Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World Humanitarian Day, observed today:
The Beirut port is temporarily operational, with nearly 9,000 containers unloaded between 11 and 18 August, including 1,000 tons of goods such as iron and wheat. The High Commissioner for Refugees is providing psychosocial support, emergency help cash and shelter kits, one of several United Nations agencies to offer emergency assistance.
The third commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism is taking place in trying times for the international community, with the ongoing consequences of COVID-19 felt around the world. With the international community focused on the response to the pandemic and many memorials and commemorations cancelled, it is critical to take the time to remember and honour the victims of terrorism.
There is a real danger that the global health crisis will create a COVID generation who lose out on schooling and see their opportunities permanently damaged, warned Gordon Brown, Special Envoy on Global Education, noting that an estimated 30 million children may never return to school, according to UNESCO.
In Zimbabwe, where 60 per cent of the population is projected to be food insecure by the end of 2020, the World Food Programme appealed for $250 million to prevent a human catastrophe. A nationwide COVID-19 lockdown has led to joblessness in urban areas, growing hunger in rural areas and hyperinflation that has made basic goods unaffordable.
A new United Nations report released today says that, despite a drop in civilian casualties in Afghanistan, it remains one of the deadliest conflicts in the world for civilians. Meanwhile, a deteriorating humanitarian situation persists amid rising cases of COVID-19, with more than 36,000 confirmed cases and 1,269 deaths.
Officials at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) say locust swarms linked to climate change remain a serious threat to food security in parts of East Africa, India and Pakistan. United Nations agencies are helping affected areas by providing data on weather, climate and the desert locust life cycle.