Geneva Press Briefing - 01 March 2024
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Press Conferences | HRC , WMO , IPU , UNHCR , WHO , OCHA

Geneva Press Briefing - 01 March 2024


- HRC - Pascal Sim: Human Rights Council update  

 - WMO - Clare Nullis:  February ended with much extreme and unusual heat. WMO will post a roundup on the website today. El Niño Update will be released early next week. 

 - IPUThomas Fitzsimons: The 148th IPU Assembly will take place from 23-27 March 2024 at the International Conference Centre Geneva. 



- UNHCR - Matthew Saltmarsh (From N'Djamena): UNHCR warns on prospect of more Sudanese refugee arrivals in Chad 

 - William Spindler - New displacement in Mozambique  

- WHO - Christian Lindmeier  with Dr Shelly Chadha, technical lead for ear and hearing care at WHO:  Improving access to hearing care in low- and middle-income settings – new WHO guidance  .


1 March 2024 

Alessandra Vellucci, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, chaired a hybrid briefing, which was attended by spokespersons and representatives of the World Health Organization, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the Interparliamentary Union, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the Human Rights Council.

UNHCR warns on prospect of more Sudanese refugee arrivals in Chad 

Matthew Saltmarsh, for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), speaking from

N’djamena, said that more than 553,150 new refugees from Sudan had been counted in Chad by mid-February, making the country the largest host of refugees fleeing Sudan since the start of the brutal war in April 2023. Overall, Chad now hosted 1.1 million refugees, making it Africa’s largest host per capita. The numbers included Sudanese who had arrived before the latest war, and others from the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Chad also had almost half a million internally displaced people and returnees. Access to asylum had been granted and the country remained welcoming towards refugees. There were still hundreds of arrivals from Sudan per day, down from the daily tally of thousands some months earlier. Mr. Saltmarsh said that Chad itself was declared to be in state of emergency for food. 

In Sudan, where the conflict continued unabated, there continued to be a shocking array of human rights violations for people on the move, including rape and children recruitment. Extraction of fees from people on the move was also reported so that they would be allowed to flee to Chad. This was very much a gender-based violence crisis; more than 90 percent of refugees in Chad were women and children, informed Mr. Saltmarsh. Since the start of the crisis, some 2,500 children had been identified as being on high risk and had been referred for further support. In terms of education, many Sudanese refugees had missed the whole year in 2023 and were likely to miss another year in 2024. Much of the learning was informal and taking place outside. It was assessed that one in five refugees needed mental health support. Programmes for the forcibly displaced in Chad faced a chronic funding shortfall. For 2024, UNHCR alone required USD 319.5 million, with just 4 per cent funded to date, concluded Mr. Saltmarsh.

More details can be found here

Responding to questions, Alessandra Vellucci, for the United Nations Information Service (UNIS), said that the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Central Africa, Abdou Abarry, had expressed concern over growing reports of violence and gun battles in N'Djamena. Mr. Abarry stated that he was following with great concern the events taking place and called on all actors to show calm and restraint, particularly at a time when Chad was entering the final stages of its political transition. Mr. Saltmarsh, for UNHCR, said that the logistical challenges of setting up structures for refugees and reaching some areas were extremely serious. Chad was among the poorest countries in the world, he reiterated, and it was important that development players support Chad so that it remained a welcoming place for refugees. 

New displacements in Mozambique

William Spindler, for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said that the UNHCR was deeply concerned about the escalating humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, as the recent surge in violence by non-state armed groups continued to force thousands of people to flee towards southern districts in search of safety. Since the latest outbreak of violence and attacks on civilians at the beginning of February, more than 70,000 people had been forcibly displaced across the districts of Macomia, Chiure, Mecufi, Mocimboa da Praia, and Muidumbe. In Chiure district alone, over 56,000 people had been affected. More than 33,000 had crossed into Nampula Province. Nearly 90 per cent of those displaced were women, many of them pregnant, people with disabilities, and the elderly. 

The violence had also been marked by extensive destruction of residential areas and religious and community facilities such as schools and health centres. This rampant destruction had further exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation in Mozambique, where over 709,000 people remained internally displaced due to violence perpetrated by non-state armed groups and the impact of the climate crisis. UNHCR, present in Mozambique since the 1980s, reiterated its commitment to continue to work closely with local authorities, humanitarian partners, and host communities to address the urgent needs of displaced people, providing protection, shelter and essential assistance to those affected by the conflict in Cabo Delgado. UNHCR’s total requirement for Mozambique of USD 49 million was currently only 17 per cent funded.

UNHCR briefing note is available here

WHO Issues - Improving access to hearing care in low- and middle-income settings

Dr. Shelly Chadha, Technical Lead, Ear and hearing care, at the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that over the last few years the WHO had repeatedly drawn attention towards its growing concern regarding hearing loss, as the number of people living with hearing loss, including unaddressed hearing loss, was growing. Globally, over 400 million people with hearing loss could benefit from using hearing devices; one out of every 20 people required hearing rehabilitation. However, less than 20 percent of those needs were fulfilled, which meant that one out of five people that required hearing rehabilitation e.g., a simple hearing aid, could access it.

Dr. Chadha said that today the WHO was launching the document “Hearing aid service delivery approaches for low- and middle-income settings”, which was the culmination of three years of evidence-collation, expert meetings, and stakeholder discussions. Dr. Chadha spoke health system challenges, deeply ingrained societal misperceptions and stigmatizing mindsets, which were all key factors that limited efforts for preventing and addressing hearing loss. Myths included thinking only older populations were affected by hearing loss or the idea that hearing aids were too expensive and did not work well. As a result, ear problems and hearing loss mostly remained unidentified and unaddressed. WHO estimated that globally unaddressed hearing loss incurs an annual fiscal loss of nearly USD 1 trillion. On this World Hearing Day, WHO was drawing attention to the importance of changing mindsets related to ear and hearing care. WHO was carrying out a global campaign to address prevalent myths and mitigate stigma through highlighting stories of people with lived experience of hearing loss.

Responding to a question on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), Christian Lindmeier, also for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the eighth meeting was underway, it was a negotiation process and there were no updates to provide in between. The closing of session, expected in the afternoon, would be broadcast. 

Human Rights Council 

Pascal Sim, for the Human Rights Council (HRC), stated that this morning, High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk was addressing the Council on the recommendations made by the independent international fact-finding mission on Myanmar, which would be followed by an interactive dialogue. An enhanced interactive dialogue would then be held on the report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation on the report of the High Commissioner on Sudan. At the end of the day today, the High Commissioner would present reports on OHCHR activities in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Cyprus, as well as oral updates on OHCHR activities in Sri Lanka and Nicaragua. On 4 March, the High Commissioner would provide an update on the situation of human rights around the world, to be followed by a general debate.

Mr. Sim informed that today at 1:30 pm, Richard Bennett, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, would present his latest report, which covered the period from September 2023 to January 2024. Finally, Mr. Sim informed that the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples would visit Norway from 6 to 15 March to undertake a country engagement mission.

Situation in Gaza

Replying to questions, Jens Laerke, for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that the UN was continuing to provide aid to the best of its abilities, as it had done before and all the way throughout this conflict. There were indeed humanitarian actions underway in Gaza without coordination with the UN, including air drops, confirmed Mr. Laerke. Insufficient quantities were getting in, certainly inadequate to address the ongoing food crisis in Gaza, and steady land delivery of aid would be more efficient and less costly. If something did not change rapidly, famine was very much inevitable in Gaza. The entire population of 2.2 million people were facing Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) level 3, while 1.7 million of them were facing IPC level 4, and some half a million were facing IPC level 5 – “catastrophic” levels. Once the famine was declared, it would be too late for way too many people, warned Mr. Laerke. Production of food in Gaza was now almost impossible. The very foundation was people’s sustenance had been wiped out. UNRWA was the backbone of the humanitarian response and was irreplaceable, reiterated Mr. Laerke. 

Christian Lindmeier, for the World Health Organization (WHO), added that now the tenth death of a child from starvation had been recorded in a hospital in Gaza. Real, unregistered numbers could be higher. All the lifelines in Gaza had been cut. People were so desperate for food and fresh water, which were so scarce, that they put themselves at high risk in order to reach those. It should not be forgotten that the food supplies had been cut off deliberately. Urgent ceasefire was needed to be followed by a steady, sustainable supply of food and other necessities. 

Also answering questions, Alessandra Vellucci, for the UN Information Service (UNIS), said that the Secretary-General had clearly condemned the killing of more than a hundred people in Gaza on 29 February. There had to be time for accountability in this case. The United Nations was present on the ground and continued to speak out about what was happening. Humanitarian ceasefire was needed. 

Climate in the month of Februar

Clare Nullis, for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), informed that the month of February had ended with extreme heat in the southern hemisphere summer and high temperatures atypical of the northern hemisphere winter. Parts of North and South America, northwest and southeast Africa, southeast and far eastern Asia, western Australia and Europe had all seen record-breaking temperatures, either on a daily basis or for the entire month. “The anomalous heat is consistent with the persisting warming observed since June 2023, with seven consecutive new global monthly temperature records, including January 2024. Global sea surface temperatures are record high. Whilst the El Niño event has stoked temperatures in some parts of the world, human induced climate change is the long-term major contributing factor,” says Alvaro Silva, a climatologist working with WMO. Mr. Nullis also informed that the WMO would issue its next El Niño Update the following week.


Thomas Fitzsimons, for the Interparliamentary Union (IPU), announced that the 148th IPU Assembly would be held in Geneva from 23 to 27 March at the International Conference Centre in Geneva. Hundreds of parliamentarians from around the world, including dozens of Speakers or Presidents of Parliament, would be coming to Geneva including from countries at war or in conflict situation, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Palestine, Russia, and Ukraine. All UN-accredited journalists were welcome to come to the Assembly. 

Mr. Fitzsimons also informed that Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General would present the annual analysis of women in politics at a press conference on 5 March at 1 pm. 

Alessandra Vellucci, for the for the United Nations Information Service, informed that the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights would close today at 5:30 pm its 75th session and issue its concluding observations on Romania, Mauritania, Ireland, Iraq, Indonesia, and Sweden.

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances would also close today at 5 pm its 26th session and issue its concluding observations on Cambodia, Burkina Faso, and Honduras.

The Human Rights Committee would open on 4 March at 10 am its 140th session, during which it would review the reports of Chile, Namibia, Somalia, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Serbia, and Guyana.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would also open on 4 March at 10 am its 30th session, during which it would review the reports of Kazakhstan, Zambia, Bahrain, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

The Conference of Disarmament would hold its next public plenary on 5 March at 3 pm.  

Finally, Ms. Vellucci informed that today was the World Seagrass Day and the Zero Discrimination Day

On 8 March, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, there would be a public event at the University of Geneva entitled “Peace Begins with Her”. Participants and passersby could add their own voices to the global push for women's participation by having their portrait taken in the Inside Out Photobooth and added to the installation honoring the vital role of women in achieving peace. The work of public art was part of the global participatory project Inside Out, created by renowned artist JR, and would be followed by a panel discussion at UniMail. 



The webcast for this briefing is available here:

The audio for this briefing is available here:



Yeah. Um, today is Friday, first of March.
We are in here in Geneva, at the United Nations
to listen to the briefing of the information
service with our colleagues from programmes and agencies.
We will listen again to Pascal
because I understand this was not
audible. So Pascal, you have the floor for an update on the Council of 55th Session.
Thank you. Uh,
first of all a programming note just to remind you that at 1:30 p.m. today,
there will be a press conference by Richard Bennett in this room,
the special rapporteur in Afghanistan
who presented yesterday's latest report to the Human Rights Council.
Uh, as we speak,
the Human Rights Council is currently holding
an interactive dialogue with High Commissioner Volker
Turk, who just provided an update on the human rights situation in Myanmar.
And today,
the focus of the Human Rights Council will be on East Africa with a meeting,
starting with a meeting on, uh, south Sudan.
Uh, the council will begin a meeting with Christian
the director of the Field Operation and
Technical Cooper Operation Division of OHC HR
uh, Barn a
and Carlos Castres
and Fernandez two of the three members of the Commission on Human Rights
in South Sudan will also address the council
as well as the Minister of Justice of South Sudan, Mr Ruben Mado
at 3 p.m. The council will begin another meeting on Sudan this time.
the High Commissioner will present his latest report
on the human rights situation in the country.
He designated experts on the country Uh
redo nise
will also participate in this meeting
and we will also hear from Moa
Mohammed Ahmed, the Minister of Justice of Sudan
the special envoy of the Secretary General on the Honour of Africa
and from Salma Abu
Sama A from the African Centre from Justice and Peace Studies
and around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon the
High Commissioner will present a series of reports
on his office activities in Colombia,
Guatemala and Honduras and on the human rights situation in Cyprus.
Trip will also give an update on the situation in Nicaragua and Sri Lanka,
and this coming Monday will begin the second week of this 55th
session with the global update of the High Commissioner on Human Rights
Issues and developments around the world and this will be followed by
a general debate that will take place for the entire day.
And on another note,
the UN expert mechanism on the rights of indigenous people
will visit Norway from 6 to 15 of March.
The purpose of this mission is to provide technical
advice and guidance on the rights of Norway's indigenous semi
During the mission, the experts will hold meetings with various stakeholders,
including the semi council, the semi
parliment in Norway, state and municipal authorities,
and civil society and human rights organisations
and details on these visits uh are in the press release
that we just issued and shared with you this morning.
Thank you.
Thank you very much. Pascal.
Unless any question is risen in the meantime, which I don't think is the case,
I can let you go.
Thank you.
Good luck for today.
Um Thomas, A quick announcement on behalf of the IP U before we go to
Thank you very much. Alessandra, Good morning again.
I'm here to announce that the next Interparliamentary Union Assembly
will be held in Geneva from the 23rd to
the 27th of March at the International Conference Centre
Dear just down the road.
This will be the first time in almost six years that
the IP U biannual assembly will be held in Geneva.
Previous editions have been hosted by our member parliaments abroad.
Hundreds of parliamentarians from around the world,
including dozens of speakers or presidents of parliament,
will be coming to Geneva,
including from countries at war or in conflict situations.
We are expecting high level delegations from Armenia, Azerbaijan,
also from the Knesset.
In Israel, the Palestinian National Council is also an IP U member
and from the Russian Federation and from Ukraine.
The IP U Assembly provides a much
needed space for parliamentary dialogue and diplomacy
as a compliment or an alternative to
the United Nations and other multilateral fora.
All UN accredited journalists are welcome to come to the assembly.
A UN badge will allow you to enter and
you can follow the deliberations or interview directly.
The parliamentarians and politicians
You should have received a media advisory this morning with a
few more details last point from me on a different subject,
a reminder that we are also holding an IP U press
conference next week with the IP U Secretary General Martin Chung
Gong for our annual analysis of women in politics in the
lead up to International Women's Day on the eighth of March,
Press conference will take place here on Tuesday, the fifth of March at one o'clock.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Thomas. Let me see if there is.
There are questions in the room. I don't see any. Katrina has one on the line.
Kathrine. Good morning.
Good morning, Alexandra. Good morning, Thomas. A question.
When do you plan to send us a detailed list of the,
um, different VIP S that are going to attend in person? Your event.
And I read in your press release this morning that, um
the next General Assembly is going to take place in October.
Could you already tell us where? Thank you.
Thank you, Kathrine. Uh, yes.
I should be able to send you a list of all the participants, uh, early next week,
and then you can identify the the people that you'd be interested in in talking to
the, uh, the 149th IP U assembly.
So the next assembly this year will also be in Geneva,
and the dates are the 13th to the 17th of October.
Thank you.
Thank you very much. Thomas. I don't see other questions,
so thank you very much. Good luck with the preparations. And let me Now go to UN HCR.
Um, Matthew Salt.
She is coming to us from
to tell us more about Sudanese refugee arrivals in Chad.
And then we will also listen,
Um uh, from William spin
about the displacement in Mozambique.
So maybe maybe you wanna already come and we go to
to hear from Matt. Good morning, Matt. Welcome.
Morning, Alessandra. Uh, morning, everyone. Thanks.
Thanks for having us this morning. Um,
just quickly to to note that we released a press release this morning.
Uh, that highlights our fears about new arrivals from Darfur to Chad
and having personally spent a couple of days in eastern Chad on the Sudanese border,
I thought it'd be useful to add some details in terms of the massive challenges, uh,
that refugees are facing.
And first, a quick update on the numbers
There are now, uh,
550,000 arrivals from Sudan since the start of the conflict there.
Uh, almost a year ago.
Uh, Chad itself now hosts 1.1 million refugees, making it Africa's largest host,
per capita. And, of course, it has refugees from
other previous conflicts as well.
There are a few positives, uh, that we can highlight.
Access to asylum in Chad has been granted. The country remains very welcoming
towards refugees.
Uh, we've been able to relocate 260,000 refugees from the border,
where security is very, uh, tense.
The security situation is tense, uh, to areas a little bit inland,
2030 40 kilometres inland.
Uh, where there's a little bit more, uh, stability.
Uh, there are 15 camps in the eastern areas of Chad.
10 are extensions of previous ca, uh, camps,
and five of them are new on the health side
with partners. Uh, we've been able to avoid a major epidemic, which is positive,
and the humanitarian co ordination
is working well. However, there are enormous concerns as well.
Uh, the numbers of arrivals have fallen day by day from a peak last year in June.
We're now talking about hundreds a day rather than thousands. But we are concerned,
uh, that many more refugees might cross over into Chad from Darfur.
in the coming weeks or months. Why is that?
Well, first of all, the horrific,
futile and ugly armed conflict continues in Darfur and elsewhere in the country.
Uh, in addition to that,
food distributions from Chad across the border into Darfur have
not now been made for well over a month.
And, in fact, a cross border assistant has recently been suspended.
That's a concern for us, but also for all humanitarian agencies.
Um, Chad itself has declared a state of emergency for F food and nutrition.
On top of that, we're facing,
uh, a potentially very paltry lean season ahead.
And then heavy rains will, of course, lash the area
in terms of the situation in Sudan. While I wasn't there,
uh, myself, I can report back as a result of conversations with, uh,
partners and refugees.
Of course, uh,
that there continues to be a shocking array of human rights violations.
Uh, for people who are on the move.
Uh, that's conflict related sexual violence, including rape,
sexual slavery and early and forced marriage, as well as child recruitment.
Refugees on the move also, uh, report,
uh, the extraction of fees, uh, to move freely within Darfur to allow them to get, uh,
towards Chad.
Uh, in terms of the camps in Chad, Uh, finding new sites is going to be difficult.
Uh, getting the funding for new shelters is gonna be extremely hard.
Uh, and another issue is, of course, the complete,
almost complete lack of livelihood opportunities.
Uh, which, of course, may
young men who are in a minority, uh, much more prone, uh, to move onwards,
particularly to the north.
Uh, this is al also very much a gender based violence crisis.
Um, women and Children represent 90% of the refugees in Chad.
Uh, and as I mentioned, many have been exposed to gender
based violence.
The reporting of the gender based incidents has been quite limited.
That's partly, uh, for cultural reasons. Fear of coming forward, uh, stigma.
But also, there is a lack of resources, uh, to really, uh, tackle this problem.
In addition,
um, there are concerns about Children.
Uh, since the start of the crisis with our partners, including UNICEF,
we've identified
some 2.5 1000 Children
at high risk.
Uh, some of them are unaccompanied.
Uh, many of them separated,
uh, and we've referred them on for additional support.
Uh, so the best interest process for child procedure is working, But again,
the resources, uh, are extremely limited
in terms of education.
Uh, many Sudanese refugees missed the entire academic
year last year,
and many are set to miss the academic year this year as well.
There's a lack of classrooms.
There's a lack of teachers. They're not. There's not enough money to pay teachers.
Uh, and indeed,
much of the learning is informal and is taking place underneath trees, Uh,
rather than in classrooms.
Likewise, mental health is a huge concern. Um,
we assess that one in five refugees need mental health and psychosocial support.
Uh, but there is a massive lack of case managers.
Uh, for this
in terms of the funding situation, um,
the the situation is extremely worrying.
Uh, our country fund for Chad is just 4% funded this year.
I know we're only just into march, and it's quite early.
Uh, but that is an extremely, uh, paltry amount.
So one thing that we want to stress is the importance,
particularly of development partners, uh, international banks,
who can come in,
uh, support the country.
Uh, try to help stabilise the fragile socio-economic balance.
Uh, that is that is here in Chad, Uh, and to help assist,
uh, the crucial work of humanitarian agencies like UN HCR, uh,
and our other UN and NGO partners.
I'll leave it there, Alessandra and, uh, happy to take questions if there are any.
Thank you, Matt.
And maybe just add a few other elements on the situation in Sudan and in Chad.
First of all, just to remind you that on Tuesday,
the World Food Programme noted that nearly 18
million people face acute food insecurity in Sudan,
of which nearly 5 million are in emergency levels of anger, which is I
four. As you know
The food programme has already provided around 7 million people with
emergency food and nutrition support since the conflict began in April.
Yet the needs are continuing to grow.
The spokesperson of the Secretary general Monday also said that
Matt was referring to the cross border operation.
He said the cross border aid operation from Chad
is a lifeline for people in Sudan's Darfur region
if cross border deliveries cannot continue. As we have heard
the difficulties about that,
the humanitarian crisis in Darfur will only worsen.
Already, almost 9 million people there need life saving assistance.
With more than 5 million people facing a high level of acute
food insecurity.
Whether across the border or across conflict lines within Sudan,
we need rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to be
able to reach people in need wherever they are.
And I'll open the floor to questions now in the room.
Yes. Uh huh.
Uh, thank you.
There is a tension, uh, currently in Chad in Germana. How could you,
uh, how could you manage to pro, uh, to protect Sudanese refugee in Chad?
But maybe before giving you the floor on the situation in
Chad, I just would like to remind you that the
Secretary General, Special Representative for Central Africa, Abd
has issued a statement. I think that was yesterday
where he said it is following with the great concerns, the events taking place in
He called on all actors to show calm and restraint,
particularly at the time when Chad is entering
the final stages of its political transition.
And Mr Abari reiterated his availability and that of the UN system
to continue to support the efforts of the government and people of Chad
for the organisation of an inclusive and credible election,
as well as for maintaining a climate of peace before during,
uh, before, during and after the presidential
presidential election, as
which is scheduled, as you know, on the sixth of May.
And of course, in this difficult political environment maybe Matt,
you want to speak about the
safety and security of the refugees?
Absolutely. Thanks, Alessandro. Yeah. I mean, I can't comment on on the situation
in gmina the political situation. Um, just to say that,
you know, it's, uh, we
We've seen the reports on the streets. It's been relatively calm.
There's a There's a higher level of of security presence, but but that's all.
I can really comment on that
in terms of the refugees.
Yes, of course, it's a It's a huge logistic challenge.
I mean, these areas in the east of the country are extremely remote.
They're extremely dry until it rains,
and then they then they get completely flooded.
So the logistical challenges are enormous in terms of setting up structures
in these areas to try to support, uh, refugees and to get the basics in,
uh, like water. There are still concerns that water is having to be trapped in,
food rations, as we heard were previously cut for some refugees in the country.
and then, uh, just creating the the the shelter. These are just the very basics.
This is not about livelihoods. This is just about people, uh, being able to survive.
So, tho, those are are are some of the big challenges. And, of course, chad itself.
I is among the poorest countries in the world. Um,
and the local people here, of course, also need support.
So we're trying to do what we can to make sure that the host communities, uh,
can also benefit from the humanitarian aid.
But that's why I said earlier that we think it's extremely important
that those development players also start to look more closely at Chad.
Uh, it's extremely important that Chad,
uh, re remains a welcoming environment, uh,
for refugees going into the future. Especially with the war still raging
over the border in Sudan.
Thank you very much. Uh, Katherine?
Yes. Thank you, Alexandra, for giving me the floor. Uh, good morning, Matt.
could you kindly send us your notes as quickly
as possible because we haven't received them yet.
And, um, my question, in fact, is a follow up of what Taha
asked you about the death yesterday of the leader of opposition.
Um, I don't ask you, of course, to comment about the political situation, but,
um, have you seen, um, are you already affected by the situation
in Jena? Like, for instance, not getting access to certain,
um, of your, um I don't know, contacts with the people, or,
um and will it affect your work?
Or is it already affecting your work?
Because apparently people are not entitled to,
uh, circulate as they want.
OK, you're back. Go ahead.
Thanks. Ca Katherine, for the question.
I mean, so far, this is This is very much, uh,
the early stage of this current situation in
our operations in the country haven't yet been impacted.
Uh, we hope that that remains the case.
Uh, we're, of course, in touch with, uh,
the authorities to ensure that our assistance can continue to
move towards those areas where it's so badly needed.
But, um,
I think I don't have anything more to add on on the domestic situation.
Thank you. very much. Juliette, I know you have your head up. Uh uh. Hands up.
But it's for WHO. I understand. So we will come to that
a little bit later on any other question
on, uh, Sudan
Chad situation format.
I don't see any, so thank you very much, Matt, for this update.
Uh, William, let's stay with UN. HCR.
Another terrible situation,
isn't it? In Mozambique.
Thank you, Alexandra. Uh, yes, indeed.
Another, um, deepening humanitarian crisis in in Africa.
UN HCR is deeply concerned about the escalating
humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique
as the recent surge in violence by non
state armed groups continues to force thousands of people
to flee towards southern districts in search of safety.
Since the latest outbreak of violence and attacks
on civilians at the beginning of February,
more than 70,000 people have been forcibly displaced.
In one district alone, over 56,000 people have been affected.
Nearly 90% of those displaced are women,
many of them pregnant,
also the elderly and people with disabilities.
More than half of the newly displaced are Children.
This underscores the urgent need for targeted assistance and protection measures
to address the needs of vulnerable populations.
The violence has also been marked by extensive destruction of residential areas
and religious and community facilities such as schools and health centres.
This rampant destruction has further exacerbated the
already dire humanitarian situation in Mozambique,
where over 700,000 people remain internally displaced due
to violence perpetrated by non state armed groups.
Compounded by the impact of the climate crisis,
the affected families have sought refuge
in displacement sites and host communities in
Nampula province,
which also hosts approximately 8000 refugees and asylum seekers. In the marathon
refugee settlement,
UN, AC, R and other partners are providing co relief items including blankets,
sleeping mats, mosquito nets, jerry cans, buckets,
solar lamps, kitchen sets and plastic sheets
to the newly displaced people.
And we'll also screen and register people
with specific needs for support and assistance.
Additional interventions are being planned and discussed with local
authorities in the areas of water and sanitation,
general protection, shelter, health, nutrition and food security.
However, lack of funding is hampering the response.
UN AC R has had a presence in Mozambique since the 19 eighties.
We reiterate our commitment to continue to work closely with local authorities,
humanitarian partners and host communities to address
the urgent needs of displaced people,
providing protection,
shelter and essential assistance to those affected by the conflict in Cabo Delgado
UN AC R's total requirement in Mozambique is $49
million which is currently only 17% funded.
Thank you very much. William Question of Mozambique in the room.
No. And I don't see any on the platform either.
So thank you very much for this update. Uh uh, William
and let me go now to WHO, we have Christian with us and doctor Shirley Chadda
that you will know. Well,
um who is here to give us an update on the situation of hearing care
in low and middle income settings
with the new WHO. Guidance Doctor, you have the floor.
Do you hear me?
Yes, we can
That be great.
So good morning, everyone.
Over the last, uh, few years, WHO has, uh,
repeatedly drawn attention towards its growing concern regarding hearing loss.
And this is because the number of people that live with hearing loss
and with unaddressed hearing loss
this is constantly growing.
So we estimate that over 400 million people globally
they require.
They are in the need of hearing devices such as hearing aids or implants,
which means that nearly one out of 10 people
requires hearing rehabilitation.
However, less than 20% of these needs are fulfilled,
which means that only one out of five people are
actually accessing hearing rehabilitation of those who need it.
So several barriers, um, they contribute to this gap,
most important of which is the global shortage of ear and hearing care specialists.
So let me give you an example.
Zambia, for example. It has a population of nearly 20 million people,
so the data available
makes us estimate that there would be 1 million people
in need of hearing rehabilitation.
there are only
10 specialists
10 people who can provide all ear, nose and throat services, ENT specialists
or audiologists to fulfil the needs of these over 1 million people.
And this situation is not unique to Zambia
To address this need,
it has been working to to rethink the
approaches we have for hearing aid service provision,
especially in places where
where resources, especially human resources, are limited.
So today we are launching, um, we are launching this document,
the hearing aid service delivery approaches for low and middle income settings,
which is the combination of three years of evidence, collation of, uh,
expert meetings and stakeholder discussions.
It is based on the principle of task sharing
amongst highly trained specialists
and trained nonspecialists.
So some of the tasks that are traditionally all fall
under the realm of highly educated and trained specialists like audiologists
can actually be done by
nonspecialists with some training.
So this, uh, this document includes two approaches one for adults
and the other targeting Children who are above the age of five years.
Human resource shortages. However, along with
um along with the lack of policies, the lack of dedicated finances,
this is all one part of the challenges that face
us in provision of hearing care and hearing aids.
Even in places where hearing, testing, hearing aids, rehabilitation,
these are available through the health system and
and they are free to the individual.
What we find is that people do not always access these services
as much as the health system challenges.
It is the deeply ingrained societal misperceptions and stigmatising mindsets
that are key factors which limit our
efforts for preventing and addressing hearing loss
including thinking that
only older people get, uh,
get hearing loss or the idea that hearing aids are always very expensive,
or or that they don't work well.
And these misperceptions are not simply limited to the population as a whole,
but also,
uh, commonly prevalent amongst healthcare providers.
So who are providing services
at the primary level?
They commonly consider that ear and hearing problems are the domain of, uh,
a specialist,
and they lack the knowledge and the capacity to address these.
So as a result of this,
you have problems and hearing loss. They are,
they mostly remain unidentified and unaddressed.
WHO estimates that globally,
this incurs an annual fiscal loss of nearly $1 trillion.
So on this world hearing date
following the release of the new recommendations that I told
you about WHO is drawing attention to the importance of
changing mindsets related to year and hearing.
This is crucial for improving access
and for mitigating the costs that are related to hear and hearing care.
To address common misperceptions,
WHO has released several information products and
resources that can raise public awareness,
also targeting um, targeting healthcare providers, for example,
a fact sheet and a training manual for
health professionals that gives a clear rationale,
gives a clear direction.
Why should they engage in ear and hearing care
and what can
they do?
In addition,
we are carrying out a global
campaign to address prevalent myths and misperceptions
and to mitigate stigma through highlighting stories of
people with the lived experience of hearing loss.
So I invite all of you to actually visit WHO,
where many of these stories are portrayed in our, uh, in the lobby
and and also to visit our Web page in case you
cannot come to WHO to read some of these inspiring stories.
And we are urging on this day governments and partners to,
on one hand take firm steps for implementing community based approaches, uh,
to bring hearing services to the people
and, on the other hand,
to lead initiatives that raise awareness and that mitigate stigma related
to hearing loss and move us towards the goal of realising
accessible ear and hearing care for all.
Thank you. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Thank you very much,
Doctor Chadda.
Let me see if there are question I know Juliette wants to ask the question on WH,
but not on this.
So let me see if there is any specific question. I don't see any or on the platform.
I don't see any specific question to you. Uh, Doctor cha.
So thank you very much for this update.
Juliet, you have a question for WHO. I don't know who will answer, but go ahead.
Yes. Hi. Thank you. Good morning.
Uh, I guess my question goes to Chris Christian.
Uh, it's related with the INB. The international negotiating body. That is, um uh,
happening now started on Monday, and it's supposed to finish today.
I would like to have a bit more information about this, um,
international negotiating body.
Uh, because we can't really find anything on the website or
there is no never any announcement of media advisory about, um,
those meetings, Christian.
Well, thank you, Juliet. Um, let me first add to what?
What Shelly said before I come back to you.
There was a press release sent this morning already.
Um, and the speaking notes of Doctor Shelley have have now either been
sent already or are being sent as we as we speak.
Um so just that for that. And thank you, Uh, Shelly, for your for your updates here
on, uh, the IMB Juliet. Um, it's an ongoing. It's a work in process.
Uh, that's why there's nothing to report in between. It's,
you know, it's the member states, the negotiators,
the negotiating parties meeting, talking, discussing
various options, various models, um,
going apart again, meeting together again. So there's no update in between.
It's a It's a negotiation process where you can't
give an update because it's an ongoing process.
Um, there's a closing session planned for the day, and I tried to get the, uh,
the time for it today, which will be broadcast again.
That's the only two things the opening session at the closing session,
which are being
Webcast. You can find that on the on our website.
I don't have a time yet. I tried to get it. I would expect it in the afternoon.
but, uh, maybe if we get that soon,
we can at least send it with our updates on the on the notes to have a time for that.
Thank you.
Thank you very much. John.
Yes. Uh, good morning, Christian. In follow up to Juliette's question.
Uh, in the past, um, WHO
officials have briefed us on
the negotiations.
Um, walking us through the various technicalities which you mentioned are also
very complex.
Uh, a new text
was circulated
to delegations
and to NGO S accredited to follow the talks.
Are you planning to post the latest version
on your site as you've posted earlier texts.
Thanks, John. Yeah. Similar.
It's an It's an ongoing process,
as I know as I What I know is that there's
supposed to be a draught presented again for INB nine.
and I assume this draught will then be as a working paper, be available again.
that's what I have for now.
Thank you.
Any other question to WHO?
Uh, Juliet, do you have a follow up?
Um, the following on the draught. Uh uh, would it be possible to have access to it?
Because I've been
I did ask him for it a few times, but it seems that it's, um
not possible.
Would it be possible to have the draught? Uh,
mean the one which was produced for this ongoing session or
It sh It should be on the Web, isn't it?
No, Let let me look into this and we'll get back to you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Yeah. And from what I see, also to the other journalist, uh, Christian, please.
Any other question for WHO?
Chris? No, is Is that a hand? No. OK,
so let's go to our Thank you very much.
Chris, Let's go to our next and last, uh, speaker Claire is with us.
Uh, and, uh, I let me see
if I said with us. I don't see her on the platform. Oh, here. I can see you now, Claire.
Uh, welcome. And you have an update on the ending month of February.
Yes. Uh, good morning, everybody.
Um, so the end of february marks the end of the meteorological winter
in the Northern hemisphere
and the end of obviously the meteorological summer in the Southern hemisphere.
what we've seen this year, and unfortunately, it comes with no surprise is that,
uh, the month of February ended with extreme heat in the Southern Hemisphere summer
and very, very high temperatures.
Um, which are completely atypical of what you know,
we would think would be a normal northern hemisphere winter.
Um, obviously, World Meteorological Organisation members,
our community is monitoring, um,
the the state of the climate developments there and providing, you know,
early warming warnings to try to to protect lives and livelihoods.
we will send out a a detailed briefing note and
I'll we'll be posting a very detailed roundup LA,
uh, later on today, on on our website,
just to give you a quick overview, um,
so parts of North, South America, North, West and Southeast Africa,
southeast and far Eastern Asia, Western Australia,
big parts of Europe also record breaking temperatures.
Um, either on a
daily basis or certainly what we're seeing in parts of Europe is, you know,
for the entire month,
um, it wasn't warm globally.
So we had a big chunk of northwestern Canada, and Central Asia
and Southwester Canada were very, very cold.
Um, to put it in the context of you know what,
What we're seeing with climate change is, um
uh, and this is a quote from one of our experts,
which we will include in the in the briefing notes.
Sir Alvaro Silva. He's a climatologist working with WMO.
The anomalous heat is consistent with the persistent warming observed.
Since since June 2023
we've just had seven consecutive
new global monthly temperature records, including January 2024.
We don't yet have the figure for February. We'll get that next week.
Global sea surface temperatures are record high.
And whilst the El Nino event has stoked temperatures in some parts of the world,
human induced climate change is the major contributing factor.
So this is a quote from ALVERO
Uh, we will be issuing our next El Nino update early next week.
We're hoping it will be for for Tuesday. Um, if not for Wednesday.
So please stay tuned for that.
If you need any more, you know any more details?
Um, I'll I'll send you the the briefing note, Um, just to give you an indication in in
your, um,
some parts of, uh,
central Europe, um, Balkans, uh, southeastern Poland and northeastern Balkans.
Earlier this week, they were 12
°C above average, so it wasn't 12
°C. It's 12
°C above average.
Um, February in many parts of Europe hasn't seen any frost, you know,
So it really is very unusual.
What? We're what we're seeing. Thank you. That's all from me.
Question D,
Remo. Uh, in the room. No,
Uh, is there anybody on the platform?
I see a long list of people, but no hands.
So, Claire, thank you very much for this update.
And this leaves me with a few final announcements.
First of all, as usual, our committees,
we have the Committee on Economic and Social and Cultural Rights
which is closing this afternoon, its 75th session.
The Committee on Enforced Disappearances will also close this afternoon,
its 26th session.
The Human Rights Committee will open next Monday at 10 a.m.
its 140th session
Pale Wilson. It will last until the 28th of March.
During this session, they will review the reports of Chile, Namibia, Somalia,
Indonesia, United Kingdom,
Serbia and Guyana
and on the 21st of March In the afternoon,
the committee will also have a meeting with the State Parties.
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will
also open next Monday at 10 a.m. its 30th session
lasting until the 22nd of March,
during which we will review the reports of Kazakhstan, Zambia, Bahrain,
Sweden Azerbaijan, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
And on Monday, 18th of March,
the committee will also have meetings on the follow up of
the respective inquiry reports regarding Spain and the United Kingdom.
We have heard about the Human Rights Council,
and, uh, we have, um
so that concludes our announcements.
Uh, no. Yes. I also have the the new date.
The date for the next plenary meeting of the, uh, conference on Disarmament.
This will be held on Tuesday, fifth of march
uh, from three o'clock,
uh, 3 p.m.
in room 18.
I also wanted to remind you
to International Day today, the World Seagrass Day. That is pretty important.
Uh, day as seagrasses are marine flowering plants
that are found in shallow waters.
They are essentials for, uh, biologically rich habitats.
And the General Assembly has adopted a resolution
to, um, uh, proclaim first of March Worlds
Day. And it raises, uh,
the need
to, um, promote emphasised
actions for the conservation of this, uh, resource zero discrimination day.
As you know, U,
UN a is in the lead,
and I would like to call your attention to this statement by Winnie Bien
the executive director of Union A I DS,
which, um says that attacks on the rights of women, girls,
LGBT people and other marginalised communities are on the rise.
And she says it is only by protecting protecting everyone's rights
that we can protect everyone's health.
And we are going to send you if you haven't done it already.
The speech, uh, the statement of the Secretary general for World Wildlife Day that,
as you know, is commemorated by the international community on the third of March.
An important day. I see.
Gabriel, you have a hands up. I'm pretty sure it's not about
the grass,
isn't it?
Uh, you guys, right? Alessandra,
I'm wondering if I could address the question to, uh,
somebody in the room who was not here to brief.
I'm looking at your site and I think I'll have to ask Jens to come to the podium.
Is Are are you available for questions today or no?
Ok, uh, can I ask You
always available
Not always having the answers, but the the questions we can always hear, isn't
And I have
which is good. All
Uh, thank you, Yen for making you went to the podium. Much appreciated.
so we understand from yesterday we've all seen the statement by, uh,
Mr Griffiths regarding, uh, what occurred west of Gaza City yesterday,
Uh, with people waiting for aid deliveries.
Uh, so given that the UN was not involved in these
deliveries, um,
the heart of the question Now she says that if,
uh, Israel is doing its own deliveries, uh,
with private contractors and idea of handling security,
where does that leave the UN? Um, to be able
to provide humanitarian aid and also to prevent incidents of this kind.
Thank you.
It leaves the UN where the UN was before providing
aid to the best of our ability across Gaza,
as we have done
throughout, Uh, this, um,
this conflict,
as we have done for years and decades before this conflict and drawing
conflicts, uh, before the current one.
So So that that has not changed.
as you
correctly mentioned yourself this this, um,
this movement of of of trucks was done without any, uh, co ordination,
uh, with the UN. Uh,
we were not involved in that.
we all know that there are humanitarian action going on,
in in Gaza, that is not
coordinate, um, or
in collaboration with with the UN.
That's that. That's that's clear.
I think,
one has to look at the at at the context
of, uh, what happened.
We have to look at what?
Uh, more and more voices. More and more loudly are saying about
the food security situation
across the Gaza Strip in particular, uh, in the north. Uh, you will.
You will have seen
a briefed the Security Council just a couple of days ago
on that saying that
if something doesn't change,
uh, a famine
is almost inevitable
on the on the current trends. So that is where, uh, of course,
that leaves
the UN very much in the picture because we are able, willing, capable, uh,
to do something about that.
But the conditions, uh, need to be right?
Yes, Um, maybe just a precision. Uh, maybe on the role of ura,
where you have a process of defunding, uh, happening, Uh, UN agency.
Um does that
an incident like this make the importance of funding UUU
even more critical.
I think we are all speaking in support of UN W.
And and we do So, um uh, frequently, uh, and and at very high levels, we we have said
very clearly
that UN
W is the backbone of the humanitarian response. It's irreplaceable.
Uh, and we need UN W A to, uh to, uh to, uh, sustain its its operations.
We need UN
W a staff which is the vast majority of of of staff, uh, from the UN side,
uh, in these operations to, uh, be able to continue, uh, their their work.
This is exactly the the words that the Secretary General
used in his speech to the council on Monday.
Uh, about UN Rau
as, uh Jan said at the highest level,
we are supporting, uh, the agency.
I see Jamie has a question,
Jamie, go ahead. You've been muted. Then I'll go to to you. Mohammed,
we really have a problem today. We can't hear you. Can you try again, please?
So sorry, Jimmy I.
I know that you didn't hear us before, but now it's us that that don't hear you.
If you could just type your question
Oh, now you're back. You know you're in OK,
you. Thank you. All right,
Yeah, my question is for for Jens. Jens.
You just said that, um, just to follow up on your response to Gabrielle's question,
um, famine is given the sort of state affairs.
It looks like famine is almost inevitable.
Now, can you Can you tell us what the information flow is like? I mean,
how is that kind of assessment being made?
I mean, is there enough information coming out about this?
The the this, the status of people in North Gaza?
I know that WFPP has some strict guidelines as to how
they make a firm assessment of a famine or not.
And I'm just wondering,
um, are there people on the ground even able to make, uh, that assessment and are you?
How are you getting information? Thanks.
Thanks. Jamie. The the key assessment was was done by the, um I PC,
um, and reviewed by the Famine Review Committee,
which is an independent organ that, uh, that advises on on on such matters the
the data that that we have, um, as of today,
um, is that 2.2 million people, That's the entire population?
is facing crisis of worst level of food insecurity
that's I PC Phase three and I know you.
You know, these these phases.
So that is that that is the the totality a part of that is even worse off.
That's 1.17 million facing emergency levels of food. Uh, insecurity I PC
level four.
More than half a million people within the
2.2 million face catastrophic levels of food insecurity.
And that's I PC phase five. However,
before the Famine Review Committee can declare a famine, there are other
thresholds that needs to be met. It's not just that,
um, there's a whole quite complex, uh, technical,
uh, determination.
But as I said, with already half a million people considered in
uh, phase five
with the, uh, all but complete closure of commercial,
uh uh uh uh Inputs of food and and so on into into the country since the
beginning of of this conflict with the trickle of
trucks that are coming in with food aid,
with the massive access constraints moving it around,
uh, inside Gaza, all these things combined
lead us to, uh, this warning
that we do have, uh,
a very, very dire uh uh uh, situation. uh, coming,
uh, towards us
at very high speed.
Thank you, Mohammed.
Yes. Thank you so much, Alexander.
My question will be about the same topic. Also,
as before of yesterday, the Israeli army killed more than 100 Palestinians in Gaza.
Uh, we witnessed that, uh,
access to humanitarian aid, Uh, which, guaranteed by, uh,
international agreement was blocked by a new massacre.
These attacks of, uh, Israel, uh, are responded to
with, uh, only rhetoric. Uh, political or diplomatic rhetoric.
Don't you think that, uh, this causes the massacres, uh, to be covered up. Thank you.
Look, frankly, uh, on on I,
I can't only answer to you, II. I can't really share your your
your, uh uh uh, point of view. Of course it's your analysis.
Uh, what, you, uh how do you interpret this?
But I don't think I think this time the secretary general was really very clear
in condemning the, uh, uh, incident yesterday in northern Gaza.
And he said several times he was appalled
by the tragic, uh, uh, human toll of the conflict in Gaza.
And he really condemned strongly the, uh, the, um
the incident. He also said, uh, he had yesterday.
I don't know if you had a chance to see it with distributed it to you.
Uh, a press conference in.
I think it was in Trinidad where he again said how opposed it was by what had happened.
Uh, the United Nations is Is there we are. We are.
We are speaking about what has happened.
Of course, Uh, as
Ian said, uh, and and also the other other officials.
We need a humanitarian ceasefire.
This is what we really need in order to make to change the situation.
Uh, especially with the famine in Gaza,
we we cannot. We cannot, for the moment act in a situation of war. We do what we can.
And I think Jens has already mentioned the various
things that we are doing UNRWA is doing.
But I, I think we have been pretty clear this time on on what has happened.
And the Secretary General,
Um uh, in the first place. Chris,
uh, question for Jen.
Um, you know, we talk about famine, and I understand the UN rules to
establish that one famine exists, but, uh, you might remember that in 2011
in Somalia, once the famine was officially declared
half of the total, uh, death toll was already the people had already died. So,
you know, we talk about near famine.
How do we have any idea of how many people actually already died
of hunger
or of the direct consequence of not having food in Gaza as we speak?
Even if there is no official famine de Klerk.
And and that is exactly why we raised this. Because once a family is declared, it is
too late for too many people. That's that's exactly why we use
the F word as we call it. Right,
because we don't want to get to that situation.
And we need things, things to change Be, uh, before that,
I've given you the overall statistics that that we that
we have of that we we do see reports.
Uh, and I think, uh, Christian can perhaps speak more more about that.
But you'll see, I even noticed in our daily sitrep today
there are reports of, uh I think it's, uh, six, kids,
uh, who died? And that was due to complications related to to malnutrition.
so these are, if you like straws in the wind.
We can see,
which are extremely worrying,
food security before this conflict in Gaza was not that bad
people had food. People were able to produce their own food.
Now, we also hear from our colleagues in FA,
O and others that the production of foodstuff within Gaza, uh, itself
almost impossible.
History was a big source of, uh,
nutrition income putting food on the table that is com that has completely stopped.
so the the very foundation for people's daily sustenance is being, uh, ripped away.
Christian, maybe you wanna add something since I see your hand up?
Yeah. Thank me. Thank you. And thank you, Jens, for for leading on this.
So the official records yesterday or this
morning said there was 1/10 child officially registered
in a hospital as having starved to death?
a very sad threshold. Similar. Sad as the 30,000 deaths we reached all over Gaza
and similar, like those. These are official records.
And as you all point out, exactly
the the unofficial numbers can unfortunately be expected to be higher.
Um, and once we see them, once we see them registered in hospitals.
Once we see them registered
already further down the line.
So but
what? All this what all this shows is exactly as again, the
here pointed out.
The the system in Gaza is,
but we said it many times. It's on its knees. It's more than on its knees.
The fresh water supply has been cut off since immediately after 7 October.
The electricity has been cut off since immediately after
the horror attacks of the seventh of October.
All the lifelines in Gaza have more or less been cut. UN
a stated just this week that the aid supplies coming in
in February were only half of what has come in in
January, and we all know that January was not enough at all.
So and all this leads to a desperate situation, as we saw yesterday
in, uh in the unfortunate horrifying incidents where hundreds of people got killed
while there is a UN S.
While while the secretary general mentioned exactly that that
investigation should show what the real causes were,
not even right now. Important important is
people are so desperate for food for fresh water for any supplies
that they
risk their lives in getting any food,
any supplies to support their Children to support themselves.
This is the real drama.
This is the real catastrophe here that food and supplies are so scarce
that we see these situations coming up
and the food supplies have been cut off deliberately. Let's not forget that
the the fields that which were exac existing the the the the greenhouses,
the little bit of agricultural supply all that needs water supply.
All the water supply depends on electricity and the pumping stations.
The hospitals, which could
respond normally to such an incident like this, are also on their knees.
Two of the the hospitals Al, um Afar and
were opening their operating theatres yesterday despite
them being not functional and operational.
We saw pictures from Al
Shifa where victims of the attacks of the
of the horrifying situation yesterday of the killings
were lying next to each other on the floor, awaiting any type of treatment.
this is the real drama here, and that is why, despite to the calls,
now that this may delay the cease fire,
this just underlines more and more that we need an urgent urgent ceasefire.
Now, if not now When then?
But let's not forget. Once we have a cease fire, we also need a
sufficient, steady,
sustainable supply of of food and supplies to help the people of Gaza.
John, you've been very patient. Go ahead.
Yes, Uh, thank you, Um,
want to Jens and want to Christian Jens, Uh, just to bring us up to speed
the estimates you mentioned of people on
I PC four and I PC five.
These are up to date estimates or they go back to the early December estimate
by the, uh, independent expert panel. Uh, because if it's back from December
3 months later, the numbers are likely higher. So if you please could clarify that.
And secondly, Christian,
um uh,
from your medical, uh, experts on the ground,
Uh, there have been reports by diplomats that many of the more than 100 victims,
some had been shot in the head, and you've got 750 injured.
are you reaching out
to the Israeli authorities to facilitate
medical supplies to these facilities that are on their knees?
And what is their response?
Yes, Thank you, John. These are the projections that were made on the 21st of
Um, so it's just important, I. I know you know that.
But just on the record that these are these are not actual numbers,
and and that's that's what they do.
Um, these are projection for where the situation
will be, uh, within, um, a timeline.
So as of today,
that remains the the projection
Yeah, I have nothing to add on. Uh,
what John is asking here. Precisely.
I know that we are, of course, working with the Palestine Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Uh, red Red Cross Society, Um, and the ministries of Health, Ministry of Health.
To supply as good as we can on a on a need base. Um,
but that's all the story about convoys and logistics and and de confliction
Um, thank you, Alessandra. Actually, I think my question will be towards to you.
I want to return to the attack on Palestinians who are trying to reach aid.
You already mentioned the UN Secretary general's condemnation of the incident.
I'm quite curious about what the UN specifically
thinks about Israel's explanation on the matter in
which they say they opened fire because
people were getting closer to the military checkpoint
to reach aid. Um, do you think Is it
is this an acceptable reason for UN as we are talking about starving people and
and they were just desperately running towards a thank you.
I will leave the characterization to you. Uh uh. What I can tell you
is that, uh I think that the words of the Secretary General are pretty clear.
Um, that, uh,
you know,
whatever happened, it has to be condemned. We were not there.
As we've heard several times,
the UN
were not there. So
whatever happens when this kind of, uh uh, uh things happen,
Uh, there must be there must be accountability.
And the Secretary General has asked for it.
cannot tell you more about the circumstances we have heard.
Uh uh. We were not involved as UN,
but I think the Secretary
has been very clear both in condemning what has happened
and the request for accountability. They came very strongly. Also from the UN.
Yeah. Please,
uh, just just a question on, uh,
there have been several airdrops of humanitarian aid.
Um, in the last few months, Uh, one recently, and, uh, we saw images of
part of the of the drops falling into the water. Israeli forces shooting at it.
Uh, I was just wondering how viable you think this type of, um,
aid can can be like, Does it really help? Is it just for show?
Thank you. Um,
just so I thought these these airdrops were not also not, uh, with, uh,
UN coordinations.
so we have, uh, noted them. We've seen seen Jordanians.
Others, um, have have tried this.
We have also seen the pictures of what happened to to To some of it,
I think, as a as a as a general point,
a that comes in in that in that way is
as a last resort. It there, there, there are many
Uh, with that,
and I think,
uh, given the scale of of the need across Gaza,
one main issue with that is that
it is really small
that are that are coming in.
Um, small quantities can be extremely helpful.
However, For example,
if it is particular medical supplies that we have seen brought to to to hospitals,
and that you know,
that's helpful
Of course it is.
But to address a a
for 2.2 million people across Gaza.
this is not the The solution that that we, uh, prefer overland transport is, um is,
uh, is simply better, more efficient.
Uh, more effective,
and less costly.
Any other questions?
I don't see any.
just before I let you go III I just wanted to mention an event that
we are going to organise on the eighth of March for International Women's Day.
I really like to to speak about it because I really hope that you will come
and participate. We are doing
an, uh, activation of a
Well, it's called Inside out photo Booth.
this is a machine that a truck that is coming to the University of Gene
of Geneva, the uni,
um, to take pictures of people including you can take, uh,
you can get your picture taken
that will be added to a installation called Peace Begins with her,
which honour the vital role of women in achieving peace.
Um, the inside out projects being created, but they known as this, uh,
JR to empower communities to stand up for what they believe
in by displaying large scale black and white portraits.
So we will have this exhibition,
uh, this installation of, uh, pictures, Uh, and
people will add their pictures to that
to celebrate, uh, the role of women in peace.
Uh, this Activision will be followed by a panel discussion featuring women peace,
peace building,
representatives of civil society and academia
with opening remarks by State Secretary for Security Policy of Switzerland. Dr.
Marcus Meer.
Um, So, uh, we will send you a press release today about this, uh uh, activity,
but put it already in your agenda.
It's going to start at 1115 at NIMAI,
and, uh,
it will go on the whole day long so that people that can pass can take the pictures.
And at 6. 30 we will start the panel discussion at inside the university.
So that is, uh, uh to be followed up.
We will tell you more about it, and we will send you a press release.
I just see a last point for Claire.
I don't know if she's still there, but if claire could send
her, uh, notes. Otherwise, we will ask, uh uh
her separately to do it.
And if there are no other questions,
I will thank you very much and wish you a very good weekend.
And I'll see you next week. Thank you.