News in Brief 18 December 2017 (AM)

18 December 2017

Make migration work for all: UN Secretary-General

Solidarity with the world’s 258 million migrants has never been more urgent, the UN Secretary-General said on Monday.

In his message marking International Migrants Day, António Guterres called for greater recognition of their contributions to society.

He said although evidence “overwhelmingly shows that migrants generate economic, social and cultural benefits for societies everywhere”, hostility towards them is increasing around the world.

The UN chief called for effective international cooperation in managing migration, adding that world leaders have committed to adopt a Global Compact on the issue in 2018.

He said: “As we look ahead, let us commit to making migration work for all.”

Top UN aid official deplores deadly convoy ambush in north-east Nigeria

A deadly ambush on a humanitarian convoy in north-east Nigeria has been condemned by the top UN aid official in the country.

The attack occurred on Saturday on the road between Dikwa and Gamboru in Borno State.

At least four civilians reportedly were killed while basic relief items destined for thousands of people affected by conflict were destroyed.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon described such violence as “unacceptable”, adding that it also affects delivery of life-saving aid to those who need it most.

The UN and its partners are assisting nearly 7 million people in the region, which has experienced years of instability due to the operations of the rebel group Boko Haram.

Hunger decreases in Boko Haram-affected areas: FAO

In more news from north-east Nigeria:

For the first time since the start of the Boko Haram crisis, hunger has “considerably declined” in the three states affected by the violence, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported.

Its latest analysis, published on Monday, reveals that the number of people facing acute hunger has dropped by half since June-August: from 5.2 million to 2.6 million.

FAO said this is due to an overall improved security situation and scaling-up of humanitarian and livelihoods assistance by the government and its partners.

However, the UN agency warned that without “sustained and timely assistance”, this progress could be undone.

FAO provided cowpea, maize, millet, sorghum and vegetable seeds to one million people, including those who have been displaced by the conflict, as well as returned refugees and host communities.

This support helped them get through the rainy season, from June-September.

As the harvest season winds down and a new planting phase begins, FAO is helping communities to transition into the dry season by distributing vegetable seeds, farming kits, fertilizer and irrigation equipment to roughly 780,000 people across the region.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.



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