News in Brief 19 February 2016 (PM)

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Families fled their home in north-east Nigeria in fear of the militant group Boko Haram. They sought refuge in local communities across the border, in Niger. Credit: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu.

"Dire" emergency situation for displaced people in Niger

Displaced people in Niger are facing what's been described as a dire situation as they seek to get access to food.

The UN humanitarian office (OCHA) says this year, two million people will suffer from food insecurity while 1.9 million will be threatened by malnutrition.

Some 80 per cent of those are children.

Here's the UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

"The situation is particularly dire in the Diffa region where 31 percent of the population has reached crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, and is affecting 17 per cent of people – that's above the emergency threshold.  The Diffa region is also bearing the brunt of violence by Boko Haram that has spread into Niger and pushed some 200,000 people out of their homes."

OCHA and its partners are seeking US$316 million in 2016 to address the combined effects of chronic food insecurity, malnutrition and displacement due to Boko Haram activities.

Preliminary CAR election results due

Preliminary results from the presidential and legislative elections in the Central African Republic are expected to be announced by the National Electoral Authority in the coming days, the UN has said.

The elections earlier this month took place after more than two years of civil insecurity and instability.

The UN Mission there, MINUSCA, has assisted with the transfer of electoral results from all 16 prefectures, which are now being processed in the capital Bangui.

The Mission and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) are supporting the compilation of results.

Bees boost for smallholder farmers

The direct impact of bees on crop yields has been measured in a new study by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

It shows that for small farms, pollination by bees was the agricultural input that contributed the greatest to yields, beyond other management practices.

Here's Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric again.

"This holds promise for one of the major agricultural challenges of our time: how to help smallholders produce more without hurting the environment. The research looks at how to attract bees and comes at a time when wild bees are threatened by a multitude of factors, including climate change."

FAO says there are some 2 billion smallholder farmers worldwide.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 2’15″

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