This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Ukraine: Black Sea exports ramp up, boosting food supplies for most vulnerable
Two months since the Black Sea Grain Initiative kicked into action to help release desperately needed grain and fertilizer from ports in Ukraine and Russia, confidence is returning among global distributors as exports ramp up, UN aid agency WFP said on Thursday.
To date, the agreement between the UN, Türkiye, Russia and Ukraine has allowed almost 240 vessels to leave Ukrainian ports with some 5.4 million tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs.
Here’s Dennis Malone, a UN Representative at the Joint Coordination Centre in Odesa:
“What I am seeing with the Black Sea Grain Initiative is an increase in confidence, confidence in the shipping community, the commercial shipping community. We are seeing the price of shipping insurance reduced, we are seeing the quality of ships that are being used to come in to export the grain are increasing. We are also seeing an increase in confidence in the local community, in the farming community. They are starting to see that their grain is being exported, that the silos are being emptied and that they can start planning for future harvests.”
One ship leaving Odesa earlier this week, the BC Vanessa, is the fourth humanitarian vessel to be chartered by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) out of Ukraine.
Its precious cargo – 30,000 tonnes of wheat – is destined for Afghanistan, to alleviate the desperate humanitarian emergency there.
Other UN shipments taking part in the initiative have already delivered wheat to Ethiopia and Yemen.
Reprisals continue against people cooperating with the UN
People in 42 different countries across the world faced reprisals and intimidation after cooperating with the United Nations on human rights.
That’s one of the disturbing findings of the annual report by the UN Secretary-General on the issue; it details how victims of human rights violations, rights activists and journalists have suffered “reprisals and intimidation” by States and non-State actors.
Abuses have included people being detained, targeted by restrictive legislation and followed online and offline.
All of the reported cases happened between May 2021 and April this year and involved individuals and groups who cooperated with UN human rights mechanisms, or used UN procedures to seek help for human rights violations.
WHO launches new initiative to stop the spread of invasive malaria vector in Africa
A bid to stop a malaria-carrying mosquito that’s from outside Africa taking an even greater hold in the east and west of the continent is underway, supported by the UN health agency, it said on Thursday.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the Anopheles stephensi mosquito is originally from South Asia and the Arabian peninsula; but it has been spotted in increasing numbers in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.
“Unlike the other main mosquito vectors of malaria in Africa, it thrives in urban settings,” the WHO said in a statement, which also noted that more than 40 per cent of Africans now live in towns.
WHO’s approach involves increasing cooperation and mosquito surveillance across borders and the UN agency has urged national health agencies to share any reported sightings.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.