News in Brief 17 March 2017 (PM)

UNHCR condemns attack on refugee boat off Yemen

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has condemned a helicopter assault on a boat carrying refugees across the Red Sea from Yemen to Sudan.

A number of Somali refugees were reportedly among those killed and injured, the agency said, although details of the incident remain unconfirmed.

The conflict in Yemen is continuing along the Taizz governorate's western coast and has now moved into areas adjacent to southern Hudaydah governorate's coastal districts.

Joel Millman of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has more.

"The number of 31 deaths we think might be low. We are aware of 80 plus survivors who have been rescued and brought to hospitals in Hudaydah but we understand that 24 of those cases are considered extremely critical. That may be one reason why the death toll of 31 reported may be higher or there may be others that are in the water that we don't have a full account on."

According to latest figures, the fighting has resulted in the displacement of more than 48,000 people, who have largely sought shelter in more secure areas of Taizz and Hudaydah.

Global migrant deaths and disappearances in 2016 "well over 7,000"

A new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) documented 7,763 deaths of migrants worldwide in 2016, representing a 27 per cent increase compared to 2015.

The number of migrant deaths and disappearances increased "significantly" in many regions of the world, including the Mediterranean, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America, the agency said.

Data collected by IOM's Missing Migrants Project shows that more than 5,085 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, despite increased search and rescue operations.

Here's IOM's Joel Millman again.

"This is a report on the total statistical picture of migrant deaths and disappearances worldwide in 2016. The number is well over 7,000. The data also has maps and quite a lot of interesting anecdotal information. I noticed last night a sidebar that talks about the consequence of the country Chile restoring a visa restriction on tourists from the Dominican Republic, and that consequently, we noticed there were deaths for the first time in many years on that route of migrants from the Dominican Republic."

More than 200,000 refugee children to attend school in Turkey

More than 200,000 refugee children in Turkey are expected to attend school thanks to a large-scale cash transfer project launched by the UN Children's Fund UNICEF and the European Union (EU).

The Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) project, valued at US$ 36.5 million, is the largest ever EU humanitarian contribution to Education in Emergencies.

Turkey is hosting more than three million refugees, almost half of whom are children.

Of them, half a million are already enrolled in school. However, more than 370,000 remain outside the classroom.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said the move would be a "major step in preventing a lost generation".

Source: United Nations Radio