News in Brief 09 November 2017 (PM)

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The UN Central Emergency Response Fund has provided resources to address immediate needs in Central African Republic, but more is urgently needed to meet the scale of the challenge. Photo:MINUSCA/Nektarios Markogiannis

Humanitarian crisis in CAR "at worst level to date": Resident Coordinator

The humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has reached its "worst level to date" this year, following increasing violence between armed groups, and government forces.

That's according to Najat Rochdi, who is the UN's Resident Coordinator in the country, and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative.

She said the government of CAR was struggling to provide even basic services outside the two largest cities, and for many civilians in rural areas, access to aid is "the difference between life and death".

"One in four Central Africans is either a refugee or internally-displaced. Which renders reconciliation and rebuilding of the country, extremely challenging given the level of fragility and vulnerability of those people."

Accessing aid in Myanmar's Rakhine state "remains extremely challenging"

Humanitarian access to Myanmar's northern Rakhine State remains "extremely challenging" the UN said on Thursday, with the government still granting "almost no access" to aid.

The Red Cross Movement is continuing to provide assistance to those in need in the state; which is home to hundreds-of-thousands of mainly-Muslim Rohingyas, more than 600,000 of whom have fled across the border into Bangladesh.

Here's UN Spokeperson, Stéphane Dujarric, briefing reporters in New York.

"The Secretary-General has called for full and unfettered access for aid workers in Myanmar, including in Rakhine State, and we continue to encourage the Government to implement this call to ensure that all those in need receive assistance. As a result of the overall limitations on access, the UN has not been able to conduct an independent comprehensive needs assessment in northern Rakhine."

33 verification teams now "operational" across Colombia: UN Mission

The UN Mission in Colombia, has put 33 verification teams in place across the country, in order to monitor the ceasefire between the government and the National Liberation Army, or ELN.

The last remaining rebel group agreed to a ceasefire a few weeks ago, following the historic decision by FARC rebels earlier in the year, to give up their armed struggle.

In a joint press release with the Episcopal church conference in Colombia, the Mission said that the teams were fully operational.

Here's Stéphane Dujarric again.

"In several regions of Colombia, the humanitarian situation of the population has been positively impacted by the suspension of armed confrontation. In others, serious challenges remain, such as the violence in Tumaco in October, in which several peasants were killed, and the murder of the governor and indigenous leader Aulio Isarama Forastero. The UN Mission and the Episcopal Conference call upon the parties to undertake all possible efforts to avoid incidents that put communities at risk and to maintain their commitment to the work of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism."

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’29″

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