Top of the Morning: Unrest in Central African Republic; India Pushes for Universal Health Care; $1.5B Syria Appeal

Top stories from the global humanitarian news mobile app, DAWNS Digest.

Rebels in Central African Republic Seize Key Towns; Chad Sends in Troop at CAR Request

A military rebellion in CAR is quickly escalating as disgruntled former soldiers capture several towns in Chad. They are still very far from the capital, Bangui. “Rebels in the Central African Republic seized a town near the border with Chad on Wednesday, a day after Chadian troops entered the country at Bangui’s request to help the army contain the rebel offensive. The escalating violence drew calls from the opposition and former colonial power France for a broad national dialogue. According to sources on both sides, rebels from the Seleka rebel coalition captured the town of Kabo and were pressing on southwards.”  (Yahoo

Report: Universal Health Coverage in India Must Include Private Sector

Engaging the private sector insurance market is key to achieving universal health care coverage in India, says a new report. “India aims to introduce universal health coverage during the 12th five year plan (2012-2017), but the public health system faces massive problems with inadequate infrastructure, poor funding and inefficiency. The only way forward is to partner with private firms, argues McKinsey & Co. in a new report.  The idea is to increase insurance coverage to 75 percent of the population from 25 percent, the paper said.” (Global Post

UN Calls for $1.5 Billion to support Syria

This is the amount that the UN says is required to fully support humanitarian efforts.”The United Nations appealed on Wednesday for $1.5 billion to provide life-saving aid to Syrians suffering from a ‘dramatically deteriorating’ humanitarian situation. The twin appeals, $519.6 million for aid within Syria and $1 billion to meet the needs of up to 1 million Syrian refugees in five countries, comprise the ‘largest short-term humanitarian appeal ever’, the world body said in its statement. ‘The magnitude of this humanitarian crisis is indisputable, said Radhouane Nouicer, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, who launched the appeals in Geneva.” (AlertNet