News in Brief 13 November 2015 (AM)

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@UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

More than 3,000 refugees arriving on Greek island of Lesvos each day

Around 3,300 refugees are continuing to arrive on the Greek island of Lesvos each day.

That's according to latest figures from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Out of a total of 660,000 refugees and migrants who have reached Greece so far this year, more than half have landed on Lesvos.

A UNHCR spokesperson said that the agency was now strengthening its efforts to rescue refugees along the coast and at sea.

It plans to establish six new coastal reception areas to give better emergency aid to those arriving.

At least 3,460 lives have been lost on the Mediterranean so far this year.

Damaged water systems threaten lives of 700,000 children in eastern Ukraine

Heavily-damaged water systems in eastern Ukraine, could leave 700,000 children without heat as winter sets in.

That dire warning comes from the UN Children's Fund, (UNICEF).

Fighting between government and rebel forces in the disputed areas of Donetsk and Luhansk has damaged water supplies, which are needed for the central heating system.

The UNHCR's water and sanitation officer in Ukraine, William Fellows, said he had just returned from the region where they had made some repairs, but much more needed to be done:

"UNICEF is basically calling to ensure the safe humanitarian access, the removal of mines and the urgent repair of the infrastructure to keep the water flowing, and to minimize the risk to lives in this area, especially the lives of the children."

He said elderly civilians caught up on the front lines were also highly vulnerable to winter temperatures which can dip as low as 30 degrees Celsius.

"Definitive" ceasefire agreement in Colombia hailed by UN

The announcement of a "definitive" ceasefire between rebels and government forces in Colombia was welcomed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Friday.

The government and the leadership of the FARC rebel group said that they intend to establish a binding ceasefire in the coming weeks.

UN High Commissioner António Guterres, encouraged both sides to do everything possible to reduce the impact of the long-running conflict which has created thousands of refugees and displaced people.

He stressed the importance of a peace agreement which would guarantee the rights of victims.

UN chief congratulates the people of Myanmar over historic election

The UN Secretary-General has congratulated the people of Myanmar for what he called the "peaceful and dignified" electoral process that has resulted in a clear opposition victory.

The National League for Democracy party, or NLD, has won a large majority of seats in the new parliament, and army chiefs appear to have accepted the results.

Ban Ki-moon congratulated the NLD and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and praised the conduct of all parties and the "uniquely important" concession of army forces to the outcome.

He noted with regret, that large numbers of voters from minority communities, in particular the Rohingya, had been denied the right to vote.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’43″

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