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Syria Bombings Leave 1.75 Million Without Running Water in Aleppo


People inspect a water-filled hole at the site of an airstrike on the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Unicef says children at risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases after two pumping stations left out of action - September 24, 2016

Heavy bombardment of the rebel-held eastern area of Aleppo has left about 1.75 million people without running water, the United Nations has said.

Intense attacks on Friday prevented repairs to the city’s damaged Bab al-Nayrab pumping station, which supplies water to 250,000 people in the eastern parts of the city, according to the UN’s children’s agency, Unicef. 

In retaliation, the nearby Suleiman al-Halabi station, which pumps water to 1.5 million people in the west of Aleppo, was switched off, it said.



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Democrats demand Congress end its vacation to approve Zika funding

Senate minority leader Harry Reid, one of the senators who has demanded Republicans reconvene Congress for Zika funding. Photograph: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Image: Senate minority leader Harry Reid, one of the senators who has demanded Republicans reconvene Congress for Zika funding. Photograph: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP - July 31st 2016 - Joanna Walters

Senate Democrats have called for Congress to end its recess and immediately approve emergency funds for combating the Zika virus in America, after Florida reported its first cases of mosquito-borne infections on the mainland, and funding for mosquito nets for pregnant women started running low.

Near downtown Miami, teams of doctors were going door to door on Saturday to alert an estimated 30,000 residents, particularly pregnant women, of the risks of being bitten by local mosquitoes believed to be carrying the virus.

On Friday, Florida governor Rick Scott and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that four new cases of the disease in the Miami area were almost certainly contracted through local insect bites.

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UNHCR Report: More Displaced Now than After WWII


Fig.1  Trend of global displacement & proportion displaced | 1996 - 2015 (end-year)

CLICK HERE - UNHCR - Global Trends - Forced Displacement in 2015 (68 page .PDF report) - by Euan McKirdy - June 20, 2016

The U.N.'s refugee agency reports that the number of displaced people is at its highest ever -- surpassing even post-World War II numbers, when the world was struggling to come to terms with the most devastating event in history.

The total at the end of 2015 reached 65.3 million -- or one out of every 113 people on Earth, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The number represents a 5.8 million increase on the year before.

A little under 1% of the earth's population is either "an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee" according to the UNHCR report, which was released Monday.


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World Humanitarian Summit


The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, set to take place in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016, is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The Summit has three main goals:

  1. To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles.
  2. To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks.
  3. To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.



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He sells ‘top up’


By Edna Smalle
Wednesday April 13, 2016

A recent statistical update presented boy the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board  on  their activities covering  1st September 2015 to 11th March 2016, shows that crime rate in the country is prevalent among youths.

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Australia's Great Barrier Reef hit by 'worst' bleaching

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living structure and can be seen from space.

Image: The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living structure and can be seen from space. - March 29th 2016

Evidence that Australia's Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst coral bleaching on record has renewed calls for the UN to list it as "in-danger".

The National Coral Bleaching Taskforce says 95% of reefs from Cairns to Papua New Guinea are now severely bleached.

It says only four reefs out of 520 have no evidence of bleaching.


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Africa's Population Will Quadruple by 2100. What Does That Mean for its Cities?


Don't worry, African cities can cope. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)

New population figures paint a difficult picture for African cities. But there's more to the story than sheer numbers.

CLICK HERE - World population stabilization unlikely this century

CLICK HERE - State of African Cities 2014 , Re-imagining sustainable urban transitions - by Sam Sturgis - September 19, 2014

Numbers continue to stack up against the world’s poorest continent.

Global population levels are expected to increase from a current figure of 7.2 billion to nearly 11 billion by 2100, according to figures released . . . by the U.N. Previously, it was believed the world’s population would peak at around 9.5 billion. Nearly all of this new growth, meanwhile, will occur in Africa, which is expected to quadruple in size.

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Thousands of Civilians Reported Fleeing as Battle for Aleppo, Syria, Intensifies


Fierce fighting in Aleppo forces thousands to flee

Innocent civilians 'running for their lives' - A sense of panic among those fleeing by - Nick Paton Walsh and Don Melvin - February 5, 2016

(CNN) The battle for the devastated city of Aleppo -- once Syria's commercial heart -- is intensifying, and video has surfaced appearing to show thousands of civilians streaming out of the city. . . .

. . . But the latest video appears to show a sense of panic among the thousands of people streaming out of the city, fleeing for their lives -- bound, most probably, for the Turkish border, 60 miles (97 kilometers) to the north.

. . . And from there, they will push onward, perhaps, to Europe, which is experiencing one of the most significant waves of migration in recent decades.

A United Nations official, citing U.N. estimates made for emergency relief planning, told CNN that 321,000 civilians are thought to be in a rebel-held area east of Aleppo.



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Failed EU Relocation Plan Leaves Refugees in Limbo


Aral Kakl (right), a Kurdish Iraqi journalist, his Syrian wife Shevin, his brother Rewan and some other refugees who have applied for the relocation programme, kill time in the cafeteria of their Athens hotel.  Photo: Nicola Zolin/IRIN - by Andrew Connelly

ATHENS, 18 January 2016 (IRIN) - “Relocation does not work.”

With these words on Thursday, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos finally admitted that the bloc’s September agreement to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from the frontline states of Greece and Italy to other EU states over two years has been a dismal failure. After the Commission revealed recently that only 272 asylum seekers had been relocated in the past four months, few could deny it.



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Aid Convoys Reach 3 Syria Communities Besieged for Months


Madaya Syria: Aid convoy reaches besieged town - - Associated Press - January 11, 2016

Aid convoys delivered long-awaited food, medicine and other supplies to three besieged communities Monday, part of a U.N.-supported operation to help tens of thousands of civilians cut off for months by the war in Syria.

Reports of starvation and images of emaciated children have raised global concerns and underscored the urgency for new peace talks that the U.N. is hoping to host in Geneva on Jan. 25.

The U.N. Security Council took up the issue Monday. The U.N. says 4.5 million Syrians are living in besieged or hard-to-reach areas and desperately need humanitarian aid, with civilians prevented from leaving and aid workers blocked from bringing in food, medicine, fuel and other supplies.

It will take several days to distribute the aid in the town of Madaya, near Damascus, and the Shiite villages of Foua and Kfarya in northern Syria, and the supplies are probably enough to last for a month, aid agencies said.



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