Multiple over-lapping crises are impeding global efforts to tackle hunger, according to the 2023 Global Hunger Index (GHI) released Thursday, which shows that hunger levels are at “serious” or “alarming” levels in 43 countries. The report, which is jointly published by the international humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide and the German charity Welthungerhilfe, finds progress against hunger worldwide has largely stalled since 2015.
Leading international humanitarian organizations on Friday have expressed shock and deep concern for civilians in the Gaza Strip after Israel ordered the entire population - more than 1.1 million people - to leave the northern part of Gaza as airstrikes continue and the humanitarian crisis worsens. Fearing catastrophic consequences, they warn that neither the demand to leave nor the total siege of Gaza imposed by Israel is compatible with international humanitarian law (IHL).
The displacement crisis prompted by ongoing conflict in Sudan continues unabated, with nearly six million people forced out of their homes and women and children making up nearly 90 percent of those uprooted, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned on Wednesday. On Thursday, the international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said that six months into the war in Sudan, people's lives are still in danger from bombings, shelling and shootings, while the country's health system is on the edge of collapse.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun rolling out food distributions to nearly 900,000 refugees in Ethiopia, following a full revamp of the safeguards and controls in its refugee operations. WFP said Monday that families living in refugee camps across five regions are receiving food parcels for the first time since the UN agency paused food distributions in June 2023, following reports of large-scale diversions.
United Nations officials have called on Israel and Palestinian armed groups to stop targeting civilians and allow them access to basic services. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Tuesday issued an urgent plea to all states with influence to take steps to defuse the “powder keg” situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). He stressed that international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law must be respected in all circumstances.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned today that aid fatigue is growing at a time when a record number of people are fleeing conflict, persecution, human rights violations, climate change, and grinding poverty. According to the latest figures, 110 million people around the world are currently displaced within their home country or have sought refuge in other countries.
Officials in Afghanistan say the death toll from a powerful earthquake that shook western parts of the country on Saturday has risen to more than 2,000. The Taliban-led Ministry of Natural Disasters confirmed the death toll in a statement Sunday, saying more than 1,300 houses were completely destroyed in the quake.
Extreme weather events linked to the climate crisis, such as storms, floods, droughts and wildfires, have displaced 43.1 million children in 44 countries over a six-year period, according to a new United Nations report. The analysis by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), released Friday, finds that an average of 20,000 children were displaced every day between 2016 and 2021.
In a new report released Wednesday, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) paints a bleak picture of the human rights situation in the country. With Russia’s invasion well into its 20th month, Ukraine’s civilians continue to pay a horrendous price with nearly 10,000 dead and tens of thousands injured, the report said, noting that over the past six months, the war has claimed, on average, six civilian lives a day.
A hunger emergency is looming on the border between South Sudan and Sudan as families fleeing fighting in Sudan continue to cross the border every day, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday. New data shows that among the nearly 300,000 people who have arrived in South Sudan in the last five months, one in five children are malnourished and 90 percent of families say they are going multiple days without eating.
The United Nations Security Council has voted Monday to authorize an international force to support Haiti’s police amid a gang-driven security crisis. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, 13 of the 15 council members voted for the non-UN Multinational Security Support Mission. China and Russia abstained. Haiti has repeated called for help in supporting its national police.
More than 11,600 children crossed the Central Mediterranean Sea to Italy without their parents or legal guardians between January and mid-September 2023, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports. This is an increase of 60 percent compared to the same period last year, where around 7,200 unaccompanied or separated children made the perilous crossing, UNICEF said in a statement on Friday.
Emergency aid efforts for tens of thousands of refugees who have fled to Armenia from the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave in Azerbaijan are gathering speed as the exodus from the disputed region shows few signs of letting up. Since Azerbaijan launched an attack on Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19, some 100,000 refugees have arrived in Armenia, mainly in the country’s southern Syunik region.
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine says there is a growing body of evidence of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine. In its oral update, which was delivered to the UN Human Rights Council Monday, the commission presented a picture of widespread violations and abuse against the civilian population and of wanton, large-scale destruction of essential infrastructure.
Humanitarian aid in Yemen has been cut by 62 percent over five years, endangering the lives and futures of the country's most vulnerable people, especially children, the international non-governmental organization (NGO) Save the Children International warned on Monday. The continued funding cuts come as two-thirds of Yemen’s population – 21.6 million people, including 11 million children – are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection this year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is a global uptick in cholera cases. The number of cases reported last year was more than double those reported in 2021, the United Nations agency said in an analysis published Friday. The number of countries reporting cholera statistics also grew in 2022 by 25 percent, from 35 countries in 2021 to 44 countries in 2022.
United Nations investigators say that human rights violations and abuse in Syria are sowing the seeds for further violence and radicalization, despite diplomatic efforts to stabilize the situation in the country, including through its re-admission to the League of Arab States. The three-member Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria presented this bleak outlook Friday to the UN Human Rights Council.
The United States has committed to providing an additional US$116 million in aid to people impacted by humanitarian crises in Myanmar, Bangladesh and the surrounding region, including more than US$74 million to support Rohingya refugees and their host communities. The pledge comes at a time when a steep decline in funds has forced humanitarian agencies to focus on the most critical and life-saving needs. This funding crush has led to worsening humanitarian conditions in the world’s largest refugee settlement.
A report presented Thursday to the United Nations Human Rights Council accuses all parties to the conflict in northern Ethiopia of widespread atrocities, many amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, despite a peace agreement signed nearly a year ago. The report from the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia documents wide-ranging atrocities committed since the conflict between the government and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) erupted November 3, 2020.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently calling for $629.7 million to sustain and scale up life-saving assistance in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, DR Congo). The UN agency reported Tuesday that conditions for those housed in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have fled conflict in the provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu have become dire with the advent of the rainy season.
According to the United Nations, large numbers of children are dying every month from malnutrition, measles and diarrhea, and other preventable diseases in Sudan, where armed conflict has displaced more than 5.3 million people from their homes. Between May 15 and September 14, at least 1,200 children under the age of five died from a deadly combination of a suspected measles outbreak and high malnutrition in nine camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sudan's White Nile state alone.
While South Sudan anticipates holding its first elections in December 2024, key institutions and legal frameworks are yet to be established, and critical questions remain unanswered, the top United Nations official for the country told the UN Security Council Friday. At the briefing, speakers warned that intercommunal violence and a massive influx of returnees and refugees continue to worsen the already dire humanitarian situation in the country.
One week after Storm Daniel hit northeastern Libya, unleashing devastating flooding that swept away large swathes of entire cities, the human toll of the disaster continues to mount. According to the Libyan Red Crescent, the unprecedented flooding and other storm-related incidents have left some 11,470 people dead and more than 10,100 still missing.
Members of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya community living as refugees in Bangladesh are again voicing opposition to efforts to repatriate many of them. They say that the Myanmar government has not met their demands over citizenship rights and that it is not safe for them to go back to Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Those concerns come amid a plan for their repatriation to Myanmar in the coming weeks.
Amid the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Sudan, the heads of over 50 human rights and humanitarian organizations have sounded the alarm and called for more aid, solidarity and attention to the Sudan Crisis. In an open letter published Wednesday, the leaders of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also urged the United Nations Security Council (UN SC) to act. Meanwhile, the UN SC heard briefings on the ongoing atrocities in the country and those responsible for committing them.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has issued a stark warning for global food security, estimating that every one percent cut in food assistance risks pushing more than 400,000 people towards the brink of starvation. Tuesday’s warning comes as WFP, the biggest recipient of humanitarian funding, is in the midst of a crippling financing crisis that is forcing the organization to scale back life-saving assistance at a time when acute hunger globally reached record levels.
Extreme rainfall from storm system Daniel has hit parts of the central and eastern Mediterranean in recent days, leading to devastating flooding and loss of life in Libya, the worst affected country. Several thousand are reported dead and some 10,000 people are reported missing in Libya's eastern city of Derna after severe flooding hit the north-east of the country.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warns violence against children in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, DR Congo) has reached unprecedented levels. In a media briefing Friday, a UNICEF representative said there “are few worse places, if any, to be a child”, as more than 2.8 million girls and boys are bearing the brunt of the crisis in the eastern provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu.
Earth just experienced its hottest three months on record, according to the European Union-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). At the same time, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports global sea surface temperatures are at unprecedented highs for the third consecutive month and Antarctic sea ice extent remains at a record low for the time of year. The developments come as the climate crisis is already having a devastating impact on people and ecosystems and fueling hunger and conflict in the world's worst crisis hotspots.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, has released US$125 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to boost underfunded humanitarian operations in fourteen countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. Afghanistan and Yemen top the recipient list with $20 million each.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says it is being forced to drop another 2 million hungry people from food assistance in Afghanistan in September, bringing to 10 million the number of people cut off from its support this year in the country. Due to a massive funding shortfall, WFP will only be able to provide emergency assistance to 3 million of the most vulnerable people per month, the UN agency said in a statement Tuesday.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), alongside 64 humanitarian and national civil society organizations, has appealed Monday for US$1 billion to provide essential humanitarian aid and protection to over 1.8 million people expected to arrive in five neighboring countries by the end of 2023, fleeing ongoing conflict in Sudan. One million refugees, returnees and foreign nationals have already crossed borders into the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Children in Africa are among the most at risk of the impacts of climate change but are neglected by the key climate financing flows required to help them adapt, survive and respond to the climate crisis, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned. According to a UNICEF report released Friday, children in 48 out of 49 African countries assessed are categorized between medium-high and extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change. The report found children living in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, Somalia and Guinea-Bissau are the most vulnerable.
A combination of protracted armed conflict, internal displacement, and restricted humanitarian access risks pushing nearly one million children under the age of five in Mali into acute malnutrition by December 2023 – with at least 200,000 at risk of dying of hunger if life-saving aid fails to reach them, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned in a joined statement Friday.
The humanitarian community in Haiti seeks the mobilization of the international community as the country witnesses the continued escalation of violence perpetrated by armed groups in Port-au-Prince and the Département Artibonite. According to a statement released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Thursday, the “world must act now to prevent further atrocities.”
The United Nations mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) has announced that it is working with local authorities in the Haut-Mbomou Prefecture, in the south-east of the country, to find a rapid solution to persisting insecurity. The UN mission said Wednesday that clashes between armed groups and attacks against the Central African armed forces (FACA) have aggravated the humanitarian situation and led to massive displacements in the region.
With no political solution in sight, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns that Niger’s political crisis could rapidly deteriorate into a humanitarian emergency as attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) continue and sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the country begin to take effect. Meanwhile, 45 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), working in the Sahel country, are calling on the international community to introduce humanitarian exemptions to the collective sanctions imposed against Niger.
The United Nations expressed its concern today over the deteriorating human rights situation in some regions of Ethiopia. In Amhara region, following a flare-up in clashes between the Ethiopian military and the regional Fano militia, and the declaration of a state of emergency in early August, the situation has worsened considerably. According to information gathered by the UN Human Rights Office, at least 183 people have been killed in clashes since July.
One year after historic floods devastated Pakistan and a national state of emergency was declared, millions of children continue to need humanitarian assistance and access to essential services, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned in a statement Friday. Meanwhile, this season’s monsoon rains are worsening already challenging conditions for flood-affected communities, tragically claiming the lives of 212 people across the country, including 87 children.
This week marks the sixth anniversary since over 700,000 Rohingya women, men and children fled Myanmar to Bangladesh, following coordinated attacks by the Myanmar military. They joined hundreds of thousands of other Rohingya who had previously sought refuge in the country. The United Nations (UN) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are calling this week for renewed commitment from the international community to sustain the humanitarian response for nearly one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
The ongoing political instability and armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo, DRC) have devastated food production and distribution systems, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said Tuesday. Meanwhile, the non-governmental organization Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) warned today that extreme levels of violence, hunger, and displacement receive “scant funding, media apathy, and neglect”, as recent months have brought a dramatic deterioration in the situation in the eastern part of the country.
Between March 2022 and June 2023, Saudi border guards have killed at least hundreds of Ethiopian migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who tried to cross the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Monday. The rights group states that these killings, which appear to be ongoing, would constitute a crime against humanity, if committed as part of a government policy to murder migrants.
The United Nations says that that armed group attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, DR Congo) have had an increasingly devastating impact on civilians, particularly in the eastern province of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu. This week, the UN Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (UNJHRO) released a report on human rights violations and abuses during the first half of the year.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced Friday that it is facing a deeper funding crisis for its Yemen operations from the end of September onward. This will force WFP to make difficult decisions about further cuts to its food assistance programs across the country in the coming months. The UN agency has already reduced live-saving programs.
United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) Martin Griffiths has today called for expanded humanitarian access and increased funding to assist the 18 million people in need of aid across Myanmar. The call comes as Myanmar’s overall humanitarian and human rights situation has deteriorated to alarming levels, exacerbated by the military’s strategy to prevent life-saving humanitarian aid from reaching those who desperately need it.
Four months into the war in Sudan, humanitarian leaders are highlighting the devastating impact the brutal conflict has had on millions of people whose lives have been destroyed and whose basic human rights have been violated. In a statement issued Tuesday, they called on the parties to the conflict to end the fighting, protect civilians and give humanitarian organizations unfettered access to all people in need in all areas of the country.