News in Brief 17 May 2017 (AM)

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Food security worsens as drought looms in Somalia. Photo: FAO

Somali drought "tragedy continues to unfold"

Somalia's severe drought which is affecting more than six million people is a tragedy that "continues to unfold" according to a senior UN official in the country, briefing the Security Council on Wednesday.

Deputy Special Representative Raisedon Zenenga, said that the humanitarian crisis has deteriorated more rapidly than originally projected.

He said that "assessments conducted in April indicate critical levels of malnutrition among pastoral and agricultural populations, and also among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baidoa and Mogadishu".

He added that rain had not arrived in time to avoid a "substantial loss" of livestock and said food security was likely to get worse.

He said security concerns for women and children in particular were on the rise, as drought conditions forced nomads to migrate to urban areas, adding that sexual violence in IDP camps was on the increase.

"Return to calm" in Côte d’Ivoire welcomed by UN chief

The "return to calm" in Côte d’Ivoire has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

In a statement on Tuesday night, António Guterres commended the government for the restoration of law and order across the country, following a mutiny by elements of the national army, over pay.

The UN chief's Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said that "unacceptable acts of violence" had been committed by some soldiers.

The UN Mission in the West African country, UNOCI, is preparing to draw down and withdraw at the end of next month.

It was established 13 years ago by the Security Council following a peace agreement, signalling the end of a civil war.

Mr Dujarric said that the Secretary-General expressed continued support for the government defending the "hard-won gains of peace and stability" with the help of UNOCI, and other international actors.

UN commits US$1.6 million to help flood-hit Zimbabwe

The UN has committed US$1.6 million to provide life-saving support for more than 32,600 people in Zimbabwe affected by flooding.

Heavy storms triggered flooding in recent months across many parts of the country, after severe drought last year, for which the UN allocated US$8.2 million, to bring relief to more than 4 million rural Zimbabweans.

The cash to help flood victims is being released from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, or CERF.

Funds will provide life-saving shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to 20 districts, said UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli.

He said it would be of particular help to those displaced, living in temporary camps in southern parts of Zimbabwe.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’10″

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