This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Investigation continues into mystery virus
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that it is still unclear how a new respiratory virus, discovered in China, is transmitted.
Chinese authorities have declared that there is no clear evidence that novel coronavirus can be spread from human to human.
On Tuesday, the WHO warned that although the only cases so far indicated animal transmission, “human to human transmission is always a concern when patients have respiratory symptoms, this requires further investigation.”
Novel coronavirus – which is believed to have infected 41 people and claimed one life – was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, at the end of December. You can find more details of this story on the UN News Website.
Hundreds of migrants sent to Libya detention centres
Hundreds of migrants who fled Libya by sea since the start of the year, many escaping intensifying clashes in Tripoli, have been sent to detention centres in the capital.
More than 950 migrants have been returned to Libyan shores so far this year, and search and rescue vessels run by NGOs have reported rescuing 237 others.
On Tuesday, the UN migration agency, IOM, described the rise in the numbers of migrants attempting to leave the country as alarming, given the very limited search and rescue capacity in the Mediterranean.
Thousands of people are being held in conditions described by IOM as inhumane, and the agency has repeatedly called for the detention system to be dismantled, and for migrants to be released.
UN launches multi-million funding appeal for refugees in Sudan
Some quarter of a million people are displaced from their homes in Sudan, which also hosts around 900,000 refugees and, to support these vulnerable people, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has launched a $477 million funding appeal for 2020.
The Sudan Refugee Response Plan covers the funding needs for the humanitarian activities planned by UNHCR and its partners in the coming year, at a time when the country is facing a severe economic crisis, and going through an historic political transition.
The largest group of refugees in the country are from South Sudan, and thousands more have crossed the border from the Central African Republic since September of last year.
Conor Lennon, UN News.