Editor’s note: Here is a quick picture of what the international community has done in the past week, seen from the UN’s perch.
UN appeals for safe corridors in Ukraine for civilian, humanitarian
On Monday, the UN humanitarian chief appealed for safe passage for civilians fleeing Ukraine and for humanitarian supplies delivering emergency aid to the country, as humanitarian needs continued to grow rapidly.
80,000 Ukrainian women will give birth in the next three months
As healthcare facilities in Ukraine are increasingly targeted at Russia, the United Nations Population Fund said on Thursday that some 80,000 women will give birth in the next three months and need to be protected.
Human rights are deteriorating in northern Ethiopia as the Tigray conflict spreads
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday that her office had documented the killings and injuries of hundreds of civilians in northern Ethiopia due to airstrikes by the Ethiopian government. At the same time, she said that the Tigrayan forces and other armed groups have carried out devastating attacks in Afar and Amhara, resulting in large numbers of dead and hundreds injured.
Syrian civil war enters its 12th year
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that courage must be shown to reach a political solution to Syria’s civil war. “We can not disappoint the Syrian people. The conflict must end,” he said in a statement marking 11 years of unrest.
– Ukrainians and third-country nationals have poured out of Ukraine this week as Russia escalates its air and land war. In just two weeks, more than 2.5 million people – mainly women, children and the elderly – have sought refuge in Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania and other European countries. A small number have also gone to Russia and its ally Belarus. Almost 2 million more are on the run in Ukraine. The UN has warned that the number of displaced people inside and outside the country could rise to 10 million if the war does not end.
– The UN confirmed this week that Ukraine is withdrawing all its 308 peacekeeping forces from six UN missions to bring them home. The main presence is 250 military and eight helicopters in MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN was looking at the effects of their resignation and would talk to other countries about replacing them. Another 58 Ukrainian peacekeepers are deployed on missions in South Sudan, Mali, Cyprus, Abyei and Kosovo.
– A report from the UN Office for Human Rights has found that hostilities and civilian casualties in Afghanistan have decreased sharply since the Taliban took power in August. But it also says that the human rights situation for many Afghans has worsened and that 20 million people are suffering from acute hunger.
“All these women who give birth in makeshift shelters, in subway stations, in the basements of buildings – often without skilled attendants – all these women are also victims of war.”
Jaime Nadal, UN Population Fund representative in Ukraine, in a briefing with reporters on Thursday.
What we look at next week
Yemen is entering its seventh year of conflict this month and the resulting humanitarian crisis has left nearly 21 million people in dire need of help. In recent weeks, the World Food Program has had to cut rations due to funding shortfalls. The UN will host a pledge conference on March 16 with Sweden and Switzerland in the hope of raising sufficient funds to avoid the situation slipping into starvation this year.