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Pakistani Taliban Deny Responsibility For Attacks On Polio Workers

“The Pakistani Taliban on Friday denied any involvement in attacks on polio workers, which have killed 21 people since December, but confirmed it opposed the vaccination as ‘un-Islamic,'” Agence France-Presse reports. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesperson for the umbrella group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told AFP, “We have no link with the attacks on…

U.N. Aid Agency Heads Appeal To World Leaders To End Syrian Violence

“World leaders must act urgently to break the diplomatic deadlock around Syria if they want to prevent the crisis from reaching a dangerous tipping point, the heads of the United Nations aid agencies said on Monday in a rare political appeal,” Reuters reports (Humphries, 4/15). In the statement, published as an…

Some Public Health Experts Concerned Over Saudi Arabia’s Response To SARS-Like Virus

“A SARS-like virus has infected 15 people, nine of whom have died, mostly in Saudi Arabia, worrying some Western scientists who question whether the kingdom is sharing enough critical data on the outbreak,” “[b]ut a top Saudi Arabia health official rejected those complaints on Tuesday and said the virus posed…

U.S. Continues To Respond To Syrian Crisis

Noting “[t]he two-year anniversary of the Syria uprising coincides with another dark milestone: over one million refugees have fled Syria,” Anne Richard, assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration, writes in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog, “This escalating crisis … is challenging all of us to do more.…

USAID Blog Examines Water Management Issues In The Middle East

The first three entries of a four-part series, titled “USAID in the Middle East,” have been published in the agency’s “IMPACTblog.” The first post discusses the use of data to improve water management in the region (Harris, 3/20). The second post looks at the use of the Famine Early Warning…

International Community Seems Powerless To Stop Attacks On Polio Workers

Noting a number of attacks against polio workers in Pakistan over the past few months, Asif Saeed Memon, an associate fellow at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, writes in a Dawn.com opinion piece, “As a response to the attacks, the governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suspended the campaign for a…

Increase In Violence Hindering Access To Health Care In Afghanistan, Red Cross Warns

“An increase in armed groups and the splintering of insurgent factions is cutting Afghans off from health care in ever greater numbers, the Red Cross has warned,”The Guardian reports. “Roadblocks, roadside bombs, the risk of being caught up in fighting and unprovoked attacks are all stopping civilians from getting to hospitals,…

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