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Hi, this is Kasmira. Today, we’re following the UNRWA’s deepening funding crisis, a management reshuffle at the World Meteorological Organization, and catching up on climate and health discussions that closed the WHO’s executive board meeting last week.

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Kasmira Jefford


Today's top headlines

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UNRWA boss Philippe Lazzarini during a press conference at the United Nations Palais, Geneva, Switzerland, 24 Jan 2023. (UN Photo / Srdjan Slavkovic)

🗣️Ten days of agony for UNRWA leaders. On 18 January, the Israelis submitted fragmentary information to the head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, on the alleged involvement of UNRWA employees in the October 7 attack. Ten days later, the UN Palestinian agency is in serious jeopardy.

Le Temps (FR)

💰 Services under threat after UN emergency funding for gender-based violence runs out. A months-long investigation reveals how funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, announced in late 2020, to address gender-based violence in 11 countries, including Colombia, is running out, even as needs are rising. It was designed to empower women-led organisations, however, many are being forced to shut down their programmes as they struggle to continue.

The New Humanitarian (EN)

🧋 WHO asks member states: join talks on global plastics treaty, up game in climate action for health A first-ever WHO initiative to join global negotiations on a plastics treaty, as well as the first WHO decision on climate and health since 2008, are set to come before the World Health Assembly in May, following a strong show of member state support for both measures on the closing day of last week’s executive board meeting in Geneva.

Health Policy Watch (EN)

International Geneva moves

🌬️ WMO completes management reshuffle. After ushering in a new secretary general and first female boss, Celeste Saulo, earlier this month, the World Meteorological Organization has bolstered its top management team with two new appointments.

Ko Barrett, a climate expert and senior advisor for climate at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has been appointed as deputy secretary general. Barrett also served as vice chair of the UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, until last year.

The agency has also named Thomas Answare, currently director of financial and administrative management at UNICEF, as assistant secretary general. The American and Ghanaian will take over from their Russian and Chinese predecessors, Elena Manaenkova and Wenjian Zhang, respectively.


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