World news summary: Famine increases in Haiti, aid to Gaza blocked, World Potato Day

World food program (WFP) distributed more than 74,000 hot meals to more than 15,000 displaced people in besieged Port-au-Prince, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, told journalists at Headquarters The United Nations on Thursday, provided an update on the gangs wreaking havoc in the Caribbean Nation.

In addition, about 2,400 children received mental health and psychosocial support from child protection experts, he said.

At the same time, humanitarian agencies provided information sessions to more than 4,000 people temporarily residing in evacuation sites on important issues such as gender-based violence, protection and sexual abuse. sex.

According to United Nations agencies, nearly 1.6 million people are facing severe food insecurity in Haiti.

The UN spokesperson also said civilians at displacement sites in Port-au-Prince have received approximately 13 million liters of water from UN agencies, partners and Haitian civil protection authorities since early March.

In the Artibonite region, Mr. Dujarric said WFP provided cash assistance to more than 13,000 people as part of the emergency operation and another 6,000 people in the area received food.

He said that after the recent tornado in Bassin Bleu commune that damaged more than 300 houses, WFP will also provide food to nearly 3,800 people.

Violence and blocked borders hinder aid access in Gaza

In Gaza, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Thursday that rising violence and blocked borders continue to limit access to aid in a region where hundreds of thousands of people are in need of help.

A UN spokesperson said humanitarians are experiencing “restrictions on movement” to border areas, which is causing delays in planned missions to gather resources from the border. Kerem Shalom.

“We need the Israeli authorities to quickly facilitate access to the border so aid workers can safely get to the border to pick up supplies,” he said. “We also need safe and unobstructed passage to distribute that assistance at scale to those in need, wherever they may be needed in Gaza.”

‘Terrifying levels of hunger’

He added that the United Nations and humanitarian partners are doing all they can to support civilians in Gaza. WFP is calling for the opening of Gaza’s blocked borders as this affects their ability to reach people in need.

“Restricting access to the southern areas of Gaza risks causing catastrophic levels of famine similar to those in the north, and in central and southern Gaza, hunger levels are worsening,” Dujarric said. go quickly”.

He said WFP reported that some commercial supplies had reached the area, but high costs left many residents unable to afford the goods.

‘Israel must stop its campaign against UNRWA’

United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWAserving more than 5.9 million Palestinians in the region, said conditions were dire and that in the past two days alone, more than 32,000 people had fled escalating fighting in Rafah.

In a guest essay published Thursday on New York TimesUNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini addressed unproven accusations Israel made earlier this year against the UN agency and efforts to limit its activities in Gaza, where devastated by war.

“As I write this, our agency has verified that at least 192 UNRWA staff have been killed in Gaza,” he said in the essay. “More than 170 UNRWA facilities have been damaged or destroyed. Schools run by UNRWA were demolished; approximately 450 displaced people died while taking shelter inside UNRWA schools and other structures.”

He also said that since October 7, after Hamas-led attacks on Israel that left 1,200 dead and 250 hostages that sparked the ongoing conflict, Israeli security forces have “sieged arrested UNRWA staff in Gaza, who were accused of torture and ill-treatment in detention. ” in the Strip and in Israel.

“Not only do Israeli officials threaten the jobs of our staff and missions, they also delegitimize UNRWA,” he wrote. “Israel must stop its campaign against UNRWA.”

The first International Potato Day

This is the first time in the world International Potato Dayand the topic is Harvest diversity, nurture hopefocuses on the contribution of ancient vegetables to the lives of producers and consumers as well as 17 Sustainable development goals (SDG).

The General Assembly designated May 30 to honor the potato, an 8,000-year-old crop originating in the Andes mountains of South America, which is now a staple food consumed by about two-thirds of the world’s population. receive.

Climate-friendly and tolerant of drought, cold and barren soils with wide adaptability, potatoes contribute to food security, nutrition, livelihoods and employment for people in rural areas and urban areas around the world.

Main crops in the world

Indeed, there are 159 countries that grow potatoes and there are 5,000 varieties worldwide. Nearly 50% of current crop output is used as food or essential vegetables for families.

Potatoes are a key crop in diverse farming systems across the globe, from smallholders producing diverse heirloom varieties by hand in the Andes to large commercial, mechanized farms. large in different continents.

Building on the International Year of the Potato, marked in 2008, today’s commemoration also recognizes the role of small-scale farmers, a significant proportion of whom are women, in protect crop diversity, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Organization (FAO).

By 2030, total potato production is expected to increase by 112% over current harvests, reaching 750 million tons, of which more than half is predicted to be produced in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

As communities around the world mark the day, both the cultural and culinary aspects of growing and consuming this crop are also being celebrated, from pierogis to dum aloo.


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