News in Brief 31 March 2016 (PM)

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In Yemen, distribution of women and men dignity kits by UNFPA at a school in Sana’a hosting displaced people from Saada. Photo: OCHA/ Charlotte Cans

More aid needed for war-torn Libya

The international community is being urged to increase assistance in the form of food, water and medicine to people in war-torn Libya.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for the North African country, Ali Al-Za'tari made the appeal on Thursday.

Life-saving aid is being distributed throughout Libya by the UN and its partners.

Essential medicines and medical supplies have been donated to Libyan hospitals and health clinics, benefiting up to one million people.

Stephane Dujarric, the UN Spokesperson has more.

"Up to 180,000 people, primarily those internally displaced, are also receiving food assistance. Over 30,000 people have received basic assistance supplies since November of last year. So far only US$18 million of the US$166 million for humanitarian response for this year in Libya has been received and as a result, food and medicine stocks are currently running low."

The UN estimates that more than two million people need humanitarian assistance and more than 40 per cent of the health facilities in Libya are not functioning.

Yemen war leaves millions of women in need of aid

A year of war in Yemen has left more than three million women in need of humanitarian aid, according to a report by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The status of women and girls was already low prior to the conflict and gender-based violence was common at home.

Reproductive health services and supplies are lacking and the agency's main concern is that pregnant women could die from life-threatening complications during childbirth.

Kits containing medical and surgical supplies have been distributed to hospitals and even homes to ensure safe deliveries.

UNFPA has also provided more than 100,000 so-called "dignity kits" for the personal and menstrual hygiene of women and girls.

Moldova plagued by "deep divisions, corruption": UN official

Deep divisions, widespread corruption and governance issues are affecting Moldova although reforms are underway, according to a senior UN official.

The religious, gender, linguistic and ethnic divisions affecting the country have intensified because of corruption, a massive bank fraud scandal and a long-standing paralysis in government.

Wrapping up a four-day visit to the eastern European country, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonovic, said that despite the grim picture, there was a possibility for change.

A new government was formed this year and the Parliament is getting ready to adopt a law which would give 40 per cent of seats to women.

The advancement of human rights is essential to pulling the country out of this crisis, Šimonovic noted.

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

Duration: 2’32″

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