Malawi, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe are the worst affected. “The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is increasingly concerned about food security in southern Africa where an estimated 14 million people are facing hunger following prolonged dry spells that led to a poor harvest last year. The El Niño global weather event, which is leading to even worse drought across the region, is already affecting this year’s crop. With little or no rain falling in many areas and the window for the planting of cereals closing fast or already closed in some countries, the outlook is alarming. The number of people without enough food could rise significantly over coming months as the region moves deeper into the so-called lean season, the period before the April harvest when food and cash stocks become increasingly depleted. Particularly vulnerable are smallholder farmers who account for most agricultural production.” (WFP

It’s a Dirty World…This report comes on the heels of record levels of pollutants in Beijing and Delhi. “New data on deadly levels of air pollution in cities across the globe are scheduled to be released soon by the World Health Organisation (WHO), whose top public health expert has already called it a global “public health emergency” that involves heavy costs on society. Air pollution in cities such as Delhi and Beijing is killing millions of people and threatened to overwhelm public services in countries across the globe that will have major financial implications for governments, the Geneva-based organisation said. New WHO figures scheduled for release in February are expected to show that air pollution has worsened since 2014 in hundreds of already blighted urban areas. The data is taken from 2,000 cities.” (Hindustan Times

The Long Arm of Human Rights Law…A 95-year-old man who was a medical attendant at the Nazis’ Auschwitz camp will go on trial in Germany next month on charges of being an accessory to the murder of more than 3,000 people. (TIME


Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Monday named three gunmen behind a deadly attack on a top Burkina Faso hotel that has highlighted the growing reach of jihadist groups in west Africa, as French police joined in the probe. (AFP

Waves of Mozambicans fleeing violence seek refuge in Malawi. (MSF )

A group of women in the dry heartland of central Kenya have almost entirely excluded men from their lives to protect themselves from domestic violence and rape. (ABC-Australia

Expressing concern over the impact on vital remittances from diaspora countries into Somalia caused by “necessary but less considered counter-terrorism regulations,” United Nations rights experts today warned the measures may “severely affect the human rights” of Somali people, while urging regulation-setting governments to guarantee the flow of such funds. (UN News Center

Four worshippers were killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in northern Cameroon on Monday, a security source said, five days after a similar attack left 12 people dead. (AFP )



United Nations humanitarian agencies expressed concern today that an estimated 200,000 people are facing “sharply deteriorating conditions” in the besieged western side of Deir-Ez-Zor city in Syria, while the top UN relief official stressed that the world body continues to act “impartially, neutrally and independently” to reach people in need throughout the country. (UN News Center

One person was killed and one more seriously wounded Monday when a rocket fired from a jihadist-controlled area in Syria slammed into a schoolyard in a Turkish border town, officials said. (AFP

Saudi-led airstrikes killed at least 26 people at a police facility in Yemen’s capital overnight, adding to a death toll of nearly 6,000 people since Riyadh began its military campaign against the Houthi militia that controls Sana’a. (VOA

In an effort to defuse the controversy over the brief capture of 10 Navy sailors last week, the Defense Department on Monday released a timeline of events surrounding the seizure, but the account was spare on new details and left several fundamental questions unanswered. (NYT


India will put up laser fences at more than 40 “vulnerable” stretches along the border with Pakistan, reports say. (BBC

The Americas

Obama’s State of the Union pledge to eradicate malaria may not be possible. (NYT

Nearly a decade after the UN Human Rights Committee agreed that a Peruvian woman’s rights were violated for having been denied an abortion – and recommended that the Government compensate her – the UN human rights office announced today that Peru has said it will pay compensation for having refused her access to a legal medical procedure. (UN News Center

…and the rest


Obama’s Upbeat Message About Ending Malaria Omits Discouraging Signs (Goats and Soda

Politicising drought relief in Papua New Guinea (Dev Policy

Not bugs, but features: Or, adaptation is harder than you’d think (Open the Echo Chamber

Who lives in the real world: global south pessimists or northern optimists? (Guardian

The world already had a refugee crisis (Africa is a Country

Poverty and inequality are challenges for the UK, not just poorer countries (Guardian

What does former DfID chief Andrew Mitchell think of the UK’s aid strategy? (Devex

Why did Burkina Faso become al-Qaida’s latest target? (Daily Maverick

Domestic Violence and Poverty in Africa: When the Husband’s Beating Stick is Like Butter (Africa Can End Poverty

Are female politicians less warlike than men? Some evidence from European queens (Chris Blattman

Great new IMF paper puts women’s rights at the heart of tackling income inequality (From Poverty to Power





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