News in Brief 17 March 2016 (AM)

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Residents survey the damage caused by cyclone Komen that swept across western Myanmar. File Photo: WFP

Food shortages persist in Myanmar seven months after deadly cyclone

More than seven months after Cyclone Komen struck Myanmar, poor rural communities are still suffering high levels of food shortages.

That's according to a UN report published on Thursday which warns that the hardest-hit areas of Chin and Rakhine state have failed to recover and people there may face "severe food shortages" in the coming months.

The report, based on the Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission conducted across Myanmar at the end of last year, recommends that help be given in the form of cash or vouchers.

It concluded that flooding caused by the cyclone was linked to heightened levels of malnutrition among children, in areas where food was already scarce.

The UN report adds that in order to ensure long-term recovery, help was needed to rebuild the local economy, and provide more jobs.

Mauritania commits to end "modern slavery"

Mauritania has become the second African country to commit to end the practice of modern slavery, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The North African country has ratified the so-called 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention 1930, which strengthens the global movement against forced labour, including human trafficking.

The protocol was adopted by an "overwhelming majority" at the 2014 International Labour Conference, and it requires states to take "effective measures" to protect victims and ensure they receive justice and compensation.

Niger was the first African country to formally commit.

Norway and the United Kingdom have also agreed to fully implement the protocol.

Orphaned chimp airlifted to safety by UN in the DRC

An orphaned chimpanzee discovered in a military camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been transported to safety and a new life by United Nations peacekeepers.

The male chimp, nicknamed "Kimia," which means "peace" in the local Lingala language, had been kept illegally as a pet.

As chimps are protected as an endangered species, he was confiscated by wildlife officials this week and transported by UN blue helmets to a rehabilitation centre in South Kivu.

The transfer was arranged by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), working closely with the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature.

GRASP coordinator Dough Cress said that the peacekeeping mandate extended to protecting the DRC's "natural heritage" and the rescue of Kimia "is a good example of that commitment."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'35"

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