Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Covid-19 & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (27 October 2021)

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Covid-19 & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (27 October 2021)” – below is their description.

Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

– Secretary-General/Afghanistan 

– Security Council 

– Ethiopia 

– Security 

– Covid-19/Employment Impact 

– Senior Personnel Appointment  

– World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 

SECRETARY-GENERAL/AFGHANISTAN

This morning, the Secretary-General spoke by video message to the meeting on Afghanistan which was organized by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He warned that Afghanistan is confronting an epic humanitarian crisis and is on the verge of a development catastrophe.

The Secretary-General highlighted four areas of action. First is humanitarian relief, he said, stressing that international support to hosting countries must match the scale of their needs.

Second, the Secretary-General said, we must find ways to avoid a total meltdown of the Afghan economy. Thirdly, he highlighted that the people of Afghanistan need an inclusive and representative government, that respects international humanitarian law and upholds human rights and fundamental freedoms.

And fourth, the Secretary-General emphasized that Afghans and the region also need a country that is secure – not one that is a haven for terrorism or a centre for drug trafficking. He stressed that these are all issues on which the region has a shared interest and on which all of us must speak with one voice.

ETHIOPIA

In Ethiopia, nearly one year since the start of the conflict in the north, the situation remains unpredictable, volatile, and highly tense. The fighting has been reported in multiple locations, as well as in Amhara and Afar. Hostilities in both regions are blocking the delivery of humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in need.

As mentioned yesterday, fuel for the humanitarian response has not entered Tigray since early August, forcing many humanitarian operations to significantly reduce or suspend their activities. Between 14 and 20 October, only about 38,000 people in Zata, in the Southern Zone, received food assistance due to lack of fuel. That’s only 4.4 per cent of the estimated 870,000 people requiring assistance every week. No food distribution was reported in other areas during the period due to fuel shortages, a communications blackout and the fluid security context in the region.

Provision of food, water trucking operations, and health services have also been significantly reduced.

The UN continues to call on all parties to the conflict to urgently and immediately facilitate free, sustained and safe movement of humanitarian workers and supplies in Tigray, Afar and Amhara.

COVID-19/EMPLOYMENT IMPACT

The International Labour Organization (ILO) today warned that the employment impact from the COVID-19 pandemic is worse than expected. ILO Monitor is now projecting that global hours worked in 2021 will be 4.3 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, the equivalent of 125 million full-time jobs. This represents a dramatic revision of ILO’s June projection of 3.5 per cent or 100 million full-time jobs.

ILO warns that without concrete financial and technical support, a great divergence in employment recovery trends between developed and developing countries will persist, and that this is largely driven by the major differences in the roll-out of vaccinations and fiscal stimulus packages.

Estimates indicate that for each of 14 people fully vaccinated in the second quarter of 2021, one full-time equivalent job was added to the global labour market.

However, ILO pointed out that the highly uneven roll-out of vaccinations means that the positive effect was largest in high-income countries, negligible in lower-middle-income countries and almost zero in low-income countries.

Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=27%20October%202021

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