News in Brief 25 June 2015 (PM)

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Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

Afghanistan child deaths and injuries reach tragic high in 2014

More than 2,500 children were killed or injured last year due to conflict in Afghanistan, the UN has said

That's more than in any of the previous seven-and-a-half years that the UN has been monitoring the country.

Of this number, nearly half were casualties of ground engagements with the outlawed Taliban and other armed groups.

More than 600 resulted from attacks involving improvised explosive devices (IED).

Leila Zerrougui, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, said these "tragically high casualty numbers" show that children are bearing the brunt of the violence.


Parties to Yemen conflict show "utter disregard for human life"

The UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien has continued to sound the alarm over what he has described as "the looming humanitarian catastrophe" unfolding in Yemen.

More than 20 million people require aid relief due to food shortages and the collapse of basic services, while an escalation of violence has also killed nearly 3,000 Yemenis over the past three months.

"The parties to this conflict show an utter disregard for human life, repeatedly attacking civilian infrastructure including hospitals, schools, power stations and water installations. A million people have been forced from their homes; some have been targeted even as they fled."

Aid has been delivered to over 4 million people in the past months, but Mr O'Brien says this represents only a fraction of those in need.


Gaza families receive Ramadan food baskets

Nearly 2,000 poor families in Gaza are receiving food baskets so that they can have morning meals during the holy month of Ramadan.

The UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) is distributing the baskets—known as Suhoor food parcels—following a US$200,000 contribution from Islamic Relief USA.

"Suhoor" is an Arabic word that refers to the last meal that Muslims eat in the early morning hours before beginning daily fasting during Ramadan.

The baskets contain items such as juice, jam, cheese, tea, chick peas or meat, and will be distributed for 10 days.

One of the refugees, a father of 10, called his Suhoor food parcel "a blessing from Allah."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’14″

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