News in Brief 25 August 2017 (PM)

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UNICEF Representative in Syria Fran Equiza (centre), speaks with children at the Mabrouka camp in Ein Issa, northern Syria. Photo: UNICEF MENA

Children, families should be allowed to leave Raqqa: UNICEF Syria rep

Ongoing conflict in Syria has robbed millions of children of their childhood and forced them to bear untold suffering, a senior official with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said.

UNICEF Representative for the country Fran Equiza this week met with displaced children now living in camps.

Mr Equiza has issued a statement urging warring sides to stop the fighting and "live up to their legal obligations to children."

He said fighting has displaced families from the cities of Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor.

UNICEF has also received reports indicating that several thousand children remain trapped in Raqqa.

"Children and families who wish to leave Raqqa city must be allowed to do so in safety and in dignity," he said.

 

UN human rights office confirms Yemen airstrike deaths

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) has confirmed the deaths of 33 civilians in an airstrike by coalition forces that hit a hotel in Sana'a governorate in Yemen.

Twenty-five others were injured in the incident, which occurred on Wednesday.

The human rights office said it was among several deadly coalition airstrikes that day, none of which was preceded by a warning that an attack was imminent, according to witnesses.

Stéphane Dujarric is the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General:

"In the week from 17 to 24 August, according to our human rights colleagues, 58 civilians were killed, more than the number of civilians killed in the whole of June, when 52 were killed, and in July, which saw 57 civilian deaths  Since March 2015, the Office has documented 13,829 civilian casualties, including 5,110 killed and 8,719 injured, but the Office stresses that the overall number is probably much higher.  And as you know, the Secretary-General has repeatedly called on all parties to ensure the safety and protection of civilians.

WFP assisting Nepal flood victims

Aid distributions have begun to 180,000 people affected by flooding in Nepal, the World Food Programme (WFP) has reported.

The country, together with Bangladesh and India, has been hit by floods and landslides due to torrential monsoon rains.

WFP reports that approximately 460,000 people in Nepal have been displaced from their homes.

The UN agency said many of these people were already extremely poor, and families which lost food stocks have nothing to fall back on.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

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