News in Brief 18 September 2017 (AM)

Nearly US$10 million needed “urgently” for north-east Nigeria cholera response

The UN and other aid partners launched an emergency appeal for US$9.9 million on Monday, to respond to the ongoing cholera outbreak in north-east Nigeria, and prevent further outbreaks in high-risk areas.

The region has been suffering from a conflict-driven humanitarian and economic crisis for years, generated by the Boko Haram terrorist group, which has destabilized the entire Lake Chad Basin area.

The cholera outbreak has claimed at least 44 lives so far, out of nearly 2,300 confirmed or suspected cases, said the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA).

Aid partners have been “working around the clock” supporting the Borno State Ministry of Health to contain the outbreak, and four specialized treatment centres and seven oral rehydration points have been set up in affected areas.

“We must tackle this urgently to avoid preventable suffering and loss of life,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Peter Lundberg.

He said a “holistic and comprehensive response” was needed with a clear prevention strategy over the next few months.

Around 8.5 million people are in need of life-saving aid across north-east Nigeria; 6.9 million of whom need humanitarian assistance.

Victims of Hurricanes Irma and Jose need millions to rebuild: IOM

The communities uprooted by Category Five hurricanes Irma and Jose, need close to US$5 million in order to rebuild, said the UN Migration Agency (IOM) on Monday.

IOM launched the appeal to provide humanitarian relief and ensure a “fast resilience-focused recovery” for the Leeward Islands; the eastern Caribbean region; the sub-Bahamian region, Cuba and the United States.

The agency said it had deployed a so-called “surge team” of six experts to support efforts led by its offices in the affected countries.

The team has expertise in camp coordination and management, displacement tracking, core-relief support and reducing gender-based violence.

Across 16 countries and overseas territories, just over 20 per cent of the combined population of 26 million people has suffered due to damage caused by the deadly hurricanes.

1.5 million at risk due to lack of school meal funds in West and Central Africa

More than 1.5 million vulnerable children across West and Central Africa are at risk of chronic hunger or dropping out of school, owing to a lack of funding for classroom meals.

That warning on Monday from the World Food Programme (WFP) comes at the beginning of the school year.

WFP’s regional programme faces a US$76 million shortfall, the agency warns, as experts met in Canada for an annual forum on child nutrition co-sponsored by WFP.

The agency said the repercussions would be “dramatic” as the lunches and snacks it provides “are the only meal many youngsters eat all day”.

“By failing to fully-fund school meals, we are collectively short-changing the next generation and Africa’s future,” added WFP regional director, Abdou Dieng.

“School meals are one of the best investments the international community can make to ensure a head start for young children in some of the world’s poorest countries,” he added.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief appointed to new term

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, has been appointed to a further four-year term in charge of the nuclear watchdog.

The agency, which promotes the safe, secure and peaceful use of atomic energy, is marking its 60th anniversary this year.

Mr Amano thanked Member States for their “trust and confidence” and said that in the coming years he would “continue to implement our Atoms for Peace and Development mandate energetically, and in an impartial and transparent manner”.

In his acceptance speech, he stressed that under the terms of the 2016 nuclear deal, Iran was now subject to “the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime”.

He added that the continuing nuclear programme of North Korea was “a matter of grave concern” and its latest nuclear test of 3 September, was “extremely regrettable”.

Source: United Nations Radio

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