News in Brief 13 April 2016 (PM)

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A child in Syria with a WFP package. Photo: WFP/ Dina El-Kassaby

40 metric tonnes of food airdropped into besieged Syrian city

Two successful high-altitude drops over the besieged city of Deir Ezzour in Syria have been carried out by the World Food Programme (WFP).

So far this week, the UN agency has dropped a total of 40 metric tonnes of urgently needed food assistance; that's enough to feed about 4,300 people for one month.

Here's the UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric:

"The first airdrop took place on Sunday. The second airdrop was completed today, with a 100 percent success rate. All 26 pallets carrying 20 tonnes of food were collected by the Red Crescent. The supplies are being checked before distribution actually begins."

At the same time, the number of people in Syria being assisted by UN cross-border convoys from Turkey and Jordan continues to grow.

The average number of people receiving food through these deliveries now stands at nearly 376,000 per month.

That's almost twice the average number compared with the same time in 2015.

US$41 million contribution to displaced Iraqis welcomed by UN

And a US$41 million contribution by the US government to displaced Iraqis has been welcomed by WFP.

The money will provide food assistance to over 1.3 million people who have been forced to flee their homes.

Since January 2014, the conflict in Iraq has triggered mass waves of displacement of more than 3.4 million Iraqis.

WFP says it is currently reaching 1.5 million each month with food assistance.

Flooding in Paraguay affecting 10,000s

Heavy rains in Paraguay which started in November last year have caused flooding affecting tens of thousands of people across the country, the UN has said.

A team of UN disaster response experts was deployed on Wednesday to support the government-led response.

Some 63,000 people remain displaced in 125 temporary shelters, while 7,000 people have found shelter with relatives and neighbours.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric again:

"Weather forecasts, aggravated by El Niño, indicate more rains in April in the north of the country, increasing the risk of further overflows of the rivers Paraguay and Paraná."

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

Duration: 2’03″

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