UN, NGO and General News Round-Up

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund has released some USD 1 billion since its inception in 2006 to accelerate response to natural and man-made disasters worldwide. “As recently as two years ago, humanitarian agencies faced with a sudden onset crisis such as an earthquake or cyclone struggled to find resources to start life-saving operations,” Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said. “CERF can now allocate funds within days of an emergency or a disaster to kick-start relief efforts saving thousands of lives.” The fund aims to raise USD 450 million each year.

More than 150,000 people have fled fighting between government forces and rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the past six weeks, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Oct.14. They include 50,000 forced to leave their homes in the northeastern region of Ituri, where battles between the Congolese army and Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have caused a heavy loss of life and widespread destruction, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said. Some have fled to the town of Dungu in Ituri, where they are in dire need of humanitarian aid.

The UN Nations Office on Drugs and Crime will collaborate with the International Criminal Police Organization to establish the world’s first educational institution devoted to combating corruption. The International Anti-Corruption Academy will be located in Laxenberg, Austria. “This Academy will train corruption officers so as to guarantee integrity in the conduct of business, both public and private,” said UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa.

South African civic organizations are demanding an inquiry into the UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) response to May’s xenophobic violence, accusing the agency of failing in its responsibility to stand up for the most vulnerable people, the BBC reported. The groups say some UNHCR staff helping at the camps treated people with “enormous contempt and disrespect”. At least 62 people were killed in a series of brutal attacks on foreigners in towns across the country. The government established a string of camps to house them, with the help of the UNHCR and local NGOs.

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