ReliefWeb - Updates

ReliefWeb - Updates

Descriptive text is not available for this image

ReliefWeb - Updates

Cuba: Hurricane Ian response: Situation Report No. 02 from the Office of the Resident Coordinator (27 September 2022)

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:46:29 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Cuba
Source: UN Country Team in Cuba

Please refer to the attached file.

This report has been prepared by the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Cuba. It covers the period from 12pm on 26 September to 12pm on 27 September (local time).

Summary

• Ian made landfall in town of the Coloma in Pinar del Río province as a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 205km/h and even stronger gusts.

• Hurricane Ian directly hit the province of Pinar del Río and the Special Municipality Isla de la Juventud. Damages have also been reported in the province of Artemisa and in the capital of the country, La Habana. It is estimated that more than 3 million people have been affected. Of these, 500,000 are children and adolescents, and 700,000 are elderly people.

• Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel says that the damages left by Hurricane Ian are likely significant, though only preliminary assessments have been carried out.

• Ian’s slow passage across the island produced impacts that lasted for eight hours between shortly after 3 am until almost noon on 27 September.

• At the time of writing, no casualties have been reported. However, there has been severe damage to infrastructure, housing, agriculture, electricity and telecommunications services.

• 2.7 million people were left without power throughout Tuesday. At the end of the afternoon, authorities of the Electric Union said that 100 per cent of the country's circuits are disconnected.

• Pinar del Río, the hardest hit province, is home to 75 per cent of the country's tobacco production – a key export for Cuba – and about 40 per cent of the nation’s bean production.

• Ian directly affected the capital city of Pinar del Río, which had not been affected by an event of this magnitude in 30 years.

Full Story

Pakistan: Government of Sindh Rehabilitation Department Provincial Disaster Management Authority: Relief Provided During Monsoon Rains 2022, Dated: 25-09-2022 (10:00 PM)

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:40:35 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Pakistan
Source: Government of Pakistan

Please refer to the attached file.

Full Story

Pakistan: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA): Sindh Daily Situation Report (September 27, 2022)

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:38:45 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Pakistan
Source: Government of Pakistan

Please refer to the attached file.

Period Covered: 22:00 hrs. 20-06-2022 to 26-09-2022 22:00 hrs.

Full Story

Pakistan: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA): Sindh Daily Situation Report (September 26, 2022)

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:37:36 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Pakistan
Source: Government of Pakistan

Please refer to the attached file.

Period Covered: 22:00 hrs. 20-06-2022 to 25-09-2022 22:00 hrs.

Full Story

Philippines: DSWD DROMIC Preparedness for Response Report #37 on the Mayon Volcano Seismic Activity as of 28 September 2022, 6AM

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:21:35 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Philippines
Source: Government of the Philippines

Please refer to the attached file.

I. Brief Background on Mayon Volcano

● Mayon Volcano, called the world’s most perfect volcanic cone because of the symmetry of its shape, has a base 80 miles (130 km) in circumference and rises to 8,077 feet (2,462 meters) from the shores of Albay Gulf.

● A highly active stratovolcano with recorded historical eruptions dating back to 1616. The most recent eruptive episode began in early January 2018 that consisted of phreatic explosions, steam-and-ash plumes, lava fountaining, and pyroclastic flows

(BGVN 43:04). The previous report noted small but distinct thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam plumes, and slight inflation (BGVN 44:05) that continued to occur from May into mid-October 2019.

● Between May and October 2019, white gas-and-steam plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 800 m on 17 May 2019. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported that faint summit incandescence was frequently observed at night from May-July and Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed weaker thermal anomalies in September and October; the last anomaly was identified on 12 October. Average sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions as measured by PHIVOLCS generally varied between 469-774 tons/day; the high value of the period was on 25 July 2022 with 1,171 tons/day. Small SO2 plumes were detected by the TROPOMI satellite instrument a few times during May-September 2019.2

II. Situation Overview

● Mayon Volcano is at Alert Level 1, which means that it is at low-level volcanic unrest.

● Alert Level 1 indicates slight increase in volcanic earthquake and steam/gas activity.
Sporadic explosions from the summit crater or new vents. Notable increase in the temperature, acidity and volcanic gas concentrations of monitored springs and fumaroles. Slight inflation or swelling of the edifice.

● This means that the volcano is exhibiting abnormal conditions and has entered a period of unrest. The public is reminded that entry into the 6-km Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ must be strictly avoided due to an increase in the chances of sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruption, as well as the perennial hazards of rockfalls, avalanches and ash bursts at the summit area, that may occur without warning.

Full Story

Philippines: DSWD DROMIC Preparedness for Response Report #96 on the Kanlaon Volcano Seismic Activity as of 28 September 2022, 6AM

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:18:30 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Philippines
Source: Government of the Philippines

Please refer to the attached file.

I. Brief Background on Kanlaon Volcano

● A stratovolcano (conical volcano built-up by many layers of hardened lava and tephra).

● Mount Kanlaon also known as Kanlaon Volcano covers 24,557.60 hectares of land area with rainforests and verdant vegetation cutting through the political boundaries of Cities of Bago, La Carlota, San Carlos, and Canlaon, and the towns of Murcia and La Castellana within the park and having 169 hectares as Buffer Zone. Mt. Kanlaon is a complex and active volcano surrounded by several craters and volcanic peaks. Volcanic features in the area include the cinder cone of the active center and craters at the summit. It is underlain by tropical volcanic materials composed of sheeted lava flows, lahar deposits, airfall tephra and apron pyroclastic materials.

● Its last eruption was reported on 20 December 2017 characterized by small volcanic earthquakes with moderate emissions of white steam-laden plumes that rose to 400 meters from the summit.

● Areas under the four (4)-kilometer (km) Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) are 13 barangays of Canlaon City (Lumapao, Malaiba, Masulog and Pula), La Castellana (Biaknabato, Cabagnaan, Mansalanao, and Sag-ang), La Carlota City (Ara-al and Yubo), Bago City (Ilijan and Mailum), and San Carlos City with a combined population count of 76,656. A massive eruption may directly affect a total of 528,8383 persons covering all barangays of the said one (1) municipality and four (4) cities.

II. Situation Overview

● Kanlaon Volcano is at Alert Level 1, which means that it is at low-level volcanic unrest.

● Alert Level 1 indicates slight increase in volcanic earthquake and steam/gas activity. Sporadic explosions from the summit crater or new vents. Notable increase in the temperature, acidity and volcanic gas concentrations of monitored springs and fumaroles. Slight inflation or swelling of the edifice.

● The local government units (LGUs) and the public are strongly reminded that entry into the 4-km radius PDZ is strictly prohibited due to the further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions.

● Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejecta from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

● DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Kanlaon Volcano’s activity and any new development will be relayed to all concerned.

Full Story

Fiji: WFP Pacific Country Brief August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:08:56 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

US$0.49 million six-month (September 2022 - February 2023) net funding requirements

Operational Updates

Food Security and Livelihoods

• For the first time in Samoa, WFP’s Research and Analysis Monitoring (RAM) team conducted a technical inception workshop on Critical Markets Assessments in partnership with the University of South Pacific. The workshop is part of a partnership project to improve mapping and assessments of critical markets to secure household food security in Fiji and Samoa. Held in Apia on 4-5 August, the workshop brought together key stakeholders from the agriculture, food security and market sectors in Samoa.

• As part of WFP’s capacity strengthening programmes in Samoa, the RAM team also conducted a two-day technical training for government officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Bureau of Statistics. The technical training will support effective data collection, visualization and streamlining of the data management systems for the ministries.

• To support the Government of Kiribati’s ongoing drought response, WFP developed a drought emergency assessment form for the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development. WFP provided a technical training to the agricultural officers to effectively collect and manage data. This will enable an assessment of community-level information about the impact of the drought and accurately inform the Government about the food security status and immediate needs of the population.

• The Pacific Regional Cash Working Group,, co-chaired by WFP, published its 2022-2025 Strategy with the endorsement of all members and partners. CashCap supported the development of the Strategy, following a six-month consultative process with key informant interviews, decision makers’ workshops, focus group discussions, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis, a perception survey and desk reviews.

• The Pacific Regional Cash Working Group developed and published a Programme Quality Toolbox on Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA). This contains links to general CVA tools and templates that provide information on preparedness and anticipatory action, assessments, analysis, implementation setup, distribution, and monitoring and evaluation.

Full Story

WFP Tajikistan Country Brief, August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 04:05:27 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Tajikistan
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

In Numbers

6,596 people assisted in August 2022

2.5 mt of food assistance distributed

US$ 19,480 cash-based transfers made

US$ 12.2 million six-month net funding requirements (September 2022 – February 2023)

Operational Updates

• In August, WFP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. John Aylieff, visited Tajikistan to observe the implementation of WFP projects in the country. WFP Regional Director accompanied by WFP Tajikistan Country Director and Representative, Mr. Adham Musallam, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Sirojiddin Muhriddin, the First Deputy Minister of Education and Sciences, H.E. Mr. Jurazoda Jamshed Habibullo, and the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of the Population, Ms. Zulfiya Abdusamadzoda, and discussed current collaboration and strengthening the partnership between WFP and the Government of Tajikistan. WFP Regional Director thanked the Government of Tajikistan for the fruitful cooperation and support for the successful implementation of WFP activities in the country.

• During his visit, WFP Regional Director also travelled to Rasht and Tojikobod districts to visit school feeding sites, as well as the villages struck by earthquakes in July 2021 where WFP supported the construction and rehabilitation of the affected houses in Tojikobod District.

Climate Change Adaptation

• WFP, in partnership with the Committee of Environmental Protection and other government authorities at national and regional levels, is currently implementing a project on climate change adaptation with the financial support of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The project includes the establishment of orchards and other agroforestry activities for soil/water conservation and food production covering 400 hectares of land across 11 targeted districts. WFP consulted with the local community to collect feedback on their needs, which highlighted the importance of hard fencing to ensure sustainability of the orchards. WFP started the delivery of fencing materials to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region and the districts of Rasht Valley to cover at least 300 hectares of orchards.

Full Story

WFP Philippines Country Brief, August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:58:46 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Philippines
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

In Numbers

47,805 people assisted in August 2022

US$307,601 distributed through cash-based transfers

US$349,457 distributed through vouchers

US$2.3 million six-month net funding requirements

Situation Update

• Headline inflation in July 2022 further increased to 6.4 percent, the highest recorded inflation since October 2018 as reported in WFP Monthly Price Monitoring Bulletin. The upward trend is caused by the higher annual growth in food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Operational Updates

Typhoon Odette (Rai) Early Recovery

• To support communities to recover from the impact of Typhoon Odette, WFP continued to implement food assistance for assets (FFA) activities. FFA activities serve the dual objective of meeting immediate food gaps, while starting to rehabilitate or repair pre-existing assets, in line with local governments’ early recovery plans. So far, 14,500 participants have produced more than 140,000 seedlings (banana, coconut, and diverse tree), rehabilitated 40 hectares of forest or costal lines, 45 km of roads/trails and 260 infrastructure (such as schools, shelters, health stations).

Earthquake response

• In August, WFP responded to requests for logistics services to support the Government’s response to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Abra in northern Luzon Island on 29 July. WFP provided 14 trucks which delivered 21,300 Family Food Packs, 1,500 Hygiene Kits, 1,000 Malong, 1,000 tarpaulins and 2,000 blankets on behalf of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)

• WFP continued to advocate for the inclusion of Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) in local development plans in BARMM. HGSF has been integrated into the Executive Legislative Agenda of Datu Abdullah Sangki and will be presented for approval in their Annual Investment Plan. WFP also met with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to strengthen the participation of smallholder farmers on procurement process linked to HGSF.

Full Story

WFP Nepal Country Brief, August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:50:44 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Nepal
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

In Numbers

81.753 mt of food distributed

US$ 27,766 in cash-based transfers disbursed

US$ 4.31 million six-month net funding requirements (September 2022 – February 2023)

28,011 people assisted in August 2022

Operational Updates

• WFP successfully concluded the project – Cash Transfers to Support Improved Education Outcomes and COVID-19 Logistics Support – funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project reached nearly 40,000 families of students who missed out on nutritious school meals due to prolonged school closures. This project aimed to encourage families to enrol their children into alternative learning methods (namely Tole Shiksya) to improve food security and nutritional outcomes of targeted children. The project also enabled the support provided to the National Logistics Cluster which WFP co-leads with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

• Under the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programme, WFP supported the construction of essential school infrastructure to improve and encourage safe food preparation and overall hygiene of school children. in August, WFP handed over the 20 school kitchens with improved cooking stoves, kitchen utensils and childfriendly handwashing stations to eight local governments in Achham District. Infrastructure paves the way to reaching global humanitarian objectives and ensures a better future for the people WFP serves.

• Under WFP’s Evidence, Policy and Innovation activity, the third Market Update for 2022 and the sixth in the series of the mobile Vulnerability Analysis Mapping (mVAM) household surveys focusing on assessing the food security status of Nepalese households was published in August. The latest survey found that prices of key commodities showed relative stabilisation after a period of continuous increase. Retail prices of pulses, soybean oil and some seasonal vegetables decreased while the price of rice, wheat flour and fruits continued to go up.
Despite this relative stabilisation, cost of a standard WFP food basket increased by 11 percent compared to April 2022. Results also showed that the availability and demand of commodities such as edible oil, rice and wheat flour were reported to be scarce, particularly in Karnali and Madhesh provinces.

Full Story

World: Tourism rethink needed to protect children vulnerable to exploitation: UN expert

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:50:28 +0000

Country: World
Source: UN Human Rights Council

World Tourism Day, 27 September 2022

GENEVA (27 September 2022) – As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and navigates the climate crisis, rethinking tourism must be a priority to ensure all children are protected from forced labour, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, a UN expert said today. On World Tourism Day, 27 September, Mama Fatima Singhateh, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, made the following statement:

“The adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and socioeconomic setbacks have caused enormous strains on child protection systems making children more vulnerable to sale, trafficking and sexual exploitation in the context of travel and tourism, especially in countries that have traditionally relied on the income generated from travel and tourism.

As Governments strive to build back better, recovery efforts for strong, resilient and competitive tourism means zero-tolerance towards sexual exploitation of children. Governments in collaboration with the tourism and hospitality sector, together with telecommunication companies and businesses, must engage in responsible and sustainable practices that address risks and root causes of child sexual exploitation. Officials and personnel in the tourism, travel and entertainment industry must be trained to take up a proactive role in the prevention of the scourge by sensitising its customers, monitoring and reporting violations.

While accelerating towards a green transformation, law enforcement, the tourism and business sector, as well as civil society organisations, must collaborate to provide adequate safety nets for vulnerable children at risk of exploitation, with alternatives for sustainable livelihoods.

Governments should intensify efforts to regularly monitor the activities of the entertainment and tourism industries, both in the formal and informal sectors, to detect and report cases of sexual exploitation of children and ensure compliance with international guidelines such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

It is regrettable that only a few states are party to the UN World Tourism Organization Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics. I call upon States to ratify expeditiously and harmonise it with national legislations to tackle the exploitation of children.”

Her call was endorsed by Ms. Siobhán Mullally, Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Mr. Tomoya Obokata, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, and the Working Group on Business and Human Rights: Fernanda Hopenhaym (Chair-Rapporteur), Pichamon Yeophantong (Vice Chairperson), Elżbieta Karska, Robert McCorquodale and Damilola Olawuyi.

September 27 is designated World Tourism Day every year to raise awareness of the need for accessible tourism; this year the day is on ‘Rethinking tourism’, with its potential as a vehicle for recovery and transformation.

ENDS

The expert: Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh (The Gambia) was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on sale and sexual exploitation of children by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2020. She is a trained lawyer with over 20 years of experience. Ms Singhateh has held a number of high-level positions in public service in the Gambia. She holds a master’s degree in International Business Law from the University of Hull and has undergone numerous trainings in child rights programming, arbitration and mediation, and legislative drafting. She has drafted laws, organised and conducted numerous training sessions, delivered presentations at both national and international fora and written articles and reports on issues relating to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests, please contact: Ms. Shushan Khachyan (+ 41 79 444 3993 / shushan.khachyan@un.org), Ms. Antara Singh (+41 22 917 93 28 / antara.singh@un.org) or write to hrc-sr-saleofchildren@un.org.

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Renato de Souza (+41 22 928 9855/(renato.rosariodesouza@un.org ) or Dharisha Indraguptha (+41 79 506 1088 / dharisha.indraguptha@un.org)

Full Story

WFP Lao PDR Country Brief, August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:48:12 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Lao People's Democratic Republic (the)
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

In Numbers

138.9 mt of food distributed

US$ 165,630 of cash distributed

US$ 0.07 million six-month net funding requirements (September 2022 – February 2023)

12,838 people assisted In August 2022

Operational Updates

School Feeding

• Following WFP’s technical support to the Ministry of Education and Sports since 2020, the Prime Minister’s Decree on School Meals was signed and came into effect as of 15 August. Henceforth, cashbased transfers required for the National School Meals Programme will be incorporated into the Government’s regular budget lines.

• Under the National School Meals Programme, WFP delivered and handed over 420.8 MT of rice, 89.1 MT of lentils, 51.1 MT of cooking oil and 129.0 MT of canned fish to the Government for 1,423 schools. The schools will start using the food in the new school term starting September.

• WFP completed the delivery of 483.6 MT of rice, 0.7 MT of cooking oil, 62.1 MT of lentils and 48.4 MT of canned fish to 707 schools, where WFP directly implements school feeding programmes.

Capacity strengthening on Nutrition

• WFP, in partnership with the Integrated Vocational Training College, delivered a food processing training to 144 community members in Oudomxay Province, mainly women of reproductive age. The training aimed to share knowledge and skills on food processing, preservation and safety, as well as food availability and the promotion of healthy snack consumption.

• As part of a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of France, WFP hosted a series of nutrition workshops in 64 villages in two districts in Phongsaly Province. 250 community members were sensitized on the causes of malnutrition, seasonal planning for enhanced food production, and climate change mitigation measures.

• WFP and the Agriculture Integrated Vocational Training College in Xiengkhouang Province jointly facilitated an agriculture training to 88 participants. The training aimed at promoting the production of nutritious and diversified food in the communities.

Full Story

Kyrgyzstan: WFP Kyrgyz Republic Country Brief, August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:43:03 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Kyrgyzstan
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

In Numbers

457.2 mt of food assistance distributed

US$ 112,589 cash-based transfers made

22,239 people assisted

Operational Updates

Climate Change Adaptation/Disaster Risk Reduction

• The inception phase of the first WFP and Green Climate Fund joint project in the Kyrgyz Republic – “Climate services and diversification of climate sensitive livelihoods to empower food insecure and vulnerable communities” – is near completion. During the community-level consultations in Osh and Batken provinces, project stakeholders, including local governments, sub-divisions of the state agencies, agricultural extension services and private sector partners were sensitized on the objectives, components and implementation of the project. The stakeholders highlighted the importance and relevance of the project for the communities and agreed on partnership schemes and collaboration networks in support of the Project Steering Committee at the national level. The results of the consultations will inform design of the planned project activities.

School meals and healthy diets

• WFP and its cooperating partners organised nine training sessions to 137 cooks and kitchen workers recruited locally to support the provision of hot meals in 59 schools starting from September. The training aimed to improve knowledge and skills of school cooks on school meals preparation techniques, safety rules, sanitary norms, nutrition standards, menu development principles and other aspects of effective school meals organization. On-the job coaching for school cooks and staff will continue throughout 2022-2023 school year with technical support from WFP, District Educational Departments and Sanitary Epidemiological Services. This ensures that nutritionally balanced and diverse meals are prepared for schoolchildren in safe and hygienic conditions.

• WFP, along with key partners supporting the national school meals programme (including the Food and Agriculture Organization, Mercy Corps and Aga Khan Development Network), held a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Education and Science to outline strategic actions for the development of the national school meals programme. The discussion focused on the sustainability of the programme through (i) increasing parental contributions; (ii) advocating for increased republican budget for school meals; (iii) organising public events in support of school meals; (iv) improving the procurement process, (v) introducing digital solutions, among others. Partners agreed to submit a joint action plan to the Ministry of Education and Science to further improve the national school meals programme.

Full Story

WFP Cambodia Country Brief, August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:38:32 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Cambodia
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

In Numbers

213,000 people assisted

335 mt of food distributed

US$100,000 distributed to schools

US$392,000 six-month (September 2022 - February 2023) net funding requirements

Operational Updates

School Feeding Programme

• WFP provided nutritious and diverse meals for over 210,000 students across 817 pre-primary and primary schools.

• WFP distributed over 500 metric tons of fortified rice to 222 schools in Kampong Thom, Odar Meanchey and Pursat provinces to improve the nutritional value of school meals. 56,000 schoolchildren will benefit from this nutritious rice to help fight micronutrient deficiencies.

• To mainstream nutrition and food safety in school meals, WFP and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) organized a consultation workshop to review and finalize the operational guidelines for food preparation. 36 representatives from the Government, school directors, cooks, and partners reviewed the content of the cookbook and prepared the script for coaching videos. The cookbook will illustrate the facilities used in school kitchens and include dishes that are more culturally appropriate for children from all backgrounds.

• WFP continued to provide technical assistance and capacity strengthening support to the national homegrown school feeding programme (HGSF). In August, WFP assessed 24 schools in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Stung Treng provinces in terms of their compliance with the HGSF design, the formation and functioning of school feeding committees, adequacy of the infrastructure and equipment, food preparation and handling and community awareness and participation. More schools will be assessed, and relevant stakeholders including school directors, storekeepers, accountants, cooks, suppliers and subnational officials will be interviewed to ensure proper representation of data.

Full Story

WFP India Country Brief, August 2022

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:32:27 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: India
Source: World Food Programme

Please refer to the attached file.

Highlights

On 16 August, the Public Systems Lab at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) was inaugurated by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. This joint venture between WFP and IIT-D is a multi-stakeholder entity that brings together the Government, private sector, and multilateral organisations to collaborate and develop sustainable solutions for complex public sector challenges. The work will include operations research, data science, smart manufacturing and other relevant technical areas. Major application domains include food systems, transportation and health, with a particular commitment to supporting the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.

Operational Updates

Ensuring Access to Food

• WFP is working to augment alternative storage capacity of the Government to replace cover and plinth (CAP) storage, thus reducing post-harvest losses through the piloting of mobile storage units (MSU) in targeted states. In August 2022, WFP installed a third MSU, in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand State as part of this ongoing pilot.

Improved Nutrition

• WFP constituted a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to support the evidence base for scaling up rice fortification. International and national experts on food fortification attended the first TAG meeting on 18 August.

• In Uttar Pradesh, WFP organized state-level sensitization workshops on rice fortification for key stakeholders and bureaucrats as well as for media representatives. Both workshops focused on developing participants’ awareness and capacities. These marked the culmination of the five-month behaviour change and awareness campaign in the state, reaching more than 24,000 people across 13 districts.

Monitoring and Evaluation

• WFP submitted a final baseline report for the assessment of the Pilot Scheme on ‘Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under Public Distribution System in the Malkangiri District of Odisha’ to the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department on August 18.

• WFP met with the Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration to discuss institutionalization of the M&E curriculum for state government officials. The curriculum was developed by the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) of the NITI Aayog, with support of WFP.

Full Story

Philippines: DSWD extends more than P22.7 million worth of relief aid to ‘Karding”-hit LGUs

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:27:34 +0000

Country: Philippines
Source: Government of the Philippines

In its continuing relief operations to assist the families and individuals affected by Super Typhoon Karding that hit Luzon island, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that, as of September 28, it has provided more than ₱22.7 million worth of food and non-food items (FNIs) as resource augmentation to concerned local government units (LGUs).

The Department, through its Field Offices (FOs), also provided cash assistance amounting to a total of ₱2,730,000 under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS). Of this amount, financial assistance worth P5,000 was given to each of the 475 families in the province of Aurora and 69 families in Quezon Province with partially-damaged houses; and ₱10,000 to one household that was totally damaged in Kabayan, Benguet.

The DSWD has also airlifted and delivered family food packs (FFPs) and other relief items to hard-to-reach areas in Quezon Province and other remote communities affected by the typhoon.

Meanwhile, the Department expressed its gratitude to Maynilad for the donation of some 1,500 pieces of bottled water to be distributed to the hard-hit areas in Aurora and Quezon Province.

Likewise, The International Organization for Migration (IOM) donated some 3,000 pieces of tarpaulins to be delivered to the communities in San Fernando, Pampanga and Real, Quezon.

As of press time, more than ₱103.01 million Quick Response Fund (QRF) at the DSWD Central Office, ₱43.08 million at DSWD Field Offices (FOs) I, II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, NCR, and CAR, and ₱40.33 million in other DSWD FOs are still available to support the Department’s relief operations for the typhoon-affected LGUs.

The DSWD will continue to coordinate with concerned LGUs to determine other services needed by their constituents to recover from the effects of the typhoon.

Full Story

Cuba: Respuesta a Huracán Ian, Reporte de Situación No. 02 de la Oficina de la Coordinadora Residente (27 de septiembre de 2022)

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:03:16 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Cuba
Source: UN Country Team in Cuba

Please refer to the attached file.

Este reporte ha sido elaborado desde la Oficina de la Coordinadora Residente del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas en Cuba. Cubre el período de las 12.00 horas del 26 de septiembre a las 12.00 del 27 de septiembre (hora local).

Resumen

• Ian entró al territorio de Pinar del Río, por el poblado de la Coloma, con categoría 3, vientos sostenidos de 205kms/h y rachas superiores.

• El huracán golpeó directamente a la provincia de Pinar del Río y el municipio especial Isla de la Juventud. Igualmente se reportan daños en la provincia de Artemisa y en la capital del país.

• Se estiman afectaciones a más de 3 millones de personas. De estas, 500 mil son niños, niñas y adolescentes, y 700 mil personas adultas mayores.

• El Presidente cubano Miguel Díaz Canel estimó que los daños dejados por el huracán son grandes, aunque solo han podido cuantificarse preliminarmente.

• Su lenta velocidad de traslación provocó que los impactos se prolongaran por 8 horas, desde poco después de las 3 am hasta casi el mediodía de este lunes 27 de septiembre.

• Hasta el momento de cerrar este informe, no se reportan víctimas humanas. Hay daños severos en infraestructura, viviendas, agricultura, servicios eléctricos y telefónicos.

• 2,7 millones de personas estaban sin fluido eléctrico durante todo el lunes. Al final de la tarde, autoridades de la Unión Eléctrica dijeron que el 100% de los circuitos del país están desconectados.

• En Pinar del Rio, la principal provincia afectada se concentra el 75% de la producción de tabaco del país, actividad exportadora clavepara Cuba y alrededor del 40% de la producción nacional de frijoles.

• Ian impactó la ciudad capital de Pinar del Río, que no era afectada por un evento de esta intensidad hace 30 años.

Full Story

So-Called Referenda during Armed Conflict in Ukraine ‘Illegal’, Not Expression of Popular Will, United Nations Political Affairs Chief Tells Security Council

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 02:57:48 +0000

Country: Ukraine
Source: UN Security Council

9138TH MEETING (PM)

SC/15039

Delegates Condemn ‘Sham’ Annexation Polls by Russian Federation in Occupied Ukraine Territories, Call for Resumption of Peace Talks

The so-called “referenda” conducted by de facto authorities in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine have been held during active armed conflict in the country and cannot be called a genuine expression of the popular will, the United Nations senior political and peacebuilding official told the Security Council today, as members condemned the Russian Federation’s “sham referenda”, while others called for a return to peace talks.

“Unilateral actions aimed to provide a veneer of legitimacy to the attempted acquisition by force by one State of another State’s territory, while claiming to represent the will of the people, cannot be regarded as legal under international law,” Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs emphasized. She added that the exercises, which began on 23 September, have been held during active armed conflict, in areas under Russian control and outside Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework.

“The United Nations remains fully committed to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” she underscored. As the occupying Power, the Russian Federation is obliged under international humanitarian law to respect the laws of Ukraine in the administration of occupied territories. She warned that recent developments, including heavy fighting, escalating military operations, human rights violations and attacks in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, point to more death and destruction. Member States must do all they can to end the war and ensure lasting peace.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, addressed the Council via a pre-recorded video statement, highlighting that Moscow is conducting a sham referenda on the occupied territory of Ukraine. People are being forced to fill out papers while threatened with guns and results have been prepared well in advanced. He condemned the annexation of the captured territories as an attempt to steal the territory of another State and erase the norms of international law. “There is only one way to stop it all,” he said, calling for complete isolation of the Russian Federation, its exclusion from all international organizations and further sanctions against Moscow.

In the ensuing debate, delegates questioned the legitimacy of the referenda, with Brazil’s representative stressing that “it is unreasonable to assume that populations in areas in conflict can freely express their will”. Referenda on questions of sovereignty should be conducted transparently, without restrictions on freedom of expression and allowing for monitoring by independent observers. The referenda in Ukraine are “yet another step that leads to an escalation of the conflict,” he warned.

Likewise, the speaker for Albania stressed that, “when you vote at gunpoint, the process is more expedited”, describing the forced conditions in which the referenda are taking place. The holding of such referenda violates the Constitution of Ukraine, Ukraine’s martial law, and runs contrary to the United Nations Charter, international law and the principles the Russian Federation should uphold as a permanent Security Council member. He urged support for a joint resolution his country is co-sponsoring with the United States and called on Member States to support Ukraine in defending itself and getting its territory back.

The representative of the United States said that her country will never recognize any seized or annexed territory of Ukraine as anything other than a part of it. It will, thus, continue to provide “historic amounts of support for Ukraine”. She said the resolution her delegation intends to introduce will condemn the sham referenda, call on Member States to refrain from recognizing any altered status of Ukraine, and obligate the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from the country.

Some delegates, including Ghana, United Arab Emirates, India and Kenya, urged the cessation of hostilities, with the latter also echoing others’ concerns about the threats of the use of weapons of mass destruction. Noting the most powerful actor’s prioritization of this conflict over other crises, he pointed out that, in Eastern Africa, fertilizer prices have doubled, fuel prices have risen sharply, and cereal production is predicted to shrink 16 per cent this year. “It is a matter of life or death for all actors to respond to the food insecurity crisis,” he stressed.

The representative of the Russian Federation asserted that, “if the West forced its subordinates in Kyiv to uphold the basic human rights and respect for their compatriots and their right to life”, Moscow’s special operations would not have been needed. Over the next few days, the results of the referenda held in the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will be published. It is a long-awaited event for the inhabitants of Donbass who have been living in constant fear for their lives and sought to bring peace to their land, he said.

Also speaking today were representatives of Ireland, United Kingdom, Mexico, China, Norway, Gabon and France.

At the outset of the meeting, the representative of the Russian Federation voiced opposition to the participation of the President of Ukraine via video teleconference, noting that such participation must be made in person.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 4:43 p.m.

Rules of Procedure

VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation), at the outset of the meeting, noting the participation of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by video teleconference, said his delegation is not against the participation of the President of Ukraine or his representatives. However, such participation must be in person as required by the rules, which have governed the work of the Council for 70 years. The Council should not turn into a forum for political shows or cinema. “Connivance in these matters causes very serious harm to the prestige of the Council,” he said.

Briefing

ROSEMARY DICARLO, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said: “The most recent developments in the war are ominous, pointing to more death, destruction and suffering.” Actions seen since the last Council meeting on Ukraine on 22 September threaten to further escalate the conflict, she underscored, pointing to the so-called “referenda” just conducted by de facto authorities in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Ukrainians were asked whether they approved their regions joining the Russian Federation, she recounted, adding that voting took place in polling centres. De facto authorities accompanied by soldiers also went door to door with ballot boxes. These exercises, which began on 23 September, have been held during active armed conflict, in areas under Russian control and outside Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework. They cannot be called a genuine expression of the popular will. Unilateral actions aimed to provide a veneer of legitimacy to the attempted acquisition by force by one State of another State’s territory, while claiming to represent the will of the people, cannot be regarded as legal under international law, she underscored.

“The United Nations remains fully committed to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders, in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions,” she continued. As the occupying Power, the Russian Federation is obliged under international humanitarian law to respect the laws of Ukraine in the administration of occupied territories. In the past few weeks, there has been heavy fighting in southern Ukraine in the direction of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, as well as escalating military operations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In mid-September, the Ukrainian military undertook a successful counteroffensive to restore Ukrainian control over most of the Russian-held areas in the Kharkiv region. Daily attacks continue on many Ukrainian cities, including in Donetsk and Luhansk, but also the targeting of civilian energy and water infrastructure, reportedly by Russian forces. Recent reports of drone attacks in and around Odessa are also deeply disturbing, she said.

To date, t the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recorded 14,844 civilian casualties with 5,996 persons killed and 8,848 injured. Those are verified individual incidents; actual figures are likely considerably higher, she pointed out. Turning to nuclear security, she said alarming rhetoric regarding the use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable. She reiterated the Secretary-General's appeal for all nuclear‑armed States, including the Russian Federation, to recommit to the non-use and progressive elimination of nuclear weapons. Amid those grim developments, she said the United Nations continues to work to alleviate the suffering caused by the war, to support accountability for violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and to prevent the deterioration of the already volatile situation around Ukraine’s nuclear sites. Regarding the delivery of assistance, she said that in the areas of Kharkiv region back under Ukrainian control, the United Nations and partner organizations were able to organize several aid convoys. However, in areas outside Government control in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia regions, access is the biggest challenge.

The Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine continues to report on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, she continued, voicing grave concern about allegations of violations committed in parts of northeastern Ukraine, including after the recovery of over 400 bodies from improvised graves in Izyum. OHCHR is working with local authorities to investigate this and other allegations of human rights violations and abuses in areas in Kharkiv region that were until recently under Russian control. Following investigations in the areas of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, mandated by the Human Rights Council, has concluded that war crimes were committed in Ukraine. Among other findings, the Commission was struck by the large number of executions and other violations carried out by Russian forces. In the four areas it covered, the Commission has processed two incidents of ill‑treatment against Russian Federation soldiers by Ukrainian forces. “Those responsible for the outrages being committed in Ukraine, wherever they sit, must be brought to account,” she said.

Noting reports of continuing attacks, as recently as last week, in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, she affirmed the United Nations continued support of the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). She further urged all concerned to provide maximum cooperation with the Agency, stressing that all attacks on nuclear facilities must end, and the purely civilian nature of such plants re-established. The Black Sea Grain Initiative continues to gather pace, she said, noting that over 4.5 million metric tons of foodstuff have been shipped from Ukrainian ports, including to the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Afghanistan. Noting efforts to remove remaining obstacles to the export of Russian food products and fertilizers also continue, she said these products are not under sanctions, and it is crucial to get them back to world markets. “Averting a global food crisis makes it vital to renew the Black Sea deal when it expires at the end of November,” she underscored. Reiterating the Secretary‑General's appeal, she urged Member States to help prevent further escalation, and to do all they can to end the war and ensure lasting peace in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.

Statements

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, President of Ukraine, addressing the Security Council via a pre-recorded video statement, said “so far, [representatives of the Russian Federation] haven’t been using weapons instead of words in [the Security Council]”. Yet, no one would be surprised if the Security Council Chamber was turned into a zone of violence by the Russian representatives. Moscow despises the Charter of the United Nations, and it is only a matter of time before it destroys the last international institution that can still function. Moscow responds to any proposal for talks with new brutality on the battlefield, he asserted, pointing to hundreds of examples of its violations of the international legal order.

On crises and threats to Ukraine and the rest of the world, he underscored that the Russian Federation has ignored IAEA calls for the immediate de-occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and termination of any hostile action against nuclear facilities of Ukraine. “Deliberately keeping the world on the brink of a radiation disaster,” Moscow is engaging in nuclear blackmail while the threats of using nuclear weapons have become the narrative of Russian officials and propagandists, he said. Its inability to guarantee the safety of the world — even against the threat of using nuclear weapons — proves that Moscow has no right to possess nuclear weapons.

He said that, in response to the Ukrainian peace formula he presented to the General Assembly during the high-level week, Moscow announced mobilization of more forces. The Russian Federation deliberately focuses its mobilization on the indigenous people in the territory it controls, recruiting as many men as possible from that population. Among all the ethnic groups of Ukrainian Crimea, seized by the Russian Federation in 2014, the male indigenous population received the most Russian draft notices. “This is a genocidal policy,” he warned. In front of the eyes of the entire world, Moscow is conduction the so-called sham referenda on the occupied territory of Ukraine. People are being forced to fill out papers while threatened with guns, “all for a nice TV cover”, he said. The results of the sham referenda have been prepared well in advanced, just as the issue of passports for the population of the occupied territory. Condemning the annexation of the captured territories — the most brutal violation of the Charter of the United Nations — as an attempt to steal the territory of another State and erase the norms of international law, he pointed to Moscow’s cynical efforts to mobilize the male population in Ukraine’s occupied territory into the Russian army and send them to fight against their own people.

“There is only one way to stop it all,” he noted, calling for complete isolation of the Russian Federation. A State cannot remain a permanent member of the Security Council with a right to veto if such a State is waging a genocidal policy, keeping the world one step from a radiation disaster and threatening with nuclear strikes. To this end, he called for exclusion of the Russian Federation from all international organizations. He further urged for new and tough sanctions against Moscow. Any annexation in the modern world is a crime against all States that consider vital the inviolability of borders, he underlined, adding that Ukraine does not succumb to the blackmail of terrorists.

In this ongoing war, not only Ukrainian independence is being defended, but also international law as such, he cautioned, urging the international community to support his country with all the necessary defence and financial support. Ukraine should receive clear and legally binding guarantees of collective security since its independence is of fundamental importance to global security. Moscow’s recognition of these sham referenda as normal, its implementation of the so-called Crimean scenario, as well as another attempt to annex the Ukrainian territory signifies that there is nothing to talk about with the President of the Russian Federation. “Annexation is the kind of move that puts him alone against the rest of humanity,” he added. To the international community, he said: “I believe in your ability to act.”

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States) said that, while seven months ago Member States were discussing how to preserve peace in Ukraine, “Putin chose war”, and thereby showed “exactly what he thought of this Council”. When leaders from around the world gathered in New York for the General Assembly’s high-level week, he announced a renewed conscription effort in the Russian Federation and instructed areas under Russian military control to prepare for illegitimate snap referenda. Moreover, his emissary threatened to use nuclear weapons — on a non‑nuclear country — to secure the illegitimate military gains of the Russian Federation. “The purpose of all of this is clear: Russia intends to try to annex these territories,” she added. First, it runs sham referenda in areas controlled by its military and its proxies, coercing people to “vote” at gunpoint, then it uses these referenda to lend a semblance of legitimacy to its attempted annexations. “We know the outcomes of these sham referenda were pre-determined in Moscow,” she continued, affirming that these actions do not represent a legitimate expression of the will of the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian people demonstrated that they will never accept subjugation to the “Russian rule”. Furthermore, she underscored that the United States will never recognize any seized or annexed territory of Ukraine as anything other than a part of it. Her country will, thus, continue to provide “historic amounts of support for Ukraine”.

She urged the States to “have the courage” to stand up for Ukraine, to call out aggression and attempts at “naked territorial expansion”. “Not doing so only enables Russia to commit further abuses,” she added. Spotlighting Ukraine’s fight for survival and democracy, she informed the Council that the United States intends to table a resolution, that will condemn the sham referenda. The document will call on Member States to refrain from recognizing any altered status of Ukraine and will obligate the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from the country. She added that the sham referendum “will open a Pandora’s box” that will be difficult to close, as she called on the Member States to join her country in reaffirming the commitment to the Charter. “If Russia chooses to shield itself from accountability here in the Council, we will then look to the General Assembly to send an ‘unmistakable message to Moscow’,” she added.

FERIT HOXHA (Albania), which requested the meeting along with the United States, quoting a 2014 speech by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin negating interest in the partition of Ukraine, implied that such remarks do not reflect the situation, just like Russian statements in the Council over the past months “have little or nothing to do with what happens on the ground — two parallel realities”. The Russian people are protesting against a war they do not want or understand. “When you vote at gunpoint the process is more expedited,” he said, describing the forced conditions in which the referenda are taking place in Kherson, with, among other things, votes being casted on park benches, shops or police stations, also known locally as “torture chambers”. Elsewhere, doors have been broken to facilitate the voting process. “So much for the solemn moment of voting,” he said. According to the already scripted result, residents would love to be ruled by the Russian invaders, he stated, emphasizing that “nobody in the world would take seriously the results of people voting at gunpoint”. “The sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson have nothing to do with democracy, free will of Ukrainians” or international standards, and follow a script seen in Georgia and Crimea. These are attempts to speedily legitimize conquests in front of the world, as Ukraine’s counter-offensive is pushing the Russian Federation out. The holding of such referenda violates the Constitution of Ukraine, Ukraine’s martial law, and also run contrary to the United Nations Charter, international law and the principles the Russian Federation should uphold as a permanent Security Council member.

He strongly condemned that country’s war and its premeditated mock elections, which have zero credibility, stressing that Albania will not recognize them. Further, comparing this situation to other contexts is “worthless cynicism”. Therefore, he called on Member States to oppose the Russian Federation’s actions, condemn the referenda and anticipated results and never recognize any attempt to steal Ukrainian land through violence and terror. Noting that the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine established by the Human Rights Council concluded that war crimes had been committed in that country by the Russian Federation, and stressing the facts underlined by the International Criminal Court Prosecutor General, he said that “these crimes are being meticulously documented”. Urging support for a joint resolution to be presented by his delegation and the United States, he called on Member States to support Ukraine in defending itself and getting its territory back.

FERGAL MYTHEN (Ireland) condemned the sham referenda conducted in the occupied Ukrainian territory “by Russia or its proxies”. He called the referenda “illegal and illegitimate” because they violate the Charter and the obligations of the Russian Federation under international law, including the law of occupation. They also ignore Ukraine’s Constitution, which provides a legal basis for any referenda that would affect the territorial boundaries of the country. Moreover, they “do not reflect the popular or freely expressed will of the Ukrainian people”, he stressed. Stemming from the military invasion, more than 1 million people from the occupied territories have been moved to the Russian Federation and over 7 million people were internally displaced. “These referenda are a cynical ploy to not only further undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also to try to reset an unjustified war,” he said, adding that they are “a blatant land grab to redefine areas of Ukraine as part of Russia”. Reiterating Ireland’s unwavering support for Ukraine, he stated that the sham referenda will not have any legal or political effect on the status of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant or other Ukrainian nuclear facilities. He condemned nuclear threats of the Russian Federation, and all nuclear threats “whether explicit or implicit regardless of circumstance”. He called on that country to end its aggression immediately, to comply with its obligations under international law, and withdraw all forces unconditionally from the sovereign territory of Ukraine.

RUCHIRA KAMBOJ (India) said that her country had repeatedly called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the need to resolve the ongoing conflict through dialogue and diplomacy, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unequivocally stated to Russian President Putin on the side lines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Tashkent. The global order is anchored on international law, United Nations Charter and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of States. India will continue a human-centric approach to addressing the conflict, she said, adding that it is providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, as well as economic support to some of its neighbours in the Global South under economic distress, as these face the escalating costs of food, fuel and fertilizers due to the ongoing conflict. “The need of the hour is to end this conflict in Ukraine and return to the negotiating table,” she said, stressing the loss of countless lives and misery, particularly for women, children, and the elderly, with millions becoming homeless and seeking shelter in neighbouring countries. “Let us all work together to ensure that this comes to an early end,” she said.

HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN (Ghana), expressing deep concern over the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, stressed that the invasion undermines the Charter of the United Nations and stands in contrast to the norms which have guided international relations. Raising caution against heightening rhetoric concerning the use of nuclear weapons, “which can only lead into the dark abyss of a nuclear catastrophe with no winners”, he urged maximum restraint by all sides. Expressing particular concern over the ongoing referenda in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, he stressed that such attempts are being made to disintegrate the legitimate authority of the Government of Ukraine. Stating that the international community “cannot continue to live in parallel universes”, he urged it to use the full weight of its will to serve as a bulwark against such practices. He called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, while also calling on the parties to refrain from targeting civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure. He urged Moscow to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine and withdraw its troops from the internationally recognized border. The situation reinforces the imperative for a reformed and responsive Council that can address all threats to international peace and security, he added.

JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom) described the Russian Federation’s sham referenda in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions as an egregious violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Reminding all of the Russian Federation’s referendum in Crimea, he noted the same playbook of disinformation, intimidation and fabrication. Since the invasion, the Russian Federation has controlled these regions through violence, torture, filtration and forced deportation. Any referenda held under such conditions, at the barrel of a gun and at three‑day’s notice in the middle of a war zone, can never be free or fair. In supporting the draft resolution and calling for the unequivocal rejection of the Russian Federation’s attempts to illegally annex Ukrainian territory, he warned there is no middle ground and stated: “No member of the United Nations should turn a blind eye to Russia tearing up the principles of the United Nations Charter. If we allow Russia to believe it can change sovereign borders by force, then the entire system on which we base our shared safety and security is under threat.” He urged the Russian Federation to end the senseless war instead of sending thousands of its citizens to their death and inflicting further destruction on Ukraine.

RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil) said the referenda in Ukraine are “yet another step that leads to an escalation of the conflict”, which are likely to make the prospect of peace negotiations even more distant. Turning to the right to self‑determination, he noted that in the context of decolonization, referenda were used to enable peoples to express their free will and Council resolutions established them as a legitimate practice to decide on issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity. The validity of referenda, however, depends on certain conditions, he said, pointing out that “it is unreasonable to assume that populations in areas in conflict can freely express their will”. Referenda on questions of sovereignty should be conducted in transparently, without restrictions on freedom of expression and allowing for monitoring by independent observers. He reiterated Brazil’s call for an immediate ceasefire and on starting peace negotiations. He called the Istanbul agreements in July and the recent prisoner exchanges “positive signs that demonstrate the value of diplomacy”, yet underscored, that these efforts were “insufficient”, calling for restraint and pragmatism. The Council so far has collectively failed to find creative solutions to the conflict. “Dialogue, advocated by most members in their interventions over the past seven months, presupposes a willingness to listen,” he added, stating that “the lives of those on the ground” should come before any political considerations.

JUAN RAMÓN DE LA FUENTE RAMÍREZ (Mexico) said his Government is monitoring the reports on the referenda held in four regions of Ukraine. Citing General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), he noted that any attempt aimed at partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the Charter's principles and purposes. Therefore, he urged all States to refrain from taking measures that subvert the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and any other country. He emphasized that any attempt to change borders by using threats and other means, incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, violates international law. Underscoring people’s right to self‑determination, he noted that this right cannot be understood as “authorizing or encouraging” any actions that impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity of sovereign, independent States. He confirmed his country’s position in line with Assembly resolution 68/262 and reiterated a call for urgent dialogue between the parties of the conflict. To that end, he expressed the need to strengthen diplomatic channels to promote confidence-building measures and highlighted the importance of creating new “fora of mediation”, that could lead for a cessation of hostilities.

ZHANG JUN (China) said his country will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace and dialogue. He recalled that, in the recently concluded high-level general debate of the General Assembly, many leaders expressed concern about the prolongation of crisis in Ukraine and its spillover effects and called for dialogue to cease hostilities. Stressing that bloc confrontation and political isolation will only lead to a dead end, he said: “The task at hand is to push parties to open the door to political settlement as soon as possible and include their legitimate concerns in negotiations.” The signing of the Black Sea Grain initiative showed that, even in conflict situations, diplomacy can produce results and bring hope. International order based on international law must be upheld; they should not be mere political slogans. The Council should make full use of mediation tools provided for in the Charter and “stick to the right direction — that is ceasefire and peace talks”. His country will work with all peace-loving countries to deescalate the situation and resolve the crisis.

MARTIN KIMANI (Kenya) said the referenda being held in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia will undermine the prospects of a longer‑term negotiated peace settlement as they will encourage strengthening of armed alliances in preparation for war. Even more alarming are the threats of the use of weapons of mass destruction. Kenya calls for an immediate stop to the hostilities and any attempt to unilaterally alter internationally recognized borders. Pointing to the most powerful actor’s prioritization of this conflict over other crises, he said that “bold action is required to halt extreme food insecurity and starvation in the world”. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), in Eastern Africa, fertilizer prices have doubled, fuel prices have risen sharply and cereal production is predicted to shrink 16 per cent this year. “It is a matter of life or death for all actors to respond to this food insecurity crisis,” he said. He called on grain and fertilizer producers to avoid stockpiling and breaking delivery contracts, and for sharply increasing agricultural productivity in the most food-insecure regions, particularly Africa, as this will prevent cycles of humanitarian crises. The multilateral system cannot continue as it is today, he said, urging real inclusion and fairness — starting with the procedural rules in the Council, all the way to the Charter. Reforms should not be limited to just allowing other major powers a seat at the table, he said, because multilateralism founded on the principle of “the powerful extracting what they can”, while “the weak suffer what they must” offers poor protection to the scourge of war.

MOHAMED ABUSHAHAB (United Arab Emirates), noting that the referenda under way further complicate efforts for peace in Ukraine, underscored that any actions that undermine the prospects for a constructive dialogue must be avoided by all parties. Recalling the joint statement issued in January by the five permanent Council members, he affirmed that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Highlighting some incremental progress made between the parties that has led to positive outcomes — including prisoner exchanges assisted by Türkiye and Saudi Arabia, as well as the agreement related to the export of grains and fertilizers, he added that there is further potential to build on these agreements. With the war carried on for over seven months, he continued, more than 17 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 14.5 million people were forced to flee their homes, 7 million of whom are now displaced across Europe, he went on. Spotlighting the importance of an immediate cessation of hostilities, he stressed that it is “essential to build on and amplify positive developments between the parties, so we can begin to pull back from this dangerous point of heightened global tensions”.

MONA JUUL (Norway) rejected the recent referenda as “a phony pretext from the aggressor, Russia, to try to annex more parts of Ukraine”. They are contrary to international law, have no legal effect and do not change Ukraine’s sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders. No claim by the Russian Federation of territorial annexation, she continued, can take away Ukraine’s right to defend itself. In reminding all of their obligations under Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, she expressed grave concern over the mobilization of reserve forces as a “dangerous escalation which will lead to increased suffering for people in all parts of Ukraine”. She then strongly condemned the war crimes the Russian Federation has committed in Ukraine and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable for the hostilities, indiscriminate attacks, ill-treatment, torture and sexual and gender-based violence. In expressing full backing of the Secretary-General’s good offices and the United Nations efforts to build and sustain peace, she pledged her country’s continued support for Ukraine. The Russian Federation must stop the war, she stressed, by fully, immediately and unconditionally withdrawing its forces and military equipment from Ukraine.

EDWIGE KOUMBY MISSAMBO (Gabon) said that the international community will not stop its call for a de-escalation, pointing to the fact that most world leaders during the general debate advocated for negotiations to find a lasting solution in Ukraine. She called upon parties to refrain from fanning the flames and instead prioritize issues that guarantee peaceful coexistence, stating that the Charter must be the international community’s guiding document for respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. While the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is worsening, and number of deaths are increasing, she appealed to all parties to lay down their weapons and stop with inflammatory rhetoric that might encourage the use of weapons of mass destruction. Gabon, she concluded, supports bilateral and multilateral initiatives aimed at dialogue and achieving lasting peace.

Mr. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) said that, over the next few days, the results of the referenda held in the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will be published. It is a long-awaited event for the inhabitants of Donbas who have been living in constant fear for their lives and sought to bring peace to their land. For eight years, the shelling of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics occurred every week. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia region can finally rest assured that they will not have their right to speak Russian or teach their children in Russian taken away from them.

From 2014 onwards, Kyiv has deliberately focused on the physical destruction of the inhabitants of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics while their backers — the European Union and the United States — did not lift a finger to force the Kyiv authorities to uphold the Minsk agreements, he said. Guaranteeing the safety of the citizens in those republics and their dignified future within Ukraine, the Minsk agreements provided for a ceasefire and direct dialogue between Kyiv and Donbass. If it had not been for the criminal violation of the Minsk agreements, violating inter alia Security Council resolution 2202 (2015), by the Kyiv authorities, with secret but clear support of the Western delegations, in other words, “if the West forced its subordinates in Kyiv to uphold the basic human rights and respect for their compatriots and their right to life”, Moscow’s special operation would not have been needed. The authorities in Ukraine clearly stated that Russians and Russian-speaking citizens of the regions were not humans, he recalled.

In 2014, when the population of Crimea chose to become a part of the Russian Federation, Moscow heard similar accusations of aggression and annexation, he said. For the past eight years, people in Crimea have not lived in fear for their lives, he stressed, pointing to Moscow’s investments in the development of the region. Emphasizing that the recent referenda were conducted transparently with upholding all electoral norms, as witnessed by 100 independent observers from 40 countries who were surprised by the enthusiasm of the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, he criticized the statement of the Western countries that they will not recognize the results of these referenda. “It seems they have to vote after they have been shot and raped, it that the case?”, asked the Russian delegate, opposing the Western propaganda and false narratives surrounding the referenda. Describing the direct vote of citizens as the criterion of democracy, he said the western version of democracy was born in a dictate of the liberal minority over the conservative majority. The denial of rights of non-liberals and non-Russophobes is not only used by Ukraine, but also their Western allies, he observed, drawing attention to countries “on the blacklist”: Italy, Hungary and Serbia.

NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France), Council President for September, speaking in his national capacity, said that, despite the Council’s seven-month-long appeals to end the war of aggression against Ukraine, Moscow has chosen escalation and further violation of the United Nations Charter and the international law. The partial mobilization announced on 21 September is evidence that the Russian Federation is “waging an illegal war in Ukraine, not a so-called special operation”. On the sham referenda in the occupied territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia, he cited President Emmanuel Macron who called them “a parody”. It’s the same “gambit” as was seen in Crimea in 2014, he said, with referenda used to legitimatize annexation of illegally occupied territory. He pointed to the Secretary-General’s remarks that any annexation of territory of a State by another State by threat of or use of force is a violation of the Charter and international law. France will never recognize the referenda, he stressed, calling on States to unequivocally reject them: “If we let Russia change internationally recognized borders of Ukraine by force, we’ll be letting them trample the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added, affirming that “the fate of the occupied territories of Ukraine is of concern to us”. While Moscow is continuing its war, Kyiv is exercising its right to self‑defence, fighting in a counter-offensive that is succeeding, thanks to the courage of its people. Noting that tens of thousands are fleeing the Russian Federation to escape mobilization, he reiterated Paris’ support for Ukraine.

Mr. HOXHA (Albania), taking the floor a second time, stressed that the “parallel” made by the delegation of the Russian Federation with Kosovo was wrong, inaccurate and regrettable. Kosovo and Serbia are bound today by dialogue. They meet; they do not fight. Moreover, the issue is not Kosovo nor any part of the world. It is the Russian Federation’s crimes and territorial grab, to the detriment of its neighbour. "We will not be misled,” he underscored.

Mr. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation), taking the floor a third time, said the statement just heard from the representative of Albania confirms the double standards that he had talked about regarding Kosovo. He said that he provided an example of how Western colleagues who dealt with Kosovo are calling for a completely different approach with respect to the Russian Federation and the referenda taking place in the territory discussed.

For information media. Not an official record.

Full Story

$512 million World Bank Loan to Expand Finance for Bolstering Homes, Infrastructure Against Earthquakes, Flooding in Türkiye [EN/TR]

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 02:52:52 +0000

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Country: Türkiye
Source: World Bank

Please refer to the attached file.

WASHINGTON, September 27, 2022— The World Bank Board today approved $512.2 million in financing for Türkiye to expand access to housing and infrastructure that is resilient to climate and natural hazards, with the goal of saving lives and supporting the country’s economic development.

The financing is for the Climate and Disaster Resilient Cities Project. Of the total project amount, $338.5 million will go to the Government of Türkiye for developing new, affordable financing mechanisms to enable households to retrofit or reconstruct their housing to increase resilience to seismic and climate hazards, while $173.6 million will go to Iller Bankasi Anonim Sirketi (ILBANK), to provide financing to municipalities to build more resilient infrastructure.

More than 1 million people will benefit from upgraded infrastructure and 32,000 people will benefit from loans to reconstruct or retrofit their risky housing units. The project will focus on urban areas in the provinces of Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Manisa, and Tekirdag, which are highly vulnerable to seismic and climate hazards. These provinces also include Türkiye’s largest urban areas where 76% of the country’s 85 million people live and where much of the country’s economic activity is concentrated.

“Türkiye is singularly vulnerable to both natural and climate-related hazards, which exact a heavy toll on people and the country’s economy. With this project, the World Bank is pleased to make an important contribution to safeguard Türkiye’s development progress and underpin its transition to a resilient and climate-proof future,” said Carolina Sanchez-Paramo, World Bank’s Acting Country Director for Türkiye

Sitting on multiple active fault lines, Türkiye is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. Earthquakes have caused the greatest human and economic losses in the last 20 years, largely due to damage and collapse of buildings. Meanwhile, extreme weather events and flooding have increased in frequency and intensity. Last year alone, floods resulted in at least 81 deaths, about 2,500 evacuees, and significant damage to more than 450 buildings.

An estimated 6.7 million residential buildings across the country require seismic retrofitting or reconstruction. These structures were built prior to the introduction, in 2000, of modern construction codes for seismic resistance. Most fatalities from earthquakes are attributed to the structural failure of these older residential buildings.

Climate-proofing housing and infrastructure is also critical for Türkiye to sustain its economic growth while meeting its commitments for climate change and environmental sustainability. The building sector in Türkiye accounts for about 12% of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“Urban transformation against seismic and climate hazards will require significant investments at all levels of government and in the private sector, including households. This project addresses the key challenges of greater affordability of retrofitting or demolishing and reconstructing risk-prone housing and leveraging available resources and mobilizing finance for municipalities to increase investments in resilient infrastructure,” said Zoe Trohanis, one of the World Bank Project Team Leaders.

The project’s main components include:

  • Provision of technical assistance to the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change (MoEUCC) and local authorities in selected provinces to strengthen their capacity to develop, implement, and monitor green and resilient urban transformation programs.
  • Expanding access to resilient housing by financing loans at affordable interest rates for eligible owners to retrofit or reconstruct their units in risky residential or mixed-use buildings to meet the new resilient building code and energy efficiency standards.
  • Investments in climate and disaster resilient municipal infrastructure will provide financing for ILBANK to lend to eligible utilities to undertake infrastructure investments that increase resilience; these loans will have longer maturities and lower interest rates than the comparable domestic market.
  • A contingent emergency provision will be included in the project to allow MoEUCC to reallocate the project’s funds in the event of a disaster and its immediate aftermath, to address urgent humanitarian and other needs.

The World Bank is an important and reliable partner for Türkiye in disaster risk management, urban development, and energy efficiency. Other World Bank projects implemented in recent years include the Seismic Resilience and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings Project; Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project; the Safe Schools Project financed by the Facility for Refugees in Türkiye; the Disaster Risk Management in Schools Project; the Small and Medium Enterprises Energy Efficiency Project; and the Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings Project, among others.

PRESS RELEASE NO: 2023/ECA/124

Contacts

Ankara

Tunya Celasin

+90-312-4598343

tcelasin@worldbank.org

Washington

Indira Chand

+1 (202) 458-0434

ichand@worldbank.org

Full Story

The human toll and humanitarian crisis of the Russia-Ukraine war: the first 162 days

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 02:27:03 +0000

Country: Ukraine
Source: British Medical Journal

Ubydul Haque, Amna Naeem, Shanshan Wang, Irina Holovanova, Taras Gutor, Dimitry Bazyka, Rebeca Galindo, Sadikshya Sharma, Igor P Kaidashev, Dmytro Chumachenko, Svyatoslav Linnikov, Esther Annan, Jailos Lubinda, Natalya Korol, Kostyantyn Bazyka, Liliia Zhyvotovska, Andriy Zimenkovsky, Uyen-Sa D T Nguyen

Abstract

Background We examined the human toll and subsequent humanitarian crisis resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February 2022.

Method We extracted and analysed data resulting from Russian military attacks on Ukrainians between 24 February and 4 August 2022. The data tracked direct deaths and injuries, damage to healthcare infrastructure and the impact on health, the destruction of residences, infrastructure, communication systems, and utility services – all of which disrupted the lives of Ukrainians.

Results As of 4 August 2022, 5552 civilians were killed outright and 8513 injured in Ukraine as a result of Russian attacks. Local officials estimate as many as 24 328 people were also killed in mass atrocities, with Mariupol being the largest (n=22 000) such example. Aside from wide swaths of homes, schools, roads, and bridges destroyed, hospitals and health facilities from 21 cities across Ukraine came under attack. The disruption to water, gas, electricity, and internet services also extended to affect supplies of medications and other supplies owing to destroyed facilities or production that ceased due to the war. The data also show that Ukraine saw an increase in cases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Conclusions The 2022 Russia-Ukraine War not only resulted in deaths and injuries but also impacted the lives and safety of Ukrainians through destruction of healthcare facilities and disrupted delivery of healthcare and supplies. The war is an ongoing humanitarian crisis given the continuing destruction of infrastructure and services that directly impact the well-being of human lives. The devastation, trauma and human cost of war will impact generations of Ukrainians to come.

Read the full report

Full Story