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Malawi

A total of 36 donors at yesterday’s pledging event for Yemen pledged nearly $1.3 billion, only 30 per cent of the roughly $4.3 billion required for an efficient and effective response to the humanitarian crisis.  Unprecedented funding shortages are forcing reductions and closures of life-saving aid.

Malawi confirmed its first polio case in 30 years on 16 February, which was also Africa’s first polio case in in more than five years.  So far, there has been no further spread of the disease, thanks to swift and concerted efforts by the national authorities, with support from the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

A three-month flash appeal to provide vital assistance for 542,000 people affected by Tropical Storm Ana, which hit Malawi late in January, has been launched in the country.  It seeks $29.4 million and focuses on the six hardest-hit districts — Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, Mulanje, Chiradzulu and Balaka.

The last United Nations staff member detained by the Ethiopian authorities has been released.  However, humanitarian challenges in the country remain, with thousands of Eritrean refugees in need of emergency aid after they fled fighting in the Afar region.  UNHCR remains extremely worried about their safety and well-being.

At least 25 United Nations staff members and associated personnel – including 24 peacekeepers, 19 of whom worked for the Mission in Mali – were killed in deliberate attacks in 2021, according to the Standing Committee for the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service of the United Nations Staff Union.

International Labour Organization (ILO) officials in Myanmar called on employers to help prevent workplace violence and harassment.  The organization has received increased reports of such incidents, particularly among women and vulnerable groups, since the military takeover in February and amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new report by the United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights stresses the need to prevent torture in places of detention in Iraq, including the Kurdistan region.  “No circumstances, however exceptional, justify torture,” said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative in the country.

The World Meteorological Organization and its partners today released the first Hydromet Gap report, which states that an estimated 23,000 lives could be saved annually and at least $162 billion per year in potential benefits could be realized by improving weather forecasts, early warning systems, and climate information.