This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Monsoon rains flatten Rohingya shelters, spark biggest WFP response this year
Monsoon rains have inundated shelters in refugee camps in southern Bangladesh creating “havoc”, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, as it launched its biggest emergency response of the year for displaced Rohingya families.
WFP spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel said that 16,000 people had received food assistance in just 24 hours, after flooding in Cox’s Bazar that was much worse than usual:
“The families lost everything because all that was in the house was basically washed away; what they use as a bed or what they use to cook, or everything was basically lost. They have nothing to cook, they have nothing to sleep, most of the clothes have been lost. Basically, the little things that they’ve rebuilt since they arrived in the camp was lost in one night of rain.”
Host communities have also been badly affected, according to WFP, with more than 800 people temporarily displaced by flooding now getting help.
In an appeal for funding, the WFP official explained that it costs $16 million every month to feed almost 900,000 refugees in Cox’s Bazar.
The mainly Rohingya refugees have been there since fleeing the Myanmar military in the summer of 2017.
For the time being, the UN agency has supplies pre-positioned at strategic locations around the camps which can be distributed quickly.
3.9 million people in Mali need humanitarian help – OCHA
To Mali now, where the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has spiked since the beginning of the year, to 3.9 million – or one in five people, UN aid coordinating agency OCHA said on Friday.
It says the number of internally displaced persons has doubled over the same period, to more than 168,000, amid growing insecurity caused by inter-communal conflict in the north and centre of the country.
Rising food insecurity is also widespread, with more than half a million people now described as severely food insecure in Mali.
To meet rising needs, humanitarians say they need $324 million.
But despite the increasing numbers of vulnerable people, the plan is only 30 per cent funded.
‘Landmark’ malaria vaccine launches in Kenya - WHO
And finally to Kenya, where trials began on Friday on the world’s first malaria vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.
Welcoming the initiative, which follows a recent surge in malaria infections and deaths, the UN health agency said that the vaccine will “significantly reduce” the disease in children.
Today, malaria claims the life of a child every two minutes and it is a leading killer of under five-year-olds in Kenya.
The vaccine, known as RTS,S, will be available to children from six months of age in selected areas of the country.
As trials got under way in Homa Bay County in western Kenya on Friday, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said that if introduced widely, the vaccine had the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.
Kenya is the third country to trial the vaccine, after Ghana and Malawi.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.