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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 - 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.


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



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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. - 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 - 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) - 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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The Swift Unraveling of Fragile Peace in Burundi


Refugees from Burundi arrive at the Mahama camp in Rwanda. The political crisis in Burundi has driven thousands to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Photo by: Thomas Conan / ECHO / CC BY-ND - by Andrew Green - May 25, 2015

A failed coup and ongoing political conflict in Burundi have sparked a regional refugee crisis and stalled much-needed development projects in one of the world’s poorest countries.

This after Burundi spent the past decade attempting to overcome a post-independence period marred by a brutal civil war played out largely along ethnic lines. . . .

. . . The 10 years of relative peace allowed humanitarian partners to transition from emergency relief to long-term development projects in a country consistently ranked among the five poorest in the world. Now many of those partners have evacuated, as the country’s political situation has unraveled over the past month.


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The Work is Difficult and Dangerous in Nepal, but Who Would We Be If We Did Not Try?

submitted by Santosh Dahal


Photo credit: Canadian Red Cross - by Maude Froberg - May 15, 2015

Night falls in Kathmandu. We sleep in the streets, in the tents, in the parks. The last strong tremor still present in the body. Local or foreigner, it doesn’t matter. In the darkness, we are equally together and alone. All the senses are amplified, each sound is recorded, every movement in the ground.

(Read complete article in the link below)

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Drowned Migrants and ‘a Failure of Compassion’


As many as 950 migrants are feared dead after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean. Children are carried by rescue workers as migrants arrive via boat at the Sicilian harbour of Pozzallo - by Mike Corones - April 21, 2015

Already, this week’s migrant deaths in the Mediterranean are hard to tally.

As many as 900 refugees died in a shipwreck off of Libya on Sunday, the day before two other boats carrying 400 people faced distress off of Libya and three migrants died when yet another boat ran aground in Greece. As this Reuters graphic shows, the vast majority of illegal border crossings over the Mediterranean happen via central and eastern sea routes, a fact reflected in this week’s disasters.


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UN Warns World Could Have 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030

CLICK HERE - The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015


CLICK HERE - REPORT - The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015 (139 page .PDF report) - by Hillel Italie - March 20, 2015

The world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in just 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a U.N. report warned Friday.

The report predicts global water demand will increase 55 percent by 2050, while reserves dwindle. If current usage trends don't change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030, it said.


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Story Behind the Story: How Times Reporters Unraveled the Ebola Epidemic

NEW YORK TIMES                                               Jan. 2, 2015

Celia W. Dugger, deputy science editor for health, has helped to coordinate the Times’s coverage of Ebola. She edited a feature published Tuesday on the origin of this year’s Ebola outbreak, and shares how the story came together after months of reporting.

As the Ebola epidemic gained velocity this fall, spreading fear and death across one of the world’s poorest regions, I kept coming back to the same questions: How did this one get away? How did the experts — and the media, including editors like me, for that matter — miss the signs in the spring that this time would be catastrophically different from the nearly two dozen prior outbreaks? Why did the most seasoned Ebola hands — men and women who had repeatedly risked their lives battling this lethal foe — let their guard down and scale back in May just when the virus might have been throttled?

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