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A United Nations-chartered vessel carrying the first shipment of humanitarian food under the Black Sea Grain Initiative is expected to berth soon at Ukraine’s Yuzhny (Pivdennyi) port to collect Ukrainian wheat purchased by the World Food Programme in support of the drought-stricken Horn of Africa where there is risk of famine.

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 Haiti, violent clashes between gangs in the capital have displaced several hundred people and preliminary data indicates at least 20 civilian deaths, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports.  United Nations agencies are helping the Government to assess emergency needs in impacted areas.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations Environment Programme expressed grave concern today over the arrest, detention and sentencing of four environmental human rights defenders in Viet Nam on charges of tax evasion and urged Vietnamese authorities to ensure environmental advocates can operate freely.

The Houthis movement — also known as Ansar Allah — have signed an action plan with the United Nations to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, the killing and maiming of boys and girls, attacks on schools and hospitals and other grave violations.  Virginia Gamba, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, signed the action plan as a witness in New York.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says its operational costs for West Africa are expected to expand by $136 million as a result of rising fuel and food prices.  Some 43 million people are expected to face acute food insecurity by June.  Before the Ukraine conflict WFP had already forced to cut rations in Nigeria, Central African Republic, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali and Niger.

United Nations humanitarian officials say an estimated 7.7 million people in South Sudan — that is about 63 per cent of the population — are likely to face crisis or worse levels of food insecurity through July, according to the latest food security analysis.  In 2021, 5.3 million people received food, health, water and sanitation, nutrition assistance and other critical services.