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War In Iraq Impacted Health Care System, IRIN Reports

As part of its special report on the humanitarian impact of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, titled “Iraq: Ten Years On,” IRIN examines the “impact of the 2003 invasion and subsequent conflict on Iraq’s health care system.” The news service writes, “The conflict shattered Iraq’s primary health care delivery, disease…

Opinion Pieces Address Health, Humanitarian Issues In War-Torn Syria

The following is a summary of opinion pieces addressing health and humanitarian issues in war-torn Syria. Renee Behinfar, The Hill’s “Congress Blog”: “Syrian youths face repeated exposure to trauma, ongoing threats to their lives, and minimal access to food, water, and shelter,” Behinfar, a clinical psychologist and human rights advocate,…

U.S. Has Played ‘Major Role’ In Afghan Health, But Report On U.S.-Built Hospitals Shows More Could Have Been Done

“Last week, the federal Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), examined a pair of hospitals [USAID] is building in the eastern part of the country,” Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Thompson reports in Time Magazine’s “Battlefield” blog, noting, “It found the hospitals too big for Afghanistan to handle.” Thompson continues, “IGAR…

International Donors Pledge More Than $4B To Fund Mali Development Plan

“An E.U.-led donor conference agreed on Wednesday to provide €3.25 billion [$4.18 billion] to fund a sweeping development plan for Mali, but European donors made clear that the interim government must live up to its promises to implement democratic and social reforms in exchange for the international lifeline,” The Guardian…

Rising Temperatures, Poor Sanitation Increasing Health Risks For Syrian Refugees, Oxfam Says

“Aid organization Oxfam warned on Monday that the warmer weather will increase health-related risks for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and appealed for urgent funds,” Agence France-Presse reports (5/20). “Oxfam said a combination of rising summer temperatures and poor sanitation posed increased health risks for…

Opinion Pieces Address Maritime Aspects Of Proposed Food Aid Program Reforms

The following opinion pieces address food aid program reforms proposed by the Obama administration in its FY 2014 budget request. Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Nick Rahall (D-W.V.), U.S. News & World Report: “[T]he Obama administration recently proposed restructuring the food aid program as primarily a cash voucher…

Linking Food Security, Global Health Programming

“[H]unger and food security programs are essential to address the root causes of malnutrition and poverty, … [and] those of us working in global health must programmatically link up with food programs to achieve our vision of a healthier world,” Karen Blyth, director for East Africa programs at IntraHealth, writes…

Disease Outbreaks In Syria ‘Inevitable,’ WHO Warns

“Outbreaks of hepatitis, typhoid, cholera or dysentery are ‘inevitable’ in Syria and its neighbors this summer, while cases of measles and other infections are already growing because of the country’s broken health system and increasing numbers of displaced people, the [WHO] has warned,” The Guardian reports (Meikle, 6/4). “Almost 4.25…

President Obama Names Susan Rice, Samantha Power To Major National Security Posts

“President Obama named Susan E. Rice and Samantha Power to major national security posts on Wednesday, promoting two outspoken voices for humanitarian intervention on a foreign policy team known for its deep caution in dealing with conflicts abroad,” the New York Times reports (Landler, 6/5). “Susan E. Rice, whom Obama…

More Flexibility Needed In U.S. Food Aid System

“While far more aid is still needed in Syria and [for] the refugees in neighboring countries, the U.S. government has been able to pursue a flexible approach in the country that better responds to needs on the ground,” Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, and Raymond Offenheiser, president…