Emergency/ Crisis Management

Call for North Korea sanctions relief

The UN is being advised by one of its investigators, Argentinian lawyer Tomas Ojea Quintana, to ease Security Council sanctions against North Korea, which he says risks a starving populace and a slide into further isolation. In his report, set to be presented Oct. 22, Quintana says the sanctions over nuclear weapons development “should be reviewed and eased when necessary to both facilitate humanitarian and lifesaving assistance and to enable the promotion of the right to an adequate standard of living of ordinary citizens.” [node:read-more:link]

UN appeal for Palestinian support

The UN Relief and Works Agency supporting Palestinian refugees, facing what it says is an “existential” budget crisis, has appealed for an urgent US$120 million to keep education, healthcare and other services running. “We keep struggling, running after cash," UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini says. “We should not underestimate this because . . . we risk to collapse.” [node:read-more:link]

UN staff kicked out of Ethiopia

Seven UN officials have been kicked out of Ethiopia for allegedly “meddling” in the country’s internal affairs. Announced Sept. 30, the move comes as the country is under increasing pressure to lift a blockage of humanitarian assistance in its Tigray region. [node:read-more:link]

Human rights catastrophe in Myanmar

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is calling on the international community to forestall catastrophic fallout from last February’s military coup in Myanmar. “The national consequences are terrible and tragicthe regional consequences could also be profound,” Michelle Bachelet said in a statement today. “The international community must redouble its efforts to restore democracy and prevent wider conflict before it is too late.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. diplomat quits over Haiti refugees

Daniel Foote, appointed in July as the U.S. envoy for Haiti, has quit over what he says is the “inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants.” In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the career diplomat excoriates the administration for deporting hundreds of migrants to the crisis-engulfed Caribbean nation from a border camp in recent days. [node:read-more:link]

Support pledged for Afghans

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on the weekend that member states have pledged more than US$1.1 billion to help address poverty and hunger in the Taliban-controlled country. He said during a conference, at which he had been seeking some $600 million, that it was too early to say exactly how much has been raised to help Afghans facing “perhaps their most perilous hour.” [node:read-more:link]


Forty-three Canadians were among some 200 foreigners, including British, German, Hungarian and U.S. citizens, evacuated from Kabul today on a chartered Qatar Airways flight to Doha. It was the large-scale departure since U.S. forces completed their withdrawal at the end of August, leaving 1,250 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members stranded. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians and others left behind

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau confirmed today that an estimated 1,250 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and families remain in Afghanistan. “The main thing that we needed to figure out was how many . . . were able to get out on some of our allies’ flights,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

Taliban say “everything is safe”

The Taliban pledged anew today to bring peace and security to Afghanistan but it’s wait-and-see for ordinary Afghans, notably the many who worked with allied forces during the 20-year war. “Afghanistan is finally free,” a senior Taliban official said, urging people to return to work and reiterating a promise of amnesty. “Everything is peaceful. Everything is safe.” [node:read-more:link]

Garneau acknowledges evacuation problems

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau has conceded that criticism of Canada’s Afghanistan evacuation effort is “fair enough.” However, he said Aug. 29, “nobody anticipated the speed with which the Taliban would take over the country, including probably the Taliban themselves, and how quickly the Afghan National Army would either surrender or flee.” [node:read-more:link]

Single suicide bomber in Kabul

The U.S. Defense Department said today that a single suicide bomber, not two as originally reported, was responsible for the deaths of 13 service personnel and dozens of civilians at Kabul airport Aug. 27. The bomber detonated a vest “right at or around” one of three gates where crowds of Afghans had been waiting to be evacuated. Army MGen Hank Taylor, the Joint Staff’s deputy director for regional operations, said “it’s not any surprise that in the confusion of very dynamic events like this can cause information sometimes to be misreported or garbled.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada to “exhaust every option” for evacuees

Canada secured 500 seats for Afghan evacuees on a U.S. flight out of Kabul Aug. 26, bringing its total to more than 3,700 but leaving an undermined number of applicants behind. Confirming the latest development, Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino said today that Canada is “working with other regional partners to establish air bridges beyond the Aug. 31 timeline within which the coalition will withdraw and by, yes, looking at other ways to get them to third countries.” [node:read-more:link]

Afghanistan evacuations resume

Despite concern about the possibility of more attacks at Kabul airport, evacuation flights from Afghanistan resumed with new urgency today. Against a backdrop of departing aircraft, dozens of Taliban with heavy weapons patrolled the area just outside the airport. [node:read-more:link]

Municipalities seeking billions

The federal government is being asked by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to provide $2 billion over the next three years – followed by $1 billion annually – to help its 2,000 members to guard against more climate-related events such as wildfires, extreme heat, drought and floods. [node:read-more:link]

Kabul suicide bombers kill dozens

Twelve U.S. military personnel are among the dozens of casualties of today’s twin suicide bombings outside Kabul airport where thousands of Afghans are still seeking evacuation before next Tuesday’s U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility. [node:read-more:link]


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