Around the world: Daily updates from UN country teams - June 2023
01 June 2023
Our UN teams are on the ground in 162 countries and territories, coordinating joint programmes and tackling a range of multi-faceted priorities and key initiatives on a daily basis — from climate action and food security to gender equality and safety of civilians. UN Resident Coordinators and their teams utilize innovative approaches to problem-solving to better serve communities. Below are some highlights of their work this month.
Friday, 30 June
Zambia: UN team provides technical & material support to the Government following an upsurge in COVID-19 cases
Following an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in Zambia in the last few weeks, with a positivity rate of 7 percent, our UN team led by the Resident Coordinator, Beatrice Mutali, has provided technical and material support to the Government in the response. The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, are supporting the rehabilitation and servicing of three Medical Oxygen Plants at three main hospitals in three different provinces. In addition, UNICEF has reactivated the distribution of personal protective equipment previously donated to local health authorities, including about 400,000 masks, 1 million gowns, 855,000 gloves, 78,000 goggles, and 42,000 face shields. For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) is providing technical support to heighten and strengthen surveillance, restocking laboratories with test kits and reagents and monitoring the COVID-19 variants being detected.
Friday, 23 June
Ukraine: UNDP Administrator, as vice-chair of the UNSDG, addresses conference about UN team's work, including response to destruction of Kakhovka dam
Yesterday, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, as vice-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), addressed the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London. He flagged the UN team’s collaboration with the Government of Ukraine and civil society, to provide immediate life-saving humanitarian assistance. This includes our work in response to the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, with food, water and cash assistance and the ongoing multi-partner post-disaster needs assessment coordinated by the UN with the World Bank, European Union, Government, and Kyiv School of Economics. He also highlighted the UN team’s commitment to community-driven recovery, leveraging the operational presence of 24 UN entities and 3,000 personnel, to reconstruct housing, schools, medical facilities, undertake demining, and support local authorities to build their capacity to manage inclusive recovery and reconstruction in the future. Steiner highlighted the UN's efforts to revive the local private sector, helping numerous businesses and individuals in relaunching or relocating. He also stressed our continued commitment to community-level recovery, which layers and sequences humanitarian, development, and social cohesion interventions, counting on continued international assistance. (Full remarks are on UN Ukraine's website - ukraine.un.org)
Egypt: UN team addressing food insecurity challenges, worsened by disrupted grain exports from Russia & Ukraine and increasing fuel imports
In Egypt, our UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Elena Panova, is addressing food insecurity challenges, worsened by disrupted grain exports from Russia and Ukraine and increasing fuel import costs. With food prices surging by over 60 per cent this year and a significant portion of the population living below the poverty line, our team supports vulnerable groups, including migrants, refugees, and the impoverished, through cash transfers, vouchers, and food distribution. From January to April, we provided nearly 130 metric tons of food, and this assistance has intensified over the past three months due to the Sudan conflict. To date, more than 120,000 displaced Sudanese families in Egypt receive essential aid, such as food, water, health services, and cash assistance, facilitated by the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the World Health Organization, and UNICEF. WFP is also distributing daily snacks to primary school students and fortified date bars to 118,000 community school children in 11 local governments. Additionally, our team focuses on enhancing food security systems by evaluating land productivity, water resources, and modernizing irrigation techniques. We also support approximately 4,600 vulnerable smallholder farmers by providing fertilizers, loans, and training to improve their livelihoods.
Monday, 19 June
Egypt: Tackling food insecurity through cash transfers, vouchers, and food distribution to targeted populations, including displaced communities
With almost 28 million people suffering from a context of increasing food insecurity in Egypt, our UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Elena Panova, is supporting and complementing government programmes to tackle this with cash transfers, vouchers, and food distribution to targeted populations, including 130,000 beneficiaries from migrant and refugee communities, which are witnessing a significant increase since the conflict in Sudan. More than 120,000 displaced Sudanese families in Egypt are being supported with critical food, water and cash assistance. The World Food Programme also distributes daily snacks to primary school students to reduce short-term hunger, along with 650 MT of fortified date bars to 118,000 community school children across 11 governorates on an annual basis. The UN has furthermore prioritised policy support to the agricultural sector to increase food system resilience and productivity. Food and Agricultural Organization recently signed three agreements with the Government and development partners to survey the productivity of land and water resources via remote sensing and to modernize irrigation techniques to improve the quality of life for small farmers in Upper Egypt – one of the groups most vulnerable to socio-economic and climate-related risks.
Friday, 16 June
Haiti: Mobilizing action and resources for food and security at a high-level Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) meeting
A high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on the challenges of food and security in Haiti is taking place here today, chaired by Ms. Lachezara Stoeva, President of ECOSOC. Haitian authorities, Member State representatives, Prime Ministers from Caribbean nations, and UN leaders committed to mobilizing action and resources for food security in Haiti, calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with the Haitian people and contribute to appeals for funds, especially in the wake of the recent floods and earthquake. Participants stressed that the current food security crisis is not only the consequence of growing insecurity but also of a historic dismantling of incentives for local production. Almost half the population is facing acute hunger, according to Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, while nearly a quarter of Haitian children are severely malnourished, risking grave long-term consequences, warned Catherine Russel, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund. Speaking from Port au Prince, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident, and Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Ulrika Richardson said that addressing the root causes of instability and restoring social and economic well-being in Haiti can be achieved through promoting food sovereignty. Our team on the ground is concerned that this year’s $719 million humanitarian response plan is only 20 per cent funded.
Friday, 9 June
Peru: Protecting people affected by El Niño climate conditions, heavy rains, and dengue fever
Our UN team in Peru, led by Resident Coordinator Igor Garafulic, has urgently redirected US$3 million to support the Government´s efforts to protect 140,000 people affected by El Niño climate conditions. The UN's Central Emergency Fund has also allocated $7 million to expand assistance to 245,000 people impacted by heavy rains on the northern coast. Over 711,000 people require urgent aid, particularly for food, water services, sanitation, health, and protection. More than 37,000 houses were destroyed, leaving 93,000 people homeless. The rise in dengue fever is a growing concern, with cases increasing 74 per cent compared to last year. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is focusing on preventing gender-based violence, offering support and dignity kits to over 2,000 women and adolescents. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is providing safe water, hygiene kits, school kits, and nutritional surveillance to detect malnutrition, while the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has supported nearly 13,000 people with shelters, hygiene and housing kits. For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) is redirecting 2,000 metric tons of goods, providing cash transfers for food to assist affected families. We thank Canada, Germany, and the United States for their contribution to these efforts. (Full Press Release in Spanish)
Tuesday, 6 June
Turkiye: From response to recovery, 4 months after devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Today marks four months after the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake near the Türkiye-Syria border, followed by another one nearly as strong. The earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria caused one of the biggest disasters to impact the region in recent times. Led by Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Alvaro Rodrigues, our colleagues on the ground activated a Humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up Activation for the Türkiye earthquake response for an initial three-month period, followed by inter-agency work on multipurpose cash assistance to address people’s immediate needs. More than four million people have been reached with some form of humanitarian assistance, with partners providing in-kind goods and services through the government to reach more than 2.3 million people. Some 2.9 million people have been reached with items including tents, relief housing units, toolkits, and tarpaulins. Hot meals and soup kitchens have reached approximately 2.1 million people through nearly 380 mobile kitchens. Also, education activities have been ongoing in nearly 1800 learning spaces and repairs to almost 1,300 damaged. The water and sanitation sector has reached over 2.4 million people with assistance in earthquake-affected areas, delivering 2.8 million liters of potable water, and distributing more than 340,000 hygiene kits. With the end of the Flash Appeal period on 17 May 2023, the UN Türkiye team is engaged to transition from response to recovery, the UN team works with local and national authorities to support the ongoing recovery efforts.
Thursday, 1 June
Bangladesh: Concerns over monthly food voucher reductions for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar
Our UN team in Bangladesh is deeply concerned over the recent reduction of monthly food vouchers for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar. It’s the second cut in three months, resulting in a 33 per cent reduction in daily rations. With each food voucher valued at as little as US$8 per person per month (less than 10 cents per meal), refugees are faced with difficult choices to make ends meet. Parents are sacrificing their own meals to ensure their children can eat. Approximately 1 million refugees, who have no employment opportunities, are heavily reliant on aid for their livelihoods. Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis urgently appeals for international support as the World Food Programme (WFP) has been forced to reduce food aid. Funding for basic health services, nutrition, food, and education for Rohingya refugees is less than a quarter of what is needed. Also, the refugees are barred from working and depend entirely on the international community for support. These cuts come at a time when the Rohingya are still recovering from the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha and the devastating fires that struck the camps this year, leaving thousands in desperate need. For the full press release, visit the UN Bangladesh website. (Full Press Release)
Interested in more? Check out previous daily updates from UN teams 'around the world':