Humanitarian Relief

Here’s How Much The International Community Cares About Syria

By the end of the day today we will have  a good sense of how much the international community really cares about Syrians suffering from conflict.

The Value of ICT in Humanitarian Relief Efforts

Mark Summer, Inveneo's Chief Innovation Officer, also leads our effort to bring needed information and communication technologies to Haiti.

The Humanitarian Sector Gets Graded: B-

A major monitoring group just graded the humanitarian system at a B-.

ALNAP – the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in humanitarian action – just released a pilot study on the humanitarian system. The study was very ambitious - it looked at the humanitarian system’s performance and progress, defining key criteria, assessing system performance and progress, and present new statistics. Their conclusion? The system gets a B-.

Haiti Earthquake Facts and Figures, Latest Update

The UN gives the latest facts and figures on Haiti recovery efforts, including mortality and displacement estimates.

The Haitian government has not issued a mortality estimate since January 28, when the government said that 112,405 had died. However, on February 3 the government said that as many as 200,000 may have been killed in the earthquake.  Meanwhile, one of the major new developments of the past week has been a mass exodus from Port au Prince to rural areas.

Doing Food Aid Better

The Center for Global Development ran an editorial on their blog today, calling for better financing for food aid.

The Center for Global Development ran an editorial on their blog today, calling for better financing for food aid. They argue that the current year-by-year system makes it hard for relief agencies to build their capacity, and leads to long delays in providing food aid when it is most needed. They make an excellent point.

PSA: Video from the UN Foundation

UN Foundation Vice President of Global Health Dr. Daniel Carucci traveled to Haiti to deliver vital medical supplies and will continue to assess the situation on the ground.

From the UN Foundation:
Two days after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti, UN Foundation Vice President of Global Health Dr. Daniel Carucci traveled to Haiti to deliver vital medical supplies and will continue to assess the situation on the ground.

Haiti Earthquake

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake just hit Haiti. Some Twitter accounts to follow and continuous updates. Reports that UN Peacekeeping HQ is destroyed. Continuous updates.

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake just hit Haiti.  Details so far are sketchy.  Twitter is probably your best source for now. In the meantime, it is worth recalling that Haiti is still recovering from back to back to back hurricaines in 2008.  It is also a very densly populated island. 

Fake earthquake in Lebanon

But worry not, UN peacekeepers were there:
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon today wrapped up a two-day large-scale disaster response exercise, responding to a fictitious earthquake in the south of the country.
The dry run, which the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) conducted with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), tested the forces’ combined reaction to an earthquake with a magnitude of six on the Richter scale.

Bill Clinton's other job

You know, the one he is actually paid for (well, sort of). After rescuing journalists imprisoned in North Korea, Clinton is back to...talking about turning sawdust into fuel.

The recession hits...

...everyone who needs assistance the most.
The United Nations Tuesday revealed a record $4.8 billion (2.9 billion pound) funding gap for its 2009 aid projects as a result of strained foreign assistance, widespread economic trouble and a ten-fold increase in needs in Pakistan.

UN employee killed in Pakistan

Another tragic example of the dangers that UN personnel face:
The attack on the U.N. worker took place early Thursday at the Kacha Garhi camp near Peshawar. Local police chief Ghayoor Afridi said the assailants tried to abduct the U.N. official and opened fire when he resisted.

Pakistan returns beginning voluntarily

The UN humanitarian chief should be relieved; Pakistan is beginning voluntary resettlement of the 300,000 or so displaced civilians living in camps (yet only a small fraction of the 2 million total displaced, most of whom have found refuge in the homes of other families).

Does microfinance make up for war crimes?

Well, no. When there are 300,000 Tamils languishing in IDP camps, even a $26 million investment in microfinance loans won't erase the human rights violations that many of these civilivans faced in Sri Lanka's frenzied campaign against the Tamil Tigers.

Bringing Pakistan's displaced home -- voluntarily

It's encouraging to see that John Holmes, the UN's humanitarian coordinator, understands one of the most fundamental principles of dealing with situations of mass displacement: that returns must be voluntary. If returns are forced, it means that people don't yet feel safe returning to their homes, and the resettlement can effectively act as renewed displacement.

Flooding in Benin

The West African nation of Benin deals with flooding every rainy season, but this year it is bad enough to declare a national emergency and require UN help.
"Thousands of people fleeing floodwaters are living with precarious food security, [staying with] family and in public places," Interior Minister Armand Zinzindohoue said, in a statement reported by the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN).

Bravery award of the day

Goes to Sudanese truckers:
They risk being robbed or kidnapped, but Sudan's truckers still deliver food aid to thousands displaced by conflict in Darfur, where banditry is often overshadowed by the fighting between army and rebels.

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