News in the Humansosphere: New peace talks kick off for Gaza and CAR

Secretary of State John Kerry visit to Israel May 23-24, 2013.
Secretary of State John Kerry visit to Israel May 23-24, 2013.
U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

Ban Ki Moon, John Kerry in Cairo for Gaza Talks. ”[Kerry] will urge the militant Palestinian group to accept a cease-fire agreement offered by Egypt that would halt two weeks of fighting that has descended into war and killed at least 500 Palestinians and more than two-dozen Israelis. Kerry headed almost immediately into a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, where he announced the U.S. will send $47 million in humanitarian aid for tens of thousands of Palestinians who have fled their homes in Gaza to escape the violence.” (Houston Chronicle)

Over 150 delegates from all sides of the fighting in Central African Republic are represented at peace talks in Brazzaville Congo that started on Monday. Appeals for a ceasefire, however, were clearly not respected on the ground. There is not high hopes that these talks will succeed. “Central African Republic’s interim president appealed on Monday to Muslim Seleka rebels and ‘anti-balaka’ Christian militia to agree on a ceasefire at the start of talks in the neighbouring Congo Republic.The three-day forum in Brazzaville, mediated by Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, aims to reach terms for a halt to hostilities and disarmament but will not address negotiations for a longer-term peace deal in the former French colony. (Reuters)

Africa

Religious leaders in Sierra Leone criticized the government’s handling of an Ebola outbreak that has killed 194 people in the West African country, saying a lack of information was prompting rural communities to shun medical help. (Reuters)

Mozambique is discussing with its foreign coal mining partners ways to help them ride out depressed markets but will not be offering special tax breaks to ease the pain, its mineral resources minister said. (Reuters)

Abuse and poverty is driving children on to Uganda’s streets, where many claim to suffer even more at the hands of police. (Guardian)

Liberia: Four nurses working at the Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, Bong County, have reportedly contracted the Ebola virus, while the test result of the fifth nurse is yet to be released. (Heritage)

For a growing number of Kenyan coffee farmers, an insurance plan that protects their harvest against losses to extreme weather and weather-related ailments is making coffee growing a less bitter experience. (Thompson Reuters Foundation)

MENA

With over 85,000 Palestinians now displaced in Gaza, the UN shelters housing them are near capacity. Yet for the displaced fleeing violence between Israel and militant groups, there are few alternatives. (IRIN)

Clashes between rival Libyan militias fighting for control of the capital’s international airport killed 47 people over the last week, Libya’s Health Ministry said, as violence in an eastern city killed five. (ABC)

Italy’s navy said it rescued nearly 1,800 migrants in overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean over the weekend, and a merchant ship recovered five bodies from a sinking rubber raft off the coast of Libya. (Reuters)

The economist behind a plan to unlock at least $380 billion worth of assets from Egypt’s black market says President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi must first restore another asset that has depreciated over the years: the trust of a wary public. (Reuters)

Despite a comprehensive approach to combating HIV-AIDS, ignorance about the disease pervades Tunisian society. (Guardian)

Asia

Some tribal elders in a city in northwest Pakistan have decreed that families fleeing a military offensive should not allow women to collect food aid, an elder said on Monday after Reuters saw him attacking women. (Reuters)

The Red Cross Society of China deployed emergency teams and mobilized relief supplies to help communities battered by Super Typhoon Rammasun, described as the severest storm to hit the country in more than 40 years. (Red Cross)

Medical officials in northern Pakistan say that almost all the 870,000 internally displaced people in KP are deeply traumatized by over a decade of war in the northern provinces, where they were caught in the crossfire between government forces and militants who crossed the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas in 2001. (IPS)

Cambodia’s efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS over the past 15 years have won it praise, and put it well ahead of many other low-income countries. But some of those most involved in the fight against AIDS are worried that an array of challenges could see some of those gains undone. (VOA)

Twenty-eight people, including activists and a retired Catholic bishop, filed an impeachment complaint Monday against Philippine President Benigno Aquino III for his implementation of a major economic stimulus program that the Supreme Court has declared partly unconstitutional. (AP)

Thai media organizations called on the military government on Monday to ease restrictions after the junta said it would shut down news outlets putting out what it considers critical coverage. (Reuters)

Opinion/Blogs

Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE, on work in South Sudan, her work fighting AIDS from the early 1980s, and the origins of the USA’s global response to the AIDS crisis. (Global Dispatches Podcast)

Shouldn’t Humanitarian Aid Come First? (Campaign for Boring Development)

Redoubling efforts to fight stigma and discrimination key to ending AIDS (Devex )

Seeking Leadership & Innovation in Sustainable Development (IPS)

GM scaremongering in Africa is disarming the fight against poverty (Guardian)

LGBT rights in Africatime to act (ODI)

Building partnerships to free the world’s children of intestinal worms (Development Progress)

Why Worry About the Politics of Nutrition? (Development Horizons)

Who Aids Whom? (Development Diaries)

Research/Reports

Targeted efforts to make food systems more efficient in key parts of the world could meet the basic calorie needs of 3 billion extra people and reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture without using additional land and water, researchers said. (AlertNet)

Investment in HIV prevention research fell by 4%, to $1.26 billion in 2013, due to declining investments by the United States and European government donors, changes in the international development landscape and changes in the pipeline of HIV prevention products in various stages of development and implementation. (Press Release)

A cloud of mistrust hangs over relations between business and the humanitarian community, the result of decades of mutual suspicion. Aid workers stereotype the private sector as profiteering and unscrupulous; business people write off international agencies as bloated and inefficient. (IRIN)

One of the major concerns of the gathering of 12,000 AIDS activists, scientists and people living with HIV is how the criminalization of groups at high risk of HIV – such as gay men, sex workers and transgender people – is threatening progress in the global effort to fight AIDS. (Reuters)

The effects of an HIV and AIDS project on migrants in Nepal, Bangladesh and India findings from a quasi-experimental study (ODI)

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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.