News in Brief 29 August 2016 (PM)

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Young women and girls carry water in Nigeria. Photo: World Bank

Collecting water a "colossal waste of time" for women and girls

The 200 million hours that women and girls spend each day fetching water is often a "colossal waste of time," according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The agency is using the occasion of World Water Week, which kicked off on Sunday, to highlight how lack of access to water predominantly falls on women.

Universal access to safe and affordable drinking water is among the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNICEF said this includes ensuring basic service within a 30-minute round-trip from home.

However, the agency estimated that the journey takes longer for nearly a third of people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aid urgently needed for displaced in north-east Nigeria

Urgent humanitarian measures are needed to save lives and ensure the protection of hundreds of thousands of people displaced by insurgents in north-east Nigeria.

That is the assessment made by the UN independent expert on internally displaced people (IDPs),

Chaloka Beyani has concluded a four-day visit to the region where government forces have been fighting the Boko Haram terrorist group.

He said the gravity of the crisis is only starting to be known as civilians leave newly liberated areas.

He called on the Nigerian government to ensure IDPs receive food, shelter, medical care and other essential services.

Agencies partner to boost food security in South Sudan

Improving agricultural production among smallholder farmers in Sudan is the focus of a new partnership between two UN agencies.

Farmers will be provided with improved seeds and trained in methods to reduce post-harvest losses, under the agreement signed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The agencies will also strengthen cooperation on climate analysis in order to help communities adapt to changing climate patterns.

Although both agencies have been in Sudan for decades, the agreement marks the first time they have formalized their partnership.

The Sudan operation is among WFP's largest and most complex programmes, with some 4.6 million people expected to be reached this year.

IFAD said its projects directly benefit more than 400,000 people in the country.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'22"

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