This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
A decade of conflict in Syria
As the Syria conflict enters its tenth year, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock has issued an urgent appeal for additional lifesaving aid.
Outlining the devastating impact that nine years of conflict has had on the people of the war-torn country he noted that the conflict has produced more than 5.6 million refugees, 6.1 million internally-displaced, and left more than 11 million citizens in need of humanitarian assistance, including 4.8 million children.
Up to 70 per cent of the health workforce has left the country and only 64 per cent of hospitals and 52 per cent of primary healthcare centers across Syria, were fully functional as of the end of last year.
At the same time, some eight million Syrians lack reliable access to food, which, in just one year, has increased by more than 20 per cent. Some 500,000 children are chronically malnourished.
Brazilian mountain farmers honoured
Farmers who gather flowers from the Espinhaço Mountain Range in Brazil received well-deserved recognition on Wednesday for their crucial role in enhancing biodiversity and preserving traditional knowledge.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has, for the first time, recognized these traditional farmers of the Sempre Vivas National Park, by including them on its global agricultural heritage list, or Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems.
The Espinhaço's unique landscapes and ecosystems not only make the mountain range the most biodiverse on the planet, but also plays a crucial role in regulating the region's rainfall.
And the complex agricultural system, which combines flower gathering, agroforestry, livestock grazing and crop cultivation, is based on a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices passed on from generation to generation, helping people achieve harmony with the environment while ensuring food and livelihood security.
Educate children in their mother tongue – UN expert
And keeping with the preservation of traditional cultures, an independent UN expert told the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday that children of linguistic minorities must be taught in their own language.
According to Fernand de Varennes, the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, this was not only necessary for inclusive, quality education but also to respect the human rights of all children.
He said that “education in a minority’s mother tongue…is more cost-effective…reduces dropout rates” and leads to “noticeably better academic results, particularly for girls.”
Beyond these numerous benefits, he pointed out in his report that failing to use minority languages where possible, could be discriminatory, in breach of States’ human rights obligations, and inconsistent with Sustainable Development Goal 4, which calls for inclusive and quality education for all.
Matt Wells, UN News.