This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Ukraine: first UN aid ship due to dock and load up with grain

The UN World Food Programme WFP said on Friday that a ship it has chartered to load up with Ukrainian wheat was preparing to dock in one of the country’s Black Sea ports.

This would be the first shipment of humanitarian food assistance under the UN-led Black Sea Grain Initiative, whose signatories are Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye and the UN.

The WFP-chartered vessel, Brave Commander, left Istanbul’s waters on Wednesday. It has a maximum capacity of 23,000 tonnes. In total, the UN agency has purchased an initial 30,000 tonnes.

In a statement, WFP said that the development marked “another important step in efforts to reintegrate Ukrainian food into global markets”.

A record 345 million people in 82 countries now face acute food insecurity, while up to 50 million people in 45 countries are “on the edge of famine”, the World Food Programme has warned.

Attacks on Ukraine health care continue, warns WHO

Staying with Ukraine, there have now been more than 445 attacks on health care in the country, causing 86 deaths and 105 injuries, the UN health agency, WHO, has reported.

According to the World Health Organization, the attacks have been against health facilities and transport, personnel, patients, supplies and warehouses.

Urgently-needed care for the most vulnerable individuals has been undermined as a result, WHO noted in its latest update on health care attacks since the Russian invasion on 24 February.

Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis has also continued, with more than 6.6 million people internally displaced, an increase of 300,000 since the end of June, said UN migration agency IOM.

The conflict has also created 6.3 million refugees, according to UN refugee agency UNHCR, while five and a half million people who were previously displaced have now returned home.

Funding gap for UN’s humanitarian operations is biggest ever, warns OCHA

An alert now from UN humanitarian agency OCHA, which warned on Friday that the funding shortfall for aid operations is the biggest it’s ever been, at nearly $34 billion.

The news comes at a time when global needs are at an all-time high too, with a record 303 millionpeople in crisis worldwide.

UN-coordinated relief projects have been costed at almost $50 billion dollars this year.

Although funding pledges have reached their highest ever level – at more than $15 billion – needs are outpacing the money coming in, said OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke:

“Never before have humanitarians been called to respond to this level of need and they are doing so in ever more dangerous environments. According to data from the NGO Humanitarian Outcomes, with whom we partner every year to highlight these numbers, more than 140 aid workers were killed in the line of duty last year, the highest number of fatalities since 2013.”

All but two of the aid workers who died were national staff, highlighting the perils that national aid workers often face, said Mr. Laerke, who noted that another 203 aid workers were injured and 117 were kidnapped last year.

To commemorate their sacrifice, World Humanitarian Day is held annually on 19 August. This year’s theme for the Day is “It Takes A Village”, to focus on how aid workers of all nationalities work together to alleviate extreme suffering.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

Source of original article: United Nations (news.un.org). Photo credit: UN. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (www.globaldiasporanews.com).

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