News in Brief 04 February 2016 (AM)

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Since leaving Syria in 2011, Chouk (centre, right of motorbike) has been living with her parents and 5 brothers and sisters in a makeshift, tented shelter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Photo: DFID – UK Department for International Development

 "Marshall Plan" needed for two million Syrian child refugees

Global leaders urgently need to adopt a 2016 "Marshall Plan" to halt the world's "worst post-war refugee crisis," the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown has said.

The call came as the international community gathered in London to try and raise US$9 billion to support Syrians affected by the ongoing civil war in their country.

More than four and a half million Syrians have fled and are now refugees.

The Marshall Plan, named after US Secretary of State, George Marshall, was born out of the chaos of the post-1945 refugee movements and crises in Greece, Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Saudi Arabia makes US$59 million contribution to Palestinian refugee agency

Saudi Arabia has donated US$ 59 million to the UN agency which supports Palestinian refugees, UNWRA.

The agency provides assistance and protection for some five million people across the Middle East.

The latest contribution brings the amount Saudi Arabia has contributed to UNWRA to more than US$500 million, making it the agency's third largest donor.

Food Price Index drops to nearly 7-year low

The price of food commodities declined in January to a nearly 7-year low, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization's monthly Food Price Index.

The index fell 1.9 per cent below its December 2015 level, down 16 per cent from a year earlier and its lowest level since April 2009.

The main factors driving the decline are the generally ample supplies of commodities, a slowing global economy, and the strengthening of the US dollar.

The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five key commodity groups: major cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat and sugar.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’52″

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