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Libyan Newswire

News in Brief 06 May 2016 (AM)

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Tripoli, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL/Abbas Toumi

Newborn deaths show scale of health system decline in Libya

The death of 12 newborns over the past month at the only neonatal intensive care unit in southern Libya reflects the “major breakdown” of the country’s health system, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The infants died from a bacterial infection and lack of specialized staff to provide medical care, the UN agency reported.

WHO said these “tragic deaths” could easily have been prevented.

Libya’s weakened health care system is on the brink of collapse, according to WHO.

Critical shortages in health care workers and medicines are affecting nearly two million people

The agency fears more lives will be lost if urgent action is not taken.

Nuclear security agreement enters into force

A key agreement on nuclear security will make the world a safer place, the head of the UN’s atomic energy agency, IAEA, has said.

The Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material enters into force this Sunday, more than a decade after its adoption.

Under the agreement, countries will be required to protect nuclear facilities, as well as nuclear material in domestic use, storage and transport.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said it also will help reduce the risk of a terrorist attack.

“The entry into force of the Amendment demonstrates the determination of the international community to act together to strengthen nuclear security globally. I urge all countries to adhere to this important legal instrument. Universal implementation of the amended convention will help to ensure nuclear material throughout the world is properly protected against malicious acts by terrorists.”

Step up protection for unaccompanied refugee children in Europe

Urgent measures are needed to protect unaccompanied refugee and migrant children in Europe.

That’s according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which says these youngsters are at serious risk of abuse, trafficking and exploitation.

UNICEF reported that a record 95,000 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children entered Europe last year.

The international police organization, Interpol, estimates that one in nine unaccompanied refugee children is unaccounted for or missing, though the number could be much higher.

UNICEF’s appeal comes as European Union member states begin negotiations on new asylum rules.

Children currently wait up to 11 months between registration and transfer to a country that has agreed to accept them.

UNICEF said these children “are falling between the tracks.”

Many simply run away from reception centres to join their extended families while they wait, the agency said.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’44″