News in Brief 22 February 2016 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (second right) is greeted on arrival in Bujumbura by First Vice-President of Burundi Gaston Sindimwo. Photo: UNIC Bujumbura

UN chief arrives in Burundi to help ease political crisis

The UN Secretary-General arrived in Burundi on Monday in an effort to help resolve the months-long political crisis there.

He landed in the capital Bujumbura and is due to hold talks with President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday, after meeting with other political leaders and members of civil society.

The crisis began last April, when the president announced he would seek a contested third term.

More than 400 people have been killed in on-going violence since then and well over 200,000 displaced.

Funding shortfall for humanitarian assistance in Libya becoming critical

With US$166 million urgently needed for humanitarian assistance in Libya, less than US$5 million has been raised.

That's the stark assessment of the Chief of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Ali Al-Za'tari, who called for the international community to increase the level of funding for humanitarian supplies.

He said that UN agencies had "no difficulties" in accessing those civilians in need, but that money and supplies had simply not been forthcoming.

Contributions so far amount to just 2.6 per cent of the total required for essentials such as food and medical supplies.

Rival political groups and factions are fighting for control of the oil-rich country, which descended into civil war following the overthrow of Muammar al-Qhadafi in 2011.

"Deep concern" over fate of thousands trapped in Iraq, under ISIL control

The fate of thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped in Iraq inside areas and cities under the control of the terrorist group ISIL, or Daesh, is causing "deep concern", according to the UN.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Lise Grande, called on the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government to redouble their efforts to help evacuate civilians from the city of Fallujah, and parts of Sinjar district.

Here's UN spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric:

"The UN is unable to obtain access to civilians in Fallujah city, which remains under the control of Daesh. Reports indicate that conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Our humanitarian colleagues are receiving reports of hunger and shortages of medicine, as well as essential supplies."

UN unable to verify reports of major displacement of civilians in Darfur

The UN has so far been unable to verify what it is calling disturbing reports of civilians being displaced by major fighting in Central Darfur.

A UN spokesperson said on Monday that despite numerous requests for access to the Jebel Marra area, both the UN and other humanitarian personnel were being denied access to the affected area.

The UN estimates that in North Darfur, 85,000 people, mainly women and children, have been denied access in the past five weeks.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’18″

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