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Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

Storm-force winds and snow across Lebanon have worsened the plight for tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who’ve been forced from their homes by nearly eight years of conflict, a top UN humanitarian official said on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, Philippe Lazzarini, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, said that refugees had been moved from shelters - including in the exposed Bekaa valley where wintery conditions are especially acute - to safer facilities, after Storm Norma hit at the weekend.

UN Secretary-General appoints Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as Special Coordinator for Lebanon

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as his Special Coordinator for Lebanon.
 
Mr. Kubiš succeeds Acting Special Coordinator Pernille Dahler Kardel of Denmark, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedication and leadership of UNSCOL.
 

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Miraculous’ music made by hearing-impaired children

A group of deaf and hard-of-hearing Syrian refugee and local Lebanese children have sung in a choir in Beirut giving a performance that was “nothing short of miraculous,” according to conductor Pascal Khairallah.

The children, who practiced for six months for a Christmas carol concert held in the capital Beirut, attend a specialist school for young people with hearing disabilities which is supported by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Twenty-four Syrian refugees are enrolled in the school.

Confirmed ‘Blue Line’ tunnels ‘do not appear’ to surface in Israel – UN peacekeeping chief

The United Nations General Assembly officially endorsed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration on Wednesday, a non-binding agreement adopted in Marrakech on 10 December by 164 Member States, and described by UN chief António Guterres as a “roadmap to prevent suffering and chaos”.

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

Human migration is “a powerful driver of economic growth, dynamism and understanding,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said, in his message  commemorating International Migrants Day, marked on 18 December.

The UN chief explained that migration allows millions to seek new opportunities that benefit communities of origin and destination alike.

At COP24, countries agree concrete way forward to bring the Paris climate deal to life

After two weeks of crunch negotiations – with overtime – the almost 200 parties gathered in Katowice, Poland, for the United Nations COP24 two-week climate change conference, adopted on Saturday a “robust” set of implementing guidelines for the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, aimed at keeping global warming well belo