Today’s report from the United Nations on developments in the wars in Gaza and Afghanistan and others

Source The United Nations


Media – Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Highlights: – Gaza – Afghanistan  – Deputy Secretary-General Trip  – Security Council   – Colombia  – Democratic Republic of The Congo  – Briefings Today  – Briefings Tomorrow

GAZA The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that mass displacements across the Gaza Strip continues.

The cumulative number of displaced people increased by 30 percent just over the past 24 hours, now totaling more than 338,000, of whom over two thirds are taking shelter in schools run by UNRWA.

The UN Relief and Works Agency says that nearly 218,600 internally displaced people (IDPs) are sheltering in 92 UNRWA schools in all areas in the Gaza Strip.

In Gaza, more than 2,500 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable, while nearly 23,000 others have sustained moderate to minor damage.

At least 88 education facilities have been struck, including 18 UNRWA schools, two of which were used as emergency shelters for displaced people, as well as 70 Palestinian Authority schools.

This means that for the sixth consecutive day, more than 600,000 children have had no access to education at a safe place in Gaza.

OCHA adds that Gaza’s sole power plant has run out of fuel and was forced to stop functioning, triggering an immediate black-out, which continues throughout Gaza.

This followed Israel’s halt of its electricity and fuel supply to Gaza on 8 October.

A water crisis is looming in UNRWA emergency shelters and across the Gaza Strip due to damaged infrastructure, lack of electricity needed to operate pumps and desalination plants, and limited supply of water in the local market.

Water supplies cannot be replenished due to the total blockade on the Gaza Strip by the Israelis authorities.

Fuel cannot be brought in, and Israeli water suppliers can no longer deliver water in Gaza.

Humanitarian agencies continue to face major constraints in providing humanitarian assistance.

The insecurity is preventing safe access to impacted areas and warehouses. Despite the challenging conditions, humanitarian workers have provided some assistance, including the distribution of fresh bread to 137,000 displaced people, the delivery of 70,000 litres of fuel to water and sanitation facilities, and the activation of psychosocial support helplines.

Yesterday, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, allocated $9 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to urgently respond to relief efforts. UNRWA adds that 12 of its personnel have been killed since 7 October.

AFGHANISTAN The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is continuing to assess the impact of the earthquake that hit the country yesterday.

As of yesterday, 1 person had been killed and an estimated 140 were injured by the second earthquake.

Already, 17,000 people had been directly impacted by the first earthquake.

Our humanitarian colleagues note that damaged housing, plus the fear of returning home due to persistent aftershocks, have resulted in several informal sites having sprouted across Herat City.

The response continues and our international colleagues are working with local partners to support impacted communities.

The International Organization for Migration distributed humanitarian aid to 930 families in the affected area and in sites in Herat city hosting families who have been displaced by the disaster.

This includes shelter assistance to more than 700 families whose homes were completely destroyed by the earthquakes.

IOM also provided four ambulances to the regional hospital in Herat City to transport injured people to the provincial hospital.

The UN Refugee Agency distributed solar lamps and hygiene kits, among other critical supplies, and is working to ensure that people with disabilities, older people and households headed by women receive support tailored to them.

UNHCR says that plans are under way to deliver psychosocial support to help people affected by the earthquake overcome the trauma.

For its part, UNICEF distributed more than 500 blankets and tents for temporary health care, while the World Food Programe has dispatched more than 81 tons of food.

And tomorrow, we’ll be joined here by the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Daniel Endres, who will speak to you more about the humanitarian response.

COLOMBIA And I just want to read for the record that yesterday afternoon, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Colombia, briefed Security Council members on the latest developments on the political mission there.

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