News in Brief 31 May 2017 (PM)

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A Palestinian girl inside her family's partially destroyed home, looks at the destruction outside, in the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City. Photo: UNICEF

Occupation policies remain key cause of Palestinian humanitarian needs

The on-going practices and policies of Israeli occupation are the main reason why Palestinians continue to be in need of major humanitarian assistance.

That's according to the UN Humanitarian Affairs Office OCHA's 2016 Annual Report for the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt), published on Wednesday.

The report states that the internal Palestinian divide between the authorities controlling the West Bank and Hamas extremists, who hold sway over Gaza, is also a "serious contributing factor."

Here's UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"The new report observes that, in 2016, Palestinian fatalities from conflict-related violence in the oPt and Israel declined by 37 per cent compared with 2015, while the decline in Israeli fatalities was 48 per cent. Palestinian injuries declined by about 80 per cent compared with 2015, with the vast majority recorded in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

The International Labour Organization (ILO) also reports in its latest edition of 'the Situation of Workers of the occupied Arab territories' that stringent constraints on movement, the longstanding blockade of the Gaza Strip, and the stalled peace process were also contributing to a worsening economic outlook for Palestinian workers.

Suspected cholera cases rise by 10,000 in just 72 hours across Yemen

Suspected cases of cholera in Yemen have risen by 10,000 in just three days, said the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 children have reported to health facilities each day suffering from acute watery diarrhoea, and in the past month, the water-borne disease has killed at least 532 people across the war-torn country, the agency reported.

Actual figures are expected to rise significantly but 109 children are among the confirmed dead.

Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, again.

"Together with its partners, UNICEF is working around the clock by supporting oral rehydration centres and diarrhoea treatment centres, as well as by providing chlorinated drinking water and disinfecting wells and water reservoirs. UNICEF's Representative in Yemen Dr. Relaño warned that the situation in Yemen is teetering on the verge of disaster, and that the biggest victims of this man-made tragedy are Yemen's most vulnerable people – its children."

The two-year conflict in Yemen between Houthi rebels and a Saudi-backed government coalition has pushed millions to the brink of famine.

Three planes carrying more than 40 tonnes of lifesaving supplies have been provided by UNICEF, but the agency warns that more than 27 million Yemenis are "staring at an unforgiving humanitarian catastrophe," with no peace deal in sight.

UN chief condemns terrorist attack in Kabul

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed his abhorrence at the terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, which news reports say killed at least 90 people, and wounded around 400.

The large suicide truck bomb exploded during rush hour in the capital's diplomatic district on Wednesday morning.

The UN chief said it underlined the need to "reinforce the fight against terrorism and violent extremism."

He called on those responsible to be brought to justice, and expressed the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and government of Afghanistan.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 3'00"

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