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Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Debretsion Gebremichael vows to fight on

The leader of Ethiopia's Tigray region has rejected the prime minister's ultimatum to surrender by Wednesday and has pledged to fight on in the conflict engulfing the north of the country. Debretsion Gebremichael denied federal government claims that the regional...

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Over 21,000 People Killed since UN Global Ceasefire-Resolution

At least 21,347 people have been killed in conflict, including more than 5,800 civilian adults and children who were directly targeted[i], despite the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution calling for a global cessation of hostilities some 90 days ago. Instead of a ceasefire, allowing countries and humanitarian organisations to focus on battling the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing violence is pushing millions to the brink of conflict-induced famine and hindering the battle against the outbreak. Leading aid organisations urge Heads of State meeting today in the Security Council in New York to urgently renew their call for a global ceasefire, and to accelerate COVID-19 response capacity and access in areas affected by conflict and humanitarian crisis. The UN Secretary-General issued his first call for a global ceasefire in March, yet early signs of progress have since stalled, as armed groups have continued or even increased fighting. This is contributing to a devastating increase in..

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COVID-19 could reverse gains made for African children, warns Save the Children

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress made for children in Africa by years or even decades, witheconomic aftershocks risking to push an additional 33 million children into poverty, according to Save the Children. With malaria levels projected to rise to levels of some 20 years ago, an estimated 265 million younger children out of school because of COVID-19 and the virus added to the factors driving food insecurity, the pandemic is expected to have a long term impact on children, despite early decisive action taken by many African countries. Save the Children today launched its paper ‘How To Protect A Generation At Risk’, which analyses the primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on Africa’s children. The agency warns that while children are not the highest-risk group in terms of direct fatalities, more action needs to be taken now to prevent the pandemic having far-reaching impacts on African children’s rights and wellbeing now and into the future. “COVID-19 has enor..

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COVID-19 threatening global peace and security, UN chief warns

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarks to the Security Council on the COVID-19 pandemic, in New York, today: Thank you for convening this important discussion. The world faces its gravest test since the founding of this Organization. Every country is now grappling with or poised to suffer the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic: the tens of thousands of lost lives; the broken families; the overwhelmed hospitals; the overworked essential workers. We are all struggling to absorb the unfolding shock: the jobs that have disappeared and businesses that have suffered; the fundamental and drastic shift to our daily lives; and the fear that the worst is still yet to come, especially in the developing world and countries already battered by armed conflict. While the COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis, its implications are much more far-reaching. We are already seeing its ruinous social and economic impacts, as Governments around the wor..

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HRW details devastating impact of COVID-19 on children

COVID-19s Devastating Impact on Children Governments Should Mitigate Harm, Protect Most Vulnerable (New York) – The COVID-19 crisis has a potentially far-reaching, long-term negative impact on children around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The impact is likely to be devastating, even though children who contract COVID-19 appear to have less severe symptoms and lower mortality rates than other age groups. More than 1.5 billion students are out of school. Widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families are likely to increase rates of child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. Stresses on families, particularly those living under quarantines and lockdowns, are increasing the incidence of domestic violence. As the global death toll from COVID-19 increases, large numbers of children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. “The risks posed by the COVID-19 crisis to children are enormous..

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Save the Children launches its biggest-ever $100 million appeal to protect children from COVID-19

Aid organisation seeks to raise $100 million in urgent race to help save millions of lives Save the Children warns that the global coronavirus pandemic threatens to devastate childrens health and education, and cause unprecedented protection needs. In the largest appeal in its 100-year-history, the agency is aiming to raise $100 million to urgently keep children and their families safe during the global COVID-19 outbreak, the most serious threat to global health and security in modern times. Since the start of the outbreak, Save the Children continues to respond to the needs of communities in countries impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including in China, the US and across Europe. As the Coronavirus pandemic now accelerates across lower income countries, with new cases expected to reach 10,000 across Africa this week, the agency is warning that failure to act now in countries across south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa could result in the loss of three million peoples lives. Inger Ash..

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“To silence the guns, we must raise the voices for peace”

“To silence the guns, we must raise the voices for peace” Ten days ago, I issued an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the globe to reinforce diplomatic action, help create conditions for the delivery of lifesaving aid, and bring hope to places that are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. This call was rooted in a fundamental recognition: There should be only one fight in our world today: our shared battle against COVID-19. We know the pandemic is having profound social, economic and political consequences, including relating to international peace and security. We see it, for example, in postponement of elections or limitations on the ability to vote, sustained restrictions on movement, spiraling unemployment and other factors that could contribute to rising discontent and political tensions. In addition, terrorist or extremist groups may take profit from the uncertainty created by the spread of the pandemic. Nonetheless, the global ceasefire app..

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