News in Brief 22 September 2016 (PM)

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Some one thousand internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been moved to new, cleaner – and drier – accommodations in South Sudan.UN Photo/Isaac Billy

Keep spotlight on internally displaced people: the world's "invisible majority"

Aid officials, human rights experts and other concerned members of the international community are urging governments and the public to unite to support people who have been displaced within their own countries due to conflict or other catastrophes.

In an open letter to UN Member States, they asked that "the spotlight of our compassion" be kept on this "invisible majority."

Internally displaced people (IDPs) comprise nearly 41 million of the 65.3 million people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes.

"Internal displacement often marks the beginning of a long struggle at the bottom or in the margins of society," according to the letter.

Tackling the issue will require stepped-up efforts to meet the immediate protection and assistance needs of this population, it said.

Action will also be required to address long-term political and development challenges that result from being internally displaced, the letter continued.

More than US$150 m pledged for UN Peacebuilding Fund

More than US$150 million has been pledged for/to? a UN mechanism which supports peace efforts in post-conflict countries.

The commitments to the UN Peacebuilding Fund were made during a pledging conference on the margins of the UN General Assembly this week.

The money covers the period from 2017-2019 and will go towards projects in more than 20 countries.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the funding will help to redress the imbalance between what the world spends on war and what it devotes to preventing conflict.

The amount pledged falls short of the goal to achieve US$100 million a year.

However, the UN said it will allow the Peacebuilding Fund to continue its work in the short term.

Agency announces scholarships for Syrian refugees in Iraq

One hundred-and-twenty Syrian refugees residing in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will access higher education thanks to a scholarship programme administered by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The scholarships will cover undergraduate tuition fees and a monthly stipend, along with medical insurance and other benefits.

UNHCR's higher education scholarship programme, the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Programme, has been supporting refugees for more than two decades.

Known by its German acronym, DAFI, this is the first time it has been made available in Iraq.

UNHCR hopes to expand the number of places next year, and to include internally displaced Iraqis.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’43″

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