Newsbrief

244 Million Migrants Include 20 Million Refugees, Says UN

In 2015, the number of international migrants reached 244 million - a 41 percent increase compared to early 2000 – according to a United Nations report, released on January 12. Of those 244 million migrants, 20 million were refugees.

New Funds for Syrian Refugees, But More Needed

“This is a ray of hope for children, the majority of whom have not had the chance of education since they left Syria,” UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown said while announcing new funding pledges towards a plan to provide education for Syrian refugee children.

UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda Will “Leave No One Behind”

The United Nations is convinced the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders last September, can be successfully implemented only with the inclusion of all segments of society, including governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), women, youth, indigenous people and the private sector.

Report Exposes Flawed UN Response to Sexual Abuse Allegations

The United Nations has failed to appropriately respond to cases of sexual violence committed by peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic, a new report revealed.

Future Global Economic Growth at Stake, Warns UN

The year 2015 has been a challenging year for the growth of the global economy, currently suffering from economic recession, marked by high volatility in financial markets, large capital outflows, lower commodity prices and macroeconomic instability .

WHO Plans to Track Attacks on Health Workers in War Zones

A new system to collect data on attacks against health workers has been developed and will be available in 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced.

Cities Need Increased Climate Financing, Says New Study

As a global climate change agreement reaches its final stage at COP21, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and international partners have released a new report outlining strategies for climate financing in cities.

Citizens World-Wide Promote SDGs on International Volunteer Day

“On this day, we celebrate the power of volunteerism,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement ahead of International Volunteer Day (IVD).

Renewable Energy Key Solution to Climate Problem

While world leaders have gathered in Paris to discuss actions to reduce gas emissions and climate disasters, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is urging countries to reflect on the necessity to reform the energy sector.

Women’s Health Must be Protected in Crisis Situations, Urges UNFPA

Women’s health must be protected in crisis situations and during conflicts, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said in its new State of World Population report released here.

Africa Most Vulnerable to Climate Change Hazards

“Africa is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a high-level meeting on Africa and climate change at COP21.

Child Marriages Will Increase Without Action, Warns UNICEF

If current trends continue, the number of child brides in Africa could more than double by 2050, UN’s children fund (UNICEF) warned in a new report.

Terrorism Index Shows Nine-Fold Increase Since 2000

In 2014, the number of lives lost to terrorism around the world increased by 80 percent, the highest level ever. The majority of such terrorist activity occurred in the largest refugee-producing nations, a Global Terrorism Index (GTI) showed.

Children Extremely Vulnerable to Climate Change, Warns UNICEF

Climate change will disproportionately impact children, particularly in high poverty areas, the UN children’s agency UNICEF warned, in a new report released here. The report, “Unless We Act Now,” illustrates the dangers of climate change on livelihoods and urges for action ahead of the upcoming Paris Climate Change Conference, also known as COP21. “Today’s children are the least responsible for climate change, but they, and their children, are the ones who will live with its consequences,“ said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “And, as is so often the case, disadvantaged communities face the gravest threat,” he continued. UNICEF found that more than half a billion children live in extremely high flood occurrence zones, a majority of whom are in countries where half or more of the population lives in poverty. Another 160 million also live in areas of high or extremely high drought severity. Climate change will only increase the frequency of droughts, floods, and severe weather events, the report noted. Such extreme weather conditions exacerbate undernutrition and increase the spread of water-related diseases such as malaria and dengue which have lifelong effects on young children. Meanwhile, access to health services is also reduced during such natural disasters. During the 2010 floods in Pakistan, over 2.8 million children under 5 were affected but 15 percent of clinics and hospitals were damaged and all medicines destroyed, hindering access to health care. The risks to children go beyond physical health. Climate change threatens the complete loss of livelihoods. During the 2011 drought in Eastern Africa, the subsequent food crisis forced children to leave school and take dangerous jobs to support families. Families also often split up to search food, leaving children alone and exposed to violence and exploitation. Climate change will also worsen existing inequities, the report highlighted. Children and families already living in poverty and lacking access to resources such as water and sanitation are less likely to recover from a severe weather event, pushing them further into poverty and making them more vulnerable in ensuing crises. Of the 530 million children in flood-prone areas, nearly 100 million already lack access to safe water and over 270 million do not have access to sanitation. Similarly, approximately 130 million children in high drought zones do not have access to sanitation and/or safe water. In the report, UNICEF called for a cut in greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature increases. Without action, by 2050, the number of children living in higher-temperature and higher-risk zones is projected to triple to almost 1.5 billion. During the G20 meeting in Turkey, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also urged for action, warning of the consequences of global warming. “Even a 2 degree rise will have serious consequences for food security, economic stability and international security,” Ban told world leaders. “I urge you to look beyond national horizons and work in the common interest,” he continued. UNICEF also underscored the need to consider and include children in climate change adaptation. “If shocks are going to become more frequent in the future, it is imperative to build resilience and improve equitable outcomes for children today,” UNICEF stated in the report. At COP21, which begins on Nov 30, heads of State will meet to negotiate and set an international agreement keeping the average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. (End)

End Media Sexism by 2020, Urges New Study

“We have to end media sexism by 2020,” said General Secretary of World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) Karin Achtelstetter at the launch of the new Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) report.

16-Day Campaign to End Gender Violence

Civil society members from around the world are calling for action to end gender-based violence during its annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

UN Marks Achievement in Global Malaria Reduction

“Today, we celebrate major advances in our fight against malaria," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, in a message marking the achievement of malaria reduction, as set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Environment: a Silent Victim of the Syrian Conflict

The devastating five-year-old civil war in Syria has contributed to the largest refugee crisis since World War II. But there is also another silent victim of the Syrian conflict: the degradation of the environment.

Rights Group Urges EU Action on Refugee Crisis

“Drowning at sea or freezing in a Balkan field can never be acceptable forms of border control,” said Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Associate Europe and Central Asia Director Judith Sunderland, while urging Europe to take appropriate and urgent action on the refugee crisis.

Feed Syrian Refugees With One Click

A new app to help feed Syrian refugee children with one simple click has been launched by the World Food Programme (WFP).

Burundi at Dangerous Tipping Point, Warns UN

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the increased human rights violations in Burundi and threatening sanctions against those responsible.

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