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  • UN agencies partner with Government of Djibouti in effort to achieve SDGs

    DJIBOUTI, 23 July 2017 � World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake met President Ismail Omar Guelleh today and discussed United Nations cooperation with Djibouti.

    The UN chiefs discussed their commitment to support the Government to accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and Djibouti’s key role in responding to humanitarian crises in the region.

    The country has made significant progress to improve people’s health, particularly among children and women. Under-five and maternal mortality have been cut by half in the last two decades. Equitable and efficient health programs are essential, especially reinforcing Universal Health Coverage and intensifying the fight against possible epidemics, such as cholera, by effective surveillance and preparedness, said WHO’s Dr. Tedros.

    Lake said UNICEF and the two other organizations would support Djibouti’s efforts to reach the SDGs, focusing on malnutrition, particularly among children, health and access to safe water and sanitation.

    Here in Djibouti and everywhere, investing in nutrition is one of the most cost-effective ways governments can protect children’s lives and futures — and support the long-term growth of their societies, he said. This means working together across sectors — including health, water, hygiene and sanitation, agriculture and even social protection — to reach every child at risk. We encourage Djibouti to join the Scaling Up Nutrition movement — and join the growing global movement to end malnutrition in all its forms.

    WFP head Beasley praised the strategic and central role played by the Republic of Djibouti in helping the UN respond to humanitarian crises in the region, including the crisis in Yemen.

    The delivery of food, vaccines, drugs and other life-saving assistance to address emergencies depend on the logistics facilities that Djibouti offers to UN agencies, Beasley said. Djibouti plays and will continue to play a key role in providing vital logistics for responses to both emergencies and development needs.

    They also discussed a new UN Development Assistance Framework 2018-2022 to be submitted shortly for approval by Djibouti. It aims for greater synergy and complementarity among UN agencies, funds and programmes to support Government efforts and increase the multiplier effect of contributions to development.

    Source: World Food Programme

  • Red Cross Chief Visits Besieged City on Yemen’s Front Lines

    CAIRO The chief of the international Red Cross has made a rare visit to the front lines in Yemen, taking a dirt road on Monday to reach the besieged western of Taiz, devastated by more than two years of fighting.The visit by Peter Maurer, the head of …

  • Yemen’s President Sacks Governor Accused of Ties to al-Qaida

    SANAA � Yemen’s president has sacked a governor who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for his ties with al-Qaida.

    The presidential decree by Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi was issued on Sunday. Hadi removed the governor of the central province of al-Bayda, Nayef al-Qaysi, and named Salah al-Rassass as his replacement.

    Bayda is a known al-Qaida hotbed, and where the U.S. had carried out airstrikes and raids in the past years hunting the group’s operatives.

    Al-Qaysi was classified by the U.S. as a “specially designated global terrorist” over allegations that he financed the group.

    Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemen affiliate is known, has long been seen as the global network’s most dangerous branch, and has been implicated in a number of attempted attacks on the U.S. homeland.

    Source: Voice of America


    More than 600,000 people are expected to contract cholera in Yemen this year, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Sunday as the war-torn country’s healthcare system faces collapse. One in every 45 Yemenis will have contracted the disea…

  • ‘The time to act is now;’ end children’s suffering in Iraq and across the Middle East – UNICEF

    Calling for immediate care and protection for children caught up in violence in Iraq’s war torn Mosul and other Middle East conflicts, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today warned that the lives and futures of some 27 million across the region and parts of Africa are at risk.

    The worst of the violence in Mosul may be over but for too many children in Mosul and in the region, extreme suffering continues, said, Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    As for recently-liberated Mosul, he said that children in shock continue to be found, some reportedly among the debris or hidden in tunnels. Some have lost their families while fleeing to safety. According to reports, families have been forced to abandon their children or give them away � they are now living in fear, alone.

    Many children have been forced to fight and some to carry out acts of extreme violence, he said, emphasizing: These are horrific times for far too many children in Iraq and other conflict-affected countries in the region.

    UNICEF says that violence and conflicts are putting the lives and futures of nearly 27 million children at risk, impacted by violence in Yemen, inside Syria and refugee hosting countries, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Libya and Sudan, as well as Iraq.

    In the north-eastern city of Ar-Raqqa in Syria, violence has further intensified over the past weeks, with children repeatedly coming under attack. Between 30,000 and 50,000 civilians continue to be trapped in the city as heavy violence continues around them, Mr. Cappelaere explained.

    Moreover, families have described horrific conditions and journeys fraught with danger, sniper fire, landmines and unexploded remnants of war, he added.

    Such horrors are not over even if children escape from immediate danger. They are being detained, abused and stigmatized for perceived affiliations, while tensions are high between and within communities, said Mr. Cappelaere.

    Those children who are alone need our support to help them find their families, be reunited and surrounded with care, protection and services, regardless of their family’s origin or affiliation, he underscored.

    As with any other child in the world, they have the right to be safeguarded, including through legal documentation. Children are children!

    The time to act is now, Mr. Cappelaere said, and asked: How can we build a more stable and prosperous future for all while children are exposed to such horrors and treated this way?

    Source: UN News Centre

  • Iran, Iraq Sign Accord to Boost Military Cooperation

    DUBAI � Iran and Iraq signed an agreement on Sunday to step up military cooperation and the fight against “terrorism and extremism,” Iranian media reported, an accord which is likely to raise concerns in Washington.

    Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan and his Iraqi counterpart Erfan al-Hiyali signed a memorandum of understanding which also covered border security, logistics and training, the official news agency IRNA reported.

    “Extending cooperation and exchanging experiences in fighting terrorism and extremism, border security, and educational, logistical, technical and military support are

    among the provisions of this memorandum,” IRNA reported after the signing of the accord in Tehran.

    Iran-Iraq ties have improved since Iran’s long-time enemy Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003 and an Iraqi government led by Shi’ite Muslims came to power. Iran is mostly a Shi’ite nation.

    U.S. President Donald Trump has voiced concern over what he sees as growing Iranian influence in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, where it is aligned with Shi’ite fighters.

    Tensions between Iran and the United States have heightened since the election of Trump, who has often accused Tehran of backing militant groups and destabilizing the region.

    Earlier this month, Trump said that new threats were emerging from “rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran and Syria and the governments that finance and support them.”

    The U.S. military has accused Iran of stoking violence in Iraq by funding, training and equipping militias. Iran denies this, blaming the presence of U.S. troops for the violence.

    Source: Voice of America

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