News in Brief 22 May 2015 (PM)

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Archaeological site of Palmyra in Syria. Photo: ©UNESCO/F. Bandarin

11,000 flee ancient Syrian town as militants arrive

Preparations are underway to provide aid for some 11,000 people who fled the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra after the area was overrun by militant forces.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said the displaced people are "exhausted and scared."

The agency is sending more relief supplies to the villages of Al-Qarayateen and Furglus to meet the rising needs.

Palmyra is a World Heritage Site.

UN chief lauds Viet Nam's "impressive" development progress

Viet Nam's "impressive progress" and leadership in the field of development has been commended by the UN Secretary-General.

Speaking in the South-East Asian country after meeting President Truong Tan Sang, Ban Ki-moon said he was impressed by the advances made towards reaching anti-poverty targets.

"I commended the President on Viet Nam’s impressive progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Viet Nam is also displaying leadership in the development of a set of holistic sustainable development goals to be adopted by the General Assembly in September."

New Humanitarian Coordinator arrives in Mali

A new Humanitarian Coordinator for the UN has been appointed in Mali.

Mbaranga Gasarabwe will oversee the delivery by humanitarian organizations of emergency aid to the most vulnerable people in the West African country.

Insecurity, especially in the north of Mali, has caused around 220,000 people to flee their homes.

Just over one million people require food aid.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration: 1’36″

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