Editor’s note: Here’s a quick look at what the international community has been up to over the past week, as seen from the United Nations’ Perch.
UN appeals for $5 billion for Afghanistan, neighbors
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this week that time was running out to stop the humanitarian nightmare in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, the United Nations launched a record aid appeal for more than $5 billion to help 28 million people inside Afghanistan and in five neighboring countries this year.
UN launches record $5 billion funding appeal for Afghanistan, 5 neighboring countries
UN urges investigation into violence against Kazakhstan protests
The UN Human Rights Office called this week for a speedy, independent and impartial investigation into the deadly crackdown by the Kazakhstani authorities on the January 2 protests that erupted in the country over rising fuel prices.
UN urges release of thousands detained during Kazakh protests
in the letter
– Aid workers continue to struggle to get help for the millions in need in northern Ethiopia. The United Nations said this week that there had been no deliveries in the Tigre region since December 14. Fuel, which is vital for aiding convoys on the road, is in short supply. No fuel has been supplied to the Tigre since 2 August. Some UN partners say they will have to suspend their work soon if fuel is not allowed. Fighting and intense airstrikes are also hampering relief efforts and causing civilian casualties.
Globally, the United Nations says 274 million people are expected to be in need of humanitarian aid this year because of a range of factors, including conflict, the effects of climate change and COVID-19. The United Nations and its allies are expected to reach 183 million to the most needy, at a cost of at least $41 billion.
Secretary-General Guterres began his second and final term as UN chief on 1 January. On 10 January, the organization formally announced that his deputy, Amina Mohamed of Nigeria, would remain in office for a second term.
some good news
The World Health Organization said on Thursday that the wave of Omicron variant COVID-19 cases on the African continent has peaked and is now flattening.
WHO also recommended two new drugs to help treat COVID-19 infection. Baricitinib is “strongly recommended” for patients with severe cases of the virus and sotrovimab is “conditionally recommended” for those with mild or moderate symptoms.
WHO recommends 2 new COVID-19 drugs
quote of note
“Whether there will be a war, no one knows. I would say personally that I doubt it, because everyone knows how much to lose, including [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
Estonia’s UN ambassador Sven Jürgensen said in response to a reporter’s question about growing international concerns that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine.
what are we seeing next week
On January 21, Guterres will outline his priorities for the year at the General Assembly.