News in Brief 25 April 2016 (PM)

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A woman refugee from South Sudan stands outside a shelter in Bitima village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: UNHCR/C. Delfosse

Resources to support South Sudan refugees "stretched" 

Resources to support South Sudanese refugees in Sudan are being stretched at a time when the needs are "quickly growing;" that's according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The agency said that over 50,000 people from South Sudan have crossed into its northern neighbour since the beginning of 2016, surpassing the planning figure set for the entire year.

The refugees are fleeing continued instability at home.

UNHCR said further shortfalls in funding will hamper its ability to provide assistance for the existing South Sudanese refugees in Sudan and to respond to "the emergency needs of new arrivals."

The agency said over US$128 million is required to meet the humanitarian needs of the refugees.

Palmyra damage to be assessed by experts

The damage caused by the ISIL terrorist group to the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria is to be assessed by a team of experts from the UN cultural organization, UNESCO.

The historic city and UNESCO World Heritage Site served as a major trading hub during the Roman Empire and was liberated from ISIL at the end of March.

The group has systematically destroyed artifacts and ancient sites across territory it has controlled in Syria and Iraq.

Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"The objective of the mission is to assess the overall state of conservation in Palmyra and identify the emergency safeguarding measures, including a damage assessment of the site and the museum. UNESCO stresses that Palmyra cannot be de-linked from other heritage sites in Syria, and that the assessment of the cultural damage should be viewed in the context of the humanitarian situation in the country."

Severe weather in Myanmar causes death and injury

Severe weather conditions across Myanmar have resulted in deaths and injuries as well as large-scale damage to housing, the UN humanitarian office, OCHA has said.

Over the last week, strong winds, hail and heavy rains have affected over 40 townships across Mandalay and Sagaing regions and Shan, Kachin and Chin states.

Over 1,100 houses were destroyed and almost 12,000 damaged, according to the government.

UN "saddened" by death of celebrated Congolese musician

Condolences have been expressed by the UN following the death of the celebrated Congolese musician Papa Wemba.

He died on Saturday night while performing at a concert in Côte d'Ivoire.

The UN's most senior official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Maman Sambo Sidikou said he was deeply saddened by Papa Wemba's death.

He said the musician was a "legend and highly talented artist" who carried the banner not only for the Congolese but also for African music and culture.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 2’40″

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