News in the Humanosphere: London summit tries to fill $900 million humanitarian need for Somalia

Women and children queue to enter a free medical clinic run by Ugandan and Burundian personnel of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Baidoa. (Credit: UN Photo/Abdi Dakan)

British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for more support for drought-stricken Somalia, with the U.N. chief requesting another $900 million in aid this year. They spoke at a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation’s deepening humanitarian and security crisis. “Somalia now hangs in the balance between peril and potential,” Guterres said. “Here in London we can tip the scales from danger to safety.” He said political stability has improved but the gains are fragile in part because “growing food insecurity” is affecting millions of Somalis. Guterres said some 439,000 people are at risk of famine and more than 6 million are “severely food insecure.”  (AP http://apne.ws/2r6DxnN)

Price of solar power just hit a record low in India…The price of solar energy in India has tumbled to a new record low, making it cheaper than fossil-fuel generated power. The latest solar power tariffs show the price of solar energy is 18 percent lower than the average price for electricity generated by coal-fired plants.  At an auction in Rajasthan earlier this week, Phelan Energy and Aaada Power offered to charge 2.62 rupees per kilowatt-hour of solar-generated electricity, according to The Economic Times of India.  (Times UK http://ind.pn/2r5iXmN)

Stat of the day: Peru’s poverty rate dipped by 1.1 percentage points in 2016 to 20.7 percent, government data showed, in line with modest declines seen the prior two years after several years of sharp poverty reduction. (VOA http://bit.ly/2q97wLJ)

Top Stories

All schools on the islands of Zanzibar have been temporarily closed because of flooding following weeks of heavy rains, says the education minister. (BBC http://bbc.in/2q7EUUG)

A moderate earthquake that struck close to the earth’s surface killed eight people and injured more than 20 others in far western China on Thursday, the region’s earthquake administration said. (AP http://apne.ws/2q9CxiN)

Twenty-four people were killed when a 14-foot boundary wall collapsed on a crowd at a wedding venue in central India, the police said. (NY Times http://nyti.ms/2pDgQXj)

Dozens of people were injured and a 27-year-old man killed during another day of violent clashes in Venezuela’s capital during demonstrations demanding elections. (AP http://apne.ws/2q7Go1r)

Two United Nations special rapporteurs urged the Indian government to lift a ban on social media sites and mobile internet service in the Indian-controlled portion of disputed Kashmir. (AP http://bit.ly/2q9t5LW)

Activists urged U.S. authorities to extend a special immigration status for 50,000 refugees from earthquake-hit Haiti, fearing they may be thrown out of the United States. (VOA http://bit.ly/2q9o5qF)

Humanitarian agencies operating in Somalia say they are concerned about reports of upcoming military offensives in the country at a time when the risk of famine still persists. (VOA http://bit.ly/2q9q9iu)

Doctors in Syria have turned to crowdfunding in a desperate attempt to keep makeshift hospitals running in caves and underground. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2pDHEGC)

Efforts to repatriate more than 98,000 ethnic Burmese refugees to Myanmar with United Nations support are slowly progressing, even as international donors cut funding to camps in Thailand where the refugees are living. (VOA http://bit.ly/2q9NOzy)

The UN’s new humanitarian chief, overseeing a sprawling department and a plethora of acronym-heavy mechanisms, will be Mark Lowcock, until now the top British civil servant in the Department for International Development, the UK’s aid ministry. (IRIN http://bit.ly/2pDw6mF)

Opinion/Blogs

Meet Emmanuel Macron, the Surprising New President of France (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/2q7Ab5k)

Why murder in Mexico is rising again (The Economist http://econ.st/2q7tWP2)

‘If a man can do it, why can’t I?’: turning the tables on India’s instant divorce law (Guardian http://bit.ly/2pDpODF)

Trump firing Comey: ‘It helps every authoritarian in the world’ (PRI http://bit.ly/2q7Blhn)

Cholera 101: An Ancient Disease Keeps Cropping Up (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/2q91cE8)

Gender Equality Can Save Women’s Lives in Disasters – We must not miss the opportunity to set this right (IPS http://bit.ly/2q7nsj4)

Donor resilience index (ODI http://bit.ly/2r6eAc9)

What Germany owes Namibia (The Economist http://econ.st/2poXXel)

7 things you need to know about climate risk insurance (UN University http://bit.ly/2q7II8D)

Rethinking immunization strategies to reach the urban poor (Devex http://bit.ly/2q7O83n)

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