News in the Humanosphere: Syrian refugees surpass 4 million mark

Syrian refugees' camp in Cappadocia, Turkey. Photo: Fabio Penna/flickr

Four million refugees and counting, with no end in sight. “More than 24,000 people crossed into Turkey to escape fighting in northern Syria in June, pushing the number now sheltering in neighboring countries past 4 million, increasing the Syrian refugee population by 1 million in just 10 months, the United Nations refugee agency reported. International aid agencies say the fighting has driven at least 7.6 million people who remain in the country from their homes. ‘This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,’ Antonio Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said in a statement. Mr. Guterres, once again, warned that international aid was not keeping pace with the scale of the crisis, and that many refugees were ‘sinking deeper into poverty.’” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1HQPQZl )

A humanitarian ceasefire for Yemen
The prior humanitarian pauses did not last long. The United Nations has announced an unconditional weeklong humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen where more than 80 percent of the country’s 25 million people are believed to be in need of some form of emergency aid. Stephane Dujarric, the U.N. spokesman, said on Thursday that the truce would start on Friday, July 10 at 23:59 local time until the end of Ramadan on July 17.” (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/1HQONbT)

Africa

Two more people have been infected by Ebola in Liberia, the government said Thursday, sparking fears that an epidemic which killed thousands before being eradicated is gaining a hold once again. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JSEGpb)

Burundi’s pro-government militia is keeping up a terror campaign that has sent waves of refugees fleeing across borders and claimed the lives of demonstrators and rights activists, the U.N. rights chief said Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1D44k2p)

Ugandan police on Thursday detained for several hours a former prime minister who has challenged veteran President Yoweri Museveni by seeking the ruling party’s nomination in the 2016 presidential election. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1dPbmS6)

Guinean former military ruler Moussa Dadis Camara has been indicted for his role in a 2009 massacre in Conakry, his lawyer has told AFP news agency. More than 150 people were killed when security forces opened fire on thousands of anti-government protesters at the capital’s main stadium.  (BBC http://bbc.in/1HQP2nt )

Hundreds of workers took to the streets in Ghana on Thursday to protest against the increased cost of living as union leaders warned the country’s economic woes were reaching a crisis point. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1GayvoA)

Five bloggers and journalists held in Ethiopia for more than a year have been freed after the charges were dropped, their lawyer said Thursday, weeks before President Obama is due to visit the country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1dPbroI)

Nearly 50,000 Malian refugees are at risk following the suspension of food aid to their camp in southeastern Mauritania, with NGOs warning of a significant increase in acute malnutrition, particularly among children under five, and pregnant and lactating women. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1KSH6oa)

MENA

Yemen’s warring factions confirmed their agreement on Thursday to a temporary humanitarian ceasefire set to begin on Friday night, United Nations envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1JSEE0C)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dampened hopes for a quick conclusion of nuclear talks with Iran on Thursday, saying negotiators would not be hurried by a looming congressional deadline. (LAT http://lat.ms/1HQPjXo)

3,000 British nationals are being airlifted out of Tunisia. (Independent http://ind.pn/1HQPsKg)

Asia

The United Nations has criticized Nepal for imposing customs procedures and taxation on aid, saying that it was delaying the delivery of life-saving materials to tens of thousands of survivors of two recent mega earthquakes. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1dPbQrx)

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will engage in bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Friday, at the sidelines of the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Ufa, Russia. (Time http://ti.me/1HQO36F )

A serious drought in North Korea requires urgent action to prevent the deaths of children already weakened by widespread malnutrition UNICEF warned Thursday. (AFP http://wapo.st/1HQPylm)

A key leader of the Islamic State and another top commander were killed in recent U.S. drone strikes in eastern Afghanistan, according to intelligence officials here, the latest sign that the radical Islamist group is considered a growing threat in the country.

Thailand says it has sent about 100 ethnic Uighurs back to China, ignoring calls from the international community to protect the group and ensure they were not forced back to China. (AP http://yhoo.it/1JSDzpy)

The U.S. plans to laud Malaysia for improving efforts to combat human trafficking in an upcoming annual report just a year after blacklisting the Southeast Asian country for failing to protect men, women and children forced into modern-day slavery. (AP http://yhoo.it/1JSDUIY)

China’s climate-changing emissions from producing the energy it needs will be as large as the rest of the world’s emissions put together over the next 25 years, the incoming director of the International Energy Agency predicted on Thursday. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1JSEV3I)

The Americas

Pope Francis, at a Mass for hundreds of thousands of people in Bolivia, said on Thursday that everyone had a moral duty to help the poor, and that those with means could not wish that they would just “go away.” (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1D44fMd)
Pope Francis last year called abortion “horrific.” But for the mother of a Paraguayan girl, so too was the rape of her then 10-year-old daughter, who was denied a termination of her pregnancy by doctors and judicial officials. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1KSGI97)

...and the rest

A summit of the BRICS countries has concluded with a declaration calling on the five member states to intensify their industrial development. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KSGHlo)

Favorable worldwide conditions for cereal crops will lead to better-than-expected production this growing season at the global level, today said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.  (UN News Center http://bit.ly/1HQP8vh)

Greenpeace India is not alone in facing a crackdown by governments which see the growing affluence and influence of charities backed by social media as a threat, say experts. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1JSEqGL)

Investing up to 3.5 percent of a nation’s gross domestic product in science, technology and innovation can be “the game changer” for development, leading experts said on Thursday. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1dPc55L)

Opinion/Blogs

A curtain raiser for the big Financing for Development Conference, kicking off next week in Addis. (Global Dispatches Podcast  http://yhoo.it/1HQPdiz)

The UK can lead calls for reform of the global tax system (Guardian http://bit.ly/1KSGVJg)

Africa should lure Bangladesh’s garment industry (Bloomberg http://bv.ms/1HQPUZ0)

From New York to Addis Ababa, Financing for Development on Life Support (IPS http://bit.ly/1JSFE4I)

China’s emergence as a development leader: a historical perspective (Devpolicy http://bit.ly/1D459IE)

Using aid to catalyse private investment: rhetoric vs reality (ODI http://bit.ly/1KSITJN)

Building a Self-Reliant Africa from the Bottom-Up (Tiny Spark http://bit.ly/1D455si)

How Akon Lighting Africa is working to tackle energy access (Devex http://bit.ly/1D44Xci)

What can Africa learn from the Greek crisis? (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1D44Yx9)

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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]humanosphere.org.