This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN appeals for record $51.5 billion to help 230 million on the brink in 2023
A record $51.5 billion is needed to help 230 million of the world’s most vulnerable people in nearly 70 countries next year, the UN said on Thursday.
The appeal is 25 per cent higher than last year’s; it reflects the fact that the total number in need is 65 million more than in 2022.
The UN’s top emergency relief official, Martin Griffiths, said that needs are “shockingly high” and this would continue into 2023:
“The needs are going up because we’ve been by smitten by the war in Ukraine, by COVID, by climate. I fear that 2023 is going to be an acceleration of all those trends, and that’s why we say in this report and generally that we hope 2023 will be a year of solidarity, just as 2022 has been a year of suffering.”
As part of the appeal, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that it needs $1.9 billion to reach 48 million people with lifesaving and livelihood assistance in 2023.
Acute food insecurity continues to escalate globally, the FAO said, as it put in place plans to ensure that some of the world’s most vulnerable communities continue to receive a steady supply of nutritious food.
The UN agency provides cash, crop and vegetable seed packages, along with livestock feed to those in need, including in conflict zones.
FAO also promotes animal health campaigns and improvements to vital infrastructure including irrigation systems and markets, to encourage resilience to future emergencies.
Legacy of slavery still scars society, blocks progress says UN’s Guterres
The legacy of the transatlantic slave trade “reverberates to this day”, just as modern-day enslavement is growing, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday.
In a message ahead of commemorations for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, on 2 December, Mr. Guterres said that societies remain scarred by the historical suffering of enslaved Africans, and are unable to offer everyone the same development opportunities.
The UN chief also urged action to identify and recommit to eradicating all forms of contemporary slavery, from people trafficking to sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage and the use of children in armed conflict.
Citing the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery on forced labour and forced marriage, Mr. Guterres said that 50 million people were enslaved in 2021.
He explained that marginalised groups are most at risk, such as ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, along with migrants, children and LGBTi individuals; and that most of these vulnerable persons are women.
Africa’s advances in maternal, infant mortality face setbacks: WHO
Across Africa, efforts to reduce the number of women and infants dying in childbirth are set to slow without a substantial increase in investment, the UN health agency said on Thursday.
New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa, 390 women will die in childbirth for every 100,000 live births.
This is more than five times higher than Sustainable Development Goal targets – and well above the global average of 211 – and the European average is 13.
“For many African women, childbirth remains a persistent risk and millions of children do not live long enough to celebrate their fifth birthday,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa.
Today on average in Africa, 72 infants die in childbirth, per 1,000 successful births.
Progress is being made in saving more babies, WHO said, but if current trends continue, there will still be 54 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2030. This is more than twice the target set for 2030.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.