` Rebels Massacre Hundreds Killing 200 and Injuring 400 Civilians in Mosque in South Sudan '

#AceWorldNews – SUDAN – April 21 – Rebels in South Sudan massacred “hundreds” of civilians in ethnic killings when they captured the oil town of Bentiu last week, the UN said on Monday.

In the main mosque alone, “more than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded,” the UN mission in the country said, as cited by AFP.

There were also massacres at a church, hospital and an abandoned UN World Food Program (WFP) compound.

South Sudan’s army has been fighting rebels loyal to sacked Vice President Riek Machar, and the conflict has also taken on an ethnic dimension, pitting President Salva Kiir’s Dinka tribe against militia forces from Machar’s Nuer people.

#ANS2014

#bentiu, #south-sudan, #sudan, #un, #wfp, #world-food-programme

#Syria : ” WFP to `Deliver Food’ to `Besieged City of Homs’ ….. Finally”

#AceNewsServices `Parties in Syria‘ conflict agree on aid delivery to Homs.

cropped-header-news-room.jpgSyria’s government and opposition have agreed on the delivery of relief supplies to residents in the besieged city of Homs, media reports say. The UN World Food Program is ready to deliver a month of rations to the Old City of Homs in Syria for 2,500 people once it gets a green light from all sides, WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said Tuesday.

“Once all parties on the ground allow the inter-agency convoy to proceed, WFP will deliver to the Old City 500 family rations and 500 bags of wheat flour, enough for 2,500 people for one month,” Byrs told Reuters.

The UN hub in Homs is preparing an inter-agency aid convoy for the embattled population in the rebel-held city. 

The UN hub in Homs is preparing an inter-agency aid convoy for the embattled population in the rebel-held city.

Editorial Comment: ” About time they stop fighting among themselves and considered the starving families.   

 

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#acenewsservices, #geneva, #homs, #lakhdar-brahimi, #reuters, #syria, #united-nations, #wfp, #world-food-programme

United Nations Official Say’s That Perhaps 250,000 #Syrian’s Maybe Cut Off From Aid in Besieged Communities Across the War-Torn Country #Peace

#AceWorldNews says Reporting “modest progress” with the Syrian Government on speeding up visa issuance and increasing the number of relief distribution hubs, a top United Nations official said the other that with perhaps 250,000 Syrians cut off from aid in besieged communities across the war-torn country, greater efforts are needed to ensure real gains on the humanitarian front.

Security Council“I advised the Security Council that we have seen some modest progress in terms of administrative procedures that had been put in place over time,” said Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as she spoke to reporters after briefing the 15-member body on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

This is her second closed-door meeting with the Council since it adopted, on 2 October, a Presidential Statement urging the Syrian Government to immediately allow humanitarian access to relieve the plight of civilians trapped by heavy fighting, including cross-line aid deliveries.

The statement, which called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, with special attention to key delivery routes, also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million others from their homes since opposition protesters first sought to oust the Government of President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

On the implementation of the statement, Ms. Amos cited progress, for example, in the Government’s decision to grant some 50 visas on an individual basis.

OCHA SyriaDamascus has also given the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) permission to open three additional relief hubs, “but only two of these will actually be helpful to us, because the third being proposed – Al Sweida – will not allow us access into Western Dera’a, which is where the hard-to-reach communities are.”

She also noted that both the Government and the opposition had indicated who the interlocutors are for the UN to try to facilitate humanitarian access.

“However, I did remind the Council that on some of the more difficult areas – protection of civilians, de-militarization of schools and hospitals, access to besieged communities and also cross-line access to hard-to-reach areas – we have not seen any progress.

“I need the Council to continue to make it absolutely clear that targeting civilians is against international humanitarian law and that we need to do greater work to ensure that the recommendations in the Presidential Statement are achieved,” she declared.

Responding to questions, Ms. Amos said that an estimated 250,000 civilians are trapped in besieged communities, while perhaps some 2.5 million were in hard-to-reach areas – places that aid workers have been able to reach but not frequently enough to make any real headway against the overall needs.

Asked if a Council resolution – which carry legal obligations for UN Member States ¬– would improve the situation, Ms. Amos said: “My focus is on how what has already been agreed can be put into effect. Should the Council agree on a resolution, then we will operationalize that.”

Indeed, while the UN and its partners have made gains in reaching civilians across the strife-riven country, in the context of the scale of the crisis, “this is far too few to meet the needs of the people. Of course the issue is what is the best means to reach people in need? For me, the unity of the Security Council is the key here.”

Meanwhile, UN agencies continue pressing ahead with relief efforts, now rushing to fortify desperate civilians against the oncoming winter season.

UNICEFBriefing the press in Geneva today, Marixie Mercado, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned: “The scale of the humanitarian response needed for the looming winter is unprecedented, as the number quadrupled as compared to the previous year.”

She explained that in December 2012, there were approximately 1.15 million children affected by the crisis inside Syria, with an additional 232,000 Syrian children living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

As the conflict approaches its fourth year, those numbers have skyrocketed to 4.3 million and 1.2 million, respectively. UNICEF has worked since early October to equip children as quickly as possible for the cold. Blankets, plastic sheeting, winter clothing and hygiene kits are being distributed, along with wintered tents and fuel to heat classrooms.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ...

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Representation in Cyprus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For its part, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has commenced an emergency airlift of urgently needed winter supplies to reinforce its stockpile in northern Iraq with relief items for up to 50,000 vulnerable Syrians.  A UNHCR-chartered Boeing 777 landed at Erbil airport on Monday carrying 90 metric tons of relief items to help 4,400 families over the winter months, including plastic tarpaulins, thermal blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans and kitchen sets.

“While UNHCR has adequate stocks inside Iraq to meet the immediate needs, we want to ensure that sufficient items are on-hand to address any developments,” said UNHCR’s Amman-based Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Amin Awad. “The relief items we are airlifting will reinforce the UNHCR-led winterization regional response as temperatures are starting to drop across higher altitude areas in the Syria region.”

English: An armored vehicle from the United Na...

English: An armored vehicle from the United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) leads a convoy of UN vehicles in procession carrying the remains of bombing victims from the UN Office of Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (UNOHCI), as the arrive at , , during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The bombing victims remains will be airlifted to their respective home countries for repatriation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP), told reporters that the agency dispatched enough food for over 3.4 million people inside Syria in November, mainly to internally displaced families in 13 governorates, and had reached eight more locations, which had been inaccessible in recent months.

However, she said WFP remains gravely concerned about the fate of many Syrians still trapped in conflict zones throughout the country, including around Damascus and in Al Hassakeh, where some areas have been without food assistance for six consecutive months.

WFP aims to reach 4 million people inside Syria every month, as well as to provide assistance for nearly 1.5 million refugees in neighbouring countries.

 

#aceworldnews, #bashar-al-assad, #damascus, #iraq, #middle-east, #peace, #presidential-statement, #syria, #syrian-government, #syrians, #unhcr, #unicef, #united-nations, #united-nations-high-commissioner-for-refugees, #united-nations-security-council, #world-food-programme

UNCHR and WFP Providing New Grant of £6.3 Million of Lifeline Assistance to Help Congolese Refugee’s

The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of...

The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new £6.3 million grant to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) follows a sharp increase in the number of refugees who have fled fighting and unrest in the North Kivu and Orientale provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo since the start of the year.

Existing aid supplies in the region have been severely depleted following a sharp rise in refugees in the region.

In total, since the beginning of 2012, over 115,000 new Congolese refugees have been assisted in Uganda, with more arriving on a daily basis.

International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

Thousands of families who have fled into Uganda could face hunger and destitution unless aid agencies get the supplies they need. Our support will help families to survive and begin to rebuild their lives.

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version ...

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version made by user Kashmiri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The UK’s funding will allow UNHCR and WFP to continue their support to refugees in in Bundibugyo, Kisoro and Koboko districts in western Uganda along the border with DRC, including transit centres and settlements.

UNHCR and its partners have provided shelter, household items, healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation services, and various protection activities for children and adults while the WFP has provided food rations.

Britain’s support will enable the UNHCR and WFP to continue their support into the first quarter of next year. This will include:

  • Purchase of full food rations for 105,000 refugees for a period of 3 months.
  • Registration, transport, shelter, health services and clean water for 40,000 new arrivals.
  • One health centre and one school constructed and opened in Kyangwali refugee settlement.

WFP provides food that is cooked for refugees while they are at the transit centres, and then provides monthly family rations when they are relocated to settlements.

UNHCR supports refugees countrywide through five transit centres and eight settlements in north and southwest Uganda and in Kampala. Over 65 per cent of the more than 234,000 refugees in Uganda are from the DRC with most of the remainder originating from South Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. About 70 per cent of refugees have arrived in the last five years.

#aceworldnews, #democratic-republic-of-congo, #koboko, #lynne-featherstone, #north-kivu, #uganda, #unhcr, #united-nations-high-commissioner-for-refugees, #world-food-programme

#Philippines: UN boosts Relief Efforts to Respond to Super Typhoon #Haiyan

An average of 20 typhoons a year strike the Philippines. Photo: IRIN/Jason Gutierrez

9 November 2013 – The United Nations is ramping up its relief efforts to respond to the devastation caused by the super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, following Government reports of some 1,200 casualties and an estimated 4.6 million people affected.

“The United Nations agencies in the Philippines, with their humanitarian partners, are supporting the Government and other responders in their efforts to assess the situation and respond rapidly with vital supplies, through the coordination system led by the local authorities,” said Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.

This morning, the UN Disaster Coordination Team (UNDAC) arrived in the city of Tacloban, one of the most affected areas, and reported scenes of total devastation, with all roads from the airport to the town blocked. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have also mobilized their in-country teams to reach those affected.

The Philippines Red Cross said it has received reports of 1,200 deaths in two areas hit by the typhoon, a drastic increase from the three reported yesterday.

“Sadly, it is likely that this figure will rise,” Ms. Amos said. “The Government estimates that some 4.3 million people are affected, across 36 provinces, and initial assessments show that thousands of homes have been destroyed, roads are impassable and people need food, water, shelter and power.”

According to UNICEF, up to 1.7 million children could be affected by Haiyan. The agency has already mobilized its staff to deliver pre-positioned emergency supplies, and is flying in some 60 metric tonnes of additional supplies from Copenhagen, including medical and shelter equipment. They are expected to arrive within the next three days.

“UNICEF’s first priorities are focused on life-saving interventions – getting essential medicines, nutrition supplies, safe water and hygiene supplies to children and families,” said UNICEF’s representative in the Philippines, Tomoo Hozumi.

In addition, the World Food Programme (WFP) has mobilized $2 million for the response, and will be appealing for more funds as the needs become clearer. As a preliminary measure, 40 metric tonnes of high-energy biscuits will be flown in from Dubai in the coming days. These are often provided in the early days of a crisis as they are light to transport and do not need cooking. WFP is also looking at other food commodities to stabilize the nutrition situation.

“The devastation we saw in Tacloban today was shocking,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal. “People have lost their homes and livelihoods, and the damage to infrastructure is substantial.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply saddened by the extensive loss of life and the serious damage to the infrastructure of the country.

“The Secretary-General offers his sincere condolences to the people and Government of the Philippines, particularly to those who have lost family members, their homes or have been otherwise affected by this disaster,” the statement said.

Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, is one of the strongest storms ever recorded, hitting landfall with sustained winds of 295 kilometres per hour (kph), placing it above the 252 (kph) threshold for a Category 5 hurricane, the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. The typhoon is expected to hit Viet Nam later today.

Haiyan is the third major crisis to hit the Philippines in just two months. In October, the Bohol earthquake affected more than 3 million people, triggering landslides engulfing entire homes, ripping apart bridges and tearing down centuries-old churches. Seven cities in three different provinces were initially affected. In September, tens of thousands were forcibly displaced by armed clashes in Zamboanga City in the southern part of the country.

The UN Disaster Coordination Team (UNDAC) reported scenes of total devastation where Haiyan first struck, with all roads from the airport to the town blocked and the only means of travelling being by helicopter.

“The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami,” said the head of UNDAC, Sebastian Rhodes Stampa.

“This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumble weed and the streets are strewn with debris.”

The UNDAC team said it is preparing the groundwork for an inter-agency humanitarian assessment, but expressed concern that relief operations will be “extremely difficult” due to the impassable roads.

Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, is one of the strongest storms ever recorded, hitting landfall with sustained winds of 295 kilometres per hour (kph), placing it above the 252 (kph) threshold for a Category 5 hurricane, the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

The Philippines Red Cross today said it has received reports of 1,200 deaths in two areas hit by the typhoon, a drastic increase from the three reported yesterday. The typhoon has passed over the Philippines and is expected to hit Viet Nam later today.

Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Julie Hall, said the UN is working “very closely” with the Government and is ready to respond in any way to the tragedy.

“We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the Government and the people of the Philippines who have been affected by this devastating typhoon which appears to have caused significant damage across a large tract of the Visayas.”

Haiyan is the third major crisis to hit the Philippines in just two months. In October, the Bohol earthquake affected more than 3 million people, triggering landslides engulfing entire homes, ripping apart bridges and tearing down centuries-old churches. Seven cities in three different provinces were initially affected. In September, tens of thousands were forcibly displaced by armed clashes in Zamboanga City in the southern part of the country.

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#2001-pacific-typhoon-season, #philippine, #philippine-red-cross, #philippines, #tacloban, #the-philippines, #typhoon-haiyan, #unicef, #united-nations, #world-food-programme, #zamboanga-city

UN: #Syrian Refugee Numbers have Reached Over Three Million Many Still Without #Food

English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme i...

English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme in SVG format (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said that it is reaching close to 3.3 million people in Syria – a record for its operations – but many are still without food in areas cut off by fighting, particularly in Damascus and the capital’s besieged suburbs.

“WFP is concerned about the fate of many Syrians trapped in conflict areas and still in need of urgent food assistance,” spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told journalists in Geneva.

“Some 3.3 million has reached in October, but the overall target for WFP for the entire Syria was to reach four million people by the end of December 2013,” the spokesperson added.

Damascus and Rural Damascus remain one of WFP’s biggest challenges due to insecurity and the siege in many conflict areas, said Mr. Byrnes.

People are still trapped in Moadamiyeh, she noted, but the UN agency has not been able to enter the area.

“WFP and UN partners had made nine unsuccessful attempts to reach Moadamiyeh and could not confirm what exactly was happening in that area,” the spokesperson said.

Since mid-2012, WFP had been unable to access 37 other locations, such as Daraya, Yarmouk, Hajar Aswad, Yalda, Babila, Sbineh, Douma, Jobar, Qaboon, Zamalka and Erbeen.

These are some of the most deprived areas where “even the most basic items were in scarce supply”, the spokesperson noted.

More than a dozen trucks with supplies are en route to the capital Aleppo, carrying enough food for 75,000 people as part of the Governorate’s October allocation.

Despite the allocations, the city is one of the Governorates where food distribution has become difficult in recent months.

World Food Programme FEED bag

World Food Programme FEED bag (Photo credit: Rooey202)

More children are being admitted to hospitals with acute and moderate malnutrition, the UN Children’s Fund said, also addressing the press.

“The most difficult challenge in helping those children was access,” said UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado.

The community is also grabbling with a lack of skilled professionals to deal with malnutrition.

 

#acefoodnews, #acehealthnews, #aceworldnews, #aleppo, #damascus, #geneva, #syria, #unicef, #united-nations, #wfp, #world-food-programme, #zamalka

Over 2 Million Zimbabweans will Need Food Assistance in the Near Future According to WFP

English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme i...

English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme in SVG format (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some 2.2 million Zimbabweans will need food assistance in the pre-harvest period from January to March next year, a United Nations agency said today, warning that food security in the southern African country continue to deteriorate.

Harsh weather conditions, the high cost or lack of available fertilizers and seeds, and the prospect of high food prices due to poor harvest, have all contributed to high food insecurity levels, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in its latest assessment of the country.

In a briefing to reporters in Geneva, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said the food security situation is at it worst since 2009, with the national maize harvest being less than last year’s 1 million metric tons, and less than the country’s requirement of 2.1 million metric tons.

Grain prices are currently 23 per cent higher than this time last year, and many people have exhausted their personal stocks and are relying on buying cereals from the market. Job opportunities are also scarce and cash flow is a major challenge.

The Government of Zimbabwe has requested international support for food assistance to meet the growing needs. In response, WFP is launching a relief programme in the worst-affected areas this month and will gradually scale up assistance over coming months, Ms. Byrs said.

This month, WFP and partners will begin food distributions and will expand its operations until the end of March when the next harvest comes. Three distributions will start in three districts of Midlands and Matabeleland North provinces, and will be scaled up to 19 districts in November, 38 in December, and 41 districts from January to March.

 

#acefoodnews, #aceworldnews, #food, #geneva, #march, #matabeleland-north, #matabeleland-north-province, #united-nations, #wfp, #world-food-programme, #zimbabwe

UK to help World Food Programme reach an extra 230,000 Syrian children

UK to help World Food Programme reach an extra 230,000 Syrian children (3 October 2013)
The UK is allocating £87 million from its humanitarian support package for Syria to the World Food Programme, to help them reach a further 230,000 Syrian children and their families over the next 6 months.

International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, made the announcement as the UN Security Council unanimously agreed a new statement calling for unfettered humanitarian access to the war torn country.

Read the full story:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-help-world-food-programme-reach-an-extra-230000-syrian-children

#peace-acenewsservices, #syria-international-development-secretary, #world-food-programme

Changing Our Climate Will Let Business Profit

English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme i...

English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme in SVG format (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food price spikes caused by extreme weather events like the US drought will become the norm over the next twenty years, leading to millions of deaths from malnutrition among the world’s poorest if Governments do not act on climate change, Oxfam has warned.

While the average price of staple foods is already expected to double in the next twenty years, the UK’s leading poverty charity predicts that separate catastrophes such as droughts, floods and bad harvests will also become more common as a result of climate change, leading to regular and dramatic jumps in prices.

The effect may have already been seen this year, the charity says. A 10 per cent rise in world food prices in July has been blamed on the severest drought in the USA in fifty years, along with dry weather in Eastern Europe and Kenya. Oxfam warned that policymakers have “underestimated” the full impact of climate change on future food prices.

The huge potential impact of extreme weather events of future food prices is missing from today’s climate change debate,” said the charity’s climate change policy advisor Tim Gore. “Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns hold back crop production and cause steady prices rises. But extreme weather events – like the current US drought – can wipe out entire harvests and trigger dramatic food price spikes.”

July was the USA’s hottest month on record, contributing to the warmest 12 month period for the country since records began. Widespread drought has destroyed one sixth of the country’s corn crop and driven up staple food prices worldwide.

Oxfam predicted that future weather events on a similar scale, such as a flood in southern Africa or another drought in North America, could have a catastrophic impact on food prices within the next twenty years. Financial modelling suggested that one or more extreme events in a single year could cause two decades worth of price inflation to occur in a matter of months.

Recently the United Nations urged “swift, coordinated international action” to combat the current price spike, which has seen corn and wheat prices soar by 25 per cent, warning that “even in a good year, global grain production is barely sufficient to meet growing demands for food, feed and fuel.”

Policymakers will wish to avoid a repeat of the food crisis of 2008, where the rising cost of grain, maize, rice and soya led to social unrest and riots in many parts of Africa, South America and Asia. New UN task forces were set up in the wake of the 2008 crisis to co-ordinate the trade, production and aid policies of the world’s governments in the event of another price spike.

In a joint statement, three UN food agencies called on governments to take long-term steps such as investing in agriculture in food importing countries, to safeguard them against future price shocks.

The statement from the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said that weather had been the driver of each three international food spikes in the past five years.

Until we find the way to shock-proof and climate-proof our food system, the danger will remain,” the statement said.

The UN statement stopped short of calling an emergency meeting of the Rapid Response Forum, set up in the wake of 2008 crisis. Oxfam said that world leaders were “dragging their feet” and that failure to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions “made a future crisis more likely.”

As more hikes in the price of our everyday essentials will become the norm then companies such as Glencore and others of the same ilk will become the basis of ” profit before people” and people will pay with their pockets first and their lives second!

Potatoes are one of the most used staple foods.

Potatoes are one of the most used staple foods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#climate, #environment, #extreme-weather-events, #oxfam, #united-nations, #world-food-prices, #world-food-programme