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Paralympic refugee sports liven Syrian boy’s dark past

The first ever Paralympic refugee sports team is providing refugees with disabilities a new way to heal from their traumatic experiences.

Paralyzed from the waist down by a bomb attack on his home in Syria, 13-year-old Najib Alhaj found out about the UN Refugee Agency, or UNHCR-supported training squad in the Greek capital, Athens, after fleeing Syria with his family.

Two years on and Najib is now part of the team, developing his full sporting potential, despite his injuries.

Natalie Hutchison has the story.

Duration: 2'14"


Good news from Syria: vaccination centres re-open

Parents in north-west Syria now have access to more than 35 re-opened vaccination centres where they can bring their children for life-saving protection, the UN said on Friday.

World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Christain Lindmeier explained that the move is hugely important for communities in Idlib and Hama left vulnerable to 10 preventable diseases, including whooping cough and tuberculosis.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Up to 50,000 civilians trapped in Raqqa with “no way out”: OCHA

Up to 50,000 civilians remain trapped in the former Daesh, or ISIL, terrorist stronghold of Raqqa, with “no way for them to get out.”

That’s the chilling assessment of the Assistant Secretary-General for the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, briefing the Security Council on latest developments in Syria.

Matt Wells has more on Thursday's meeting.

Duration: 2'31"

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Syria inquiry chief laments “disastrous” civilian death toll

Conflict in Syria continues to rage with “disastrous consequences” for civilians who continue to bear the brunt of the six-year war, a leading rights investigator said on Wednesday.

In an update to the Human Rights Council, Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, appealed to the warring parties to stop fighting and get back to the negotiating table.

UN Gender Focus Special: Syrian refugee's story of survival

A young Syrian refugee woman’s remarkable story of surviving “one of the worst shipwrecks in the Mediterranean” has been told in a book written by the chief spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Melissa Fleming recently presented ‘A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea’ at UN Headquarters in New York.

Although she has heard many stories of resilience over the course of her career, Doaa Al Zamel’s story haunted her, Ms Fleming said.

UN Photo/Manuel Elías

Astana talks “promising step” says UN special envoy for Syria

Talks in Khazakstan aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict have been described as “promising” by the UN special envoy for Syria.

Staffan de Mistura made the remarks on Monday during a briefing to the Security Council in New York via video-teleconference from Geneva in Switzerland.

Since March 2011, Syria has been in the throes of a conflict that has forced more than half of all Syrians to leave their homes.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

Duration: 2'53"