News in Brief 12 December 2016 (AM)

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A malnourished 2-year-old girl receives treatment at a hospital in Sana’a. Photo: UNICEF/ Yasin

Malnutrition amongst children in Yemen at "all-time high"

Malnutrition amongst children in Yemen is at an "all-time high" with some 2.2 million affected according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Conflict in the Gulf state between government forces and Houthi rebels has led to the death of around 10,000 people.

Even before the escalation of fighting in March 2015, Yemen faced significant challenges from widespread poverty, food insecurity and a dearth of health services.

UNICEF said that Yemen's health system is now on the verge of collapse.

Experts say that malnutrition rates are expected to rise further.

New portal to track progress towards universal health coverage

A new online data portal has been launched by the World Health Organization to track progress globally towards universal health coverage or UHC.

All UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve UHC by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

WHO says at least 400 million people globally lack access to one or more essential health services

UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.

It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.

The launch of the portal coincides with Universal Health Coverage Day marked annually on December 12.

Terrorist attack in Somali capital condemned

A terrorist attack outside the port of Mogadishu in Somalia in which over 20 people reportedly died has been condemned in the "strongest possible terms" by the UN's most senior representative in the country.

The Al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the suicide truck bombing which occurred on Sunday near a police tax revenue office.

Most of the victims were civilians.

The UN's Michael Keating said the latest atrocity by militants, which took taking place on a religious holiday, provided "fresh evidence of their disregard for the lives and hopes of Somali citizens.”

He added that the bombing may be intended to signal Al-Shabaab's rejection of the 2016 electoral process.

Priyanka Shankar, United Nations

Duration: 2’35″

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