News in Brief 3 January 2017 (PM)

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In east Aleppo City, Syria, boys and a man collect water from a UNICEF-supported water point in Shakoor neighbourhood. Photo: UNICEF/Khuder Al-Issa

Displacement rises as Mosul fighting intensifies

More than 13,000 people have fled the Iraqi city of Mosul since Friday, the UN has reported, as military operations to retake the city from extremists have intensified.

The offensive, launched in mid-October by the Iraqi army and its allies, has now entered a second phase.

Stéphane Dujarric is the UN Spokesperson:

"The average daily displacement numbers have increased by nearly 50 per cent since military operations intensified, some 1,600 to more than 2,300 displaced per day. In total, nearly 130,000 people are now displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas due to the fighting. Humanitarian assistance continues to be distributed into newly accessible neighbourhoods in the eastern part of Mosul city. Over 1,000 cubic metres of water are being trucked in daily and food and non-food items have reached people in four neighbourhoods which have not been serviced since before by international humanitarian partners."

Killing of Burundi Environment Minister condemned

The assassination of a senior official in Burundi has been condemned by the United Nations.

Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the country's Water and Environment Minister, was gunned down on New Year's Day.

Once again, here's UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric:

"This act serves as another sad reminder of the urgent need for the Burundian parties to come together in the larger interest of the people of Burundi in the search of a lasting political solution for the crisis in the country."

Health facility closures affect one million in Sudan

The closure of 11 health facilities in Sudan due to a lack of funding has had an impact on approximately one million people in the country, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported.

Meanwhile, another 49 facilities are at risk of closing, the agency warned.

WHO said those affected include more than 300,000 women of childbearing age and children under five-years-old who will not have access to maternal or child health care.

The UN agency said the closure of health facilities will only add to the existing risk of epidemics due to limited access to primary health care services among displaced people and host communities.

WHO Representative in Sudan Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer said the country's health sector has been "grossly underfunded" over the past three years as donors have focused on emergencies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’23″

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UN Radio Daily News Programme
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