April 21, 2024

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Gaza: UN aid team reaches stricken north, confirms β€˜shocking’ hunger levels

Amid reports of ongoing bombardment across Gaza and as a new Security Council ceasefire resolution was voted down on Friday, UN humanitarians highlighted β€œshocking levels of disease and hunger” in the north of the enclave.

The warning followed a mission to Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia on Thursday.

That’s where children with the most severe and life-threatening hunger in northern Gaza are being treated at a new UN health agency-backed feeding centre.

β€œWithout swift treatment, these children are at imminent risk of death,” said the UN aid coordination office, OCHA, in a call for all parties to the conflict to respect the laws of war and international humanitarian law. β€œCivilians and the infrastructure they rely on – including hospitals – must be protected,” the UN office insisted.

In a related development media reports indicated that the Israeli military raid was continuing at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, for a fifth straight day.Β 

Al Shifa is Gaza’s largest health centre and only recently restored β€œminimal” services, according to OCHA, which added that β€œhostilities in and around the facility” had put patients, medical teams and treatment in danger.

Meanwhile, in the Security Council, a resolution on Gaza from the United States was vetoed on Friday by Russia and China. The draft stated the “imperative” for β€œan immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides” and called for β€œessential” aid delivery tied to the release of all hostages.Β 

Aid ramps up to Mozambique communities impacted by tropical storm FilipoΒ 

Tropical Storm Filipo made landfall in Mozambique 10 days ago and is now affecting nearly 50,000 people who urgently need basic services restored, UN aid teams have reported.

The central and southern provinces of the country, Inhambane, Maputo and Sofala were worst-hit as strong winds and torrential rains caused widespread flooding and destruction to thousands of homes, livelihoods and public buildings – including 146 schools.

As part of the relief effort, UN agencies have dispatched hundreds of shelterβ€―kits, tarpaulins, thermal blankets and mosquito nets but much more assistance is needed.

The emergency has increased the risk of cholera spreading in northern Mozambique among communities already affected by a recent escalation of violent attacks involving non-state armed groups.

According to the UN refugee agency, more than 582,000 people were displaced in northern Mozambique at the start of the year, because of recurring attacks on civilians and governmental forces by militants, since 2017.

Mass grave found in Libya highlights migrant horror

A mass grave has been found in southwest Libya containing at least 65 migrants; it’s believed that they died while being smuggled through the desert.

According to the UN migration agency (IOM) which sounded the alarm on Friday, increasing numbers of people are dying on dangerous routes to northern Africa and beyond.

Without legal pathways for migrants, β€œsuch tragedies will continue to be a feature along this route”, the agency warned.

The circumstances are not clear surrounding the deaths of those found in the mass grave and their nationalities are also unknown.Β 

IOM noted that the Libyan authorities had launched an inquiry, before urging the β€œdignified recovery, identification and transfer of the remains of the deceased migrants”, and for their families to be notified.

According to the UN agency’s Missing Migrants Project, at least 3,129 people died or disappeared in 2023 along the so-called β€œMediterranean route”.Β 

It was already the deadliest migratory route in the world, even before the discovery of the mass grave.β€―

Daniel Johnson, UN News.Β 

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