Human Rights Council Establishes International Commission of Inquiry to Investigate Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel

[OPT] Palestine – Israel

Human Rights Council Establishes International Commission of Inquiry to Investigate Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel
United Nations Human Rights Council 

27/05/2021

The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted a resolution on ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, in which it established an international commission of inquiry to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions.

The resolution was adopted at the end of a one-day special session of the Human Rights Council on the “grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.

In the resolution (A/HRC/S-30/L.1), adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, 9 against and 14 abstentions, the Council decides to urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity. 

The Council also calls upon all relevant parties to cooperate fully with the commission of inquiry and to facilitate its access.  It urges all States to refrain from transferring arms when they assess, in accordance with applicable national procedures and international obligations and standards, that there is a clear risk that such arms might be used in the commission or facilitation of serious violations or abuses of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law.

Pakistan introduced the draft resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference.  Israel and the State of Palestine spoke as a concerned countries.

Speaking in general statements or in statements before or after the vote were Austria, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Bahamas, Mexico, Venezuela, France, Bulgaria and the Netherlands

…Speakers said people in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank needed their leaders to make courageous steps towards peace.  Some speakers said that the indiscriminate barrage of rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad into Israel were completely unacceptable.  Other speakers said the Council must do three things: address the root causes of the conflict; call the situation what it was, apartheid and persecution, that is crimes against humanity; and end impunity by creating a standing mechanism – because the problems were systemic, long-lasting and would not be solved overnight.  It was unconscionable that States including the United States, Germany and Italy still supplied weapons and other military assistance to the Israeli Government, despite the clear risk of serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.  Some speakers, expressing their full solidarity with Israel, said they refused to support any investigation or mechanism that victimised and exonerated Hamas and other violent organizations.  There had been an explosion of anti-Semitism in past weeks, the result of the anti-Semitic vilification of Israel, to which the Council provided cover. 

Speaking were Faysal Mekadad, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Syria; Sultan bin Saad Al-muraikhi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar; Sameh Shoukry, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt; and Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar, Deputy Foreign Minister of Malaysia.

The following countries also took the floor: Argentina, France, Senegal, Nepal, Bulgaria, Argentina, Netherlands, Philippines, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Mali, Brunei Darussalam, Ireland, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Iraq, Chile, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Malta, Viet Nam, Morocco, Australia, Nigeria, Niger, Algeria, Maldives, Albania, Sovereign Order of Malta, South Africa, United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Peru, Timor-Leste, Oman, Liechtenstein, Yemen, Canada, Holy See, Iran, Colombia, Botswana, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Guyana, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Sri Lanka, Paraguay, Switzerland and Angola.

The following non-governmental organizations also took the floor: International Commission of Jurists; European Union of Jewish Students; Human Rights Watch; Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man; Defence for Children International; International Service for Human Rights; Norwegian Refugee Council; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Institute for NGO Research; Ingenieurs du Monde, United Nations Watch; World Jewish Congress; Amnesty International; Caro Institute for Human Rights Studies; ADALAH, Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel; International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists; and Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling.

Israel spoke in a point of order.

This was the thirtieth special session of the Human Rights Council, which was requested by 69 States, of whom 21 are Member States of the Council and 48 are Observer States…

State of Finance for Nature – Tripling investments in nature-based solutions by 2030

State of Finance for NatureTripling investments in nature-based solutions by 2030

Report – UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME; WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM; ECONOMICS OF LAND DEGRADATION INITIATIVE; VIVID ECONOMICS

27 May 2021 :: 65 pages     ISBN: 978-92-807-3865-0

PDF: https://wedocs.unep.org/xmlui/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/36145/SFN.pdf

Executive Summary [excerpts]

:: Nature loss is at the heart of many societal challenges, while nature-based solutions hold the potential to address interlinked crises: The pace of species extinction, global warming, the growing number of extreme weather events and zoonotic diseases like Covid-19, have further reinforced the need to invest in sustainable action that enhances the resilience of ecosystems and addresses societal challenges, such as food security, climate change, water security, human health and enhanced resilience to disaster risk.

:: Our livelihoods depend on nature. Our collective failure to date to understand that nature underpins our global economic system, will increasingly lead to financial losses. More than half of the world’s total GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature. Agriculture, food and beverages and construction are the largest sectors that are dependent on nature and these generate USD 8 trillion in gross value added.

:: The integrity of the Earth’s ecosystems has been significantly compromised as a result of human activity and the paradigm that has prioritised short-term economic growth. In order to ensure that humanity does not breach the safety limits of the planetary boundaries, we need a fundamental shift in mindset, transforming our relationship with nature. Currently, the majority of the essential benefits of nature have no financial market value, despite underpinning our current and future prosperity. From government policies related to procurement, taxation, trade and regulation, to the way businesses and financial institutions make decisions on investment, risk and disclosure, it is vital that we hardwire into our economic system the value of nature in a profound way.

:: Knowledge on capital expended and needed for NbS remains limited…

:: The report finds that approximately USD 133 billion/year currently flows into NbS (using 2020 as base year), with public funds making up 86 per cent and private finance 14 per cent…

:: Looking to the future, investment in NbS ought to at least triple in real terms by 2030 and increase four-fold by 2050 if the world is to meet its climate change, biodiversity and land degradation targets…

:: The compilation of data on capital investment in nature across all sectors and for all major economies has proven challenging and the estimates are highly uncertain…

:: The public sector plays a fundamental role in creating opportunities and demand for investment in NbS…

:: NbS poses an opportunity for private sector investment in pursuit of sources of revenue, to reap the benefits of increased resilience, to reduce costs and to enhance reputation and purpose..

Main Report  [excerpt]

1.2 Definition of NBS [p.12]

This report uses the global standard developed by the International Union for the

Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for nature-based solutions. NbS are defined as “Actions

to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human wellbeing and biodiversity benefits”. The goal of nature-based solutions is “to support the achievement of society’s development goals and safeguard human well-being in ways that reflect cultural and societal values and enhance the resilience of ecosystems, their capacity for renewal and the provision of services; nature-based solutions are designed to address major societal challenges, such as food security, climate change, water security, human health, disaster risk, social and economic development”.

The following preliminary principles are to be considered with the NbS definition:

  1. NbS embrace nature conservation norms (and principles);
  2. NbS can be implemented alone or in an integrated manner with other solutions to societal

   challenges (such as technological and engineering solutions);

  1. NbS are determined by site-specific natural and cultural contexts that include traditional,

   local and scientific knowledge;

  1. NbS produce societal benefits in a fair and equitable way in a manner that promotes

   transparency and broad participation;

  • NbS maintain biological and cultural diversity and the ability of ecosystems to evolve over time;
  • NbS are applied at a landscape scale;
  • NbS recognize and address the trade-offs between the production of a few immediate economic benefits for development and future options for the production of the full range of ecosystem services; and
  • NbS are an integral part of the overall design of policies, and measures or actions, to address a specific challenge.
  • NbS emphasize solutions. Such solutions address the multifaceted environmental crises and broader societal challenges affecting humanity today, including climate change,  biodiversity loss, land degradation, human health, migration, natural hazards and human-induced disaster, food and water security and biochemical imbalances.

World Health Assembly – 24 May 2021; Opening Statements

Double COVID-19 Vaccine Production, Bolster Primary Health-Care Systems to Prepare for Next Global Emergency, Secretary-General Tells World Health Assembly

24 May 2021   SG/SM/20740

[Excerpt focused on COVID vaccines/vaccination]

   …We are at war with a virus.  We need the logic and urgency of a war economy, to boost the capacity of our weapons.  On Friday, I called on the [Group of 20] (G20) to set up a task force that brings together all countries with vaccine production capacities, the World Health Organization, the ACT-Accelerator partners and international financial institutions, able to deal with the pharmaceutical companies and other key stakeholders.

   It should aim to at least double manufacturing capacity by exploring all options, from voluntary licenses and technology transfers to patent pooling and flexibility on intellectual property rights.  The task force should address equitable global distribution by using the ACT‑Accelerator and its COVAX Facility.  The G20 task force should be co-convened at the highest levels by the major Powers who hold most of the global supply and production capacity, together with the multilateral system.  I am ready to mobilize the entire United Nations system to support this effort…

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Director-General’s opening remarks at the World Health Assembly – 24 May 2021
[Excerpt focused on COVID vaccines/vaccination]
The ongoing vaccine crisis is a scandalous inequity that is perpetuating the pandemic. More than 75% of all vaccines have been administered in just 10 countries. There is no diplomatic way to say it: a small group of countries that make and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines control the fate of the rest of the world.

The number of doses administered globally so far would have been enough to cover all health workers and older people, if they had been distributed equitably. We could have been in a much better situation.

I understand that every government has a duty to protect its own people. I understand that every government wants to vaccinate its entire population. That’s what we want too. And in time, there will be enough supply for everyone, including those at lower risk.

But right now, there is not enough supply. Countries that vaccinate children and other low-risk groups now do so at the expense of health workers and high-risk groups in other countries. That’s the reality.

At the Executive Board meeting in January, I issued a challenge to see vaccination of health workers and older people underway in all countries within the first 100 days of the year. That target was very nearly achieved. But the number of doses available to COVAX remains vastly inadequate.

COVAX works. We have shipped every single one of the 72 million doses we have been able to get our hands on so far to 125 countries and economies. But those doses are sufficient for barely 1 percent of the combined population of those countries.

So today I am calling on Member States to support a massive push to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population of every country by September, and a “drive to December” to achieve our goal of vaccinating at least 30 percent by the end of the year. This is crucial to stop severe disease and death, keep our health workers safe and reopen our societies and economies…

COVID Global Response – Calls to Action, Joint Statements

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

COVID Global Response – Calls to Action, Joint Statements

Secretary-General Asks Private Sector to Fund Vaccine Equity, Help Put Humanity on ‘War Footing’ against COVID-19, at Business Leaders’ Event
27 May 2021 SG/SM/20749

Stressing Africa Has Received 2 Per Cent of COVID-19 Vaccines, Secretary-General Urges Developed Countries to Support Continent’s Pandemic Recovery, in Observance Message
24 May 2021 SG/SM/20737

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No-one is safe until everyone is safe – why we need a global response to COVID-19
Joint Statement – Signatories below
GENEVA, 23 May 2021 – [Editor’s text bolding]
“Equitable vaccine distribution is a humanitarian imperative.

“There is a choice. The world of the next 10 years can be one of greater justice, abundance and dignity. Or it can be one of conflict, insecurity and poverty. We are at a turning point.

“COVID-19 has been a truly global crisis in which we all have shouldered a burden. In many cases this has caused us to reflect on those longer injustices that have perpetuated in parts of the world where the pandemic is yet another layer of misery, instability and unrest. These inequalities have been exposed and exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic, both between and within countries. The effects will be felt on a global scale for years to come.

“The impact of a catastrophe like the COVID-19 pandemic is measured in the tragedy of individual loss and death, as well as the national and global disruption to almost every part of life. No country in the world has been untouched.

“Variants of the virus, potentially more infectious and resistant to vaccines, will continue to threaten us if they are not controlled now. Those of us who have signed this declaration represent organizations with roots in communities across the world. We work closely with those affected by conflict, disaster and famine, and know the immense challenges they face – but also of their resilience even in the worst of situations.

“In 2021, the world economy is facing the worst downturn since 1945. For some countries this will sharply increase poverty and suffering. For others it means hunger and death. The fallout from the pandemic will be with us for a long time to come. There will be a continued economic impact, with all the human suffering that brings. A generation of children, especially girls, have left school and will not return.

“The world is facing the challenge of how to reverse these devastating dynamics with health being a key part of such a response. We advocate here for ‘Health for All’, where each person’s life is valued, and every person’s right to healthcare is upheld. People not only need vaccinations – they need access to healthcare workers who are skilled and equipped to deliver adequate medical support.

“We need to build a world where each community, regardless of where they live, or who they are, has urgent access to vaccinations: not just for COVID-19, but also for the many other diseases that continue to harm and kill. As the pandemic has shown us, in our interdependent world no one is safe until everyone is safe.

“We have a choice: vaccine nationalism or human solidarity.

“Thanks to effective international action, several vaccines have been produced. The World Health Organisation, GAVI and CEPI are leading the COVAX initiative, which is currently the best effort we have to ensure that vaccines reach people around the world. However, COVAX is only intended to cover 20% of the global population– the most vulnerable in lower-income countries – by the end of 2021 and it is not yet clear if it will meet this target. Meanwhile studies show that if we focus only on vaccinating our own populations, the world risks global GDP losses of up to US$9.2 trillion (with half of that cost being incurred by high income countries) this year alone.

“But it is not just a matter of money. In order to achieve wider global vaccination, complex logistical, infrastructure and scaling issues must be addressed. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is focused on providing a means to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 diagnostic and treatment products. The ACT recognizes and aims to address the requirement for information sharing – whether about technology, intellectual property or manufacturing.

“However, more needs to be done. The sharing of information, the transfer of technology and the strengthening of manufacturing processes, to name a few, require the active involvement of States and the private sector.

“We therefore call on world leaders to:
1. Ensure equitable access to vaccines between countries by providing vaccines, sharing knowledge and expertise, and fully funding the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which is working to provide equitable access to and implementation of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

2. Ensure equitable access to vaccines within countries by ensuring all sectors of the population are included in national distribution and vaccination programs, regardless of who they are or where they live, including stigmatized and marginalized communities for whom access to healthcare might not be straightforward.

3. Support countries financially, politically and technically to ensure that curbing COVID-19 is not a standalone goal, and instead is one important element of a broader health strategy, implemented alongside communities to bring longer-term improvements to people’s health and access to healthcare. We are committed, in our different institutions, to offering all the help we can to support actions by communities and authorities.

“It is time for decisive leadership. Countries and organizations across the world have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address global inequality and reverse some of the fallout from the past year. In doing so, they will bring hope not only for the poorest in the world, but for us all.”

#####

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
Bishop Ivan M Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council
HE Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Ecumenical Patriarchate
The Reverend Dr Chris Ferguson, General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
The Reverend Dr Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation
Dr Azza Karam, Secretary-General, Religions for Peace
Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Rabbi David Rosen, Co-President, Religions for Peace
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, The Grand Imam of al-Azhar
HE Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Rome

Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates
Last update: 29 May 2021
Confirmed cases :: 169 118 995 [week ago: 165 772 430]
Confirmed deaths :: 3 519 175 [week ago: 3 437 545]
Vaccine doses administered: 1 546 316 352 [week ago: 1 448 242 899]

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Weekly operational update on COVID-19 – 24 May 2021
In this edition of the COVID-19 Weekly Operational Update, highlights of country-level actions and WHO support to countries include:
:: Medical supplies reach Indian states and Union Territories
:: Egypt and Philippines receive additional shipments of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility
:: Strengthening quality assurance and biosafety for SARS-CoV-2 sample collection sites in Azerbaijan
COVID-19 posing unprecedented threat on war-torn Yemen
:: Online training on vaccination to frontline workers in Uruguay
:: WHO EPI-WIN hosted discussion for youth networks on mental health and how ten years of
:: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) strengthened capacities to support the COVID-19 response
:: Regular updates on WHO’s resource requirements and funds received to support countries in implementing the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan 2021, WHO/PAHO procurement of critical supplies, and implementation of the Unity Studies

Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 – 25 May 2021
Overview
For the second successive week, the number of COVID-19 cases globally remains at the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic with over 5.7 million new weekly cases, following nine consecutive weeks of increases. New deaths continue to increase for the seventh consecutive week, with over 93 000 deaths. The South-East Asia Region continues to report marked increases in both case and death incidences.
In this edition, special focus updates are provided on:
:: World Hand Hygiene Day, 5 May 2021
:: WHO partnership with SeroTracker — synthesizing “real-time” seroprevalence data to support global pandemic response
:: SARS-CoV-2 variants

POLIO Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC); WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 26 May 2021
:: Come and join the virtual launch of the Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026, at an online event on Thursday 10 June 2021 (at 2pm, Central European Summer Time).  More information, including registration details, are available here, where you will find the ‘Save the Date’.
:: Understanding gender-related barriers to immunization is essential to achieve polio eradication. But what is gender? What is the difference between gender and sex? How do sex and gender influence health, including immunization? This newly released Q&A examines the links between gender and health, highlighting WHO’s ongoing work to address gender-related barriers to healthcare, advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity, and achieve health for all.

Summary of new WPV and cVDPV viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Pakistan: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Burkina Faso: one cVDPV2 case
:: Congo: one cVDPV2 case
:: DR Congo: five cVDPV2 cases
:: Guinea: one cVDPV2 case
:: Liberia: two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Madagascar: three cVDPV1 cases and one cVDPV1 positive environmental sample
:: Mali: one cVDPV2 case
:: Tajikistan: two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples

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WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Editor’s Note:
Continuing with this edition, we include information about the last apparent update evident on the WHO emergency country webpages, recognizing almost universal and significant interims since last update regardless of the level of the emergency listed.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 29 May 2021]

Democratic Republic of the Congo – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 3 May 2021]
Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 3 November 2020]
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 29 Jun 2020]
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 13 July 2020]
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 4 February 2020]
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 24 October 2020]
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 30 June 2020]

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 29 May 2021]
Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 5 July 2020]
Angola – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 16 March 2021]
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 04 July 2019]
Burkina Faso – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 21 mai 2021]
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 22 August 2019]
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 12 June 2018]
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 22 August 2019]
Iran floods 2019 – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 2 March 2020]
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 12 May 2021
Libya – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 7 October 2019]
Malawi – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 22 April 2021
Measles in Europe No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 26-04-2021]
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 8 July 2019]
Mozambique – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 03 November 2020]
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 29 March 2021]
NigerNo new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 16 avril 2021]
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 4 September 2019]
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 27 August 2019]
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 24 June 2020]
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 1 May 2019]
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 10 May 2019]

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 29 May 2021]

Kenya
:: Urgent immunization response launched to tackle polio outbreak in 13 counties
21 May 2021

Chad – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 30 June 2018]
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 25 novembre 2020]
Mali – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 3 May 2017]
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 20 July 2018]
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified [Last apparent update: 21 October 2019]

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UN OCHA – Current Emergencies
Current Corporate Emergencies
Ethiopia
Ethiopia – Tigray Region Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 20 May 2021
HIGHLIGHTS
:: Humanitarian needs continue to be grave, exceeding to current capacities.
:: While some areas were accessible, others remain hard to reach due to movement restrictions and ongoing conflict.
:: An alarming number of cases of acute malnutrition among children has been reported.
:: Only about 2 per cent of the targeted 720,000 school children have access to learning opportunities.
:: About US$200 million is needed to respond to humanitarian needs until the end of July.

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