Yemen Pledging Conference & other topics - Daily Briefing (2 June 2020)
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- Financing for Development
- New Policy Brief on COVID-19 and People on the Move
- Burkina Faso
- El Salvador
- Climate Change
- Air Travel
- Financial Contributions
At the start of today's Yemen Pledging Conference, the Secretary-General said that more than five years of conflict have left Yemenis hanging on by a thread, their economy in tatters, their institutions facing near-collapse. He also said that four people out of every five - or 24 million people in all - need lifesaving aid in what remains the world's largest humanitarian crisis.
We are in a race against time, the Secretary-General warned, as reports indicate that, in Aden, mortality rates from COVID-19 are among the highest in the world. He added that we must preserve the major humanitarian aid operation that is already underway - and the world's largest - while developing new public health programmes to fight the virus and strengthen healthcare systems.
The Secretary-General said that aid agencies estimate they will need up to $2.41 billion to cover essential aid from June until December, and that includes programmes to counter COVID-19. Unless we secure significant funding, he added, more than 30 out of 41 major United Nations programmes in Yemen will close in the next few weeks.
Mark Lowcock, our humanitarian chief, told the pledging conference that COVID-19 rapid response teams are funded only until the end of June. Next month, he said, we could start winding down treatment for severely malnourished children. Support for cholera facilities will also start to reduce. Mr. Lowcock added that pledges will not save lives unless they are paid, and so far, most of the pledges made remain unpaid.
FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Today, the Financing for Development Forum's second meeting brought together representatives from banks, funds and financial institutions to mobilize $1.2 trillion dollars in humanitarian and economic relief to developing countries reeling under the impact of the pandemic.
The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, said it is important to find multilateral solutions to address the underlying fragilities that were exposed by the pandemic. She stressed that the UN's focus is on developing countries.
Also participating in the meeting were the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which are mobilizing $1 trillion - $175 billion and $13 billion respectively in COVID-19 relief. The multi-billion dollar Green Climate Fund, which has already suspended debt repayments for the next six months, is also being represented.
Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- Policy Brief/World of Work
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- South Sudan
- Women and Girls in Africa
- Sexual Violence in Conflict
POLICY BRIEF/WORLD OF WORK
In a new Policy Brief on COVID-19 and the World of Work released today, the Secretary-General highlighted the dramatic effect that the pandemic is having on jobs, livelihoods and well-being of workers and their families, as well as on businesses.
The Brief notes that in May, about 94 per cent of the world's workers were living in countries with some type of workplace closure measures in place.
Massive losses in working hours, which are equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs, are predicted for the 2nd quarter of 2020. Some 1.25 billion workers are employed in high-risk sectors.
In a video message to launch the brief, the Secretary-General stressed the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world of work upside down. He warned that this crisis in the world of work is adding fuel to an already burning fire of discontent and anxiety.
The Secretary-General noted that women have been especially hard hit and young people, persons with disabilities, and so many others are facing tremendous difficulties. He emphasized that we need action on three fronts, which include immediate support for at-risk workers, enterprises, jobs and incomes to avoid closures, job losses and income decline.
The Secretary-General added that the pandemic exposed tremendous shortcomings, fragilities and fault lines and that the world of work cannot and should not look the same after this crisis.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
The Secretary-General welcomes the agreement reached on 17 June 2020 between the relevant party leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, paving the way for the residents of Mostar to exercise their right to vote for the first time since 2008. This is an important and long-awaited agreement.
The Secretary-General hopes that this positive momentum will enable the necessary legislative processes to unfold in a timely manner, so that the people of Mostar can partake in the country-wide local elections scheduled for later this year. Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- Middle East
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Women and the Global Ceasefire Efforts
- World Health Organization
- Resident Coordinators
Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be addressing the opening of a high-level virtual pledging event for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Something that we have been flagging here almost on a daily basis That event is co-hosted by the United Nations and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It will start at 9:00am New York time and you will be able to watch it on the un web tv platform. Twenty-four million people - that's 80 per cent of the population in Yemen - need aid and protection. The humanitarian operation assists more than 10 million people every month. However, without additional funding, life-saving programmes will soon be forced to reduce or even close in what is the world's largest humanitarian crisis.
A press conference will follow the event at 1:10pm, New York time. Media questions should be submitted in advance and up until two hours before the closing of the event on WhatsApp or by email to our OCHA media colleagues.
Yacoub El-Hillo, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, said over the weekend that he was shocked by the horrific reports about Wednesday's shooting at a smuggling warehouse in Mezda, killing 30 migrants and injuring 11 others.
He said that authorities with influence on the ground in the area where this incident took place have the responsibility to ensure that human smugglers and traffickers are not allowed to continue their inhuman and degrading acts. Such heinous and merciless crimes against helpless individuals should be investigated immediately and those responsible have to be brought to justice.
The Secretary-General notes that the relative calm that characterized election day continues to prevail in Burundi.
He reiterates his call to all parties to ensure that their words and actions promote peace and harmony among all Burundians. The Secretary-General emphasizes that any electoral dispute should be addressed through established legal and constitutional channels under Burundi law.
The Secretary-General reiterates the support of the United Nations to the people and Government of Burundi. Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- DR Congo
- South Sudan
- Senior Appointment
- Briefing Guest Tomorrow
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said that it is encouraged by recent calls on the part of Libyan leaders for the resumption of talks with an aim towards ending the fighting and division. This can pave the way for a comprehensive political solution based on the Libyan Political Agreement and within the framework of the Berlin Conference Conclusions, UN Security Council Resolution 2510, and other relevant resolutions.
In order for talks to resume in earnest however, the Mission said, the guns must be silenced. In that light, the Mission welcomes the calls by international and regional actors in recent days for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya.
The Mission calls on the Libyan parties to engage swiftly and constructively in the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks in order to reach a lasting ceasefire agreement. The 5+5 talks must be accompanied by firm implementation of and respect for the recently renewed UN Arms Embargo on Libya.
The Mission remains alarmed by the harm inflicted on civilian population by the continuing cycle of violence. The recent military movements in Greater Tripoli and in Tarhouna have led to new waves of displacement and suffering of over 16,000 Libyans in just the past few days.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that about 18,500 people have been newly displaced this past weekend from Tarhouna and Sirte following the takeover of Tarhouna by the forces aligned with Libya's Government of National Accord, and in anticipation of further advances on Sirte.
The UN is increasingly concerned about rapidly rising food prices in Syria, where more than 11 million women, children and men urgently need humanitarian assistance. Prices have more than doubled in the last year, rising by 133 per cent across the country. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), 9.3 million people across Syria are food insecure. Food prices have continued to soar. In May, the cost of a standard food basket increased by 11 per cent on average compared to April.
Idlib was the worst impacted governorate, with the highest food prices recorded across all of Syria. The food basket in Idlib registered a 30 per cent increase in food prices in just one month. And at the same time, COVID-19 preventive measures are affecting families' access to incomes. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), agriculture and livestock production has been impacted threatening food security across Syria.
In the face of these increasing needs, humanitarian operations, including food assistance from WFP, are addressing needs on a massive scale. Each month, lifesaving food is distributed to 4.5 million people across Syria's 14 governates. Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- Central Africa
- World Day Against Child Labour
- Verified Initiative
- Financial Contributions
The Secretary-General is concerned about the growing humanitarian and safety crisis facing seafarers around the world. As a result of COVID-related travel restrictions, hundreds of thousands of the world's two million seafarers have been stranded at sea for months. Unable to get off ships, the maximum sea time stipulated in international conventions is being ignored, with some seafarers marooned at sea for 15 months.
Shipping transports more than 80 per cent of the world's trade, including vital medical supplies, food and other basic goods that are critical for the pandemic response and recovery. This ongoing crisis will have a direct consequence on the shipping industry. The world could not function without the efforts of seafarers yet their contributions go largely unheralded; they deserve far greater support at any time but especially now.
The Secretary-General calls on all countries to formally designate seafarers and other marine personnel as "key workers" to ensure crew changeovers can safely take place.
United Nations agencies, including the International Labour Organization and the International Maritime Organization, have worked with the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers Federation to develop protocols for crew changeovers, taking into account of course of full public health concerns. The Secretary-General calls on all governments to urgently implement these protocols, allowing stranded seafarers to repatriate and others to join.
The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Central Africa, François Louncény Fall, told the Security Council that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of citizens, as well as the functioning of States and regional institutions in Central Africa. The resulting economic crisis disproportionately affects the subregion of Central Africa, where many countries are oil producers. As governments are forced to choose between the urgent public health priorities, they risk lacking the resources needed for the smooth functioning of national institutions and the financing of crucial reforms. Mr. Lounceny-Fall highlighted the efforts of regional Governments and organizations to counter the virus. But, he added, the persistence of armed conflict in some parts of Central Africa undermines our efforts to respond to challenges posed by the pandemic. The Special Representative condemned deliberate attacks on civilians, and the destruction of private property and public infrastructure, including hospitals.