This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Large parts of world drier than normal in 2021: WMO
Most of the globe was drier than normal in 2021, with “cascading effects on economies, ecosystems and our daily lives”, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday.
According to the agency’s first report on global water resources, areas that were unusually dry included South America’s Rio de la Plata area, where a persistent drought has affected the region since 2019.
In Africa, major rivers such as the Niger, Volta, Nile and Congo had below-average water flow in 2021. The same trend was observed in rivers in parts of Russia, West Siberia and in Central Asia.
On the other hand, there were above-normal river volumes in some North American basins, the North Amazon and South Africa, as well as in China’s Amur river basin, and northern India.
WMO said that 3.6 billion people have inadequate access to water at least one month per year and that this is expected to increase to more than five billion by 2050.
Uganda’s refugee response ‘bursting at the seams’, warns UNHCR
To Uganda, where humanitarians fear that services for refugees may be overwhelmed by the arrival of displaced people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.
Issuing the alert on Tuesday, UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said that 130,000 people have fled violence in the DRC and South Sudan this year alone. Uganda already hosts 1.5 million refugees and services are “bursting at the seams”.
UNHCR’s Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams said that at one health centre, health professionals see up to 80 patients a day:
“The inpatient facilities were teeming with people. In the child paediatric centre, there were so many children that many of the parents and the children were sleeping on the floor.”
Uganda is one of UNHCR’s most underfunded operations, with just 46 per cent of its appeal for $343 million received this year.
Shipping needs to be more resilient to prepare for future global crises
The shipping industry must invest urgently in sustainability if it is to withstand future shocks and help to prevent another global cost-of-living crisis, UN trade and development experts UNCTAD said on Tuesday.
In a new report on maritime transport, the UN agency noted that between 2020 and 2021, carbon emissions from the world’s maritime fleet increased by almost five per cent.
At the same time, UNCTAD said that the average age of the ships in service has increased, to almost 22 years.
Replacing them is key to ensuring the maritime industry’s transition to a low-carbon future, said UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan, who called for “predictable global rules” to support the industry, ports and shipowners.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.