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Thursday’s Daily Brief: Harrowing terrorist survivors’ stories, children first in Mediterranean rescues, Yemen and Switzerland updates, new SDG Advocates speak out

First-hand accounts of Boko Haram terrorism survivors

To mark the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, on 21 August, UN News travelled to Chad and the Far North region of Cameroon in West Africa earlier this year, to interview people who have personal stories to tell, about how terrorism has shattered their lives.

Hawa Abdu shared her experience in her own words.

Read about Kedra Abakar’s first-hand ordeal here.

And listen to why some youth become involved with terrorism:

Children’s lives in Mediterranean Sea must take priority over politics, says UNICEF

The fate of 130 children on board two rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea should not be put at risk by political point-scoring, the UN said on Thursday, amid ongoing uncertainty about whether the vessels will be allowed to dock in Italy.

The appeal by UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, to European Governments to prevent EU-bound migrants and refugees from being stranded at sea, follows the signing of a second Italian decree banning humanitarian vessels from entering the country.

Here’s our full coverage.

UN steps up efforts against Dengue fever in Yemen 

The World Health Organization, or WHO, has stepped up measures in Yemen to control the spread of dengue fever, a severe, flu-like illness. 

In a tweet on Thursday, the UN agency said that staff had concluded a second round of dengue prevention measures in Taiz, Yemen’s third city. 

The aim is to help more than 430,000 people in four districts of the embattled city to avoid the mosquito-borne viral infection, which is endemic in Yemen. 

The development comes after more than four years of conflict between Government and opposition Houthi forces that have shattered health and other public services in Yemen, killed thousands of civilians and brought millions close to famine. 

WHO welcomes Switzerland’s decision to end tobacco deal at Dubai Expo 

The Swiss Government’s decision to decline a sponsorship deal with a  major tobacco firm is a welcome move that other countries should follow, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. 

Responding to reports that Switzerland has reconsidered the support of Philip Morris International at the Dubai World Expo 2020, WHO said that “featuring a …producer of tobacco products and cigarettes — the only product that is known to kill half of its consumers – goes against the theme” of next year’s expo in the United Arab Emirates, namely “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.  

In a statement, WHO insisted that tobacco addiction linked to industry’s “aggressive marketing” of its products causes “suffering and millions of deaths each year”. 

Its warning comes amid reports that tobacco companies are aiming to establish new partnerships with governments to sponsor events or pavilions around the world, WHO explained. 

All Governments should “proactively aspire” to reduce the number of people who smoke, the UN agency stressed, in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). 

Gender equality, education and the environment at the forefront of new SDG Advocate campaigns

And finally, a special UN News interview feature story: Back in May, six innovative public figures joined the battle to push the world towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Each of the new official SDG Advocates committed themselves to pursue the 17 goals on behalf of “peace, prosperity, people, planet, and partnerships.”

As we inch closer to the SDG Summit in September, UN News caught up with some of them.

See what they have to say here.


Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 15 August on SoundCloud:

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