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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…

Cases Of New Coronavirus Rises To 17, Number Of Deaths Is 11

“The deadly and mysterious coronavirus that first appeared in Saudi Arabia last year has claimed two more victims, bringing the official death toll to 11,” and the case count to 17, the Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog reports. “The 17 patients identified so far are just the ‘tip of…

Humanitarian Response To Syrian Conflict ‘Half-Hearted At Best’

“The massacre in Syria rages on and yet we stand idle. We must realize that, to millions of Syrians trapped in the country, the virtual absence of humanitarian relief is nearly as arbitrary and cruel as the war itself,” Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel peace…

Parents, Officials In Pakistan Working To Bring Polio Vaccine To Areas Under Militant Control

“Parents and officials are going to great lengths to immunize children after militants imposed a ban on polio vaccinations in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan Agency,” with some parents “traveling long distances to get their children vaccinated” or “smuggling the vaccine back home,” IRIN reports. “Militants in the area banned all polio vaccinations…

Hong Kong Researchers Examine Health Risks Of New SARS-Like Virus

“A new coronavirus that emerged in the Middle East last fall could be deadlier than the SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 774 people between 2002 and 2003, researchers from the University of Hong Kong said … in a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases this…

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…

Security Concerns Hindering Polio Immunizations In Pakistan, WHO Official Says

“Some 240,000 children have missed U.N.-backed vaccinations against polio because of security concerns in Pakistan’s tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, a top official with the World Health Organization said Friday,” the Associated Press/Huffington Post reports. “Nima Saeed Abid, the acting WHO chief in Pakistan, said health workers have not been able to immunize…

UNICEF Running Out Of Money For Humanitarian Aid To Syrian Refugees

“The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) [on Friday] warned that it may be forced to stop humanitarian assistance to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan due to insufficient funds,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “Donors have so far contributed $12 million to UNICEF against an appeal of $57 million for…