News in Brief 16 February 2016 (PM)

African countries unite to tackle crop pest infestation

Sixteen countries in east and southern Africa have agreed on taking action to boost their ability to manage emerging crop pests and livestock diseases.

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From the Field: True grit in the minefields of South Sudan

From a distance, the vehicle seemed like a white speck on the horizon, bouncing along – at great speed – the rough, unfinished roads of South Sudan, still about a half-hour south of the compound belonging to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), in the capital, Juba.

Marking first ever mine action day, UN calls for ban and clean-up funds

From the front line of the battle against the deadly legacy of landmines in Iraq and Sudan to command offices throughout the world, the United Nations today marked the first International Day dedicated to curbing the scourge with calls for a universal ban and pleas for greater donor support in cleaning up these remnants of war.

European Commission pledges over $10 million for UN mine clearing efforts in Afghanistan

The European Commission has pledged over $10 million to the United Nations Mine Action Service for its work in Afghanistan – a move that was immediately hailed by a senior UN official.

UN kicks off second phase of $50 million demining effort in south Lebanon

The United Nations today launched the second phase of a $50 million project which aims to remove potentially deadly landmines from south Lebanon.

UN transfers logistics base in Lebanon to Government for use as anti-mine hub

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today transferred its logistics base in Tyre to the country's Government for use as a mine action coordination centre.

UN logistics base in Lebanon to serve as coordinating hub for demining effort

Supporting the Government of Lebanon's ongoing efforts to rid the country of deadly landmines, the United Nations peacekeeping mission there today announced that it would transform its Tyre Logistics Base into a coordinating centre for the anti-mine campaign.

With new mines laid every year, more funds needed for clearance work: Annan

Despite significant progress over the past year in the United Nations' anti-landmine work, new explosive ordnances continue to be laid in many parts of the world, requiring a greater financial commitment on the part of the international donor community, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report issued today in New York.

Air strikes against Afghan city of Herat send civilians fleeing, UN reports

Some 70 per cent of the population of the Afghan city of Herat has fled to surrounding villages in the wake of recent air strikes, which included the use of cluster bombs, the United Nations reported today.

Afghanistan: UN demining project warns of new risks from unexploded bombs

A senior official with the United Nations mine clearing programme in Afghanistan today voiced concern that people moving around in the areas that have been heavily bombarded could face additional risk from unexploded ordnance.