After recently returning from Pakistan, Afghan refugees wait during the registration process at a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees center near Kabul, Afghanistan, as they prepare to go back to their province after fleeing civil war and Taliban rule. World Refugee Day, initiated by the United Nations to raise awareness on the plight of refugees worldwide, is observed on June 20 every year.
Syrian rebel fighters belonging to the ‘Martyrs of Maaret al-Numan’ battalion leave their position after a range of shootings on Thursday in the southern Syrian town of Maaret al-Numan in front of the army base of Wadi Deif. At least 93,000 people, including over 6,500 children, have been killed in Syria’s civil war, the UN said, warning that the true death toll could be far higher.
Denis Balibouse /Reuters
People visit the Luminarium, an inflatable sculpture of British artist Alan Parkinson, before its opening at the grounds of the UN European headquarters in Geneva. Until June 14, diplomats, UN officials, school children and communities will be able to go inside the 1,000 square metre structure, financed by the United Kingdom Mission to the UN, to think more creatively about how to make the work of the Human Rights Council better understood through discussions and art performances.
An Afghan girl stands in the doorway of her house in the old sector of Herat on Wednesday. Over a third of Afghans are living in abject poverty, as those in power are more concerned about addressing their vested interests rather than the basic needs of the population, a UN report said.
Soe Than Win/AFP
Rohingya women sit in front of their relief tent at the Mansi Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp on the outskirts of Sittwe on Wednesday. A cyclone threatening to lash low-lying coastal areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar appears to have weakened, but still poses a risk to more than 8 million people, according to the UN.
Afghan confectioners work at a traditional sweets factory in Herat. Some 9 million Afghans or 36 per cent of the population are living in “absolute poverty”, while another 37 per cent live barely above the poverty line, according to a UN report.
Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul in Afghanistan. Opium poppy cultivation has been increasing for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high, the UN said in a report. Poppy cultivation is also increasing in areas of the southern Taliban heartland, the report showed, especially in regions where thousands of US-led coalition troops have been withdrawn or are in the process of departing. The report indicates that whatever international efforts have been made to wean local farmers off the crop have failed.
Carl de Souza/AFP
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) goodwill ambassador and Chinese actress Li Bingbing (2nd R) dances with members of the Samburu tribe in the Samburu game reserve on Wednesday. Li Bingbing was on an official visit to the Samburu reserve in Kenya to highlight issues of Africa’s poaching crisis.
Window cleaners clean windows on the United Nations European headquarters building in Geneva.
Members of the South Korean special forces take part in a military drill in Yeongcheon, southeast of Seoul. The two Koreas technically remain at war under a truce that ended hostilities in their 1950-1953 conflict. North Korea is angry at UN sanctions and joint South Korean-US military drills, and has recently threatened both countries with nuclear attack.
Muhammed Muheisen/AP Photo
Pakistani health worker Salma Saleem, right, marks the finger of a child after giving him a polio vaccine in a neighborhood in Islamabad, Pakistan on April 15 2013. In December, gunmen killed nine polio workers in different parts of Pakistan. Several more workers have been killed since then, as well as policemen who were protecting them. The UN said last month that some 240,000 children missed vaccinations since July in parts of Pakistan’s tribal region, the main sanctuary for Islamic militants, because of security concerns.