April 21, 2021
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Top Story
Over 5.2 million new cases of COVID-19 were recorded globally last week -- the highest since the pandemic began -- and pandemic-related deaths increased for the fifth consecutive week, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, noting that cases of the virus among younger people are on the rise. The WHO also reports that the number of countries documenting coronavirus variants have increased.
Full Story: CNN (4/20),  NHK World (Japan) (4/21) 
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Humanitarian aid agencies too often focus on providing what agency leaders or donors think crisis victims need, rather responding to what those communities are asking for -- a major failing that is further exacerbated by funding shortfalls, says Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. In many regions, most people in crisis say they aren't receiving aid that meets their needs, says Lowcock, who plans to propose a commission to grade aid agencies on their responsiveness.
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (free registration) (4/21) 
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Health & Development
The World Food Programme has reached an agreement with President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela that will allow the agency to deliver school meals to 185,000 vulnerable children in the country this year, with plans to reach 1.5 million children by mid-2023. The $190 million initiative will also see the agency upgrade school canteen facilities and offer school staff food safety training.
Full Story: Devex (free registration) (4/20) 
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Women & Girls
United Nations human rights experts are pressing authorities in the United Arab Emirates to provide "concrete information" on the whereabouts and well-being of princess Sheikha Latifa Mohammed al Maktoum, who in February claimed she had been abducted and was being held against her will. "Her continued incommunicado detention can have harmful physical and psychological consequences and may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," the group says.
Full Story: Asian News International (India) (4/20) 
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Climate and Energy
The temporary dip in carbon emissions amid pandemic lockdowns had no lasting effects on atmospheric conditions, while extreme weather events increased around the world in 2020, the World Meteorological Organization says in its State of the Climate report. "This is the year for action," says United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as he urges countries to submit ambitious plans to lower emissions ahead of the upcoming UN climate summit.
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (free registration) (4/19) 
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Peacekeeping and Security
The violent crackdown by military forces who seized power in Myanmar has forced close to 250,000 people from their homes -- a situation the global community must immediately act on, warns United Nations Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Tom Andrews. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week pressed the UN Security Council and countries surrounding Myanmar to step in and protect civilians.
Full Story: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)/Agence France-Presse (4/21),  The Associated Press (4/19) 
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UN News
Highlights from the United Nations Department of Global Communications
Safe access is key to help child victims of Tigray conflict: UNICEF
Full Story: UN News (4/20) 
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UN Dispatch
Commentary and coverage on the UN and UN-related issues
"Why This is A Very Big Week for Climate Diplomacy"
Full Story: UN Dispatch (4/20) 
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Quote of the Day
From mobile banking to artificial intelligence, women's ideas should equally influence the design of innovation in the post- #COVID19 world

On World Creativity and Innovation Day, we recognize the women who are promoting diversity across sectors in today's economy 

#WCID

@unwomenlebanon
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