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With food still priority in typhoon-hit Philippines, UN boosts relief efforts

The United Nations is mustering planes, ferries and trucks to boost its relief efforts in the Philippines, with food still a priority almost three weeks after Typhoon Haiyan ripped into the country, killing over 5,230 people and affecting more than 13 million others, nearly 3.5 million of them left homeless.

Kenya: Somali repatriation process must be voluntary, UN agency stresses

The agreement signed earlier this month between the United Nations refugee agency and the Governments of Somalia and Kenya supports the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees, a UNHCR spokesperson has stressed, reiterating that the parties are not forcing anyone to return to Somalia.

Gaza fuel crisis, left unaddressed, could result in humanitarian catastrophe – UN expert

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called for urgent action to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, where a power shortage has disrupted health services, sent raw sewage flooding into the streets and left 1.7 million Palestinians in a dire situation.

New UN guidelines address specific needs of millions of adolescents with HIV

Ahead of this year's World AIDS Day, the United Nations health agency has launched new recommendations to address the specific needs of adolescents – both those living with HIV and those who are at risk of infection – many of whom do not receive the care and support they need.

Glass of llama milk? UN agency urges greater access to non-traditional dairy products

Milk and dairy products from underutilized animals such as llama, donkey or yak should be more widely used to counteract high cow milk prices, the United Nations food agency today said urging Governments to invest in programmes that help poor families keep small dairy livestock.

Security Council urges Lebanese parties to make haste on government formation efforts

As consultations continue on the formation of a new government in Lebanon, the United Nations Security Council today urged all parties there to engage constructively to achieve this goal ‘as soon as possible.”

Australia’s transfer of asylum-seekers to Pacific islands faulted in UN reports

Asylum-seekers transferred from Australia to Pacific island processing centres, including survivors of torture and trauma and unaccompanied children, are living in arbitrary detention and harsh physical conditions that do not meet international standards, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

Back from DR Congo, senior UN official urges more focus on protection of children

Former child soldiers and girls used as sex slaves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) desperately wish to be reunited with their communities – to return to school or get jobs ¬ a United Nations envoy said today, urging authorities to seize every opportunity to better protect children affected by conflict-related violence.

Joint African-UN envoy fosters effort to bring all Darfur groups into peace process

In an effort to bring all groups in Sudan’s conflict-wracked Darfur region into the peace process, the joint African Union-United Nations mediator has held talks with Chadian President Idriss Déby, seeking his support.

UN rights office names hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ‘equality champions’

The United Nations campaign promoting greater respect for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons worldwide got a boost today from rapper Macklemore and music producer Ryan Lewis, who have been designated Equality Champions.