News in Brief 02 August 2016 (AM)

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Refugees from South Sudan arrive in Elegu, northern Uganda Photo: UNHCR/Will Swanson

60,000 have fled violence in South Sudan

Around 60,000 people have now fled violence in South Sudan to neighbouring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), speaking at a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

Violence erupted in the capital, Juba, in early July between forces loyal to the President and then First Vice President, sparking a political and humanitarian crisis.

Despite a ceasefire, fighting has continued in many parts of the country, prompting thousands to flee.

UNHCR said that some armed groups operating on roads into Uganda are preventing some of those trying to escape the escalating conflict.

Here's UNHCR's Head of Communications, Melissa Fleming:

"We can always test the pulse of what's going on inside the country when we speak to the refugees who are coming outside. We are responding to refugee flows into Uganda in particular that have doubled in the past ten days, which brings the total in Uganda to 52,000 who have entered the country since the renewed violence started three weeks ago."

"Urgent funding" needed to meet rising health crisis in South Sudan

Staying with the escalating crisis in South Sudan, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it needs "urgent funding" to deal with health needs including nearly 600 cases of cholera.

WHO said that it was particularly concerned about the health of Internally Displaced People around the capital, Juba, where alongside the rising conflict, IDPs are also vulnerable to outbreaks of measles and malaria.

For those on the run there is limited access to safe water, sanitation and basic health services.

Fadela Chaib is Spokesperson for WHO in Geneva:

"As of the end of July at total of 586 cholera cases including 21 deaths have been reported nationwide, the majority of these have been reported in Juba County, where an average of 35 new admissions are being recorded daily."

Migrant deaths pass 4,000 mark for 2016

More than 4,000 migrants have died during the course of 2016, with 3,100 perishing in the waters of the Mediterranean alone.

That's according to UN partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Here's IOM's Joel Millman:

"4,027 is the number we have through the end of July, which is about a 35 per cent increase over this time last year. Within these, the Mediterranean continues to be the most lethal spot in the world, accounting for about three-quarters of migrant deaths so far this year."

Mr Millman added that the bodies of 120 migrants or refugees had been found over the course of the past week off the coast of Libya.

Gap widening between "us and them": senior UN Human Rights official

The rise in "race-based" violence and hate-crimes across the world is widening the gap between "us and them", according to a senior UN Human Rights official.

Speaking at the opening of the 90th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Orest Nowosad, Chief of the Groups in Focus Section, said there had been a "hardening of polarized positions."

He pointed to an increase in "police brutality and retaliatory killings, hate crimes against minorities and racial abuse".

He added that violence towards migrants and refugees was "on the rise".

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 3’04″

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