News in Brief – 13 June 2016 (AM)

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Pope Francis speaks to WFP staff. Photo: WFP/Giulio d’Adamo

Pope urges stronger commitment to fighting hunger

Pope Francis has pledged his full support to global efforts to end hunger, the World Food Programme (WFP) reports.

The Pontiff on Monday made his first visit to WFP's headquarters in Rome where he encouraged countries to increase their cooperation with the UN agency.

Pope Francis spoke of the impact of conflict on food access, stating that "in some cases, hunger itself is used as a weapon of war."

He also addressed the issue of food waste.

The Pope also paid tribute to WFP staff who have died in service.

"We remember them best by continuing to fight for the great goal of 'Zero Hunger,'" he stated.

Libya: Official calls for investigation into "heinous" killing of 12 prisoners

The killing of 12 prisoners in Libya last week has drawn strong condemnation from the senior UN official in the country.

The prisoners reportedly were killed after a court order for their release was issued on Thursday.

Martin Kobler, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said he was "utterly shocked and saddened" by what he characterized as "this heinous and vile crime."

In a statement on Monday, Mr Kobler expressed outrage over accounts from family members who said the victims had been "savagely beaten and shot in the head and chest several times."

He said the crime should be thoroughly and independently investigated, and that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

Mr Kobler added that the circumstances surrounding the killings were unclear.

Libya's prison service had declared that the prisoners had been released on Thursday afternoon, in compliance with the court order, before the killings took place.

Their bodies were identified by family members in hospitals on Friday afternoon.

Medical supplies reach besieged Syrian city

More than five tonnes of lifesaving medical treatments has reached the besieged Syrian city of Duma.

That information comes from the World Health Organization (WHO) which was part of an inter-agency convoy that arrived there on Friday.

The convoy carried medicines including insulin, antibiotics and pain medications, as well as nutrition supplies, medical equipment and other items.

WHO said this was the first inter-agency convoy to Duma, located in Eastern Ghouta, Rural Damascus, since May 2014.

However, the UN health agency in collaboration with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had delivered haemodialysis supplies there in February.

WHO continues to appeal for unhindered access to people in need across Syria.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'34"

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