News in Brief 2 June 2017 (PM)

Listen /


Sahrawi refugees at the Smara Refugee Camp outside of Tindouf, Algeria. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Plight of thousands of Sahrawi refugees leaves UN chief "deeply concerned"

The plight of tens of thousands of refugees from Western Sahara who stand to have their food rations cut, is a source of deep concern, the UN said on Friday.

Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement that humanitarian aid was "a lifeline" for the refugees who have fled to Algeria from the territory of Western Sahara, located on the north-west coast of Africa.

It's bordered by Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria, and for 16 years the Frente Polisario independence movement fought Morocco for control before a 1991 ceasefire.

The UN chief called on donors to urgently increase their assistance to the refugees, who have limited access to markets or livelihoods.

Here's UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq.

"A lack of funding has forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to cut food rations by almost one fifth this year, and to halt distributions of nutritional supplements to treat anaemia and malnutrition in pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children. Food rations will be further reduced to half in June, which could have a severe impact on the refugees’ food security and nutritional status. The Secretary-General calls on donors to urgently increase their assistance to this often overlooked and vulnerable population. "

Cholera in Yemen spreading "incredibly fast", cases expected to reach 130,000

Cholera in Yemen is spreading "incredibly fast," with cases expected to reach 130,000 within the next two weeks.

That's according to UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director, Geert Cappelaere, following a visit to the war-torn country.

More than two years of conflict between Houthi rebels and government coalition forces have brought millions to the brink of famine.

Mr Cappelaere said he had witnessed harrowing scenes of children barely alive, with some babies weighing less than 2 kilos.

"Countless children around Yemen die every day in silence from causes that can easily be prevented," he said.

He added that US$16 million was needed urgently to stop the outbreak from spreading.

Millions of livestock treated to prevent famine in Somalia: FAO

More than 12 million animals in Somalia have been treated in the past three months through a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) campaign, designed to stave off famine.

FAO said it was a "milestone" point in the campaign, designed to keep livestock in drought-affected areas alive and healthy, to provide meat and milk for human survival.

More than six million people are being seriously affected by the severe drought, with food insecurity and hunger likely to get worse unless rains arrive soon.

Here's Farhan Haq again.

"Many of the animals have been badly weakened by the lack of feed and water, making them highly susceptible to illnesses and parasites but they are too weak to withstand vaccination. FAO said it will continue its campaign by deploying 150 veterinary teams across Somalia to treat goats and sheep as well as cattle and camels – up to 270,000 animals each day. By mid-July, it expects to reach 22 million animals, benefiting over three million people."

More than a million displaced in DRC living in "deplorable conditions"

More than a million people displaced by violence in the Kasai provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are living in largely "deplorable conditions" with no access to healthcare or safe drinking water.

That's according to the UN Mission in the country, MONUSCO, which said on Friday that one in three health centres was no longer operational, and more than 600 schools had been destroyed in the Kasai region.

Hundreds have been killed in the provinces due to fighting between militias that erupted nearly a year ago.

The UN has also documented 500 cases of children being used as fighters or human shields by militias.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 3'08"

Filed under .
UN News Update
UN News Update
Updated Monday to Friday
Loading the player ...




January 2018
« Dec