UN raises awareness of vulnerable populations in need
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 12, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 12, 2015 12:00 am
The United Nations has announced that it plans to raise awareness of the needs of populations in need on World Population Day 2015, an annual observance day that has a different theme each year, with campaigns including an outdoor event in the Kazakh capital of Almaty and a panel discussion in the Thai capital of Bangkok on this year's theme "vulnerable populations in emergencies."
"Not since the end of the Second World War have so many people been forced from their homes across the planet," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message about World Population Day, which was observed on July 11 as a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. Ban emphasized that women and adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable among the nearly 60 million individuals who have fled conflict or disaster. "Violent extremists and armed groups are committing terrible abuses that result in trauma, unintended pregnancy and infection with HIV and other diseases. Shame and accountability rest squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrators who wage cowardly battles across the bodies of innocents," he added.
The U.N. chief emphasized the necessity to address their needs as a priority in emergency relief operations. He also called on countries to "commit to bold results that will make 2015 a time of global action, putting people first so that they help build peace and sustainable prosperity for future generations." The Executive Director of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotemehin also said in his message that "one of the priorities of his agency is to empower and safeguard the well-being of women, adolescent girls, and young people and address their specific needs and concerns." Osotemehin said UNFPA deploys hygiene kits, trained personnel and other support to vulnerable populations during both an emergency and the reconstruction phase.
As part of its efforts to raise awareness this year, UNFPA started a conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #WPD2015, and on Saturday plans to hold a panel discussion in Bangkok on meeting the needs of vulnerable people in humanitarian crises, the U.N. announced. UNFPA's activities will include flash mobs, information sessions on behavior in emergencies and training on emergency assistance.
The ongoing crisis in Syria, the conflicts in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Iraq and Ukraine, as well as others, have forced a huge number of people to uproot from their homes. According to the Women's Refugee Commission, women and children make up about half of any refugee suffering due to armed conflict, discrimination, violence and instability.
According to the U.N. report, the number of people who were displaced by war currently sits at more than 60 million and has been on the rise since 2005 when it was at 37.5 million.