News in Brief 04 February 2016 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) with Staffan de Mistura, his Special Envoy for Syria, during the Syria Donors Conference 2016 in London. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Record US$10 billion pledged in humanitarian aid for Syria

A record US$10 billion for humanitarian relief in Syria has been pledged by the international community at a UN funding conference in London.

More than half is earmarked to meet immediate needs in 2016 in a country where nearly five years of civil war has killed over 250,000 people.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, had this to say at the end of the day-long conference.

“Never has the international community raised so much money on a single day for a single crisis. I thank again all the participants for their generosity and solidarity in supporting Syrians who are enduring prolonged, horrendous suffering.”

Mr Ban said the money will enable humanitarian workers to continue reaching millions of people with life-saving aid.

UN rights expert calls for prevention of human trafficking in Jordan

A UN human rights expert has called for an end to human trafficking in Jordan by improving working conditions in the country.

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro welcomed what she called Jordan’s “strong commitment to fight trafficking in persons”, but urged the government to make it safer for migrants to come to the country.

She also encouraged the government to address labour exploitation, including domestic servitude, mostly affecting young women from South East Asia and East Africa.

And she said the exploitation of Syrian refugees, including a large number of children in agriculture and other sectors such as construction and garments, had to be stopped.

50,000 need humanitarian aid in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State

Around 50,000 people in Western Equatoria State in South Sudan need assistance following fighting in recent months, the UN’s humanitarian partners in the field have reported.

Aid operations have been hampered by ongoing insecurity and partners continue to engage with all sides to seek the necessary assurances to safely deliver assistance.

Here’s Deputy UN Spokesperson Farhan Haq.

“They are currently distributing essential household items and shelter materials for around 17,500 of the most vulnerable people in Mundri West County, including those whose properties have been looted or burned.”

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’14″