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Sustainable development report shows devastating impact of COVID, ahead of ‘critical’ new phase

6 July 2021

The world was not on track to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before COVID-19 struck, and now the challenge has been magnified many times over, according to a new flagship UN report that indicates countries must take ‘critical’ st

South Sudan: UNICEF warns of ‘desperation and hopelessness’ for children 10 years after independence

6 July 2021

Ten years after South Sudan achieved independence, more children there are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance than ever before, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said on Tuesday. 

Japan: UN chief praises work of emergency responders in wake of deadly landslide

5 July 2021

The UN chief on Monday extended his condolences to the families of those who died in a landslide, which struck the Japanese coastal city of Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, over the weekend.

First Person: ‘Syrians still have ambition and hope’

3 July 2021

As a witness to the impacts of Syria’s internal conflict over the last decade, Bassel Al-Madani, a young engineer and former volunteer with the UN, was inspired to set up Entrepioneers 2030, a group that rallies youth to get involved in shaping th

FROM THE FIELD: 4.4 million Nigerians facing ‘catastrophic food conditions’

2 July 2021

Some 4.4 million people in Nigeria are facing what the UN humanitarian office, OCHA, is describing as “catastrophic food conditions”.

400,000 in Tigray cross 'threshold into famine', with nearly 2 million on the brink, Security Council told

2 July 2021

Senior UN officials appealed on Friday for immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to Tigray – and a stop to deadly attacks on aid workers - as the Security Council held its first open meeting on the conflict in the restive northern Ethiopi

‘Free, unfettered access’ needed to assist millions in war-torn Tigray

2 July 2021

The World Food Programme (WFP) has resumed operations in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, after fighting halted the emergency response last week, although the agency warned on Friday that “serious challenges” continue to threaten the entire humanitarian

Turning crisis into opportunity: World leaders meet at UN to help drive pandemic recovery

2 July 2021

Leading figures from government, business and civil society are preparing to take part in this year’s High Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF), where they will discuss ways to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a

COVID-19 impact on tourism could deal $4 trillion blow to global economy: UN report

30 June 2021

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism could result in a more than $4 trillion loss to the global economy, UN trade and development body UNCTAD said on Wednesday in a report issued jointly with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). 

Generation Equality: Alongside COVID lies an ‘equally horrific pandemic’ threatening women

29 June 2021

As the world grapples unevenly with the effects of COVID-19, “a parallel and equally horrific pandemic” has threatened half the world’s population, the UN chief said on Tuesday, in the lead up to the Generation Equality Forum in France.

Record-breaking ‘pressure-cooker’ heatwave hits Canada, US northwest

29 June 2021

A "pressure-cooker" heatwave that's broken temperature records twice in 48 hours in the US northwest and western Canada is being mirrored across large parts of the northern hemisphere, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday.

Hospitals barely functioning, famine still looming in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

29 June 2021

UN humanitarians expressed concern on Tuesday at the uncertain situation in Ethiopia's conflict-ravaged Tigray region despite a ceasefire call from the Government, highlighting the ongoing famine-like conditions there and the potential for disease

The trillion dollar climate finance challenge (and opportunity)

26 June 2021

It’s overwhelmingly accepted that climate change is a very significant threat to humanity and while there are countless solutions to tackling what has been described by the UN as the “existential threat” of our times, it is still not fully clear h

Tigray: UN condemns murder of 3 MSF humanitarians as ‘appalling violation’ of international law

26 June 2021

Three employees of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) agency have been killed by unknown attackers in the restive Tigray region of Ethiopia, drawing swift condemnation from UN Secretary-General António Guterres who said on Saturday he was “deeply

$1 billion fund for renewables among key energy commitments made during UN ministerial forums

26 June 2021

The IKEA Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation have announced plans to launch a $1 billion fund to boost access to renewable energy in developing countries – one of the key commitments made during a series of virtual UN ministerial forums this

On climate change frontline, indigenous provide pointers to save planet 

25 June 2021

Indigenous people living on the frontline of climate change could offer potentially ground-breaking insight into biodiversity protection and sustainability, but they urgently need help to withstand a growing number of threats to their way of life,

Water-related disasters throw up complex challenges, threaten lives and jobs

25 June 2021

The global climate crisis is “exacerbating and intensifying” water-related disasters, jeopardizing lives and livelihoods, the UN chief said on Friday at a major sustainable development symposium.

Syria’s last cross-border aid lifeline must stay open, insist UN humanitarians

25 June 2021

The imminent closure of the last cross-border aid lifeline to northwest Syria must be postponed beyond the 10 July deadline, UN humanitarians said on Friday, noting that no cross-line supplies had reached Idlib from Damascus, in 11 months.

UN pushes for lasting ceasefire, more humanitarian deliveries in Gaza

24 June 2021

The cessation of hostilities negotiated last month between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, remains “very fragile”, the UN envoy there told the Security Council on Thursday. 

UN chief urges European Parliament to support COVID vaccines for all

24 June 2021

The European Union (EU) must use its leverage to ensure people everywhere have access to COVID-19 vaccines, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday. 


UN officials appeal for extension of lifesaving cross-border aid operations into Syria

23 June 2021

Humanitarian convoys from Turkey that bring lifesaving aid into northwest Syria must continue, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday. 

Madagascar’s hungry ‘holding on for dear life’, WFP chief warns

23 June 2021

Thousands of families in southern Madagascar are on the edge of starvation, and “holding on for dear life”, the UN food agency chief said on Wednesday - after bearing witness to the suffering firsthand - urging the world to step-up and take action

Great Barrier Reef in danger, UN World Heritage Committee draft report finds

22 June 2021

A United Nations body is recommending that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef be included on a list of world heritage in danger, according to a draft report issued on Monday, a move which has been heavily criticized by the Australian Government.  

Famine knocking at the door of 41 million worldwide, WFP warns

22 June 2021

Famine is already present in four countries but millions more people are at risk, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday, underscoring the need for urgent funding and humanitarian access to reach those in need. 

Slow progress, stubborn cycles of violence, as South Sudan turns 10

21 June 2021

South Sudan, the UN’s youngest Member State, is marking its tenth anniversary of independence amid languishing political progress and a range of humanitarian challenges, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative told Security Council members

Pandemic ‘rolled back’ sustainable development funding for weak economies: UNCTAD

21 June 2021

Financial assistance to the world’s 83 weakest economies fell by 15 per cent in 2020, to $35 billion as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UN trade and development experts UNCTAD said on Monday.

FROM THE FIELD: Restoring Dutch ‘green deserts’

20 June 2021

The Western Peat Meadows of the Netherlands look like classic Dutch countryside (cows, windmills and green fields), but the views mask a significant loss of biodiversity, caused by intensive farming methods.

Sustainability solution or climate calamity? The dangers and promise of cryptocurrency technology

20 June 2021

The negative environmental impact of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has been widely covered in the press in recent weeks and months, and their volatility has also been flagged as a cause for concern.

Famine risk spikes amid conflict, COVID-19 and funding gaps: WFP

18 June 2021

The impact of conflicts old and new, climate shocks and COVID-19, in addition to a lack of funding, have left millions more on the verge of famine than six months ago, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.