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News in the Humanosphere: Ebola orphans shunned by communities, says UNICEF

Mamie Kpulum heads up the interim care centre. (c) UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Dunlop

A new report from UNICEF describes the stigma and challenges faced by the 3,700 children who lost their parents to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. “Thousands of children are living through the deaths of their mother, father or family members from Ebola,” said Manuel Fontaine, Unicef’s regional director for west and central Africa. “These children urgently need special attention and support, yet many of them feel unwanted and even abandoned. Orphans are usually taken in by a member of the extended family, but in some communities the fear surrounding Ebola is becoming stronger than family ties.” (Guardian

Meanwhile, the UN’s Ebola Emergency Response Mission is officially up and running. Its headquarters is in Accra, Ghana. (WHO


The UN Mission for Ebola wants to achieve significant progress in combating the deadly disease within 60 days, including ensuring that 70 percent of cases receive treatment, its new head Tony Banbury said. (Reuters

The trial of South African opposition party leader Julius Malema on corruption charges has been postponed until next year. (BBC

The rainy season in West Africa is compounding difficulties in getting supplies delivered and new treatment centres built as donors rush to isolate people infected with the deadly Ebola virus and stop its rapid spread, US officials said. (TRF

The International Monetary Fund said it would work with Zimbabwe to produce a debt repayment plan that would help Harare qualify for international loans. (Reuters

Guinean security forces are intensifying their Ebola screening efforts at the border with Sierra Leone. At the Madina Oula town crossing, people are subjected to rigorous health checks. (VOA

WFP and UNICEF say they have assisted more than 500,000 people in parts of South Sudan hit hardest by the country’s nine-month conflict. (VOA


The UN’s humanitarian chief warned Tuesday that tens of thousands more people could be forced to flee Syria if Islamic State militants continue to make territorial gains. (VOA

European Union countries must cough up “considerable” resources for migrant rescues in the Mediterranean Sea before Italy can discontinue its own mission, or else many lives will be lost, human rights group Amnesty International said. (Reuters

Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq captured a border crossing with Syria on Tuesday, expelling Islamic State militants in heavy fighting that ground down to vicious house-to-house combat and close quarters sniping. (ABC


Protesters camped out in Hong Kong for a fifth consecutive day are threatening to expand their campaign of civil disobedience if the territory’s chief executive does not meet their demand for democratic reforms. (VOA

Myanmar has confirmed to the United Nations it is finalizing a plan that will offer minority Rohingya Muslims citizenship if they change their ethnicity to suggest Bangladeshi origin, a move rights groups say could force thousands into detention camps. (VOA

Indigenous people experience dementia at a rate at least three times higher than the non-Indigenous population in Australia, but a lack of awareness of the seriousness of the issue means not enough is being done to combat a “looming epidemic”, the peak body for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their carers has said. (Guardian

US President Barack Obama and new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to expand and deepen their countries’ strategic partnership and make it a model for the rest of the world. (Reuters

Stunning timelapse satellite imagery of the Aral Sea drying up because of climate change. (WaPo

The Americas

While the US tightens an economic embargo on its island neighbor, several African leaders were making a pilgrimage to Havana to strengthen bilateral relations. (IPS

Shipping firms should pressure the Nicaraguan government and the Chinese backer of a proposed canal to ensure that the project does not force indigenous people off their land and inflict massive environmental damage on the country’s ecosystem, an environmental advocacy group has urged. (Guardian

A project funded by international development aid helps Cuban women entrepreneurs with the aim of closing the gender gap, as part of the economic reforms underway in this socialist Caribbean island nation. (IPS

California’s catastrophic drought has most likely been made worse by man-made climate change, according to a report released by Stanford University, but scientists are still hesitant to fully blame the lack of rain on climate change. (Reuters


Analyst: West Cannot Win Prolonged Fight With Islamic State (VOA

Understanding Latin America’s Financial Inclusion Gap (CGD

Female entrepreneurs an amazing engine for economic growth (Guardian

The costs and economic impact of violence against children (ODI

“I’m Missing My Place in the World”: An Interview with Aziza Brahim (Think Africa Press

Why Hong Kong’s demand for democracy is not just another Occupy (GlobalPost

West Africa: Is World Up to Ebola Challenge? (Deutsche Welle

Facing Death, Six Days a Week (USAID Impact


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]