News in Brief 25 August 2016 (AM)

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Portrait of Khadija Kaku, a refugee in Chad. Photo: UNICEF/UN028848/Tremeau

Needs of children "outpacing the response" across Lake Chad region

The humanitarian needs of millions of children across Africa's Lake Chad region are "outpacing the response" according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF.

Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said this was especially true now that new areas which were cut off in north-east Nigeria are becoming accessible.

That's the region where the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency began, before spreading across the whole of the Lake Chad area.

Of the 2.6 million people currently displaced, an extra 2.2 million are feared trapped in areas under Boko Haram control, half of them children, said UNICEF.

An estimated 38 children have been used as suicide bombers across the Lake Chad basin so far this year.

Around 475,000 children in the region will suffer from sever acute malnutrition, a major increase since the beginning of 2016.

Somalia's "at a good turning point" says UN development chief

Somalia is at "a good turning point" according to the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) who was visiting the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday.

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, held discussions with senior politicians including the President and Prime Minister about the 2016 electoral process.

The country has emerged from decades of conflict, and is due to hold parliamentary elections for the first time since the 1980s, later this year.

Ms Clark said she wanted to ensure that UNDP was "doing what we should be doing, to support Somalia's movement forward."

Part of the electoral reform process entails setting aside 30 per cent of parliamentary seats for women.

Olympic Refugee Team return to Africa amid joyous scenes

Members of the Olympic Refugee Team have arrived back in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, amid joyous celebrations and pounding drums, after making history in Rio.

The team was the first ever all-Refugee team to compete in the games, and consisted of five runners from South Sudan, together with competitors originally from Syria, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They did not win any medals during the two-weeks of competition, but the President of the International Olympic Committee thanked them at the closing ceremony saying they had been a global inspiration.

From Nairobi, here's Rose Lokonyen, who carried the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony, and Yiech Pur Biel, reflecting on their triumph representing refugees in Rio.

"I feel very happy because I completed the race and again I reduce my minutes as well. It was a bit of an improvement and I am very happy… We never expected maybe we can go to the Olympics. But now the world knows the refugees. It's only we as refugees who can work hard to change that title, because I know to be called a refugee is only a name. You can change that title to be a better person when we are together. We need to be patient because one day, one time, your time comes to change your life and you can go to change other people's lives."

They say the are determined to keep running and keep the spirit of #TeamRefugees alive.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'36"

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