News in Brief 10 August 2017 (AM)

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UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed addresses Security Council meeting on 'peace and security in Africa.' UN Photo/Manuel Elias

“Advancing peace" by advancing empowerment of women: Deputy UN chief

The UN deputy chief briefed the Security Council this Thursday on the "first-of-its kind" high level mission to Africa which she led last month, devoted to advancing the empowerment of women.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed was joined on the trip by the Executive Director of UN Women, and the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as the African Union Commission Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security.

She said they were "four African women from two organizations, visiting two countries with one goal."

The mission visited Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in late July.

The deputy UN chief said the mission had focused entirely on women, peace, security and development.

"We made a point of spending the lion's share of our time with women and girls most affected by conflicts, including through visits to camps for Internally Displaced Persons. While each country is unique, the situations share some commonalities. Both have dismally low-levels of women's political participation, and are experiencing conflicts marked by extremely high levels of sexual and gender-based violence…In northern Nigeria, abductions, forced marriage and the use of women as suicide bombers have taken a terrible toll. And in the camps, sexual exploitation, including in the form of sex-for-food, is a new and alarming trend."

 

Around 550,000 Libyan children need assistance due to conflict: UNICEF

Around 550,000 children in Libya need assistance due to on-going conflict, political instability and economic collapse.

That's the assessment of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which said on Thursday that more than 80,000 children are internally displaced.

State institutions, infrastructure and the economy, have steadily declined since fighting began during the ouster of Muammar al-Qhadafi in 2011.

UNICEF said it was particularly worried about migrant children in the country, who are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including in detention centres.

Regional Director Geert Cappelaere said in a statement, after visiting the country, that the "wellbeing of girls and boys in Libya should be a priority for authorities, civil society, and the international community."

 

Help for families returning to Mosul, stepped up by UNHCR

Families returning to Iraqi's second city of Mosul after months of fighting are being given a boost by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the form of shelter kits and money transfers.

The agency, together with humanitarian partner Human Appeal, has already distributed more than 3,200 kits to returnees and those who had been trapped in their homes during the fight to liberate the city from ISIL terrorists.

The kits include materials which allow families to carry out basic repairs so they are able to live in partially damaged or unfinished buildings.

UNHCR plans to distribute kits to 36,000 families in total, and they will also be receiving a one-off cash assistance payment of US$400, using mobile money transfer.

Some of the most vulnerable will get cash for up to three months, allowing them to pay rent and buy essential supplies.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’47″

 

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