Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on 13 May that he has regretfully accepted the resignation of Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint United Nations-League of Arab States Special Representative on the Syria crisis, who will step down at the end of May. Mr. Brahimi presided over two rounds of peace talks between the Assad government and opposition representatives in Geneva in January and February 2014.
WFP is facing a serious funding shortfall for the coming months. While internal advanced funding mechanisms have so far enabled WFP to limit the effect on programmes in both Syria and the region, there are currently limited prospects of additional contributions coming in to support operations from August onwards.
At least 17 people drowned after a boat sank in international waters between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa on 13 May, adding to the rising death toll from boat accidents in the Mediterranean Sea. UNHCR estimates that more than 170 people, including Syrians, have died at sea trying to reach Europe so far this year, including those who lost their lives off Greece, Libya and Italy and in international waters.