News in Brief 6 September 2017 (AM)

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Young children play outside after the school day ends in rural Nepal. Photo: Aisha Faquir/World Bank

"Nearly zero progress" in reducing global out-of-school rate: UNICEF

The percentage of 6-15-year-olds missing out on school has barely decreased over the past decade, the UN Children's Fund UNICEF  said on Wednesday.

"Pervasive levels of poverty", protracted conflicts, and complex humanitarian emergencies have led to stagnation, UNICEF said.

The agency called for more investment to address the underlying reasons why children are not in the classroom.

In 2007, there were 135 million children missing from class, and the figure today is 123 million, which represents a drop of just over one per cent.

UNICEF Chief of Education, Jo Bourne, said that carrying on with the same approach would not get the most vulnerable children into school, adding that they would just remain "trapped in poverty, deprivation and insecurity".

He said governments and international efforts needed to concentrate on making schools safe and improving teaching and learning.

Attack on MINUSMA convoy in Mali condemned by UN chief

An attack which left two peacekeepers dead from the UN Stablization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, on Tuesday, has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

Two other blue helmets were seriously injured, and the identity of the attackers are so far unknown.

The assault on the MINUSMA convoy took place in the volatile Kidal region, where violent clashes between armed groups in recent months are threatening to derail a 2015 UN-brokered peace agreement.

Northern Mali was overrun by extremists in 2012 following a failed coup.

UN chief António Guterres extended his condolences to the families of the dead, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

He said in a statement that attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

WFP scales up aid to refugees fleeing Myanmar violence

The World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up its efforts to help stateless Rohingya fleeing into Bangladesh, to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

WFP estimates that as many as146,000 refugees have crossed the border and arrived in Cox's Bazar since insurgent attacks sparked off the latest round of violence in late-August.

The UN agency and its partners have delivered emergency supplies such as high-energy biscuits to thousands of daily arrivals, who are fleeing reprisal attacks from Myanmar security forces.

The UN Secretary-General said on Tuesday it was high-time the mainly-Muslim Rohingya's decades-old grievances were addressed by the government of Myanmar.

WFP said it was deeply concerned over the most vulnerable people and their health situation.

Deputy Country Director in Bangladesh, Dipayan Bhattacharya, said in a statement that the agency is redoubling its operations to help vulnerable men, women and children.

He called on the donor community to step up, adding that US$11.3 million was needed to ensure WFP could continue to support the refugees and new arrivals.

More than 530 cases of suspected-cholera in Nigeria's Borno State

The number of suspected cases of cholera in Nigeria's Borno State, has risen above 530, according to the State Ministry of Health.

The first case of the water-borne disease was recorded on 16 August.

The UN Humanitarian Affairs Office (OCHA) said 23 deaths had been recorded so far, mainly in Muna Garage, a camp hosting about 20,000 internally displaced persons on the outskirts of the state capital Maiduguri.

The State Ministry of Health, the Rural Water and Sanitation Agency and humanitarian organisations, including UN agencies, are responding to the outbreak.

An Emergency Operational Centre has been set up to manage the response

Two Oral Rehydration Points are up and running in Muna Garage, and another is planned.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 3'08"

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