News in Brief 18 November 2015 (PM)

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Displaced girls sleep on the floor in a rented house in Yola. IDPs in northeastern Nigeria often share overcrowded rooms and most times are left to fend for themselves. Photo: Fragkiska Megaloudi/IRIN

No political or ideological objective can justify bombings: UN chief

A bomb attack in Nigeria that killed dozens of people and left scores injured has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

The incident occurred in the north-eastern city of Yola on Tuesday.

Ban Ki-moon reiterated that no political or ideological objective could justify the loss of life or the terror to which civilians are being subjected.

Mr Ban extended condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Nigeria.

WFP confronting "dramatic" rise in hungry people in Ethiopia

Drought in Ethiopia has caused a "dramatic increase" in the number of people needing food assistance: from 2.5 million in January to more than eight million last month, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

Timely contributions from key donor countries have allowed the UN agency to continue food distributions this month to more than 1.5 million people in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

WFP will also scale up nutrition support for more than 700,000 children and nursing mothers

However, even with the contributions, WFP reports that it has less than 10 per cent of the US$228 million budget required to meet needs through next June.

New UN refugee chief appointed

A former head of the UN agency that works with Palestinian refugees has been appointed the new UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Filippo Grandi of Italy will take up the post for a period of five years beginning in January 2016.

He will succeed António Guterres of Portugal.

Mr Grandi was Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from 2010 to 2014.

He has had a long-standing career with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), including serving in various positions in Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'01"

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