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Ebola Spreads to Yet Another African Country

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So far, the one case in Senegal has been imported with no-confirmed in-country transmissions. But we are still very much in the incubation period. “Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.he 21-year-old left Guinea on Aug. 15, just days after his brother died of the disease, according to Guinea’s Health Ministry. It said that the brother apparently caught Ebola in Sierra Leone… The student traveled by road, crossing into Senegal despite a border closure. He arrived in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, on Aug. 20, according to the World Health Organization, and was staying with relatives on the outskirts of the city. (AP

Trouble in Lesotho…“Lesotho’s prime minister has asked southern African states to send peacekeepers into his mountain kingdom to restore order after an apparent coup over the weekend, his aide said on Monday. Thomas Thabane fled Lesotho for South Africa early on Saturday, hours before the army surrounded his residence and overran police stations in the capital Maseru, in what the prime minister called a coup by the military. The unrest stems from a power struggle between Thabane, who is supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, who has the loyalty of the army, diplomats said.”  (Reuters


Nigeria has a third confirmed case of Ebola disease in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, bringing the country’s total confirmed infections to 16, with around 200 people under surveillance, the health minister said on Monday. (Reuters

A hospital in the Swedish capital is investigating a possible case of Ebola, Swedish media reported. (Reuters

Residents of Liberia’s West Point neighborhood are jubilant now that the government has lifted a 10 day-old quarantine of the densely populated borough of the capital, Monrovia. (VOA

USAID is providing an additional $5 million to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The announcement brings USAID’s commitment for the Ebola response to nearly $19.6 million since the outbreak was first reported in March 2014. (FrontPageAfrica

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has rejected the World Health Organization’s prediction that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people before it is brought under control. (The New Dawn

Nearly 260 health workers in West Africa have been infected, and 134 have died. Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University, who worked with five who died, discusses the devastation in the community with NPR.


 A grouping of former Seleka rebels in Central African Republic said it had expelled from its ranks several members serving in a new government seeking to stop a cycle of deadly clashes between Muslims and Christians. (Reuters

A Somali clan leader who fought for years to retake a strategic southern port city he once controlled has laid down arms and joined talks, bolstering government efforts to show it can restore order to a chaotic nation. (Reuters

 Frustrated by a resurgence of intercommunal conflict, Kenya’s top humanitarian official has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to make good on a threat to deploy the army in perennially restive areas in the country’s northeast. (IRIN

 Extreme poverty drives some Kenyans to scavenge through rubbish dumps for materials to sell for recycling. At the main dump in Eldoret, a town in Kenya’s Rift valley with a population of 280,000, people sift through debris, despite the risks of disease and injury, and the threat of violence. (Guardian

China aggressively pursues and locks in economic opportunities using, according to analysts, suitcases full of cash when it is needed to close the deal. Another tactic used by Beijing is the “gift” of building and donating public works projects to African states that have raw materials and other things that China wants access to. (VOA


At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos. (IPS

At least 13 people have been killed and 45 wounded in clashes between Islamists and forces of renegade general allied to the regular army in Libya’s eastern Benghazi city, medics said. (Reuters


Protesters carrying sticks and stones clashed anew with police in Pakistan’s capital Monday. The demonstrators have been protesting for weeks, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Despite heavy rain, crowds of protesters tried to break through police lines to push their way to the prime minister’s residence in Islamabad. (VOA

India’s economy is showing signs of recovery with the rate of growth at its fastest pace in over two years. The government says it expects the trend to continue. (VOA

A major ethnic group, the Karen National Union, has suspended its membership in the coalition group that has been working with the government of Myanmar on a nationwide cease-fire agreement. (VOA

A blaze at a vast rubbish dump home to six million tonnes of putrefying trash and toxic effluent has kindled fears that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis.

Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo. (AP

The Americas

Cuba restricts the amount of foreign goods that travellers can bring into the country, where locally-made items are scarce and expensive. (BBC

Parts of Latin America are severely parched. The drought is fueling clashes, forcing rationing, decimating crops and affecting travel through the Panama Canal. (NPR


Africans’ Land Rights at Risk as New Agricultural Trend Sweeps Continent (IPS

Lesotho: What’s Going on in Lesotho? A Rough Guide (VOX

Hunger in the Land of Enough (Daily Maverick

Putting our money where our mouths are? Donations to NGOs and support for ODA in Australia (DevPolicy

The UN’s technocratic answer to the ‘data revolution’ (Aidnography

What’s so bad about development? (Guardian

Making progress in foreign aid research (Devpolicy

Poverty continues what the Khmer Rouge started (WhyDev

What are all these violent images doing to us? (Dart-Throwing Chimp


Our collective interest: why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action (ODI

The world will fail to meet international targets to eradicate poverty and hunger unless countries improve the way they use rainwater, which billions of people depend on to grow food, leading water experts said. (TRF

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a map of where syrian refugees have gone. From UNHCR

Map of the Day: Syria’s Ignominious Milestone

As of today, the number of Syrian refugees has surpassed three million.

Here is where they have gone, from the UN Refugee Agency.

a map of where syrian refugees have gone. From UNHCR

I think it’s worth adding a little bit more context to this figure. The Syrian civil war broke out in March 2011.  By the end of August 2012, there were 199,471 refugees. By the end of August 2013 that number surged to 1,834,708 people who fled fighting in Syria. Now, just one year later, that number has increased by over 1 million people.

Even more context: the three million refugees represent less than half of the total number of people displaced by Syria’s conflict. There’s an estimated 6.5 million people displaced inside Syria. This means that about half of Syria’s population has now been forced to flee their homes.

These figures are absolutely appalling. But what’s worse is that these figures are still increasing. There’s been no letup in the fighting and no letup in the number of Syrians fleeing for their lives. The situation in Syria shows absolutely no sign of abating anytime soon. Any international diplomatic effort to put an end to this civil war is stalled, perhaps permanently so.

Things are bad in Syria. And more than three years after the conflict they are only getting worse. This is a stain on the entire international community.

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Security Council extends UN force in Golan Heights, calling for greater support. UNDOF peacekeepers on patrol in the Golan Heights. UN Photo/Gernot Payer

UN Peacekeepers Detained by Syrian Rebels. Scores More Threatened

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Syrian rebels–quite probably the Al Qaeda affiliate al Nusra–have abducted over 40 peacekeepers are are threatening scores more. This is a very tense situation, but not an unusual one for UN Peacekeeping. ” Syrian rebels surrounded dozens of defiant Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Friday and demanded they give up their weapons, hours after taking 43 Fijian soldiers hostage, authorities said. Seventy-five Filipino members of a United Nations peacekeeping force were defending two posts on the Syrian side of Golan Heights, and were prepared to fight back rather than surrender, their commander in Manila said. ‘We can use deadly force in defence of the UN facilities,” Colonel Roberto Ancan told reporters.”I [would] just like to emphasise our troops are well-armed, they are well-trained … they are well-disciplined warrior peacekeepers.’”(Guardian

Containing Ebola is going to WAY More Expensive than realized. The WHO released a new “Roadmap” to contain the spread of the outbreak in West Africa. The top line news is that more than 20,000 people could get infected before its brought under control. But the roadmap also shows that much more funding is needed to bring this under control. “This updated document is an important step in ensuring that the world’s response to the outbreak is better coordinated and more comprehensive. But it also comes with a hefty new price tag: $490 million—a nearly five-fold increase over their previous $100 million estimate. Why did the price tag increase so much over the last few weeks? The simplest explanation is “more cases, more places.” Since the WHO’s previous estimate was released at the end of July, the Ebola epidemic has spread more rapidly and in more places than many initially anticipated, including new cases in Nigeria. But the price tag is also larger because previous estimates may not have planned for such an aggressive response.”(ONE

Open Defecation in the UN’s Crosshairs… “The world’s lack of progress in building toilets and ending open defecation is having a “staggering” effect on the health, safety, education, prosperity and dignity of 2.5 billion people, the UN deputy secretary general, Jan Eliasson, has warned.Speaking as the UN prepares to debate a new set of development goals – and in the aftermath of the rape and murder of two Indian girls who were attacked as they ventured into a field to relieve themselves – Eliasson said the failure to address the issue of sanitation would prove disastrous for a third of humanity. “Sanitation is cross-cutting: if you make progress on sanitation, then you dramatically improve the achievement of at least four other goals,” he told the Guardian. (Guardian


Mark interviews BuzzFeed’s Jina Moore who offers an inside look at the toll Ebola is extracting in Liberia. (Global Dispatches Podcast

The worst ever outbreak of the Ebola disease is likely to lead to “sharply” lower growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and raise financing needs in all three West African countries, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday. (Reuters

West African states should re-open their borders and end flight bans put in place to halt the spread of Ebola, the Economic Community of West African States said on Thursday. (Reuters

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,552 people out of 3,069 known cases in four countries and “continues to accelerate”, the WHO said on Thursday. (Reuters

An experimental Ebola vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline is being fast-tracked into human studies and the company plans to build a stockpile of up to 10,000 doses for emergency deployment, if results are good. (VOA


With the approach of the Gambia’s 2016 presidential elections, which will see President Yahya Jammeh seek re-election for a fifth, five-year tenure, more than a dozen opposition activists have been arrested, detained and prosecuted in the past eight months. (IPS

Zambian President Michael Sata fired Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba on Thursday, his spokesman said, removing a potential rival at a time when questions are being asked about the health of the leader of Africa’s second-largest copper producer. (Reuters

Niger’s leader of the opposition and parliamentary speaker Hama Amadou has fled to neighbouring Burkina Faso after parliamentary leaders authorised his arrest on suspicion of involvement in a baby-trafficking network, his lawyer said on Thursday. (Reuters

Security concerns are preventing the United Nations gathering data from some areas of South Sudan to determine the full scope of a food crisis that could lead to full-blown famine by the end of the year, a WFP official said. (Reuters

A thick grey swarm of locusts engulfed Madagascar’s capital on Thursday, sending children scuttling and causing florists to burn tyres in panic. A bank of ravenous insects clouded the sky over Antananarivo, with countless thousands raining down dead on to the streets.


There are no official statistics on child marriage in Lebanon, but it takes place in several rural areas in the country and has risen with the influx of Syrian refugees, experts say. Now, Lebanon is trying to tackle the problem with legislation that would give civil authorities a role in an area that is usually the preserve of clerics.

Vital humanitarian aid poured into Gaza on Thursday as residents began rebuilding their lives following a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas that experts say left no winners. Israel agreed to immediately lift restrictions on fishing, allowing boats to work up to six nautical miles from the shore in a move which went into effect early on Wednesday.


Afghanistan’s U.N. representative told President Hamid Karzai on Thursday that the audit of a disputed election would not be finished by Sept. 2, when Karzai had hoped to see a new leader inaugurated. (Reuters

A new law designed to regulate Afghanistan’s nascent mining sector could increase corruption, lead to forced displacements and even allow armed groups to take control of the sector, transparency groups have warned. (IRIN

A major protest day that Pakistan’s opposition termed decisive drew to a close on Thursday evening with thousands of activists still massed outside parliament demanding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign. (Reuters

A Thai criminal court on Thursday threw out charges of murder and abuse of power faced by a former prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and his then deputy over a deadly crackdown on street protesters in 2010.

The Americas

Concerned that climate change could lead to an intensification of the global hydrological cycle, Caribbean stakeholders are working to ensure it is included in the region’s plans for Integrated Water Resources Management. (IPS

Problems in access to quality drinking water, supply shortages and inadequate sanitation are challenges facing development and the fight against poverty in Latin America. A new regional centre based in Brazil will monitor water to improve its management. (IPS

Police in Brazil have broken up an Amazon deforestation gang considered the worst currently active, officials said. The gang would invade public land in northern Para state, burn down forest, divided the land into parcels and sell them, federal police said in a statement.

Nicaragua is even poorer than Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador — which account for the vast majority of child migrants — but it has largely fended off the drug gangs terrorizing those countries and it sends few migrants north. (Reuters


How to Sustain the AfDB’s Progress after Kaberuka (CDG

Does the global HIV response understand sex? (IRIN

What women want – gender equality post 2015 (ODI

Will 74,400 Women Be Raped This August in South Africa? (Africa Check

“Yes you dolt, diseases can expand exponentially and Ebola just may” (Chris Blattman

The best evidence yet on how Theories of Change are being used in aid and development work (From Poverty to Power

Should We Use Randomized Trials for Anticorruption Education and Training? (Global Anticorruption Blog

Has the Potential of ICTs to Reduce Conflict in Africa been Over-Hyped? (World Bank

After 150 years, time to renew our commitment to the Geneva Conventions (The Interpreter

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The Deadly Fear of Ebola

In many ways, the fear of Ebola has been more deadly and consequential than the virus itself.

Jina Moore of BuzzFeed just returned from a reporting trip to Liberia where she detailed how the outbreak has transfixed Liberian society and politics. Moore is one of the best global beat reports in the game and her dispatches from Liberia are must-reads for anyone who wants deeper texture and analysis of ebola’s toll on a frontline state.



Previous Episodes

South Sudan’s Looming Famine

Episode 30: Jeff Sachs, economist

Sex Slaves in Iraq, an interview with Zainab Hawa Bangura, the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

Episode 29: Chris Hill, former Ambassador to Iraq and North Korea nuke negotiator

Kevin Jon Heller discusses the  International Criminal Court’s Palestine Problem

Episode 28: Nancy Birsdall, founder of the Center for Global Development

The WHO explains Why this Ebola Outbreak is So Hard to Contain

Episode 27: Daniel Drezner, counter-intuitive wonk

Michael W. Hanna on How to Negotiate a Gaza Ceasefire

Episode 25: Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE, USA. Long-time AIDS-Fighter

One Campaign’s Erin Hofhelder How Humanity is Winning the Fight Against AIDS

Episode 24: Joseph Cirincione, Nuclear Policy Wonk 

A Migrant’s Story: Why are So Many Children Fleeing to the USA?

Episode 23: Live from the UN 2014 (Volume 2); A special edition with a slew of UN officials.

Inside the Iran Nuke Talks

Episode 23: Jillian York, Digital Free Speech defender

Turkey’s Strategic Interests in Iraq

Episode 22: Live from the UN, 2014 (Vol 1); A special edition, featuring the President of the General Assembly,  the UN Ambassadors from Vietnam and Jamaica, the head of the UN Association, and more!

The UN’s View of the Iraq Crisis

Episode 21: Thomas Pickering, former Ambassador to the UN, Israel, Jordan, Russia, India and more.

Dying for the World Cup

Episode 20: Jessica Tuchman Matthews, foreign policy trendsetter

Egypt After the Counter Revolution 

Episode 19: Louise Arbour, human rights pioneer.

What Obama Left Out of His Big Foreign Policy Speech

Episode 18: Zalmay Khalizad, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN.

Why Libya is Suddenly on the Verge of a Civil War 

Episode 17: Gov Bill Richardson, he frees hostages.

The Foreign Policy Implications of India’s Elections

Episode 16: Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children

What Boko Haram Wants

Episode: 15 Laura Turner Seydel, philanthropist

Episode 14: Douglas Ollivant, Iraq expert

Episode 13: Gary Bass, historian

Episode 12: Mark Montgomery, demographer

Episode 11: Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watcher

Episode 10: Live from the UN, Volume 2.

Episode 9: Mia Farrow, humanitarian activist and Goodwill Ambassador

Episode 8: Suzanne Nossel, Big Thinker

Episode 7: Live from the UN, Volume 1. 

Episode 6: PJ Crowley, former State Department Spokesperson

Episode 5: Octavia Nasr, reporter

Episode 4: Arsalan Iftikhar, “The Muslim Guy”

Episode 3: Dodge Billingsley, filmmaker.

Episode 2: Laura Seay,  @TexasinAfrica

Episode 1: Heather Hurlburt, national security wonk


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a cruise missile fired toward Libya, credit wikipedia

Syria, Libya and the Challenge of Intervention

It is no longer a question of if, but when: the U.S. and several of its European and Middle Eastern allies appear poised to expand airstrikes against the Islamic State by targeting the organization’s sanctuaries in northern Syria. These developments have sparked intense debate over whether an earlier and more decisive intervention in Syria’s civil war could have thwarted the rise of the militant group. But a critical reference that is largely absent from this discussion involves a separate regional conflagration that is being overshadowed by events in Iraq and Syria: the deterioration of Libya.

In evaluating the promise and pitfalls of international intervention in the Middle East, Libya provides an apt comparison to the Syrian case. Unlike in Syria, external actors operating under the auspices of NATO aggressively and successfully intervened on behalf of rebel forces, helping depose the reviled regime of Muammar Gaddafi and backing the formation of a new transitional government. But just like Syria, Libya has fractured into a handful of de-facto sovereign enclaves ruled by provincial militias that clash via a tangled web of ephemeral alliances. As in Syria, despite operating under the architecture of a national, unified state, the struggle for political and economic resources in Libya continues to unfold at the subnational and transnational levels, with claims to authority cloaked in ethnic, sectarian, and ideological appeals.

Two radically different intervention strategies have therefore yielded strikingly similar outcomes. Both Libya and Syria have become havens for militants, flooded with weapons and a steady stream of outside fighters. Both have witnessed Islamic hardliners — the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and Ansar al-Sharia in Libya – make significant gains over more moderate and nationalist factions. Despite an anti-Islamist resurgence led by Gen. Khalifa Hafter in Libya and the Free Syrian Army in Syria, the violence in both countries has emboldened regional affiliates or offshoots of Al Qaeda; AQIM in North Africa and the various subgroups that once comprised Al Qaeda in Iraq. Islamic authority has been declared in Benghazi, as it has in Raqqa and other towns in northern Syria and Iraq. And in both conflicts, combatants have benefitted from funding and supplies from Western and regional governments, in addition to Islamic charities and private donors. With the Islamic State’s incursion into Iraq, militants from both the Syrian and Libyan theaters enjoy access to lucrative oil resources that can be used to both sustain an insurgency and compensate for rudimentary governing structures.

These parallels serve as a critical reminder of the complexities of intervening in civil conflicts. Interventions can serve various purposes — political, military, humanitarian — and Libya reveals that a more concerted humanitarian and military response to the Syrian uprising would not have ensured a peaceful and sustainable resolution to local contests over political power. Absent a robust externally-imposed force, deposing Bashar al-Assad would not, and will not, bring stability to Syria any more than overthrowing Gaddafi brought stability to Libya. As the crosshairs move from Assad to the Islamic State, those debating an intervention should keep this in mind.

Decisive interventions often demand clear front lines and a commonly agreed-upon enemy. Libya benefited from this in the case of the feeble and wildly unpopular Gaddafi, but no longer. Like Syria (and to a degree, Iraq), Libya has proven to be a complex series of localized conflicts loosely connected under the vestiges of an artificial nation-state. Despite the regional implications, the international community is far from aligned on these battlefields.

While some argue that covert airstrikes against Libyan militants by Egypt and the UAE could open the door for allied operations both in Libya and against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, they should instead be seen as illustrating how split Western and Middle Eastern governments are in these proxy wars. The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, and the UAE and Egypt have all supported different (and often competing) armed groups. For those calling for intervention, then, the challenge lies not just in establishing clear goals – but getting leaders to agree on them.

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Screen shot 2014-08-13 at 9.48.38 AM

The Crushing Economic Toll of Ebola

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At this point most airlines have suspended flights to ebola affected countries, despite the WHO’s insistence that such measures are unnecessary and counter-productive. Many economic development projects are now on hold. “Ebola is causing enormous damage to West African economies, draining budgetary resources and slashing economic growth by up to 4 percent as foreign businessmen leave and projects are cancelled, the African Development Bank president said. As transport companies suspend services, cutting off the region, governments and economists have warned that the worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic Ebola fever on record could crush the fragile economic gains made in Sierra Leone and Liberia following a decade of civil war in the 1990s.” (Reuters

Nearly 2,000 people fleeing Africa and the Middle East have drowned in the Mediterranean this year…”Libya’s worsening security situation “has fostered the growth of people-smuggling operations, but also prompted refugees and migrants living there to decide to risk the sea rather than stay in a conflict zone,” the UNHCR said. The UNHCR death toll includes more than 300 people who died in three separate incidents since Aug. 22 when boats capsized off the Libyan coast.A total of 124,380 boat people – largely fleeing war, violence and persecution, the agency says – have landed in Europe since January, many after being rescued by an Italian navy and coast guard operation dubbed “Mare Nostrum”, or “Our Sea”. (Reuters


A third top doctor has died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, a government official said Wednesday. (AP

A young man on camera names the person who’s challenged him to dump the contents of a bucket over his head. But in a twist on the ice bucket challenge, this man is soon drenched in frothy, soapy water — part of a campaign to raise awareness about Ebola prevention in West Africa. (AP

The French government on Wednesday recommended its nationals avoid Sierra Leone and Liberia due to the risk associated with the Ebola virus and asked Air France-KLM to suspend flights to the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown. (Reuters

An employee of the WHO who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone will be flown to the German city of Hamburg for treatment, a spokesman for the city said. (Reuters

Ebola has a nasty reputation for damaging the body, especially its blood vessels. But when you look at the nitty-gritty details of what happens after a person is infected, a surprising fact surfaces. (NPR

The United Nations on Wednesday allocated $1.5 million to help the Democratic Republic of Congo fight Ebola, just days after the country confirmed its first cases this year.


A young woman was shot dead in Namibia on Wednesday in clashes between police and the children of fallen independence fighters, a rare incidence of political violence in the country.

Police killed three people trying to steal a truck near a United Nations complex and the nearby U.S. embassy in Nairobi on Wednesday, police said, but staff at both sites said they were continuing with normal business. (Reuters

Budget cuts and bureaucracy have been blamed for blood shortages which have claimed several lives in Burundi and led to calls for an overhaul of the transfusion system. (IRIN

Uganda’s president recently signed the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act into law, criminalizing the transmission of HIV and enforcing mandatory testing.  Such provisions have upset activists who want to de-stigmatize Uganda’s HIV-positive community. (VOA

 Kenyans living with HIV or AIDS in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, are finding support groups essential to coping with the health, economic and social challenges they face. (VOA

The UN Security Council on Wednesday asked African countries of the troubled Sahel region to set up regional patrols to better protect their borders from organized crime and terror groups.


For the first time since 2007, a humanitarian convoy of the UN World Food Programme successfully crossed from Egypt into the Gaza Strip today, carrying enough food to feed around 150,000 people for five days.

WFP said that a convoy of supplies had reached 2,000 desperate families, crammed into the Iraqi city of Karbala after fleeing jihadist attacks.

A comeback by Libya’s oil industry may be short-lived as a confrontation between armed groups risks splitting the country three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. (Reuters

Only a few months ago, the threat from MERS in large parts of the Gulf region appeared to be growing. Dozens of new cases were being reported every month and a key panel set up by the WHO advised that the “situation had increased in terms of its seriousness and urgency.” (IRIN

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution tightening the Libya arms embargo, and calling for an end to the violence in that country. (VOA


Relief workers and aid agencies in Nepal are worried about the security, protection and psychological health of women and children in post-disaster settings. (IPS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will promise on Thursday to provide a bank account for every Indian household when he launches a major initiative that could save billions of dollars in welfare spending and help mend strained state finances. (VOA

India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising – more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. (VOA

Flooding over the past two weeks in Bangladesh has affected more than 800,000 people.

The Americas

More than 56 million people were lifted out of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2000 and 2012, according to a UN report. (BBC

A new survey about preferences and trends in Mexico concludes that one out of every three Mexicans would migrate to the United States if given the opportunity. (CNN

In Guatemala, behind barred and locked doors, thousands of drug addicts are offered treatment by Protestant churches. Christianity offers salvation for some but many are held against their will, and some are swept off the street by “hunting” parties. (BBC


 Why I’m not doing the #icebucketchallenge or donating for ALS (Humanosphere

How commercial airlines are undermining the fight against Ebola

A great country doesn’t deport vulnerable minors (CNN

IGAD’s Missed Opportunity for Action on South Sudan (Think Africa Press

Why saying ‘seven out of ten fastest growing economies are in Africa’ carries no real meaning – (African Arguments

Which development studies books should students read? (Guardian

Pope Francis has done little to improve womens lives (Guardian

Towards a Global Governance Information Clearing House (IPS

Is There Any Way to Break the Doha Round Impasse in Agriculture Negotiations? (The Trade Beat

Building a Sustainable Future: The Compact Between Business and Society (IPS

12 Principles for Payment by Results (PbR) in the Real World (CGD


New report outlines potential use of drones in humanitarian response (OCHA

New roads long enough to girdle the Earth 600 times are expected to be built by 2050 and better planning is needed to protect the environment while also raising food production, a study showed. (Reuters

Civil society groups from several continents are stepping up a campaign urging the World Bank to strengthen a series of changes currently being made to a major annual report on countries’ business-friendliness. (IPS

Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes” (Crisis Group

Rampant trash-burning is throwing more pollution and toxic particles into the air than governments are reporting, according to a scientific study estimating more than 40 percent of the world’s garbage is burned. (AP

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