Ethiopia, Mali, Benin/COVID-19 & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (29 July 2021)

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Published on 29 Jul 2021, 18:22
Noon briefing by Eri Kaneko, Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

- Ethiopia
- Under-Secretary-General’s Travels
- Security Council
- Mali
- Benin/Covid-19
- Education
- Apostolis

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, started a six-day mission to Ethiopia today.
Mr. Griffiths said that it was important to him that his first official mission in his new role be to Ethiopia, where humanitarian needs have increased this year due to armed conflicts in Tigray and Benishangul-Gumuz, as well as intercommunal violence in parts of Afar, Somali and SNNP regions, and drought in Somali, Oromia and Afar regions.
He said that these shocks come on top of existing challenges associated with floods, the desert locust infestation, chronic food insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his visit, Mr. Griffiths is expected to meet with high-level Government officials and representatives of the humanitarian and donor communities. He said he looks forward to constructive discussions on scaling up the humanitarian response across the country.
He plans to travel to Tigray to hear from civilians affected by the conflict and to witness first-hand the challenges that aid workers face. An estimated 5.2 million people – which is about 90 per cent of the population – need humanitarian assistance in the Tigray region.
Mr. Griffiths also plans to meet with Amhara regional authorities in Bahir Dar city. We will keep you updated on Mr. Griffiths’ mission.

The UN Mission in Mali reports that yesterday, peacekeepers repelled two attacks targeting its patrols. The first took place in Kidal. An armoured vehicle was damaged but there were no casualties.
The second attack happened north of Douentza, in the Mopti Region, in an area where peacekeepers had defused an improvised explosive device earlier in the day.
In the past three weeks, there have been 15 attacks against peacekeepers in Mali, including 11 that involved improvised explosive devices. Fifteen Mission staff were injured in these attacks, which also caused extensive material damage.
Despite these challenges, the Mission remains committed to carrying out its mandate and reiterated its support for the full implementation of the Peace agreement.

On Monday, Benin received more than 300,000 doses of vaccines through COVAX. These vaccines will be used at 115 vaccination sites across the country.
The UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Salvator Niyonzima, is ramping up its support for the ongoing vaccination campaign. The World Health Organization has been supporting health authorities with surveillance of the virus, epidemiological investigation, case management, and risk communication and community engagement.
For its part, UNICEF is working with partners to transport and distribute the vaccines.
The UN has been working to raise awareness of the vaccination campaign and is disseminating messages through text messaging. We are also working with authorities to manage rumours and misinformation.

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