News in Brief 27 March 2017 (AM)

Still time to avert catastrophe in Yemen: UN humanitarian chief warns

A catastrophe can still be averted in Yemen, but without immediate funding, it will be too late, the Under-Secretary-General of Humanitarian Affairs has warned.

Stephen O'Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, issued a statement on Monday marking the second year of conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

Three million people have been displaced from their homes because of conflict, insecurity and what O'Brien described as the "cynical tactics of warring parties."

Yemen's economy is wrecked and the man-made conflict has brought the country to the brink of famine.

Nearly 19 million Yemenis, over two-thirds of the population, need humanitarian assistance. Seven million of them are facing starvation.

Children continue to pay the heaviest price, with half a million of them suffering from acute malnutrition, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The UN and partners are already providing life-saving assistance in all of Yemen's 22 governorates, currently reaching 6 million people every month.

New humanitarian corridor for the delivery of food aid into South Sudan opens

The Government of Sudan has opened a new humanitarian corridor for the delivery of emergency food aid into neighbouring South Sudan.

Marta Ruedas, the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan welcomed the news on Monday.

Famine in South Sudan is growing and at least 7.5 million people across the country need humanitarian assistance.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) will transport food aid from El Obeid in central Sudan to Bentiu, a town in Unity State, South Sudan where 100,000 people are facing starvation.

Seven convoys of 30-40 trucks are expected to carry enough sorghum this week to feed 300,000 people.

The convoys will take up to four days to complete the 500km journey.

The humanitarian corridor will also help reduce reliance on air operations, which cost 6 to 7 times more than moving food by river and land.

Sudan is also currently hosting 350,000 South Sudanese refugees who fled there when the conflict erupted in December 2013.

Handbook for journalists covering terrorism launched by UN cultural agency

A handbook for journalists covering terrorism and violent extremism in the media has been launched by the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

The guide is designed to help journalists carry out their work of informing the public while avoiding the risk of actually helping terrorists achieve their aim of dividing societies and turning people against each other.

It also aims to raise journalists' awareness of the need to exercise caution and examine carefully who they quote, what messages they relay and how they contextualize the information they give, despite the pressures to win readers, viewers and listeners.

The publication also addresses the way journalists report on the victims of terror, handle rumours, report on the authorities' investigations, conduct interviews with terrorists and report on their trials.

A separate chapter is dedicated to the safety of journalists, including kidnappings, and traumas that reporters might be exposed to.

Source: United Nations Radio