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UNHCR Says African Drought Threatens ‘Human Tragedy Of Unimaginable Proportions’

High rates of malnutrition in the Horn of Africa, combined with violence in Somali, “are threatening ‘a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions,’ the UNHCR warned” on Wednesday, the AFP/Daily Telegraph/Vancouver Sun reports. More than 12 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda have been hit by severe drought and rising food prices, forcing thousands to leave their homes and seek assistance in already-overflowing refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, the newspaper notes (Flood, 7/7).

Sen. Rubio Defends Foreign Aid In Video Response To Constituent Letter

“Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is becoming an increasingly critical and hawkish voice on the Obama administration’s foreign policy, but he is actually a supporter of U.S. foreign assistance programs and made the case for maintaining this funding to his constituents last week,” Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog writes.

Donor Fatigue Harming Efforts To Fight Drought In Horn Of Africa, Aid Agencies Say

As a severe drought affecting Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia forces more people into refugee camps, donor fatigue is harming aid agencies’ abilities to work in the Horn of Africa, because “these recurrent droughts used to happen every 5-10 years but what we see now is it basically every other year … an indication of climate change conditions,” Michael Klaus, UNICEF spokesperson for east and southern Africa, told Reuters in an interview (Gachenge, 7/2).

New Tools Can Significantly Reduce HIV/AIDS Worldwide

“We are entering a new era in HIV prevention. PEPFAR promoted a ‘combination prevention’ strategy from the beginning. But the tools were limited. Scientific advances could give individuals the ability to determine the prevention intervention that works best for them. Preliminary mathematical models suggest that combining a full range of prevention interventions is additive – and could drive the epidemic down to a manageable level so that when a vaccine is available, it could mop up what remains,” former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Mark Dybul writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece.

African Health Experts Visit Capitol Hill To Discuss Family Planning

The Global Health Council’s “Global Health” blog published two articles on Wednesday examining family planning in West Africa. In the first article, John Donnelly interviewed Bocar Mamadou Daff, director of reproductive health services in Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Prevention, about participating in the council’s annual conference and speaking to…

More Than 10M People Affected By Drought In East Africa, U.N. Says

More than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa “are affected by the drought in one way or other,” Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports.

Mobile Technology, Global Health And Humanitarian Relief

This ONE Blog post describes a $28 million public-private partnership between the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and the Vodafone Foundation, which has helped mobile technology “become inextricably connected to global health and humanitarian relief.” The post describes how mobile phones are helping physicians track patient records and disease outbreaks and…