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UN human rights chief points to ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar

09-11-2017-myanmar-rohingya

The United Nations human rights chief today lashed out at the treatment of the Rohingya in Myanmar which has led to more than 300,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh in the past three weeks, as security forces and local militia reportedly burn villages and shoot civilians. “The situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” Zeid Ra‘ad […]

Continued risk of catastrophic damage as Irma traverses path of destruction, warns UN

On 7 September 2017 in Boba, Nagua, a boy, 7, stands in front of debris as Hurricane Irma moves off from the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.

More than 10.5 million children live in the countries that are likely to be exposed to the damage from Hurricane Irma, UNICEF warned today. Based on the storm's current trajectory, children in the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba are at risk, including over 3 million under 5 years old. UNICEF is concerned that hundreds of thousands of children could suffer the worst effects of the storm, with those living in coastal zones at highest risk. 

“Strong winds and torrential rains have already barreled through some of the smallest and most exposed islands in the eastern Caribbean, including Anguila and Barbuda," said Patrick Knight, Head of Communication for UNICEF in the Eastern Caribbean, speaking from Barbados. "As the extent of the damage becomes clear we are seeing severe levels of destruction. Our priority is to reach all those children and families in the affected communities as soon as possible.” 

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, travelled across various islands of the Eastern Caribbean on Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction in its path, especially in Anguila, the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda and Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Early estimates suggest that 74,000 people, including 20,000 children, have been affected in these islands. 

According to local authorities, communication networks in many of the affected areas have been affected either totally or partially. Infrastructure, including roads, bridges, hospitals and schools have also suffered varying degrees of damage. In Barbuda, 90 per cent of the infrastructure has been destroyed, and it is anticipated that this will include up to 132 schools. 

UNICEF's immediate concern is providing drinking water and sanitation to affected communities, as well providing child protection services for both children and ado

Hurricane Irma continues to wreak havoc in the Caribbean, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, the United Nations humanitarian wing said today, warning that areas along its path continue to remain at risk of significant damage. “There is continued risk of catastrophic damage from hurricane-force winds, storm surge and flooding in areas on Irma’s trajectory,” […]

At high-level forum, UN stresses importance of education in building ‘culture of peace’

Young people at the launch of the International Year of Youth, celebrated annually on 12 August. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Education can promote ideals of non-violence, equality and mutual respect, United Nations officials said today at a high-level event on how to achieve a culture of peace amid current global challenges and threats to stability, prosperity and the planet. “We have to teach our children the values of peace, tolerance, equality and respect. They should be […]

UN supporting national relief efforts as Hurricane Irma threatens nearly 50 million people

Satellite imagery of Hurricane Irma in the Atlantic Ocean. Source: NOAA

United Nations agencies are supporting relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which has already wreaked havoc on Antigua and Barbuda and other Caribbean islands and is en route towards the United States. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Irma, a Category 5 storm, made landfall on northeast Caribbean islands […]

Conflict, widespread poverty stall progress on education rates over past decade – UNICEF

This 11-year-old girl lost her left leg in a suicide attack in an internal displaced persons (IDP) site in the Lake Chad Region. After three months in a hospital, she is trying to start over. UNICEF/Bahaji

Pervasive levels of poverty, protracted conflicts and complex humanitarian emergencies have led to stagnation in reducing the global out-of-school rate over the past decade, prompting the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to call for more investments. With 11.5 per cent of school-age children – or 123 million missing school today, compared to 12.8 per cent […]

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