News in Brief 19 March 2015 (AM)

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

More than a billion people worldwide in inadequate housing

A human rights expert has reported that more than a billion people around the world live in inadequate housing.

The Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, said this includes people who are homeless, without title to land, living with the threat of forced eviction or living without essential services.

She added that the right to adequate housing cannot be effectively implemented without the full participation of local governments.

Tens of thousands of children affected by Cyclone Pam

Around 82,000 children in Vanuatu have been affected by Cyclone Pam according to new estimates by the UN Children's Fund.

With more than 80 islands in the Vanuatu archipelago, it has reportedly been difficult for UN agencies to assess the needs of people since the tropical cyclone made landfall last Friday.

Water specialists are operating under the assumption that 60 per cent of the population of Shefa and Tafea provinces have no access to drinking water.

Digital certificates to boost controls over spread of plant pests and diseases

The creation of a new global electronic certification system will help curb the spread of plant pests and diseases through international trade in a more secure and cost-effective way.

The current paper certificates reassures importers that plant products have been inspected and found to be free of pests that could devastate their local economy by harming agriculture or the environment.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced that the system was approved by representatives from 181 countries.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37″

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