News in Brief 07 March 2016 (PM)

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Children in Kaga-Bandoro, Central African Republic (CAR). UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

Children in CAR victims of "relentless" violence: UN

Children in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been victims of "relentless violence" in 2013 and 2014, a new UN report has found.

The African country has been plagued by successive waves of intercommunal violence fuelled and manipulated by political leaders.

The UN has documented the killing of 333 children and maiming of 589 in brutal attacks targeting communities for reprisals or other motives.

It's believed that hundreds more were killed and injured by machete, firearms and other weaponry and in some incidents, children were beheaded.

These "appalling" violations were committed in a climate of total impunity, Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict said, calling on the local authorities to "build a protective environment for children".

Meanwhile, the UN has documented 500 rape cases and other forms of sexual abuse since 2011, including cases of rape and sexual violence on children committed by international forces and United Nations peacekeepers.

Boko Haram insurgency triggers hunger and malnutrition crisis

An insurgency led by the Boko Haram terrorist group has triggered a hunger and malnutrition crisis in the West African region, according to the World Food Programme (WFP)

Close to 200,000 people have fled their homes in north-east Nigeria and crossed into neighbouring Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

More than 5.6 million people in those areas do not have enough to eat.

WFP has been helping both refugees and the people displaced within the countries.

Calling for more support, the agency said it aims to scale up its assistance from 600,000 people assisted last year to nearly 750,000.

Aid deliveries in Syria continue during truce

The delivery of food and other aid items are underway in three remaining besieged areas in Syria, according to humanitarian agencies in the region.

More than 16,000 people living on the outskirts of the capital city Damascus in the towns of Kafr Batna, Beit Sawa, Jisreen and Hamoryah are expected to receive supplies.

Last Friday, a humanitarian convoy was able to assist 20,000 people with food and medicine in three other suburbs of Damascus.

Farhan Haq is the UN Deputy Spokesperson.

"The humanitarian agencies observe that there has been relative calm for almost two weeks under the Cessation of Hostilities agreement, which has offered hope to the 6.5 million people displaced inside Syria and more than 4.5 million people who fled the country."

Leveraging mobile technology to empower women, girls

Participants at a UN event are discussing how mobile technology can be leveraged to accelerate high quality education for women and girls, especially those living in disadvantaged communities.

The UN education and cultural agency's flagship ICT in education event has kicked off in Paris this week, providing a space to discuss technology programmes, initiatives and content that can alleviate gender deficits in education.

Meanwhile, UNESCO and the UN agency dedicated to gender equality, UN Women, are also launching a global mobile learning platform they designed called iLearn, where female entrepreneurs can share "success stories".

The content will be available on mobile phones in selected countries in a partnership with Facebook, and local mobile operators.

Duration: 3’20″

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