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.
Tuesday, 29 November
Indonesia: Earthquake response
Our UN team in Indonesia, led by Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand, continue to support authorities to address the impacts of the earthquake that struck West Java last Monday. The number of deaths has risen to 321, according to official figures, with almost 600 people seriously injured. Nearly 74,000 people—more than half of them women—are displaced, including over 90 persons with disabilities and over 1200 pregnant women. Over 62,000 houses, 400 schools and 14 hospitals were heavily damaged, with the Government preparing a 2-hectare area—equivalent to nearly three soccer fields—to relocate the affected population. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has been supporting reproductive health through the distribution of 350 customized kits to affected women, dignity kits for pregnant women, newborns, and older female persons. Adolescent girls and boys also received dignity kits and other products tailored for those living with HIV. UNFPA has also deployed midwives and established a reproductive health centre, enabling women to give birth to three babies so far. Our UN team continues promoting prevention of violence throughout the response and across the country, as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
Monday, 28 November
In Malawi, our UN team, led by acting Resident Coordinator Maria Do Valle Ribeiro, is kicking off a campaign today, boosting support to authorities to respond to a cholera outbreak. Nearly 10,000 cholera cases have been confirmed so far, claiming nearly 300 lives. That’s an overall case fatality rate of 3.1 percent, which is much higher than the acceptable threshold of 1 percent. All 29 districts have reported cholera cases since the first case was confirmed eight months ago. Through the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO), our team on the ground has secured approval for 2.9 million oral cholera vaccine doses to protect at-risk populations and contribute to the control of the outbreak in 14 districts. Through our campaign, WHO is helping authorities train healthcare workers by targeting the 14 most affected districts. We expect to reach 400 trainers, who will cascade to 2,500 vaccinators and 5,125 volunteers. For its part, UNICEF is disseminating messages on prevention, treatment, and care to 2.5 million people across the country through national and community radio stations. UNICEF and WHO are working closely with authorities to distribute information materials across the country.
Wednesday, 23 November
Our UN team in Chad, led by Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Violette Kakyomya, is working closely with national authorities and partners to respond to unprecedented levels of flooding, affecting more than a million people. More than 100,000 people are in displacement camps, in urgent need of shelter, food and health care. While authorities have been leading the response and mobilizing national resources, the UN team has mobilized further resources, including US$9 million, from the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund. The World Food Programme (WFP) has so far provided food assistance to nearly 240,000 people. The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have provided shelter for 20,000 people. For their part, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) are providing vital health support. Over 25,000 women and girls have benefitted from reproductive health and gender-based violence support services. A total of 70,000 people, including 31,000 children in displaced camps, have access to lifesaving medicine and mosquito nets. Over 25 Temporary Learning Spaces and educational kits have been offered to flood-affected children by UNICEF and the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Also, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are focusing on a swift and resilient recovery. With water levels continuing to rise in other areas, like the Lake Chad province, Ms. Kakyomya is calling for urgent support to Chad to cover the estimated US$30 million gap.
Monday, 21 November
Argentina: Passing of human rights activist Hebe de Bonafini
In Argentina, our UN team joined many in the country and across the region to mourn the passing of Hebe de Bonafini, a human rights activist who co-founded the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo movement to search for missing people, including children, during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. Our team on the ground added that they value her fight for memory, truth, and justice, and expressed condolences to her family and loved ones. Below is the original tweet from the UN team in Argentina.
Our Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, Valerie Julliand, expressed profound sadness by the loss of lives and injuries caused by the earthquake in the Cianjur District in West Java today. She said our UN team on the ground and the regional team of the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs are standing by to assist as required. Below is the original tweet from the RC in Indonesia.
Friday, 18 November
Brazil: The Brazilian Amazon
We have good news from our UN team in Brazil, led by Resident Coordinator Silvia Rucks, as they just launched this week at COP 27 a new financing scheme to promote sustainable development of the Brazilian Amazon. The new UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Sustainable Development in the Legal Amazon is an innovative mechanism to mobilize resources to benefit the most vulnerable population in the Amazon. It will boost sustainable livelihoods, protecting means and ways of life, helping guarantee physical, health, energy, climate and food security. This new Fund is a partnership between our team in Brazil and the Interstate Consortium of the Legal Amazon, which gathers the local governments of nine Brazilian states. The Brazilian Amazon is home to 12 per cent of the country’s population and covers nearly 60 per cent of its territory. UN Resident Coordinator Silvia Rucks highlighted the focus on the Amazon population to help communities manage their ecosystem, creating inclusive economic activities. Working with local authorities, a top priority will be environmental governance to reduce illegal activities and support sustainable settlements and cities.
Tuesday, 8 November
Sri Lanka: Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan
In Sri Lanka, our UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, has revised its Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan (HNP), which now aims to provide assistance to 3.4 million people and continues through this December. Since June, this Plan has been responding to the Government's request for UN-backed multi-sector support for Sri Lanka amid its worst socioeconomic crisis since independence. Landmark backing from donors has helped the humanitarian community reach over 1 million people over the past couple of months with cash, food, school meals, medicine, protection, and livelihood support. While joint UN efforts with partners have raised around US$78 million so far to tackle needs, the revamped Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan’s expected funding target is of nearly US$150million [[US $149.7 million)]. Among the revised targets are immediate food assistance for 2.4 million vulnerable and food-insecure people, and support for 1.5 million farmers and fisher people to revive food systems that have been severely disrupted. The Resident Coordinator flagged that at this point, safeguarding livelihoods is safeguarding lives. She thanked the international community and called on continuous support to address Sri Lankans’ pressing needs.
Monday, 7 November
Afghanistan: Climate change
Yesterday our UN team in Afghanistan, led by Resident Coordinator Ramiz Alakbarov, called for urgent collective action to halt the devastating impact of the climate change in the country. He warned that Afghanistan is one of the least prepared countries against climate shocks and is ranked the sixth most affected in the world to climate-related threats. He called on all sides to find common ground and called on support from the international community as Afghans do not have time to wait, he warned. The UN team, through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is supporting community-based approaches to land and forest management, promoting biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and rangeland productivity. Also, the World Food Programme (WFP) has provided food insure households cash or food-based transfer to address their immediate food needs, freeing up their time to build or rehabilitate assets, such as constructing and rehabilitating 720 km irrigation canals, planting 1.4 million trees, establishing nearly 600 small-scale vegetable and fruit gardens, nearly 170 water ponds, constructing almost 11 km flood protection walls, safeguarding 13,000 hectares of land and improving road and market access for 2,000 villages. For its part, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is boosting disaster risk reduction measures, building flood protection walls, rehabilitating canals and providing solar panels in schools, health clinics and more. In addition, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing clean cooking devices to 4,700 families, clean and affordable electricity to 18,000 people and small businesses; solar electricity, and hot water systems to 46 clinics benefiting about 26,000 patients, doctors and staff. UNDP also conducted training to nearly 40 private sector companies for the effective use of renewable energy devices. The full statement can be found here.
Wednesday, 2 November
Zambia: COVID-19 vaccination coverage
A positive update from our UN team in Zambia, where the country celebrated yesterday (1 November) the attainment of 70 percent full COVID-19 vaccination coverage – a huge progress from less than 3 percent 12 months ago. This translates into over 8 million people of the targeted adult population vaccinated. The UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Beatrice Mutali, has been contributing to the success. With the support of the World Health Organization, authorities upgraded the COVID-19 server, procured over 1,000 tactile tablets, provided guidelines for service delivery and vaccine safety, and vaccination cards, strengthened COVID-19 surveillance, and tracked adverse effects and safety of recipients through a strengthened health system. For its part, the UN Children’s Fund supported the provision of over 20 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines, such as AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Sinopharm, Moderna and Pfizer. UNICEF also strengthened cold chain systems, including procurement and installation of an ultra-cold chain facility that can store up to 600,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine; and 10 additional ultra-cold chain equipment installed at the provincial level that can store up to 2 million Pfizer doses.
Tuesday, 1 November
Myanmar: Safety of civilians
In Myanmar, our UN team is concerned that ongoing hostilities continue to endanger the safety of civilians. More than 1.1 million people have now been newly displaced by conflict and insecurity since the military takeover in February 2021, bringing the total number of internally displaced people to more than 1.4 million. In the states of Rakhine and southern Chin, indiscriminate attacks impacting civilians, the use of landmines and mortar shelling and new access restrictions since the renewed fighting between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Arakan Army (AA) are putting people’s lives in danger and preventing lifesaving assistance from reaching people in need. Currently, more than 90,000 people remain displaced due to past and present conflict. In addition to the conflict, the costs of basic commodities continue to compromise food security. An estimated 15.2 million people are now severely and moderately food insecure, leading to extreme coping measures. The humanitarian response remains drastically underfunded with less support received so far in 2022 than at the same time in 2021, despite the dramatic surge in needs and inflation. As of last week, the Humanitarian Response Plan was only 22 per cent funded, leaving a gap of US$643 million. Consequently, partners are being forced to prioritize assistance to people in most need and there are shortages of stocks in some parts of the country.
Interested in more? Check out previous daily updates from UN teams 'around the world':