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Increase In Saudi MERS Cases Raises Questions About Transparency

Reuters: Scientists question Saudi openness on deadly MERS virus outbreak “A dramatic upward revision in the number of people killed by the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia may signal a fresh approach from Riyadh, but also raises new questions about how the two-year-old outbreak has been handled…” (Kelland, 6/5).

Drought Compounds WASH, Health Problems In Syria, U.N. Says

New York Times: Syria: Drought Adds to Woes, U.N. Says “The supply of safe water in Syria is now one-third of the level it was before March 2011 when the civil war began, UNICEF said Friday in a report that warns of new levels of suffering because of a worsening…

Iranian Family Planning Push Raises Ire Among Some Women, Activists

New York Times: Urged to Multiply, Iranian Couples Are Dubious “…Worried about a steep decline in fertility rates that experts are predicting could reduce population growth to zero within 20 years, Tehran has started a broad initiative to persuade Iranian families to have more children. … [However,] some women and…

Pakistan’s Polio Case Numbers Rise As Taliban Enforces Vaccination Ban

Bloomberg News: Polio Cases Jump in Pakistan Amid Taliban Vaccination Ban “Pakistan reported 11 new cases of polio on a single day last week, bringing this year’s official count to 138, a four-fold increase from last year, as the crippling disease spreads amid Islamist militancy and suspicion…” (Anis/Gokhale, 9/8).

Iraqi Kurdistan’s FGM Practice Can End Within A Generation, U.N. Expert Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Iraqi Kurdistan could end FGM in a generation — expert “Female genital mutilation could be eradicated in Iraqi Kurdistan within a generation, a U.N. expert said this week as a survey revealed high support for ending what she called an ‘abominable crime.’ The study, released by U.N.…

U.S. DoD Makes $500M Request For Ebola Efforts, Humanitarian Crises In Iraq, Syria

Foreign Policy: Shifting Priorities: Pentagon Wants to Move Money for Ebola, Ukraine, and Iraq “…The Defense Department is making a big lump sum request of $500 million for humanitarian assistance to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa and to address the suffering the Islamic State is inflicting upon…

International Cooperation Needed To Address Humanitarian Crises In Syria, Iraq

The following opinion pieces discuss issues surrounding the humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria. Huffington Post: Iraq, Syria Plan Must Include Food for Hungry William Lambers, author and blogger “As President Obama sets forth a plan to destroy the terrorist army ISIL, a broader initiative must be in place to…

Number Of Child Marriages Increase In Jordan Refugee Camps

New York Times: In Jordan, Ever Younger Syrian Brides “…For many Syrians stuck in Jordan’s squalid and sometimes dangerous refugee camps, marrying girls off at younger and younger ages is increasingly being seen as a necessity — a way of easing the financial burden on families with little or no…