News in Brief 12 March 2015 (AM)

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Syrian Kurdish refugees cross into Turkey from Syria near the northern town of Kobane in 2014. Photo: UNHCR/I.Prickett (file)

"Alarmingly deteriorating conditions" in Syria

People who have fled the five year-old conflict in Syria are living in what the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has described as "alarmingly deteriorating conditions".

A political solution to the conflict has remained elusive and fighting continues between the government and various rebel groups.

UNHCR said 3.9 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt have no prospect of returning home in the near future.

US$ 400 million appeal launched for Haiti

A US$ 400 million appeal has been launched by the United Nations to support the most vulnerable people in Haiti.

The Caribbean island is still recovering from an earthquake five years ago which led to the deaths of 200,000 people and which caused widespread destruction.

The so-called Transitional Appeal will focus on urgent needs including the cholera epidemic, food insecurity and malnutrition.

It will also strengthen Haiti's response to possible future natural disasters.

Attack in Somalia condemned by UN in "strongest terms"

An attack in the city of Baidoa in Somalia which resulted in the death and injury of security personnel and civilian bystanders has been condemned in the "strongest terms" by the top UN envoy in the country.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay said the United Nations remains "resolute" in its support for the Somali people.

He said that despite such atrocities, Somalis are successfully rebuilding their government institutions and security forces.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations

Duration: 1'36"

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