September 25, 2021

News in Brief (PM)

Nearly 5 million people in Burundi food insecure

Around 4.6 million people in Burundi are food insecure and close to 600,000 of them require urgent food aid, the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned.

An assessment conducted by the UN agency across the country indicates that the political crisis has aggravated an already fragile food security situation.

Unrest and related violence has led to lower agricultural production and the loss of jobs has reduced income opportunities and purchasing power.

A crisis erupted last April after Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term.

Peace talks backed by the East African Community were held in Arusha, Tanzania on 21 May to attempt to resolve the crisis, however leading opposition groups were absent.

More than 265,000 Burundians have fled into DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

There are 1,000 new arrivals weekly into these neighbouring countries.

WFP says it needs US$57 million to support operations on the ground for the next six months.

Yemen healthcare system on verge of collapse: UN

The healthcare system throughout Yemen has "all but collapsed", the UN humanitarian agency OCHA has said.

Over 600 facilities are closing their doors because they lack money for medicine, supplies and fuel for generators.

Thousands of medical staff have also gone unpaid or left the country.

In the past year alone, an estimated10,000 children under the age of five have died from preventable diseases, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Meanwhile, peace talks are ongoing in Kuwait, the UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed.

"Three sessions of those talks were completed yesterday, with separate sessions convened with the Yemeni Government delegation and the delegation of Ansarullah and the General People's Congress. At the working [group] level, the parties also discussed the lists that were exchanged earlier this week in order to release a number of detainees before Ramadan."

According to media reports, government forces are preparing to retake control of the capital Sanaa from Houthi rebels.

The special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, urged parties to make concessions and put the interests of the country and its people first.

Mali joins global movement to combat forced labour

Mali has joined the global movement to combat forced labour, including trafficking in persons, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said.

By ratifying the UN protocol, it becomes the third African country to do so, following in the footsteps of Niger and Mauritania.

It is not only making a formal commitment to implement the protocol, but also to mobilize the necessary resources to achieve this, according to a statement released by the agency.

Around 21 million people are victims of forced labour around the world.

The ILO estimates that this exploitation generates some US$150 billion a year in illicit profits.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3'03?

Source: United Nations Radio.