News in Brief 30 November 2016 (AM)

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An Iraqi woman from Mosul holds her daughter in one hand and empty water containers in the other. Two other children follow her in search of water near the Garmava temporary camp in central Iraq. Credit: UNHCR/S. Baldwin (file photo)

Iraq: Half of Mosul children cut off from clean drinking water

Nearly half the children in the Iraqi city of Mosul and their families reportedly have no access to clean water following the destruction of a major pipeline as a result of the ongoing battle to liberate the city from the extremist group ISIL.

That information comes from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which warns that unless running water is restored soon, people will be forced to use unsafe water sources, thus putting children at risk of severe diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases.

The agency said the pipeline is located in parts of Mosul that are still being held by ISIL, making it "impossible" to repair quickly.

In the meantime, UNICEF is supporting the Government with reactivating nearby boreholes and water treatment plants.

Bureaucratic impediments hamper humanitarian aid in South Sudan

Recent "bureaucratic impediments and access constraints" are having a negative impact on humanitarian organizations in South Sudan, a senior UN official said on Wednesday.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country Eugene Owusu listed some of the "obstacles and challenges" aid groups have been facing such as violence against their personnel or assets, illegal or arbitrary taxation, and expulsion of staff.

More than 90 of these incidents have been reported so far this month alone, he added.

Mr Owusu reported that humanitarian needs in South Sudan continue to rise due to conflict and economic decline, with nearly three million people displaced since fighting first broke out in December 2013.

Roughly two million (1.9 million) are displaced within the country while more than one million have fled to neighbouring states.

Afghan film screened as part of campaign to end violence against women

An award-winning short film about an Afghan mother's search for her soldier son in a city controlled by the Taliban has been screened by the UN mission in the country, UNAMA.

The 2016 film, 'Mary Mother,' was shown in the capital, Kabul, as part of nationwide activities marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which began on 25 November.

The film has won awards at several film festivals, including in India and Russia.

'Mary Mother' tells the story of Mary, who lives in a remote village with her two daughters. Her only son is serving with the military in the northern city of Kunduz.

After Kunduz falls to the Taliban, and on receiving no news from the authorities about her son, Mary travels there to find her own answers.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'35"

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