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USAID Pledges $20M In Humanitarian Aid To Somalia

“Signaling the latest step forward in rapidly strengthening U.S.-Somalia relations, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development spent five hours in Mogadishu on Thursday, the highest ranking U.S. administration official to visit Somalia’s capital in years,” theAssociated Press reports (Guled/Straziuso, 2/21). Rajiv Shah “spent five hours … in the…

Coalition Of Aid Groups Warn Of Sequestration’s Effects On Humanitarian Aid In Open Letter

“A coalition of aid groups including CARE, Catholic Relief Services, InterAction, the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Refugees International, World Vision, and many others delivered a letter [.pdf] to the White House and Congress Wednesday pointing out that 2013 has already been a year where the resources devoted to humanitarian assistance have…

U.N. Official Says Humanitarian Situation In Syria Deteriorating But Efforts To Reach Those Affected Continue

“Humanitarian agencies are trying to keep up with the rising needs stemming from the ongoing conflict in Syria, the top United Nations relief official said [Tuesday], while noting that limited access is preventing everyone who requires assistance from receiving it,” the U.N. News Centre reports. Speaking to journalists following the Syria Humanitarian…

U.S. Should Provide Additional Humanitarian Aid To Syria

“As Syria burns, Washington has begun a debate over the supply of humanitarian assistance to the millions displaced, injured or penniless from civil war,” Morton Abramowitz, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and a former ambassador to Turkey, writes in an opinion piece in The Atlantic. He summarizes differing…

Relief Efforts In Syria Trying To Keep Pace, U.N. Humanitarian Aid Chief Says

“Relief efforts are failing to keep pace with the scale of the emergency in Syria, where the death toll has risen to nearly 70,000, the U.N.’s head of humanitarian operations said on Wednesday,” the Guardian reports. “Baroness Valerie Amos said the U.N. and its partners were struggling to cope with the number…

President Obama Delivers SOTU Address, Mentioning Trade Agreements, AIDS-Free Generation

“President Barack Obama outlined an ambitious agenda in his State of the Union address Tuesday that included raising the minimum wage, increasing spending on infrastructure, attacking climate change and passing gun-control legislation,” the Wall Street Journal reports (2/13). “Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to urge the United States to…

Former U.N. Official Criticizes NGO Efforts To Campaign For Aid To Sudanese

“The former head of the U.N. in Sudan has criticized [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] for failing to campaign for aid to flow to people trapped in a war zone on the border with South Sudan,” the Guardian reports. “Mukesh Kapila, who crossed into the war zone without government permission during a visit last…

Disruption Of Water, Sanitation Services Threaten Health In Syria; Conflict Causes Surge In Number Of Syrian Refugees

“The severe disruption of water and sanitation services and a lack of access to basic hygiene in Syria have increased the risk of waterborne diseases among children, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) [warned Friday], following a nationwide assessment,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The agency found that in areas affected by…

WFP Resumes Food Aid Delivery In Northern Mali Amid NGO Warnings Of Increasing Need

“Communities in northern Mali are in need of humanitarian intervention following the recent military operations in Gao and Timbuktu, leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to call for deliveries of food aid, fuel and even currency notes,” Inter Press Service reports (Haddad, 2/5). On Tuesday, U.N. World Food Programme spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said the…