World News in Brief: Fresh Ukraine attacks condemned, Gaza healthcare, DR Congo needs escalating
Menu

World News in Brief: Fresh Ukraine attacks condemned, Gaza healthcare, DR Congo needs escalating

© UNOCHA/Saviano Abreu Denise Brown, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine (centre right), spoke with residents in Hroza in December. © UNOCHA/Saviano Abreu Denise Brown, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine (centre right), spoke with residents in Hroza in December.

INTERNATIONAL, 23 February 2024, Peace and Security - The top UN aid official in Ukraine deplored new attacks on the cities of Odesa and Dnipro on Friday, as the full-scale Russian invasion of the country enters a third year. 

The latest strikes in the centre and south occurred on the eve of the solemn commemoration marking two years of war and one day after deadly attacks in the Donestsk region, located in the east.

‘Grim reality’ unchanged

Denise Brown, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, took to social media to voice her condemnation.

“Today’s attacks on Ukraine are yet another blatant example of the Russian Federation’s disregard for their obligations under international humanitarian law, a grim reality that remains unchanged since the escalation of the war two years ago,” she said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Ukrainian authorities reported that grain stocks and civilian infrastructure, including a power plant, were hit during the strikes.

Meanwhile, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said aid organizations continue to do all they can to help people affected by ongoing attacks.

On Friday, they mobilized to provide first aid and critical assistance to people in Odesa and Dnipro, distributing hot drinks and meals as well as repair materials to residents whose homes were damaged. 

Lack of functioning UNRWA health centres in Gaza 

The UN agency that assists Palestine refugees, UNRWA, said just seven of its 23 health centres in Gaza are operational, with only one still functioning in the north.

That information comes from UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, which reported that nearly 600 UNRWA staff continue to work in these facilities, where they provided more than 11,000 medical consultations this past Monday.

More than 8,000 additional medical consultations also were carried out by staff at shelters and at newly established medical points in Mawasi area, where people displaced from Khan Younis have been flocking.

Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) continues to support pregnant and breastfeeding women in Gaza, where some 5,500 women are expected to give birth in the coming month, with little to no access to medical support. 

UNFPA has been distributing critical medicine and equipment to health facilities, where access allows, including the Al-Helal Al-Emirati Hospital in Rafah. Items include supplies for maternity, postpartum and reproductive health as well as dignity kits. 

Concern for families caught in DR Congo violence 

UN agencies continue to sound the alarm over the escalating violence and worsening humanitarian needs in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where government troops have been battling M23 rebels.

Since the resurgence of fighting around the town of Sake in North Kivu province earlier this month, some 144,000 people have been forced to flee the outskirts of the provincial capital, Goma. 

Other non-State armed groups have also launched a spate of targeted attacks against civilians this week in the city of Beni and in the Irumu territory in neighbouring Ituri province.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCRsaid on Friday that its protection monitoring teams have received reports of killings, kidnappings and the burning of homes. 

Separately, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) alongside the World Food Programme (WFP) called for immediate action to protect children and families. 

They said the increase in violence and displacement is straining their resources to mount a comprehensive response that includes food, clean water, good sanitation, safe shelter, basic health care and protective services for women and children.

The DRC has become one of the most significant internal displacement crises in Africa, with nearly seven million people displaced, primarily due to conflict in the east. The UN migration agency, IOM, estimates that 1.6 million people have been displaced in the past year alone.

This week, the DRC Government and humanitarian partners launched a $2.6 billion appeal to provide lifesaving assistance and protection to 8.7 million people in need. 

back to top

Soualiga Radio