News in Brief 04 August 2016 (PM)

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As people continue to flee violence in the northern triangle of Central America – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – UNHCR is supporting asylum-seekers find safety at a series of shelters, including the Tres Angeles Shelter, pictured here, in southern Mexico. Photo: UNHCR/Sebastian Rich

Countries vow to "strengthen protection" for Central America refugees

Nine countries from North and Central America released a statement on Thursday in support of strengthening protection for refugees and asylum-seekers in the region.

The so-called San Jose Action Statement was welcomed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as a "landmark step" ahead of UN and US summits next month on the global migration crisis.

The statement was signed by Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the United States.

"Confronted with a growing number" of refugees, the statement said, there is a greater need to "identify and respond to those in need."

UNHCR's High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi, said it was "vital and immensely gratifying" to see the countries of the Americas coming together…for people in desperate need."

Many seeking asylum are women and children fleeing trans-national gang violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Draft declaration on refugees welcomed by UNHCR chief

And the UNHCR chief has welcomed a draft declaration on refugees and migrants issued on Thursday by the UN General Assembly.

The draft is due to be adopted during the Summit on Refugees and Migrants at UN Headquarters, on 19 September.

Here's UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq.

"Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees said the message from the negotiations is clear: no one government can address large-scale movements of refugees on its own. He added that international cooperation is the only way forward."

Urgent relief operation carried out for 75,000 stranded on Syria-Jordan border

An urgent relief operation has been carried out to supply more than 75,000 people trapped along a land embankment on the border between Syria and Jordan.

In a joint statement, the leaders of four major UN agencies said that a month's worth of food and hygiene supplies had been successfully delivered to the men, women and children trapped along the berm.

Sheltering in makeshift tents in harsh desert conditions, they are "without sufficient food and have barely enough water to survive" said the statement.

The agency leaders thanked Jordan for supporting the "critical operation" and said further efforts would need to be made to "save their lives".

Jordan sealed the border area over a month ago, following an attack on a nearby border post.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'00"

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