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IDB To Provide $251M Loan For Pakistan’s Polio Vaccination Program

“The Islamic Development Bank has approved a $251 million loan for Pakistan’s anti-polio program as attacks against health workers continue,” Devex’s “Development Newswire” reports. “The loan will finance a program worth $300 million, which will be managed by the Pakistani government until 2015, when the disease is expected to be…

Associated Press Examines International Aid To Afghanistan As Troops Withdraw

The Associated Press examines how the “impending withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign combat forces” from Afghanistan is affecting international aid to the country, which is “on the decline because of donor fatigue and fears of deteriorating security after nearly 12 years of war.” The news agency continues, “Worried about losing hard-won…

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…

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,…

White House Condemns Assaults Against Women In Egypt Demonstrations

“The White House on Friday condemned the rape and assault of women at recent demonstrations in Egypt and called on the Cairo government to prevent sexual violence and prosecute those responsible,” Reuters reports (Mason/Holland, 3/29). “White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the administration was ‘deeply concerned’ about reports of sexual…