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Somalia faces a risk of famine in six areas through June 2022 if the rainy season from April to June fails as predicted, if food prices continue to rise, and if humanitarian assistance is not scaled up to reach the most vulnerable populations.  An estimated 4.9 million people across Somalia have been impacted.

Wildfires are burning more severely and more often, and urban noise pollution is growing into a global public health menace, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  The report identifies and offers solutions to those and other environmental issues.

Today is the one-month anniversary of the volcano and tsunami in Tonga.  Sanaka Samarasinha, United Nations Resident Coordinator, reiterated the Organization’s solidarity with the people of Tonga, where approximately 85 per cent of the population was impacted and more than 2,500 people have been internally displaced.

The World Food Programme warned that it is running out of funds to continue its provision of food assistance to 13 million people in Yemen.  From January, 8 million people will receive a reduced food ration, while 5 million who are at immediate risk of slipping into famine conditions, will remain on a full ration.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says at least 54 migrants died in a truck crash in Chiapas, Mexico, on 9 December, marking the country’s deadliest single incident for migrants.  Some 651 people have died in 2021 attempting to cross Mexico’s northern border, the highest number since 2014.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR), Jordan launched one of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccination drives for refugees on 14 January.  An Iraqi woman in the city of Irbid was the first registered refugee to be vaccinated as part of Jordan’s national campaign.

In Afghanistan, the United Nations and humanitarian partners report that they will seek $1.3 billion this year to assist almost 16 million people with life-saving aid, up from 2.3 million people in 2017, as ongoing conflict, natural disasters, chronic poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to devastate the population.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the Food Coalition, a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral alliance that aims to ensure global food access and increase the resilience of agri-food systems.  The pandemic could add 132 million more people to the world's undernourished in 2020, FAO says, on top of the 690 million hungry people in 2019.

Honduras deposited the fiftieth instrument of ratification to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, resulting in it being entered into force in January 2021.  The Secretary-General said the Treaty is a commitment towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, which is the Organization’s highest disarmament priority.