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Friday’s Daily Brief: 12 million may miss school, Bangladesh and Mali updates, Kenya’s malaria vaccine, land degradation pact

Around 12 million children may never see a classroom, UN data reveals

New data published by the United Nations cultural agency on Friday, reveals that without taking urgent measures, around 12 million young children will never set foot inside a school, with girls facing “the greatest barriers”.

“According to our projections, nine million girls of primary school age will never start school or set foot in a classroom, compared to about three million boys”, said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  

Read our story here.

Monsoon rains flatten Rohingya shelters, spark biggest WFP response this year

Monsoon rains have inundated shelters in refugee camps in southern Bangladesh creating “havoc”, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, as it launched its biggest emergency response of the year for displaced Rohingya families.

WFP spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel said that 16,000 people had received food assistance in just 24 hours, after flooding in Cox’s Bazar that was much worse than usual: “The families lost everything because all that was in the house was basically washed away”.

Full details here.

3.9 million people in Mali need humanitarian help – OCHA

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Mali has spiked since the beginning of the year, to 3.9 million – or one in five people, UN aid coordinating agency OCHA said on Friday.

It says the number of internally displaced persons has doubled over the same period, to more than 168,000, amid growing insecurity caused by inter-communal conflict in the north and centre of the country.

Rising food insecurity is also widespread, with more than half a million people now described as severely food insecure in Mali.

To meet rising needs, humanitarians say they need $324 million.

But despite the increasing numbers of vulnerable people, the plan is only 30 per cent funded.

‘Landmark’ malaria vaccine launches in Kenya – WHO

In Kenya, trials began on the world’s first malaria vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO)  announced on Friday.

Welcoming the initiative, which follows a recent surge in malaria infections and deaths, the UN health agency said that the vaccine will “significantly reduce” the disease in children.

Today, malaria claims the life of a child every two minutes and it is a leading killer of under five-year-olds in Kenya.

The vaccine, known as RTS,S, will be available to children from six months of age in selected areas of the country.

As trials got under way in Homa Bay County in western Kenya on Friday, WHORegional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said that if introduced widely, the vaccine had the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.

Kenya is the third country to trial the vaccine, after Ghana and Malawi.

Delhi Declaration: Countries agree to make ‘land degradation neutrality’ by 2030, a national target for action

A major UN conference on fighting desertification agreed on Friday to make the Sustainable Development Goal target of achieving “land degradation neutrality” (LDN), a national target for action.

The Governments which are party to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), met in the Indian capital of New Delhi over ten days for COP14, adopting a series of breakthrough measures in the accord, known as the Delhi Declaration.

Here’s our full coverage.


Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 13 September, on Soundcloud:


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