News in Brief 10 February 2016 (AM)

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Christine Lagarde. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

IMF concerned by slow pace of reform in Ukraine

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern over what she sees as Ukraine's slow progress in improving governance and fighting corruption.

Christine Lagarde said it is vital that the leadership act now to put the country back on "a promising path of reform."

The IMF last March approved a four-year US$17.5 billion loan to Ukraine to support economic recovery and growth, among other aims.

However, Ms Lagarde said that without substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption, "it is hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful."

Yemeni city finally receives life-saving medical supplies

More than 20 tonnes of life-saving medicines and medical supplies have reached the besieged city of Taizz in Yemen, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday.

The supplies were delivered at the end of January to three hospitals after being blocked from entering Taizz for eight weeks.

They include diarrhoeal disease kits, 170 oxygen cylinders and enough medicine for 30,000 dialysis sessions for one year.

WHO says the items are urgently needed as more than 200,000 people in Taizz have limited access to humanitarian aid.

Ongoing violence and insecurity in Yemen have hindered the delivery of relief supplies to the city.

International community praised for "unprecedented support" to Syrian refugees

In more news from the World Health Organization (WHO): The UN agency has praised recent efforts by the international community to support Syrian refugees.

The World Health Organization has welcomed "the unprecedented support" shown by countries which met in London last week to pledge US$10 billion to help Syrians affected by the crisis in their homeland.

WHO says the Syrian conflict, which is entering its sixth year, has had a dire effect on the country's health system.

The agency reports that shortages of specialized medical staff and limited medical supplies have contributed to the growing numbers of preventable deaths.

Furthermore, large numbers of wounded Syrians continue to die or face permanent disabilities because they lack access to medical care.

Meanwhile, Syrian refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries are at increased risk of communicable diseases due to overcrowding and limited access to safe water and primary health services.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’25″

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