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News in the Humanosphere: Canada will match citizen donations for famine relief, says government

President Jim Yong Kim meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at World Bank Group headquarters during Trudeau’s first official visit to Washington, D.C. (Photo Credit: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank)

Aid agencies are urging Canadians to respond generously to the federal government’s matching fund for famine relief in Africa and the Middle East, calling it a response to the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. The Liberal government said Monday it would match donations made by Canadians to registered charities to create a famine relief fund for more than 20 million men, women and children who are at risk of starvation. International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said the fund would support Canadian and international organizations working to provide assistance in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen and neighboring regions. (Toronto Star

Zuma hangs on, again...South Africa’s ruling African National Congress said on Monday its executive committee stood by President Jacob Zuma after some top officials demanded his resignation, saying the calls for him to resign were meant to dislodge the party from power. Zuma, who faces mounting pressure from within the ANC, survived a no-confidence motion at a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) on Sunday, local media said. (Reuters

Top Stories

Flooding and mudslides in Sri Lanka over the weekend left more than 150 people dead and almost half a million displaced after the worst torrential rains to hit the tropical island nation since 2003. (NY Times

A leading Moroccan activist was arrested alongside other protesters caught up in a wave of rallies against official abuses and corruption in the north, state media said. (Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry approved the use of a new Ebola vaccine to counter an outbreak in its northeast that has killed four people, a spokesman said on Monday. (TRF

Italy hoped to persuade other major industrialized nations to open more legal channels for migration and to focus attention on food security — policies which were meant to lower the number of people who set off for Europe. But the plan was scrapped before the two-day summit even started, with the United States, Britain and Japan unwilling to commit to major new immigration initiatives. (Reuters

A popular Chinese dating app for lesbians has been shut down, along with its website and main social media account, just as the gay community celebrates Taiwan’s decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry, a first for Asia. (Reuters

Lee Ming-cheh, a human rights advocate from Taiwan who was detained in China in March, has been formally arrested on a charge of “subverting state power,” the Chinese government has announced, amid a continuing crackdown on civil society organizations. (NY Times

After fleeing conflict at home, 11,000 Central Africans have found safety at Mbilé camp in Cameroon. But the demise of a scheme that meant women no longer had to scavenge for firewood has added to concern about meager food rations. (Guardian

Energy poverty afflicts millions of homes in Mexico, with many social, economic and environmental impacts for the country. These homes, located in both urban and rural areas in this Latin American country of 122 million people, have difficulty satisfying their needs for energy for cooking, lighting, heating and entertainment. (IPS


Nigeria: How to solve a problem like Biafra (African Arguments

Trans-Pacific Partnership Can Succeed Without the U.S. (Bloomberg View

The End of History Is the Birth of Tragedy (Foreign Policy

Watch Women Shame Men Who Pee In Public (NPR Goats and Soda

Growing Youth in Africa a Time Bomb, But… (IPS

Where’s Africa in China’s mega Belt and Road project? (African Arguments

What can save Mali? (IRIN

Smoking And Sustainable Development – Potentially Reduced Risk Products, A Viable Solution? (allAfrica

What exactly are back channels, and when is it OK to use them? (PRI


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]