News in Brief 15 April 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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UNHCR staff brief new arrivals from Mozambique on the registration process in Kapise, Malawi, in February 2016. Photo: UNHCR/V. Selin

Mozambican asylum-seekers begin relocation in Malawi

A massive relocation programme in Malawi has begun for thousands of Mozambican asylum-seekers who've fled violence, the UN has announced.

Clashes between Mozambique government forces and armed opposition groups have sparked an increase of new arrivals in Malawi in recent months.

Now, some 10,000 Mozambicans are to be transferred from the border to camps in the south of Malawi, with the help of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.

Here's UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler:

"As you know, UNHCR policy is not to let refugees to stay at the border because they could still be in danger there, so we are moving them further inland into Malawi to an area where we can provide aid more easily."

New approach needed to reverse HIV among people who inject drugs

A lack of progress in reducing HIV infections among drug users has prompted a call by the UN for the global community to do more to tackle the epidemic.

According to UNAIDS, the lack of rehabilitation programmes and the criminalisation of narcotics have contributed to the world missing the target to cut HIV transmission in half among people who inject drugs.

UNAIDS spokesperson Monique Middelhoff says that so-called harm-reduction schemes are already proving successful all around the world, but they desperately need scaling up.

"What we see is that harm-reduction interventions  are already quite universal, they are implemented in Kazakhstan, Malaysia, China, Europe, in Africa in countries like Tanzania and Kenya, so it is possible, though at the moment the programmes are not at scale, so we make too little progress in reducing the infections of HIV among people who use drugs."

Monique Middelhoff from UNAIDS speaking there. And you can hear the full interview with her on our website: http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/.

Japan quake "could have been much worse"

And finally, in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Japan on Thursday, UN experts are saying that disaster was averted, but only because the country had prepared for the worst.

The 6.4 magnitude tremor, which hit Kyushu island in the south-west of the country, killed at least nine people and injured hundreds more.

There was no damage to nuclear power plants near to the epicentre of the earthquake, which did however derail a bullet train.

Here's Denis McShane from the UN disaster risk management agency UNISDR:

"Thankfully there was no-one on the train at the time but it is an indication of just how serious the consequences of this earthquake could have been if Japan had not been so well prepared for it."

In the last 20 years, three-quarters of a million people have been killed in earthquakes, according to latest UN data.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 2'49"

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