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Today’s top news: Somalia, Ukraine, Syria

by Laacib


The risk of famine still lingers among communities of displaced people in parts of the country. This is despite the scale-up of humanitarian assistance and better-than-forecast rains which have brought some relief from the devastating drought.  Humanitarian assistance must be sustained to avoid a slide into the worst outcomes.

Halfway through the year, the Humanitarian Response Plan has received just 33 per cent of the $2.6 billion needed. This will heavily impact the work of the UN.

For example, UNICEF says the funding shortfall could affect its provision of water and sanitation services, as well as emergency education and nutrition services. For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) has had to cut food assistance from more than 4 million people assisted in March to 1.8 million people in July.

More partners will be forced to suspend, scale back or shut down programmes if additional funding is not received immediately.

In addition to the lack of resources, violence continue to hamper the humanitarian response. Last week [25 July], Médecins Sans Frontières announced its withdrawal of support to the General Hospital in Laas Caanood due to insecurity.

But humanitarians continue to deliver assistance. As of June, our partners have reached some 5.7 million people. A polio vaccination campaign has just been completed, reaching 2.4 million children under the age of 5 years across the country.


The Humanitarian Coordinator, Denise Brown, called an attack damaging a hospital in Kherson “unacceptable.” She stressed that not even those providing vital services to people whose lives have been torn apart by the war are being spared.

A young doctor was killed on his first day of work, with other health workers having been injured.

Since the escalation of the war in February 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) has verified more than 1,000 attacks on health care in Ukraine. This is more than 60 per cent of all attacks against health care in the world.

Ms. Brown said this has an immediate impact on people’s ability to access essential health services at a time when they need them most. In some parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, including Kherson, services have been decimated as not even half of hospitals or clinics remain functional.

The UN and our humanitarian partners are continuing to provide critical aid in the country. After an attack yesterday on the city of Kryvyi Rih, aid workers distributed food, cash and shelter kits, as well as providing psychosocial support to survivors. In Dnipro, following the attack that hit a residential building in the early hours of July 29th, our teams also acted swiftly and helped civilians whose homes were destroyed.

In the face of these relentless attacks, we have urged the respect for the very clear obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and effective investigation and prosecution of alleged serious violations.


Earlier today, 17 trucks carrying humanitarian assistance from the International Organization for Migration crossed into north-west Syria from Türkiye through the Bab al-Salam crossing. The trucks were carrying shelter and other items.

Also today, OCHA, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and WHO carried out separate missions to Azaz, a city which is some 30 kilometers north of Aleppo. WHO and OCHA carried out monitoring and assessment activities, while IOM provided first aid training to local aid workers.

Additional truck movements and UN staff missions are planned through the Bab al-Salam and al-Ra’ee crossings in the coming days as we work with our humanitarian partners to continue providing essential supplies and services to people in the north-west.


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