News in Brief 20 October 2016 (PM)

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The World Food Programme (WFP) with their local partner Fondation Pour le Development de la Famille Haitien, distribute food to residents of Torbek, a community on the outskirts of Les Cayes, Haiti, that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

Haiti towns devastated by Hurricane Matthew continue to receive aid

Humanitarians continue to deliver critical assistance to devastated areas in Les Cayes in Haiti, a spokesperson for the UN has said.

Affected families received additional food by the World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday and further distributions are planned this week.

So far, WFP has provided food aid to 77,000 people, Stéphane Dujarric said.

"Yesterday, the World Health Organization along with the Pan American Health Organization visited the remote village of Randell. They brought medical kits while assessing their immediate humanitarian needs. More items, such as hygiene kits, buckets and essential drugs will be delivered again today."

Remote areas are now accessible by sea and cargo ships are being used to carry the aid to places that cannot be reached by road, MINUSTAH, the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti confirmed.

Freedom of expression under worldwide attack, UN expert warns

A widespread global assault on freedom of expression is being carried out by governments worldwide, a UN expert has warned.

David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, is expected to present his new report on the issue to UN Member States on Friday.

Governments are wielding the tools of censorship by punishing journalists for their reporting, silencing individuals for posting opinions on social media and more, he noted.

One of the biggest threats to online expression, the Special Rapporteur said, is the use of Internet "kill switches" or network shutdowns.

Governments also routinely target political criticism, journalism and the expression of what he described as "singled-out groups" like the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex, LGBTI communities and artists.

Lesotho losing US$ 200 million a year to effects of child undernutrition

Lesotho is losing US$200 million a year to the effects of child undernutrition, a new study by the World Food Programme (WFP) has found.

This amounts to more than 7 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product or GDP, the agency says.

The money is lost through increased healthcare costs, additional burdens on the education system and lower productivity of the workforce.

The report comes at a crucial time for the country, where some 709,000 people who are suffering from the effects of a two year drought, are in need of food aid.

Duration: 2’37″

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