News in the Humanosphere: AIDS is the new No. 1 killer of African adolescents

Simonga village, Zambia. (credit: Jon Rawlinson/flickr)

AIDS has become the leading cause of death for adolescents in Africa and the second-leading cause of death among adolescents globally, global health agencies said Tuesday. “About 120,000 people aged between 10-19 years died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2013, the eight international organizations said while launching a global campaign in Kenya to stem the spread among adolescents. Adolescent girls, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, are most affected, said the organizations which included UNAIDs, U.N. children’s fund, World Health Organization and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief or PEPFAR, among others.” (AP

Where’s the beef?
Barely more than 5 percent of the money pledged to rebuild Gaza  in the wake of last year’s  50-day war with Israel has been delivered. ““Approximately $300 million” has been received so far, a source at the office of the Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa – who is heading up the government’s reconstruction efforts in Gaza – told IRIN. “Projects [that are]being held up because of the lack of donations are major reconstruction projects, chief among them housing and road reconstruction,” the source said. (IRIN


Warring forces in South Sudan battled Tuesday in the oil-rich Upper Nile state, the defense minister said, claiming insurgents were trying to capture a key town ahead of peace talks. (AFP

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has quit the ruling People’s Democratic Party that he helped found, in a blow to President Goodluck Jonathan six weeks before an election. (Reuters

Central African leaders met in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde on Monday to discuss a joint strategy to tackle the Nigeria-based Boko Haram group, which has widened its attacks into neighboring nations. (AFP

The United States military will provide communications equipment and intelligence to help African nations in the fight against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, the commander of U.S. Special Forces operations in Africa said. (Reuters

A South African government proposal to ban foreign nationals from owning land will apply to farms, not residential property, a government minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday. (Reuters

Suspected Boko Haram Islamic extremists attacked a Cameroonian military base near the border with Nigeria, killing at least five soldiers, an army colonel said Tuesday. (AP

As the Gambia marks its 50th year of independence on Wednesday, critics say the milestone is tainted by the dismal human rights record of an increasingly isolated regime. (AFP

More than 160 people suspected of having links to Boko Haram have been arrested in Niger’s border area with Nigeria which was attacked this month by the Islamist group, police in Niger said. (AFP

HIV infections are on the rise among people in Africa who inject illegal drugs. A new report recommends scaling-up programs designed to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus among drug users. (VOA

Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone are helping to train health-care workers by showing them what to expect when dealing with Ebola patients. The training is a partnership between the International Organization for Migration, the World Health Organization and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation. (VOA


The U.N.’s World Food Program said Tuesday it would maintain operations in Yemen despite mounting insecurity which has forced the withdrawal of western diplomats from the troubled country. (AFP

A record number of migrants look set to flow into Europe this year, with human traffickers becoming increasingly aggressive as they take advantage of chaos in Africa and the Middle East, the EU borders chief said. (Reuters

Polisario Front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz on Monday urged the U.N. to press Morocco to accept holding a referendum on the status of Western Sahara, following talks with envoy Christopher Ross. (AFP

The United Nation’s special envoy for Syria is briefing the Security Council on Tuesday after angering Syrian opposition leaders last week with his comments that President Bashar Assad remains “part of the solution” in reducing violence in the nearly four-year conflict. (AP

The United Nations human rights chief on Tuesday condemned the mass beheadings of Egyptian Christians in Libya and urged Libyans to fight Islamist extremists in their country. (AFP

Bahraini authorities said Tuesday they have launched a criminal investigation into statements made by the country’s main Shiite opposition group, whose leader is already in jail. (AP


Unknown attackers shot and wounded two people on Tuesday in the first ever assault on a Red Cross convoy in Myanmar where battles have raged in the northeast between government soldiers and ethnic insurgents over two weeks, a witness said. (Reuters

Thousands of people have been forced to flee Myanmar into the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan following fighting between Myanmar’s army and insurgents, the Chinese government said, repeating a call for restraint. (Reuters

Japan on Tuesday announced $15.5 million to fight “terrorism” in the Middle East and Africa, as Tokyo tries to demonstrate its resolve despite the murder of two citizens by Islamist extremists. (AFP

A nonprofit organization’s conference on North Korea’s human rights record is drawing sharp criticism from Pyongyang, which is threatening to strongly respond to what it calls provocations by hostile forces. Tuesday’s conference in Washington is part of a broader plan by human rights organizations to increase pressure on Pyongyang to dismantle its repressive system of political prisons. (VOA

The Americas
A leader of Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, has said the Marxist guerrilla group will discharge its fighters who are younger than 15. (BBC
...and the rest

An estimated 230 million migrants will send $500 billion in remittances to developing countries in 2015, a flow of capital expected to do more to reduce poverty than all development aid combined, a senior official of the U.N. agricultural bank said. (TRF

Global carbon emissions from energy use will grow at 25 percent between 2013 and 2035, a slightly slower rate than previously estimated, BP said on Tuesday, but still above the rate scientists say would avoid the worst effects of climate change. (Reuters


When a child is struck by a missile, do you watch? (War Is Boring

Ending the HIV/Aids epidemic requires a focus on adolescents (Daily Maverick

Elephant meat is on the menu at Robert Mugabe’s birthday party, and not everyone is happy about it (GlobalPost

Why aren’t Africans living on the continent part of the U.N.’s “International Decade for People of African Descent?” (Africa is a Country

What the Ebola outbreak says about global health governance (CFR Podcast

Corporate, patronizing and obstructive: what journalists think about NGOs (Guardian

Media, having fueled anti-vaccination movement, switches narrative (Humanosphere

Is there a better way for indigenous and international NGOs to work together? (How Matters

A map of hunger in 2015 – where to watch (IRIN

Analysis: Mass rapes and the future of U.N. Darfur mission (IPS

John Oliver thinks Ecuador’s Rafael Correa is a little thin-skinned (GlobalPost

Does economics have “an Africa problem?” (African Arguments


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]