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War, Conflict Hinders Global Polio Eradication Efforts

In an opinion piece in The Conversation, John Rhodes, a fellow at the Royal College of Pathologists, examines how war, conflict and distrust in Syria are hindering global polio eradication efforts. “War in the country has seriously affected health services and immunization programs, and suspected polio in 22 children has…

IRIN Examines Use Of Goodwill Ambassadors To Raise Awareness Of Development Issues

IRIN examines the use of Goodwill Ambassadors to champion development-related causes. “[T]here is no denying the global attention and resources that well-known personalities can bring to their chosen causes, … [b]ut using actors, musicians and sports stars to convey messages about potentially complex development issues has its pitfalls,” the news…

Humanitarian Situation Deteriorating In Syria As Winter Months Approach

“With more than five million people internally displaced, a suspected polio outbreak, and starvation threatening, the United Nations and aid agencies say that just a trickle of the required assistance is getting into war-ravaged Syria as the harsh winter months loom,” the Washington Post reports. “The U.N. humanitarian chief, Valerie…

USAID’s Disaster Assistance Helps India Avoid More Deaths After Cyclone

Noting a cyclone killed at least 10,000 people on the east coast of India in 1999, and a similar cyclone last week hit the same area, resulting in about 50 fatalities, Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID, writes in the Huffington Post’s “World”…

International Community ‘Must Act Quickly’ To Deliver Life-Saving Assistance To Syrians

“The world already knows that [Syria's] Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons, indiscriminate bombing, arbitrary detentions, rape, and torture against his own citizens,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry writes in a Foreign Policy opinion piece. “What is far less well known, and equally intolerable, is the systematic denial of…

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…