News in Brief 15 November 2017 (PM)

New record for Afghan opium production

Opium production in Afghanistan has jumped to a record level this year, up by 87 per cent compared to 2016.

That's according to the latest survey by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), published on Wednesday.

It reveals that the area under opium poppy cultivation also increased to a record 328,000 hectares in 2017: a 63 per cent increase compared with the 2016 figure of 201,000 hectares.

UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq has more details:

"UNODC said the increase in production is mainly a result of an increase in the area under opium poppy cultivation, while an increase in opium yield per hectare also contributed. The agency also noted that a lack of quality education, scarce employment opportunities, and limited access to financial markets and services, are turning people to opium cultivation, and it called on the Government and the international community to reprioritize drug control in the country."

Yemen cholera cases surpass 925,000

There are now more than 925,000 suspected cases of cholera in Yemen, with more than 2,200 associated deaths, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

And while aid workers continue to respond to the outbreak, they warn that fuel to run hospital generators and to pump clean water will run out in less than three weeks.

At the same time, vaccines to treat diphtheria will also run out in the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, ships and planes carrying humanitarian supplies to Yemen have been unable to reach the country due to a blockade implemented earlier this month.

The cholera epidemic in Yemen is the world's worst, according to UN agencies.

It comes amid ongoing conflict, with 17 million citizens´┐Żor, more than two-thirds of the population´┐Żfacing food insecurity.

New UN tour targets children 5-10

Children visiting UN Headquarters in New York will now be able to see the global organization from their perspective.

UN Visitor Services has devised a tour of the iconic facilities of the global organization for 5 to 10-year-olds.

UN Kids Corridor mirrors the different stops of the regular UN tour route, but in a child-friendly way.

Among its attractions are wall-sized world maps, mounted flags of the 15 countries that make up the Security Council, and a real-size refugee tent.

Local children joined the head of the UN's Department of Public Information, Alison Smale, at the inauguration ceremony held on Wednesday morning.

Source: United Nations Radio