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.
In Belarus, an Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) team has been granted limited access to the Polish border, where it delivered aid with help from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The agencies are advocating to move people to safer locations away from the border.
United Nations personnel in Lebanon are responding to a fuel tank explosion in the northern district of Akkar, which killed 28 people and injured over 80 others on 15 August. The incident comes as the country grapples with a deepening crisis and electricity shortages have forced hospitals to operate at reduced capacity.
Heavy rains and flooding have claimed dozens of lives in Chad and Niger, impacting over 100,000 people in recent weeks. The United Nations is supporting Governments in providing health care, food, shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation, and warns that the Sahel region’s weather variability has been worsened by climate change.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned today that a further escalation in violence is unfolding across Myanmar, saying there appear to be no efforts towards de-escalation, but rather a build-up of troops in key areas, contrary to commitments the military made to end the violence.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union have launched a programme to protect migrant children in Central America and Southern Africa. It will work with Governments and civil society groups to provide care alternatives to immigration detention.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports it is providing supplies such as mosquito nets, solar lamps, and blankets for 36,000 people in Somalia’s Puntland region who have been affected by Cyclone Gati, the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the country, which made landfall in November.
The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan told the Security Council that Afghanistan and the Taliban made genuine progress in peace talks, agreeing to rules and procedures; forming a working committee to discuss the agenda; and presenting each other initial lists of topics for negotiations.
As Tropical Cyclone Yasa has intensified into a Category 5 storm and is expected to make landfall in Fiji on Friday morning, the United Nations office in Suva reports that it is liaising closely with the Government and stands ready to support national emergency response efforts.
The first United Nations “Solidarity Flight” left Addis Ababa today to bring medical supplies and protective equipment to boost COVID-19 response on the African continent, with preparations being made to distribute to 32 countries and to facilitate medical evacuations.