This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Inflation threatens everyone’s right to development, Human Rights Council hears
Rising global inflation is expected to hit emerging and developing economies particularly hard this year, adding to a “confluence of crises” that threatens us all, the UN’s acting human rights chief has warned.
Addressing the Human Rights Council on Thursday, Nada Al- Nashif said that the world’s poorest nations faced average inflation rates of 9.5 per cent this year, well above the 6.6 per cent rate expected in the industrialised world.
Ms. Al-Nashif added that although the world’s richest countries had seen employment rates return or exceed pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, “most” middle-income countries hadn’t yet managed to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities, setting back development by several years in many parts of the world. Weighed down by unsustainable debt burdens and their repercussions for providing social protection, many countries face unprecedented challenges, including the possibilities of social unrest.”
Seventy five to 95 million more people are expected to live in extreme poverty this year, compared with before the pandemic, Ms. Al-Nashif said.
Of the 760 million people already enduring extreme poverty, she explained that there would be 16 million more women and girls than men and boys this year.
More than 80 per cent live in only two regions: Sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South Asia, she said.
Climate change ‘recovery’ fund call
In a related warning, a top independent human rights expert called on Thursday for the creation of a global “recovery” fund to help States hit hard by extreme weather events caused by climate change.
Ian Fry, the UN Special Rapporteur on climate change, issued his appeal at the end of an official visit to Bangladesh.
He insisted that the Southeast Asian nation “should not have to carry the burden of climate change alone”.
And he added that “for too long, major emitting countries have denied their responsibility for the suffering they are causing”.
The rights expert – who was appointed by the Human Rights Council in an independent capacity in March this year – said that repeated flash-flooding this year in Sylhet, northeast Bangladesh, had exposed women in particular to the most dangerous impacts of climate change.
Sri Lanka’s health care system close to collapse, warns UN Population Fund
To Sri Lanka, where the country’s economic crisis has left women at a higher risk of domestic violence, the UN sexual and reproductive agency, UNFPA, has said.
Amid fuel shortages, the UN agency quoted the owner of a women’s refuge who said that she didn’t have enough funds to fetch a victim who had called for help.
The case is one of many in the country, where a lack of work has multiplied problems for families, including “more violence” for women, the UNFPA said.
Official data indicates that one in four women in Sri Lanka has been a victim of domestic violence.
The UNFPA is concerned that the country’s once robust healthcare system is close to collapse, and that as government funds run dry, shortages of critical medical supplies have severely obstructed sexual and reproductive services, access to contraception, and safe houses for women.
To help women’s shelters in Sri Lanka, the UNFPA has appealed for $10.7 million, to ensure specialised health care and gender-based violence protection services for more than two million women and girls this year.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.