News in Brief 26 August 2016 (PM)

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This photo shows Amal who is looking at her destroyed home in Sana'a after it was hit by an airstrike in April 2015. Photo: UNICEF/UN018341/Jahaf

"Immediate cessation of hostilities" in Yemen needed ahead of peace deal

An "immediate cessation of hostilities" by the warring parties in Yemen is needed before any roadmap for peace can be finalized.

That's according to the UN Special Envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, following meetings with senior ministers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Talks in Kuwait ended without any peace deal in early August.

Yemen's civil war between government forces and Houthi rebels intensified in March 2015 and around 13 million civilians are now in need of aid, according to the UN.

The envoy has been talking to the parties to the conflict in an effort to "crystalize precise technical details" before dialogue begins again.

Here's UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric:

"The Special Envoy insisted that the Yemeni parties should first renew their commitment to 'an immediate cessation of hostilities and facilitating humanitarian access' and engage in discussing a single comprehensive and sequenced agreement for both security arrangements as well as political arrangements."

US$3m approved for project supporting victims of Colombia conflict

A total of US$3 million will go to a special project designed to pay reparations to the victims of Colombia's more than 50-year-long armed conflict.

The money was approved by the UN Peacebuilding Fund on Friday, and it will also help to pave the way for the implementation of the historic peace agreements, finalized last Wednesday.

The Colombian Government and FARC rebels have reached a final deal which now has to be approved by a national referendum due to take place in October.

The head of the UN Mission in Colombia, which will help verify the disarmament process, briefed the UN Security Council on Friday.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) also congratulated Colombia on the peace agreement, welcoming in particular the aim of tackling illicit drug production, including through sustainable and inclusive development of marginalized rural areas.

"Another sad and dangerous day" for Aleppo's children: UNICEF

With still no agreement on a 48-hour pause to allow humanitarian supplies into the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, "every second of every minute counts" when it comes to saving children's lives.

That's the view of Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF.

Russia, which is providing air support for government forces bombing the city, has agreed to the UN's demand for a weekly pause, but Syrian government and opposition parties have yet to respond.

Mr Lake said UNICEF was standing by to provide emergency aid, as well as to help repair broken water and electricity supplies.

Here's Stéphane Dujarric again:

"He said that more than 100,000 children remain trapped in the eastern parts of the city since early July. Today is another sad and dangerous day for the children in Syria, in particular those living in Aleppo, Mr. Lake added, stressing that every second of every minute counts when it comes to protecting and saving the lives of children."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’31″

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