News in Brief 09 December 2015 (AM)

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Families fled their home in north-east Nigeria in fear of the militant group Boko Haram. They do not live in camps but are seeking refuge in local communities across the border, in Niger. File Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu.

US$2bn appeal for Sahel

Two billion US dollars are being requested by United Nations agencies and their partners to support millions of people in Africa's Sahel region who are facing what they have described as "the triple crisis" of poverty, insecurity and climate change.

The funds will be used to provide vital assistance such as food, health care, and safe water and sanitation.

The humanitarian groups estimate that nearly 24 million people across nine countries will not have enough to eat next year, while acute malnutrition threatens nearly six million children under five-years-old.

Meanwhile, 30 million people are living in areas affected by the terrorist group Boko Haram, and violence has forced more than four million people to leave their homes.

A spike in violence has already worsened what they called a "dire situation."

Agencies call for US$94 million to protect people fleeing Yemen conflict

An appeal has also been launched to provide protection for people fleeing the conflict in Yemen for countries in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf region.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), are seeking US$94 million to assist an anticipated 164,000 arrivals by December 2016.

The appeal was launched in Nairobi on Wednesday and funds will go to nine participating agencies and 48 partners.

Human rights chief welcomes abolition of death penalty in Mongolia

Mongolia's passing of a law to abolish the death penalty has been hailed by the UN as "a welcome step" in the fight for human rights for all.

The country is the 105th nation to end capital punishment.

Another 60 states have moratoria on the policy or have not carried out executions in the past decade.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called Mongolia's decision "a clear example" of progress in the fight for human rights for all people, including those convicted of terrible crimes.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'10"

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