mitigate the dire health and socio-economic impacts of the p

COVID-19: Growth forecast at -3 per cent, as IMF offers debt relief to most vulnerable nations in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Caribbean

14 April 2020

Forecasting the “worst economic downturn since the Great Depression”, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that growth for the year was likely to end up at minus three per cent, with a dramatic change evident since the last World Econom

COVID-19: Major relief airlift will reach ‘most vulnerable’ African nations

14 April 2020

The first of the UN’s “Solidarity Flights” carrying urgently needed medical equipment to Africa, has arrived in Addis Ababa, agencies said on Tuesday. 

COVID-19 isolation threatens live-saving vaccinations for millions of children globally

13 April 2020

As countries around the world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 117 million children risk missing out on measles vaccines, two UN agencies warned in Geneva on Tuesday.

UN ready to support Pacific countries devastated by Tropical Cyclone Harold

12 April 2020

The United Nations stands ready to support four Pacific island nations devastated by the passing of Tropical Cyclone Harold last week.

Fight against desert locust swarms goes on in East Africa despite coronavirus crisis measures

9 April 2020

Sustained efforts to contain East Africa’s worst invasion of desert locusts in decades are forging ahead, despite limits on the flow of personnel and equipment stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the UN food agency said Friday. 

Coronavirus-driven debt crisis threatens poor countries already at risk, says UN report

9 April 2020

As governments struggle to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of people living in countries teetering on the brink of economic collapse are being threatened further by a looming debt crisis, according to a new UN report released on Thursday

COVID-19 in Yemen: Saudi coalition ceasefire declared in bid to contain coronavirus

9 April 2020

A ceasefire declaration by Saudi Arabia in war-shattered Yemen that was due to come into effect on Thursday has been welcomed by United Nations chief António Guterres as a way to promote peace and slow the advance of COVID-19.

Swift rebound for world trade still possible through joint action to thwart coronavirus

8 April 2020

Global trade in goods could fall by as much as a third this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but a swift rebound in 2021 is possible if the world’s economic policymakers – working together – act immediately, the World Trade Organization

Over 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa; Zimbabwe and South Sudan among most vulnerable

8 April 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday that the number of COVID-19 cases in Africa has now risen to more than 10,000, claiming more than 500 lives. 

COVID-19: impact could see 195 million job losses, says ILO chief

8 April 2020

The rapidly intensifying economic effects of COVID-19 on the world of work are proving to be far worse than the 2008-9 financial crisis, with cutbacks equivalent to nearly 200 million full-time workers expected in the next three months alone, the

Syria: Warring parties failed to abide by international law over hospital attacks

6 April 2020

Parties to Syria’s brutal civil war, now in its tenth year, failed to abide by their obligations under international law to avoid attacks on hospitals and other civilian facilities that featured on the UN’s so-called deconfliction list, Secretary-

Prison shelling in Yemen kills five women and a child: UN rights chief condemns possible war crime

6 April 2020

The UN has condemned the shelling of the women’s section of the Central Prison in a district of Yemen’s war-torn Taizz Governerate, in the south of the country, which has left at least five women and one child dead, and wounding more than 11, with

First person: COVID-19 is not a silver lining for the climate, says UN Environment chief

5 April 2020

Greenhouse gas emissions are down and air quality has gone up, as governments react to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus restrictions hamper aid access for Sudanese in need

3 April 2020

The United Nations and its partners are putting in place alternative plans to ensure the continuity of humanitarian assistance in Sudan, as measures taken by the Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are having an impact on aid access, deli

COVID-19: The global food supply chain is holding up, for now

3 April 2020

The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic is so far having little impact on the global food supply chain, but that could change for the worse – and soon – if anxiety-driven panic by major food importers takes hold, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on F

COVID-19 crisis ‘unlike any we have dealt with’, as new tragedy looms for Syria

2 April 2020

The risk of the COVID-19 pandemic having a devastating impact on war-torn Syria is intensifying, where six million are displaced, living in conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the deadly virus, the Senior Humanitarian Advisor to t

Burkina Faso crisis and COVID-19 concerns highlight pressure on Sahel food security

2 April 2020

Food insecurity levels in the Sahel region are “spiralling out of control”, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday, as it expressed concerns about the potential impact on humanitarian supply chains because of restrictions imposed in respo