News in Brief 13 July 2016 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Ending human rights abuses against LGBTI "great cause": UN chief

Ending human rights abuses against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people is a "great cause", the UN Secretary-General has said.

Ban Ki-moon spoke in a video message on Wednesday to participants of the Global LGBTI conference co-hosted by Uruguay and the Netherlands.

More must be done to prevent violence, tackle discrimination, end bullying and ensure access to all services, Mr Ban said.

"I am proud to be part of the global fight against homophobia and transphobia. I am proud of the UN's contribution to progress. LGBT and intersex people are courageously addressing discrimination. We owe them full support and leadership. Equality for them will benefit everyone."

The UN chief recalled that more than a hundred countries at the Human Rights Council agreed to UN recommendations to curb violence against the group.

The decision was made to not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mr Ban also praised the appointment of a UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination against LGBT people.

Japan grants US$7 million to assist Iraqi children

Japan has provided a US$7 million grant to aid Iraqi children, the UN Children's Fund UNICEF has confirmed.

With over 3 million people forcibly displaced in the past two years, the "generous donation" comes at a critical time, the agency says.

The money will go towards providing safe drinking water, sanitation and schools for internally displaced people or IDPs.

Up to 40 prefabricated schools are expected to be built, water and sanitation services will increase and children protection and health services will be improved.

Iraq has reportedly become one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child, the Iraq country representative Peter Hawkins said, adding it will get much worse before it gets better.

Over 10 million people in the Middle Eastern country, nearly half of whom are children, need immediate humanitarian assistance.

"Severe" food insecurity persists in Papua New Guinea 

Severe food insecurity driven by drought caused by the El Niño weather system persists in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA says.

Aid workers are helping the Government meet the urgent needs of 226,000 affected people.

The Pacific is one of the four worst-affected regions.

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has more.

Early in July, Ambassador Macharia Kamau one of the two UN Special Envoys on El Niño and Climate visited Papua New Guinea, calling for a greater focus on both immediate response and preparedness for future climate shocks.

The UN says more extreme weather events are expected in the future.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’44″

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