Afghanistan, Lebanon, Myanmar & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (6 August 2021)

United Nations published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan, Lebanon, Myanmar & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (6 August 2021)” – below is their description.

Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Highlights:

– Afghanistan

– Hiroshima Peace Memorial

– Senior Personnel Appointment

– Lebanon

– Nigeria

– Ethiopia

– Myanmar

– COVID-19

– Hybrid Briefing

– Financial Contribution

Afghanistan

This morning the Security Council held a meeting on Afghanistan. Deborah Lyons, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the UN Mission in the country, said that recently, the war in Afghanistan has entered a new, deadlier, and more destructive phase.

Ms. Lyons said that the Taliban campaign during June and July to capture rural areas has achieved significant territorial gains, and that from this strengthened position they have begun to attack large cities. She noted that this is a clear attempt by the Taliban to seize urban centres with the force of arms.

The Special Representative said that the fighting has been especially severe in Laskhar Gah. She pointed out that since [28] July, at least 104 civilians were killed and 403 wounded there, as registered by two main hospitals. In Kandahar, since the start of the offensive on 9 July, more than 460 civilian casualties have been registered.

Ms. Lyons stressed that the Security Council must issue an unambiguous statement that attacks against cities must stop now and that Member States should contribute to the severely underfunded humanitarian appeal for Afghanistan.

She emphasized that members of the regional and international community must put aside their differences on the question of Afghanistan and send a strong signal that it is essential to stop fighting and negotiate, in that order. Otherwise, there may be nothing left to win.

Lebanon

We are concerned about the escalatory developments, including rocket fire into Israel and air strikes and artillery fire in response, across the Blue Line in recent days.

We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and maintain stability. Lebanon cannot afford another crisis.

It is paramount that all actors involved avoid actions that can further heighten tensions and lead to miscalculation.

UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Stefano Del Col, is in direct contact with the parties. He calls on everyone to immediately cease fire. This is a very dangerous situation, with escalatory actions seen on both sides over the past two days.

UNIFIL calls on the parties to cease fire and maintain calm so that it can begin an investigation.

In addition, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka, exercising her good offices, has activated her political contacts and reached out to all stakeholders concerned. The potential for miscalculation presents the risk of serious consequences. Maximum restraint is required to prevent further escalation.

Myanmar

The World Food Programme warned today that its operations in the country for the next six months are threatened by a funding gap of 70 per cent.

A massive wave of COVID-19 infections is leading to increased hunger, as families struggle amid job losses, rising food and fuel prices, political unrest, violence and displacement.

As you’ll recall, in April, WFP estimated that the number of people facing hunger could more than double to 6.2 million in the next six months, up from 2.8 million prior to February.

WFP said that nearly 90 per cent of households living in slum-like settlements around Yangon say they must borrow money to buy food.

In May, the agency launched a new urban food response, targeting two million people in Yangon and Mandalay, Myanmar’s two biggest cities. WFP is also helping people who have been forced from their homes by the fighting in Myanmar.

However, the funding shortfall is making it uncertain how far these operations can go.

Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=06%20August%202021

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