A Deadly Year for Humanitarian Workers

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Yesterday was World Humanitarian Day — a day established in the wake of the August 19, 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq to commemorate the sacrifices of humanitarian workers. Alas, 2013 was the deadliest year ever for humanitarians. “Last year was the most dangerous on record for humanitarian workers, with 155 killed, 171 seriously wounded and 134 kidnapped as they attempted to help others in some of the world’s most dangerous places, new research has shown. The study, released to mark World Humanitarian Day, also reveals that 79 aid workers have died so far this year, making the first eight months of 2014 deadlier for the humanitarian community than the whole of 2012. The 2013 statistics, compiled by the Humanitarian Outcomes partnership, show a 66% rise in fatal attacks on the previous year, with Afghanistan – where 81 aid workers were killed – remaining the most dangerous place to operate. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1pan90C)

An here’s a link to the report: (Humanitarian Outcomes http://bit.ly/1pao0hD)

Some “Good” News on Ebola…The WHO is touting some encouraging signs that Ebola is coming under control in Nigeria and Guinea. “The situation in Lagos, Nigeria, where the first imported case was detected in July, looks reassuring. At present, the city’s 12 confirmed cases are all part of a single chain of transmission. Those infected by the initial case include medical staff involved in his treatment, a patient in the same hospital, and a protocol officer in very close contact with the patient…The outbreak in Guinea, where the virus made its first appearance in west Africa last December, is less alarming than in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Public awareness of the facts about Ebola is higher there than in the other affected countries. Innovative solutions are being found. For example, respected community leaders have been used to secure the cooperation of 26 villages that were highly resistant to outside help.The opening of these villages has resulted in a surge of reported cases. (WHO http://bit.ly/1lgmBq3)

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 The World Health Organization says another 84 people have died in West Africa as a result of the Ebola virus, bringing the death toll from the epidemic to 1,229. The U.N. health agency announced Tuesday the number of confirmed and likely infections has risen to 2,240, including 113 new cases reported late last week. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pakmEp)

Liberia has found all 17 suspected Ebola patients who fled a quarantine centre in Monrovia at the weekend and transferred them to another clinic, the information minister said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1papd8J

Sierra Leone urged caution over the use of experimental drugs to combat Ebola as the United Nations launched an $18 million appeal to help the country cope with the epidemic. (AP http://yhoo.it/1panBMn)

The president of the Ghana Medical Association says the group plans on Tuesday to brief parliament about the country’s preparations for handling cases of the Ebola virus, which has so far affected four West African countries. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pajsI0)

Cameroon has closed all its borders with Nigeria in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, state radio said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1n65L8g)

#WorldHumanitarianDay: A tribute to two Ebola heroes (IRIN http://bit.ly/1palNmx)


South Sudanese soldiers opened fire on a UN peacekeeping base sheltering 40,000 civilians, wounding a child and spraying bullets across the camp, the United Nations said Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1n65mTm)

Tens of thousands of Angolans living in the Democratic Republic of Congo were set to return home, for some after more than 50 years in exile, the UN refugee agency said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1pauddq)

Millions of dollars of arms shipments have flooded South Sudan since civil war broke out eight months ago, weapons monitors said Tuesday, with countries key to peace also involved in the supply. (AP  http://yhoo.it/1n65BO9)

A mutated polio virus that slipped through vaccine defenses caused an unusually lethal outbreak in the Republic of Congo in 2010, according to a new study.  An intensive vaccination campaign was able to stop the virus. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n5UbtY)

A medical group working in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported Monday that there were nearly 3,000 victims of sexual violence in the region during the first half of this year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1pas81f)

Leaders of the Southern African Development Community want the United Nations to assist in removing members of a Rwandan rebel group from eastern Congo. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n5TVv2)


ISIS released a video claiming to show the execution of American journalist James Foley, who was on assignment for GlobalPost when he was abducted in Syria in 2012. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1lgmR8H)

The UN refugee agency has for the first time begun sending aid into western Libya from Tunisia to help some of the tens of thousands of people displaced by weeks of fighting in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. (UNHCR http://bit.ly/1n5YxkG)

Algeria has arrested 200 Syrians who had been hoping to reach Italy with the help of Libyan Islamists who had promised to smuggle them by boat, a security source said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1n5ZEB2)

The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday it was launching a major aid operation to get supplies to more than half a million people displaced by fighting in northern Iraq. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1patDMW)


Amid accelerating climate change and other challenges, a major international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month represents a key chance for Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean to turn the tide. (IPS http://bit.ly/1n5ZaLa)

Thailand’s military-dominated legislature will nominate a prime minister this week, members of the national assembly said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1n64pdG)

Sri Lanka’s president said Tuesday he will not allow a U.N. panel investigating allegations of war crimes to enter the country. (AP http://yhoo.it/1pau6yB)

The Americas

Scores of schools in northern Mexico remain closed almost two weeks after large quantities of sulphuric acid leaked into a river from a copper mine. (BBC http://bbc.in/1n5XHo4)

Police came under “heavy gunfire” and 31 people were arrested, authorities said on Tuesday, during racially charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri sparked by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman 10 days ago. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1paqi0r)

The Second Annual Meeting of the Houses of Peru-Cuba Friendship called to investigate covert actions of the US agency USAID against the Caribbean nation. (Prensa Latina http://bit.ly/1n5XWQ6)

The Rockefeller Foundation and USAID have announced a new partnership, which has initial funding of $100,000,000 intended as a “bold, new vision” for building resilience to disasters and other factors contributing to poverty across Asia and Africa, called the Global Resilience Partnership. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n5V3P6)

Egypt on Tuesday urged US authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with racially charged demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri – echoing language Washington used to caution Egypt as it cracked down on Islamist protesters last year. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pakzaP)

Homes for orphans or children in vulnerable situations in Mexico lack the necessary state regulation and supervision, which leads to scandalous human rights violations. (IPS http://bit.ly/1n5Zp8Z)


We Don’t Need Another Hero (AidSpeak http://bit.ly/1lfaxpd)

Visualizing the surprisingly massive toll of suicide worldwide (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/Xy5WDJ)

The Worst World EVER…in the Past 5 or 10 Years (Dart-Throwing Chimp http://bit.ly/Xy5JR9)

The way to mark World Humanitarian Day in South Sudan is to work for peace (Guardian http://bit.ly/1pamT1E)

Are Sweatshops good for women in Bangladesh? (Waylaid Dialectic http://bit.ly/1n6cPSw)

Episode 002: SWEDOW, being smart and sexual healing for aid workers (Mission Creep http://bit.ly/1n6cU8O)

 Dear Supporter: We’re sorry… (WhyDev http://bit.ly/Xy5Hsh)

Women aren’t human (The XX Factor http://bit.ly/1n6cLlI)

Poverty is not a Disease (Think Africa Press http://bit.ly/1n6cOxO)


The World Health Organization warns of a growing trend of targeting health workers and hospitals during conflicts and humanitarian crises. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n664jm)

Global education advocate Malala Yousafzai joined the UN secretary-general Monday to mark the 500 Days countdown until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.  The teen activist has inspired other young people with her commitment to making education available to children everywhere. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pajCPD)