News in the Humanosphere: UNICEF launches record emergency appeal

A girl laughs during a skit on the prevention of HIV, at a youth centre in Moundou, the capital of Logone. (UNICEF)

UNICEF announced the launch of a $2.8 billion appeal to reach 43 million children in humanitarian emergencies worldwide, with for the first time ever the largest portion of the appeal – 25 percent – going toward their education.The agency says it plans to dramatically increase the number of children in crises who are given access to education – from 4.9 million at the beginning of 2015 to 8.2 million in 2016. (UN News Centre http://bit.ly/1nNX4Xm)

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo Thursday becomes the first ex-head of state to stand trial at the world’s only permanent war crimes court, the the International Criminal Court, five years after triggering political unrest which left 3,000 people dead. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1nmtTu9)

The United Nations Security Council should place an arms embargo on South Sudan, while the oil-rich country’s President Salva Kiir and a rebel leader qualify to be sanctioned over atrocities in a two-year civil war, U.N. sanctions monitors said in an annual report. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OXtYvC)

Quote of the day: “I ask you to pray for me.”
—Hassan Rouhani to Pope Francis, after the two met in Rome (WaPo
http://wapo.st/1OXux8I)

Africa

Private Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar said Tuesday that it has received a video purportedly from the al-Qaida-linked Emirate of the Sahara group claiming responsibility for this month’s kidnapping of Swiss woman Beatrice Stockly in northern Mali. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OXu4TQ)

Central African Republic’s Constitutional Court has annulled the results of a legislative election, citing irregularities, setting back a transition to democracy after years of conflict. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1nMNvIk)

The Global Fund says it plans to send a 12-month advance supply of antiretroviral therapy to Uganda, after the East African country ran out three months before the end of last year. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1nMNWCA)

A Rwandan man who had been accused of recruiting for the Islamic State was shot and killed in the capital Kigali while attempting to escape police custody, police said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1nMO3xL)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on warring factions in South Sudan to resolve their differences and quickly form a new national unity government. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KC30rm)

Three U.N. special investigators who visited three displaced persons camps in war-torn Borno State say Nigeria must do more to help its people, particularly its women and children. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nMOwjz)

Burkina Faso has lifted a curfew in force since a failed coup in September, the government announced, but it warned citizens to stay vigilant following this month’s jihadist attack at a top hotel in the capital. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1nMOw36)

An African security guard on told a U.S. judge that he saw an American diplomat shot to death in Niger 14 years ago, and identified the shooter as the suspect who has been indicted for the crime. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1KC3G00)

Ghana leveraged its natural resources to produce strong economic growth in the early years of this century. It met the millennium development goal of halving poverty rates by 2015, and was hailed as a model of political stability after peaceful elections. But plummeting global commodity prices have pummeled Ghana’s economy. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1QpyaXp)

MENA

Hours after an Israeli woman who was stabbed by Palestinian assailants in a West Bank settlement died on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel rebuked the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who criticized Israel’s settlement activity and said it was “human nature to react to occupation.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1OXuV76)

Secretary of State John Kerry told Syrian opposition leaders that they risked losing their funding if they did not attend peace talks, according to Syrian opposition leaders and administration officials. (Bloomberg http://bv.ms/1OXvhdZ)

Multiple bombings struck a government-run checkpoint in the central Syrian city of Homs on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding over a hundred amid intense political jockeying ahead of U.N.-backed peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva on Friday. (OC Register http://bit.ly/1OXv0rh)

Asia

About 25,000 children in North Korea require immediate treatment for malnutrition after a drought cut food production by a fifth and the government reduced rations, UNICEF warned. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1KC1VzQ)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Cambodia’s booming economic growth but also expressed concerns about the Southeast Asian nation’s human rights record. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KC2sSh)

China on Tuesday criticized what it said were “irresponsible” remarks made by a U.S. official this week calling for Beijing to do more to curb North Korea’s banned nuclear program. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1nMNyUF)

China’s central bank said Tuesday it was injecting $67 billion into the money market, seeking to ease tight liquidity ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday when demand for funds surges. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1QpyfdE)

Civil rights groups and child welfare activists have strongly protested against the enactment of a new Juvenile Justice Act by the Indian parliament, lowering the age of a legally defined juvenile for trial from 18 to 16 years old in heinous crimes cases. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1JBhHQO)

The Americas

The United Nations agreed to monitor the expected end of a half-century conflict between the Colombian government and FARC rebels, in a move hailed as an important step towards peace. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KC36PY)

Brazil’s government says it will deploy 220,000 soldiers in its fight against mosquitoes spreading the Zika virus. (BBC http://bbc.in/1nMNwvY)

The U.N. announced a U.S.-financed pilot program to help fight corruption in El Salvador, a Central American country so torn by drugs and gang warfare that it ranks among the most violent in the world. (VOA http://bit.ly/1QpzzNV)

Haitian President Michel Martelly would step down on schedule in two weeks, an interim government would take over and a runoff vote would be held within months. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QpydT5)

…and the rest

The World Food Program said today it would extend its emergency operation in eastern Ukraine to provide more than 260,000 conflict-affected people in the region with food assistance until the end of June 2016. (WFP http://bit.ly/1nMOto2)

Opinion/Blogs

Elizabeth Economy and China’s big environmental struggle. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1S6dKqe)

Can the UN end the longest running civil war in the Western Hemisphere? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1lP7ZP0)

10 of the most jaw-droppingly odd humanitarian awards (Guardian http://bit.ly/1nMQ4dy)

What to know about the tropical Zika virus in Latin America (AP http://yhoo.it/1KBYNUD)

Burundi: Can Nation Be Pulled Back From the Brink? (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1Qpv0D2)

How to cut off the spread (CNN http://cnn.it/1QpvkBT)

The humanitarian funding gap is a problem that can be solved (Devex http://bit.ly/1KC4IZO)

Why the Voice of Africa’s Informal Economy Should Be Heard (Leadership http://bit.ly/1JBeeBG)

Why IMF’s Head Deserves Second Term (Addis Fortune http://bit.ly/1KBZVaY)

Is China Using Business Deals to Expand Middle East Influence? (VOA http://bit.ly/1OVs4vr)

Big Pharma’s worst nightmare (Guardian http://bit.ly/1nMNqnV)

What can the Philippines do to accelerate nutrition improvement? (Development Horizons http://bit.ly/1QyMmzv)

The reductive seduction of OPP (Other people’s problems) (Roving Bandit http://bit.ly/1QyMxuG)

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