Big Challenges Await Nepal Relief Effort

There is still a lot we don’t know about the scope and scale of destruction in Nepal. Much of the affected communities are remote and hard to access. “The United Nations has said that more than six million people live in the areas of Nepal that have been affected. Many individuals have either lost their homes or have been forced to live on the streets because of the threat of further aftershocks. The global response is being coordinated by the Nepalese government through its National Emergency Operation Center. ‘What’s important to remember about Katmandu is that it’s densely, densely packed,’ said Gary Shaye, the director of humanitarian operations for Save the Children who worked in Nepal in the 1970s and 1980s. ‘This is a village that grew into a city.’ He added, “There is not a lot of open space to accommodate people who get displaced.’ Rain descended on Katmandu on Sunday, and Mr. Shaye said that the relief efforts faced a “race against time’ because the monsoon season begins in June.” (NYT )

More on  the Nepal Earthquake

Two years ago, Mark interviewed a UN Disaster Risk Reduction expert with UNDP who told him that a massive earthquake in the Kathmandu Valley was “our nightmare scenario.” (Global Dispatches Podcast

This storify from Jen Ambrose collects excellent advice on social media about the ways individuals around the world can contribute to the Nepal relief efforts.

Almost 1 Million Children in Urgent Need of Care. (HuffPo )

Chaos in Burundi…Tens of thousands of Burundians are reported to have fled to neighboring Rwanda in recent days. “Hundreds of people in Burundi have protested in the capital Bujumbura after the country’s ruling party nominated President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term. There were clashes between protesters and armed police in Bujumbura. Police fired teargas to break up crowds and also blocked access to some parts of the city. Watchdog groups and observers had warned of possible unrest if Nkurunziza decided to run again. Thousands of Burundians have already fled the country before presidential elections on 26 June. Burundi’s constitution stipulates that a president can only serve for two terms, but Nkurunziza’s party says he is eligible for another term as popularly elected president because for his first term he was elected by lawmakers.” (Guardian

Context for the Chaos: Penelope Starr explains why Burundi is at a crossroads. President Nkurunziza likely has made a very bad decision. (UN Dispatch


Some Blissfully Good News from South Sudan: UNICEF has secured the release of 280 child soldiers from a militia. “It is the last chapter in a series of releases that have taken place since January and follows a peace agreement between the faction and the Government of South Sudan.” (UNICEF

Thousands of Nigerian refugees previously living with Cameroonian host families and relatives have been streaming into the Nigerian refugee camp at Minawao, northern Cameroon due to hardship. (VOA

The first six busloads of Malawians fleeing xenophobic attacks in South Africa arrived this week in their homeland’s commercial capital, Blantyre. (VOA

The recent xenophobic violence in South Africa, like similar outbreaks in the past, was triggered largely by chronic poverty and lack of basic services. (VOA


Warplanes of the Saudi-led military coalition bombed targets in the Yemeni capital on Sunday for the first time since Saudi officials said they were shifting the focus of their campaign against a Yemeni rebel group toward political negotiations and humanitarian relief. (NYT )

Israeli forces on Sunday killed four suspected militants whom it says were caught trying to plant a bomb in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (VOA

Pregnant women fleeing repression in the Horn of Africa have come to Libya, willing to risk their lives on crowded boats to have their babies in Europe. (CNN

Iranian and international negotiators resumed talks in Vienna this week, trying to finalize an agreement on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program. (VOA


Two years after the Rana Plana disaster killed 1,134 workers, representatives of Bangladesh’s $25 billion garment industry claim that they have learned their lesson, but others are not so sure. (Al Jazeera

The Indonesian government has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 inmates on death row. (CNN

China’s top nuclear experts have increased their estimates of North Korea’s nuclear weapons production well beyond most previous US figures, suggesting Pyongyang could double its arsenal by next year. (WSJ

Malaysian police have arrested 12 people linked to the militant group Islamic State and seized explosives, foiling a plan to attack several locations in and around the capital, which is hosting the ASEAN summit. (Reuters )

The Americas

Over 4,500 Chileans have been evacuated due to the eruption of Mt. Calbuco. (El País; Spanish)

In Guatemala, debate continues on the weakness of the justice system and the terrible impunity that prevails. (El País; Spanish)

…and the rest

Fourteen migrants were hit by a train and killed in central Macedonia as they walked through the Balkans trying to reach western Europe. (VOA


Burundi – Fragile Peace at Risk Ahead of Elections (IPS

Missing measures in the push to empower women and girls (Humanosphere

LGBTQI rights & technology for development (Wait…what?

Laurent Fabius: Our Climate Imperatives (NYT

How WHO revised its self-criticism over Ebola handling (Guardian

Get Happy, Get Rich: The Relationship Between Depression and Poverty (FA

To Solve Hunger, Start with Soil (IPS