Middle East; Iraq; Ebola

Middle East: During the last 48 hours of the continued ceasefire, humanitarian workers have delivered food to hundreds of thousands of people, repaired water and sanitation infrastructure, re-stocked medical supplies, and some of the 520,000 displaced Palestinians have returned to their homes. However, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator remarked the scale of needs remains “unprecedented in the Gaza Strip.” The UN held a moment of silence outside the Secretariat building today in remembrance of the colleagues killed in Gaza including eleven UNRWA personnel.

Iraq: A small religious sect in Iraq known as Yazidi came under attack from the Islamic State today and forced 50,000 people to climb nearby Mount Sinjar to escape the violence. UN agencies are providing those displaced with emergency assistance and the situation in Iraq will be further discussed by the Security Council this afternoon.

Ebola: WHO will convene a panel of experts to explore the use of experimental treatment in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa next week. Two health workers have already been treated with experimental medicine, but Assistant Director-General of WHO noted that guidance from medical ethicists is necessary.

Cambodia: The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) found two former Khmer Rouge leaders guilty of crimes against humanity today and sentenced them to life in prison. The sentence comes 30 years after the incident and is in accordance with the SG’s commitment to accountability for those who perpetrate such crimes as it sends a message to all those considering committing such crimes in the future.

South Sudan: The SG condemned the killing of five South Sudanese employees of NGOs and called for an investigation into the incident. He urged parties to cease their military operations and seek peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Afghanistan: US Secretary Kerry arrived in Kabul today to meet with Afghan leaders and encouraged the presidential candidates to help accelerate the audit process and work together to ensure national unity.

Russia: In response to the sanctions placed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, Moscow banned Western food imports for one year beginning today.

CAR: OCHA expressed concern over the looming food security crisis in CAR. Despite WFP’s assistance to 372,000 people in emergency food insecure areas over the last month, UNICEF  has reported 10,000 cases of child malnutrition across the country.