News in Brief 18 May 2016 (PM)

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In Diffa, Niger, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien (second left, seated) meets with a family who fled when Boko Haram attacked. Photo: UN OCHA

"Massive" humanitarian crisis unfolding in Niger, due to Boko Haram

The world needs to pay more attention to the "massive humanitarian crisis" unfolding in Niger, said the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief on Wednesday.

Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien, was speaking after a two-day fact-finding mission to the north-west African country.

He said violence at the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist group had forced 240,000 people to flee their homes in the Diffa region, on both sides of the border with Nigeria.

Mr O'Brien said he was "appalled by reports of the killing of civilians" and other atrocities at the hands of Boko Haram, across the whole Lake Chad Basin.

He called on all armed groups to protect civilians, according to international law.

Protect water rights of most disadvantaged in El Salvador

The rights of El Salvador's most vulnerable citizens to safe water and sanitation need far greater government protection.

That's the view of the UN special rapporteur on water and sanitation, Léo Heller, at the end of his first official visit to the Central American country.

He said that national plans and policies need to address the effects of climate change and other challenges, to water sources.

Otherwise, he added, the most vulnerable people would be the ones who suffer the most during prolonged periods of drought.

Mr Heller said that El Salvador had shown "impressive progress" in the water and sanitation sector in recent years, but there was still a "significant gap" between urban and rural areas where 99 per cent of those lacking access to water live.

World marks International Museum Day

More than 35,000 museums from around 145 countries are due to take part in International Museum Day, marked each year on 18 May, according to the UN Cultural Agency, UNESCO.

UNESCO said this year's theme of Museums and Cultural Landscapes was bringing together nature and history, pointing out the key role of museums as custodians of culture.

International Museum Day was established in 1977.

UNESCO is organizing a High-Level Forum on Museums in November this year, which is due to take place in Shenzhen, China.

It hopes the forum will serve as a "laboratory of ideas" and strengthen the role of museums in "intercultural dialogue" and sustainable development.

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

Duration: 1’51″

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