Humanitarian Aid

Exciting Updates Around the Globe: Backing Haiti, Battling Commodity Reliance, Iran’s Tough Hijab Law

Following the installation of a transitional council in Haiti, seven countries officially notified the UN Secretary-General on Friday of their intention to contribute personnel to the Security Council-backed Support Mission for the crisis-wracked Caribbean nation. 

Kenya has offered to lead the multinational mission which aims to provide much needed back up to the national police in a bid to regain control of the streets from gang rule, which has plunged the country into chaos in recent months. 

Kenya was joined by The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad and Jamaica in pledging support. The UN Spokesperson’s Office said “other countries have expressed interest, including publicly, but have not notified the Secretary-General yet.” 

Currently, $18 million has been deposited in the support mission’s Trust Fund, provided by Canada ($8.7 million), France ($3.2 million) and the United States ($6 million). 

Meanwhile, armed violence continues across the country, with Port-au-Prince and the Ouest Department the worst hit. 

The situation also remains volatile at the national port, said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric. 

“The Varreux fuel terminal is now closed after several attacks by gangs. However, on a more positive note, our humanitarian colleagues tell us that in the past three weeks, more than 100 humanitarian containers were retrieved at the Caribbean Port Service.” 

Meanwhile, the humanitarian response continues, and the World Food Programme (WFP) has provided daily food assistance to displaced people in Port-au-Prince, and in other departments.  

UN health agency WHO and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have set up mobile clinics at displacement sites to provide medical consultations. Migration agency IOM is also providing basic medical and psychosocial services to people displaced. 

General Assembly President raises alert over ‘commodity dependence’ 

The President of the General Assembly on Friday called for Member States and stakeholders to address commodity dependence in countries and its effect on the global economy, during an informal dialogue on the issue. 

According to Dennis Francis, commodity dependence is “a scenario where 60 per cent or more of a country’s export revenue depends on basic goods”, disproportionately affecting mainly developing countries. 

While commodity markets are important to the global economy, excessive commodity dependence leaves countries and their citizens vulnerable to economic instability, he said.  

Mr. Francis called for the issue to be addressed urgently amid ongoing global discussions over debt sustainability and reform of international financial architecture. 

“I believe that breaking free from commodity dependence – while challenging – is achievable,” Mr. Francis said.  

Dependent nations 

Based on UN Trade and Development body UNCTAD’s State of Commodity Dependence report, 85 per cent of the world’s least-developed countries are commodity dependent along with many Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, leaving their economies “vulnerable, and highly susceptible to external shocks.” 

The Assembly President said the two-decade long increase in countries impacted should “sound the alarm bell” for Member States as addressing the issue is necessary for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

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Iran police enforces ‘strict’ hijab rules on women and girls, OHCHR says

Police in Iran are enforcing violent rules against women and girls under the country’s hijab laws, resulting in the arrest and harassment of girls between ages 15-17 said Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) on Friday. 

The Tehran head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced on 21 April a new body that would allow them to enforce existing mandatory hijab laws – members of the IRGC are reportedly allowed to implement these laws “in a more serious manner” when in public.

OHCHR is concerned about the “Supporting the Family by Promoting the Culture of Chastity and Hijab” draft bill which, in its earlier form, states that violators of the mandated dress code could face flogging, fines, or up to 10 years in prison.

Mr. Laurence reiterated that corporal punishment is arbitrary under international law.

The draft bill is nearing final approval by the Guardian Council – OHCHR is calling for its shelving.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, is calling on the Iranian government to remove “all forms of gender-based discrimination and violence, including through the revision and the repeal of harmful laws, policies and practices, in line with international human rights norms and standards.”

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8 Comments

  1. It is heartening to see countries coming together to support Haiti in such a critical time. The multinational mission led by Kenya shows a united front in helping the nation combat gang violence and restore order. Let’s hope more countries join in and contribute to bring stability to the region.

  2. Kenya has shown great leadership in stepping up to lead the multinational mission in Haiti. It is crucial for countries to come together and support initiatives that aim to bring stability and security to nations in crisis. I hope more countries will follow suit and contribute to the cause.

  3. It’s heartening to see these countries stepping up to support Haiti in such trying times. Kenya taking the lead is a commendable move, and the contributions from Canada, France, and the United States show international solidarity in action. Let’s hope for a swift improvement in the situation on the ground.

  4. It’s truly heartwarming to see countries coming together to support Haiti during this challenging time. The international community’s united efforts are key to addressing the crisis in the region and bringing stability to the affected areas. Let’s hope for a swift resolution and a brighter future for Haiti.

  5. Are there any specific plans in place to address the ongoing armed violence in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince and the Ouest Department?

    1. Yes, there are ongoing efforts to address the armed violence in Haiti, particularly in Port-au-Prince and the Ouest Department. The multinational mission, led by Kenya and supported by several countries, aims to provide much-needed backup to regain control of the streets from gang rule and bring stability to the nation. The support mission’s Trust Fund, funded by multiple countries, will further aid in combating the crisis.

  6. Could you please provide more details on how the countries are planning to address the armed violence in Haiti and ensure the safety of the population?

  7. As an advocate for peace and stability, I commend the efforts of Kenya and other countries in supporting Haiti during this challenging period. It’s crucial to have international cooperation to combat the chaos caused by gang rule and restore order for the people of Haiti.

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