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Zimbabwe

World Braille Day, on 4 January, aims to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.  COVID-19 has revealed how critically important it is to produce essential information in accessible formats.

In Niger, 2.1 million children need humanitarian assistance, a third more than just a year ago, as the country continues to face conflict, displacement, food insecurity, floods and drought, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports.  The Agency is appealing for safe, sustained access to deliver aid.

In Zimbabwe, 2.4 million people are struggling to meet their basic food needs due to the impact of COVID-19, the World Food Programme reports.  It is delivering monthly cash transfers to 326,000 people across 32 urban areas, and aims to reach 550,000 people in the 28 worst-affected, food-insecure urban areas in the country.

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.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) still desperately needs $70 million in contributions to avoid painful measures in the coming weeks and to limit the amount of liabilities carried over into 2021, Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini has told the Agency’s Advisory Board.

There has been a dramatic rise in major storms, drought, wildfires, floods and other extreme weather events over the last 20 years, which have claimed 1.23 million lives, impacted 4.2 billion people and caused almost $3 trillion in global economic losses, according to a report published today by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

A planetary emergency is upon us, driven by the dual threats of the climate crisis and biodiversity collapse, the Secretary-General said in a video message today, to leaders who took part in the virtual Pledge for Nature.  He added that we have failed to meet any of the biodiversity targets set in Japan 10 years ago.