News in Brief 10 October 2017 (PM)

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The UN continues to be alarmed over the impact of fighting on the Syrian people. Here are displaced children and adults seen after fleeing from ISIL-controlled areas in rural Raqqa, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Soulaiman (file)

Continued fighting, airstrikes, threaten thousands in Syria's Deir-ez-Zour

The UN voiced continuing alarm over the impact of fighting and airstrikes on civilians in Syria's Deir-ez-Zour governorate on Tuesday.

Between 1 and 8 October, around 95,000 were reportedly displaced to as many as 60 different locations in and around the governorate, as forces from both the United States-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian army battle Daesh terrorist fighters.

Daesh, or ISIL, besieged the city of Deir-ez-Zour for the past three years, until government forces broke the siege last month.

Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric updated reporters at Tuesday's briefing at UN Headquarters.

"Fifteen thousand residents of the city of Al-Mayadeen and surrounding areas are reportedly without access to health services following a string of reported airstrikes on the city which have rendered all hospitals and medical points in the city inoperable. Meanwhile more than six years of hostilities have left less than half of Syria's health facilities fully operational, contributing to thousands of avoidable deaths from injury or illness."

Improved mental health in the workplace benefits everyone

Dealing with mental health issues at work makes for a healthier and more productive environment.

That's one of the key messages being conveyed on World Mental Health Day, marked on Tuesday, said the World Health Organization (WHO).

It aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize efforts in support of improving mental health everywhere.

More details from the UN's Stéphane Dujarric again.

"According to WHO, a negative working environment may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances, absenteeism and lost productivity. However, employers and managers who put in place initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work.

FAO-led initiative to tackle "wildmeat crisis", ensure food security

A new multi-partner initiative was launched on Tuesday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to protect biodiversity and improve food security.

This €45 million project, funded by the European Commission, aims to help African, Caribbean and Pacific countries change eating habits away from consuming wildmeat, to other animal protein sources.

Here’s José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General, speaking at the launch of the initiative.

“Wildlife has ecological, social and economic value…This (programme) will protect wildlife species, conserve biodiversity, and maintain the essential ecological roles of wildlife. It will also help to secure the stocks and ecosystems services that are essential to the livelihoods of the poorest communities on the planet”.

FAO says that over-hunting and unsustainable fishing has left many families who make a living off the land facing a "wildmeat crisis" and becoming food insecure.

Therefore, the project was fulfilling a "double purpose" of reducing unregulated hunting in the wild and improving food security for millions of rural people.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’52″

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