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World news in brief: Another month of extreme heat, exodus from Sudan continues to Chad, Zero Discrimination Day

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Summarizing the state of the climate, the month ended with extreme heat in the southern hemisphere where it is summer, while high temperatures atypical of the northern hemisphere in winter prevailed.

Parts of North and South America, Northwest and Southeast Africa, Southeast Asia and the Far East, Western Australia and Europe all experienced record temperatures, whether daily or for the entire month of February.

“The abnormal heat is consistent with the persistent warming observed since June 2023, with seven consecutive new world records for monthly temperatures, including January 2024,” said Alvaro Silva, a climatologist working with WMO.

Global sea surface temperatures are reaching record highs. Although the El Niño weather phenomenon “has stoked temperatures in some parts of the world, human-induced climate change is the main long-term contributing factor,” he added.

Conversely, much of northwest Canada, central Asia – and southern central Siberia to southeast China – experienced unusually cold weather during the last week of the month .

Meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere officially end at the end of February.

Sudanese continue to flee to Chad (UN refugee agency)

The UN refugee agency UNHCR on Friday expressed growing concern over the growing number of refugees arriving in Chad from Darfur in the coming weeks, amid a worrying lack of food and other supplies. essential.

Nearly a year after the start of the civil war between rival armies in Sudan, neighboring Chad urgently needs more humanitarian aid and significant development investments, the agency reported, particularly in its eastern regions hosting the influx of refugees.

This investment will allow the country to continue its generous attitude of openness towards refugees.

“Chadian officials fear many more starving Sudanese families will arrive in the coming weeks,” said Kelly Clements, UNHCR’s Deputy High Commissioner, who is in the country to review the relief operation.

“The country is determined to keep its borders open, despite the fragility of this region. But, this will put even more pressure on Chadwhich has so graciously welcomed refugees from the war in Sudan – which has now been raging for almost a year – and other refugees still here from previous emergencies.

Emergency state

In December, the World Food Program (WFP) suspended food rations for some groups of refugees in the country due to lack of funds. Subsequently, the government declared a state of emergency for food and nutrition security.

Food distributions from Chad to Darfur, where the security and protection situation is alarming, have not taken place for more than a month, with cross-border aid recently suspended.

Women and children make up about 90 percent of all refugees. Around 77 percent of women arrived in Chad alone, with children.

Many have been exposed to gender-based violence, including rape, UNHCR said, and now need comprehensive support. The agency provides medical support and some psychological support, but more needs to be done.

Arrivals have slowed in recent months, but that could change quickly” said Ms. Clements. “Even without more aid, needs now far exceed the capacities of humanitarian agencies. The border region faces very real fears another paltry lean period before heavy rains hit the camps.”

More than 553,150 new Sudanese refugees had been recorded as of mid-February, making the country the largest host of refugees fleeing Sudan since the brutal war between government troops and RSF militias broke out in mid-April 2023 .

UNAIDS marks 10th anniversary of Zero Discrimination Day

Progress towards equality and fairness for all, regardless of gender, sexuality or HIV status, is at risk, the United Nations agency dedicated to ending AIDS by 2030 has said, marking the Zero discrimination day.

The day of activism was established by UNAIDS ten years ago.

But despite improvements in some societies, attacks on the rights of women and girls, LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized communities are increasing.

“Rights violations pose a threat to freedom and democracy and harm health. Stigma and discrimination hinder HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care and slow progress towards ending AIDS by 2030.said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Only by protecting everyone’s rights can we protect everyone’s health.”

At the start of the AIDS pandemic 40 years ago, two-thirds of the world’s countries criminalized LGBTQ+ people. Today, two-thirds of countries do not do so, the agency noted.

Some 38 countries around the world have committed to ending HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and today, 50 million more girls are in school than in 2015.

UNAIDS said it was crucial to continue supporting women’s movements, LGBTQ+ rights as well as campaigns for racial justice, economic justice, climate justice and an end to conflict.

The UN is on your side

“As communities around the world stand up for their rights, the United Nations stands not only with them, but with them,” the agency said in its statement marking the day.

On this day, and throughout the month of March, events are being held to remind the world of this vital lesson and call to action: by protecting everyone’s health, we can protect everyone’s rights.

“By defending the rights of all, we will be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensure a safer, fairer, kinder and happier world for all,” added Ms. Byanyima.

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