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News in the Humanosphere: Security Council Finally Unites on Syria Humanitarian Relief

Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

If implemented, a further 1.3 million people could be reached with aid. “The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday authorizing cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syrians in rebel-held areas in desperate need of food and medicine, without government approval…The Security Council authorized U.N. agencies and aid organizations that assist them to deliver humanitarian assistance across conflict lines between government and rebel forces and through four border crossings — two in Turkey, one in Iraq and one in Jordan without government approval. It authorized the United Nations to monitor the loading of all aid shipments in the three countries before they cross the Syrian border. (AP)…And why this was a risky move by the Security Council. (UN Dispatch

New Data on Global Humanitarian Funding…”Humanitarian funding reached a record $22 billion in 2013, yet almost a third of needs remained unmet, according to data recently released by the UK-based think tank Global Humanitarian Assistance Programme’s Development Initiatives…Government donors, who accounted for around three-quarters of total aid in 2013, gave an estimated $16.4 billion, up by one quarter in 2012. Private donors, including individuals, trusts, foundations and corporations, increased their contributions by 35 percent, to around $5.6 billion. (IRIN)


Doctors Without Borders says children in parts of South Sudan are suffering from shocking rates of malnutrition. (AP)

Among the 100,000 civilians holed up in UN bases in South Sudan since fighting broke out in mid-December 2013 between supporters and opponents of President Salva Kiir are several hundred citizens from Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia. (IRIN)

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan promised on Monday that more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militants would soon return home, teenage Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai said after meeting him. (Reuters)

Ghana partially removed fuel subsidies, just three months after reintroducing them, to cut spending and restore macro stability. (Reuters)

The European Union will resume giving direct development aid to the Guinea-Bissau government after it held presidential elections rated as “free and credible,” the EU said. (AFP)

Amnesty International has said refugees in Nairobi are appealing a controversial ruling that would force thousands of Somalis from their homes to live in squalid overcrowded camps in Northern Kenya. (Dalsan Radio)


The new crisis in Palestine is aggravating an already fragile health system heavily affected by chronic shortages and structural weaknesses. (MSF)

The United Nations said on Monday it is withdrawing its staff from Libya temporarily because of deteriorating security after rival militias fought over Tripoli International Airport and a renegade general’s forces continued to battle Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi. (AP)

Syrians found themselves without Internet access this weekend, according to a report by an Internet intelligence firm. (VOA)

A senior UN official warns the growing Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon could explode into inter-sectarian violence. The official says competition between the Lebanese and Syrians for limited resources is increasing tensions between these communities to a dangerous level. (VOA)


Thailand’s military government said on Monday it would send home 100,000 refugees who have been living in camps for two decades and more along the border with Myanmar, a move rights groups say would create chaos at a tense time for both nations. (Reuters)

The continued use of outdated and inefficient approaches to TB are still fueling its spread, say NGOs in Russia and international groups working to combat the disease. (IPS)

Philippine President Benigno Aquino is defending an economic stimulus program amid calls for his impeachment as well as the resignation of his budget secretary. (VOA)

Four years after a devastating landslide, displaced residents of northern Pakistan accuse the government of abandoning them. (IRIN

Samsung said Monday it had temporarily suspended business with one of its suppliers in China after finding “evidence” of possible illegal child labor at the plant. (AP)

UN refugee envoy Angelina Jolie has accepted an invitation to visit the small island of Nauru where Australia sends asylum-seekers for processing and resettlement, the government said. (AP)

The Americas

The World Cup is over, but Brazil remains in the spotlight with this week’s BRICS summit. High on an agenda that stresses social inclusion and sustainable development are final discussions on the creation of two financial institutions that could reshape the global economic landscape. (Guardian)

‘Ladies in White’ dissidents say they were detained in the Cuban capital while marking 20 years since 37 people drowned trying to flee the island. (BBC)

Religious organizations, aid groups and volunteers are helping the government deal with what has become a humanitarian crisis caused by youth migration into the US. (VOA)


Mark speaks with Nuclear policy wonk and Ploughshares Fund president Joseph Cirincione about the Iran nuke talks, Bush’s troubled nuclear record and why the jury is still out on Obama’s nuclear weapons legacy. (Global Dispatches Podcast)

Ethiopia’s Nile dam project signals its intention to become an African power (Guardian)

Does Building Non-Racialism Mean Being Colour-Blind? (Daily Maverick)

Use ‘safe zones’ to end immigrant crisis (CNN)

Japan Remains Committed to ‘Advancing Vibrant Diplomacy’ (IPS)

Are Nigerian Electricity Tariffs Really Lowest? (Africa Check)

New development goals need ambition and the UK must set the agenda (Guardian )

Why ‘Political Economy Analysis’ has Lost the Plot, and We Need to Get Back to Power and Politics (World Bank)


The Political Economy of Bad Data: Evidence from African Survey & Administrative Statistics (CGD)


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]