News in Brief 02 February 2016 (AM)

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Mosquito prevention and control. File Photo: PAHO

Communities in Brazil to be mobilized against Zika virus

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) says it's planning to mobilize communities in Brazil to help them protect themselves from being infected by the Zika virus.

The spread of the mosquito-borne virus in Central and Southern America has been linked to a significant increase in neurological abnormalities in babies.

Scientists are still trying to find a definitive link.

Christophe Boulierac is a spokesperson for UNICEF.

"We think that we need to act fast to provide women and pregnant mothers with the information they need to protect themselves and their babies. And we need to engage with communities on how to stop the mosquito that is carrying and transmitting this virus."

UNICEF is launching a nearly US$9 million appeal for programmes to limit the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact on newborns and their families across the region.

Meanwhile, in South-East Asia, the World Health Organization is urging countries in the region to strengthen surveillance and take preventive measures against the virus.

US$354 million requested in 2016 for humanitarian aid in Mali

Humanitarian organizations in Mali are seeking to raise US$354 million in 2016 to help people affected by an ongoing crisis in the country.

The northern and central areas of Mali have been affected by instability and conflict leading to food insecurity and malnutrition impacting more than 2.5 million people.

The funds are required to implement the 2014-2016 Humanitarian Response Plan.

In total, 127 projects are planned this year to help one million people.

Attack in Syrian capital condemned by Security Council

An attack on Sunday in the southern suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus, in which more than 60 people were killed, has been strongly condemned by the UN Security Council.

Over one hundred were injured in the assault for which the terrorist group ISIL claimed responsibility.

Talks to bring an end to the five-year civil war in Syria are continuing at the United Nations in Geneva.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 2’09″

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