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Zimbabwe

Marking International Day of Rural Women, the Secretary-General said rural women and girls are crucial in building a prosperous, equitable and peaceful future.  He called on countries to take action to ensure that women and girls fully enjoy their human rights, including the rights of land and security of land tenure.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says it is gravely concerned about reports of Zambia’s forced return of a Zimbabwean asylum-seeker to his home country.  A senior Zimbabwean politician expressed his intention to seek asylum at the border yesterday, but Zambia reportedly handed him over to Zimbabwe authorities today despite a court order to the contrary.

The United Nations refugee agency said today that more than 2,000 Somalis have returned home from Yemen since 2017, as part of an assistance programme carried out jointly with the International Organization for Migration and authorities in Yemen and Somalia.  Yemen currently hosts more than 270,000 refugees, the vast majority of them Somalis.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that volcanic activity on Vanuatu’s Ambae Island, which has a population of more than 10,000 people, has intensified in the last few weeks.  The Vanuatu Council of Ministers has called for the immediate compulsory evacuation of Ambae residents to the neighbouring island of Maewo.

At the Global Disability Summit in London, the Deputy Secretary-General said that Governments’ commitments often does not translate into major improvements for the 1.5 billion persons with disabilities across the world, adding that the United Nations has launched a review of its approach, institutionally and operationally, to disabilities.

Ending a two-day mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag called on the international community to urgently tackle the crisis in the country, where over 13 million people need humanitarian aid.