Iraq as militants advance UN swings into action on political humanitarian fronts

According to a UN spokesperson in New York, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nikolay Mladenov, met earlier today with Speaker Osama Nujeifi of the Iraqi Council of Representatives and expressed grave concern about the situation in the country. Islamic insurgents seized Iraq’s second largest city on Tuesday following days of fighting against Iraqi Government forces. As many as 500,000 people have reportedly fled Mosul in the wake of the violence, and yesterday, terrorists kidnapped the Consul General of Turkey and several consulate staff working in the city.In his meetings, Mr. Mladenov said that the ongoing violence in parts of Iraq is the most severe threat to its security in years. He reiterated the UN’s support for the Iraqi Government in its efforts to fight against terrorist organizations. Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the upsurge in violence as “totally unacceptable,” strongly condemning the actions of terrorists groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which have reportedly taken control of the cities of Mosul, Tuz Khourmatu, Beiji and Tikrit.Mr. Mladenov briefed the UN Security Council today on the situation via video-conference.Meanwhile, on the humanitarian front, UN agencies have swung into action to provide assistance for the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the turmoil. Those agencies already on the ground are urging the protection of civilians and appealing for additional support to address this rapidly-evolving humanitarian crisis.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners have prioritized delivery of emergency aid, including vaccines to help prevent the spread of diseases such as polio and measles.In addition, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is launching an initial emergency operation to provide food assistance to 42,000 of the most vulnerable people displaced by the violence.In a press release, the agency said it has deployed emergency and logistics staff to Erbil in the Kurdistan region to determine further food needs on the ground following the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from Mosul to Erbil and neighbouring areas over the past two days. “The crisis in Iraq is escalating quickly. In some areas on the borders between Iraq and Kurdistan where newly displaced people are arriving, there are reports of unavailability of food in the shops. Meeting the food needs of the most vulnerable groups is a crucial step for WFP’s mission in the country,” said WFP Representative in Iraq Jane Pearce.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also stepped up its efforts to provide shelter, protection and emergency supplies to displaced families. Preparations for a displacement camp in the Dohuk Governorate are under way. Some 1,000 UNHCR tents have been delivered, and UNICEF and partners are coordinating emergency water and sanitation activities for the camp. read more

18 unmistakeable signs youre a Southside Dubliner at heart

first_img1. Drinking cans on the seafront is the best summer day ever Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland2. It will always be Lansdowne Road, never the Aviva Source: clavel93. You’ve spent more nights in the Wezz than you care to admit Source: Gav4saxAcceptable substitute: Bective.4. Teddy’s ice cream is a pleasure like no other Source: infomatique5. You don’t have anything AGAINST the Northside as such. There’s just no reason to go there. Source: Photocall Ireland6. You’ve swum the Forty Foot on Christmas Day Source: Laura Hutton7. You remember the Fun Factory in Dun LaoghaireNow reduced, tragically, to this nostalgic Facebook page.8. You know at least one person who claims to have been at this Nirvana gig Source: SMcGarnigle9. Either your school had a nickname… Source: Photocall IrelandSee also: Alex, the Gick, ‘Zaga.10. … or you’re sick of being asked ‘what school did you go to’ Source: Shutterstock11. The Long Mile Road at rush hour is part of your personal hell Source: Google Maps12. You once owned a pair of Dubes, even if you now regret it Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!13. You remember nights in Club Sarah in Rathfarnham and Club 92 in Leopardstown Source: Facebook14. You have to tell people from Bray that they’re from Wicklow, not Dublin Source: infomatique15. Before Dundrum opened, you were really excited about The Square Tallaght Source: damien_farrell16. If you’re a girl, you spent the entire early noughties without using a hairbrush Source: YouTube17. You know the view from the DART as it goes around Killiney hill is one of the world’s best Source: infomatique18. And the sight of the Poolbeg towers across the bay will always mean ‘home’. Source: PhotocallSouthside forever.21 unmistakeable signs you’re a Northside Dubliner at heart>18 things every Dubliner knows for sure>11 reasons why Cork might actually be better than Dublin>13 things you know for sure if you’re from Galway>last_img read more