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Through its unique capacities as the world’s premiere vehicle for international cooperation, the UN system plays a crucial role in coordinating assistance of all kinds — to help Africa help itself. From promoting the development of democratic institutions, to establishing peace between warring nations, the UN is present on the ground supporting economic and social development and the promotion and protection of human rights.

To advance its support for Africa even further, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa was established in 2003 to enhance international support for African development and security and to improve coordination of UN system support. It also works to facilitate global deliberations on Africa, particularly with respect to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) — a strategic framework adopted by African leaders in 2001. In 2019, NEPAD’s mandate was reformed. It is now serving as the first development agency of the African Union.

DR Congo: Limitations to ‘strictly military approach’ to stem violence, mission chief warns 

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo told the Security Council on Monday that “a lasting solution” to the violence “requires a broader political commitment to address the root causes of conflict.”  Bintou Keita argued that, for stability to return to eastern Congo, “the State must succeed in restoring and maintaining the confidence of the

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Severe cash crunch threatens WFP operations in Ethiopia

Millions of people in Ethiopia could be pushed deeper into hunger as the World Food Programme (WFP) faces a major funding shortfall that threatens its operations there over the coming six months, the UN agency warned on Monday.  WFP urgently needs $579 million to deliver food aid and livelihood support to some 12 million Ethiopians

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Somalia: Security Council adopts resolution to keep pirates at bay

The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution to combat the continuing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia, as shipping and protection measures to keep vessels safe, have returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in the country illustrates that joint counter-piracy

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The Gambia: Guterres calls for ‘credible and transparent’ election 

As Gambians prepare to choose their next president on Saturday, the UN Secretary-General asked on Friday for voters to help foster “a peaceful environment” at the polls.   In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres calls “on the electoral management body, candidates, political party leaders and their followers, through their conduct, to ensure a peaceful environment conducive to a credible, inclusive and

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Violence in Cameroon, impacting over 700,000 children shut out of school 

Over 700,000 children have been impacted by school closures due to often brutal violence in Cameroon, according to an analysis released by the UN humanitarian arm, OCHA, on Thursday.  Two out of three schools are closed in the North-West and South-West regions of the country. On 24 November, four children and one teacher were killed in an attack in Ekondo Titi, in the South-West.  Lockdown  A recent lockdown imposed by a non-State armed

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‘Unity’ of purpose and action needed: Guterres tells AU-UN Conference

For two decades, the African Union (AU) has been “a gold standard of regional co-operation”, Secretary-General António Guterres told the fifth UN-AU Annual Conference on Wednesday in New York. He highlighted the wide range of progress made through collaboration, from frameworks around peace, security and sustainable development, to joint missions and programmes for humanitarian operations,

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Series of appalling deadly attacks on displaced people in DR Congo

The UN refugee Agency, UNHCR, is “appalled by a series of deadly attacks” on displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the agency’s spokesperson told journalists on Tuesday in Geneva. In the latest incident carried out by armed groups, UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov cited local authorities in saying that 26 people were

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9.4 million people are ‘living their worst nightmare’ in northern Ethiopia due to ongoing conflict 

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has spiked as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.  “Today, 9.4 million people are living their worst nightmare,” Tomson Phiri, the agency’s spokesperson, told journalists in Geneva.  80 per cent ‘behind battle lines’  Of the people

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WHO urges caution over travel bans linked to new COVID-19 variant

The UN health agency has urged all countries to adopt a risk-based and scientific approach to travel bans linked to a new COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa and Botswana. The development on Friday came as a World Health Organization (WHO) panel prepared to meet to assess the potential impact of a new coronavirus variant identified

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Ethiopia: Humanitarian aid needed as situation deteriorates in Tigray 

With the dire humanitarian situation in Tigray, Ethiopia, continuing to deteriorate, it is critical to establish a regular flow of humanitarian aid into the region, the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday.  Yesterday, almost 40 trucks with humanitarian supplies, including food, left the Afar capital of Semera for Tigray – the first convoy to do so since 18 October.   Meanwhile, trucks containing fuel and medical supplies are still waiting for clearance in Semera.  Around 500 trucks

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Worsening drought affects 2.3 million people in Somalia 

With about 2.3 million people already suffering with serious water, food and pasture shortages in Somalia, a rapidly worsening drought could lead to an “extreme situation” by April next year.   The warning comes from the United Nations and the Somali Government. Climate projections show that the country is facing a fourth consecutive failed rainfall season.  In a joint statement on Friday, the organizations said it is

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Bachelet condemns killings of peaceful protesters in Sudan 

At least 39 people have been killed by security forces in Sudan since the 25 October military coup, 15 of whom were reportedly shot dead on Wednesday, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.   On Thursday, Michelle Bachelet condemned the killings, saying it is “utterly shameful” that live ammunition keeps being used against protesters.   “Shooting into large crowds of unarmed demonstrators, leaving dozens dead and many more injured, is

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Completion of Somalia elections more important than ever: UN envoy

Although progress has been made in Somalia’s electoral process, it has been slow and uneven, the UN Special Representative for the country said in a briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday. James Swan welcomed completion of the indirect elections for the Upper House of Somalia’s Federal Parliament, which began in July, and the start

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Ethiopia: Mass arbitrary arrests target Tigrayans, says UN rights office

Over the past week, mass arrests of people reportedly of Tigrayan origin have continued in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and elsewhere, the UN rights office said on Tuesday.  The alert from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) comes as the World Food Programme (WFP) described the aid situation for vulnerable people in Tigray as “hand-to-mouth”.  Citing reports, OHCHR said that at least 1,000 individuals are believed

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Central African children in crosshairs, UN calls for their protection 

Children in the Central African Republic (CAR) have suffered a spike in grave violations since the end of 2020, according to a new UN report on the situation in the country, issued on Monday.  The report on children and armed conflict in CAR highlighted that between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2021, 1,280 children suffered one or more grave violations, with girls accounting for more than 40 per

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Ethiopia: $40 million in aid relief for victims ‘living on a knife-edge’

As the humanitarian crisis grows in Ethiopia’s conflict-affected north, the UN announced on Monday that $40 million in funds have been made available to scale up emergency operations.  The UN’s top emergency relief official, Martin Griffiths, said that millions of people in northern Ethiopia are now “living on a knife-edge, as the humanitarian crisis is growing deeper and wider”.  After returning from visiting Ethiopia, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief

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UNFPA supports health workers delivering hope, and babies, in crisis-wracked Tigray

Even amid the dire humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, health workers continue to deliver safe, lifesaving care to mothers-to-be, with assistance from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).  The UN agency has supported a community-based health care organization called Maedot, which has established a Maternity Waiting Home at a camp for people displaced by the ongoing

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‘Wake-up call’ to assist DR Congo battle food insecurity 

UN agencies raised the alarm on Wednesday over the growing food crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), calling for an urgent scaling-up of assistance.  The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) warned that without help, widespread and unabated food insecurity could worsen in the coming months.   Some 27 million people, one-quarter of the country’s population, face crisis or emergency acute food

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UN Police ‘better placed’ for today’s challenges to peace and security

UN Police (UNPOL) is a key component of peacekeeping, Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council on Thursday, whose officers help guide the UN’s response to challenges facing the thousands of ‘blue helmets’ who serve, through the Action for Peacekeeping initiative (A4P). “A4P aims to refocus peacekeeping on realistic expectations, make peacekeeping missions stronger and

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Thousands flee DR Congo fighting for Uganda: UNHCR

Fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has forced at least 11,000 people to flee to neighbouring Uganda since Sunday night, representing the largest refugee influx in a single day for more than a year, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday.  Women and children comprise the majority of those who

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