Middle East; Ebola; Syria

Middle East: The SG commended Israeli and Palestinian parties for committing to a 72-hour ceasefire that took place at 8 a.m. local time today. He urges all parties to abide by the ceasefire and commence peace talks in Cairo to address underlying issues and agree on a durable ceasefire to sustainably stop the violence. The UN lends its full support toward these efforts.

Ebola: The second of two US aid workers infected with the virus arrived at Emory University Hospital today to be treated in isolation. Two additional patients that traveled to West Africa are being tested in New York and Ohio, but “odds are this is not Ebola” according to chief medical officer at Mount Sinai Hospital. The World Bank also announced a contribution up to $200 million toward assisting the epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Syria: The Special Coordinator for the OPCW-UN Joint Mission briefed the Security Council via teleconference today on the Mission’s work reporting that Syria’s chemical weapons have completely been removed from the country. Despite continued fighting along access routes in Syria, WFP reached 3.7 million people in July and hopes to aid 4.25 million.

Iraq: OCHA reported that displaced families in Iraq are in need of food, water, shelter, and health care services. UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, and UNFPA have distributed supplies and are working with local authorities to facilitate further assistance. UNICEF reported that 40 minority children have died as a consequence of the violence and repeats its call for the protection of children and their access to humanitarian aid. Regarding the Islamic State’s attack on Sinjar and Tal Afar, Ambassador Power condemned the attack and urged all parties “to allow safe access to the United Nations and its partners so they can deliver lifesaving humanitarian assistance.”

Libya: UNHCR expressed concern for the safety of refugees in Libya amid ongoing conflict as 37,000 are registered with the Agency in Tripoli and Benghazi. Many are risking their lives to reach Europe as more than 1,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. UNHCR continues to deliver assistance to refugees and has urged Libyan authorities to reduce exit visa restrictions and the governments of Egypt and Tunisia to keep their borders open to those seeking international protection.

Ukraine: UNHCR estimated that more than 117,000 people are displaced within Ukraine and called for a registration system for those displaced in order to improve relief efforts.

Afghanistan: UNAMA expressed its condolences to those international servicemen, including a U.S. General, that were killed in an incident at a military training academy near Kabul today. The SRSG for Iraq called the incident a tragedy and noted the critical role that international forces perform in Afghanistan’s future security and stability.

South Sudan: UNMISS condemned the killing of five South Sudanese NGO employees by the Mabanese Defense Forces and sent peacekeepers to the region to protect UN and humanitarian personnel and civilians. UNMISS also called upon authorities to bring justice to the individuals responsible for the murders.