News in Brief 16 December 2015 (PM)

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Samantha Power, United States Permanent Representative to the UN and President of the Security Council for December, speaks to journalists. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

"Political dialogue" needed to halt violence in Burundi

"Political dialogue" is needed between warring parties in Burundi in order to prevent an ethnic conflict, the President of the UN Security Council for December, Samantha Power has said.

Burundi has been plagued by political conflict since April when the country's president announced he would seek a third term in office.

More than 200,000 people have fled the Great Lakes country and hundreds more have been killed.

Dozens of people were killed in clashes last week.

Here's Samantha Power.

"The escalation of violence, the escalation of rhetoric that we have seen over the weeks, the risk of this becoming more of an ethnic conflict than a political one. All of that means there absolutely has to be a political dialogue."

The UN Secretary-General has said he will send a special envoy to the region immediately to help get that dialogue going.

Mass screening for malnutrition in children underway in Malawi

A mass screening programme to identify malnutrition in children under five is underway in Malawi the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has confirmed.

The screening will take place in 25 districts covering around 90 per cent of the country.

Malawi has been struggling to cope with drought and the first maize deficit in a decade.

A recent assessment revealed 2.8 million people in the southern African country are in need of urgent food aid.

If the rains are sufficient in the coming growing season, families will still have to wait until March or April before the first crops are harvested.

Unemployment up in Latin America and the Caribbean

The unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean increased for the first time in five years in 2015, to 6.7 per cent, according to an annual report released by the International Labour Organization (ILO)

The increase means that at least 1.7 million people have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

The 2015 Labour Overview of Latin America and the Caribbean  warned of a “turnaround” in the employment indicators, with a worsening in the employment situation of women and youth.

It said informal work opportunities would grow leading to “increased generation of lower-quality jobs.”

Duration: 2’10″

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