UNFPA CALLS FOR INCREASED FUNDING FOR INT’L HUMANITARIAN APPEALS
TEHRAN, 19 August 2014 (UNIC)—United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director in his statement on World Humanitarian Day, 19 August 2014, called for increased funding for international humanitarian appeals, especially for efforts to support sexual and reproductive health and protection for women and girls from sexual violence.
The full text of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin’s statement reads:
As we celebrate World Humanitarian Day, I salute those who respond to crises and work tirelessly to save people in times of deep distress and danger. Today’s theme, “The World Needs More Humanitarian Heroes,” calls attention to the courage and commitment of humanitarians who respond to increasing disasters and persistent conflicts around the world. They put their own lives at risk to save the lives of others.
Today, I pay tribute to humanitarian workers who help pregnant women deliver safely and protect women and girls from gender-based violence. These humanitarian heroes extend hope as they strive to save lives and protect human rights and dignity in extremely difficult situations.
One heroine is Catherine Njeri Makuma, who works as a midwife in Juba, South Sudan, in a UNFPA-supported health centre. She assists women with difficult pregnancies, providing antenatal, obstetric and postnatal care. Connecting women with skilled midwives and doctors, and emergency reproductive health kits and commodities saves their lives and those of their newborns.
Another heroine is Feeza Shraim, a midwife in Gaza, who provided health services for pregnant women until her clinic and home were destroyed in a recent airstrike. In Gaza, at least 11 hospitals, and several clinics and ambulances have sustained damage in the hostilities, limiting residents’ access to essential care.
The work of heroines, such as Catherine and Feeza, cannot be over-estimated. UNFPA estimates that some 30,000 women in South Sudan risk dying in childbirth and 200,000 pregnant women will need urgent care by the end of the year. In Gaza, some 160 deliveries are taking place every day and nearly 46,000 women are pregnant, including 10,000 displaced by the conflict. Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, reported a 15 to 20 per cent increase in premature births linked to the stress of bombardments.
In all regions, women continue to get pregnant and have babies during crises and emergencies. Violence often increases as health and other social services are disrupted. From South Sudan to Syria to Gaza and other crises, UNFPA supports sexual and reproductive health, and the protection of women and girls from gender-based violence.
In Myanmar, Hkawng Gan manages two of the eight UNFPA-operated centres for women and girls in Kachin. She conducts information sessions on gender-based violence, gives support to survivors of sexual abuse, and works with volunteers in camps for internally displaced persons. More than 2,000 women and girls have found much-needed support and protection.
In Iraq, as the security situation worsens, UNFPA is securing health services for some 250,000 pregnant women in eight affected governorates, providing assistance to 85 hospitals and maternity centres and more than 200 primary health clinics.
Iraq is also home to refugees fleeing the three-year-old conflict in Syria. Yusra, a Syrian refugee herself, provides psychosocial support and skills training to refugee women and girls at Yasmin Women’s Space in Domiz Camp. With UNFPA support, more than 3,000 women have gained skills for self-reliance and over 1,500 have received psychosocial counselling and referrals to other specialized services.
Another humanitarian heroine is Ruba Anga, a legal consultant at the Al-Halbouni health clinic in Syria. She provides support and services to women subjected to gender-based violence. An estimated 54,000 women have been put at greater risk of suffering from gender-based violence by Syria’s ongoing conflict.
Today, I call for increased funding for international humanitarian appeals, especially for efforts to support sexual and reproductive health and protection for women and girls from sexual violence.
The 2014 World Humanitarian Day campaign asks each of us to take action, make a difference and become a Messenger of Humanity. UNFPA is proud to take part and support the work of #humanitarianheroes far and wide.
BAN CALLS FOR ACTION ON MDGS TO SAVE LIVES, BUILD A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
TEHRAN, 18 August 2014 (UNIC)—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on 500-day mark to the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 18 August 2014 said action on MDGs now will save lives, build a solid foundation for sustainable development far beyond 2015.
The full text of the SG’s message reads:
There are many fires raging around the world today -- political turmoil, bloodshed, public health emergencies and human rights abuses. But there also burns a flame of hope – encouraging progress in the global drive to improve the lives of the world’s poorest through the Millennium Development Goals.
Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000, the MDGs are an ambitious 15-year roadmap to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment and expand education, basic health and women’s empowerment.
This week marks a milestone on the journey: we are now 500 days from the conclusion of the MDGs.
Quietly yet cumulatively, against the predictions of cynics, the MDGs have helped unite, inspire and transform.
Global poverty has been cut in half. More girls are in school. More families have better access to improved water sources. More mothers are surviving child birth and more children are living healthier lives. We are making huge inroads in fighting malaria, tuberculosis and other killer diseases.
I have met many individuals who owe their survival to this campaign. Yet millions still struggle against extreme poverty and inequality. Too many communities have no proper sanitation. Too many families are still being left behind. And our world faces the clear and present danger of climate change.
Now is the time for MDG Momentum.
The ideas and inspiration of young people will be especially critical in this effort and their role must grow even more. That is why I will mark the 500-day MDG moment at United Nations Headquarters with education advocate Malala Yousafzai and 500 young people.
Action in four areas can help fuel progress:
First: making strategic investments in health, education, energy and sanitation, with a special focus on empowering women and girls, which boosts results across the board.
Second: focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable countries, communities and social groups that have the toughest road to progress despite their best efforts.
Third: keeping our financial promises. These are difficult budgetary times. But budgets should never be balanced on the backs of society’s weakest individuals.
Fourth: deepening cooperation among governments, civil society, the private sector and other networks around the world that have helped make the MDGs the most successful global anti-poverty push in history.
The challenges are daunting. Yet we have many more tools at our disposal than at the turn of the millennium -- from the expanding reach of technology to the growing understanding of what works and what does not.
Action now will save lives, build a solid foundation for sustainable development far beyond 2015 and help lay the groundwork for lasting peace and human dignity.
We have 500 days to accelerate MDG action. Let’s make every day count.
UN UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AMOS IN TEHRAN
TEHRAN, 14 August 2014 (UNIC) — The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos will arrive in Tehran for an official two-day visit on Sunday 17 August.
This is Ms. Amos’ second official visit to the country in her capacity as UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Her earlier mission occurred in September 2013.
USG Amos is expected to meet senior government officials in Tehran, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abbass Araghchi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Head of Natural Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) Esmaeil Najjar and President of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Dr. Mohammad Farhadi.
Ms. Amos is expected to also participate in a ceremony marking World Humanitarian Day (WHD) 2014 at Iranian Centre for International Conferences (ICIC) on Monday 18 August.
World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.
ON WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY BAN HONOURS HEROIC AID WORKERS
TEHRAN, 18 August 2014 (UNIC) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his message on World Humanitarian Day, 19 August 2014, honoured the heroic aid workers who rush bravely to help people in need.
The full text of his message reads:
On World Humanitarian Day, we renew our commitment to life-saving relief efforts -- and we remember all those who died serving this noble cause.
Last year, more humanitarian workers were kidnapped, seriously injured or killed than ever before. This is an outrage.
In recent weeks, dozens of humanitarians -- including members of the UN family -- have lost their lives in South Sudan and Gaza. Too many people have died or suffered from deliberate attacks.
Humanitarian workers and their families are hit hardest by these crimes.
But they are also felt by millions of others.
Attacks on humanitarian workers hinder the ability of people in desperate need to receive lifesaving assistance.
Children go unvaccinated. Sick and wounded patients go untreated. Those forced from their homes are left without food, water or shelter – exposed to violence, disease or other threats.
On World Humanitarian Day, we honour the heroic aid workers who rush bravely to help people in need.
We remember their sacrifices, and we recognize the millions of people who count on humanitarian workers for their very survival.
Let us honour the fallen by protecting those who carry on their work – and supporting humanitarian relief operations worldwide.
UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2015 UN PUBLIC SERVICE AWARDS
TEHRAN, 13 August 2014 (UNIC) — The United Nations is calling for nominations for the 2015 UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA), which is an international contest designed to promote and support innovations in public service delivery worldwide. The awards are open to all public organizations, including governments and public-private partnerships involved in delivering services to citizens.
Award winners will be honoured next year on 23 June, United Nations Public Service Day, which was established by the Economic and Social Council in 2003 to promote better delivery of services by governments and to encourage excellence in the public service.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “at a time of complex and interdependent global challenges, effective governance and efficient public administration are central to meeting our development goals. They will also be vital for implementing the post-2015 development agenda.”
Mr. Ban said that previous “winners and finalists have overcome complex challenges through innovative public service. They have revitalized education for the marginalized, enhanced transparency and accountability, supported environmental protection and deployed technology to increase the efficiency of health and water services. These trail-blazing efforts have resulted in greater equity and inclusion in the delivery of public services in their communities.”
The 2015 UNPSA will be given to those public institutions that have distinguished themselves in one of the following categories: i) Improving the Delivery of Public Services; ii) Fostering Participation in Policy-making Decisions through Innovative Mechanisms; iii) Promoting Whole-of-Government Approaches in the Information Age, and iv) Promoting Gender-Responsive Delivery of Public Services. The award highlights cutting edge innovations and recognizes that democracy and effective governance are built on a competent civil service.
As Mr. Wu Hongbo, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, emphasized during the 2014 United Nations Public Service Awards ceremony held in Goyang, Republic of Korea, “The awards competition process helps us uncover and share many innovations that are going on all over the world in public sector institutions - innovations that make the lives of many people better.”
The UNPSA is organized by the Division of Public Administration and Development Management of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in partnership with the UN Women.
Nominations must be submitted online at: http://www.unpan.org/applyunpsa2015 between August and 31 October 2014.
Nominations have to be made by another entity other than the institution being nominated. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Interested institutions deemed to have designed and implemented innovations in any one of the prize categories can have their names put forward by governments or civil society organizations.
To learn more about the UNPSA and past winners, please visit: http://www.unpan.org/unpsa. All winning cases from previous years are also available as iPad and iPhone applications through the Apple App Store, as well as in a PDF format which can be downloaded at:
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