World News in Brief: Looming famine threat for Sudan, 3.3 million in need near Ukraine frontline, Haiti update, there’s a place for all in outer space

WFP and its partner World Relief provide emergency food supplies in West Darfur.
© WFP/World Relief
WFP and its partner World Relief provide emergency food supplies in West Darfur.
  • UN News

After nearly a year of brutal civil war between rival militaries, food production has been hit and communities face acute shortages of other essential resources such as water and fuel.

More than eight million people are believed to have been uprooted from their homes with tens of thousands killed or wounded.

The World Health Organization (WHO) meanwhile has warned that every seventh child under five is acutely malnourished and 70 to 80 per cent of health centres are no longer functioning.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said that five million people were “on the brink of famine” in areas affected by conflict:

“With the lean season expected to start soon and without unhindered access for aid, the situation will only worsen in the coming months”, he added.

Hundreds of thousands of lives at stake

He said around 230,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers could die in the coming months due to hunger unless urgent lifesaving funding can be provided.

New data from the UN Development Programme, UNDP, also highlighted the accelerating hunger crisis in Sudan on Friday, with famine expected this year.

Moderate or severe food insecurity already affects nearly six in 10 households, with West Kordofan, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states worst-hit.

UNDP urged immediate food aid assistance for the most vulnerable in Sudan where more than half of the rural households contacted for its research reported that farming work has been disrupted significantly in the states of Khartoum, Sennar and West Kordofan.

UN continues support for Haitians caught up in gang violence

Despite the turmoil and rampant gang violence across Haiti, UN humanitarians are continuing to offer emergency aid to those impacted, said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric on Friday.

Recently, the World Food Programme (WFP) provided 19,000 meals to displaced civilians in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and school lunches to 200,000 children in other provinces.

Daily life continues on the streets of Port au Prince, despite the insecurity.
© UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
Daily life continues on the streets of Port au Prince, despite the insecurity.

People sheltering in displacement sites in Port-au-Prince have seen continued support from *sexual and reproductive health agency UNFPA and partners, who have distributed over 4,600 hygiene kits through mobile clinics.

Dignity kits with soap, sanitary pads, a solar lamp and other basic hygiene items were also distributed to women and girls.

UNFPA and their partners also continue to provide remote psychosocial support and information on accessible gender-based violence services through a free hotline operated by their local partners,” said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric. He said more than 340 calls have been made since February.

Mr. Dujarric noted that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that since the end of February, nearly 95,000 people have left the capital’s metropolitan area to find refuge in provinces.

It is reported that most refugees have fled to the Grand Sud departments, where over 100,000 people have gone in recent months to escape violence.

And as we have been telling you, those communities also that are trying to absorb displaced people are already under stress,” said Mr. Dujarric.

Ukraine war leaves 3.3 million in dire need on frontlines: IOM

Ukrainians remain under “constant attack” and 3.3 million living on the frontline need emergency assistance urgently, the UN migration agency, IOM, said on Friday.

Days after rocket fire killed dozens in the east and south of the country, IOM chief Amy Pope warned that the situation is worsening for many in Ukraine.

Frequent power cuts

“Displaced people and host communities need urgent assistance as they continue to endure missile strikes, destruction of infrastructure and frequent power cuts” Ms. Pope said.

The agency estimates that some 800,000 children live on the frontlines, just some of the more than 14.6 million people in Ukraine who need humanitarian aid amid Russia’s continuing invasion.

The UN agency has helped thousands of displaced people near the frontline and elsewhere in Ukraine with immediate and longer-term needs, including restoring livelihoods and supporting community resilience.

World must move on from ‘space race’ and embrace outer space for all

Humankind must get away from the Cold War concept of a ‘space race’, even as commercial competition hots up to exploit the potential of the cosmos, the head of the UN agency for outer space affairs (UNOOSA) has told UN News.

Marking Friday’s International Day of Human Space Flight, when the former Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin reached orbit back in 1961, UNOOSA Director Aarti Holla-Maini told us that everybody has a role to play in the peaceful exploration of space – “it’s not just for the geeks and the nerds who like engineering.”

Boldly going

“Now, we’re really looking at space science and space exploration and looking for the most innovative and pragmatic approaches to that, and that is why we are seeing more commercial companies getting involved.”

She said the private sector allows national space agencies like NASA in the United States, to spread their risk, keep costs down, be bolder in their ambition and increase the chances of success.

The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is the birthplace of all space regulation and treaties, “which underpin everything that we see happening in the space economy today”, she said, urging a continuation of a “global convening dialogue” in both the public and private sectors.

She said as space debris increases in the Earth’s orbit and beyond, the UN will bring stakeholders together to discuss potential new guidelines for international oversight.

Listen to her full interview on the exciting possibilities of reaching further for the stars, with UN News’ Anton Uspensky here:

© UN News (2024) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: UN News