What Happens When 40% of Kids Are Not in School?

An alarming report from UNICEF. “Forty percent of children from five conflict-scarred Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children said Thursday, warning that losing this generation will lead to more militancy, migration and a dim future for the region.An estimated 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school, out of a total of 34 million, UNICEF said. The dropout rate could increase to 50 percent in coming months as conflicts intensify, Peter Salama, the agency’s regional chief, told The Associated Press. ‘We are on the verge of losing a generation of children in this region,” he said. “We must act now or we will certainly regret the consequences.’ He said UNICEF needs an additional $300 million this year to make a dent in the numbers and give more children access to education. The agency so far has received $140 million, or 40 percent of its 2015 appeal, for the education of displaced Syrians.”  (AP http://yhoo.it/1fXTVQd )

Corruption scandal takes down a president…Guatemalan President Otto Perez has resigned and turned himself into a court on Thursday to face charges in a corruption scandal that gutted his government and plunged Guatemala into chaos days before a national election. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1LOyn4c)

Let’s try this again…Liberia was declared free of the deadly Ebola virus for a second time on Thursday and entered a 90-day period of heightened surveillance aimed at preventing a future re-emergence of the disease, the World Health Organization said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1QbjeeY)

Quote of the Day: “I don’t think there is an answer that can be achieved simply by taking more and more refugees.” – UK Prime Minister David Cameron. On, Wednesday. On Thursday, he caved to pressure and agreed to take in more refugees. http://bit.ly/1Nd2t4K,

Video of the Day: #DizzyGoals…As part of a campaign to promote the SDGs, launched at the UN  yesterday by the creator of Mr. Bean and all those Hugh Grant rom coms, various soccer stars get super dizzy and try to kick a penalty shot.  http://bit.ly/1fXTplg

Refugee Crisis

Mark interviews Ellen Laipson of the Stimson Center, who compares the Syrian refugee crisis to the Irish potato famine and offers other thoughtful insights about the global implications of thie crisis. (Global Dispatches Podcast  http://bit.ly/1EDpURK )

Refugees forced from a train in Hungary scuffled with helmeted riot police and some clung to railway tracks on Thursday, as politicians across Europe struggled to respond to public opinion appalled by images of a drowned 3-year-old boy. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1fXE0Bv)

The influx of refugees into Europe threatens to undermine the continent’s Christian roots and governments must control their borders before they can decide how many asylum seekers they can take, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1O0AEeU)

A record flow of refugees to Germany has cast an ugly spotlight on its formerly communist east, which has been rocked by a disproportionate wave of racist protests and hate crimes. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JQYKCW)

The European Union is set to intensify its actions against refugee smugglers in the Mediterranean, the bloc’s top diplomat said on Thursday, seeing sufficient political support to start searching and diverting smuggler vessels. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1fXEAiT)

Germany is expecting 800,000 asylum seekers this year, four times higher than in 2014, the German Labor and Social Affairs Minister said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1fXDof7)

Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said on Thursday that Europe should do all it can to stop illegal migrants from entering, though the country is prepared to share the burden of giving shelter to refugees in genuine need. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1fXDlQE)


A French soldier deployed to Central African Republic has been accused of raping a teenage girl in the latest in a series of misconduct allegations against peacekeeping forces there, the United Nations’ top human rights official said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NPA8Bh)

A media rights group called Thursday for the immediate release of a senior Nigerian journalist kidnapped from her home in the restive oil hub of Port Harcourt. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JQApBA)

Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda told his war crimes trial Thursday he was ‘a soldier, not a criminal’, breaking his silence for the first time since surrendering to the International Criminal Court. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JQAxB1)

Rebels in Sudan’s conflict-hit Darfur region have released 18 people they were holding prisoner, the International Committee for the Red Cross said on Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JQY9Bc)

WHO officials called for the regulation of traditional medicine in Africa to protect the public against potentially harmful practices. (VOA http://bit.ly/1NPzzaR)

Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday banned a documentary film about a doctor who treats war rape victims, leading the film makers to say the government was trying to silence debate about sexual violence. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1O0B19u)

The director of Taylor Swift’s new music video set in Africa struck back on Wednesday at mounting criticism of the scarcity of black people in the mini-film and its romanticized portrayal of the continent. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NPAE2h)


Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. Their concerns are amid fears Yemen’s civil war could escalate. (VOA http://bit.ly/1JQzdhu)

Syrians are caught between government bombardment of civilian areas and ruthless Islamist groups in a conflict increasingly driven by foreign powers and marked by the “spread of extremism”, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1O0ABjh)


Four secular bloggers have been murdered in Bangladesh this year, and many others say they do not feel safe. Fearing for their lives, some online writers have left the country, and others are working quietly to flee. (VOA http://bit.ly/1NPzwfd)

Hundreds of schoolgirls were taken to a hospital after breathing in poisonous gas in Herat, Afghanistan. This is a third incident of gas poisoning this week. Officials suspect foul play. (VOA http://bit.ly/1JQzjpb)

A slowdown in the Chinese economy that has alarmed global stock markets won’t cast a “dark cloud” over U.N. efforts to reach an accord to slow global warming by December, the United Nations’ climate chief predicted on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1O0zBvy)

The United States has allocated $950 million for assisting Afghan refugees and returnees, but much of that money has been lost to corruption while those in need remain in dire conditions. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1JEAxCG)

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday pledged to cut China’s 2.3 million-member People’s Liberation Army by 300,000 troops, amid rising manpower costs and technological capabilities that reduce the need for large numbers of personnel. (AP http://yhoo.it/1fXEdEQ)

The Americas

The Brazilian justice minister has condemned the killing of an indigenous leader who was shot during a land protest in the state of Matto Grosso do Sul. (BBC http://bbc.in/1JR35pH)

…and the rest

One day after the World Health Organization confirmed two cases of polio in Ukrainian children, the country’s health minister says efforts are underway to import enough vaccine to prevent an outbreak. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Qbqkjt)

Global economic losses from drought are likely to reach more than $8 billion in the next few months as the El Nino weather pattern intensifies, reinsurance broker Aon Benfield said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NPB5K4)


Refugee crisis: what can you do to help? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1fXB1ce)

Bosco ‘The Terminator’ Ntaganda Goes on Trial: Should Kagame Be Afraid? (Justice in Conflict http://bit.ly/1O0BGru)
Women in the Face of Climate Change (IPS http://bit.ly/1JQMeDn)

7 Ways to “Sell” Nutrition (Development Horizons http://bit.ly/1fXFpbo)

How can the UN fight inequality when it doesn’t pay its interns? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1fXB4oC)

If climate change is a human story, men are telling it. (Public Spheres WB http://bit.ly/1fXFrjo)

2,400 reasons to care (IRIN http://bit.ly/1Uv9LQi)

Why Always Africa? Does It Really Matter? (The Point http://bit.ly/1O0zy2R)

Who Will Pay the Price for Australia’s Climate Change Policies? (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1QbqozV)

A Brief View of the African Complexity (The Point http://bit.ly/1N5JqYf)