News in Brief 18 November 2016 (PM)

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On 12 August 2016 internally displaced children waiting for ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) distribution in Banki IDP camp, Borno state, northeast Nigeria. Photo: UNICEF/Andrew Esiebo

"Urgent support" needed to alleviate hunger in north-east Nigeria

"Without urgent support" from the international community, food insecurity faced by nearly 5 million people across north-east Nigeria "will only deepen."

That's according to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), who have rolled out what they're calling a rapid response mechanism to deal with the crisis.

The worst affected areas are Borno and Yobe States, where disruption due to the extremist group Boko Haram has been most intense.

UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said the urgent food and nutrition support would be needed well into next year.

"Food insecurity has reached an extreme level in parts of north-eastern Nigeria, where 4.6 million people are going hungry. Without urgent support, hunger will only deepen. Since August, the number of people needing urgent food assistance has increased from about 1 million to 1.8 million in Borno and Yobe States."

Turkish government using "draconian measures" to erode free speech

The Turkish government is using "draconian measures" to erode free speech and expression, according to the UN expert on the issue.

Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, expressed "deep concern"  that Turkey was eroding freedoms "across the board."

In a statement issued at the end of a week-long mission to the country, he said "the press, individuals online, artists, opposition voices" and others faced unprecedented pressure.

Mr Kaye added that he felt sympathy for those suffered the violent after-effects of the failed coup of 15 July.

Around 300 were killed and several thousand injured during violence which the government said was orchestrated by an exiled cleric and businessman, who lives in the United States.

Mr Kaye urged the government to reverse course on censorship and detentions and "return to protecting and promoting the rights" of Turks under the constitution and international law.

World's first malaria vaccine to be rolled out in 2018

The world's first malaria vaccine will be rolled out in pilot projects in sub-Saharan Africa beginning in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.

Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme, Pedro Alonso, said that the "pilot deployment of this first-generation vaccine marks a milestone in the fight against malaria."

Around 3.2 billion people are at risk from malaria, and last year around 438,000 died from the mosquito-borne disease.

More details from Farhan Haq again.

"The vaccine, known as RTS,S, acts against P. falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally, and the one most prevalent in Africa. Advanced clinical trials have shown RTS,S to provide partial protection against malaria in young children."

The first phase of the programme has been fully-funded and an additional commitment of around US$37 million is expected to cover the first four years.

It's been developed through a partnership between GlaxoSmithKline and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and African research centres.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’39″

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