News in Brief 30 October 2015 (AM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file photo)

Secretary-General praises peaceful Tanzania elections

The conduct of Tanzania's people during and after the country's recent elections was a "concrete manifestation" of their commitment to democracy, peace and stability.

That's according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has congratulated the East African country for the peaceful and orderly manner in which the vote took place.

Elections were held last Sunday and John Magufuli, a ruling party candidate, was this week declared President-elect.

However, the UN chief remains concerned about the situation in Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous group of islands off mainland Tanzania, which held its own elections at the same time.

Results there have been annulled.

Mr Ban underscored that any dispute should be handled through existing legal channels in a peaceful and transparent manner.

Japan donation will help feed thousands of Palestinian refugees

Japan's contribution of 630 million Yen, roughly US$5.73 million, to the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, will help feed nearly 300,000 people across the Middle East.

The funds will allow UNRWA to distribute basic necessities such as wheat flour and sunflower oil to families in Syria, Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon.

Many Palestinian refugees are unable to meet their minimum food needs due to armed conflict, restriction on access and movement, and chronic poverty, according to the UN agency.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Japan has supported the food assistance programme, bringing its total contribution to nearly US$40 million.

Asia-Pacific countries commit to work together on disaster risk reduction

Countries across Asia and the Pacific have underlined their commitment to making disaster risk reduction a part of the region's plans for sustainable development.

They have agreed to work more closely on drought monitoring and early warning, in addition to enhancing the use of space applications.

That information comes from the UN office in the region, ESCAP, which brought together government representatives and experts from 33 countries for a meeting this week in Bangkok.

Asia and the Pacific is the world's most disaster-prone region with half a million people killed in natural disasters over the past decade, according to a recent UN report.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’22″

 

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