The United Nations is fighting a losing battle against a rash of political and humanitarian crises in 10 of the world’s critical “hot spots.”
"Political negotiations, not military intervention, are the solution" said United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on the rapidly deteriorating conflict situation in Yemen and recent developments in Syria at the Yarmouk refugee camp.
At least 18 civilians have already been killed in the attack on the Syrian refugee camp of Yarmouk, according to Amnesty International.
The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees has described the situation inside the Syrian refugee camp of Yarmouk, under attack by Islamic State (IS) militants, as “one of the most severe ever” for the already spartan camp.
In the Khalife workshop, in the southern coastal village of Sarafand, four men stand beside an oven, fixed in concentration despite the oppressive temperature. Blowing through a long tube, one of the group carefully shapes white-hot melted glass into a small ball, while two others coax it into the form of a beer glass. The fourth, the veteran of the group, cuts off the top of the glass, creating an opening from which beer will one day flow.
As the world's spreading humanitarian crisis threatens to spill beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq into Libya and Yemen, the United Nations is already setting its sights on the first World Humanitarian Summit scheduled to take place in Istanbul next year.
When United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stood before 78 potential donors at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait Tuesday, his appeal for funds had an ominous ring to it: the Syrian people, he remarked, "are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time."
The deadly Syrian military conflict - now entering its fifth year - which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 mostly civilians, including women, children and aid workers, has not spared the United Nations either.
A cash-strapped United Nations, which is struggling to reach out to millions of Syrian refugees with food, medicine and shelter, is desperately in need of funds.
Outwardly, Feras Fayyad is stoic in face of the immense turmoil both he and his country are going through. All of 30 years old, Fayyad, who runs Sout Raya, a radio station in Turkey, exudes calm. His voice is almost soothing.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
As the long drawn-out Syrian military conflict passed a four-year milestone over the weekend, the New York-based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) summed it up in a striking headline: 4 years, 4 vetoes, 220,000 dead.
In the face of the growing number of crises taking place at the same time worldwide, humanitarian aid organisations – many of which have already reached their financial and logistic limits – are in desperate need of global coordination.
A single image can be more powerful, more descriptive and more potent than an entire essay – ‘ a picture says a thousand words,’ as the cliché goes.
Syrian citizens “have no faith” in the international community to solve the chaos and war raging across their country, according to a prominent human rights defender.