News in Brief 08 August 2017 (PM)

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A young man waits at an IOM transit centre in Agadez, Niger. He along with his younger brother decided to return back to the country after a failed attempt to reach Europe. Photo: IOM 2016/Amanda Nero.

UN migration agency rescues 1,000 migrants in northern Niger

The UN migration agency (IOM) announced on Tuesday that since April, it had rescued 1,000 people in distress trying to make their way across the border between Niger and Libya.

Late last month, IOM conducted an assessment mission of migratory routes in the desert in the border area, in order to improve migrant rescue procedures.

The agency worked with Niger's Department of Civil Protection to identify the challenges and migrant flows, while also rescuing around 150 migrants in distress.

Since January, more than 60,000 have crossed into Niger, with only half of them being accounted for, leaving the country.

More details from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"Many of the rescued are now recovering at IOM's transit centre for migrants in Agadez as they wait for assistance to voluntarily return to their countries of origin, which include Senegal, the Gambia, Nigeria and Ghana, and other countries."

Filipinos displaced by on-going fighting to receive food assistance: WFP

Around 38,000 Filipinos affected by conflict in Marawi City are to receive food assistance thanks to a major contribution from Japan, said the World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday.

Fighting has been raging across the city of 250,000, between government forces and pro-ISIL or Daesh militants, leaving hundreds dead and extensive damage to the city, according to news reports.

WFP Country Director Mats Persson said that the Japanese contribution of US$1.2 million would support ongoing relief operations in Mindanao, the southern island where Marawi City is located.

He said that "with this financial boost WFP can expand operations to directly provide around 38,000 displaced people with rice to complement the family packages and hygiene kits distributed by the government in the next three months."

More than two months after the armed conflict started in Marawi, WFP has distributed rice to more than 7,000 affected families.

City of Sharjah to be World Book Capital for 2019

The 19th city to be designated World Book Capital by the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, will be Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Emirate has invested heavily in culture and its cultural identity, and on Tuesday senior figures from the royal family and government celebrated the designation with an official signing ceremony, together with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Sharjah was named World Book Capital for 2019 in June this year, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, which met at the headquarters of the International Federation of Library Associations.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'23"

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