News in Brief 05 November 2015 (AM)

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A refugee lies face down on the stony ground with his hands over his face after reaching shore, near the village of Skala Eressos, on the island of Lesbos, in the North Aegean region of Greece. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

600,000 migrants expected in Greece in next 4 months

Up to 600,000 more migrants are expected to arrive in Greece from Turkey over the next four months, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned.

The agency said harsh weather conditions in southern Europe are likely to intensify the suffering of the refugees and migrants.

More than half a million people, who are fleeing conflict and instability in the Middle East and Africa have entered Greece already this year.

UNHCR has appealed for over US$96 million in additional support for the winter months for Greece and affected countries in the Balkans.

Food prices up following adverse weather

Adverse weather conditions across the world drove major food commodity prices up in October, according to the latest monthly Food Price Index released by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The index averaged nearly 162 points in October, up 3.9 per cent from September, but still down 16 per cent from a year earlier.

The October surge was mainly the result of price increases in sugar, vegetable oils and dairy.

Poor weather in India and Ukraine led to higher prices for maize.

Drought in Thailand prompted a reduction in the seasonal rice harvest projection.

Western Sahara situation "increasingly alarming"

The situation in the Western Sahara is becoming "increasingly alarming" according to the UN Secretary-General.

In a statement marking almost 40 years of conflict in north-west Africa, Ban Ki-moon said he had intensified efforts to facilitate a political solution, but without success.

The UN has worked to provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

The territory was administered by Spain until 1976, and was then claimed by neighbouring countries, Morocco and Mauritania.

The Polisario Front movement is calling for independence.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'58"


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