News in Brief 11 February 2016 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, in Ottawa. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

UN chief on three-day visit to Canada

Strengthening the partnership between Canada and the United Nations was among the topics of discussion between the country's new leader and the UN Secretary-General.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ban Ki-moon met in Ottawa on Thursday, the start of the UN chief's three-day visit to the country.

During the meeting, Mr Ban stressed Canada's contributions to the UN, for example on issues related to climate change, peace efforts, human rights and refugees and migrants.

The Secretary-General's itinerary will also include meeting families from Syria and the region who have recently resettled in Canada.

Nuclear technology will help Latin American countries detect Zika

Latin American and Caribbean countries are getting help from the UN's nuclear energy watchdog as they tackle the Zika virus.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide countries with nuclear-derived early detection tools as well as training support.

The technology can identify a virus within three hours.

It was also provided to West African countries during the Ebola outbreak two years ago.

More than 20 countries in the Americas have reported Zika virus infection which has been linked to microcephaly, a condition which causes babies to be born with smaller than normal skulls and deformed brains.

Stunting in pre-schoolers reveals lack of diversity in DPRK diet

Moderate to high levels of stunting have been recorded among young children in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) who attend nurseries that are being assisted by the World Food Programme (WFP).

The findings come in a new assessment issued by the UN agency and the government.

Stunting is when a child is below the recommended height for their age.

It is caused by poor nutrition and repeated infections.

Stéphane Dujarric is the spokesperson for the United Nations:

"This assessment confirms that many households in areas where WFP operates do not have enough diversity in their diet. These findings also come (against) a backdrop of deteriorating overall food security in the DPRK, where there has been decreased rainfall and lower crop yields in the past two years."

The World Food Progamme has been providing food assistance in the DPRK for just over a decade.

However, WFP reports that its operation there is less than half funded, forcing it to reduce the scope of its work.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'22"

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