Around the world: Daily updates from UN country teams - April 2023
05 April 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, 28 April
Peru: Concerns about refugees and migrants stranded in Tacna, in southern Peru
We have an update from Peru. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are concerned about the serious situation in Tacna, in southern Peru, where refugees and migrants are stranded, in many cases without food, water, shelter or healthcare, facing increased risks, for the past three months. Our colleagues warn that among the most vulnerable people are separated families, unaccompanied children and adolescents, and also people with critical and chronic illnesses who have been forced to sleep on the streets due to lack of accommodation. The risks towards women, girls and the LGTBIQ+ community have also increased, with reported cases of sexual abuse. To tackle this emergency our colleagues and partners are reinforcing the assistance response to people stranded and in transit, providing guidance, distributing emergency kits and food, hydration, monitoring the border to identify vulnerable family groups, coordinating with partners on the ground to provide shelter to the most vulnerable people and healthcare, among other essential support. UNHCR is also working to identify those who need international protection. Our team urges all governments to continue investing resources so that refugees and migrants can fully integrate into their host communities. Link to joint statement in Spanish.
Wednesday, 26 April
Honduras: Access to health services limited due to seizures of facilities by protesters
Our UN team in Honduras, led by Resident Coordinator Alice Shackelford, expressed their deep concern about the current situation in various health centres in the country, where access to services for the population has been limited due to seizures of facilities by protesting groups. Our colleagues on the ground worry that several health centres are unable to meet people’s needs, in some cases for the past 13 days, while others remain closed for over 30 days. Our team recognizes the fundamental right of the people to organize peaceful protests. In turn, access to health is also a fundamental human right. We are urging the parties involved to hold a peaceful and constructive dialogue to address concerns and demands, while calling for open access to health services and supplies, as well as any other right of the population, without interruptions or obstacles that prevent its exercise. Statement in Spanish available here.
Zambia: Tackling the grave impacts of cycles of droughts and floods
In Zambia, our UN team led by Resident Coordinator Beatrice Mutali is supporting authorities to tackle the grave impacts of cycles of droughts and floods leaving some 373,600 people affected this year. To save lives and livelihoods, our team is boosting social assistance and drought relief to over 1 million households through an initiative with the International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Bank. Our team is delivering cash transfers alongside the provision of social services like health insurance, livelihood training, and sexual and reproductive health services. Through this disbursement system, authorities are also providing drought relief to nearly 80,000 households in 12 districts. Our colleagues are also facilitating direct lifesaving cash support to children under the age of three, reaching nearly 13,000 families. In addition, ILO and UNICEF supported the certification of nearly 14,000 persons with disabilities, enabling their enrolment in cash transfer programmes and allowing them to meet their basic needs and access a range of benefits.
Monday, 24 April
Botswana: Two immunization campaigns targeting children, following a recent polio outbreak
Following a recent polio outbreak in Botswana our UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Zia Choudhury, has just supported authorities to roll out two urgent immunization campaigns targeting children under the age of seven: one at the end of February and one at the end of last month. Nearly 30 districts were targeted with house-to-house visits and immunization efforts in health centers. During the first round of the campaign, our colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported the vaccination of over 360,000 children – that’s over 80 per cent of all children under the age of seven –with nearly the same number reached during the second round of the national campaign. UNICEF also helped purchase over 22,000 doses of a novel Oral Polio Vaccine and is deploying several consultants to boost national immunization efforts.
Thursday, 20 April
Haiti: UN, host authorities sign 5-year UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework
This morning our UN Resident Coordinator in Haiti, Ms. Ulrika Richardson, signed with host authorities the five-year UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Haiti – a roadmap to boost sustainable development and address the root causes of instability in the next five years. With this Framework, the UN in the country will be investing an estimated US$ 1 billion of which 40% are available resources and 60% are yet to be mobilized. This joint roadmap, aligned with national priorities, will focus on a number of areas including governance, security and the rule of law, inclusive economic transformation, social services and the environment. The signing of the Framework complements the recent launch of the 2023 humanitarian response plan for Haiti by the UN which aims to reach 3.2 million people with multisectoral and humanitarian assistance. In her statement, Ulrika Richardson stressed that this new roadmap marks a new chapter in the history between Haiti and the UN. She commended the Government for its partnership and emphasized the United Nations’ commitment to strengthening the integration of humanitarian, development and peace efforts. Links to press releases: En | Fr
Yemen: Scores lose their lives in a stampede outside the Old City of Sana'a
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, has made the following statement on the stampede in Yemen: “I am deeply saddened that scores of people lost their lives in a stampede outside the Old City of Sana’a yesterday. Initial reports indicate that 78 people died in the incident and as many were injured. This tragedy is particularly painful coming at the time of Eid al-Fatr, which is normally a joyous time for families to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan. I offer my sincere condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and wish all those who were injured a speedy recovery. The UN has been in contact with the Sana’a authorities to offer support.” Links to statement: En | Ar
Wednesday, 19 April
Côte d’Ivoire: Rising conflicts between farmers and pastoralists in the north-western region
Our UN team in Côte d’Ivoire, led by Resident Coordinator Philippe Poinsot, is supporting authorities to address the impacts of rising conflicts between farmers and pastoralists in the north-western region, which is worryingly risking security and socio-economic stability in border regions. To tackle this, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) are implementing with authorities a US$2 million initiative backed by the Peace Building Fund, supporting national capacities to anticipate and prevent conflicts between pastoralists and farmers over crop damage, livestock theft, and water pollution, which are becoming increasingly violent. Also, IOM deployed an innovative tool this year to track livestock movement. Using this data, the two UN entities established early warning systems in 20 villages, helping local authorities monitor cattle movement, pre-empting calamities through discussions with local communities, and suggesting alternative routes. Our FAO colleagues also started restoring four cattle parks, four water points, and a cross-border cattle market, investing half a million dollars to support women and youth groups with training and funding to boost livelihoods, benefiting around 10,000 people in one of the poorest parts of the country.
Tuesday, 18 April
Tanzania: Responding to the Marburg virus outbreak
The UN Country Team in Tanzania, led by the Resident Coordinator Zlatan Milisic, has been collaborating with the Ministry of Health and other partners to respond to the outbreak of the Marburg virus, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, declared on March 21. The UN response has since included deploying health experts, mobilizing funds, and supplying medical equipment. To protect critical frontline health workers, World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also provided about two metric tons of personal protective wear. They also continue to raise awareness in the country about the Marburg virus, by providing information on how to recognize symptoms and how to report possible cases. These efforts reached more than 15,000 people so far. Additionally, with support from WHO, the Government of Tanzania established a mobile laboratory in the Kagera region to detect and respond to potential outbreaks preemptively.
Monday, 17 April
Peru: Supporting authorities to tackle the impact of heavy rains
Our UN team in Peru, led by Resident Coordinator Igor Garafulic, is supporting authorities to tackle the impacts of heavy rains in northern Peru, which have killed over 80 people and affected nearly 250,000. Just last week a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, led by the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), deployed experts to the three most affected regions to strengthen humanitarian networks, support the efforts of local authorities to improve shelter services and assess damages and needs. Also, our UN team continues to roll out lifesaving assistance, and technical and logistical support. Our humanitarian colleagues estimate that some 517,000 people will need urgent assistance. Our colleagues have distributed hundreds of kits to meet basic needs such as food, health, hygiene, and water. A World Food Programme (WFP)-backed food cash transfer initiative has supported more than 2,000 families, providing logistical support to mobilize more than 1,000 tons of essential goods. Also, the UN Children Fund (UNICEF) has been providing preventive and therapeutic treatment for acute malnutrition, while the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have been supporting camp management and coordination. For its part, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) is assisting with epidemiological surveillance, risk communication, and the continuity of health services.
Tuesday, 11 April
The Gambia: Responding to heavy floods
Our team in The Gambia, led by Resident Coordinator Seraphine Wakana, has been supporting the National Disaster Management Agency to respond to heavy floods for the past eight months, in close collaboration with the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). During this period, the World Food Programme (WFP) rolled out a cash-based emergency food assistance programme, helping 38,500 flood-affected people meet basic food and nutrition needs with through a US$650,000 allocation from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). For their part, the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene assistance provided access to safe water for flood-affected households, distributed Water Sanitation and Hygiene kits and rehabilitated or constructed emergency water facilities and latrines to 42,200 people, using $350,000 allocated from the CERF. Our colleagues on the ground are also boosting preparedness for future climate-related disasters. Since February, an OCHA advisor has been working with the National Disaster Management Agency to strengthen information management and coordination mechanisms that involve the Red Cross, several governmental and non-governmental partners, and our UN team on the ground.
Thursday, 6 April
Ethiopia: Vaccinating thousands of children and vulnerable populations in Tigray
Our UN team in Ethiopia, led by Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Catherine Sozi, is working to vaccinate thousands of children and vulnerable populations in Tigray, to close the immunization gap resulting from lack of access to services due to the two-year conflict. Our colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and national health authorities are rolling out a Measles Supplemental Immunization Activity that kicked off just last week for a period of 12 days. Our team and partners plan to vaccinate over 830,000 children under the age of five in 76 districts in Tigray, which were, for the most part, inaccessible. Supply of Vitamin A, deworming activities, and malnutrition screenings for children under five and pregnant and lactating mothers, are also part of this campaign. In addition, our team and authorities conducted a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the first three months of this year, reaching more than 1.2 million people in the region.
Wednesday, 5 April
Liberia: Farmington River Declaration 2023
Leaders from 27 political parties in Liberia signed on 4 April the “Farmington River Declaration 2023” in which they pledged their commitment to peaceful, transparent, and credible elections for the upcoming presidential and legislative polls in October 2023. Signatories committed to uphold peaceful elections, respect the rule of law, and resolve disputes through legal means.
President George Weah signed as a political leader and standard-bearer. Ms. Giovanie Biha, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Acting Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, and Mr. Omar Alieu Touray, the ECOWAS Commission President, attended the ceremony.
The UN Team, led by the Resident Coordinator in Liberia, Ms. Christine Umutoni, has been providing support to Liberia in boosting democracy, peace, and stability during the electoral period, in partnership with ECOWAS and other international partners. The Minister of Justice chairs the National Steering Committee on Elections, which is also co-chaired by the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Liberia and the UN Resident Coordinator. UNDP is supporting a platform to coordinate electoral support. Other UN agencies such as UN Women, UNFPA, OHCHR and UNESCO play vital roles in enhancing women’s participation, combating gender-based violence, monitoring human rights and hate speech. The Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund is supporting programmes aimed at fostering a conducive electoral environment.
Peru: Supporting authorities in responding to heavy rains and floods
The UN team in Peru, led by Resident Coordinator Igor Garafulic, is supporting the authorities in their response to the ongoing heavy rains and floods that have left more than half a million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Facing the pressing needs of the population, UN colleagues on the ground have been supporting with food, access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, social protection, early recovery, disease prevention and access to education. The National Disaster Management Agency (INDECI) reported that, so far, 32,000 people have received humanitarian aid. Among others, UN initiatives include emergency cash transfers and logistical support for essential goods transfers made by the World Food Programme (WFP) to more than 1,000 families and nutritional monitoring and treatment of acute malnutrition by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Various UN Peru entities have distributed of hundreds of kits with basic necessities such as food, health, hygiene and water; technical assistance for the management of shelters led by the UN agencies on refugees (UNHCR) and migration (IOM); and support to continued access to health services by the Pan American Health Organisation and WHO.
Interested in more? Check out previous daily updates from UN teams 'around the world':