UN “running out of funds” for Iraq relief efforts

“The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq said today she is deeply concerned by the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the besieged city of Fallujah, warning that funding is insufficient to continue to carry out the massive relief operation that is currently under way…Noting that more than 20,000 people have fled Fallujah and surrounding areas since 22 May alone, Ms. Grande said the UN and partners have requested $861 million for 2016 to provide emergency relief to 7.3 million vulnerable Iraqis, but only 31 per cent, or $265 million, has been received so far. ‘We are using all available resources but we are running out of funds. The international community has invested so much militarily to defeat ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]. We need to do so much more to help the victims. We cannot let these people down,’ she added.”  (UN News Center http://bit.ly/1XcTkO2)

Ban Ki Moon V. Saudi Arabia…United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that Saudi Arabia had exerted “unacceptable” undue pressure on the world body after a U.N. report blacklisted a Saudi-led military coalition for killing children in Yemen. Riyadh had threatened to cut its funding of U.N. programs in response to the blacklisting last week and suggested a fatwa – an Islamic legal opinion – could be placed on the world body, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The U.N. announced on Monday it had removed the coalition from its annual child rights blacklist pending a joint review by the organization and the coalition of child deaths and injuries during the year-long war in Yemen. Ban described the decision as one of his most painful and difficult and said millions of other children likely would suffer if funding for U.N. programs was cut off.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/1U9spPW)

The Peru cliffhanger election results are in… As the final votes were counted in the run-off ballot for Peru’s presidency, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a liberal economist, seemed to have defeated Keiko Fujimori by just 39,000 out of almost 18m votes, a margin of 0.2%. After months in which Ms Fujimori had led opinion polls, this was a surprising reversal. It shows how deeply divided Peru is about the legacy of Ms Fujimori’s father, Alberto, who ruled it as an autocrat from 1990 to 2000; he is serving long prison terms for corruption and complicity in human-rights abuses.” (Economist http://econ.st/1XcQo4c)


The latest Ebola outbreak in Liberia, the last country still affected by the deadliest flare-up in the history of the feared tropical virus, was declared over. (AFP http://yhoo.it/28nr67m)

Kenya’s opposition on Thursday softened its rejection of a presidential initiative to end a dispute over an electoral oversight body, suggesting the move was a start in accepting the need for dialogue but did not go far enough. (Reuters http://bit.ly/21a9uX1)

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch is calling on the African Union to go ahead and set up the hybrid court, an international criminal court,  that was part of the August 2015 South Sudan peace agreement to try alleged war crimes suspects. (VOA http://bit.ly/21a9Uwx)

Somalia al Shabaab militants stormed into a base used by Ethiopian troops after ramming a suicide car bomb into the entrance on Thursday in the latest assault on soldiers serving with the African Union’s AMISOM force, the Islamist group said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/21abz5t)

A new case of yellow fever has been detected in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a spokesman for the World Health Organisation said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1tkbdif)


The United Nations will not hold another round of Syria peace talks in Geneva until officials on all sides agree the parameters for a political transition deal, which has an Aug. 1 deadline, the U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/22VuLFv)

Israel says it is suspending tens of thousands of movement permits for Palestinians a day after a mass shooting at a Tel Aviv food and retail center that killed four Israelis. (NPR http://n.pr/1XcQ4m0)

Naval forces loyal to Libya’s internationally backed government say they have taken control of the coast of Sirte as part of an offensive to recapture the city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/1XcQB7f)

Two suicide attacks in and around the Iraqi capital on Thursday killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens, officials said. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1XcRxbM)

Terrified medical staff rushed to rescue nine newborns after heavy bombing near a children’s hospital in Syria’s divided Aleppo city, according to the leading paediatrician there. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1tkaYnb)

The World Health Organization has identified another grave risk to the health of Syrians in their war-torn country: tobacco. (AP http://yhoo.it/1tkbzp7)


A general strike called by a small communist party demanding that the government release its supporters detained after previous protests shut down schools, markets and transportation in Nepal on Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/28nq2Ah)

A U.S.-led push for India to join a club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology made some headway on Thursday as several opponents appeared more willing to work towards a compromise, but China remained defiant. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1XcREEn)

The Americas

Venezuela’s Supreme Court on Wednesday banned media from publishing videos of lynchings, saying they create “anxiety and uncertainty” in a country ravaged by violent crime and an economic crisis. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/28nr4MM)

A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday maintained its projections for the La Nina weather phenomenon to take place in the Northern Hemisphere later this year, as El Nino conditions dissipated. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1tkb4LH)

The Supreme Court in Nicaragua controversially split the opposition’s ranks ahead of a presidential election in November by ordering a change in leadership of a pivotal conservative party. (AP http://yhoo.it/28nq637)

House Republican leaders and President Barack Obama pressured lawmakers in both parties to back legislation to help ease Puerto Rico’s financial crisis as the U.S. territory faces a $2 billion debt payment in just over three weeks. (AP http://yhoo.it/21abChB)

The U.S. solar energy market will nearly double new installations this year to 14.5 gigawatts, led by utility projects that developers scrambled to bring online in anticipation of the expiration of a key federal tax credit, according to a report published on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/21abP4m)

…and the rest

A U.N. judgment says Ireland’s anti-abortion laws are a violation of human rights (WaPo http://wapo.st/1XcQTeu)

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is calling on governments to do more to make their economies more competitive and create jobs as the region’s aging population weighs on labor markets. (AP http://yhoo.it/21aaquF)


This is “The Worst Dictatorship You Have Never Heard Of” (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/22VyXoB)

Has Eritrea’s migration problem been exaggerated? (BBC http://bbc.in/1U9siUy)

UN pledges to end Aids epidemic but plan barely mentions those most at risk (Guardian http://bit.ly/22VvN4e)

Why is it so hard for countries to fight rape? (CNN http://cnn.it/1UieIiY)

It isn’t lack of drugs preventing us eradicating Aids, but inequality (Guardian http://bit.ly/1tcWbdj)

Four reasons why Africa, Gates and Obama want to end malaria (TRF http://bit.ly/1tcYvRD)

This Med School Teaches Health Policy Along With The Pills (NPR http://n.pr/24CGfNl)

Will giving fat cats some of the cream help to cut poverty? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1tkabCZ)

Will EU-Africa Aid Deal Depend On Curbing Migration? (RFI http://bit.ly/1Uil5me)

How a systems-scale approach can solve Myanmar’s electrification woes and more (Devex http://bit.ly/1ZB88nS)

Where have we got to on adaptive learning, thinking and working politically, doing development differently etc? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1ZB83Rc)