Middle East & North Africa

Yemen Records 400,000 Cholera Cases

The directors of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO) released a joint statement today shedding light on a deadly cholera epidemic engulfing war-torn Yemen.

No Justice, No Peace for Yemeni Children

Human rights groups are urging the UN Secretary-General to include the Saudi-led Coalition (SLC) in a child rights’ “shame list” after documenting grave violations against children.

“Long March to Justice”: Appointed Judge to Investigate Syrian War Crimes

A former French judge has been appointed as the head of an independent team tasked with investigating war crimes in Syria.

Mideast: Water Use Innovations ‘Crucial’ to Face Climate Change

In the Near East and North Africa region, the per capita renewable water availability is around 600 cubic metres per person per year --only 10 per cent of the world average- and drops to just 100 cubic metres in some countries, the United Nations warned.

Is the United States Preparing for a War in Syria?

Although US policies during the past few months have been quite puzzling and unpredictable, the events of the past few days have been truly bewildering and alarming. On Monday 26th June, the White House released a statement saying that the United States had “identified potential preparations for another chemical attack by the Assad regime…” It went on to say: “If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

Civilian Casualties Rise in Raqqa as Fighting Intensifies

As US-backed Syrian rebels plow ahead in the fight to take back Raqqa from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, the stake of civilian lives, who number as many as 100,000 in the city, has raised concerns among top UN officials.

Did Arab Coalition Threaten to Pull Out of UN in Protest?

When Saudi Arabia – which has been spearheading a coalition of Arab states in a devastating war against Yemen since 2015 – was accused of bombing civilians, and particularly children caught up in the conflict, the government in Riyadh threatened to cut off humanitarian funding to the world body.

Refugee Protection an Obligation Under International Law

It is impossible to be ten years as High Commissioner for Refugees, doing my best to try to help the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, without changing your life. And, indeed, not only witnessing the suffering of people but also learning [about] the extraordinary courage, resilience and capacity to permanently generate hope of refugees is something that has changed my perspective of the world and, to a large extent, changed my life.

Half of World’s Civilian War Deaths Occurred in Syria, Iraq and Yemen

Between 2010 and 2015, nearly half of all civilian war deaths worldwide occurred in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, a major independent, neutral organisation ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence informs.

VIDEO: Yusra Mardini, A Young Refugee, Finds Safety in Her New Home

The United Nations Department of Public Information has launched a new animated video on the dramatic story of Yusra Mardini, a young refugee from conflict-torn Syria who achieved her dream to compete in the Olympics last year. Yusra Mardini was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on 27 April 2017. The video was produced by the Education Outreach Section in support of the Together Initiative to mark World Refugee day on 20 June and highlight the advent of the International Day of Peace on 21 September.

Housing Refugees of the Middle East Conflicts: Where Will They Go?

Prolonged conflicts in the Middle East have led to a deadly humanitarian crisis, with as many as 17.5 million people displaced in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Drought Pushes 1 in 3 Somalis to a Hunger Knife-Edge

Another famine in former European colonies in Africa and another time in its Eastern region, with Ethiopia and Somalia among the major victims of drought and made-made climate disasters mainly caused by US and European multinational business.

Mideast: Drought to Turn People into Eternal Migrants, Prey to Extremism?

Worldwide, land degradation, severe droughts and advancing desertification are set to force populations to flee their homes and migrate. In the specific case of the Middle East and North of Africa (MENA), such an obliged choice implies the additional risk to turn peoples into easy prey to extremist, terrorist groups.

Crisis in the Gulf: Escalation or negotiation?

Turkey’s parliament is this week fast tracking the dispatch of up to 3,000 troops to Qatar, home to the country’s military base in the Middle East. Certain to stiffen Qatar’s resolve to resist Saudi and UAE-led pressure to force it to change policies, the Turkish move comes amid hints that the kingdom and its allies may seek to undermine the rule of Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

In Volatile Times, the U.A.E. calls for Tolerance

With terror attacks on the increase worldwide, there are more people today who believe that it has something to do with the religion of Islam.

Civilian Casualties Mount in Battle to Re-take Mosul

East of Mosul, many of the lands liberated from ISIS stand empty. Driving through the Nineveh plains, traditional homelands of Iraq’s minority communities of Yezidis, Christians, Shabak and Turkmen, you pass one ghost town after another, peopled only by members of the armed militias known in Iraq as the Hashd al-Shaabi, or ‘popular mobilization’.

Aggression against children in the Arab region needs to come to an end

On 20 February 1997, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 51/77 to promote the rights of children. This Resolution was considered a milestone in promoting and advancing the right of children in conflict and wars.

The Worsening Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

The cruel conflict in Syria continues to tear families apart, inflicts brutal suffering on the innocent, and leaves them pleading for protection and justice. I readily acknowledge that there have been reports of a significant drop in violence in some areas of the country, but such steps forward continue to be counter-weighted by the reality of a conflict that continues to devastate the civilian population.

The ‘Water-Employment-Migration’ Explosive Nexus

Water--everybody talks about it, warns against its growing scarcity, excessive waste, the impact of climate change, the frequent severe droughts and so on. Now, a global action network with over 3,000 partner organisations in 183 countries comes to unveil the dangerous nexus between water, employment and migration, in particular in the Mediterranean region.

Mideast: Growing Urbanisation Worsens Water Scarcity, Food Imports

Conflict and insecurity remain the key barriers to development progress in the Middle East and North Africa. In Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, about half the population—around 40 million people—require humanitarian assistance. Across the region, countries depend heavily on food imports. As their populations urbanise and grow, the need for imports will increase.

An Untold Economic Success Story in Syria

Hidden almost literally under the rubble of the civil war in Syria is an economic success story that is rarely told. Hanan Odah is a thirty-year-old Palestine refugee living in Jaramana refugee camp in Damascus. She supports her multiply displaced family of three from a thriving micro-enterprise venture. Her husband was killed in the conflict, but she refused to submit to despair and dependency on her parents.

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