UN urges nations to receive Afghan refugees, refrain from deportations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 17, 2021   •   740

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres is urging all countries to be willing to receive Afghan refugees and refrain from deportations.

Guterres also called on all nations to unite and work together. He added that the UN continues to have staff and offices in areas that have come under Taliban control, and “will stay and deliver in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need.”

“It’s time for the international community to stand, work & act together: We must speak with one voice to uphold human rights. We must unite to make sure Afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven for terrorists,” he said.

Meanwhile,  Malacañang said the Philippines is open to accepting refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., during a public briefing on Tuesday (August 17), said that the Philippines will not hesitate to admit individuals fleeing their homelands because of fear of persecution.

“Since time immemorial, the Philippines has had jurisprudence even before the convention on refugees welcoming asylum seekers,” he said.

UN releases $12-M humanitarian assistance for typhoon-stricken Phl

Maris Federez   •   December 24, 2021

The United Nations (UN) through the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) pledged US$12 million (approximately Php600 million) as additional assistance to the Philippines severely ravaged by Typhoon Odette (international name Rai).

UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths on Thursday announced the allocation of the rapid response initiative that will be taken from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF).

“I am releasing USD12 million from UNCERF (Central Emergency Response Fund) to help deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to support the Government-led response to Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) in the Philippines,” Griffiths said.

The assistance will reach out to individuals in the hardest-hit areas in the Caraga region and Region VIII, providing them food, water, and other basic needs such as sanitation hygiene kits, as well as shelter, logistics, and communication.

In a briefing before the body, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to the Philippines, Gustavo Gonzalez, on Thursday underscored how typhoon Odette has been devastating, emphasizing the “serious impact of the typhoon on infrastructure, on houses, and on livelihood” in the region.

“I saw roads covered by debris, houses without roofs, and people on the border of Butuan and Surigao begging for water and food,” he said.

“This super typhoon evoked memories of [Typhoon] Haiyan (Yolanda),” added Gonzalez. “While the Government was more prepared for a typhoon of this magnitude this time around, the needs remain overwhelming.”

He also highlighted the fact that the devastation came amid the country’s fights against the coronavirus pandemic.

“The response set out in the plan will also prioritize COVID-19 protective measures,” said Gonzalez. “This is a crisis within a crisis. It happened at the end of the year when the Government has been able to keep down COVID-19 infections and inoculated a significant number of the population. We will work with the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that these hard-won gains are not lost.”

In a Twitter post, OCHA Philippines said the United Nations and humanitarian partners are calling for $107 million to support the Philippine government in responding to the calamity.

Gonzales said the life-saving assistance will target “530,000 vulnerable people most affected by the devastation of the typhoon”.

Elon Musk offers to sell Tesla stock if UN shows how it would solve world hunger

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 3, 2021

Elon Musk has offered to sell Tesla stocks and donate the proceeds if the United Nations (UN) can show in detail how it would use the money to solve world hunger.

His statement came after  UN World Food Program director David Beasley called on billionaires, specifically Musk and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, for a “one-time” donation to help prevent millions of people across the globe from dying of starvation.

“$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated,” Beasley said.

Musk agreed on the said proposal and asked Beasley about the process on how $6 billion can help end the global hunger crisis.

“If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it,” Musk said.

Beasley then offered to meet with Musk to discuss things further. He said $6 billion can prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation. AAC

UN urges member states to strengthen pledges in fighting climate change

Maris Federez   •   October 27, 2021

The United Nations (UN) no longer considers climate change a “future problem” because the world is already experiencing it.

Based on a UN report, the world is facing a dangerous global temperature rise of around 2.7°Celsius should countries fail to strengthen their climate pledges.

The report said that with the current country pledges, the earth’s carbon emission will only be 7.5 percent less by 2030.

This is far from the 45 percent target that scientists are looking into to limit the increase in global temperature to only 1.5°Celsius, which will be set in the COP26 Summit to be held in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday, October 31.

The UN emissions report said that even if more than 100 countries have pledged to reach net-zero emission by 2050, this will not suffice to reduce the climate disaster.

The author of the report, UN Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen, said that in order to limit global warming to 1.5°Celsius, member nations still have eight years to craft plans and policies aimed at reducing green gas house emissions.

“Climate change is no longer a future problem. It is a now problem. To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C, we have eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions: eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts. The clock is ticking loudly,” Andersen said.

In 2020, the world recorded only a 5.4 percent reduction of carbon emission amid the implementation of lockdown measures brought about by efforts to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Lena Ramos )

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