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The Top 5 Most Ignored Humanitarian Crises

The sluggish international response to the Pakistan floods emergency is actually not all that sluggish, at least compared to these humanitarian crises. Introducing the five most under-funded and ignored humanitarian crises:

1) Iraqi Refugees


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Quartet pleased with resumption of Israel-Palestine peace talks; How to arrest Somali Pirates; Pakistan Flood Relief reacts

Middle East peace talks: today the Quartet issued a statement which reaffirms their support for direct negotiations and calls on the Israelis and Palestinians to launch negotiations September 2 in Washington, D.C.  Asked about the SG’s reaction to the reported agreement to resume direct talks, the Spokesperson said he is awaiting official confirmation of the decision.

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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Calls out Climate Change Skeptics

Yesterday, Pakistan's foreign minister addressed the General Assembly. It is among the most powerful things I have read about the historic floods.  Beyond the immediate concerns of keeping people fed, sheltered and safe, you get a real sense of just how deeply transformative this calamity will be for Pakistan's social and economic structure.

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Who is Giving What for Pakistan Relief?

Funding for Pakistan relief efforts is finally starting to roll in ahead of a meeting at the UN General Assembly today.  The latest figures released by the UN show that the flash appeal is only $40 million of its $460 million target. That is a big improvement from yesterday, when the fund was only about 50% filled. 

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Pakistan Can’t Get No Relief

The finance minister of Afghanistan handed over a $1 million check to the Pakistani Ambassador yesterday. For the record, that makes Afghanistan a larger donor to Pakistan flood relief efforts than France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, and Estonia (among others). Not to judge, but is $917,431 for flood relief all that France can really afford right now?

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Uncommited Pledges on Pakistan

Al Jazeera captures a great quote that speaks to some of the frustrations felt by the first responders to Pakistan's massive floods:

"We cannot spend pledges. We cannot buy purification tablets, we cannot support Pakistan with pledges," Daniel Toole, the South Asia regional director for the UN's children fund, Unicef, said on Tuesday. "I urge the international community to urgently change pledges into cheques."

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Secretary Clinton on the Global Health Initiative and “Filling the Gaps” on the MDGs

Secretary Clinton gave a big speech at Johns Hopkins University on the Obama administration's Global Health Initiative yesterday. The GHI, as it is known, is a six year, $63 billion plan to improve public health in the developing world. The program builds on some George W. Bush administration successes, like PEPFAR and the President's Malaria Initiative,  to support partner country efforts at building capacity in their public health sectors.