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Decade of conflict triggering ‘slow tsunami’ across Syria, Security Council hears 

20 January 2021

After a decade of conflict, economic collapse compounded by COVID-19, corruption and mismanagement, the UN Syrian envoy told the Security Council on Wednesday that “a slow tsunami” is now “crashing across Syria”. 

‘Complex’ emergency unfolding in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, warn UN agencies

20 January 2021

UN agencies voiced deep concern on Wednesday over the worsening humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, where attacks by armed groups have forced more than 565,000 to flee their homes. 

East African countries better prepared, but desert locust threat ‘not over’

19 January 2021

Action to control unprecedented desert locust infestations in the Horn of Africa last year has protected crops and livelihoods, but funding is needed to sustain operations against new incursions, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on

‘Swift action’ needed in Tigray to save thousands at risk, UNHCR warns 

19 January 2021

Two months after conflict forced humanitarian workers to withdraw from the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), on Tuesday, stressed the need for “swift action” to restore safe access to “save thousands of lives at risk”. 

Air travel down 60 per cent, as airline industry losses top $370 billion: ICAO

15 January 2021

A new report from the UN’s air transportation agency confirms there was a “dramatic” fall in international air travel due to COVID-19, of around 60 per cent over the course of last year, to levels last seen in 2003.

Deadly earthquake hits Indonesia: Dozens killed, hundreds injured 

15 January 2021

At least 35 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the West Sulawesi Province of Indonesia on Friday morning, according to the UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA). 

Ethiopia: Safe access and swift action needed for refugees in Tigray

14 January 2021

The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday expressed his deep concern over the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, including its impact on Eritrean refugees hosted there. 

2020, one of three warmest years on record: World Meteorological Organization 

14 January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was not the only long-term crisis the world will remember from 2020.

Countries have plans, but lack money to implement climate change adaptation: UN report

14 January 2021

Though countries have made progress in planning for climate change adaptation, significant gaps remain in financing such initiatives and bringing them the stage where they bring real protection against climate change impacts such as droughts, floo

Insecurity and bureaucracy hampering aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray region

13 January 2021

Nearly three months after the start of conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, hundreds of thousands of people have yet to receive assistance, the United Nations reported on Wednesday, citing information from its humanitarian coordination agency, OC

UN reports major progress towards eradicating sheep and goat plague

13 January 2021

The world is moving closer to stamping out a highly contagious disease that affects sheep and goats, but also the livelihoods of millions of families who depend on these animals for food and income, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) s

Fewer protections, lower wages, and higher health risks: Homeworking in the COVID era

13 January 2021

The UN’s labour agency (ILO) called on Wednesday for greater recognition and protection for the hundreds of millions of people who work from home, accounting for almost eight per cent of the global workforce even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Humanitarian crisis looms in Madagascar amid drought and pandemic

12 January 2021

In southern Madagascar, “famine-like conditions” have doubled the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance compared with last year, to more than 1.3 million.

Humanitarians seek $1.3 billion to help millions in war-weary Afghanistan

12 January 2021

United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners in Afghanistan are seeking $1.3 billion to assist almost 16 million people in need of life-saving assistance as a result of decades of conflict, recurrent natural disasters, and the added health an

Serious repercussions likely to follow US plan to designate Yemen combatants terrorists, UN warns

11 January 2021

The United States government’s decision to designate Ansar Allah, more commonly known as the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, as terrorists, is likely to have “serious humanitarian and political repercussions”, the UN spokesperson said on Monday.

UN chief calls for ‘urgent transition’ from fossil fuels to renewable energy 

11 January 2021

Building a global coalition for carbon neutrality by mid-century will be the UN’s “central objective”, the world body’s top official told a conference on climate action on Monday. 

COVID-19 recovery offers ‘chance to change course’, Guterres tells One Planet Summit

11 January 2021

The process of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic offers the chance to change course, and put humanity on a path on which it is not in conflict with nature, the United Nations Secretary-General said on Monday, urging greater efforts by everyon

State of the ocean will ‘ultimately determine the survival of our species’: UN Special Envoy

11 January 2021

The health of the ocean will ultimately determine the survival of humankind on Earth, according to the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson.

FROM THE FIELD: Laos villages transformed by solar power

10 January 2021

For people living off-grid in remote villages in Laos, solar energy offers a clean, sustainable way to bring electricity for all, and the promise to transform their lives.

FROM THE FIELD: Mapping coral reefs from space

9 January 2021

A plan to use satellite imaging to build up a global picture of coral reefs, to better understand how to protect them from warming seas brought on by climate change, is being supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Central African Republic: Post-election violence triggers mass displacement  

8 January 2021

Amidst post-election violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), more than 200,000 people have fled for their own safety, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.    

Citizens globally affirm belief in international cooperation to overcome challenges

8 January 2021

People worldwide have overwhelmingly highlighted their faith in multilateralism to address global challenges, the results of a year-long survey by the United Nations has shown. 

Food for Mozambicans struggling amidst violence and COVID-19, ‘will be compromised’ without more funding: WFP

7 January 2021

Despite increased insecurity and limited funding, the UN food relief agency is continuing to supply food for hundreds of thousands of people affected by conflict in northern Mozambique.

FROM THE FIELD: the genocide survivor helping others avoid starvation

7 January 2021

During the 1994 Genocide Against The Tutsi In Rwanda, Liberee Kayumba avoided starvation thanks to emergency rations from the World Food Programme (WFP).

Deadly car bomb attacks ‘tragic reminder’ of price civilians pay in Syria

6 January 2021

The killing of civilians in separate car bomb attacks in northern Syria on Saturday has been condemned by top UN humanitarian officials for the country. 

‘An unwanted prison sentence’ for seafarers stuck at home and stranded at sea

6 January 2021

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been on board for many months longer than planned, stranded at sea due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

FROM THE FIELD: Port explosion which ‘burnt hearts’ of Beirut residents

6 January 2021

Five months on from the devastating port explosion that killed over 200 people, and injured thousands more, the UN has invited Beirut residents to share their hopes and fears for the future of the city, and for Lebanon, which remains in crisis.

UNHCR relocates victims of Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict to new site in Sudan

5 January 2021

A second refugee camp has opened in Sudan for people fleeing violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region carrying “little more than the clothes on their backs”, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), said on Tuesday.

World Bank expects global economy to expand by 4% in 2021

5 January 2021

The World Bank Group on Tuesday issued a guarded growth forecast for the global economy this year, saying that a four per cent overall expansion was likely, although the recovery will likely be a “subdued” one.

FROM THE FIELD: Weathering a tourist downturn in Kyrgyzstan

5 January 2021

The residents of a small traditional village high in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, which once attracted a steady stream of visitors, are learning how to adapt to the reality of a world where the COVID-19 pandemic has all but frozen