Senior Personnel Appointment, Afghanistan & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (1 October 2021)

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “Senior Personnel Appointment, Afghanistan & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (1 October 2021)” – below is their description.

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


-Senior Personnel Appointment





-Resident Coordinator

-International Days


Following consultations with the Executive Board of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Secretary-General is pleased to reappoint Dr. Natalia Kanem of Panama as Executive Director of UNFPA for a second term of four years.

The Secretary-General notes his appreciation of UNFPA’s powerful advocacy to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda, to address population dynamics, and to empower youth, as well as UNFPA’s focus on accountability and effective management, and its commitment to delivering transformative results in both development and humanitarian settings to end the unmet need for contraception, end preventable maternal deaths and end gender-based violence in all its forms. The Secretary-General looks forward to furthering this work, together with UNFPA and partners, and with urgency towards the 2030 deadline.

Dr. Kanem brings more than 30 years of strategic leadership experience in the fields of preventive medicine, public and reproductive health, social justice and philanthropy to the role.


On Saturday, the Secretary-General will be going to Barbados to take part in the opening ceremony of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, known as UNCTAD15. The opening ceremony will take place in Bridgetown, on 4 October.

In his remarks, he is expected to underscore the challenges of tackling debt distress and the need to get down to the business of a sustainable and equitable recovery for all. He is also expected to highlight the need to re-ignite the engines of trade and investment, and ensure they benefit the poorest countries, as well as the need to build a global green economy.

Also on 4 October, the Secretary-General will speak with reporters in a press conference with the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, and UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan.

On Sunday, the Secretary-General will take part in a series of activities with Government officials, including a visit to climate impacted areas in Barbados.


In September the World Food Programme provided three million people with food assistance, double the number of people reached in August. This included 1.5 million women and girls, and 1.5 million men and boys.

So far this year, 8.4 million people have received food assistance in the country’s 34 provinces. WFP aims to provide emergency food and nutrition assistance to 14 million people by the end of the year. With winter approaching, humanitarian partners are working to get food and other non-food items prepositioned at strategic locations.

You will recall that on 13 September, donors and Member States pledged more than $1.2 billion in humanitarian and development aid for Afghanistan. Since then, only $135 million has been received in support of the Afghanistan Flash Appeal seeking to help 11 million people before the end of year.

We urge donors to fast-track the disbursement of funds to address the rapidly growing humanitarian needs that are set to worsen in winter. There is a risk of pipeline breaks in October and November in the provision of food, agriculture, health, nutrition, protection, education and water and sanitation hygiene assistance, due to funding shortfalls and import and transport delays.


Moving to Syria, we are concerned about the dire situation of civilians in the northwest where hostilities, an economic crisis and COVID have made the situation of already vulnerable people even more difficult.

Hostilities continued to be reported across northwest Syria throughout September, with intensified airstrikes along the frontlines in southern Idlib and almost daily reports of violence.

We are also extremely concerned about the spike in COVID-19 cases, with over 1,000 people per day testing positive in northwest Syria. There has been a 170 per cent increase in the total number of positive cases in the last month alone.

Limited equipment to test for COVID-19 is a problem, on top of a severe oxygen shortage. In addition, less than 3 per cent of the population in the northwest is vaccinated. With 1.6 million people living in crowded camp settings the spread of COVID-19 will further tax an overburdened system.

In addition, 97 per cent of the population in northwest Syria live in extreme poverty depending on humanitarian aid for food, medicine and other basic services.

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