News in Brief 24 October 2016 (PM)

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Internally displaced persons flee to Debaga camp in Erbil Governorate, northern Iraq, as Mosul assault begins. Photo: UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

Mosul operation displaces more than 7,000 so far

Military operations to free the Iraqi city of Mosul from extremists have displaced more than 7,000 people so far, UN humanitarians in the country have reported.

They described the situation as "fluid," with the numbers and patterns of displacement fluctuating among the various front lines of the offensive.

Stéphane Dujarric is spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General:

"The majority of displaced people are sheltering in host communities; some families move out of harm's way only for a short time and quickly return home once conditions allow. Regardless of displacement pattern, all families are reported to be in a vulnerable condition and need assistance."

Mosul, located in northern Iraq, has been in the hands of the terrorist group ISIL since 2014.

Iraqi government forces backed by allies launched the offensive last week.

Haiti: Urgent food need following hurricane

Approximately 1.4 million people in Haiti require food assistance following the passage of Hurricane Matthew earlier this month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports.

Of that number, more than half, or 800,000 people, are in dire need of immediate food aid.

The findings come in an emergency field assessment conducted by FAO together with the country's government and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Meanwhile, the UN mission in the country has reported that heavy rains over the past days have worsened conditions in areas affected by the storm, which is also having an impact on humanitarian aid distribution.

FAO said Hurricane Matthew "virtually wiped out" agriculture in the Grande-Anse Department in southern Haiti.

Fruit availability there is now reduced to fruit that has fallen from trees, while around half of all livestock was lost in some areas.

Fishing on Haiti's southern coast has also come to a standstill as boats, engines and other supplies were washed away by flooding.

 Experts appeal for "fundamental shift" in migration control

Countries are being encouraged to develop long-term strategies and policies that facilitate migration rather than restrict it.

The appeal has been made by two international human rights experts who argue that migration control "is not only about keeping people out."

The experts, known as UN Special Rapporteurs, said migration policies currently focus on trying to stop migrants or by getting them to work for as little pay as possible.

They called for a "fundamental shift" in the way migration is perceived and for States to forge a shared understanding of the need for regular, safe and affordable channels for mobility.

Migration has shaped history and is here to stay, they said.

Measures such as building fences, resorting to violence or withholding access to basic services "will not stop migrants from trying to cross borders," they added.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3'06"

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