News in Brief 8 March 2017 (AM)

8 March 2017

Security Council condemns latest DPRK missile launch

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the latest ballistic missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The country reportedly fired four ballistic missiles on Monday, a violation of successive Council resolutions.

The 15 ambassadors have issued a statement saying such activities increase tension in the region and beyond, and contribute to the risk of a regional arms race.

They also expressed serious concern over what they labelled the DPRK’s “increasingly destabalising behaviour and defiance of the Security Council.”

Supporting Syria’s women and girls a priority: UN aid official

Responding to the needs of Syrian women and girls affected by the conflict in their homeland is “an absolute priority” for the humanitarian community, a senior UN aid official has said.

The comment by UN Regional Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Kevin Kennedy, came in a statement marking International Women’s Day observed this Wednesday.

He said, “It’s imperative we do more.”

Women and girls account for more than half of the 13.5 million people across Syria who require humanitarian assistance and protection.

Mr Kennedy reported that they face the daily threat of gender-based violence while conservative practices imposed by extremist groups in some part of the country—for example, dress codes—also have a negative impact on their lives.

“Reports of abductions, killings, trafficking, forced marriage and sexual violence are alarming,” he added.

UNICEF polio campaign vaccinates five million children in Yemen

A nationwide door-to-door polio vaccination campaign in Yemen has reached five million youngsters under the age of five, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced on Wednesday.

The campaign was carried out by the UN agency and its partners and was the first of its kind for the year.

Some 40,000 vaccinators provided children with oral polio vaccine and vitamin A supplements.

Yemen is in the midst of a conflict and UNICEF Representative in the country Dr Meritxell Relaño reported that “in the last two years, more children have died from preventable diseases than those killed in the violence.”

UNICEF added that the campaign comes at a critical time as children in Yemen are living on the brink of famine.

At the same time, more than half of the medical facilities there are no longer functional and the health system is on the verge of collapse.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’32”


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