News in Brief 21 September 2017 (AM)

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Dasha, 17, studies in her room at her home in the village of Hranitne, Ukraine. Photo: UNICEF/UN058458/Kozalov

New UNESCO data reveals need for greater investment in education

Worldwide, 617 million boys and girls are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, signalling a "learning crisis" that could threaten progress.

The warning follows the release of new data on Thursday by the statistical agency of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It reveals that 387 million children of primary school age and 230 million adolescents globally are not learning these two fundamental subjects.

However, what is most alarming is that the majority of these youngsters are in school.

The head of UNESCO's Institute for Statistics, Silvia Montoya, called the figures "staggering."

"We can reach these kids, but not by simply hoping that they stay in school and grasp the basics," she said, describing the new data as "a wake-up call for far greater investment in the quality of education."

Saudi Arabia aid organization supports Rohingya in Bangladesh

One hundred tonnes of food, shelter and relief items, including tents, sleeping mats and blankets, are being airlifted to Bangladesh to support scores of people who have fled violence in neighbouring Myanmar.

The donation has been provided by Saudi Arabia's King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works, in close cooperation with the UN's migration agency, IOM.

The supplies are expected to arrive on Friday.

IOM Bangladesh will organize a convoy of 20 trucks to deliver the items to the Cox's Bazar district where an estimated 420,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have arrived since late August.

IOM said more than half are living in spontaneous camp sites with little access to shelter, food, clean water and sanitation.

Zimbabwean blue helmet top UN woman police peacekeeper

A UN peacekeeper serving in the Abyei area between Sudan and South Sudan has been honoured for her work in helping local communities to change how they handle issues such as rape and child marriage.

Annah Chota from Zimbabwe was presented with the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award during a conference in Australia earlier this week.

The award, which has been presented annually since 2011, recognizes the accomplishments of women police officers serving with the UN.

Ms Chota heads the Gender and Children Affairs unit in the police component of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA).

Through organizing training workshops and campaigns, she has contributed to a shift in how communities there deal with rape, domestic violence, child marriage and forced marriage, by recognizing rape of a wife by a husband as an offence.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’55″

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