UN News in Brief 16 May 2016

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on Kosovo. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
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  • Kosovo still facing “hard realities” despite election of new president

    Kosovo is still facing “hard realities” when it comes to national development and the economy, the UN Security Council heard on Monday.

    Delivering a briefing on the Balkan country, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, the UN Special Representative in Kosovo said that the election of a new president, provided an “excellent opportunity” to make improvements.

    Zahir Tanin, told the Council that together with a new administration in Serbia, the two countries could “d aw a line” under a period that had been marked by political tensions.

    Here’s UN Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

    “Mr Tanin said that Kosovo still faces the hard realities caused by unemployment, inequality, the challenges of developing a productive economy to meet sustainable development goals, the need to overcome legacies of impunity, and weaknesses in its rule of law institutions.”

    Afghan government launches national polio vaccination campaign for under-5s

    The Afghan government has announced a national campaign to vaccinate every child under the age of 5 against polio.

    The four-day campaign will be carried out with the support of the World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund, (UNICEF).

    Around 65,000 trained health workers are due to vaccinate more than nine million children, and also distribute de-worming tablets.

    Richard Pepperkorn, WHO Country Representative, said they needed to reach “all children with life-saving polio vaccines, in order to protect…health and make Afghanistan polio-free.”

    Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only remaining polio-endemic countries in the world. So far this year there have been five polio cases in Afghanistan.

    International community “must continue” support for quake victims in Ecuador

    The international community “must continue” to support “devastated” towns and villages in Ecuador, a month after the earthquake that killed nearly 700 people.

    That’s according to the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief, Stephen O’Brien, who issued a statement, highlighting the efforts being made to support the hundreds of thousands of people who remain affected.

    He said that a disaster appeal for Ecuador following the earthquake was only 15 per cent funded, and he urged donors to step up and “give generously.”

    Meanwhile, up to 100 babies on average are being born each day, in the provinces worst hit, according to UNICEF.

    “In a region where one in five children suffer from diarrhoea and chronic malnutrition” said UNICEF representative Grant Leaity, “it is essential to provide these babies with the basic needs to survive and thrive.”

    Matthew Wells, United Nations.

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