News in Brief 05 December 2017 (PM)

"Another big loss" as 14th peacekeeper this year is killed in CAR

The death of a Mauritanian peacekeeper and wounding of three others in the Central African Republic (CAR), was described on Tuesday as "another big loss" to the UN Mission in the country, MINUSCA.

UN chief Antonio Guterres condemned the killing and offered his deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, as well as the Government and people of Mauritania.

Monday's attack happened at a checkpoint staffed by peacekeepers near a camp for internally displaced people in the town of Bria, in eastern CAR.

The UN said on Tuesday that clashes had intensified across eastern and central regions, forcing more than 15,000 civilians to flee.

In Bria, humanitarian aid has been suspended due to threats to humanitarian workers.

Here's MINUSCA Spokesperson Vladimir Monteiro, speaking from CAR.

"This is another big loss. This killing brings to 14, the number of uniformed personnel who have been killed since the beginning of 2017. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General condemned this attack and stated that MINUSCA will do everything possible to make sure the perpetrators are identified."

4 out of 5 children living with HIV in West, Central Africa, without therapy

Four out of five children living with HIV in West and Central Africa are still not receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy, according to a joint report published on Tuesday by the UN Children's Fund UNICEF and UNAIDS.

It also shows that AIDS-related deaths among adolescents aged 15-19 are on the rise.

The report, Step Up the Pace: Towards an AIDS-free generation in the region, shows West and Central Africa lagging behind on nearly every measure of HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes for children and adolescents.

In 2016, an estimated 60,000 children were newly infected across the region.

Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director, said it was "tragic that so many are not receiving the treatment they need, just because they have not been tested".

World Soil Day: "Caring for the planet starts from the Ground"

Caring for the planet must start from the ground up, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday, laying out the key theme for World Soil Day.

To mark the Day, the Food and Agriculture Organization has launched a global map showing the amount of carbon stocks in the soil.

As a major carbon storage system, soils are essential for sustainable agriculture and climate change mitigation, said FAO.

More details from UN Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, who said that climate change and global warming were both heavily influenced by the amount of carbon that can be retained underground.

"The Global Soil Organic Carbon Map shows natural areas with high carbon storage that require its conservation, as well as those regions where there is the possibility for further carbon sequestration."

Source: United Nations Radio

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