World News Summary: UNHCR rushes support for Rohingya, ends ‘normalization’ of prostitution, devastating drought in Zambia

In an alert Friday, Spokesperson Babar Baloch said the agency and its partners were ramping up support to assist about 8,000 mostly Rohingya refugees affected by the disaster earlier this week.

“Teams have been mobilized to find shelter for those displaced as work continues to renovate or repair damaged accommodation,” he said.

A child diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition is fed prepared therapeutic food by his mother at a refugee nutrition facility in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

© UNICEF/Jimmy Kruglinski

A child diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition is fed prepared therapeutic food by his mother at a refugee nutrition facility in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

“In addition to shelter, affected refugees also desperately need food and household items as well as access to healthcare and psychosocial support.”

Cox’s Bazaar is a network of about 33 camps in Bangladesh that primarily hold hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled persecution in Myanmar in 2017.

Vulnerability to extreme weather

Camps are especially “vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and prone to natural disasters, UNHCRCox’s Bazaar has seen more than 770 landslides and floods since 2017 – and more damage is expected as more rain is forecast, Mr Baloch added.

To support the humanitarian effort, the UN agency has issued an urgent appeal to donors as relief efforts in the camps have been “severely hampered by a severe lack of funding”.

UNHCR needs $275 million for its aid effort in Bangladesh this year but the appeal is only 25% funded.

It is also important that commitments made at last year’s Global Refugee Forum be implemented to promote the self-reliance of Rohingya refugees and reduce pressure on the Government of Bangladesh, UNHCR emphasized.

Independent rights expert calls for an end to the ‘normalisation’ of prostitution

Independent United Nations human rights expert combating violence against women and girls called on Friday for prostitution to be clearly recognized as a “system of violence, exploitation and abuse”.

Special Rapporteur Reem Alsalem said in his latest report with Eastern Human Rights Association that prostitution reduces women and girls to “mere commodities” and enables a system of discrimination and violence that prevents women from achieving true equality.

Ms Alsalem added: “Prostitution sexualizes and racializes poverty, and targets disadvantaged women, who often lack access to protective services or viable livelihood opportunities. competition, increasing the likelihood of further exploitation.”

Using ‘sex work’, is problematic

She emphasized that prostitution violates the physical, psychological and economic rights of individuals and can lead to torture and violate the dignity and safety of others.

Furthermore, she said it was important to use language consistent with international human rights law, noting that the term “prostitution” could downplay the real harms of prostitution.

She also expressed concern about how men’s right to purchase sexual acts normalizes systemic violence and blurs the lines between consent to sexual activity and sexual violence.

“The normalization of prostitution, including pornography, creates harmful sexual expectations for men and boys, and undermines safe and normal participation,” Ms. Alsalem said. equality of women and girls in society”.

Call to action

The expert is calling on States to “legalize prostitution for women and girls who must be considered victims, provide comprehensive support and escape routes, as well as punishment.” criminalize the sale of sexual acts and take strict action against pimping.”

Special rapporteurs and other human rights experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council are independent of any government, do not receive a salary for their work, and serve in their personal capacity.

Zambia: More than 50,000 children at risk of ‘severe wasting’

Nearly 52,000 children under five in Zambia are at risk of severe malnutrition – the deadliest form of malnutrition – within the next 12 months if urgent preventive measures are not taken, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Have warning.

This assessment comes as Zambia, a landlocked country in southern Africa, is struggling with a prolonged drought.

UNICEF said children in the Western, Southern, Central and Northwest provinces – four out of 10 of Zambia’s regions – are at particularly high risk of malnutrition as many families already face hunger and cannot provide nutritious food.

“Malnourished children are 10 times more likely to die than well-nourished children,” said UNICEF Global Communications Director Naysan Sahba.

“If we do not act now, there could be devastating and long-term impacts on the health, nutrition and development of Zambia’s youngest and most vulnerable populations.”

The assessment, commissioned by the National Food and Nutrition Board and supported by UNICEF, also found that pregnant and breastfeeding women are at risk of wasting.

Low breastfeeding rates are also a cause for concern, the agency said, stressing that rates of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life – which helps protect children from disease – “worryingly low” in many provinces, especially in urban areas of Vietnam. capital Lusaka.

The UN agency called for immediate action to ensure the distribution of food and cash assistance to mothers and children, expand access to health care and improve health and safety services. toilet.

“We must urgently expand access to nutritious and diverse food, health services, and water, sanitation and hygiene to avert an impending crisis,” Sahba said.

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