News in Brief 12 February 2015 (AM)

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The pace of reconstruction in Gaza remains slow. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Aid agencies requesting US$ 705 million for Palestine

Aid agencies are requesting US$ 705 million to address humanitarian needs in Palestine during 2015.

On Thursday the Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Palestine and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the territory released the Strategic Response Plan for this year.

It aims to address the needs of 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, where a 50-day war last July destroyed thousands of homes.

Europe urged to recreate a robust search and rescue operation on Mediterranean

The European Union has been urged by the UN Refugee Agency to recreate a robust search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea.

The call comes after hundreds of migrants disappeared off the coast of Italy earlier this week, after attempting to cross the sea from Libya.

At least 218,000 people crossed the Mediterranean in 2014, and 3,500 lives were lost.

Indigenous people play important role in fighting poverty and hunger

The importance of traditional knowledge in ending poverty and hunger is being highlighted in Rome at what has been called a "unique global gathering".

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) says it is bringing together participants who represent more than 370 million self-identified indigenous peoples.

The two-day forum, which started on Thursday, will highlight indigenous population's role in achieving sustainable development.

Duration: 1’29″

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