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UN Daily News
Issue DH/7099

Friday, 19 February 2016

In the headlines:
South Sudan on verge of fragmenting, UN officials

From asthma to Zika, UN tackles links between

Syria: humanitarian air drops still in the planning

Bees can help boost food security of two billion

Afghanistan recommits to ending recruitment of

Two years on, Ukraine conflict affects over half a

UN panel chief, Thabo Mbeki, urges action plans to

warn Security Council


stage UN agency

children in security forces UN envoy

With rising numbers of child deaths at sea, UN


urges safety measures for those fleeing conflict

environment and health

small farmers at no cost UN


million children UNICEF

tackle illicit financial flow from Africa

South Sudan on verge of fragmenting, UN officials warn


Security Council
19 February - With senior United Nations officials warning of escalating inter-communal
violence and rampant human rights violations in South Sudan, the Security Council today
strongly condemned all attacks and provocations against civilians and the UN by armed
actors, and called for calm on all sides.

UN Police conducts search operation in


Juba Protection of Civilians site, South
Sudan. Photo: UNMISS

In a statement to the press, the Council condemned in the strongest terms violence
committed by elements of the Shilluk and Dinka communities, which erupted in the
protection of civilians site in Malakal managed by the UN Mission in South Sudan
(UNMISS), on February 17 and which continued into yesterday, resulting in more than 18
deaths and 50 injuries.

The members of the Council said they were particularly alarmed by credible reports of armed men in Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA) un uniforms entering the UNMISS camp and firing on civilians, and the looting and burning of
tents.
Strongly condemning all attacks and provocations against civilians and the United Nations by armed actors, including
SPLA soldiers, the Council reminded all parties, including Government security forces, of the civilian character of the
protection of civilian sites in South Sudan.
In its statement, the Council went to call for calm by all sides and to refrain from additional fighting, acts of violence, and
further provocations. The 15-member body also called on the Government to swiftly investigate this attack, with the
assistance of UNMISS, and bring the perpetrators to justice. It is the responsibility of the Government [] to hold those
responsible for the attack accountable, emphasized the Council.
The Security Council stressed that attacks against civilians and UN premises may constitute war crimes, and those involved
could be potentially subject to sanctions as authorized under its resolution 2206 (2015) for actions that threaten the peace,
security or stability of South Sudan.

For information media not an official record

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19 February 2016

In a scheduled briefing that preceded the Councils statement, two senior UN officials urged the body and regional leaders to
continue engaging all parties involved in the longstanding conflict to attain a sustainable peace.

Situation on the Ground


Moustapha Soumar, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and deputy UNMISS chief
reiterated the Missions grave concern over the outbreak of violence at the Malakal site and noted that UNMISS uniformed
personnel are undertaking robust measures to strengthen physical security within and around the site, while humanitarian
partners are working to resume delivery of essential services.
Meanwhile, we are engaged at all levels in the Government, the opposition and the national security forces, as well as
within the communities themselves, to address the underlying factors and avoid a resumption of violence, Mr. Soumar
said.
Violence continues in many regions of the country, including in areas that had previously been relatively calm, he said. Of
particular concern is the deteriorating security situation in Western Bahr E1 Ghazal, particularly around Wau, which has
also escalated over the past 48 hours.
In response to shifting conflict dynamics, Mr. Soumar said the Mission has adopted a more agile force posture to protect
civilians affected by violence. UNMISS is focusing on projecting physical presence away from its bases in Bentiu, Bor,
Juba, Malakal and Wau through long-duration patrols and temporary operating bases in areas where insecurity is high.
This includes the establishment of temporary operating bases in Leer as well as in Mundri, which, along with the
deployment of an additional company to Yambio, has strengthened the Missions presence in western Equatoria.

Humanitarian Challenges
As violence continues, humanitarian needs are also increasing, the Special Representative said. An estimated 6.1 million
people across South Sudan are in urgent need of assistance as a result of interlocking threats, including armed conflict and
inter-communal violence, economic decline, disease and climactic shocks. Insecurity and poor road conditions are also
negatively impacting the UNs capability to preposition humanitarian supplies before roads are made impassable by the
coming rainy season.
Despite these urgent needs, the Mission and humanitarian partners continue to face significant constraints on their
operations, including regular instances in which personnel are denied freedom of movement, as well as other violations of
the Missions Status of Forces Agreement with the Government. These incidents are regularly reported to the Council and to
Government counterparts, he noted.
It is of critical importance that the parties move ahead with the formation of the Transitional Government of National
Unity, Mr. Soumar emphasized. Nonetheless, we must remember that its formation is but the first of many inter-locking
steps forward towards fully implementing the peace agreement. Once the transitional government is formed, it will need to
be empowered to operationalize the institutions of transition, the Special Representative also said.
Only the full implementation of the peace agreement, with clear peace dividends for the people of South Sudan, will help
bring stability to the country, he concluded.

Human Rights
Also briefing the Council, Ivan imonovi, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, noted that the initial signing of
the peace agreement in August had been met with optimism that the parties to the conflict would abide by their declaration
of a permanent ceasefire and halt their attacks on the civilian population.
However, the reconciliatory rhetoric propagated by Government and opposition actors has deflected from the fact that the

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19 February 2016

parties to the conflict continue to attack, kill, abduct, rape, arbitrarily detain, and forcefully displace civilians, and pillage
and destroy their property, Mr. imonovic stressed.
Providing details of attacks on civilians since the signing of the peace agreement, the UN official lamented that new theatres
of violence are emerging in areas such as the Equatorias, which had previously been little affected by direct hostilities. He
also underscored that an increasing number of armed defence groups had emerged in response to the Governments highly
militarized approach to addressing insecurity.
With the diffusion of armed conflict in all parts of the country, and the creation of local armed groups fighting against
Government troops, South Sudan faces the risk of fragmentation and related human rights violations, he said.
While conflict-related violence remains a serious concern, Mr. imonovi emphasized that human rights are under attack
throughout the country. As UNMISS recently documented in a report, the space for freedom of expression and dissent has
narrowed considerably, with various accounts of deliberately silencing dissenting voices including those of human rights
defenders and journalists. However, Mr. imonovi stressed, no action has been taken as of yet.
Perpetrators of these violations have not been held accountable, he said. South Sudan has a long history of forgiveness
and amnesties, even for the most serious crimes. To break this longstanding cycle of impunity, and to prevent future
violations of international human rights law, we must ensure that the transitional justice mechanisms outlined in the peace
agreement are implemented.
Among his recommendations, Mr. imonovi urged the parties to the conflict to immediately cease all violations of
international and humanitarian law and human rights abuses, and implement the peace agreement in letter and spirit in a
timely manner. He also urged the Security Council and regional leaders to continue engaging the parties to conflict in this
regard.
It cannot be tolerated that leaders make declarations in Juba, while the hostilities and attacks on the civilian population
continue and intensify across the country. Not only is South Sudan on the verge of fragmenting, but the conflict seriously
threatens stability in the entire region, he said.
The United Nations need to extend all necessary support to the African Union and the Transitional Government of National
Unity, once established, to ensure that the cycle of impunity is broken and justice is served, he concluded.

Syria: humanitarian air drops still in the planning stage UN


agency
19 February - Following a humanitarian breakthrough in delivering aid to a Syrian town
inaccessible for more than 18 months, the United Nations food relief agency is now
planning possible air-drops for 200,000 people in the Deir ez-Zor area besieged by the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL/Daesh.
It would be a high altitude operation, dropping food with parachutes, World Food
Programme (WFP) spokesperson Bettina Luescher said today in a briefing to the press.
A WFP air drop. Photo: WFP (file)

WFP is considering using an experienced, registered company for the complex operation,
but no details could be provided as it is still in the planning stage, she said. WFP would work with the Syrian Arab Red
Crescent on this project, as part of a larger international effort. The situation in Deir ez-Zor is devastating for families living
under siege, where food is sometimes sold at prohibitively high prices, she said.
Air drops are always the last resort because land routes are easier and more cost-effective, Ms. Luescher emphasized.
She also said that life-saving aid had reached more than 21,000 people in Moadamiyeh, an area inaccessible to WFP aid for
over a year and a half. Families there received two bags of wheat flower and other food items, including rice, lentils, canned
food and cooking oil. WFP had also sent date bars that were fortified with vitamins and minerals.
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19 February 2016

More than 20,000 people in Foah and Kefraya, 39,000 in Madaya, and 1,000 in Zabadani have also been reached, she said.

Intra-Syrian Talks
Meanwhile, Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, was headed to Geneva earlier today to attend a meeting of the
international coordinating group tasked with implementing a ceasefire in Syria, according to Michele Zaccheo, Chief of the
Radio and TV Section at the UN Information Service in Geneva.
The Ceasefire Task Force meeting was planned for the afternoon, and would be attended by the International Syria Support
Group (ISSG), comprising the Arab League, the European Union, the United Nations, and 17 countries including the United
States and Russia. Mr. Zaccheo said that there was no information that the meeting was cancelled as reported by some
media.
Regarding the resumption of the Intra-Syrian talks, there has been no confirmed date, he said, noting that the Special Envoy
would address the media on 22 February, probably in the morning, at a time to be specified.

Aid Reaches 37,000 Children


Christophe Boulierac, spokesperson for the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF), informed that 37,000 of the 82,000 people in
five besieged towns reached earlier this week by the UN and its partners were children. The aid had reached the towns of
Madaya, Foah and Kfreya, Moademiyeh, and Zabadani, he said.
Over two million people continue to face critical drinking water shortages in the Aleppo Governorate, he added. Khafsa
water treatment facility in Aleppo was shut down on 16 January. In response, UNICEF scaled up its water tracking
operations to provide eight million litres a day, enough to meet drinking needs of over 530,000 people and fuel to operate
ground water wells, he said.
In cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF was rehabilitating the Ein Al Beida water
pumping station. In the south of the country, in Dera, UNICEF had provided emergency health kits for 35,000 people to six
local clinics. UNICEF and partners have sent education supplies for 8,800 children and distributed family hygiene kits for
45,000 people and baby kits for 3,000 children, and 3,500 testers for water quality. Water quality assurance and surveillance
services were ongoing, he said.

Afghanistan recommits to ending recruitment of children in


security forces UN envoy
19 February - Following a mission to Afghanistan, the United Nations envoy dealing with
children and armed conflict issues, has welcomed the Government's recommitment to fully
implementing its plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in the national
security forces.
The political will and progress I have seen on the ground are encouraging. The
Governments commitment will be instrumental to turn the page on the recruitment and use
of children in the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), stated Leila Zerrougui, the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, in a
press release.

Special Representative for Children and


Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui
addressing a press conference in Kabul,
Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin
Waezi

Ms. Zerrougui travelled to Afghanistan from 13 to 17 February to assess the situation of


children affected by the armed conflict and to engage with authorities and partners on the protection of boys and girls. She
met with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, Vice President Danish, and key ministers, as well as with the Afghan
Independent Human Rights Commission, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the diplomatic community and
UN and non-governmental organization partners.

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19 February 2016

The Special Representative commended the launch of national age assessment guidelines as well as the Presidential decree
criminalizing the recruitment and use of children in the ANSF, and stressed that effective implementation and enforcement
of these tools are critical to prevent recruitment and use.
Ms. Zerrougui recognized progress made to end underage recruitment in the Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan
National Army (ANA), but raised concern regarding the lack of oversight of recruitment processes for the Afghan Local
Police (ALP). Further, noting the large increase in the number of UN verified cases of child recruitment in 2015 mostly by
the Taliban and other armed groups she called for a general prohibition of underage recruitment and use.
In Herat, the UN official visited a child protection unit located in the ANP recruitment centre and heard about its positive
impact to prevent underage recruitment. Welcoming the recent establishment of two new child protection units in Mazar-eSharif and Jalalabad, the Special Representative called for support to set up such units within ANP recruitment centres
across the countrys 34 provinces.
Ahead of key donor conferences this year, she also urged the Government and its international partners to dedicate resources
to support the full implementation of the Action Plan, including reintegration programmes, and to address root causes such
as lack of opportunities for young people.

Rising child casualties


The United Nations estimates that in 2015, an average of 53 children were killed or injured every week, the highest number
since 2009, when the Organization began systematically documenting casualties. The majority of child casualties was
attributed to ground engagement between parties to conflict. There was also an increase in deaths and injuries attributed to
airstrikes by Afghan and international forces.
The current security situation is creating great challenges to protect children, said the Special Representative. I call on all
parties to respect international humanitarian law and to take all precautions to reduce the impact of conflict on children.

Health and education


During her meetings with the authorities, the Special Representative highlighted the importance of protecting schools and
hospitals. She noted that schools, particularly girl schools, continue to close their doors due to insecurity and direct threats
by non-state armed groups.
I commend the Government for signing the Safe Schools Declaration. In the context of the challenges for access to
education in Afghanistan, we must work together to ensure that schools are protected from attack and military use. The next
generation could be compromised if we cannot protect childrens rights to health and education, she said.

Protection of children
While in Herat, Ms. Zerrougui visited a juvenile rehabilitation centre, where she met boys and girls held in detention. She
reminded authorities that children who have been associated with non-state armed groups should be treated primarily as
victims and in accordance with juvenile justice standards. She raised concerns regarding the detention of children on
national security-related charges in Parwan, a high security facility for adults.
This is not a place for children. I raised this issue with the authorities. There should be no debate about the fact that
juvenile justice standards should apply to these children, said Leila Zerrougui.
She also discussed with authorities the practice of bacha bazi, or dancing boys, and is looking forward to the criminalization
of this practice in forthcoming legislation.
The Special Representative concluded that strengthening the rule of law and addressing impunity are not only key elements
to the success of the Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment of children, they are also essential to improve the

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protection of children in Afghanistan.

With rising numbers of child deaths at sea, UN urges safety


measures for those fleeing conflict
19 February - Two children have drowned every day on average since September 2015 as
their families try to cross the eastern Mediterranean, and the number is growing, three
United Nations humanitarian agencies said today, calling for enhancing the safety of those
escaping conflict and despair.

Greek volunteer life-guards help a young


child out of a boat that reached the shores
of Lesbos, having crossed the Aegean sea
from Turkey. Photo: UNHCR/Achilleas
Zavallis

In a joint statement, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the
UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
warned that since this past September, when the tragic death of toddler Aylan Kurdi
captured the world's attention, more than 340 children many of them babies and toddlers
have drowned in the eastern Mediterranean. The total number may be even greater
become some bodies have been lost at sea.

We cannot turn our faces away from the tragedy of so many innocent young lives and futures lost or fail to address the
dangers so many more children are facing, said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. We may not have the ability
now to end the desperation that causes so many people to try to cross the sea, but countries can and must cooperate to make
such dangerous journeys safer. No one puts a child in a boat if a safer option is available.
The stretch of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece is among the deadliest routes in the world for refugees and
migrants, the agencies noted. The winter's rough seas, overloading, and the poor quality of boats and lifesaving equipment
increase the risk of capsizing, making the journey significantly more dangerous.
These tragic deaths in the Mediterranean are unbearable and must stop, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo
Grandi.
Clearly, more efforts are needed to combat smuggling and trafficking. Also, as many of the children and adults who have
died were trying to join relatives in Europe, organizing ways for people to travel legally and safely, through resettlement and
family reunion programmes for example, should be an absolute priority if we want to reduce the death toll, he added.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a high-level meeting on global responsibility-sharing through legal
pathways for admission of Syrian refugees, to take place in Geneva on 30 March.
With children now accounting for 36 per cent of those on the move, the chance of them drowning on the Aegean Sea
crossing from Turkey to Greece has grown proportionately. During the first six weeks of 2016, 410 people drowned out of
the 80,000 crossing the eastern Mediterranean. This amounts to a 35-fold increase year-on-year from 2015, the agencies
said.
Counting lives is not enough. We must act, said William Lacy Swing, IOM's Director General. This is not only a
Mediterranean problem, or even a European one. It is a humanitarian catastrophe in the making that demands the entire
world's engagement.

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19 February 2016

From asthma to Zika, UN tackles links between environment


and health
19 February - The list of health conditions that can be linked to environmental pollution
and degradation is long and growing, including skin cancer, lung cancer, asthma, lead
poisoning, mercury poisoning, malaria, Ebola and Zika, according to the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP).

Environmental pollution and degradation


can be linked to a growing list of health
conditions such as skin cancer, lung
cancer, asthma, lead poisoning, mercury
poisoning, malaria, Ebola and Zika.
Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

The spread of Zika, just as with Ebola, has sent a strong signal to the international
community that there is a need for increased attention to the linkages between environment
and health, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said yesterday.
There is a growing awareness that humans, through their intervention in the environment,
play a vital role in exacerbating or mitigating health risks, he added.

Mr. Steiner was addressing UNEPs Committee of Permanent Representatives, a group of


delegates representing more than 140 countries and major groups, who gathered at the agencys Nairobi headquarters to
prepare for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the world's highest-level decision-making body on the
environment, to be held at the end of May.
In his remarks, Mr. Steiner cited data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which has found that 23 per cent of all
premature deaths around the world can be attributed to environmental factors. Among children, that figure rises to 36 per
cent.
Every year, nearly seven million people die because they are exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollution, from power
generation, cookstoves, transportation, industrial furnaces, wildfires, or other causes, he said.
We are eating into an ecological infrastructure that not only sustains us, but protects us. The fallout from the footprint of
human activity in the 21st century seems to grow every year, he noted.
The UNEP chief also pointed out that more than two billion people live in water-stressed areas, 1,000 children die every day
from water-borne diseases, and 42 million life years are lost every year due to natural disasters.
There is strong evidence that international action to protect the environment can have strong, positive impacts on human
health, he said.
Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, which took effect in 1989, nearly 100 substances that deplete the ozone layer have been
removed from circulation. Because of that progress, some two million cases of skin cancer will be prevented before 2030.
And the removal of lead from fuel is already preventing over one million premature deaths each year.
A report on how the environment impacts human health will be launched at UN Environment Assembly. It will be the
subject of a discussion among ministers on the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development, which integrates the social, economic and environmental concerns of development.
A healthy environment presents opportunities for a healthier society, and it brings economic benefits as well. The phase out
of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) should result in a cumulative $1.8 trillion in global health benefits by 2060.
Eliminating lead in gasoline on a global scale will boost global gross domestic product (GDP) by an estimated four per cent.
And the return on investment in water and sanitation services is between $5 and $28 per dollar invested.

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19 February 2016

Bees can help boost food security of two billion small farmers
at no cost UN
19 February - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today
highlighted the publication of a new study that quantifies, for the first time, how much crop
yields depend on the work of bees that unknowingly fertilize plants as they move from
flower to flower.
In doing so, the agency says bees may have a key role to play in improving the production
of some two billion smallholder farmers worldwide and ensuring the food security and
nutrition of the worlds growing population.
What do cucumbers, mustard, almonds and alfalfa have in common? asked FAO in a
press release. On the surface, very little; but there is one thing they share: they all owe
their existence to the service of bees.

A new study suggest that poorly


performing farms could significantly
increase their crop yields by attracting
more pollinators to their land. Photo:
FAO/James Cane

The agency notes that for centuries, this tiny striped helper has labored the worlds fields without winning much recognition
for its many contributions to food production. Wild bees, in particular, seemed doomed to slog in the shadow of their more
popular cousin the honeybee whose day job of producing golden nectar has been far more visible and celebrated.
But FAO says bees of all stripes are finally getting their moment in the sun. The paper, published in the magazine Science,
makes the case that ecological intensification or boosting farm outputs by tapping the power of natural processes is one
of the sustainable pathways toward greater food supplies.
Food security strategies worldwide could therefore benefit from including pollination as integral component, experts say.
Our research shows that improving pollinator density and diversity in other words, making sure that more and more
different types of bees and insects are coming to your plants has direct impact on crop yields, said Barbara GemmillHerren, one of the FAO authors of the report.
And thats good for the environment and for food security, she stressed, adding that it is beneficial to actively preserve
and build habitats in and around farms for bees, birds and insects to live year-round.

Focus on developing countries


In the field study coordinated by FAO, scientists compared 344 plots across Africa, Asia and Latin America and concluded
that crop yields were significantly lower in farming plots that attracted fewer bees during the main flowering season than in
those plots that received more visits.
When comparing high-performing and low-performing farms of less than two hectares, the outcomes suggest that poorly
performing farms could increase their yields by a median of 24 per cent by attracting more pollinators to their land.
The research also looked at larger plots and concluded that, while those fields also benefited from more pollinator visits, the
impact on yields was less significant than in the smaller plots probably because many bees have a harder time servicing
large fields, far from their nesting habitat. But a diversity of bees, each with different flight capacities, can make the
difference.
This suggests that bee diversity offers benefits both for small-holder farmers in developing countries, and for larger farms.

Why it matters
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The research comes at a time when wild bees are threatened by a multitude of factors and managed bee populations cant
keep up with the increasing number of plots that grow pollination-dependent crops.
Climate change poses yet another problem: Bees will struggle with the higher temperatures," explained Nadine Azzu,
Global Project Coordinator in FAOs Plant Production and Protection Division, who also worked on the report. "Plus,
flowers in some parts of the world are now opening at different times than they used to, and the bees are not there to
pollinate," she said.
This means finding ways to keep pollinators buzzing around the farm year-round is becoming even more important.

Previously unstudied
Pollinators such as bees, birds and various types of insects that fly, hop or crawl from one flower to another have for
centuries been the invisible helpers of farmers worldwide.
Different types of bees have distinct tastes and roles to play in the food system. Bumble bees, for example, are one of the
few types of bees that can successfully pollinate tomatoes, which heavily rely on buzz pollination to bear fruit.
Honey bees, in turn, are important because they are the least picky in their choice of flowers- and there are many of them, in
each hive, even though their more discerning wild bee cousins are more effective in fertilizing the plants theyre attracted to.
The study shows that for smallholdings, crop yield increased linearly with increased visits to the flowers that were being
tracked. Pollination was the agricultural input that contributed the greatest to yields, beyond other management practices.
This holds promise for one of the major agricultural challenges of our time: How to help smallholders produce more without
hurting the environment.

How to attract bees


The report also found that attracting pollinators to farms is not as easy as planting for the season and waiting for them to
arrive.
Maintaining habitat and forage resources all year long is key to wooing pollinators and keeping them on the land for longer
periods of time. This can be done by planting different trees and plants that flower at different times in the year, for
example.
Maintaining flowering hedge rows around the farm, and mulch on the ground that bees can hide under, are additional
recommended tactics to attract them, as is reducing the use of pesticides.
The key to getting the best yields probably lies in a mix of managed pollination services that is, installing bee hives in
plots at flowering time and wild pollination, experts say.
And the latter will require farmers and policy makers to take a closer look at the ecosystems that surround farms.
The take away from our study is that bees provide a real service and should be taken into account when we plan food
security interventions, said Ms. Azzu. And the best part is: their service is free.

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19 February 2016

Two years on, Ukraine conflict affects over half a million


children UNICEF
19 February - The conflict in Ukraine has deeply affected the lives of 580,000 children
living in non-government controlled areas and close to the front line in the east of the
country, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said today, highlighting that
200,000 of them or one in three need psychosocial support.

Children write on the blackboard at a


school in the village of Staromykhailovka,
which is on the frontline between the
cities of Donetsk and Mariyanovka,
Ukraine. Photo: UNICEF/Aleksey
Filippov

Two years of violence, shelling and fear have left an indelible mark on thousands of
children in eastern Ukraine, Giovanna Barberis, a UNICEF representative in the eastern
European nation, said in a press release.
As the conflict continues, we need to reach these children urgently to meet their physical
as well as psychological needs, she added.

According to the UN agency, more than 215,000 children are internally displaced from the
conflict-affected areas, and at least one out of five schools has been damaged or destroyed. Last year, more than 20 children
were killed and over 40 were injured; out of those, 28 casualties were caused by mines and exploded ordnance.
In addition, a polio outbreak was confirmed in Ukraine 19 years after the country was declared polio free, and lack of access
to health services and a shortage of medicines are threatening more disease outbreaks. As temperatures plummet, fuel
shortages and high prices of coal are also leaving children at risk of respiratory infections.
Meanwhile, damage to basic infrastructure has put the water supply at risk for some 2 million people across the front line.
UNICEF calls all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to ensure safe movement and unhindered humanitarian access to help
children in need, Ms. Barberis stressed.

2016 Programme Targets


Nutrition:
80,000 pregnant or lactating women reached with infant and young child feeding counselling
Health:

400,000 children received regular immunization through the enhancement of cold chain and vaccine
distribution systems

2,000 health professionals gained increased knowledge and capacity for the implementation of public health
campaigns
WASH:

1.2 million conflict-affected people gained access to safe drinking water

300,000 most vulnerable people received hygiene supplies


Child protection:

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19 February 2016

400,000 affected children, youth and caregivers received psychosocial support

400,000 children and their families received MRE


Education:
300,000 children benefitted from rehabilitated education infrastructure, life-skills training and educational
supplies
HIV and AIDS:
30,000 pregnant women and children provided with tests for early diagnostic of HIV to prevent mother-tochild transmission of HIV
UNICEF has been working with partners to provide children with basic services. To date, this includes providing
psychosocial support to over 46,000 children and training almost 5,000 teachers and psychologists to identify signs of
distress among children. UNICEF has also reached 1.6 million people with safe water and over 164,000 children and adults
with essential hygiene items.
Earlier this year, the agency called for an additional $54.3 million to address the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable
children in conflict-affected areas.

UN panel chief, Thabo Mbeki, urges action plans to tackle illicit


financial flow from Africa
19 February - Addressing billions of illicit financial outflows from Africa is imperative as
the continent needs domestic resources for its development, said the former President of
South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, who chairs a United Nations panel on the issue, urging the UN
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and partner institutions to elaborate action plans.

Former President of South Africa Thabo


Mbeki (left) and ECOSOC President Oh
Joon at an ECOSOC special event. Photo:
Video Capture. UNTV

In an informal briefing to the Council, Mr. Mbeki, Chair of the UN Economic Commission
of Africa (UNECA) High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, said that the
issue of illicit financial flow came up during the discourse on how to mobilize domestic
resources in the context of the newly adopted 2030 development agenda.

The panel was established at the 4th meeting of the Joint African Union Commission UNECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in 2011.
There is now a universal consensus that illicit financial flow is a challenge requiring global action, he said.
Issues related to illicit financial flows, such as taxation, corruption, the function of the corporate sector, and recovery of
stolen assets have been identified, he said, urging ECOSOC to elaborate action plans and practical steps to be taken to
address those challenges.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015, provided a positive
climate to address illicit financial flows, he said, adding that the indicators for measuring implementation of the
development goals, including that for illicit financial flow, must be developed.
African countries are not simply asking others to rectify the situation, but are firmly committed to addressing the issue from
within, he said. To do that, institutional capacity must be bolstered.
At an AU Summit last year, African leaders decided to prepare annual reports on implementation, he said, calling for the
establishment of a coordinating mechanism between AU and ECOSOC.

UN News Centre www.un.org/news

UN Daily News

- 12 -

19 February 2016

ECOSOC President Oh Joon said that implementing the transformative agenda for sustainable development will present
formidable challenges. These challenges will be no doubt steepest for Africa, he said.
Stemming illicit financial flows from Africa is both an African and international challenge, he said. The call made by the
High-Level Panel for engagement with partner institutions to elaborate a global governance framework to address this
problem, therefore deserves our full attention.
Other members of the High-level Panel also delivered presentations, followed by a question and answer session between
Member States and Mr. Mbeki. Interventions were made by South Africa, Sweden, Italy, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Peru, Benin,
Botswana, and Gambia.

The UN Daily News is prepared at UN Headquarters in New York by the News Services Section
of the News and Media Division, Department of Public Information (DPI)