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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Haiti - Syria

24 Aug 2021

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Several buildings were badly damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the southern peninsula of Haiti on 14 August 2021. © World Vision/Guy Vital-Herne

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 24 August 2021

Haiti

Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator a.i. Ramesh Rajasingham arrived last night in Haiti to see first-hand the impact of the damage caused by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the country on 14 August, and the international humanitarian response in the most affected Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes departments in the south.  

Today, he is meeting with local authorities and affected populations in Maniche in the Sud department. 

The Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator will launch a Flash Appeal for Haiti tomorrow, 25 August, in Port-au-Prince. 

Mr. Rajasingham will also speak at the noon briefing on Thursday, 26 August. He will be joined by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti, Bruno Lemarquis.

Syria 

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths briefed the Security Council earlier today on Syria.

He said that ongoing hostilities, the economic crisis, water shortages and COVID-19 are driving humanitarian needs for millions of already vulnerable people to some of the highest levels seen since the start of the conflict.

In north-west Syria, an increase in air strikes and shelling killed at least 53 civilians in June and July. Critical civilian infrastructure was also damaged and over 20,000 people displaced. This is the largest displacement since the ceasefire was announced in March last year.

Under-Secretary-General Griffiths also highlighted the water crisis in Syria due to low water levels in the Euphrates. Over 5 million people rely on the river for drinking water and electricity. 

He also welcomed the Security Council’s unanimous decision on 9 July to extend the UN cross-border mechanism in north-west Syria, which will help ensure humanitarian assistance continues for over 3.4 million people in need, including one million children.

Mr. Griffiths plans to travel to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey in the period ahead to gain a deeper understanding, in his new function, of the complexities of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, as well as challenges ahead.