Feed aggregator

Greece: 700 migrants begin disembarking on Crete

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 54 min 38 sec ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Afghanistan, Greece, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic

11/26/2014 - 11:13 GMT

Around 700 migrants aboard a freighter that had been drifting in the Aegean Sea for two days began disembarking on the Greek island of Crete on Thursday, local officials said.

The migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, include "a lot of women and children", said Theodosis Kalantzakis, the mayor of Ierapetra.

The Kiribati-flagged freighter Baris was towed to a port at Ierapetra after suffering engine failure on Tuesday.

A team of doctors boarded the vessel and are inspecting the passengers before they are allowed to disembark, he added.

None of them have required hospitalisation so far, a medical source said.

However, a pregnant woman on board the ship was airlifted to Britain by a Greek navy helicopter on Tuesday.

The town authorities are planning to temporarily house the migrants in a 1,000-seat basketball stadium, the mayor of Ierapetra said.

However, the small town of 20,000 lacks the means to accommodate them beyond a week, he added.

The 77-metre (253-foot) Baris issued a distress call on Tuesday as it sailed some 30 nautical miles (56 kilometres) southeast of Crete.

Greece is one of the main points of entry into the European Union for people fleeing war-torn and poor countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Many of the recent arrivals are escaping the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 people have been killed, according to UN figures.

Some 28,000 Syrians have been caught illegally entering Greece since January, compared to just 8,500 last year.

Around 200 Syrians are currently staging a protest at Athens' central Syntagma Square to demand housing from the Greek authorities, after spending the previous months sleeping in parks or on the street.

Several among them are on hunger strike, and nine have already been hospitalised after fainting.

People traffickers are increasingly using Greece's Aegean islands to smuggle migrants into Europe after the building of a fence and tighter controls along the Greek-Turkish land border.

str-smk/jph/hmn

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Greece: 700 migrants begin disembarking on Crete

Afghanistan - ReliefWeb News - 54 min 38 sec ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Afghanistan, Greece, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic

11/26/2014 - 11:13 GMT

Around 700 migrants aboard a freighter that had been drifting in the Aegean Sea for two days began disembarking on the Greek island of Crete on Thursday, local officials said.

The migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, include "a lot of women and children", said Theodosis Kalantzakis, the mayor of Ierapetra.

The Kiribati-flagged freighter Baris was towed to a port at Ierapetra after suffering engine failure on Tuesday.

A team of doctors boarded the vessel and are inspecting the passengers before they are allowed to disembark, he added.

None of them have required hospitalisation so far, a medical source said.

However, a pregnant woman on board the ship was airlifted to Britain by a Greek navy helicopter on Tuesday.

The town authorities are planning to temporarily house the migrants in a 1,000-seat basketball stadium, the mayor of Ierapetra said.

However, the small town of 20,000 lacks the means to accommodate them beyond a week, he added.

The 77-metre (253-foot) Baris issued a distress call on Tuesday as it sailed some 30 nautical miles (56 kilometres) southeast of Crete.

Greece is one of the main points of entry into the European Union for people fleeing war-torn and poor countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Many of the recent arrivals are escaping the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 people have been killed, according to UN figures.

Some 28,000 Syrians have been caught illegally entering Greece since January, compared to just 8,500 last year.

Around 200 Syrians are currently staging a protest at Athens' central Syntagma Square to demand housing from the Greek authorities, after spending the previous months sleeping in parks or on the street.

Several among them are on hunger strike, and nine have already been hospitalised after fainting.

People traffickers are increasingly using Greece's Aegean islands to smuggle migrants into Europe after the building of a fence and tighter controls along the Greek-Turkish land border.

str-smk/jph/hmn

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

occupied Palestinian territory: Winter storms bring fresh misery to Gaza war homeless

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 59 min 40 sec ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory

11/27/2014 - 11:02 GMT

by Hazel Ward and Mai Yaghi

As the wind whistles through gaping holes in her ruined house, 62-year-old Suad al-Zaza and her daughter huddle together for warmth on a bed made of a wooden door laid on breeze blocks.

"I wake up cold, I sleep on the bed, afraid that it will break. I'm covered with two blankets that we were given," she says as rain drips through the ceiling inside the wreckage of her home in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood.

"Before the war, I was happy, safe, comfortable in my life and now we are living in the middle of this destruction."

Three months after an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ended a bloody 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants, more than 100,000 Gazans remain homeless and the much-hyped reconstruction has yet to begin.

And a fierce winter storm which has battered the region since Monday has brought further misery to tens of thousands of Palestinian families who are living in temporary shelters or in the rubble of their destroyed homes.

In Shejaiya, one of the worst-hit neighbourhoods where huge areas were reduced to rubble by Israeli tank fire, there is no sign of any construction.

But there are still those desperate enough to return home.

Ibtisam al-Ijla, 46, sits on a filthy, battered sofa in the blackened shell of her former home as her husband huddles in the corner, prodding at a fire, their only source of heating.

Corrugated iron sheets cover holes in the front wall, and wires hold up dirty blankets to create a thin illusion of privacy.

"I'm really worried about the weather but there is nothing that I can do about it," she tells AFP before the full force of the storm hits.

She and her husband fled barefoot at the height of the bombardment only to return to ruins.

With no money to rent elsewhere, they were forced to move back in.

Grubby bedding lies on the floor. Draughty and exposed to the driving rain, the house has no front door, no electricity and no running water.

The toilet is completely open to the crater of rubble out back.

"Being here reminds me of my old life, of my neighbours who used to live here and are now gone. In the past, we would all sit together with family and friends," she says.

"Now I'm almost completely alone."

Lost faith

Around 30 percent of homes in the territory of 1.8 million people are damaged or destroyed.

The United Nations brokered a deal under which Israel agreed to ease its eight-year blockade to allow in formerly-banned construction supplies but little has yet got through.

Twenty-eight trucks of cement entered Gaza from Israel on Tuesday in only the second delivery for the private sector since the war.

A foreign diplomatic source said the UN-brokered mechanism for delivering materials had "taken longer than anticipated" to get up and running.

Palestinian housing minister Mufid Hasayneh said Tuesday's delivery was "positive" but fell far short of what was needed.

"Israel is responsible for this. They control the crossing and the raw materials needed for reconstruction but they are only letting small quantities through," Hasayneh told AFP.

He said at least 7,000 tonnes a day are required if Gaza is to be rebuilt within three years.

Few Gazans believe even that long timeframe will be achieved. Most have lost faith that reconstruction will ever materialise.

Relief homes flooded

Even those with a solid roof over their heads are struggling.

In Khuzaa -- an area near the southern city of Khan Yunis that suffered a fate similar to Shejaiya -- 48 families are living in container homes donated as emergency accommodation by the United Arab Emirates.

"We’ve got it better than a lot of people," admits Sawsan al-Najjar, 34.

But it is far from ideal.

"The container absorbs both cold and heat -- it gets very cold in winter and very hot in summer. When it rains, it sinks," says her husband Farraj, 43.

The patch of land where the homes were installed lies in a natural dip and it flooded during the first winter rains last month.

The rains also overwhelmed the communal cesspit, sending sewage back up the pipes and out of the toilets.

The UN has since provided sandbags to block the worst of the flooding.

"Listening to the news, we realise we're likely to be here for a very long time," he shrugs.

Mohammed al-Hilu, 62, is hunched over an industrial sewing machine, making tents to help the homeless get through the winter.

"The occupation will finish before we see reconstruction here," he sniffs.

"The Jews are stupid to put pressure on us because it only pushes us towards resistance. They try to force us into a narrow space but the pressure will cause an explosion."

my-hmw/jad/kir

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Two dead, seven missing as storm hits Philippines

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 10 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

11/27/2014 - 10:53 GMT

Two people were killed and seven others missing in the Philippines after a tropical depression spawned huge waves and flash floods, forcing hundreds to flee their homes, authorities said Thursday.

Pre-emptive evacuation of people in areas prone to floods and landslides helped keep the casualties low, but others along the coast were hit hard by the storm, locally code-named "Queenie".

One woman was swept away by floodwaters on the central island of Cebu while a man was fatally injured when his boat was battered by huge waves off the island of Bohol on Wednesday, said regional disaster monitoring chief Olive Luces.

"Even before Queenie hit, we were already experiencing bad weather," she told AFP.

Four people went missing while at sea while three others were carried away by huge waves, Luces added.

The storm, with maximum winds of 55 kilometres (34 miles) per hour, hit the eastern coast of the southern island of Mindanao late Wednesday, then moved westward, across the central islands before heading to Palawan island.

It is expected to continue moving west towards the South China Sea.

str-mm/kjl

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Myanmar: Myanmar: Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue 10 | 1 – 31 October 2014

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Need to scale-up shelter repairs and maintenance in Rakhine and Kachin;

  • Pilot citizenship verification exercise for IDPs in Myebon, Rakhine;

  • Most vulnerable displaced people in Meiktila need blankets, mats and other assistance for the winter;

  • Some 174,000 school children and their families are at risk of food ration cuts before the end of the school year.

Key FIGURES

People targeted for humanitarian assistance in Rakhine State

IDPs* 139,000

Food insecure people 70,000

People in host or surrounding villages 100,000

People targeted for humanitarian assistance in Kachin and northern Shan states

IDPs in camps 86,000

People in host families 13,000

FUNDING

192 million requested (US$)

50% funded

Categories: RSS feeds

Myanmar: Myanmar: Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue 10 | 1 – 31 October 2014

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 12 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Need to scale-up shelter repairs and maintenance in Rakhine and Kachin;

  • Pilot citizenship verification exercise for IDPs in Myebon, Rakhine;

  • Most vulnerable displaced people in Meiktila need blankets, mats and other assistance for the winter;

  • Some 174,000 school children and their families are at risk of food ration cuts before the end of the school year.

Key FIGURES

People targeted for humanitarian assistance in Rakhine State

IDPs* 139,000

Food insecure people 70,000

People in host or surrounding villages 100,000

People targeted for humanitarian assistance in Kachin and northern Shan states

IDPs in camps 86,000

People in host families 13,000

FUNDING

192 million requested (US$)

50% funded

India: Militants attack army in India Kashmir, seven people dead

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 14 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: India, Pakistan

11/27/2014 - 10:31 GMT

Militants attacked an army patrol in Indian Kashmir on Thursday, leaving one soldier and three civilians dead as fighting continued near the border with rival Pakistan, security officials said.

The attack coincides with a regional summit in Nepal attended by the leaders of India and Pakistan, which threatens to end in failure because of rising tensions between the arch-rivals.

The group of heavily armed militants attacked the army column near a base in the town of Arnia in Indian Kashmir, about four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the undisputed, internationally-recognised border with Pakistan.

"A soldier died in the initial attack and another was injured," said an army officer on condition of anonymity, although police put the number of injured soldiers at two.

Three civilians were killed in crossfire and three militants shot dead in the attack which occurred early in the morning, local deputy inspector general of police Shakeel Beig said.

"So far three local civilians and three militants have died," Beig told AFP.

The rebels, suspected to have crossed from Pakistan, entered an "abandoned bunker" which Indian forces then surrounded, triggering the ongoing gun battle.

"They are a group of four to six militants now firing from inside the bunker," Beig said.

The attack comes with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif unlikely to hold a formal meeting at the summit in Kathmandu, in signs of growing mutual distrust.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence from Britain over Kashmir. The picturesque region is held in part by Pakistan and India, but claimed in full by both.

Analysts say India has taken a more assertive stance against its neighbour since Modi's Hindu nationalist party stormed to power in May.

The attack comes a day before Modi is expected to address a campaign rally in the nearby town of Udhampur for ongoing elections in the Himalayan region.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is striving to win power in the Muslim-majority region for the first time.

The region's chief minister, Omar Abdullah, expressed his condolences over the soldier's death, while pointing to the timing of the attack.

"The timing of the attack in Arnia can't be a coincidence. My condolences to the family of the army officer killed in Arnia," Abdullah said on Twitter.

In October the area was the site of some of the heaviest exchanges of mortar firing between Indian and Pakistani forces in years, when 20 civilians were killed and dozens injured on both sides.

Since 1989 fighting between about a dozen rebel groups, seeking independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan, and Indian forces has left tens of thousands dead, most of them civilians.

pzb/tha/st

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Oxfam to launch SURGE in Tacloban

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 18 min ago
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Nov. 27 (PIA) – OXFAM, an international non-government organization who has been helping Haiyan-affected areas since last year is set to launch the Scaling up Resilience in Governance in Region 8 (SURGE) Friday at Hotel Alejandro, this city.

The activity which is a consortium of Christian Aid, Handicap International and Plan International aims to increase the resilience of more communities in the region.

In a press statement released to Philippine Information Agency, Rhea Catada, Media Manager of Typhoon Haiyan Response, OXFAM in the Philippines said, the launching extends the learnings on inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) to more communities and advocates improvements in disaster risk management policies and practices.

Cantada further said that given the lessons from Yolanda and from the perspectives of the marginalized sectors considered vulnerable due to poverty, disability, language, location, among others, Region VIII is deemed critical for this project.

The lessons brought about by the typhoon are equally important in the light of the review of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010.

Among those who are invited to attend are Office of Civil Defense Region 8 Director Blanche T. Gobenciong, Marco Savio, Deputy Country Director for Programs, Plan International in the Philippines and the DRR champions and exemplars among municipal disaster risk reduction offices.

The launching will be preceded by a roundtable discussion focusing on Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010. (ajc/cba/pia8)

Myanmar: Protecting Profits over People

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 32 min ago
Source: Transnational Institute Country: Myanmar

Kevin Woods Daniel Aguirre

Myanmar is in the process of formulating an investment law and a land use policy that when combined will lay the foundations of development for the country. As it stands, these proposed instruments could have an adverse impact on human rights, and in particular land rights.

With these texts being shaped by international financial institutions and foreign governments, the concern is that these instruments will undemocratically privilege the “rights” of the powerful over the rights of those affected by their investments.

The draft investment law would replace the Foreign Investment Law (2012) and the Myanmar Citizen Investment Law (2013), and would provide the basis for investment in the country. There was no civil society input into the draft law developed by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). The draft law advances both foreign and domestic investors’ interests, protecting them as “rights”, but without any protective measures for the people of Myanmar.

The draft investment law would give investors the right to challenge new policies or laws in domestic courts and possibly in international arbitration. It would entitle them to full compensation if Myanmar government regulations impact their profits. International dispute resolution mechanisms potentially take important policy decisions out of the hands of elected governments and place them before an international arbitration panel. The concerns over the lack of human rights or social safeguards in this draft law are not idle fears: Investment protection can generate costly disputes – some arbitral awards run into the billions of dollars. In effect, investors’ interests become legally protected, while the people of Myanmar must rely on the underdeveloped national legal system that does not provide adequate access to justice.

There are a growing number of international examples where new laws and regulations passed by democratically elected governments to protect economic, social and cultural rights, such as for public health, have been challenged by foreign investors because they would decrease their profits. Myanmar lacks the legal and financial capacity to defend repeated challenges by deep-pocketed investors and may become unwilling or unable to pass stringent regulation to protect the human rights, including land rights, of the people of Myanmar.

The other new major development-related proposal is the draft National Land Use Policy (NLUP). The drafting process began as a follow-up to the 2012 land-related laws – the Farmland Law and the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law – which were roundly criticised for denying land and resource rights to large segments of the population while allowing investors to legally acquire large land holdings from farmers.

In response, the draft NLUP has sought to streamline and harmonise land use management in the country on a more technically sound basis and, in some cases, to reassert the rights of more marginalised communities, especially upland cultivators relying on customary practices. Its approach to land use rights, however, is to enhance security for agribusiness investors at the expense of human rights and social justice. It refers to land use in purely economic, rather than social terms. Worryingly, like the draft investment law, the NLUP contains no reference to human rights or the terms social justice, redistribution, restitution or accountability, whereas the word “investment” appears a dozen times.

As with the process of adopting the 2012 land laws and the pending draft investment law, there was no input from civil society in the drafting of the NLUP, which was written behind closed doors by USAID. Only after the draft’s completion has the Myanmar government allowed for national consultations.

Instead of the year-long process recommended by those drafting the policy, these consultations have been reduced to just two weeks, with last-minute changes that have made it difficult for civil society to prepare for engagement. With the consultations under way, it remains unclear to what extent civil society can actually influence the content of the policy, particularly its core investment-friendly principles.

This is important because land rights disputes are one of the fundamental issues Myanmar faces. Nearly half of all submissions to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission this year deal with land disputes. None of these have been resolved adequately. People whose rights are violated lack access to effective legal remedy. Instead of promoting social justice, these draft laws and policies focus on providing remedies for investors.

It’s also worth noting that any potential rights-based benefits within the proposed NLUP could be undercut by the dispute resolution mechanisms that are included in the draft

investment law. For example, if the NLUP recognised upland ethnic farmers’ cultivation practices and land claims, investors would be entitled to prior consultation and to sue for damages, potentially including for the loss of future profits. The draft investment law and other investment treaties could undermine the positive aspects of the NLUP, rendering it a hollow document with nothing left but its investment-friendly core.

Myanmar has a responsibility to protect human rights and the environment while upholding social justice. Any new laws and policies should be congruent with international human rights law, good governance – such as the 2012 Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests – and international best practices pertaining to indigenous peoples, like free, prior and informed consent. In particular, development policy should ensure effective, accessible remedy for the marginalised and victims of rights abuses.

The NLUP should first address the discrepancies between protecting vulnerable peoples’ land use rights and claims before creating an enabling investment environment. The draft investment law, meanwhile, must be opened for civil society consultation and debate. The results of both should ensure that the people of Myanmar are the primary beneficiaries of investment and economic development. If these mechanisms are not carefully formulated with wide-ranging input from all stakeholders, there is the dangerous potential that they will be seen as illegitimate and undemocratic, and may prove an obstacle to the progressive realisation of human rights and social justice.

Kevin Woods is from the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Myanmar, and Daniel Aguirre is a legal adviser with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in Myanmar.

This article is also published in the Myanmar Times.

November 2014

About the authors

Kevin Woods

Kevin Woods has worked on resource politics in mainland Southeast Asia’s uplands since 1999, including northern Thailand, Laos, and Burma. Since 2002 Kevin has focused his research in and on Burma, with particular focus on resource extraction and land rights in northern Burma’s ceasefire zones. Kevin received a master’s degree at Yale University on political ecology with a thesis on China-Burma cross border timber trade and ceasefire development. Since 2008 Kevin has been a doctoral student at UC-Berkeley in political ecology and geography of war. Kevin’s current research and advocacy with TNI is on Chinese agribusiness, drugs, and cross-border development; ethnic land rights in political transition; and ceasefires, post-war investments, and land conflict in the borderlands.

Pakistan: Pakistan polio outbreak ‘will probably be fixed next year’, says WHO official

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 41 min ago
Source: Guardian Country: Pakistan

Despite new cases setting back the effort to eradicate polio, health officials believe the crisis will be brought under control in 2015

Jon Boone in Islamabad

International health officials in Pakistan believe they can resolve the country’s polio crisis in the coming year, despite the number of cases of the crippling disease soaring to their highest level in 14 years.

Read he full article

IRIN’s top reads this week

Want to know what those in the humanitarian community reading? Each week we present our five must reads from the development world.
Categories: RSS feeds

Afghanistan: Afghans Express Cautious Optimism: Survey Shows Governing is Key

Afghanistan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 51 min ago
Source: US Institute of Peace Country: Afghanistan

By: Scott Smith

The results of the 10th annual Asia Foundation survey of the Afghan people provides some indication that a government that seeks to govern with greater inclusivity, respect for the rule of law and attention to justice might also help strip the insurgency of any remaining legitimacy and strengthen the government’s negotiating hand as international troops withdraw. This will be the major challenge of Afghanistan’s new, reform-oriented government.

One of the major drivers of the insurgency that USIP has identified is not an ideological affinity for Taliban goals, but rather corrupt and predatory government practices by the government. The Asia Foundation’s survey, conducted before the new government took office and released Nov. 18 at USIP, bears this out to some degree.

The survey report notes that “respondents who have personal experience with corruption are more likely to sympathize with” armed opposition groups. Corruption ranked fourth as the main reason Afghans cited for the insurgency, after other reasons – the presence of foreign troops, the drive to gain power and support from Pakistan.

Apart from the withdrawal of most international combat troops, this year has been notable for the presidential election and the first transfer of power from one sitting president to an elected successor in Afghan history. The coincidence of these two major events undoubtedly weighed heavily on the minds of Afghans.

The survey took place between June 22 and July 8 -- in other words, shortly after the second round of balloting, in a period in which the election became increasingly contentious, ethnically polarized, and fraught with the risk of violence. Despite this, 73.1 percent of respondents said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the way democracy works in Afghanistan, with 25.9 saying they were somewhat or very dissatisfied. The survey was completed before the election dispute was resolved by means of a power-sharing deal, and it will certainly be interesting to see responses to these questions in next year’s survey.

In its comprehensive report, the Asia Foundation summarized the mood of the country as “cautious optimism” -- cautious because the number of people saying that the country is going in the right direction declined from 57 percent last year to 55 percent this year. But that constitutes optimism nonetheless, because this still represents a majority of the country.

“Overall satisfaction with governance is a key factor underlying responses” in the survey related to the national mood, according to the foundation’s report. More than 35 percent of Afghans cited governance as a reason the country was moving in the wrong direction, and the most frequently cited element of governance that they said was problematic was corruption.

Economic costs of standoff

More than in previous years, the survey demonstrates anxiety about economic concerns. Unemployment and the economy outweighed insecurity as the biggest national problem. This finding is understandable given the decline of international aid -- and the visible signs of that decrease -- along with the international military drawdown and the economic benefit that came with the presence of those troops.

USIP has published research on the economic costs incurred during the drawn-out electoral standoff. Political uncertainty over whether Afghanistan would manage the first democratic transition in its history spurred significant economic hedging behavior in the private and public sectors. This severely crippled the Afghan economy, which has declined 30 percent since the beginning of the year, creating a fiscal gap that the new government must address, among many other issues.

As always, insecurity remains a major concern—for Afghans and for those in the international community trying to assist them, as the recent attacks in Kabul painfully remind us. Perceptions of insecurity drag down other indicators. It is not surprising, for example, that pessimism about the future and lack of confidence in existing institutions is correlated with respondents who live in insecure areas.

Despite this, perceptions of the national army remain generally positive, with 63 percent of survey respondents saying that the forces were “honest and fair” with the Afghan people and 57 percent saying that the national army helps improve security. Perceptions of the Afghan police are generally slightly less positive than that of the army, but in 2014 there was an uptick, with 46 percent saying they believed the police helped improve security compared with 42 percent in 2013. Zach Warren, the survey’s author, said one possible reason for this is the visible and largely effective presence of police during the two election rounds.

On the other hand, sympathy for armed opposition groups fell from 35 percent in 2013 to 32 percent in 2014. A major question as Afghans look to the immediate future is whether or not the Afghan national security forces will be able to contain or degrade the insurgency after the withdrawal of international combat troops.

The large crowd attending the survey’s launch at USIP by Warren and colleagues David Arnold, the foundation’s president, and Najla Ayubi, its deputy country director, demonstrates that there is still a great deal of interest in Afghanistan. About 220 people attended the event and 175 watched it online. The presenters acknowledged the difficulty of reaching respondents in areas with security concerns, but they also explained the variety of measures have taken to compensate for those potential variables.

As the longest running national public opinion survey in Afghanistan, the results are is particularly useful for identifying trends. Covering the years between President Karzai’s first election to his unprecedented handover of power to President Ashraf Ghani this year, the data will be indispensable to future historians trying to understand this remarkable period in Afghanistan’s history.

Scott Smith is USIP’s director for Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Sudan: Sudan: Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 47 | 17 – 23 November 2014

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Government of Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission says about 205,000 refugees from South Sudan have sought shelter in Sudan since December 2013

  • Eight people were killed and another 33 injured as a result of aerial bombings between 17 – 23 November in SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, says the SKBNCU

  • The North Darfur State Ministry of Health reports that the number of haemorrhagic fever cases in the state stands at 114

  • An estimated 17,000 refugees and returnees from the Central African Repounlic and displaced people from Central Darfur in Um Dafug, South Darfur need humanitarian assistance

  • Preparations are underway for an inter-agency assessment mission to East Darfur's Adila and Abu Karinka localities

FIGURES

People in need of humanitarian aid in Sudan 6.9 million

Displaced people in Sudan 2.9 million

IDPs in Darfur

in 2013 2 million

in 2014 (to date) 431,291

GAM caseload 2 million

Refugees in Sudan (UNHCR) 167,908

South Sudanese refugees in Sudan - since 15 Dec 2013 (UNHCR) 107,131

FUNDING

986 million requested in 2014 (US$)

51% reported funding

Sudan: Sudan: Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 47 | 17 – 23 November 2014

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Government of Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission says about 205,000 refugees from South Sudan have sought shelter in Sudan since December 2013

  • Eight people were killed and another 33 injured as a result of aerial bombings between 17 – 23 November in SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, says the SKBNCU

  • The North Darfur State Ministry of Health reports that the number of haemorrhagic fever cases in the state stands at 114

  • An estimated 17,000 refugees and returnees from the Central African Repounlic and displaced people from Central Darfur in Um Dafug, South Darfur need humanitarian assistance

  • Preparations are underway for an inter-agency assessment mission to East Darfur's Adila and Abu Karinka localities

FIGURES

People in need of humanitarian aid in Sudan 6.9 million

Displaced people in Sudan 2.9 million

IDPs in Darfur

in 2013 2 million

in 2014 (to date) 431,291

GAM caseload 2 million

Refugees in Sudan (UNHCR) 167,908

South Sudanese refugees in Sudan - since 15 Dec 2013 (UNHCR) 107,131

FUNDING

986 million requested in 2014 (US$)

51% reported funding

Sudan: Sudan: Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 47 | 17 – 23 November 2014

test - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Government of Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission says about 205,000 refugees from South Sudan have sought shelter in Sudan since December 2013

  • Eight people were killed and another 33 injured as a result of aerial bombings between 17 – 23 November in SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, says the SKBNCU

  • The North Darfur State Ministry of Health reports that the number of haemorrhagic fever cases in the state stands at 114

  • An estimated 17,000 refugees and returnees from the Central African Repounlic and displaced people from Central Darfur in Um Dafug, South Darfur need humanitarian assistance

  • Preparations are underway for an inter-agency assessment mission to East Darfur's Adila and Abu Karinka localities

FIGURES

People in need of humanitarian aid in Sudan 6.9 million

Displaced people in Sudan 2.9 million

IDPs in Darfur

in 2013 2 million

in 2014 (to date) 431,291

GAM caseload 2 million

Refugees in Sudan (UNHCR) 167,908

South Sudanese refugees in Sudan - since 15 Dec 2013 (UNHCR) 107,131

FUNDING

986 million requested in 2014 (US$)

51% reported funding

Sudan: Sudan: Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 47 | 17 – 23 November 2014

ReliefWeb - OCHA Situation Reports - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Government of Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission says about 205,000 refugees from South Sudan have sought shelter in Sudan since December 2013

  • Eight people were killed and another 33 injured as a result of aerial bombings between 17 – 23 November in SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, says the SKBNCU

  • The North Darfur State Ministry of Health reports that the number of haemorrhagic fever cases in the state stands at 114

  • An estimated 17,000 refugees and returnees from the Central African Repounlic and displaced people from Central Darfur in Um Dafug, South Darfur need humanitarian assistance

  • Preparations are underway for an inter-agency assessment mission to East Darfur's Adila and Abu Karinka localities

FIGURES

People in need of humanitarian aid in Sudan 6.9 million

Displaced people in Sudan 2.9 million

IDPs in Darfur

in 2013 2 million

in 2014 (to date) 431,291

GAM caseload 2 million

Refugees in Sudan (UNHCR) 167,908

South Sudanese refugees in Sudan - since 15 Dec 2013 (UNHCR) 107,131

FUNDING

986 million requested in 2014 (US$)

51% reported funding

Categories: RSS feeds

Central African Republic: Voice of Peace: Grassroots news and opinions on the LRA conflict - July-September 2014

Uganda - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 16 min ago
Source: Conciliation Resources Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda

Over 100 LRA captives released, but why?

In the last three months, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has released 120 long-term captives, mainly women (59) and children (58), in five separate waves in DRC and CAR. This remarkable shift in the LRA’s behaviour raises important questions about the reasons why and the way in which international and local actors should respond.

When asked why they were released, former captives gave various reasons. A common answer was that Kony ordered his commanders to release women and children since they were a burden and made military operations more difficult. Others explained that the LRA needed young and vigorous combatants to carry out operations, so weaker members had to be let go.

Since the LRA may continue to release dependents, it is important that all actors understand their responsibilities and make the most of the resources available. With the support of international donors, local organisations should ensure communities are ready to accept and care for LRA returnees.

Contents:

Regional Security Report, July-Sept 2014
Hard times for LRA returnees
Interview: a recent returnee speaks out
Learning to heal invisible wounds
“What can we do as women?”
About The Voice of Peace

Central African Republic: Voice of Peace: Grassroots news and opinions on the LRA conflict - July-September 2014

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 16 min ago
Source: Conciliation Resources Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda

Over 100 LRA captives released, but why?

In the last three months, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has released 120 long-term captives, mainly women (59) and children (58), in five separate waves in DRC and CAR. This remarkable shift in the LRA’s behaviour raises important questions about the reasons why and the way in which international and local actors should respond.

When asked why they were released, former captives gave various reasons. A common answer was that Kony ordered his commanders to release women and children since they were a burden and made military operations more difficult. Others explained that the LRA needed young and vigorous combatants to carry out operations, so weaker members had to be let go.

Since the LRA may continue to release dependents, it is important that all actors understand their responsibilities and make the most of the resources available. With the support of international donors, local organisations should ensure communities are ready to accept and care for LRA returnees.

Contents:

Regional Security Report, July-Sept 2014
Hard times for LRA returnees
Interview: a recent returnee speaks out
Learning to heal invisible wounds
“What can we do as women?”
About The Voice of Peace

Central African Republic: Voice of Peace: Grassroots news and opinions on the LRA conflict - July-September 2014

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 16 min ago
Source: Conciliation Resources Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda

Over 100 LRA captives released, but why?

In the last three months, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has released 120 long-term captives, mainly women (59) and children (58), in five separate waves in DRC and CAR. This remarkable shift in the LRA’s behaviour raises important questions about the reasons why and the way in which international and local actors should respond.

When asked why they were released, former captives gave various reasons. A common answer was that Kony ordered his commanders to release women and children since they were a burden and made military operations more difficult. Others explained that the LRA needed young and vigorous combatants to carry out operations, so weaker members had to be let go.

Since the LRA may continue to release dependents, it is important that all actors understand their responsibilities and make the most of the resources available. With the support of international donors, local organisations should ensure communities are ready to accept and care for LRA returnees.

Contents:

Regional Security Report, July-Sept 2014
Hard times for LRA returnees
Interview: a recent returnee speaks out
Learning to heal invisible wounds
“What can we do as women?”
About The Voice of Peace

Syndicate content