This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
In west and central Africa, 3.4 million people need help after destructive flooding, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday.
The alert comes amid the worst floods in a decade, which have swept across Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cameroon.
UNHCR spokesperson Olga Sarrado said that hundreds of people had died in Nigeria, where floodwaters in the northeast swept through sites for internally displaced people and host communities in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States.
Ms. Sarrado added that temperatures in the Sahel are also rising 1.5 times faster than the global average:
“The climate crisis is happening now – destroying livelihoods, disrupting food security, aggravating conflicts over scarce resources and driving displacement.”
More than 1.3 million people have been displaced so far in Nigeria and 2.8 million have been impacted by flooding, with farmlands and roads submerged.
In Central Sahel countries – Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso – above-average rains and flooding have killed hundreds, displaced thousands, and decimated over one million hectares of cropland.
To help those most in need in West and Central Africa, UNHCR appealed to all donors for urgent support, as its humanitarian operations are “dangerously and chronically underfunded”.
UN rights chief urges Russia to repeal – not expand – restrictive LGTBI laws
Russia should repeal and not expand already restrictive LGBTI laws, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Friday.
The appeal from the UN’s new rights chief, Volker Türk, followed Thursday’s decision by the Russian parliament to move towards broadening a ban on the sharing of information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their rights.
The Russian Duma’s decision infringes “even further on international human rights norms and standards” and is deeply concerning, OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told journalists in Geneva.
She explained that the latest LGBTI restrictions stem from 2013 legislation, that was itself condemned by independent human rights experts as “discriminatory (and) violating fundamental rights to freedom of expression”.
“One of the arguments that is sometimes brought forth is that such legislation is important for the protection of children. In fact, what the Committee on the Rights of the Child has found is that rather than protecting children, such legislation leads to the targeting and ongoing persecution – including abuse and violence – of children, as well.”
96,000 Haitians displaced by gang violence in capital
Ninety-six thousand Haitians have now been forced to leave their homes because of spiralling gang violence in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
In an alert, on Friday, UN migration agency, IOM, said that the number of people displaced there has tripled in the past five months.
It pointed to racketeering, kidnappings and other criminal activity, all taking place in a context of deep “inequality, high levels of deprivation…and a fragmented security environment”.
Neighbourhoods in the capital which face the highest levels of violence are victims of economic distress, made worse by recent surges in food and fuel prices that have destabilized people’s livelihoods.
Ulrika Richardson, UN Resident Coordinator in Haiti, insisted that the United Nations was working with humanitarian, government, and local partners to help alleviate hardships of the most vulnerable families.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.