Africa CDC and ICRC discuss COVID-19 prevention in places of detention

The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed health care systems all over Africa and the world. Though African governments have taken measures to contain or fight the virus in the communities, putting in place specific measures to protect vulnerable populations such as detainees remain a challenge. If some critical measures are not put in place, in places of detention, an outbreak of the virus in a prison could be devastating, with a potential new humanitarian crisis for the population in such areas grappling with congestion, lack of access to clean water, and…

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UN: Strengthen humanitarian aid for people with disabilities

(New York) – Refugees and other displaced people with disabilities face barriers accessing food, hygiene, and basic services. The high-level United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) meeting which starts on June 9, 2020 should focus on strengthening the humanitarian response to reach people with disabilities. “Despite commitments in recent years to do better to reach people with disabilities in humanitarian responses, displaced people with disabilities continue to struggle to get even basic services,” said Emina Ćerimović, senior disability rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “As world leaders discuss how…

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QRCS to deploy 26 medical convoy to treat 14,000 poor patients in 10 countries

June 9th, 2020 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has outlined a plan to expand its annual program of medical convoys, which provide health care for poor patients in affected or underserved communities. By the donations of charity givers in Qatar, delegations of physicians, surgeons, and medical assistants are sent by QRCS to poor countries, where they treat poor patients, perform surgeries in many specializations, and provide in-service training for medical personnel. Also, QRCS procures surgical equipment and consumables for the host hospitals. During 2019, QRCS deployed 10 medical…

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Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition, June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health and human crisis threatening the food security and nutrition of millions of people around the world. Hundreds of millions of people were already suffering from hunger and malnutrition before the virus hit and, unless immediate action is taken, we could see a global food emergency. In the longer term, the combined effects of COVID-19 itself, as well as corresponding mitigation measures and the emerging global recession could, without large-scale coordinated action, disrupt the functioning of food systems. Such disruption can result in consequences for…

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The world’s most neglected displacement crises

Cameroon, DR Congo and Burkina Faso are the most neglected displacement crises in the world, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council’s annual list launched today. “The deep crises represented by millions of displaced Africans are yet again the most underfunded, ignored and deprioritized in the world. They are plagued by diplomatic and political paralysis, weak aid operations and little media attention. Despite facing a tornado of emergencies, their SOS calls for help fall on deaf ears,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Humanitarian crises in…

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Lake Victoria could burst its banks more often in the future. What can be done

In recent weeks, water levels in Lake Victoria have reached unprecedented heights as a result of heavy rains in the East African region which started in August 2019. Some say the lake’s levels have not been this high for 50 years. According to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, the lake hit a new record level of 13.42 meters — marginally higher than the 13.41 meter mark recorded in 1964. Nestled between Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, Lake Victoria supports the livelihoods of over 35 million people and is crucial…

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UN Refugee Agency Out of Money to Care for DRC Displaced 

GENEVA – The U.N. refugee agency reports it is practically bankrupt. Because of underfunding, it warns it will not be able to assist and protect one-half million refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo and many of the millions of internally displaced from surging violence and COVID-19. Latest reports put the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in DRC at more than 4,000, the second largest number in southern Africa. At the same time, the United Nations reports an upsurge in inter-communal violence and natural disasters has uprooted hundreds of…

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Accused Darfur War Criminal Ali Kushayb in ICC Custody

A former militia leader accused of war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region is now in the custody of the International Criminal Court. The ICC said in a statement Tuesday that Abu Kushayb surrendered himself voluntarily in the Central African Republic. Kushayb is accused of commanding Janjaweed militia that attacked Darfur villages in 2003 and 2004, as part of a counter-insurgency strategy by the government of Sudan, then led by longtime president Omar al-Bashir. Among other crimes, Kushayb is accused of enlisting and arming fighters, and personally taking part in attacks…

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