News in Brief 19 June 2015 (AM)

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The #SOS4Gaza 'Message in a Bottle' campaign aims to raise awareness about the children of Gaza's hopes for a better future. Photo: UNRWA

Launch of #SOS4GAZA, campaign for children in Gaza

A new campaign to support children in Gaza is being championed by Mohammad Assaf, the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The 25-year-old singer risked everything when he escaped from Gaza to take part in Arab Idol, an Egyptian TV talent show, which he ended up winning.

The campaign, called #SOS4GAZA, marks the start of Ramadan, observed by Muslims worldwide.

The video for the campaign features seven children putting messages expressing their hopes and dreams in bottles, which they send to sea.

UNRWA is inviting people to join the campaign by donating to its education programme in Gaza, spreading the campaign on social media, or posting photos and videos of bottles traveling the world on UNRWA's Facebook page.

Appeal to Dominican Republic to not proceed with deportations

An appeal has been made to the Government of the Dominican Republic by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to ensure that people will not be deported from the country.

Tens of thousands of individuals had their citizenship thrown into question by a 2013 ruling of the Dominican Constitutional Court.

UNHCR says most of those are people who are born in the Dominican Republic and are of Haitian descent.

The agency says the consequences of expulsion could be devastating.

"UNHCR is concerned both about the human rights considerations for people who may be expelled and that people may end up being pushed into Haiti even though they were not considered as citizens of that country."

Medical supplies airlifted from Damascus to besieged Syrian city

A cargo plane carrying 15 metric tonnes of much needed life-saving medicines and surgical supplies for almost 40 000 people has landed in Deir ez-Zor city, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

This shipment is the second airlift that WHO has delivered this week.

Almost 228 000 people are besieged in the city of Deir ez-Zor.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 2’00″

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