Afghanistan, Haiti, Ethiopia & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (18 August 2021)

United Nations published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan, Haiti, Ethiopia & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (18 August 2021)” – below is their description.

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

Highlights:

– Afghanistan/Relocation of UN Personnel

– Niger

– Peacekeeping

– Haiti

– Ethiopia

– Resident Coordinators

– COVID-19/Ecuador

– Secretary-General Annan

Afghanistan/Relocation of UN Personnel

I just want to read you the following update on an issue you’ve been asking me about.

As we speak, a group of UN personnel is traveling today from Kabul to Almaty in Kazakhstan, where they will continue their work remotely. We thank the Government of Kazakhstan for the offer to host a temporary remote office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

As the Secretary-General told the Security Council on August 16th, the United Nations presence in Afghanistan will adapt to the security situation. In light of the security and other constraints in Kabul and other parts of the country at the moment, it was decided to move a part of the UN staff out of the country. Personnel will return to Afghanistan as conditions permit.

As we have also been making clear, the UN is committed to staying and delivering in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need. The majority of humanitarian personnel remain in Afghanistan, providing vital assistance to millions in need.

The remote presence will provide close support to the UN family’s continuing work on the ground in Afghanistan.

This is a temporary measure intended to enable the UN to keep delivering assistance to the people of Afghanistan with the minimum of disruption while, at the same time, reducing risk to UN personnel.

Haiti

In Haiti, our UNICEF colleagues tell us that they estimate about 1.2 million people – that’s including 540,000 children – are affected by the earthquake.

UNICEF says about half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, health care and nutrition. Search-and-rescue efforts are under way. However, criminal violence and insecurity are complicating the humanitarian response, with the main road from Port-au-Prince to the south of the country being controlled by gangs.

Nevertheless, a UNICEF truck was able to deliver medical kits to three hospitals in Les Cayes, with enough supplies – including gloves, painkillers, antibiotics and syringes – to treat 30,000 earthquake victims over three months.

UNICEF and its partners are also distributing tarpaulins for emergency shelter, latrines and showers; water reservoirs for safe water distribution; and hygiene kits. The agency estimates it will need $15 million to respond to the most urgent needs of at least 385,000 people for eight weeks.

Ethiopia

Turning to Ethiopia, our humanitarian colleagues are telling us that the situation in Tigray remains unpredictable and volatile, while movement of Tigray forces in Amhara and Afar provinces continues.

Humanitarian access into the region remains restricted via the only road through Afar region, where there is insecurity, with extended delays for clearances of humanitarian supplies and intense searches at the checkpoints. Only 30 trucks with humanitarian supplies can be scanned each day under the current procedures, but, as we’ve been telling you, we need100 trucks of food, non-food items and fuel are needed every day to move into Tigray.

Humanitarian operations are also severely affected by lack of supplies, cash, banking services, fuel and telecommunications. Transport of ICT equipment remains prohibited by the authorities.

We, along with our humanitarian partners, continue to stay and deliver to help meet the existing and emerging needs. As of yesterday, there are 457 UN staff from 10 UN agencies supporting the humanitarian response there.

Twenty-nine mobile health and nutrition teams also continue to provide essential services, reaching more than 50,000 individuals with medical consultations at 72 health facilities and 47 camps for internally displaced people across the region.

Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=18%20August%202021

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