News in Brief 16 November 2016 (PM)

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A girl, who fell and struck her head in her home, awaits medical examination, at Dar El Shifa Hospital in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi (file photo)

Five more hospitals attacked in Syria, causing "major disruption"

At least two people are dead following five attacks on hospitals that took place in Syria over three days this week.

The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the assaults, which included three hospitals in Western Rural Aleppo, and two in Idlib province.

WHO said at least 19 had been injured, including six medical staff, adding that the increasing "frequency and scale" of attacks was "shocking".

There have been 126 documented attacks on medical facilities and staff across Syria so far this year.

Here's Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq.

"WHO once again demands that all parties in the conflict respect the safety and neutrality of health workers, health facilities and medical supplies. The pattern of attacks indicates that health care is being deliberately targeted in the Syrian conflict. Such targeting would be a major violation of international law.”

Agriculture has "unique" double role in climate change action

The agricultural sector has a "unique" double role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change, according to the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

José Graziano da Silva, speaking at the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, said the world had to scale up actions and ambitions on climate change to meet the emissions targets laid out in the Paris Agreement.

With 90 per cent of countries stressing the importance of farming to their national plans to reduce carbon emissions, he said it was time to invest in sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture.

"Agriculture is the unique sector that can play simultaneously, both roles. When we adapt, we also mitigate."

Canada resumes support for UN Palestine Refugees agency

Canada has pledged 25 million Canadian dollars to the UN Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the fact that the country was "resuming support" for the agency, and said the money would go towards providing essential health, education, relief and social services.

More than 5 million refugees receive services from UNRWA across the Middle East.

Mr Ban said that "at a time of great instability" for the region the generous donation would ensure continued delivery of services to the vulnerable.

He stressed the importance of sufficient and predictable funding, until a "just and lasting solution" can be found to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Africa's "Great Green Wall" provides "restoration opportunities"

Africa's so-called Great Green Wall programme unveiled a map of what organizers are calling "restoration opportunities" on Wednesday, at the COP22 climate conference.

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative, is a pan-African programme launched nearly ten years ago by the African Union.

Its goal is to reverse desertification on the southern edge of the Saha ra by creating a green boundary of trees and vegetation.

More details on the initiative from Farhan Haq again.

"To halt and reverse land degradation, around 10 million hectares will need to be restored each year, according to the assessment. Experts say a variety of restoration approaches will be required to bring the Great Green Wall initiative to an effective scale and create a great mosaic of green and productive landscapes across North Africa, Sahel and the Horn."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'50"

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