April 21, 2024

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Gaza: health system β€˜barely surviving’ warns UN health agency chief

Gaza’s health system is β€˜barely surviving’ after more than five months of Israeli bombardment, the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

In a social media post, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that only 10 out of 36 hospitals are now partially functioning in the enclave.

Al-Amal hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis closed on Tuesday, Tedros noted, after media reports indicated that Israeli troops forced medical teams and patients to evacuate.

The development came as the UN aid coordination office OCHA underscored that aid obstacles continue to prevent the delivery of aid throughout Gaza – and as the UN’s top rights official said it was β€œplausible” that Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war in the enclave.Β 

Sudan’s 24 million children have a right to live in peace: UNICEFΒ 

Almost a year since war broke out in Sudan between rival militias, UN humanitarians warned on Thursday that hunger is everywhere and people are resilient but desperate for assistance.

The alert from the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, follows a recent mission to the city of Omdurman near Khartoum, where one hospital performed 300 amputations in a month, and where two to three patients share a bed.

Jill Lawler, UNICEF Chief of Field Operations in Sudan said that millions have been affected and displaced across the country.Β 
Here she is now, describing the desperate situation of young mothers who are too weak to breastfeed their babies:

β€œOne mother in particular was treating her three-month-old little son, and she unfortunately did not have the resources to provide milk for her little son, so had resorted to goat milk, which led to a case of diarrhoea. He was able to get some care and treatment at the hospital, but again she and the little one were some of the lucky few who were able to access that care.”

UNICEF says that 24 million children in Sudan have been exposed to conflict and a staggering 730,000 are severely acutely malnourished.

Women and girls who have been raped in the first months of the war are now delivering babies, the UN agency has learned, while many young people can also be seen carrying arms.

Although humanitarian supplies are available in Port Sudan, the key challenge is securing safe aid access to affected populations, UNICEF says.

You can find the full interview with Jill Lawler on the UN News audio hub now.

Aid agencies launch $1.4 billion appeal for South SudanΒ 

From Sudan to South Sudan, where $1.4 billion in funding is needed to help millions of refugees who’ve fled violence and climate shocks.Β 

The appeal is from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and 123 partner organisations which highlighted how more than a decade of conflict, dire food and four consecutive years of flooding have devastated homes and livelihoods.

More than 2.3 million people from South Sudan now shelter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda – and they need humanitarian assistance.Β 

β€œThe people of South Sudan deserve our attention and support so they can contribute meaningfully to their societies and gain skills for when they eventually are able to return home,” said Mamadou Dian Balde, UNHCR’s Regional Director.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.Β 

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