Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks for the high‑level event on ending the COVID-19 Pandemic through equitable access to tests, treatments and vaccines, in New York today:
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today warned that three consecutive years of severe drought in the Grand Sud of Madagascar have led to the country’s worst food crisis in 20 years, exacerbating the vulnerabilities of already poor populations.
In Chad, torrential rains have killed 22 people and destroyed more than 2,000 hectares of farmland since June. The United Nations, along with its partners, are supporting the Government in providing emergency assistance of food, shelter, malaria management and other critical help.
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) today released a report which says that rapid urbanization was only temporarily delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the global urban population back on track to grow by another 2.2 billion souls by 2050.
The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs allocated $4 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to respond to the crisis in Mali’s Ménaka region, where armed clashes since March have killed hundreds of people and triggered the displacement of an estimated 56,000 people, nearly two‑thirds of them women and children.
In Yemen, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that aid agencies remain concerned that the humanitarian crisis there will deteriorate sharply in the coming months largely due to economic problems, including a weaker currency and higher prices due to the Ukraine war.
The United Nations Children’s Fund is providing emergency relief in Bangladesh to people stranded by recent floods — including 1.6 million children — and is dispatching, among other things, 400,000 water purification tablets for 80,000 households and emergency medical supplies for district health facilities.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today released new data showing that while reported numbers of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe are fewer than in 2015, journeys are becoming more fatal.
The first commercial flight flew out of Yemen’s Sana’a International Airport to Cairo, Egypt today. The flight is the seventh flight operating under the terms of the United Nations-brokered two-month nationwide truce and represents an important element of that truce.
The Secretary-General expressed his shock and sadness today over the heinous mass shooting that took place at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, saying it is particularly heart-wrenching that most of the victims are children. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the entire community.