Today’s top news: Occupied Palestinian Territory, South Sudan, Somalia, Ukraine

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Occupied Palestinian Territory

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, is in Paris today, where he attended the International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza.

He warned that the current conflict is a wildfire that could consume the region – with far-reaching global consequences – unless it is brought under control.

Mr Griffiths made three points about what needs to be done urgently: First, there must be full respect – by all parties – for international humanitarian law and basic human dignity. This means protecting civilians and ensuring their essential needs are met wherever they are in Gaza. However, Mr Griffiths noted that the UN cannot be part of a unilateral proposal to push hundreds of thousands of desperate civilians in Gaza into so-called safe zones, and that it has not been involved in preparations for the arrival of displaced people in Gaza. every possible “safe zone” in Gaza.

Secondly, Mr Griffiths said that essential goods and humanitarian aid – including fuel – must enter Gaza safely, without barriers, reliably and on a large scale.

Third, the Under-Secretary-General called for a humanitarian ceasefire.

OCHA reports that amid intense hostilities, people in northern Gaza continue to flee south, mostly on foot, experiencing thirst and exhaustion along the way.

Yesterday, around 50,000 more people evacuated northern Gaza via a ‘corridor’ opened by the Israeli army. Clashes and shelling on and around the road reportedly continued, endangering evacuees, with reports of bodies along the road.

Hundreds of thousands of people left in northern Gaza face a dire humanitarian situation and struggle to secure minimal amounts of water and food to survive.

OCHA reports that a total of 106 trucks – mainly carrying food, medicine, healthcare supplies, bottled water and hygiene products – crossed from Egypt into Gaza yesterday, bringing to 756 the number of trucks that have entered Gaza since October 21. represents only a fraction of needs, and fuel remains prohibited.

Regarding the lack of fuel and its consequences, Al Quds Hospital in Gaza City had to close key services yesterday. Al Awda Hospital, the sole provider of maternity care in northern Gaza, also warned of an impending closure.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East facilitated the delivery of much-needed medical supplies and medicines to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on November 7.

This is only the second delivery of life-saving supplies to the hospital since the escalation of hostilities and the start of the all-out siege of Gaza. On October 24, amid great insecurity, the WHO delivered medical supplies to the hospital. The WHO said that while the deliveries are a welcome development, the quantities delivered are far from sufficient to meet the enormous needs.

Southern Sudan

OCHA is sounding the alarm about the wave of returnees and refugees arriving in South Sudan after fleeing the conflict in neighboring Sudan.

The number of people arriving in South Sudan increased by at least 50 percent in October compared to September. As of yesterday, more than 366,000 people have crossed the border from Sudan since the conflict there began.

As that conflict spreads further south, it could lead to more displacement, putting further strain on the already overburdened response.

The humanitarian community continues to provide lifesaving assistance where resources allow. However, some partners expect funds to run out before the end of the year, with South Sudan’s emergency response plan for returnees and refugees reportedly only 14 percent funded.

It is critical that donors increase their support so that the UN and partners can provide food and nutrition assistance, adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities, as well as further transport services.


The UN has released $25 million to help Somalia cope with the effects of once-in-a-century floods.

OCHA and partners estimate that approximately 1.6 million people could be affected by flooding during the current dies rainy season – made even more intense by a confluence of El Niño conditions and a positive Dipole phenomenon in the Indian Ocean.

Several areas in the Central Juba region have received much more rainfall in the past week than the entire seasonal average.

The recently released funds include $10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund and $15 million from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund. They will support efforts to save lives, prevent disease outbreaks and address food insecurity.


The Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, yesterday expressed outrage over an attack on a civilian ship in the Black Sea port of Pivdennyi in Odessa. One dock worker was reportedly killed and crew members were injured.

Ms Brown said the attack came just days after a series of attacks that killed and injured civilians, destroyed grain supplies and damaged a Museum of Fine Arts in Odesa.

There have been more than 30 attacks on Ukrainian port facilities since the end of the Black Sea Initiative in July, but Wednesday’s incident marked the first time civilians were reportedly killed and injured on a civilian ship.

Ms. Brown said the consequences of continued Russian attacks on port facilities are devastating for the Ukrainian economy and the hundreds of millions of people facing hunger worldwide.

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