The Best bookmaker bet365


Soualiga (3543)

ISIL ‘down but not out’ in Iraq; UN envoy urges efforts to defeat group’s extremist ideology

INTERNATIONAL, 22 November 2017 – The military victory against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) is only one component of a complex battle that addresses the root causes of extremist ideology, the United Nations envoy for Iraq said Wednesday.

“Da’esh remains able and determined to continue devastating random attacks against the Iraqi civilian population, against civilians globally,” Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), told the Security Council.

“Da’esh is down but not yet out even in Iraq,” he stressed, adding that “only by defeating its loathsome ‘takfiri’ ideology, choking off its external support, and addressing the causes that prompted so many Iraqis to join or tolerate Da’esh can this terrorist organization finally be eliminated.”

He noted that on 17 November, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) fully recaptured Rawa, the last remaining densely settled area under Da’esh control in Iraq. Since summer 2014, Da’esh has lost 95 per cent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria and more than 7.5 million people have been liberated from its grasp.

But “this victory has come at a very high cost,” said Mr. Kubiš, noting that thousands of fighters and civilians were killed or wounded, hundreds of thousands of children brainwashed, entire cities in ruins, and some six million people have been displaced.

Further, Da’esh has exterminated or enslaved thousands of Muslims, as well as minority communities, particularly women and girls, in action amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, perhaps even genocide.

Mr. Kubiš encouraged the global coalition against Da’esh to continue both military and non military efforts to help Iraq ensure the lasting and sustainable defeat of Da’esh.

He said that inside Iraq, priority must be accorded to facilitating the voluntary return of internally displaced persons, stabilization, reconstruction and rehabilitation. It would also be crucial to reform the security sector and to enforce law and order against armed groups outside State control, including criminal gangs, militias and tribal elements.

Tensions between Central Government and Kurdistan Regional Government

He went on to state that among the prominent current concerns are the tensions between the Central Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government in the wake of a decision by the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to hold a unilaterally-declared independence referendum. The central authorities have rejected the referendum as unconstitutional and have taken steps to re assert federal authority over Iraq’s external border crossings, including the international airports in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

On 6 November, he reported, the Federal Supreme Court issued an opinion stating that the constitution does not provide for authorizing the secession of any component of Iraq’s federal system, and that the referendum was illegal.

All outstanding issues between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government must be resolved through sustainable solutions based on the constitution, he emphasized, noting that UNAMI has also called for immediate negotiations with Government representatives on such issues as the budget, salaries and oil exports.

Turning to elections, he said the new Board of Commissioners for the Independent High Electoral Commission has a herculean task ahead, including holding two simultaneous elections, a tight timeline and security concerns.

He called upon the Council of Representatives to pass legislation to ensure that elections are held on 15 May 2018, adding that a United Nations electoral needs assessment mission has been deployed to help in identifying priority areas for support. UNAMI has also completed a draft law on the Establishing of National Specialized Court on Most Serious Crimes, to be discussed with relevant authorities.

Turning to the question of missing Kuwaiti and third country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including that country’s national archives, he said Iraq and Kuwait served as models of good neighbourly relations in a region fraught with instability. Iraq’s Government has made impressive efforts to identify grave sites, but efforts to identify missing Kuwaiti property has met with limited success.

Although there has been no progress in locating the national archives, the Government of Iraq has identified more than 6,000 Kuwaiti books. The United Nations and the international community will continue to pursue the matter and to support Iraq on that question until that chapter could be closed, he said.


With access to modern, clean energy, poorer countries look to power ahead through innovation – UN report

INTERNATIONAL, 22 November 2017 – Energy is key to global development, but the world’s poorest and most vulnerable nations fare up to six times worse than their more industrialized counterparts when it comes to accessing the vital resource, the United Nations warned on Wednesday.

In its 2017 report on the world’s 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), focused on Transformational Energy Access the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that only four of them were on course to achieve internationally agreed targets on energy distribution by 2030.

While they have made great strides in recent years, achieving the global goal of universal access to energy by 2030, the finish line for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will require a 350 per cent increase in their annual rate of electrification, said UNCTAD.

“Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 is not only a question of satisfying households’ basic energy needs,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said in Geneva, ahead of the report’s publication on Tuesday.

“That in itself has valuable welfare implications, but we need to go beyond […] For electrification to transform LDC economies, modern energy provision needs to spur productivity increases and unlock the production of more goods and services.”

Dr. Kituyi added: “The productive use of energy is what turns access into economic development, and what ensures that investments in electricity infrastructure are economically viable. But that means looking beyond satisfying households basic needs to achieving transformational energy access – satisfying producers’ needs for adequate, reliable and affordable energy.”

To that end, the report notes that renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, could have a revolutionary effect in rural areas, home to 82 per cent of those without power in the least developed countries, and help to overcome the historical obstacles to rural electrification.

But non-hydro renewable energy in these countries has so far come mostly from small-scale technologies, such as solar lanterns and stand-alone home systems. While these have brought some progress, they fall short of the game-changing access to power that they need to transform their economies.

Utility-scale renewable technologies capable of feeding the grids and mini-grids necessary not only to power homes, but also to grow businesses and industries, need to be deployed rapidly. But to achieve this, the least developed countries must overcome important technological, economic and institutional obstacles. This will require both the right national policies and stronger international support.

Because energy technologies, and particularly renewable technologies, are constantly evolving, it is critical that the least developed countries gain access to the technologies suited to their particular conditions and circumstances, and that they strengthen the capacity of their energy sectors to absorb such technologies.

The recently created Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries could help, but developed countries could help even more by living up to their technology-transfer obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, said UNCTAD.


UN agency gravely concerned by lack of medical services in Syria’s eastern Ghouta

INTERNATIONAL, 22 November 2017 – Despite escalating violence and increasing humanitarian needs, life-saving medicines, medical equipment, and surgical supplies are being prevented from entering eastern Ghouta in Syria and the plan to transfer critically ill patients to hospitals elsewhere has not been approved, the United Nations health agency has warned.

“Continuous and unimpeded humanitarian aid to eastern Ghouta is urgently needed, and medical evacuations of critically ill patients are long overdue,” said Elizabeth Hoff, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Syria.

“Life-saving health supplies are available, and WHO, along with partners, stands ready to respond to health needs once access is granted,” she added.

In eastern Ghouta of Rural Damascus, local health authorities report that in just four days through 17 November, 84 people were killed, including 17 children and 6 women; and 659 people were injured, including 127 children and 87 women.

During the same period, more than 200 surgical operations were conducted in eastern Ghouta’s overwhelmed and under-resourced hospitals. Hospitals and healthcare centres have been damaged, severely limiting medical care for people at a time when they need it most.

On 18 November, two resident doctors and three patients at al-Mujtahed Hospital in Damascus city were injured in an attack. The 412-bed facility is one of the main public hospitals in Damascus serving patients from eastern Ghouta and other parts of the country.

WHO is also concerned that lack of essential health services, as well as limited electricity, fuel, safe drinking-water and basic sanitation services are increasing the risk of disease outbreaks such as diarrheal diseases, typhoid and hepatitis.

Further, inter-agency convoys to the area have been irregular, and the aid provided has been insufficient to meet the increasing needs of up to 400,000 people besieged for more than 4 years.


UN urges action so women and girls everywhere can live free from all forms of violence

INTERNATIONAL, 22 November 2017 – Achieving gender equality and the full empowerment of women is the answer to ending violence against women, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Wednesday, calling for collective global action on this cause.

“Violence against women is fundamentally about power,” Mr. Guterres said in his remarks alongside UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at a special event held at UN Headquarters in New York to commemorate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is annually observed on 25 November.

“It will only end when gender equality and the full empowerment of women will be a reality,” he stressed, adding that his policy on gender parity in the United Nations is one step towards achieving this goal.

Mr. Guterres noted that every woman and every girl have the right to a life free of violence, but this right is violated in a variety of ways in every community, with more than one in three women worldwide face violence throughout their lifetime.

This violence, the most visible sign of pervasive patriarchy and chauvinism, directly impacts women’s physical and psychological health. It affects whole families, communities and societies. While it continues, States will not achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a master plan to end poverty and save the planet, adopted by them in 2015.

“There is increasing recognition that violence against women is a major barrier to the fulfilment of human rights, and a direct challenge to women’s inclusion and participation in sustainable development and sustaining peace,” said Mr. Guterres.

The United Nations is committed to addressing violence against women in all its forms, he stressed, citing such initiatives as the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, which has successfully awarded $129 million to 463 initiatives across 139 countries and territories over the past 20 years.

These also include the Spotlight Initiative recently launched by the UN and the European Union, as well as the UN Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative, which seeks to help end sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces.

Mr. Guterres is also addressing the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse inhouse by launching a new, victim-centred approach to the offenses committed by those serving under the UN.

While noting that these initiatives should help deliver transformative change, he said much more remains to be done.

“It is time for united action from all of us, so that women and girls around the world can live free from all forms of violence,” he said.

Led by UN Women and partners, hundreds of events will be held worldwide, including marches, flashmobs, concerts, and football and rugby games. Iconic buildings will be lit up in orange to galvanize attention during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December, when the world marks Human Rights Day.

The 16 Days campaign takes place under the umbrella of the Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women by 2030. Orange has been designated as the colour of the UNiTE campaign as it symbolizes hope and a violence-free world.

This year’s theme for the campaign is ‘Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls.’


UN hails conviction of Mladic, the 'epitome of evil,' a momentous victory for justice

INTERNATIONAL, 22 November 2017 – Welcoming today’s conviction of former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic on multiple counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by an international tribunal, the United Nations top human right official said that the verdict is “a warning” to perpetrators of such crimes that they will be brought to justice.

“Mladic is the epitome of evil, and the prosecution of Mladic is the epitome of what international justice is all about,” underscored Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement Wednesday.

“Today’s verdict is a warning to the perpetrators of such crimes that they will not escape justice, no matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take. They will be held accountable,” he added.

Mladic presided over some of the most horrific crimes to occur in Europe since World War II, bringing terror, death and destruction to thousands of victims, and sorrow, tragedy and trauma to countless more.

In the statement, Mr. Zeid also noted that Mladic’s conviction, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), is “a testament to the courage and determination of those victims and witnesses who never gave up hope that they would see him brought to justice.”

Today’s verdict is a warning to the perpetrators of such crimes that they will not escape justiceHigh Commissioner Zeid

He also expressed hope that while the conviction will not return loved ones to their families or erase the past, the verdict can help “counter the voices” of those who either deny these horrific crimes or glorify those who committed them.

Also in the statement, Mr. Zeid said that the ICTY verdict reinforced the importance of the International Criminal Court.

“All those who question the importance of the ICC should reflect on this case. All those who are committing serious international crimes in so many situations today across the world should fear this result,” he said Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic – two of the main architects of some of the worst atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the genocide of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica – have now been convicted by the Tribunal and are facing lengthy jail sentences.

For his part, the President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, said: “This is proof that one can delay justice but not escape it […] the verdict sends a very important message to the mothers of Srebrenica and others who suffered at the hands of Mr. Mladic.”

Mr. Lajčák served as the High Representative of the International Community and European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2007 to 2009. In that capacity, he visited Srebrenica several times and met with the families of the victims.

“I have personally witnessed and felt the despair in Srebrenica. I hope this ruling will help lift the anguish and impart some sense of justice,” President Lajčák said.

In another statement, Adama Dieng, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, said: “Today is an historic day. The verdict by the ICTY against Ratko Mladic sends a clear message that there is no space for impunity and that justice will prevail.”

Criminal accountability is not only about the past but is also about the future. Special Adviser Dieng

Also paying homage to the victims, Mr. Dieng said today’s verdict renders justice to those who suffered as a result of the atrocity crimes committed by Mr. Mladic. “Nothing can erase the horrors of the past, but they can now have the comfort of knowing that [he] will face punishment appropriate to the crimes he committed.”

At the same time, the Special Adviser stressed that criminal accountability is “not only about the past but also about the future.” Indeed, he said that accountability constitutes a critical component of prevention and also an important step on the path to reconciliation.

In a region witnessing denial of some of the most heinous crimes committed during the armed conflict and the glorification of war criminals, justice alone will not lead to reconciliation, but there can be no real reconciliation without justice. “I hope that this verdict, as well as past decisions by the ICTY, will encourage the region to think about what happened, learn the lessons of the past and chart a future that fully acknowledges those lessons,” the Special Adviser said.

Mladic will be remembered by history for the many communities and lives he destroyed – ICTY Prosecutor

Also today, in a separate statement, Serge Brammertz, the Prosecutor at the ICTY, said that in delivering its judgement, the Tribunal accepted the evidence presented that Mladic was a key participant in four joint criminal enterprises.

ladic and other senior leaders intended to achieve their political and military aims by committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” said the Prosecutor.

The convictions against the former Bosnian Serb army commander included for commanding violent ethnic cleansing campaigns across Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995; for commanding a campaign of crimes during the Siege of Sarajevo; for the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995; and for using forces under his command to take UN peacekeepers as hostages.

In his statement, Mr. Brammertz underscored that while some people would claim that this judgment is a verdict against the Serbian people.

“[We] reject that claim in the strongest terms. Mladic’s guilt is his, and his alone […] he will be remembered by history for the many communities and lives he destroyed” he said.

“The true heroes are the victims and survivors who never gave up on their quest for justice [and] displayed real courage by coming to the Tribunal to tell the truth and confront the men who wronged them,” highlighted the prosecutor.


Nearly 21 million people now have access to HIV treatment – UN agency

INTERNATIONAL, 21 November 2017 – About 20.9 million people now have access to the antiretroviral therapy, according to a new report by the UN agency leading the global push to end AIDS, spotlighting that this remarkable progress has been made possible by people living with HIV demanding their rights, strong leadership and financial commitment.

“People, no matter what their health needs, require comprehensive health solutions that are accessible, available, acceptable and of good quality,” Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), said in the foreword of the agency’s new report, Right to health, which was launched yesterday in South Africa.

Mr. Sidibé cited South Africa as an example of a dramatic scale-up of HIV treatment, saying that while in 2000, the country had 90 people on treatment, today, there are more than four million.

“Today, South Africa has the biggest life-saving treatment programme in the world […] This is the kind of acceleration we need to encourage, sustain and replicate,” he said.

The rising treatment helps keep more people living with HIV alive and well. As treatment access has increased for pregnant women living with HIV, new infections among children have been rapidly reduced by almost half worldwide, according to UNAIDS.

The new report highlights the gaps in accessing to health, while also providing some innovative examples of AIDS response.

One challenge is to ensure 17.1 million people, including 1.2 million children, have access to HIV treatment, especially in the countries where new HIV infections are rising.

In that regard, the report points out that new HIV infections are rising at a rapid pace in countries that have not expanded health services to those most affected. Wherever the right to health is compromised, HIV spreads, says UNAIDS.

In eastern Europe and Central Asia, for example, new HIV infections have risen by 60 per cent since 2010, and AIDS-related deaths by 27 per cent.

While in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of new HIV infections are among young women and girls aged between 15 and 24 years.

The report “has been giving a voice to people living with HIV and giving affected communities and civil society the means to demand their right to health,” stressed Mr. Sidibé.

He further called on Governments to respect, protect and fulfil the right to health of everyone and reiterated the world’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 3, to ensure good health and well-being for all.


Situation on Australian ‘offshore processing’ facility deteriorates by the day – UN refugee official

INTERNATIONAL, 21 November 2017 – Three weeks following the closure of the Manus Island regional processing centre, the situation on the ground is very serious and deteriorates by the day, a senior United Nations official on protection of refugees has said.

“Without distribution of food and clean water over the last three weeks [and] significant accumulation of waste and rubbish in the hot and humid weather, the health and sanitation is becoming a very significant issue,” Nai Jit Lam, Deputy Regional Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), currently on Manus Island, told journalists in Geneva over the phone.

“The people that we have spoken to are extremely angry and they see this as an opportunity to tell the world and to show the world, years of anger about how they have been treated over the four years, after being forcibly transferred to Papua New Guinea,” he added.

According to the UN refugee agency, the conditions and the lack of medicines, increasing number of refugees and asylum seekers at the former facility are falling physically and mentally unwell. Alternative accommodation and services outside the facility are still under construction and it could be another two weeks before they are ready.

“We have observed [concerns] regarding security and the lack of interpreters on the Island, that brings about the issue of how they would communicate with local people or even the police as well,” added the UNHCR official, noting that local contractual disputes hinder staffing of caseworkers to look after the wellbeing of those there, and tensions with local community also remains.

Calling on Australian authorities for an active role resolve the situation, which Mr. Lam said that is a result of the forcible transfer of people, refugees and asylum seekers by Australia to Papua New Guinea and Nauru under its offshore policy.

“Australia must take responsibility for the protection, assistance and solutions for the refugees here on Manus Island,” he stressed.

According to the UN refugee agency, Manus Island (located some 320 kilometres or 200 miles off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea) has been the focus of Australia’s off-shore processing policy. Of the approximately 3,000 refugees and asylum-seekers forcibly transferred by Australia to facilities in Nauru and Manus, some 1,200 remain in Nauru and 900 in Papua New Guinea.


UN chief condemns suicide attacks that leaves dozens dead in northern Nigeria town

INTERNATIONAL, 21 November 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the suicide attacks that took place earlier Tuesday in Adamawa state, Nigeria, which resulted in scores of casualties, and called for those responsible for the “heinous acts” to be swiftly brought to justice.

“The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the bereaved families and to the Government and people of Nigeria for the loss of life. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured,” according to a statement issued by Deputy UN Spokesman Farhan Haq.

Through the statement, Mr. Guterres reiterated the solidarity of the UN with the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

“He also renews the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support regional counter-terrorism initiatives,” the statement concluded.

According to media reports, at least 50 people were killed in an early morning bomb attack at a mosque in the northern Nigeria town of Mubi, which is near the border with Cameroon.


Still far too much secrecy surrounding use of death penalty, says senior UN human rights official

INTERNATIONAL, 21 November 2017 – A senior United Nations human rights official has stressed the need for greater transparency by countries that still use the death penalty, noting that this is vital for families, who have a right to know the fate of their loved ones, as well as for lawyers so they can provide an effective defence.

“There is far too much secrecy, and it’s quite indicative the fact that although many countries are giving up the practice, those that retain it nevertheless feel that they have something to hide,” Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said in an interview with UN News.

The UN has long advocated for the abolition of the death penalty. While some 170 States have either abolished the practice – which Secretary-General António Guterres has called “barbaric” – or refrained from it, prisoners in a number of countries continue to face execution.

Mr. Gilmour noted that the vast majority of executions today take place in five countries – China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Last December, the General Assembly in its regular resolution calling for a moratorium on executions added a new element to try to resolve the issue of transparency, which is a prerequisite to assess whether the death penalty is being carried out in compliance with international human rights standards.

It also honours the right of all people to know whether their family members are alive or dead, and the location of their remains.

Mr. Gilmour recalled one recent case of a family that heard on the radio that their son had been executed, even though just the previous week the mother had been to the prison to ask for news about her son and they had refused to give it to her.

“Some of this seems to be unnecessarily cruel, additional punishment on the families,” he pointed out, highlighting the need for “common decency.”

“You may believe that someone deserves to be executed, or you may not, but even if you do, surely there’s no need to punish the family by keeping them in doubt.”

Also an issue is that some governments conceal executions and enforce an elaborate system of secrecy to hide who is on death row, and why. Others classify information on the death penalty as a state secret, making its release an act of treason, Mr. Gilmour noted, as in the case of Belarus and Viet Nam.

This lack of transparency shows “a lack of respect” for the human rights of those sentenced to death and to their families, according to Secretary-General António Guterres, who added that it also damages the administration of justice more generally.

“Full and accurate data is vital to policy-makers, civil society and the general public. It is fundamental to the debate around the death penalty and its impact,” he told an event at UN Headquarters last month to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty.

“Secrecy around executions undermines that debate, and obstructs efforts to safeguard the right to life.”

As part of the effort to abolish secret executions, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) supports an initiative launched in September known as the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade, which aims to end the trade in goods used to carry out the death penalty and torture.

These include batons with metal spikes, electric shock belts, grabbers that seize people while electrocuting them, chemicals used to execute people and the forced injection systems that go with them.

“There’s something truly grotesque about medieval forms of torture, in a way, being advertised in mail-order catalogues and using the jargon of commercialization,” said Mr. Gilmour. “So I think it’d be a step forward in civilization to block this trade, and luckily there are some major drug companies who are refusing to allow their drugs to be used in instances of execution.”

Earlier this year, four men were executed within the span of eight days in the US state of Arkansas because the state’s supply of one of the drugs used in lethal injections – midazolam – was due to expire at the end of the month and it was unclear whether further supplies could be obtained.

“I’ve heard various arguments, absurd arguments for executing and some rather obscene arguments for executing,” Mr. Gilmour stated, “but I don’t really think I’ve heard many more obscene ones or absurd ones than the fact that the drugs for executing had reached their sell-by date.”


UNICEF warns of contaminated drinking water in camps for Rohingya refugees

INTERNATIONAL, 21 November 2017 – The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is working with authorities in Bangladesh to urgently investigate high levels E.coli contamination in water drawn from wells inside the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

“The latest figures from the World Health Organization suggest that 62 per cent of water available to households is contaminated,” UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told reporters Tuesday at the regular press briefing in Geneva.

“We are also concerned by an increase in cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) which have included several deaths,” he added.

Between 25 August and 11 November 2017, a total of 36,096 AWD cases were reported, –including 10 related deaths – 42 per cent, or 15,206, of which were children under age five.

“We are seeing an upward trend in infection rates. Whilst the exact cause of increased cases of AWD remains uncertain, it may be linked to contaminated food or water, Mr. Boulierac elaborated.

Some of the wells inside the camps were dug too shallowly, less than 40 meters deep; have been poorly sited; and are very congested with no safeguards to prevent bacterial contamination at ground level.

“Contamination may be being caused through poor hygiene practices, such as the use of dirty containers [and] bad hygiene habits of the population in water handling,” the spokesperson said.

UNICEF and the Bangladesh authorities are investigating levels of contamination to ensure better construction practices for tube wells that meet international standards and have an appropriate ceiling.

“We are stepping up measures to distribute water purification tablets to provide for water treatment at the household level as well as promoting good hygiene practices,” he said, noting that providing safe drinking water has been one of UNICEF's highest priorities in responding to the Rohingya refugees' needs.

Smaller settlements at risk of being overlooked

Since 25 August, some 622,000 refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar have sought refuge in Cox's Bazar – bringing the total number of refugees there to an estimated 834,000.

As international attention focuses on the main Kutupalong and Balukhali settlements, the thousands who have settled in smaller villages in the southern part of the district risk being excluded from humanitarian aid programmes, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Access to clean water is also a major concern across all the locations, particularly as the dry season approaches. Aid agencies providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are racing to identify solutions to this potentially life-threatening problem.

Although most are in the main settlements, 22,067 refugees live in Shamlapur, with 16 people sharing one latrine that are mostly full or dangerous; 22,130 in Leda, which has only one latrine per 47 people – well below the humanitarian 'Sphere' standard of one per 20 people; and 29,915 in Unchiprang, where there is also only one well per 57 people. This totals more 74,000 Rohingya refugees in all.

Many are contaminated with E.coli or are too shallow to provide enough clean water for the population through the dry season.

IOM emergency managers say that the three sites urgently need to be developed, including providing vital infrastructure – access roads, lighting and waste management.

“Most of the temporary pit latrines are full. With little to no land for de-sludging, they are becoming unusable and a danger to communities living nearby,” said IOM WASH specialist Stephen Waswa Otieno.

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Soualiga Radio