News in Brief 03 August 2016 (AM)

Yazidi refugees, including several children, go about their lives in Nawrouz refugee camp, approximately 40 kilometres from the Syrian border with Iraq. Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi

Crimes against Yazidi people "on-going" two years after ISIL assault

Marking the second anniversary of the initial assault against the Yazidi minority of Iraq, an independent international inquiry said on Wednesday that the genocide against them was "on-going".

In a statement, The Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic said that attention needed to be re-focussed on the crimes committed against the Yazidis of Sinjar, a religious group whose history in the region stretches back thousands of years.

The Commission said the crimes committed against them by the ISIL, or Daesh, terrorist group based in Syria, included "multiple" war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Two years on from the first all-out assault against Sinjar, 3,200 women and children are still being held by Daesh, subjected to "almost unimaginable violence," said the commission.

Many are suffering sexual enslavement, and thousands of Yazidi men and boys are still missing.

Urgent investment needed in rural areas hit by Ebola, to aid recovery

"Urgent investments" in the rural areas of West Africa devastated by the Ebola virus are needed in order to help countries fully recover.

That's according to Kanayo Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), ahead of a visit to Sierra Leone and Liberia this week.

He said that "if we do not channel our investments to the rural areas now," then farmers would need to migrate, compromising future food security.

More than 11,300 people died from Ebola between 2014 and 2016 in the two countries as well as Guinea, creating economic havoc and a collapse in agriculture exports.

Mr Nwanze said he would be focussing on how IFAD can further support the recovery effort, saying that since the end of the outbreak, Rural Finance Institutions had been given an extra US$960,000 to help smallholder farmers recover their livelihoods.

Innovative app to support emergency food relief for Malawi

The innovative ShareTheMeal app is being employed by the World Food Programme (WFP_ to help fundraise for its biggest ever emergency response effort in Malawi.

The app allows smartphone users to donate as little as 50 cents in order to provide enough food to feed a vulnerable child for a day.

WFP's goal is to provide school meals for an entire year to 58,000 school children in the Zomba district of Malawi, which has been particularly hard hit by drought and worsening food insecurity.

WFP Country Director Coco Ushiyama said more than one in three Malawians would be food insecure over the next nine months, and using the ShareTheMeal app was a simple and fast way to help them reach the 12 million people in need across Malawi.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'27"

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