The stats came at a pledging conference in Nairobi.  “Over 2.5 million South Sudanese are on the brink of famine, with the civil war likely to intensify, the United Nations said Monday as it launched a $1.8 billion aid appeal. UN emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos said she had witnessed “first hand the continuing widespread devastation and destruction” and an “untenable level of suffering” after returning from a three-day visit to South Sudan…After seven failed ceasefires, the UN said in its appeal for cash the “most likely planning scenario” was that violence “intensifies” in the dry season when military vehicles can move around more easily. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vdLClh)

Quote of the Day: Barack Obama on Foreign Aid: “It’s one of the things I’d like to do over the next couple of years: to try to erase this very sharp line between our military efforts in national security and our diplomatic and foreign assistance efforts. Because in this environment today, we’ve got to think of it all in one piece.” (Vox http://bit.ly/1vdoYtc)

DAWNSer of the Day…Melissa Weihmayer “As a Master’s student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, I seek opportunities in migration research and policy design. I also edit the Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, an online publication for academics and practitioners to publish innovative fieldwork.” Find her on LinkedIN

Want to share your work with other DAWNSers? Simply fill out our questionnaire→ http://goo.gl/forms/Wg9xbG1U8A

Africa

A bomb exploded in Niger’s border town of Diffa on Monday hours after Islamic sect Boko Haram attacked a prison there, a military and a local source said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/192m3ig)

Somali lawmakers approved a new cabinet on Monday, hours after Shebab insurgents assassinated a colleague as he made his way to parliament. (AFP http://yhoo.it/192lpBt)

Suspected Boko Haram fighters launched attacks on three communities in northern Cameroon, abducting more than 30 people including those aboard a packed bus, residents said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/192lZzj)

Aid workers in South Sudan are finding it hard to operate in the country because roadblocks are suddenly being erected in some areas, the U.N.’s top official for humanitarian assistance said on Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1z0X9WF)

Nigeria on Monday vowed to crush Boko Haram within six weeks as its leader warned a new regional fighting force “will not achieve anything” and the rebels launched a fresh cross-border attack. (AFP http://yhoo.it/192m5GZ)

Somalia’s parliament approved a 25-strong cabinet on Monday, a pivotal step towards preparing the war-torn nation for a vote on a new constitution and presidential elections in 2016. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Dx4iTY)

Uganda’s gay community is fighting back against stigma with Bombastic, a new magazine published and distributed privately. The free 72-page glossy publication features personal essays, commentaries and poems by “proud” LGBTI Ugandans, some using pseudonyms. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1M6ze0Z)

MENA

Syria’s foreign minister on Monday criticized neighboring Jordan, which recently stepped up air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, and said his country does not need outside help in battling IS militants. (AP http://yhoo.it/1z0X9Wp)

Journalists in post-revolution Libya face the constant threat of attack and have lost even the limited freedom that existed under slain strongman Moamer Kadhafi, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vdLwdi)

Syria will not allow foreign ground troops on its territory to fight the Islamic State group, Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Dx4imT)

Asia

The International Committee of the Red Cross removed more than twice as many dead combatants from Afghan battlefields in 2014 than in the previous year as fighting intensified, the charity said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/192m2uQ)

As Myanmar’s President Thein Sein struggles to reach a nationwide peace agreement by the year’s end, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army has turned into one of his biggest obstacles. (AP http://yhoo.it/1z0Wnsx)

An Indian woman who discovered she had mostly male chromosomes has given birth to healthy twins after intensive treatment in what doctors said Monday was the “rarest of rare cases.” (AFP http://yhoo.it/192luFc)

East Timor’s president on Monday accepted the resignation of independence hero Xanana Gusmao as prime minister ahead of an expected restructuring of the government that would make it more inclusive. (AP http://yhoo.it/192lTHX)

Laos is facing increasing pressure to delay construction of a 260 megawatt dam on the Lower Mekong River because of concerns about its environmental and social impacts. A gathering last week in Laos highlights the continuing controversy surrounding the project. (VOA http://bit.ly/1M6zayb)

The Americas

Anti-government street protesters plan to shut down Haiti’s capital for two days starting Monday as the country plunges deeper into political and economic crises even as many prepare for the annual Carnival, normally a time of peaceful revelry. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/192lZPH)

Brazil’s Health Ministry is using fake Tinder profiles and massive condom giveaways to promote safe sex during the country’s no-holds-barred Carnival celebrations. (AP http://yhoo.it/1zPj6uo)

One of its biggest contractors tied to the U.S. Agency for International Development faces increasing troubles amid allegations of mismanagement and impropriety. (VOA http://bit.ly/1IEzPaS)

Opinion/Blogs

A discussion with Jan Egeland about the crisis in Syria, its global consequences, the 2004 Tsunami, and being the subject of the single greatest parody of the United Nations.  (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1M6UXGa)

A Seven-Year, One-Term for U.N. Chief? (IPS http://bit.ly/1vdM6Yy)

Drones for good? (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vdM1nz)

View on Private Sector: The dark side of microfinance (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/1DxBE50)

The End of Extreme Poverty in the Developed World (PovertyAnalysis http://bit.ly/1DxBZoe)

Do policy briefs change beliefs? (Development Impact http://bit.ly/1DxCazW)

Combating Corruption via Constitutional Courts: South Africa as a Model? (The Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/1CbnUei)

Re-framing Representations of Aid (CIHA Blog http://bit.ly/1M6UV0R)

Where dreams are made of… (The XX Factor http://bit.ly/1veaqJT)

Time’s ‘Person Of The Year’ Is Feeling Kinda Lost (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/192NhFu)

Research/Reports

Girls in at least 70 countries have faced threats, violent attacks and other abuse for trying to go to school over the past five years, the U.N. human rights office said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1z0WPHi)

Global growth is threatened by developed countries’ flagging efforts to reform their economies, a major international organization warned on Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1z0X2u3)

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