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U.N., Syria Launch Campaign To Vaccinate 2.5 Children Against Polio

“The United Nations has announced that it will vaccinate 2.5 million children and eight million others in Syria to prevent a widespread outbreak of polio,” GlobalPost reports (Stainburn, 10/26). “As Syria awaits confirmation of suspected polio cases in the east of the country, UNICEF has joined the [WHO] and other…

Syrian Crisis Overshadowing Humanitarian Situations In CAR, DRC, U.N. Official Says

UNICEF Emergencies Director Ted Chaiban “says the dire humanitarian situations in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo are being overshadowed by the crisis in Syria,” VOA News reports. He “was part of an assessment mission to both African countries by the directors of emergencies for seven…

Syria Reports 22 Suspected Polio Cases In Country’s First Outbreak In 14 Years

“At least 22 people are suspected of having polio in Syria, the first outbreak of the crippling viral disease in 14 years, the [WHO] said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “The WHO, a U.N. agency, said on Saturday that two suspected cases of polio had been detected, the first appearance of…

MSF Officials Discuss Organization’s Withdrawal From Somalia

In the PLOS “Speaking of Medicine” blog, Unni Karunakara, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) international president from June 2010 through September 2013, and Jean-Christophe Dollé, MSF representative to Somalia since June 2013, “describe the challenges faced by Médecins Sans Frontières’ TB program as the organization withdrew from Somalia in response to…

Afghanistan IG Finds Delays, Overpayments On USAID-Supported Hospital Construction Project

“A U.S.-funded effort to build a 100-bed civilian hospital in eastern Afghanistan has fallen almost two years behind its planned completion because of poor contractor performance and deficient internal controls, according to an inspector general’s audit [.pdf],” Bloomberg reports (Capaccio, 10/23). “The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said…

U.S. Continues To Support Displaced Persons In Iraq

National Security Staff Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Stephen Pomper and Kelly Clements, deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, write in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog about a recent trip to Iraq “to ensure that U.S. government humanitarian programs and policies are…

Medical Workers In Syria Struggle With Safety, Ethics, New York Times Reports

“[W]hile the Obama administration claims credit for pushing President Bashar al-Assad into giving up [Syria's chemical weapon stockpile], some experts say the real credit lies with the doctors who risked their lives — and confronted thorny questions of medical ethics — to bring to light the use of chemical weapons,”…

Humanitarian Assistance For Displaced Malian Women Needed To Prevent ‘Survival Sex’

Writing in an opinion piece in The Hill’s “Congress” blog, Marcy Hersh, a senior advocate at Refugees International, says that some displaced Malians are resorting to “survival sex, a form of prostitution used by those in extreme need.” She notes, “One year ago, following a coup that ousted Mali’s president,…