Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

UN: Sahel violence could drive more refugees to Europe

The head of the U.N. refugee agency says "Europe should be much more worried" that more people from Africa's Sahel region could seek to move north to escape violence, climate crises and the impact of growing food shortages.

Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, called for more efforts to build peace in the world as conflicts and crises like those in Ukraine, Venezuela, Myanmar, Syria and beyond have driven over 100 million people to leave their homes — both within their own countries and abroad.

UNHCR, the U.N.'s refugee agency, on Thursday, issued its latest "Global Trends" report, which found over 89 million people had been displaced by conflict, climate change, violence and human rights abuses by 2021.

The figure has since swelled after at least 12 million people fled their homes in Ukraine following Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.

This year, the world is also facing growing food insecurity — Ukraine is a key European bread basket and the war has greatly hurt grain exports

The African Union, whose continent relies on imports of wheat and other food from Ukraine, has appealed for help to access grain that is blocked in Ukrainian silos and unable to leave Ukrainian ports amid a Russian naval blockade in the Black Sea.

UNHCR said 2021 marked the 15th straight year of the annual increase in the number of people displaced within their own countries – to more than 53 million.

Among the reasons: Rising violence in places like Myanmar, the war in Ethiopia's Tigray region and extremist insurgencies in the Sahel, particularly in Burkina Faso and Mali.

Grandi said the Sahel has already faced years of droughts and floods; inequality in wealth, education and access to healthcare; and poor governance. Growing food insecurity and conflict have added to the pressures. (Africannews)


War: US, Europe plan escape routes for Ukrainian President, Zelensky as Russia pushes harder

The United States of America and Europe are weighing up plans for President Volodymyr Zelensky to escape Kyiv and establish the Ukrainian government in exile.

According to CNN, the US and European officials are in discussion on how the West would support a government-in-exile led by Zelensky should the President have to flee Kyiv, western officials tell CNN.

The discussions included how to help the Ukrainian leader and his aides and top government officials move to Lviv in western Ukraine.

Also, among other things, is the possibility that the Ukrainian President and his aides would be forced to flee the country entirely and establish a new government in neighbouring Poland

No decisions have been reached on this at the moment as the discussions are only preliminary.

The top U.S and European officials are said to have been wary of presenting this issue directly before Zelensky, who reportedly wants to stay in Kyiv and defend his country.

The President is said to so far turn down conversations that focus on anything other than boosting Ukraine in its fight against Russia, two western diplomats explained.

Also, there have also been discussions about sending one or two members of the Ukrainian government to an external location where a government could be set up in case the country’s capital city and Zelensky is unwilling or unable to escape.

“The Ukrainians have plans in place that I’m not going to talk about or get into any detail about to make sure that there is continuity of government one way or another, and I’m going to leave it at that,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS on Sunday. Dailypost

COVID-19: WHO says virus 'catastrophic' for cancer care in Europe

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a "catastrophic" impact on cancer treatment, the World Health Organization's European branch warned on Thursday, with cancer services disrupted in a third of countries in the region.

"The impact of the pandemic on cancer in the region is nothing short of catastrophic," WHO Europe director Hans Kluge warned on World Cancer Day.

Among the 53 member states in the UN agency's European region, which includes several in central Asia, one in three countries has experienced partially or completely disrupted cancer services because of the strain COVID-19 has put on health systems and travel restrictions.

"Some countries have experienced shortages of cancer drugs, and many have seen a significant drop in new cancer diagnoses—even the most resource-rich countries," Kluge said in a statement.

He added that pre-existing inequalities were also growing because of the economic crisis, making it harder for many to adopt healthy behaviours or have access to prevention and care services.

In the Netherlands and Belgium during the first lockdown of 2020, the number of cancers diagnosed dropped by 30-40 percent, while at the Kyrgyzstan National Center of Oncology the number fell 90 percent.

Delayed diagnosis and treatment in the United Kingdom are expected to result in an increase in the number of deaths from colorectal cancer by 15 percent, and by nine percent for breast cancer over the next five years.

In a normal year, non-communicable diseases such as cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the WHO European region, accounting for more than 80 percent of fatalities, the agency said.

The WHO said it plans to mobilise authorities with a cancer initiative focused primarily on prevention, early detection and access for all to diagnosis and treatment. (Medicalxpress)


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