A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information
No.50/10 July 2014
Secretary-General appointsStaffan de Misturaas new Special Envoy for Syria
During a press conference at the UN Headquarters on 10 July, the Secretary-General announced the appointment ofStaffan de Mistura as his Special Envoy for Syria to succeed LakhdarBrahimi. The Secretary-General said that the newenvoy will provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis. In this endeavour, the envoy will be guided by relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, and the United Nations protection agenda. He will consult broadly and engage with all relevant interlocutors within and outside Syria, in order to end violence and facilitate a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people. The Secretary-General also announced the appointment of RamzyEzzeldinRamzy as his Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, following consultations with the League of Arab States.
Aid programmes for refugees in Lebanon severely under-funded: UN official
Speaking to the media following a briefing to the Security Council on 9 July, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly,expressed concern at the situation of the 1.1 million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon. He said that the programmes to support both refugees and host communities are severely under-funded, noting that advocacy for such assistance is a priority for his office in the coming weeks.
Over 6 million Syrian children need immediate humanitarian assistance: UNICEF
According to new figures released by UNICEF on 5 July, the impact of the Syrian crisis on children is becoming ever more devastating. The data, which accompany a revised UN funding appeal for its response to the crisis across the region, shows that 6.5 million Syrian children now need immediate humanitarian assistance, an increase of more than two million compared to a year ago.“Children are seeing their homes, schools, health centres and communities targeted and destroyed. Millions of dreams and hopes are being shattered. This is no time for the world to look away”, said Maria Calivis, UNICEFRegional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.Despite violence and restricted access, UNICEFand its partners have helped ensure the availability of safe water for nearly 17 million people this year, as well as supporting the vaccination of 2.9 million children against polio – part of an unprecedented regional immunization campaign reaching 25 million children.
UNHCR report highlights the fight forsurvival by Syrianrefugee women
In a report issued on 8 July, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, described the daily struggle of refugee women as they head their families alone. The report, entitled, “Woman alone: The Fight for Survival by Syria’s refugee Women,” notes that more than 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan are headed by women facing a lone fight for survival. Based on the testimony of 135 refugee women, the report points out the respondents cited the lack of resources as their main difficulty. UNHCR reiterated its call for urgent new action from donors, host governments and aid agencies.
Food deliveries resume in Yarmoukafter a six-week interruption
On 7 July, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) resumed its food distributionin the Yarmouk refugee camp for the first time in six weeks. According to the UNRWA spokesperson, the distribution led to dramatic and chaotic scenes, with large crowds of civilians gathering in the hope of receiving food assistance. “UNRWA welcomes the resumption of its food distribution inside Yarmouk. With the support and facilitation of Syrian authorities, we hope that the distribution of UNRWA food parcels will in future experience no further interruptions”, stated the agency.
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Latest boat tragedy off Libya coast spotlights rising Mediterranean death toll – UNHCR
8 July –Search and rescue operations are ongoing for survivors following a recent boat accident in the Mediterranean, the latest tragic incident off the Libyan coast of Tripoli, according to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.According to UNHCR, about 217 people have drowned off the Libyan coast while trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2014. “The number of asylum-seekers and refugees registered in our world today has increased, reaching almost 37,000 individuals. However, not all asylum-seekers are registered”, it said.Syrians make up the largest group of refugees and asylum seekers, with approximately 18,655 displaced people, followed by Eritreans, Somalis and Iraqis.
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
OPCW-UN Joint Mission
UN Humanitarian agencies
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