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UNICEF launches largest-ever appeal to reach over 60 mln children worldwide -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 30 (APP): The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has launched its largest-ever appeal for 3.1 billion U.S. dollars to help  62 million at risk children affected by humanitarian crises worldwide.


Libyan parties agree ‘in principle’ to move UN-mediated political talks from Geneva to Libya -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 29 (APP):  Participants in the United Nations-facilitated Libyan political dialogue in discussions in Geneva this week have agreed "on the principle"ť of convening future dialogue sessions in Libya, provided that logistical and security conditions are available, the U.N. said Thursday.


US terms Afghan Taliban armed insurgency, ISIS terrorist organization -
WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (APP): The White House has termed the Afghan Taliban as armed insurgency, differentiating it from the ISIS terrorist organization operating in Iraq and Syria, as a spokesman reiterated longstanding American position that rules out giving any concessions to terrorists.


Javed Malik welcomes Pakistani healthcare exporters in UAE -
DUBAI, Jan 29 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador at Large Javed Malik Thursday visited Arab Health Exhibition and welcomed the Pakistani exporters taking part in the largest healthcare exhibition in the Middle East, being held here. 


UN’s ME envoy ‘outraged’ by attack on world body’s Gaza compound -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (APP): The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Robert Serry, has expressed outrage by the assault on the UN premises in Gaza on Wednesday.


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Petroleum ministry contradicts Imran Khan’s statement
ISLAMABAD, Jan 30 (APP): The spokeperson of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources taking exception to the statement of Imran Khan has said that the statement made by him about petroleum prices in Pakistan is devoid of facts.
 
Junaid, Saeed excel in UBL’s win in President’s Silver Cup
KARACHI, Jan 30 (APP): Junaid Ilyas grabbed four wickets and Saeed Bin Nasir hit an unbeaten half century as United Bank Ltd (UBL) defeated Quetta Bears by seven wickets in President’s Silver Cup One-Day Cricket Tournament at UBL Sports Complex Ground on Saturday.
 
National Snooker explodes in action from Saturday
KARACHI, Jan 30 (APP):The 40th edition of Jubilee Insurance National Snooker Championship goes into action at the Shopping Arcade of Movenpick Hotel here from Saturday with 45 cueists in the fray for the crown.
 
Zia, Raza bowl NBP in President’s Gold Cup final
KARACHI, Jan 30 (APP): Zia-ul-Haq and Raza Hasan shared seven wickets between them to bowl National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in the final of President’s Gold Cup One-Day Cricket Tournament when they defeated Khan Research Labortories (KRL) by 48 runs in the second semi-final on Friday.
 
PIA to lock horns with NBP in COAS Challenge Hockey Cup final
RAWALPINDI, Jan 30 (APP):Â Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will  lock horns with National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in the final of First Chief of the Army Staff Challenge Hockey Cup on Sunday.
 
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Gaza ceasefire offers chance to address ‘root causes’ of Israel-Palestine conflict: UN official PDF Print E-mail
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 (APP): The head of the U.N. agency tasked with helping Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that the ceasefire halting the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza offered a chance to ‘address the real problems underlying the crisis’.It is of crucial importance that we seize the opportunity provided by this tragic escalation, the  Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), Filippo Grandi, said in remarks at a meeting of the body’s Advisory Commission, taking place by the Dead Sea in Jordan, according to a news release issued at UN Headquarters in New York. Difficult political work would have to be carried out, including promoting and supporting lasting Palestinian unity, he noted in reference to divisions among the wider Palestinian leadership, according to an UNRWA news release.
But failing to act now will have dire consequences, he added. The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, was announced on 21 November, just over a week after the start of the latest wave of deadly violence, which included massive Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Strip.In his remarks, Grandi also noted that an Israeli blockade on Gaza, imposed since 2007, was illegal, and the ‘greatest danger is to return to the status quo ante, and restore the prison-like conditions of Gaza.
He said it would be ‘only a matter of time (until) violence resumes’ if there was such a return. Grandi called for the blockade, which Israel has reportedly said it maintains for security reasons, to be lifted in all its aspects.
He mentioned crossings, fishing zones, imports and exports as aspects of the blockade in need of address, and said there should be proper guarantees given to  and by all parties in respect of the security of all civilians.
Created by the UN General Assembly in 1949, UNWRA is the main provider of education, health, social and other basic services to the five million registered Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The refugees trace their roots to those displaced amid the Arab-Israeli hostilities of 1948. The Assembly created the Advisory Commission, which comprises 25 UN Member States and three Observer entities, to ‘advise and assist’ UNWRA.
On Saturday, UNWRA said it re-opened all but two of its 245 schools in Gaza, according to the agency. It added that all 21 of its health centres resumed operations on Sunday, while it also named three crossings into the Strip that were open.
The fragile calm in Gaza seems to hold, UNRWA said in a situation report,while also highlighting that a Palestinian youth was killed and 19 other people injured on Friday by fire from the Israel troops.
The people of Gaza used the official holiday on Friday to mourn their beloved ones, to rest, and to somehow find a way back into daily life, the report noted.
The first heavy winter storms, accompanied by strong winds, rain, and cold temperatures, brought further hardship to all those living in damaged homes.
Grandi also briefed the Commission on UNRWA’s work amid the crisis in Syria, where many of UNRWA’s beneficiaries are located and where violence  since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began over 20 months ago  has killed at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, and spawned more than 440,000 refugees.
Concerns about the welfare of the half-million Palestine refugees there have grown as they are increasingly affected by the conflict, the Commissioner-General said. UNRWA’s strategy in Syria, as in Gaza, is to be there, to maintain services, and to address the growing emergency needs as much as possible.
 

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