“The U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, Jan Egeland, says northern Uganda’s 20-year war, a lethal mix of religion and brutality, is the world’s most neglected humanitarian crisis…. Last month, President Bush blamed the region’s violence on a “barbaric rebel cult.” Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., says Washington should demand “a rapid and organized international response to the humanitarian disaster” in northern Uganda.” [Read more]
“U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland asked for the fund after the tsunami, and the General Assembly approved it last December. The idea is to give the world body the ability to quickly send emergency supplies to areas hit by natural disasters and other humanitarian crises, without having to wait for international donors to send checks.
“The toughest time after last year’s devastating tsunami may be yet to come, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a video message broadcast in Banda Aceh on Monday.
“A year on, there has been tremendous progress in many areas. Children are back in school. Epidemics have been prevented. Tens of thousands of survivors are employed in cash-for-work activities,” the secretary-general said. “And yet in some ways, the most challenging days lie ahead.”
“A year of disasters around the world sparked an unprecedented outpouring of aid, but richer nations still are not giving enough money to tackle lingering humanitarian crises, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief says.
Jan Egeland said, for example, that as many people died in Congo every eight months as in last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami.
He also criticised political leaders for failing to take action to end the wars that created humanitarian crises or invest in disaster prevention to ease the impact of earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.
The work of UN and other relief workers in conflict-wracked eastern Congo, in the Darfur region of western Sudan, and in northern Uganda had become “an alibi for lack of political and security action”, Egeland said.” [Emphasis added]
Iraq: The SG met with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki in Baghdad today as well as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to review the ongoing security crisis. The SG congratulated Fouad Massoum on his election as Iraq’s new President and remarked that a new government “will strengthen the unity of the country, fight effectively against terrorism and ISIS, as well as uproot the seeds of sectarianism and division.”
SG: The SG met with Israeli President Peres in Jerusalem today to encourage dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Speaking to the press with President Peres, he again underlined the need to stop violence and begin dialogue that addresses the root causes of the conflict.
SG: The SG briefed the SC today from Ramallah where he reiterated his message from today’s earlier press conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to: “Stop fighting. Start talking. And take on the root causes of the conflict.” The SG will continue travelling this week to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
SG: The SG arrived in Cairo today where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, President el-Sisi and US Secretary of State Kerry to promote the Egypt-initiated ceasefire in the Middle East. Spokesman Dujarric told reporters today that “the overriding messages that [the SG] brings is, first, that the violence must stop, and needs to stop now.”
Middle East: The SG welcomed the humanitarian pause negotiated by Special Coordinator Serry to allow civilians in Gaza to begin repairs on electrical and water infrastructure. WFP used the five-hour pause to deliver emergency food assistance to Gaza. The SG hopes the pause will lead to peace and a sustainable ceasefire.