News in Brief 2 November 2016 (AM)

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This child was among thousands of Iraqis who fled to the high-altitude region of northern Kurdistan during the winter of 2014 with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and found themselves entirely dependent on humanitarian agencies. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis (file photo)

Funding shortfall for winter assistance programme in Iraq

A US$120 million programme to provide essential winter items to displaced people in Iraq and Syrian refugees in the country is only half-funded, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported.

UNHCR said the assistance will be critical for people displaced from Mosul, where a military campaign is underway to free the city from the terrorist group ISIL.

The UN agency this week began distributions to more than 1.2 million displaced people in Iraq, and to communities hosting them.

Some 178,000 Syrian refugees will also receive help.

Distributions will run through February, and items provided include blankets, heating stoves, and insulation kits to make tents warmer inside, as well as cash assistance and kerosene.

Security Council welcomes new Lebanon President

The election of a new President in Lebanon is "a long-awaited and critical step" to overcome the country's political crisis.

That assessment has been made by the UN Security Council which has welcomed the election of Michel Aoun.

Lebanon has been without a President for more than two years and Council members urged the country's leaders to swiftly form a government.

They said the formation of a unity government and election of a parliament are critical for the country's stability, which in turn is essential to stability and security in the region.

Key human rights text now available in 500+ languages

One of the landmark documents in the history of human rights has reached a milestone, the United Nations announced on Wednesday.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which already was the world's most translated document, is now available in more than 500 languages and dialects with North Bolivian Quecha being the latest translation.

The six-page text includes 30 Articles, the first of which begins: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

It was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, thus setting out for the first time, the fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the growing number of translations underscores the declaration's universality and the power of its words to resonate strongly across all cultures and languages.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’25″

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