UNHCR Chief cancels UAE visit due to UN deaths on Ethiopian plane crash 

The High Commissioner for the United Nations’ Refugee agency (UNHCR) has cancelled a scheduled visit to the UAE. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 March 2019
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UNHCR Chief cancels UAE visit due to UN deaths on Ethiopian plane crash 

  • Filippo Grandi flew back to Geneva from Abu Dhabi after hearing that two staff members of the UNHCR were among the 157 who died
  • Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 had plummeted to the ground shortly after take-off

DUBAI: The High Commissioner for the United Nations’ Refugee agency (UNHCR) has cancelled a scheduled visit to the UAE, following the death of 19 UN staff members who were in the Ethiopian flight to Nairobi that crashed on Sunday. 
Filippo Grandi flew back to Geneva from Abu Dhabi on Sunday after hearing that two staff members of the UNHCR were among the 157 who died when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plummeted to the ground shortly after take-off. 
“It is with great sadness and shock that I have learned today that UNHCR colleagues were among the passengers of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 which crashed in Ethiopia this morning,” Grandi said in a statement. 
“UNHCR has suffered today a huge loss. Our deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of our colleagues and all others we have so tragically lost today,” he added. 
The UN high commissioner was scheduled to speak at the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development (DIHAD) conference on Tuesday. 
The other 17 UN members that were killed were part of the other UN agencies including the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The airline said the flight had passengers from at least 35 countries, some of whom were aid workers for other humanitarian organizations.
Although the cause of the crash is not yet known, Ethiopian Airlines has grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet until further notice, the airline said on its Twitter account on Monday.


World population expected to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050: UN

In this Jan. 31, 2014 file photo released by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), shows residents of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, lining up to receive food supplies, in Damascus, Syria. (AP)
Updated 36 min 26 sec ago
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World population expected to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050: UN

  • The global fertility rate fell from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 births in 2019 and is projected to decline further to 2.2 births by 2050

UNITED NATIONS: The world’s population is getting older and growing at a slower pace but is still expected to increase from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050, the United Nations said Monday.
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division said in a new report that world population could reach its peak of nearly 11 billion around the end of the century.
But Population Division Director John Wilmoth cautioned that because 2100 is many decades away this outcome “is not certain, and in the end the peak could come earlier or later, at a lower or higher level of total population.”
The new population projections indicate that nine countries will be responsible for more than half the projected population growth between now and 2050. In descending order of the expected increase, they are: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States.
In sub-Saharan Africa, population is projected to nearly double by 2050, the report said.
Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Lu Zhenmin said in a statement: “Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges in the effort to eradicate poverty,” promote gender equality and improve health care and education.
The report confirmed that the world’s population is growing older due to increasing life expectancy and falling fertility levels.
The global fertility rate fell from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 births in 2019 and is projected to decline further to 2.2 births by 2050.
A fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman is need to ensure population replacement and avoid declines, according to the report.
In 2019, the fertility rate in sub-Saharan Africa was the highest at 4.6 births per woman, with Pacific islands, northern Africa, and western, central and southern Asia above the replacement level, said the report.
But since 2010, it said 27 countries or areas have lost one percent or more of their population.
“Between 2019 and 2050 populations are projected to decrease by one percent or more in 55 countries or areas, of which 26 may see a reduction of at least 10 percent,” the UN said. “In China, for example, the population is projected to decrease by 31.4 million, or around 2.2 percent, between 2019 and 2050.”
Wilmoth, the head of the Population Division, told a news conference launching the report that the population growth rate is slowing down as the fertility level gradually decreases. That decrease usually follows a reduction in the mortality level that initially instigated growth, he said.
Wilmoth stressed that multiple factors lead to lower fertility including increasing education and employment, especially for women, and more jobs in urban than rural areas, which motivate people away from costly large families to smaller families.
But to achieve this, he said, people also need access to modern methods of contraception.
According to the “World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights” report, migration is also a major component of population growth or loss in some countries.
Between 2010 and 2020, it said 14 countries or areas will see a net inflow of more than one million migrants while 10 countries will experience a similar loss.
For example, some of the largest outflows of people — including from Bangladesh, Mepal and the Philippines — are driven by the demand for migrant workers, the report said. But some migrants are driven from their home countries by violence, insecurity and conflict, including from Myanmar, Syria and Venezuela.
The UN said countries experiencing a net inflow of migrants over the decade include Belarus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.