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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres departed New York on Thursday, 28 October, for Rome, where he arrived on Friday morning to attend the annual Group of Twenty (G20) Summit.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports significant job losses and deteriorated labour market conditions in Myanmar since the military takeover.  ILO says employment contracted by an estimated 6 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting 1.2 million job losses.

Schools for more than 168 million children around the world have been closed for an entire year due to lockdowns, a report from UNICEF says, noting that around 214 million children globally, or one in seven, have missed more than three quarters of their in-person learning.  The most vulnerable may never return, it warns.

In Syria, the World Food Programme is now bringing aid to 1 million people per month through cross-border mechanisms.  The situation in the north-west remains alarming, with families in Idlib burning tires and old clothes to stay warm, reports Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller.

The Qatar Fund for Development and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees signed an agreement yesterday under which Qatar will contribute $20.7 million to support Palestine refugees’ access to basic services in Syria.  This contribution brings the Qatar Fund’s total support to the Agency to $40 million.