Weekly News Feb 27 - Mar 5, 2017

Humanitarian Emergency Weekly News


Somalia says 110 dead in last 48 hours due to drought

Some 110 people have died in southern Somalia in the last two days from famine and diarrhea resulting from a drought, as the area braces itself for widespread shortages of food. In February, United Nations children's agency UNICEF said the drought in Somalia could lead to up to 270,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition this year. In 2011, some 260,000 people starved to death due to famine in Somalia. The country also continues to be rocked by security problems, with the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government coming under regular attack from al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab. Read More

Millions without drinking water as rainstorms batter central Chile

Emergency officers reported that landslides and falling debris caused by waters running down the Andes were contaminating the Maipo River. At least three people were killed in the rainstorms and several others were missing, authorities said on Sunday. About 1.45 million homes that are going to be affected by the cutting off of the water supply. More than 60 percent of the capital's 6.5 million inhabitants are likely to be affected. Aguas Andinas, the company that provides Santiago's water supply, said the ongoing downpours were making repairs difficult. These were the second major floods to hit central Chile in the past year. In April, one person was killed after heavy rainstorms battered the San Jose de Maipo valley. Read More

Internal Displacement in Mali Could End in 2017, If No Further Violence: IOM

Internal displacement in Mali can be resolved by the end of 2017, but only if there is no resurgence of communal violence or armed conflict. IOM is calling on all groups in Mali to help foster a stability and peace to avoid further displacement and encourage the return home of those still displaced. Over 500,000 people have been displaced by the armed rebellion in northern Mali and the ensuing military coup in January 2012. A further 31,000 people were displaced in 2016 due to communal violence, which has now abated.   The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the country is now 44,762 individuals (7,980 families). IOM and its humanitarian partners are assisting with the return and reintegration of the remaining IDPs in the north and other parts of the country. Read More

Special Reports


WHAT ARE CLUSTER BOMBS?

Although cluster bombs have been banned under the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2010, they have been used on multiple occasions over the last two years in conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Libya, and Sudan. Cluster bombs have killed and maimed thousands of civilians, who are overwhelmingly the main victims. But what exactly are these weapons? Read More

Malaria drug for pregnant women also combats sexually transmitted infections - research

A drug given to pregnant women to combat malaria also offers protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and boosting doses of the 'double protection' treatment cuts the risk of infant deaths. Giving pregnant women regular doses of antimalarial drugs greatly reduces the danger of life-threatening birth problems linked to the mosquito-borne disease and STIs, a study led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) said. Read More

Humanitarian Health Updates


Red Cross says seven treated for exposure to toxic agents near Mosul

Five children and two women are receiving treatment for exposure to chemical agents near the Iraqi city of Mosul, where Islamic State is fighting U.S.-backed Iraqi forces. The United States has warned that Islamic State could use weapons containing sulfur mustard agents to repel the offensive on the northern Iraqi city. ICRC medical teams were supporting local medical teams treating the seven patients, who were admitted over the past two days to Rozhawa hospital in Erbil, east of Mosul, the organization said. The Islamic State used chemical weapons at least 52 times in Iraq and Syria and at least 19 times in the areas around Mosul between 2014 and November 2016, according to data collected by IHS Markit. The ICRC had reinforced 13 medical centres in areas surrounding Mosul, some with capacity to treat gas attacks victims, ahead of the offensive that started in October. Read More
 

Yemenis fight for survival as famine looms

It has been almost two years since Yemen’s third-largest city had running water or electricity. Worn down by relentless shelling and street-to-street fighting, Taiz is heading into its third year of conflict. But while the seemingly unending hostilities drag on, civilians, every day, face an ever more deadly fight: a battle against starvation. Taiz is one of two governorates (out of 22) already facing emergency levels of food insecurity. But the UN said last week that the whole of Yemen faces a credible risk of famine in the next six months. In four therapeutic feeding centres in Taiz governorate, records show the number of children being treated for SAM has more than doubled compared to pre-war figures. Most of those being admitted for treatment hail from al-Sabir mountain, outside the city. With escalating violence on the western coast of the governorate forcing tens of thousands from their homes since January, unless there is a dramatic change in the trajectory of Yemen’s conflict in the coming months, Taiz governorate is more than likely to be one of the first to gain the undesirable label of “famine.” Read More


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People

Mija-Tesse Ververs

Core Faculty Member Bio: Completed her studies of Nutrition (1985) and...

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Paul Anthony Bolton

Faculty Member JHSPH Faculty Page | SciVal Research Page Bio: Paul Bolton is...

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Alexander Vu

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James C. Cobey

Graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in History specializing in Thai...

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Catherine Lee

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