Middle East, Ethiopia, Refugee Convention & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (28 July 2021)

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Published on 28 Jul 2021, 17:42
Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- Pre-Summit for the Food Systems Summit
- Middle East
- Ethiopia
- Central African Republic
- Armenia/Azerbaijan
- Myanmar
- Bangladesh
- COVID-19/Thailand
- Tajikistan/COVID-19
- Refugee Convention's 70th Anniversary
- Financial Contribution

Middle East
Lynn Hastings, the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, who is also the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, briefed the Security Council this morning on humanitarian efforts following the fighting in Israel and Gaza in May.
She noted that, according to the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) issued by the UN, the World Bank and the EU earlier this month, damages in Gaza are estimated at between $290 million and $380 million, while economic losses may reach nearly $200 million.
She said that international efforts – coordinated by the United Nations – to implement the humanitarian response and stabilize the situation on the ground in Gaza are well underway. Thus far, some $45 million (out of a requested $95 million) has been raised for the consolidated humanitarian flash appeal published by the UN in May.
Ms. Hastings said that it is essential that Israel implement additional measures to allow unhindered entry of all humanitarian assistance, including materials to implement the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan and the Flash Appeal.
She also called on the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the death of Nizar Banat and all allegations of use of disproportionate force against protestors by Palestinian Security Forces are investigated in a thorough, transparent and independent manner and that those responsible be held to account.

Ethiopia
Turning to Ethiopia, our humanitarian colleagues continue to report major challenges to accessing Tigray with humanitarian assistance.
The last convoy reached Mekelle on 12 July, yet an estimated 500 to 600 trucks of relief items are needed every week to meet mounting humanitarian needs.
All roads into Tigray from the Amhara region remain closed due to restrictions and insecurity. The only possible road through the Afar region is inaccessible since 19 July, following an attack on a World Food Programme convoy a day earlier.
Meanwhile, today, 44 trucks with humanitarian supplies left Semera, in the Afar region, and are headed for Tigray. About 150 trucks remain on standby in Semera, pending security clearances.
As you are aware, the World Food Programme has warned that the current food supply in Tigray will only last until this Friday. Nutrition partners will also soon run out of the essential Ready to Use Formula to treat an estimated 4,000 severely malnourished children every month.
A lack of supplies, fuel and communication equipment is expected to effectively halt humanitarian response in two weeks. Fuel shortages have particularly affected health assistance, including vaccinations and other life-saving services, and risk disrupting access to safe water for up to 450,000 people. At least 200,000 litres of fuel, or 4 to 5 tankers, are needed weekly to enable operations to continue.
We continue to call for the restoration of basic services, electricity, communications, commercial flights and the banking system. We also reiterate the Secretary-General’s call for unfettered humanitarian access to ensure that vital and life-saving assistance can reach people in need as soon as possible.
Finally, we also continue to call on all parties to the conflict in northern Ethiopia to protect civilians and humanitarian workers and their assets in compliance with international humanitarian law.

Refugee Convention’s 70th Anniversary
As we mark the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the UNHCR said today that recommitting to its spirit and fundamental principles is more urgent than ever.
Millions of lives have been saved because of the Convention, Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees, said. But he also expressed alarm at recent attempts by some governments to disregard or circumvent the Convention’s principles.
He stressed the need for the international community to uphold the key principles of refugee protection as laid out in the Convention, including the right of someone fleeing persecution not to be sent back into the path of harm or danger.

Full Highlights: un.org/sg/en/content/noon-brie...
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