UN Geneva Press Briefing - 14 May 2024
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UN Geneva Press Briefing - 14 May 2024



14 May 2024


Rolando Gómez, Chief of the Press and External Relations Section at the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, chaired a hybrid briefing, which was attended by the spokespersons and representatives of the United Nations Human Rights, the United Nations Trade and Development, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the International Telecommunication Union, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.


Situation in Gaza


Jason Straziuso, for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), informed that the ICRC and 11 Red Cross national societies had combined efforts to open a field hospital in Rafah to help address the overwhelming medical needs emanating from the ongoing conflict. Baby "Sanad" had been born on 10 May, the first trial day or soft opening. Those efforts aimed to complement and support the essential work performed by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in providing urgent care. Since the beginning of hostilities, PRCS staff and volunteers had continued to courageously provide emergency medical services to communities in Gaza, amidst unacceptably high levels of loss, said Mr. Straziuso.


The 60-bed field hospital was meant to complement and support PRCS work as the medical and humanitarian community attempts to meet vast health needs in Gaza. The field hospital would provide emergency surgical care; obstetric/gynecological, maternal, and newborn care; pediatric care; and outpatient department; mass casualty management and triage capacities were also included. The ICRC field hospital, implemented in coordination with the PRCS and supported by Red Cross Societies of Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Norway, and Switzerland, would be able to provide medical care for roughly 200 people a day.


More information and a video showing construction of the field hospital can be found here.


Responding to questions from the media, Elizabeth Throssell, for the United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR), stated that thousands of Palestinians had been killed and thousands more injured in Gaza. UN ground team in Gaza was trying to conduct their own verification of casualty figures, when conditions allowed, in line with the established global methodology. Figures did get revised and analyzed, stressed Ms. Throssell. Jens Laerke, for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), explained that the Ministry of Health in Gaza had now provided more details on verified, identified victims, which had not changed the overall tally of overall reported casualties. Those two figures were not mutually exclusive, as one category included all reported casualties, and the other just the fully verified ones. Christian Lindmeier, for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the most comprehensive update on casualty figures by the Ministry of Health specified that some 25,000 victims had now been fully identified, while 10,000 remained missing and were yet to be identified. Some 60 per cent of all casualties were women and children, and every single death was one too many, he said. Dead bodies were registered in morgues and hospitals when conditions allowed. As many as 8,000 dead people still lay under rubble and in active combat areas, their bodies could still not be collected and identified. The fact that there are now 25,000 identified victims was a step forward, reiterated Mr. Lindmeier. Such a slow process was typical in every conflict, with people on the move and limited healthcare facilities. Once every body had been recovered and registered, we could expect to have comprehensive, definite figures.


On the death of an international staff member in Gaza, Rolando Gómez, for UNIS, said that a statement by the Secretary-General on this matter had been shared. The Secretary-General was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a UN Department of Safety and Security staff member, an Indian national, and injury to another staffer when their UN vehicle was struck as they had traveled to the European Hospital in Rafah. The Secretary-General condemned all attacks on UN personnel and called for a full investigation. No place in Gaza was safe, stressed Mr. Gómez. UN always informed Israeli authorities of all movements of its convoys, he reiterated. The hit UN vehicle had been clearly marked as such.


Mr. Straziuso, for the ICRC, said that the new field hospital, which was very close to the European hospital in Rafah, was well supplied for about a week; some 15 trucks with supplied had arrived a week earlier. Separate from the field hospital, the ICRC had a surgical team at the European hospital, which had about three days of supplies left.


Update on flooding in Afghanistan


Timothy Anderson, Acting Head of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Afghanistan, speaking from Kabul, said that on 10 and 11 May, flash floods had swept across northeastern Afghanistan, impacting 18 districts in three provinces: Baghlan, Badakhshan, and Takhar. There had been widespread destruction, death, and injury in areas where people were least able to absorb shocks. WFP’s current information indicated that about 540 people were dead and injured, around about 3,000 houses fully or partially destroyed, 10,000 acres of orchards destroyed, and 2,000 livestock killed. Many survivors had nowhere to return and no resources. Survivors were very worried about their damaged agricultural land, which was their sole source of livelihood.


These were the same communities for which WFP had propositioned food in the winter, and two of the districts in Baghlan and Badakhshan were in so called ‘hunger hotspots’, which meant when other areas were faring better because of the harvest season, those communities would still need food assistance over the summer just to survive. With the impact of the floods, those families had been now left in catastrophic conditions. The floods had come after one of the driest winters; a disaster after disaster, pounding communities into destitution over and over again. So far, WFP had provided survivors with emergency food assistance and would provide other necessities and cash assistance shortly. WFP needed to help those people not only through this crisis, but also to help them prepare and become resilient for future climate shocks. Women-led households, the elderly, and the persons with disabilities, more than others, continued to rely on the WFP for assistance necessary for their survival.


Rolando Gómez, for UN Information Service, referred to the statement by the Secretary-General on the Afghanistan floods, in which he reiterated that the UN and its partners in Afghanistan were coordinating with the de facto authorities to swiftly assess needs and provide emergency assistance.


Answering questions from the media, Mr. Anderson, for the WFP, explained that the WFP remained very keen that all beneficiaries, male and female, were adequately and equally covered with its aid. To date, there had been no reported issues regarding female staff of the WFP or its cooperating and implementing partners. On another question, he explained that there was a strong negative correlation between a reduction of food assistance and a rise in reported cases of malnutrition. Mr. Anderson said that the overall food funding request for 2024 stood at around USD one billion, of which 30 per cent was funded. In terms of donor-funding, Mr. Anderson said that today’s environment was very competitive when it came to humanitarian funding, with many serious crises competing for limited resources. Looking forward, the WFP was looking to implement longer-term resilience, livelihood projects.


Christian Lindmeier, for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that several health facilities remained non-operational following the flooding. WHO had so far delivered seven metric tons of medical supplies and immediately deployed medical experts to the affected areas. Seventeen mobile health teams had been deployed by the WHO and partners to support provision of healthcare.




Impact on civilians amid intensified Russian attacks in Kharkiv region of Ukraine


Elizabeth Throssell, for United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR), stated that the OHCHR was deeply concerned at the plight of civilians in Ukraine, particularly in the Kharkiv region, as Russian armed forces had stepped up their attacks in recent days. This assault had seized more Ukrainian territory, triggered further displacement and potentially threatened Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city.


At least 6,000 people were believed to have fled or been evacuated from areas on the border.

The OHCHR human rights monitoring team in Ukraine, which was continuing to analyse information from the ground, had verified that at least eight civilians had been killed and some 35 injured in the Kharkiv region since the 10 May. This followed a pattern of civilian casualties documented for April, when at least 129 civilians had been killed and 574 injured, the majority amid attacks by Russian armed forces along the frontlines. Continuing attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which since March had affected millions across the country, had also meant daily power cuts in many parts of Kharkiv.  


OHCHR once again called on Russia to immediately cease its armed attack against Ukraine - in line with the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, the binding provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice, and with wider international law - and to withdraw to internationally recognised borders.


Full statement is available here.


Responding to questions, Ms. Throssell said that people were being evacuated from the areas of heavy fighting, which was very distressing for them. OHCHR staff in Kharkiv and monitoring teams across Ukraine were continuously collecting information on what was happening. She repeated the OHCHR’s call on all parties to avoid or minimize civilian casualties when conducting operations. Ms. Throssell reminded of the OHCHR’s global mandate, and the High Commissioner regularly engaged with leaders and Permanent Missions in Geneva. Establishing accountability for human rights violations was part of the OHCHR’s mandate, even if that could take a while.




Catherine Huissoud, for the United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD), informed that on 17-19 May, UNCTAD head Rebeca Grynspan would visit the Panama Canal to understand the impact of the drought preventing some ships to cross the Canal, disrupting international trade, and listen to stakeholders. The current situation there illustrated the nexus between climate change and trade. From Panama, Ms. Grynspan would head to Barbados where UN Trade and Development would hold the first Global Supply Chain Forum  focused on disruptions in the global value chain, be it due to pandemic, climate change or geopolitical crisis. More than 500 participants from 100 countries were expected to attend. Ms. Huissoud referred to UNCTAD’s earlier report Navigating Troubled Waters which contained latest data, analysis and recommendations.


David Hirsch, for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), informed that the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day would be marked on 17 May. This was the annual commemoration of the ITU’s founding. This year, the focus was on the fact that building a sustainable future demanded innovative thinking and action, especially in the digital world. More information is available here.


Rolando Gómez, for the for the United Nations Information Service (UNIS), informed about the Secretary-General’s statement on fighting in El Fasher in Sudan, in which he had expressed his grave concern by the outbreak of fighting in El Fasher, which put over 800,000 civilians at risk. He urged the parties to immediately stop the fighting and resume ceasefire negotiations without further delay. 

He also informed that the Committee on the Rights of the Child was concluding this morning its review of the report of Egypt. This afternoon, it would begin consideration of the report of Bhutan.


The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was reviewing today the report of the Republic of Korea.


Finally, the Conference on Disarmament was having this morning the first public meeting of the second part of its 2024 session, still under the presidency of Iran.





The webcast for this briefing is available here: https://bit.ly/unog14052024

The audio for this briefing is available here: https://bit.ly/UNOG140524


very good morning.
Thank you for joining us here at the UN
office at Geneva for this press briefing today,
the 14th of May.
Another busy day. We have Ukraine,
the situation in Gaza and an update on the
flooding in Afghanistan as well as a few announcements.
We'll start off immediately
with Liz Throssell from the UN Human Rights Office who will speak to
the situation in Ukraine.
And I should mention that we will go to Gaza afterwards. Uh, our colleague from Gaza,
Um to correct the the update that you received is not able to connect.
So we'll have our colleague from IRC Jason
who will address Gaza after we hear from Liz.
So play over to you.
Yes. Good morning, everyone. I do indeed have an item on Ukraine.
We are deeply concerned at the plight of civilians in Ukraine,
particularly in the Kharkiv region.
As Russian armed forces have stepped up their attacks in recent days.
This assault has seized more Ukrainian territory,
triggered further displacement
and potentially threatens Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city
since the latest incursion by Russian forces on 10 May,
during which they took control of several small settlements.
At least 6000 people are believed to have fled
or been evacuated from areas on the border.
Many have reached the city of Kharkiv,
which is just some 30 to 40 kilometres from the fighting.
Our human rights monitoring team in Ukraine,
which is continuing to analyse information from the ground,
has verified that at least eight civilians have
been killed and some 35 injured in the
khaki region since last Friday.
This follows a pattern of civilian casualties documented for April
when at least 129 civilians were killed and 574 injured
the majority amid attacks by Russian armed forces along the front lines
Kharkiv region. The situation is dire
and as fighting intensifies,
colleagues in Kharkiv report air raid sirens sounding almost constantly and
hearing explosions in the border area and in the city itself.
Continuing attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure,
which since March have affected millions across Ukraine,
have also meant daily power cuts in many parts of Kharkiv.
Reports indicate that in the north eastern border city of
Vosk, where there has been significant destruction,
heavy fighting is continuing.
Several 100 civilian residents out of several
100 civilian residents out of a population
of some 3000 prior to 10 may are believed to still be there.
And just to note that prior to 2022 the population of of Chak
was some 17,000.
We're also looking into reports alleging that falling debris from an intercepted
missile hit an apartment block in Belgorod in the Russian Federation,
causing civilian casualties.
We once again call on the Russian Federation
to immediately cease its armed attack against Ukraine
in line with the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly,
the binding provisional measures ordered by the International
Court of Justice and with wider international law,
and to withdraw to internationally recognised borders.
We also urge all parties to make every effort to avoid
or in any event, minimise harm to civilians,
including by avoiding the use of explosive weapons
with wide area effects in populated areas.
Thank you.
Thank you very much, Liz. Ok, Questions, uh, for Liz on Ukraine.
Oh, sorry.
Not on Ukraine. Ok, let's just talk about Ukraine first.
If there are no questions, maybe.
OK, we have Lisa Schlein, the Voice of America. Go ahead, Lisa.
Yeah. Hi. Uh, good morning, Liz. Uh, there are always reports that, uh,
Russia comes in when it attacks and deliberately turns cities, villages,
whatever into rubble.
Uh, what do you know about,
uh, its tactics and the attack on
Ukrainian? Uh uh, Sorry, Kharkiv and smaller villages surrounding about it.
Has there been an aggressive, uh, campaign to, uh, to bomb the
the hell out of these cities? And, uh, do you know whether
there are any sort of human rights, um,
atrocities which have been
committed, and, uh, II?
I don't know whether the investigation has occurred,
whether there is any or whether this will happen.
Thank you.
Thank you for that, Lisa.
Well, of course, we are seeing an unfolding situation as we've highlighted.
There was the Russian incursion
starting on 10 May, and they have seized some settlements.
What we're seeing on the ground, as I noted,
is that people are being evacuated from the areas of heavy fighting or fleeing.
Now, you can imagine that for the people, for the civilians living there is
this is beyond distressing for many of them.
It's really difficult to know what to do. Many of them really don't want to leave.
That would be a question of leaving their homes, leaving
their animals, leaving their house, leaving their plants,
their gardens a really personal kind of impact.
So we have seen a big number of people
evacuated out of the region or fleeing the region, many going to the city of
Kiv as I've stressed
with regard to what is actually happening.
Well, of course, this is an area of intense fighting,
so the security situation is very difficult. I would point out two things.
We do have colleagues in car
itself, kha
But we also have our human rights monitoring mission
across the country and the majority of colleagues in
and of course, part of the work that colleagues have been doing for many years,
in fact.
But of course since 2022 intensively
is trying to gather information as to what is happening and unfolding.
So I think what you're pointing to with regard to human rights violations,
human rights atrocities that is deeply concerning,
what may be happening to the civilians.
But of course,
at this stage it's quite difficult to establish
what may actually be happening on the ground.
But I think this underscores the call that we're making
is really for the Russian armed forces to halt
their offensive to withdraw to internationally recognised borders.
And, of course,
the call that we're making a call that we make
repeatedly on all parties to make every effort to avoid,
or at least minimise civilian casualties when conducting their operations.
Thank you.
Thank you. Liz. Uh,
Lisa, Uh, is that a follow up?
I see your head is still up.
Yep, it is. Um
I is the high commissioner in direct contact with
Russian diplomats about this situation.
I mean,
isn't it kind of naive to even think that
the Russians are listening to anything that you're saying?
I mean, you are Say,
you're saying to them, Stop fighting, stop the attacks.
They're not gonna stop.
I mean, what
what sort of answer do you get from,
Russian diplomats when you talk to them
and do they even bother answering you? I, I I'm I'm sorry. It's just that it's,
you know,
kind of confusing my question. But
if you would answer that, please. Thank you.
Well, Lisa,
I think it's an understandable question from yourself as a journalist to ask.
Well, what impact do our words have? What impact does our monitoring have?
But what we would always say is, of course, we have the global mandate.
The high Commissioner engages with leaders with permanent
missions here in Geneva on a regular basis,
and we believe that it is incredibly important to keep making these calls.
They may not be heeded in the first instance,
but as you know,
part of the work of our office is to monitor is to document as part of an overall
aim of establishing accountability for violations.
Now, in some cases, this could well take many years.
But what we're saying right now,
given the immediate impact on the people fleeing the border areas,
what we're seeing is this is why we felt it was so important this morning.
Right now, when we know that heavy fighting is continuing
to make that call to the Russian authorities.
Thanks very much. Liz,
do we have further questions on Ukraine?
No, I don't see that's the case.
So maybe if you don't mind Liz, we'll take a question on another subject
before we turn to our colleague on Gaza. Go ahead, Christian.
Thank you. Sorry. This
hasn't been repaired yet, so I can't
use this one
There is confusion about figures from Gaza,
not the death toll overall, but
information about how many women and Children
and teenagers are among those killed.
There has been a significant drop in the figures
that were reported by the Palestinian authorities last week,
OSHA has
taken them without any comment as to why
this was the case. And I have also not been able to
get an answer,
whether they are going to correct that or whether the
new figures are right and the old were wrong.
Do you have any insight in
the casualty figures? And especially,
is it true that 70% are women and Children?
Or is that a figure that has to be corrected? Thank you.
Thank you for your question, Christiana.
Well, I, I think obviously with regard to
can speak for themselves
with regard to figures.
I think
what is really clear is that we have seen
thousands of people, thousands of Palestinians killed
and thousands more injured in Gaza.
Now, of course,
there needs to be analysis of the breakdown of figures,
but I think it's very easy to get sidetracked
by the way that figures are presented and statistics.
We know that the documentation process by the Ministry
of Health in Gaza is ongoing and we have consistently
figures from the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
But we have consistently made it quite clear these are their figures.
We know that the United Nations teams on the
ground in Gaza have been trying where conditions permit
their own independent verification of
casualty figures, ongoing process, as I said,
and we ourselves in the UN Human Rights Office
as part of our work that I've highlighted previously,
is trying to verify civilian casualties and this is part of our global methodology
and this takes time. As you can imagine,
we have said this repeatedly with other conflicts.
So what is the point of this? Well, really,
the figures come out in the immediate aftermath of something happening,
and these do get revised and they do get analysed.
From our point of view,
the important work that we're doing is to have our verified figures going forward
with regard to our documentation, our reporting and,
as I've said previously with regard to Ukraine
with establishing accountability, So that's why we feel it's so important.
But of course I'll leave it to
and to Jens to explain
more from their side.
Thank Thank you very much, Liz. And and perhaps this is a good segue.
Um, Christian
Jens is actually on his way. And
And please note that there was a flash update from
OCHA, which was shared with you, which gives some explanation on the methodology,
et cetera, Uh, on the figures that that are obviously, uh, been reported on.
So if you can indulge us, we just wait a little bit. Yanan is
we also have Carl, uh, actually Christian
of, uh, World Health Organisation, who may want to jump in on this point,
and I see that Jens is actually asking for the floor. So yens over to you.
Yeah. Hello. Good morning, everyone. I'm I'm really sorry.
I'm unable to come in today. I hope you can hear me.
I'm not put on my camera because I'm out and about,
uh, just Christian on on your question. I
don't think that there is unclarity about the figure. What has been provided
additionally, by the Minister of Health
is more detailed information about a subsection of the overall tally of 35,000
So we have more verified full
identification of 24,000 out of the 35. That does not change the overall tally.
That does not mean that
er has to correct
Uh, so I just wanted to put that on record.
Thank you.
Thank you very much. J, Uh, Jensen And of course, um,
colleagues. Please do,
uh, look at the update that we shared with you,
Christian. Did you have a quick follow up?
I know their hands, and we also have hands online.
So let's just take, uh,
we'll start with Christian and remind you we have our colleague from the
IC RC who also wants a brief on the subject of Gaza.
But go over to you, Christian. Thank you, Jens.
It's just about the the update date where 215 days.
You have the overall figure, and underneath it says
20% women. Um,
don't have it in front of me,
but underneath the figures don't seem to refer to only the identified, uh,
I don't know whether
I'm reading this wrong or whether it's unclear.
Thank you.
Maybe yen. So if we can start off and then I think Christian of W a also had his hand up.
But maybe yen's back to you.
Yes, tha thank Thank you, Christiane. Um I, I do understand. I'm happy to
talk to you bilaterally.
It is, uh,
clearly stored
where the information gets
comes from,
uh, again, I. I want to stress these are not
mutually exclusive
in a way, uh,
because you can have a category
that is not fully verified,
and you can have one that is fully verified. And this is
as this, uh, just explained an ongoing process
whereby the identification
of the information gets
increasingly more solid as time goes by.
OK, thank thank you. Uh, thank you very much, Jans.
And of course, colleagues appreciate how
difficult a venue we're working in. So,
uh, not easy to tally these figures. Let's go to Christian Linde
Meer of WHO. And then we'll take a few more questions on this subject.
Christian, please go ahead.
Yeah, thanks. And and thanks for the opportunity.
And and thanks for Jens to to bring in a bit of clarification here, Um,
this is this has been a weird look at figures yesterday
because the initial headlines produced were looking at,
um, only 25,000 fatalities. The one identified,
and they were missing out on the 10,000 non identified.
So you have to look at in a different way. Honestly,
you have to see that
until now this is the most comprehensive update on figures
because so far we have been mainly talking
about 35,000 estimated deaths and an estimated breakdown.
Now, as the Ministry of Health goes forward and identifies every single body,
every single dead gives names to people to give closure to the families and
friends. That's when these figures get updated and the data get updated
25,000 have been identified, 10,000 are still missing.
And if you add, and if you look at the calculation of the figures,
you will come to the point that you still have
about 60% of the casualties being women and Children.
So this is what we come to when you count up. The figures provided.
So nothing wrong with the data. The overall data are still the same.
It's a good thing to identify the body and move forward to bring
well, clarity.
And then once you have everybody identified,
which is a a hor hor horrifying process and a very gruesome one looking at at
at bodies on the rubbles and mass graves and charred, burned whatever.
then you may have a name to every person. Will have to complete,
uh, factual data.
Uh, to this point, it's
the factual data the 25,000
identified plus 10,000 unidentified,
which then follow a certain logic of estimation.
Thanks very much, Christian. That that helps.
Um, the colleagues I know we still have a few hands up.
Are these specifically on the figures?
Jeremy, uh, then Isabel and then we'll go to Jamie online. Jeremy?
Yeah. Follow up on the figures, Uh, for for? For yes. So, Christian, I don't know. Uh
yet I understand.
It's really hard to get precise numbers, and I'm not asking for that
The Prime Minister,
The Israeli prime minister claims today that
nearly half of the people killed in Gaza
are were Hamas fighters.
So, to what extent do you think that it is
Let's say, Do you think that it is relevant according to your own statistics?
Ok, um maybe yena we still have you there uh, if you could perhaps address that, uh,
Christian as well.
Uh, either of you.
Maybe it ends if we start with you. Go ahead.
Yeah. Yeah.
I, I will not go into commenting on
We provide the data,
clearly to where it comes from,
and then I
just three.
we have
that I mean, it is about identifying where
not only for the purpose of getting
positive to those, uh, families who are
unaware and do not know
Thank you.
Thanks, Jens.
Um, yeah, it's difficult to hear you, but maybe, uh, you know,
if you want to connect after bilaterally with yens,
I think Liz wanted to add something before we go to you.
Christian, go ahead.
I'm sure Christian will come in
as he's done with more of a detailed
analysis of the figures on what's being reported.
But I think in some ways we're basically talking
about about 35,000 people who are dead. And
really, every life matters, doesn't it?
And we know that many and many of those are women and Children.
And there are thousands missing under the rubble.
So, as I said in my earlier response and my colleagues also saying,
it is very important to have civilian casualty monitoring,
it is very important to have figures.
And these do get processed, updated, refined. The process is ongoing,
but the bottom line is that we are talking about people who have lost their lives.
Thank you, Liz. Absolutely. OK, Christian. Um,
over to you.
Yeah. No, I have No, I have no comment on the,
on on the comments, Uh, that you mentioned the
I'm also looking at the close to 60% casualties of women and Children.
Every single death there is is too many. And I think that's what we need to focus on
and not be be sidetracked by by various comments.
Yeah, maybe just to, you know, say these. These are not numbers.
These are human beings. These are lives. These are mothers, fathers, Children,
brothers, sisters. It's tragic. Really.
So, um, Jamie, I think you have a question on this subject as well.
And then we'll go to Isabel. Sorry.
Can you hear me?
Yeah. We can hear you. Go ahead.
Yeah, I just had a question, actually, about, um, the,
uh the the death of a UN International security staff member.
uh, in Rafa.
Can you tell us a little bit about that? And, uh, the reaction,
um, from you and either from, uh, yens or from, uh, from Liz or or whoever.
Please just any updates that you have on that, uh, situation, please. Thanks.
OK, I think Isabel, your question on the figures is OK, so maybe let's,
uh really quickly Just to highlight that we
did share a statement with you last night.
Uh, which I I trust you've seen,
uh, about this incident.
So before we I throw it to colleagues just
to remind you that this statement was sent out
around, uh, after 6 p.m. last night,
through which the Secretary General obviously,
uh, is deeply, deeply saddened to learn of the death of, uh, this, uh,
United Nations Department of Safety and Security colleague, Um,
um, and the injury of another, uh, staffer, um, when their vehicle was struck.
So there is a statement to this effect. Uh, as you know, they
as reported, they were on their way to, uh, the European Hospital in Rafah.
Uh, yesterday.
Of course, he's Secretary of General, as he always has.
Condemns, uh, all attacks on UN personnel,
Uh, and calls for a full investigation.
Um, and, of course,
reiterates his appeal for a immediate humanitarian
ceasefire and release of all hostages.
Uh, I should, as has been confirmed, but just to confirm to you here that, uh,
it was an Indian national.
It was the first, uh, international staff member UN staff member.
Um, that was killed. And of course, this is a
sheer illustration that there is really nowhere safe, uh, in in Gaza at the moment.
But colleagues, uh, feel free to jump in, Uh,
with any comment on this particular point,
I don't know if if you had something to say on this list, but, uh,
nothing really to add. Except, of course, it
is a reminder
that UN colleagues UN staff have died in large numbers in this conflict. And once
heartfelt condolences go to their families and
the families of the most recent fatality.
Thanks, Liz. Um,
OK, let's turn to Isabel. Finally. Sorry, Isabel.
I neglected you the first time around. So, Isabel,
thank you. If
Jens is still around because
connectivity is not so great. But you can pose a question. Let's see
how it is.
Jen can share with us some elements on how the verification process of
to identify the deaths
people in Gaza is done.
Maybe it it could, uh,
we can have more clarity on this if he he can explain a little bit this.
And also, if all these, um, elements names, ages, uh,
um, place of the sex, Um, and so
is also information that this completely shared with any, uh, UN,
or human
and certainly, um
just to clarify also, that when
you said
that there are 24,000 people identify that people that people identified
plus, um, 10,000 more missing people.
We are not talking about people that we consider thousands
of people being under still being under the rubble.
So this is a part.
So we're still talking about 34,000
more. We are always talk about 7000 or something like that. And adorable. Thank you.
Ok, thank you. Isabel. Uh, these are important questions. Of course.
Let's let's try Jens. Uh, I.
I imagine Christian is something to say, and then maybe maybe, uh, Liz as well.
Uh, but, um,
Let's try you again. Jens. Go ahead.
Yeah. Thank you. Uh, thanks. Zabel. Just on on the
the last part of your question.
the 10,000
between 59,000. They are dead.
Then there are additional thousands of people
who remain missing,
uh, on the rubber.
On the verification process, please.
On the verification methodology and verification process.
If you have something on that Jens.
Thank you. The verification is done by the Ministry of Health.
Um, and I think I will love this one to Christian. Uh, if I may or may,
uh, a little bit of time,
uh, to get
those details for
you. Yes, absolutely. Uh, Christian back to you.
Yeah. Thanks. Um,
the way this works is the bodies or the death get counted and registered.
That's important.
Uh, normally at health facilities, meaning at hospitals or at the morgues.
So an ambulance will bring a dead person,
or somebody brings the dead person to a morgue.
That's where they get registered.
Um, and that's where a name gets given to the person and, uh,
given back for a burial to the family.
to give closure. Let's not forget, um, also what Rolanda pointed out one more time.
Every single of these of these figures is a person with a name and the history And, uh,
and the family.
so these are these this is the
it gets collected or it gets counted in the morgues in the hospitals.
That's important.
So as as people are still under the rubble, um,
dead in mass graves somewhere out there on the side
of the road couldn't get picked up in a conflict area
in a in a so called safe zone, but yet still not reachable because, uh,
there's firing going on.
As long as all this is happening,
there are still people out there which can't be identified.
This accounts for the 10,000 that we know of.
Or we that the Health Ministry, uh,
talks about which are the approximately 10,000 not yet identified.
They need to be brought back to a to A to a centre to be identified to be given a name.
Um, additionally, exactly as you just pointed out, we talk about about 8000,
actually, uh, people still under the rubble somewhere, um, missing,
um without yet either being an unidentified
theft or of course not unidentified theft.
So the numbers are huge.
and this is this is an important process. This is ongoing.
So that's why I want to highlight again. The fact that we now have 25,000
identify people is a step forward.
And the longer this continues, the more people can be identified.
The closer, the the the actual figures, the fact figures the identified figures
will come to
the estimates which are in every conflict
there and which need to be based on what you see, what you have on what's going on
and maybe to remind you, uh,
that's normal in every every conflict in every scenario.
And just
to think about that, remember, in the beginning, after the
after the horrifying attacks in Israel,
the count was 1400
that, um
and that was revised to 1200 a very normal process that you look at
the actual figures at the date of what you have at the bodies.
Once you have names to them
and then you revise the figures, so it's absolutely normal process.
This is the way it moves
uh, very important. Uh, points, uh, Christian. Thank you.
Uh, Lisa, let's let's exhaust all the questions on the figures.
And I know that we have lots of, uh, interest in this, which I understand.
We do have our colleague, uh, from the IC RC Who wants to speak,
uh, to the situation of the hospital in Gaza.
So maybe, um, I'll just take just ask, maybe Lisa. Is this on the figures?
Uh, no, but it's related. And it's
if you if you can,
it's for you.
It's for me. OK,
on the spot.
I'm on the spot.
This ha! This has to do with the, uh um the deaths of the UN staffers.
I heard a report that, uh,
Israel claims that they were not informed about the route that the, uh,
UN staffers were taking.
And I'm wondering, is this credible?
Ok, uh, let me be clear about this, Lisa,
we we inform that is the UN informs Israeli
authorities of the movement of all of our convoys.
That has been the case
in any any theatre of operation. We This is a standard operating procedure.
This was the case
yesterday morning.
Um, so we have informed them. And it was a clearly marked UN vehicle. As you've seen
in the various images.
Um OK, more. Hands up, I. I really want to get to our colleagues.
So maybe I know Robin, we have Nick. We have Emma.
Maybe if you don't mind, we can just go to our colleague, Uh uh from the IC RC.
We'll just take a comment from him,
and then we can return to these questions, revisit this issue if need be,
But I'll turn over it now to, uh
uh, Jason uh stra
who, as you know, from IC RC here in Geneva. Unfortunately, uh, Hisham
Mana, who is a spokesperson for the IC RC in Gaza,
could not connect. Uh, this morning,
Uh, I understand it's not easy to do so So, Jason, over to you.
And then we'll continue with questions on the situation in Gaza. Jason.
Hi, everybody. And and thank you.
Uh, very good news for us today.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and 11 National Red Cross
societies have combined to open a field hospital
in Gaza,
obviously to help address the overwhelming
medical needs due to the ongoing conflict
the hospital is now open today and functioning.
In fact, in the days leading up to the opening today, we have had our first patients,
including a first birth.
The nod SAN AD was born in our first soft opening trial days last week. On May 10th,
Abu Musa, the mother told us that this is her third child and she named him sad
because it means support and she gave us permission to share her story.
So I'm gonna quote from her real quickly. She told us
I was so worried and scared about my pregnancy.
I went to a hospital before coming here and they could
not receive me because of a lack of medical staff.
My pregnancy was full of suffering.
I had to move from Kunis
to Rafa
and then now from Rafa to Almasi,
I was not able to have medical tests and check on my baby,
as we usually do because of the situation.
There was no food or vitamins for me or the baby.
And she added, I'm worried about moving again
while I'm still under recovery from my Caesareans,
and I do not know where I will go again.
So you can see by her experience how desperate people in
people in Gaza are for more medical care.
This 60 bed field hospital is meant to complement and support the essential
work performed by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in providing urgent care.
as the medical and humanitarian community attempts
to meet vast health needs in Gaza,
the field hospital provide emergency surgical care, obstetrics, gynaecology,
maternal, newborn and paediatric care, and it has an outpatient department.
Mass casualty management and triage capacities are also included.
This field hospital is truly a global Red Cross effort.
It's implemented in coordinating with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society
and is supported with equipment,
medicine and staff by the Red Cross Societies of Australia,
Germany, Hong Kong,
and Switzerland.
This, uh,
field hospital will be able to provide medical care for roughly 200 people a day.
People in Gaza are struggling to access medical care, and they urgently need,
that they urgently need to do in part to the overwhelming demands
for health services and the reduced number of functioning health facilities.
Doctors and nurses, as we all know, have been working around the clock.
We know this new facility will help provide valuable care for people in need,
but it's clear that even more medical capacity is desperately needed
in Gaza.
And that's all I have on that. But I'm happy to take any questions.
Thank Thank you very much for sharing that information. Um, Jason,
OK, We still have lots of questions on the situation in Gaza,
so we will start off with those in the room first.
I think Robin
France pre.
We'll start with you.
Yeah. Thank you.
This is one for Jens or anyone else who might
wish to answer on the on the attack on trucks
coming from Jordan
into into Israel, heading towards Gaza.
Do you have any? Any reaction on that?
And any any details on what happened there? Thank you.
Thank you, Robin. Uh, yens.
Let's wait a second to see if you can connect. I know that.
OK, I see that he's, um
He's not online at the moment, so
apologies for that.
If he reconnects, maybe we could throw back to him.
Then maybe on that point, if you want to
Yeah. One for one. For Christian, just for
just for clarification.
can you clarify that that 60% of the of the casualties in Gaza are women and Children,
And, uh, just just for clarification where that figure comes from.
Thank you.
Thanks, Christian.
All right, so if if you look this this is gonna be a lengthy calculation now,
so but I'm happy to walk you through.
Um, if you look at the the two set
of O
A that have been scrutinised so much and where this, uh,
headline came for from that the UN has halved the the figures,
which is absolutely not true.
out of the 25,000 identified ones
there were,
If you see the numbers, there were 30% women.
40. Uh, sorry. One more time out of 25,000. 40% men,
20% women, 32%
And interestingly,
as the the ministry apparently calculated 8% elderly on top of the statistics.
So they don't count
as, uh, in the category of men or women there. There are additional 8%.
Um, if you put that same ratio of 40 2032 on the on the,
uh on the 35,000 on the additional 10,000,
uh, unidentified ones. And you break down the elderly,
um, into men and women.
Um, you arrive very
quickly, calculated
over the whole 35,000
reported deaths.
Unidentified plus identified.
You come to approximately
rough calculation. 44% men,
24% women and 32%
That is 56% of,
um, of women and Children. And that is if all the statistics apply that way.
If we don't put into account
that under collapsed houses, for example,
there's a high likelihood that you find rather women and Children,
because they are the ones typically staying at home
while the men are out looking for food, looking for business,
looking for any any supplies for their for their families.
So a lot of unknowns in that equation. These are estimates, after all.
But again, in the minimum statistical calculation,
you come to 60% women and Children.
and that's just out of the pure statistics which are available right now.
Figures, data plus estimates.
Thank you very much, Christian.
Ok, uh, we have three more hands up. We'll start with Emma of Reuters.
Uh, thank you, Christian. Uh, related question.
Um the issue is that the Ministry of Health is saying
over 70% are women and Children, so it doesn't quite add up for me.
How can you know what portion of the dead are
women and Children if they've not all been identified?
How is that possible? Could you explain to me,
no one more time? I mean, this is exactly why these figures are called estimates.
They said in the report it's talked about estimates, Uh, in the initial figures.
Uh, all through the months,
we always the the the reports always talked about estimates
only as the process is continuing of identifying every single person of giving,
giving a name to every single dead person Will the
figures at the end of the day have be complete?
We we we should assume
so again, This is a typical
and very normal process in any conflict,
especially in such a difficult conflict where people
have been on the move all the time.
They've been displaced 567 times.
There are no go zones. There are areas where not a single health care worker can go.
No ambulances can go.
People can't go to retrieve their dead or their their their their family members.
So let's let's keep that in mind. There are still people out there missing.
There are still people under the rubble. Um,
once everybody is recovered,
you may have a chance to have a name to every person and have precise figures.
But one thing is clear here. It's a name to every person, and we need a cease fire now
to be able to recover those dead.
Uh, I think that was abundantly clear, Christian. Thank you very much.
I We do have a couple of hands still.
Uh, Nick, uh, New York Times is in Laurent Sierra, but Nick first.
Yeah. Thank you. Two questions, um, one relating to the UN staff are killed.
I wonder if you have any more detail on exactly what happened
in the sense of Was that an airstrike or drone strike?
Or is that ground
artillery fire that or or
gun fire? That caused the the fatality?
And then a question, um, for IC RC, please. Um, in
relation to your hospital. Um, how many staff have you got working there? What?
What's the balance? International or foreign?
And I'm curious at a time when
so much, um,
international assistance to Gaza seems to be completely paralysed. What?
What has made it possible for you to open the hospital at this time? And
how are you getting it? Fueled? How are you getting it staffed?
And do you have any opportunity to evacuate? Uh uh, severely injured people.
Thank you.
Ok, uh, let me just just to before we go back to, um, Jason, Uh,
just to say we we are still investigating this incident, which occurred yesterday.
We don't have
any details other than what I mentioned here.
you know, I, I international staff, um, from India. It was the first.
We have a second staff from, uh, Department of Safety and Security, who was injured.
He was in the vehicle at the time.
Uh, as I mentioned, they were on their way to the European, um,
hospital in Rafah yesterday morning.
But this is something that is, uh, being, uh, investigated.
The Secretary General himself has condemned this
and has called for the full investigation.
Of course, we want accountability.
This is the ultimate aim of of this investigation.
And of course, um,
you know,
internationals humanitarian workers are not targets
uh, so such, uh, attacks must end.
Jason, on the question of the hospital. Back to you.
Um hi, Nick.
Uh, we have about 30 staff working at the new field hospital at any given time.
I, I read a long list. These 11, uh, national Red Cross societies that
some of them are deploying equipment, and some of them are deploying staff.
Nick, we sent out a news release, and it should have those details at the bottom.
Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Iceland,
uh, Japan.
Uh, and that may not be exhaustive. Switzerland, uh, all deploying staff,
on the supplies, because this hospital is now just opening,
and it has been in the works for many months.
Uh, the the the hos
or the field hospital itself is well supplied
for now,
the IC RC hasn't been able to get in supplies for about a week.
Um, so we have those ongoing concerns. We brought in 15 trucks about a week ago.
That was, uh, food. Uh, mattresses, tarpaulins,
separate from the field hospital.
Nick, we also have a surgical team,
and we've had a surgical team since November at the European Gaza Hospital.
uh, and we contribute supplies there.
That hospital is down to about three days of fuel.
If no more fuel is delivered before then, operations there become very difficult.
You had quite a few questions. I'm not sure if I covered them all.
I think you did, but, uh, Nick, feel free to chime in quickly.
If there is something that is unanswered.
Go ahead. 11, quick one. I mean,
yeah. Um, evacuations. Do you have any, um,
shorthand or or quick route for evacuation of of people who you feel need it.
We We're not involved with, uh, medical evacuations.
So, uh,
no, not us.
OK, thank you, Jason. OK, we have a question now from Laurence Sierra, a
Swiss news agency.
Yeah, thanks. Uh, Rolando also, uh, for questions to Jason.
Uh, first, I don't know whether you have a breakdown, uh,
about how much the different national societies contribute, uh,
and and how many people from the Swiss Red Cross
are being sent there?
And then, uh,
did I understand correctly that you said that you have three days
of fuel for the new field hospital or is it uh,
another, uh, health centre?
that you mentioned
three days of fuel for the European Gaza hospital.
Uh, they're quite in close proximity to each other.
Um, I don't have a figure exactly on the field hospital. Uh,
in in a way,
it depends on what machines we have to use and what the influx of patients are.
How this is This is not only for fuel, but all supplies.
Uh, basically what supplies need to be used?
Uh, what machines need to be used?
I don't.
So we don't have a definitive answer there yet, but other than to say,
it's something we're always concerned about and keeping our eye on.
And then we're not in panic mode yet, and necessarily in either of those places,
But we could be soon,
OK? And on the
on the Swiss
Cross Laura,
let me come back to you. I don't have the figures. Obviously.
Uh, very interesting for your readers.
Uh, so we'll we'll get that information to you.
Terrific. Thanks, Jason. Uh, Nick, Uh, another question.
Yeah, just a quick for Jason. Um, the exact location of this new, uh, facility.
Thank you.
in proximity.
I don't know how many metres away very close to the European Gaza Hospital,
which is in Rafah.
and I don't I don't have whether it's on the west side of the east side, off the top,
I off the top of my head, so I'd rather not say, But, Nick, I can send you an email.
Tha Thanks. Uh, Jason, also, if you can send your notes, that would be appreciated.
Um, I think some colleagues are asking for that.
Do we have further questions on Gaza before we move to, uh, thank you very much again.
Jason, Um, any last questions on Gaza for Jason or other colleagues? No.
OK, in that case, we'll turn now to our colleague who's joining us from Kabul,
Timothy Anderson,
who's the acting head of programme in Afghanistan for the World Food Programme,
who has an update for us on the flooding in Afghanistan.
Over to you, Timothy,
Uh, thank you very much.
And, uh, uh, thanks for the, uh, invitation to, uh, to talk today.
Uh, on, uh, on the 10th and 11th of May,
flash floods swept across northeastern Afghanistan,
impacting 18 districts in three provinces.
Uh, bland Badakshan
There's been widespread destruction death and injury in
areas where people are least able to absorb shocks
on our current information.
About 540 people are dead and injured around
about 3000 houses fully or partially destroyed.
10,000, acres of orchards destroyed and about 2000 livestock killed.
Many of those who have survived have nothing left, no homes to return to, uh,
and no food or resources.
We expect these impacts to increase as assessment teams
reach and report from less a less accessible,
affected areas.
This paints a grim picture of what's been happening over the last few days.
Our staff on the ground tell me everyone they
speak to is worried less about their homes.
Uh, that they lost and more about their destroyed agricultural land,
as well as grieving for, uh for lost family members
as subsist
as subsistence farmers. It's their sole source of livelihood
and already marginal to meet their basic needs.
These are the same communities for which WFP, uh, prepositioned food in the winter.
And two of the districts in Baghlan and
are, uh, are in so called hunger hotspots,
which means that when other areas are faring better because of the harvest season,
these communities will still need food assistance over the summer
just to survive.
And now, with the impact of the floods,
these same families are left in a catastrophic condition.
Now this flood is not an anomaly.
It's one of many floods that have left a trail of
destruction across the entire country in the last few weeks alone.
But this one has been the most significant one in terms of impact.
This also comes after what was one of the driest winters yet in Afghanistan,
leading us to believe it would be another year of drought.
With these erratic weather patterns, it's been disaster after disaster,
pounding communities back into destitution
over and over again.
Some areas have been quite difficult to access.
We're taking food in via donkeys as that is the
only way we can reach some of these districts.
So far, WFP has provided the survivors with emergency food assistance,
and we're planning to dis
distribute blanket cash assistance in the coming days,
which is enough to cover their basic needs for a month.
We have also dispatched wheat flour to some of the remaining operational bakeries
so that the affected families can have access to fresh bread for free.
we need to help them not only to get through this crisis,
but also to rebuild their lives and mitigate future climate shocks.
We can do this if we receive funding for livelihoods and resilience.
Programme to build
with and in communities flood diversion walls,
check dams and other vital small scale infrastructure.
And we know this works
in bag land. Describe the grim impact of floods.
WFP supported protection walls saved over 640 families from
the floods and protected 400 hectares of productive land.
Sadly, however, at times of massive funding shortfalls in Afghanistan,
we are taking the assistance to the
flood affected communities from an already underfunded programme
that is increasingly insufficient to support
the starving amongst the many hungry,
uh, women
led households, Children,
the elderly and people with disabilities
continue to rely on our diminishing assistance
without urgent additional funding.
We'd not be able to support, uh, continue to our support to these families.
Uh, thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Timothy.
And I should just remind you that we did
share a statement from the Secretary General on the
flooding in Afghanistan over the weekend, through which he says
he's saddened by the loss of life in the flash
floods in the Baghlan province in the northeast of Afghanistan.
He expresses his solidarity with the people of Afghanistan,
express his condolences to those lost.
Uh, reportedly I just hearing from Timothy 540
uh, for the moment And of course, uh, noting that
the United Nations and its partners in Afghanistan are indeed coordinating,
uh, with the de facto authorities. Uh,
so this is something, of course,
that was just addressed in that search
and rescue operations continue in northeastern Afghanistan.
So thank you very much, Timothy, for that update. Do we have questions for Timothy
on the flashlight? Lisa
sle A
voice of America over to you, Lisa.
Yeah, Well, Rolando, you, uh, seem to have answered one question. Perhaps you,
uh OK. I'll ask you my questions, please.
And, uh, that is, uh I'm wondering what, uh, role the Taliban government.
The de facto government is playing in this whether you
are receiving the kind of Cooper operation that you,
need that you would like from them or whether there is
any interference in terms of the ability to get aid in.
I know you have a big funding shortage, but if you have the,
uh, the supplies that are there,
are you able to get them in with a any kind of interference?
I mean it. Well, there are also physical,
uh, problems roads that are out of, uh, uh, sync and so forth.
Oh, before I forget, please send us your notes. That always,
uh, helps with the situation.
Um, and, uh, let's let's see, where where am I without? Um,
yeah, and I I'm, uh, very wondering and very concerned, given the
enormous discrimination against women
in particular,
whether this is now or likely to be a hindrance in terms of recovery efforts
because, uh, clearly there are people who well,
they have been killed and others that are many that are injured,
and that would need medical aid. And I would think if you are a woman in
in Afghanistan, you need to have women who service you.
Probably a lot of them do not get the aid they get
because you do not have women
who are their nurses as doctors and so forth. So
thank you for, uh, enlightening me.
Yes, thanks. Uh, thanks for the questions.
Uh, Lisa, in terms of, uh, in terms of access and integration with, uh, with D FA.
Uh, we have, uh, 22 levels of, uh, of integration, one at national level,
uh, through our access teams that, uh, that deal with, uh,
ministry level, uh, conversations with the de facto authorities.
Uh, and, uh, assist us with, uh, access issues in terms of, uh,
signature for MO US and letter of agreements,
particularly in terms of being able to access, uh, areas, uh, in disaster periods
on the ground.
At the moment, the relationship that our area office colleagues, uh,
WFP colleagues, uh,
and our cooperating partner colleagues have with D FA has been very positive.
That includes, uh, the integration of, uh,
female staff members from cooperating partners and from WFP
directly into the response.
Uh, so we, uh, we
are always very keen to ensure
that, uh, all beneficiaries or all affected population, uh, male and female, uh,
are adequately and equally covered, Uh, in our response, uh,
response mechanisms and processes
to date. Uh, that's been, uh, a very positive outcome on the ground.
And there have been, uh, no reported, uh, issues for our female staff, uh,
cooperating partner female staff, Our monitoring, uh, partner female staff to,
uh, to access and assist in the, uh, in the response.
In terms of health, though, it's not my, uh, not my area of expertise.
I also understand that there are significant numbers of
female staff in clinics across the affected areas.
Uh, and that that's been one of the features of, uh, of the assistance provided by,
uh, by other agencies to ensure that there is, uh, sufficient coverage, Uh,
so that women, as you say, can be treated appropriately by, uh, by female, uh,
female doctors and nurses.
Thank you very much. Uh, Timothy, we have a question from Nick of the New York Times.
Yeah. Thank you, Timothy. If you could just, um, remind us what was the
WFPS overall financial ask for Afghanistan.
Um, what you've received, And
do you have an estimate? Of what?
Of what it is that you kind of feel
you need supplementary to to deal with this particular,
um, emergency.
Um, and secondly, um, you mentioned this with
this area is one of the the hunger hotspots in Afghanistan. What? What is the
do you do?
You have AAA snapshot of of the malnutrition
status of of the population there and and
just how bad it is
and whether, um,
essentially the lack of donor response to your request for funding so far,
How much do you think that is?
Uh um,
just because of the pressure on
funding for
global emergencies generally and to what extent? It's because
Afghanistan seems to have become a
bit of a prior state. Um, for donors, uh, under the Taliban. Thank you.
Yes, thanks. Uh, some complex, uh, com.
Some complexity in there in terms of, uh, in terms of answers, I'll start with the,
uh, the simple ones.
The overall, uh, the overall funding envelope or request for, uh,
2024 for food alone was around about, uh, $1 billion.
Uh, as I understand it,
uh, current figures. We are,
uh, read about, uh, 30% of that.
Uh, so a significant shortfall,
uh, to give a to give an example. Um, over the summer period, we are, uh, undertaking
a hotspot response, uh, forced into this, uh, process because,
uh, uh, we simply don't have the resources to be able to manage a, uh,
general food distribution.
Uh, resilience and livelihood programming, nutrition programming
over a 12 month period.
Uh, with the current funding restrictions, uh, and resource restrictions.
What that means is that, uh, from may, uh, to a,
um uh
uh, April May into June.
We're dropping from 12.1 million people a
month receiving assistance to a round about,
uh, a million and a half 2 million maximum.
Uh, and that will be dependent.
Uh, on, uh, the types of, uh um,
uh, emergency responses that we might need to be mounting, uh,
in this interim period.
So between may and October, uh, we're dropping down, uh,
around about 10 million people out of our assistant, uh, modalities.
And, uh, and looking at how we might be able to, uh,
to save enough of our diminishing resources to preposition food for, uh,
for winter.
Uh, winter is particularly harsh, uh, in terms of, uh, of being able to manage,
uh, nutrition, Uh uh, across people who are already,
uh, you know, very, very marginal
in terms of the impact of, uh, of, um of these decreases in resources for, uh, for mam,
uh, moderate acute malnutrition and S AM. Severe acute malnutrition.
Uh, there's a There's a negative correlation between the reduction in the, uh,
in the provision of general food assistance and C BT.
Uh, and a,
uh, and a, uh, a rise in reported cases of mam and Sam.
We don't
We don't call that causality.
Uh, because the data sets are, uh uh uh can be can be difficult to, um
uh to be, uh uh to be clear.
Uh, but there's certainly a strong correlation. Uh, and there is, uh, an increasing
trend for mam and Sam, uh,
across Afghanistan
in terms of, uh, of donor funding and the drivers, Uh,
I think that, uh, there are two S,
two main components. The first is, of course, this is a very
competitive, uh,
environment at the moment for any type of funding for humanitarian responses.
Uh, and with many, um, with many very worthy, uh uh, recipients.
Uh, there's simply not enough to go around. My, my, um, sense is that,
uh, while there might be a political, uh, uh, element to some of that,
we don't really see that.
Uh, we see that There is, uh, uh,
huge amounts of need across a number of different theatres.
Uh, and that, uh, that we we need to be, um, articulating, uh, the needs that are here,
uh, in competition against the needs, which are very, very obvious in, uh, in, uh,
places like Gaza,
Uh, or the Sudan,
Uh, and other, uh, Yemen,
Uh, other locations where you, you know, there's there's,
uh, uh there's a lot of dire need, uh, out there.
So, uh,
there are some solutions I think to that in terms of, uh,
of Afghanistan and donor funding.
Uh, and partly that lies in, uh, in the transition from,
uh, from general food assistance,
uh, into, uh, more resilience and livelihood programming
that, uh, actually has a more sustainable, uh,
longer-term effect on, uh,
food insecurity.
So that's the, um, that's the pathway that needs to be a transition process.
Of course, you can't just stop, uh, feeding starving people.
You need to, uh, to maintain
at least a lifeline of some description,
but, uh, transiting into a, uh, a a resilience, livelihood programming,
uh, component is, uh is vital. I think, uh, in the, uh, in the coming
iterations for our, uh, donor request.
Thank you very much, Timothy.
I think Christian of WHO wants to add something on this point.
Yeah. Thank you, Rolando. And thanks, Timothy. And
just to add a few points on on Afghanistan, the floods that the heavy rainfall,
as you just heard,
triggered the violent floods last Friday in the north of the country.
several health facilities remain non operational,
making it difficult for people to access essential health services.
The full extent of the damage caused by the floods are still being assessed,
and WO and the local health authorities
are closely looking into the situation looking on the ground.
What, uh what we What What we can identify.
WHO has so far delivered seven metric tonnes of
essential medicines and medical supplies and immediately deployed a
surveillance support team and other experts to the flood responsive activities.
And prior to to that, WO had already provided enough medication for pneumonia,
acute watery diarrhoea and malnutrition to treat about 20,000
plus supplies for 500 trauma cases.
Also, 17 mobile health teams were deployed by W join health cluster partners, um,
to to support the delivery of the health care.
Thank you very much, Christian. Do we have further questions on Afghanistan?
I don't see. That's OK. So, Timothy, thank you very much.
Uh, for this very important briefing. Uh, stay well and thank you as well Christian
and and colleagues in advance for your much needed reporting
to shed a light on the situation and, uh, urgently appeal for much needed funds.
OK, then we are going to move to Catherine of UN Trade and Development,
who has an update or announcement from us.
For us,
from us, or for
us, For
navigating troubled waters impact global trade disruption and shipping routes.
mercy Catherine de K
for Catherine.
Oh, we, Isabel
uh uh
on call.
OK, I don't see any further questions. So Mercia Katherine.
And now we'll turn to David
S of the International Telecommunication Union, who has, uh,
opted from the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.
Thank you. Thank you, Rolando.
Just a quick announcement that on 17th May, which is Friday,
World Telecommunication and Information and Society Day will be
commemorated. This is the A
annual commemoration,
uh, marking the founding of the International Telecommunication Union.
Uh, this year at WTISD. 24.
We're exploring how digital and innovation can
help connect everyone and unlock sustainable,
of course, prosperity for all.
A virtual live streamed hour long event,
Um, being streamed from IT US headquarters.
Uh, we bring together experts and innovators to talk about,
uh, this topic and the subject is is the programme for that is is online.
And also just take this opportunity to to mention that media accreditation remains
open for, uh, ITSA I for good,
uh, global summit taking place. Um, first, with the 29th of May,
the A i governance Day, which is planned,
um, and then the 30th to 31st to talk about,
uh, how a I can artificial intelligence can support
the sustainable development goals as it does annually.
And also to remember to remind, uh,
correspondents that accreditation remains open for
the Wiis
plus 20 Forum high level event, which will take place during that same week.
This from the 27th through the 31st of may.
Um, both events
will be at C IC G, the International conference Centre.
Uh, with us, we'll be there from 27th, 28th
and then we'll move to IT headquarters, and then
the I for good, uh, activities will be at C IC G 29th, 30th and 31st.
Thank you, David.
Look forward to receiving more information on that important event coming up soon.
Uh, any questions for David?
No. OK, so thank you both very much.
Uh, before we end just a couple of announcements from me,
Firstly, just to flag a press statement. Yet another press statement from the
Secretary General, uh,
that you received early this morning on a very worrying situation
in Al
Fashir, Sudan. The Secretary General,
uh, is gravely concerned by the outbreak of fighting in Al
Fasher, which we've been reporting on here in this podium,
uh, which puts over 800,000
people civilians at risk.
He's alarmed by reports of the use of heavy weaponry in densely populated areas,
resulting in dozens of civilian casualties, significant displacement
and the destruction of civilian
Of course,
he calls recalls that civilians in the area are already facing a looming famine
and the consequences of over a year of war.
And SG urges the parties to immediately stop the
fighting and resume cease fire negotiations without further delay.
That's a statement that we shared with you early this morning.
Lastly, just to note a couple of meetings taking place. Uh, here at the Palais de Nel
this week, we have the Committee on the Rights of the Child,
which started last week. Uh, continues this week and next.
In fact, uh, today they are concluding its review of a report on Egypt
and this afternoon it will start with Bhutan.
That's a committee on the rights of the child
and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women is, uh,
reviewing today its report on the Republic of Korea
That's taking place here, in fact, in room 23.
And lastly,
the Conference on Disarmament this morning opened up
the second part of his 2024 session at
10 a.m.
So that is all I have any questions for me?
No. OK, well, have a good afternoon in bona petit