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NGOs Speak: Their Most Pressing Humanitarian Priorities for 2016

             

South Sudan tops many aid agencies' humanitarian priority lists. as a three-year civil war exacts a heavy toll on the citizens of the country.  (Nichole Sobecki, AFP)

Following a call from the UN for a record $20.1 billion, 15 of the world's leading aid agencies were polled on their top humanitarian concerns.

mg.co.za - by Tom Esslemont - December 28, 2015

There’s one prediction for 2016 that most aid workers can make with confidence – that the new year will usher in rising humanitarian needs.

Besides displacement caused by long-term conflicts in places like Syria and South Sudan, there is also the threat of more violence in Central African Republic and hunger caused by El Nino, which is expected to bring more drought to already-parched southern regions in Africa and potential flooding in the east. . . .

. . . A Thomson Reuters Foundation poll asked 15 of the world’s leading aid agencies to name their top three humanitarian priorities for 2016. Not surprisingly, Syria topped the list of concerns. But what were the others?

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Social Vulnerability and Ebola Virus Disease in Rural Liberia

      

Clusters of social vulnerability in rural Liberia, by district. Social vulnerability of each cluster of districts can be loosely ranked from most to least vulnerable as: Cluster 1, food quality, displaced persons, disabled, dependent populations; Cluster 3, food quantity, food quality, lack of access to land/free medical care; Cluster 4, food quantity, disabled dependent populations and Cluster 5, water quality/proximity to medical care; and finally, Cluster 2, no strong vulnerability scores.

CLICK HERE - Social Vulnerability and Ebola Virus Disease in Rural Liberia

CLICK HERE - Social Vulnerability and Ebola Virus Disease in Rural Liberia (14 page .PDF file)

srs.fs.usda.gov - by Zoe Hoyle - September 15, 2015

A newly published research study by U.S. Forest Service researchers demonstrates that the social vulnerability indices used in climate change and natural hazards research can also be used in other contexts such as disease outbreaks.

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Budapest Migrant Standoff Enters Second Night

         

Hundreds of families have set up camp underneath Budapest's eastern station

Hundreds of migrants are in a standoff with police for a second night outside a Budapest railway station.

bbc.com - September 2, 2015

Earlier, scuffles broke out between the two sides as frustration among migrants boiled over outside Keleti station.

Many of the migrants have tickets and are insisting they be allowed to travel on to Germany and other countries, but Hungary says it is enforcing EU rules.

Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and France have called for "fair distribution" of refugees throughout the EU.

In a joint declaration, the country's three foreign ministers also called for Europe's asylum laws to be revised, the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement (in Italian).

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422,000 Besieged Syrians Didn't Get Food Aid In July, It's World's 'Largest Humanitarian Crisis:' UN

      

BARAA AL-HALABI via Getty Images

There were challenges due to conflict, insecurity and deliberate obstructions.

huffingtonpost.com - AP - by Edith M. Lederer - August 26, 2015

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused all parties in the Syrian conflict of "indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks" on civilians and said the U.N. and its partners couldn't deliver food to 422,000 people in besieged areas in July.

Ban said in his monthly report to the U.N. Security Council circulated Tuesday that access to the 4.6 million Syrians in hard-to-reach areas - most controlled by Islamic State extremists - remains a critical concern with extremely limited humanitarian access.

He said U.N. agencies and their partners reached only 29 of the 127 hard-to-reach locations last month, and in the besieged areas, the only aid that arrived was a trickle of health assistance to 1.8 percent of the population.

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Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien Remarks to the Press, Juba, South Sudan, 25 July 2015

                                                                      

reliefweb.int - UN OCHA - REMARKS TO THE PRESS - [as delivered]

Juba, South Sudan, 25 July 2015

Today I conclude my four-day visit to South Sudan where I had the opportunity to see for myself the impact of the devastating crisis. This is my first visit to South Sudan since I began my role as the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator that was almost two months ago. But I have been here few times before. My last visit to South Sudan was in April 2012 to assess the humanitarian situation then, in my capacity as an Under-Secretary of State for International Development in the United Kingdom.

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'The Worst Atrocity You’ve Never Heard Of'

The ethnic cleansing unfolding in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan doesn’t get much coverage. But once you’ve witnessed it, says Nicholas Kristof, it will haunt you. By Adam B. Ellick on Publish Date July 13, 2015. Photo by Nicholas Kristof/The New York Times.

nytimes.com - By ADAM B. ELLICK and NICHOLAS KRISTOF - July 13, 2015

You’ve heard of Darfur, and you know about the slaughter underway in Syria. But the worst ethnic cleansing you’ve never heard of is unfolding in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where the government is bombing villages, schools and hospitals and trying to keep out food and medicine.

It doesn’t get much coverage, partly because it’s difficult to get access to. But when you’ve seen these atrocities, they haunt you. So we slipped into the Nuba Mountains through rebel lines to try to document the killings. This video is the result.

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South Sudan Food Crisis Deepens Amid Tanking Economy

             

Almost 700,000 South Sudanese now live as refugees in neighbouring countries. The vast majority fled their homes since civil war broke out in December 2013.  Photo: UNHCR

irinnews.org - by Andrew Green - June 1, 2015

Through 17 months of conflict, tens of thousands of people have been killed in South Sudan and two million more displaced. Schools, health centres and markets have been looted and destroyed. It took a $1.8 billion humanitarian response last year for the country to avoid a famine.

And it’s about to get even worse.

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CLICK HERE - Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) - The Republic of South Sudan
(5 page .PDF report)

CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - reliefweb - South Sudan

 

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Meager Post-Ebola Harvests Worsen Food Insecurity in West Africa

            

Villagers harvest rice in Sierra Leone. Harvesting is often a communal affair in West African nations, but the Ebola crisis interfered with group activities and disrupted many other aspects of agricultural production in the region. Photo credit: ©FAO/Peter DiCampo.

mongabay.com - by Lois Parshley - June 25, 2015

Pedelers Salee Craig used to grow vegetables. Near his home in Monrovia, Liberia, he planted peppers and bitter balls, potatoes and okra. A sturdy 39 year-old man with cheeks etched from former smiles, Craig is passionate and generally optimistic. 

But he's not smiling when he talks about the situation in Liberia now. Typically, farmers work to gather crops communally, harvesting together until the season is over. But in 2014, the Ebola crisis restricted travel. 

"Everyone was afraid of each other," Craig said. Mandatory government quarantines trapped people within their homes. As the disease spread, fields went unharvested and soon lay fallow. 

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World's Displaced Hits Record High of 60 Million, Half of Them Children - UN

reuters.com - by Joseph D'Urso - June 18, 2015

Almost 60 million people worldwide were forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution at the end of last year, the highest ever recorded number, the U.N. refugee agency said on Thursday, warning that the situation could deteriorate further. . .

. . . "I believe things will get worse before they eventually start to get better," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said at a news conference in Istanbul.

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Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

          

Pope Francis experienced extreme weather when he visited Tacloban - AP

Click Here - ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME - (184 page .PDF file)

nytimes.com - By Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein - June 18, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

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