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The Secretary-General condemned the attack in Mali which killed two peacekeepers and injured two others after their vehicle — an armoured personnel carrier — hit an improvised explosive device outside of the town of Douentza.  Despite such challenging circumstances, United Nations personnel are continuing their mandated work.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) today strongly condemned the widespread sexual violence, as well as killings of civilians, and attacks on aid workers in Leer County.  UNMISS has carried out 10 verification missions and says that 72 civilians were killed, and 64 cases of sexual violence have been recorded.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that the first day of school has been indefinitely postponed for 140 million first-time students around the world, due to the pandemic.  The consequences of school closures – notably learning loss, heightened risk of dropping out and child labour – will be felt by the youngest learners.

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) say in a new report that conflict, coronavirus and the climate crisis are likely to increase hunger in 23 countries in the next four months.  Ethiopia and Madagascar are the world’s newest “highest alert” hunger hotspots, the report states.

Humanitarian officials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory said the entry of goods into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing remains limited, and some 250,000 people are still without regular access to piped water.  They called for a return to the predictable entry of goods and the easing of movement restrictions.

Humanitarian officials say the security and access situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region remains complex and extremely fluid, with active hostilities impeding people’s access to assistance and the movement of aid workers.  They say more than 500 cases of gender-based violence, including rape, were reported in May.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is calling for more international support for the people of Afghanistan amid continued violence that has internally displaced over 100,000 people so far this year.  UNHCR’s $123.5 million humanitarian appeal for 2021 is only 24 per cent funded. 

The United Nations team in Madagascar is helping authorities to address record-high food insecurity and surging severe acute malnutrition caused by droughts, sandstorms and caterpillar plagues in the south of the island.  Authorities and the United Nations launched a flash appeal in January for nearly $76 million.