News in Brief 22 May 2015 (AM)

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Tanzania is one of the countries where thousands of Burundian refugees have arrived. A cholera epidemic in Tanzania's lakeside Kagunga area is a serious risk for tens of thousands of displaced Burundians. Photo: UNHCR/B. Loyseau

Fears raised for doubling of Burundian refugees

An international call has been made for the protection and assistance for up to 200,000 Burundian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries amid ongoing political turmoil and violence in the Great Lakes country.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says 100,000 have arrived since April.

It fears the refugee number could double while the situation in Burundi remains tense.

Escalation of fighting worsening "intolerable suffering" in South Sudan

The escalation of fighting in recent weeks between Government and opposition forces in South Sudan is worsening, what the UN human rights chief has called the "already intolerable suffering of civilians."

The High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that for more than 17 months, the South Sudanese had been "senselessly suffering through an entirely man-made catastrophe."

He added that there have been alarming reports of gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law since the escalation of fighting in April.

Biodiversity essential to eradicating poverty

The variety of life on Earth or biodiversity is an essential component of sustainable development and key to reducing poverty around the world, the UN Secretary-General has said.

Speaking on the International Day for Biological Diversity, Ban Ki-moon called on the global community to recommit to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss.

He said protecting and ensuring access to ecosystems by poor and vulnerable groups is essential to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 1’27″

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