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News in the Humanosphere: British MPs backed a law that will commit 0.7% of national income to foreign aid

A representative from the Department of International Development (DfID) monitors vital supplies being loaded onto a C17 from 99 Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton, in support of the International relief effort following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philipines. © Crown Copyright 2013

The UK is a step closer to having laws that commit 0.7% of national income to foreign aid after the Conservatives finally backed a Liberal Democrat bill that is also supported by Labour. After a lengthy debate before the Commons rises for recess, MPs voted overwhelming to pass the legislation, which was opposed by just seven Conservative hardliners. The target, which was hit for the first time in April, means around £11bn of public money a year going towards international aid and development. Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats made manifesto promises to put the 0.7% measure into law and pledged to do so in the coalition agreement.  (The Guardian

Here’s Who Will Attend the Big UN Climate Summit

Ban Ki Moon is hosting a a big on-day climate summit on September 23rd, one day prior to the kick off the UN General Assembly. The UN just released the list of speakers. There are some noticeable absences. “The United Nations Secretary-General’s daylong Climate Summit in New York on Sept. 23 will draw about 120 heads of state, and many lower-ranking officials, according to a list of speakers the U.N. released this week. President Barack Obama will attend on behalf of the U.S., but China and India — the first and third-largest emitters of carbon dioxide — will be represented by lower-level officials. Carbon dioxide, the main long-lived greenhouse gas that is causing global warming, stayed at or above 400 parts per million for several months in 2014 — the highest it has been in human history. A single molecule of carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to a thousand years, which makes the problem particularly challenging to solve.” (Mashable

Here’s the formal list of speakers and schedule from the UN (PDF

The leader of the Mai Mai Kifuafua rebel movement said he needs assurances from the Democratic of Republic of Congo’s government that it will protect unarmed civilians in the territory the group controls before his 2,800 members will hand over their weapons under the administration’s peace effort program. (VOA

Some health care professionals in West Africa are looking at alternative approaches for helping Ebola patients survive the virus.  (VOA

Police in the Ugandan capital Kampala seized “substantial amounts of explosives” and suicide vests in raids on a suspected al Shabaab cell that was planning an imminent attack, a Ugandan official said in an interview on Sunday. (Reuters

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has fired 10 senior officials who defied an order to return to the country and help in the fight against Ebola. (VOA

Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition pledged to escalate its campaign against a possible third term for President Joseph Kabila after police dispersed a protest march with teargas in the capital Kinshasa on Saturday. (Reuters

Sierra Leone has lost a fourth doctor to Ebola after a failed effort to transfer her abroad for medical treatment, a government official said Sunday, a huge setback to the impoverished country that is battling the virulent disease amid a shortage of health care workers. (AP

A UN military vehicle struck a landmine Sunday in the volatile Kidal region of northern Mali, killing a Chadian soldier and wounding four other peacekeepers, a spokesman for the U.N. mission in the West African country said. (AP

Two Dutch doctors feared to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone are set to be flown back to the Netherlands “as soon as possible”, the foreign ministry said Saturday. (AFP

Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Saturday which purports to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines. (Reuters

A new armed group calling itself the Caliphate Soldiers in Algeria has split from al Qaeda’s North African branch and sworn loyalty to the radical breakaway group Islamic State fighting in Syria and Iraq. (Reuters

Some 500,000 children returned on Sunday to school in the Gaza Strip, where many will be given psychological counselling before regular studies begin after a devastating 50-day war between Palestinian militants and Israel. (Reuters

Human Rights Watch accused Israel’s government of forcing thousands of African asylum seekers to return home. HRW says once home they could face time in prison and possible torture. (VOA

Army engineers in Pakistan have been breaching dikes in a bid to divert swollen rivers from flooded cities and towns across populous Punjab province. The flooding has killed nearly 300 people in Pakistan and disrupted life for more than two million others. (VOA

About 150,000 people were still stranded in their homes a week after Indian Kashmir’s worst flood in over a century and fears grew on Sunday of an outbreak of diseases from vast fields of stagnant brown water. (Reuters

The Americas
The deteriorating political climate in Haiti took an unusual and confusing turn this week when Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the twice-exiled former president of Haiti, was ordered by a court not to leave his home as part of a corruption investigation. (NYT 
Investing in Adolescent Girls for Africa’s Development (IPS

It’s All About The Girls: Is The World Listening To Them? (NPR

Ebola Crisis Reversing Development Gains in Liberia (IPS

Some questions about NZ Aid’s renewable energy program (Dev Policy

WTF Friday, 9/12/2014 (Wronging Rights

Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Flooding in Kashmir (UN Dispatch

Tools for Developing Water and Sanitation Microfinance Products (CFI

Putting affected people at the centre of humanitarian response: Rhetoric or reality? (ODI

When Good Is Not Good Enough For 40 Million Tanzanians (Africa Can


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]