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UN funding is difficult amid severity of “twin plagues”

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info, with agencies - October 17, 2014, 10h33
Photo: United Nations News Service
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in his first briefing since taking up the four-year post on 1 September that “shocked” that just six weeks into his job, he already had to look at making cuts and “battle” to find resources.
Referring to Ebola and the Islamic State terrorism as “twin plagues,” Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein explained just how dangerous these crises are. “Our operations are stretched to breaking point in a world that seems to be lurching from crisis to ever more dangerous crisis,” he said, warning that when the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) “cannot afford to put people on the ground – to monitor, to report, to train, to advocate – the cost may be high.”

Regardless of the initial threats that were neglected by the world, the costs have proven to be high, considering the massive number of recent deaths.

According to the United Nations News Center, the global response to Ebola must therefore be focused on the right to health, to education, to sanitation, to development and to good governance. Only a response that is built on respect for human rights will be successful in crushing the epidemic.

As the OHCHR’s tasks increase, the UN office responsible for human rights is having difficulty fulfilling the multiple pending requests for human rights advisers and only receives around 3 percent of the UN regular budget. The UN human rights office (OHCHR) is at least $25 million short of its needs this year, Mr. Zeid said.
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