Archive for March 28th, 2015

28/03/2015

Humanitarian Agencies Overwhelmed as Mindanao Conflict Flares Again

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ana P Santos*

MAGUINDANAO, the Philippines,, 25 March 2015 (IRIN)* – Humanitarian agencies are struggling to cope with a growing number of people displaced by fighting in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says more than 120,000 have sought shelter in public buildings or informal camps since fighting broke out in January between government forces and rebels from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a splinter group of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

28/03/2015

Spending on Nuclear Weapons — US$105 Billion a Year; US$300 Million a Day, US$12 Million an Hour

Human Wrongs Watch

As hundreds of millions of people across the globe go hungry, the nuclear-armed nations spend close to US$300 million a day on their nuclear forces. (ICAN)*

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

The production, maintenance and modernization of nuclear forces diverts vast public resources away from health care, education, climate change mitigation, disaster relief, development assistance and other vital services.

Globally, annual expenditure on nuclear weapons is estimated at US$105 billion – or $12 million an hour.

The World Bank forecast in 2002 that an annual investment of just US$40–60 billion, or roughly half the amount currently spent on nuclear weapons, would be enough to meet the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals on poverty alleviation by the target date of 2015.

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28/03/2015

A Home for Mercy

Human Wrongs Watch

‘When last we met Mercy, she was arriving in her foster home, the child of a woman who had died of Ebola infection. See how Mercy’s getting on, in school for the first time, a child embraced by a family joined by love, if not blood.'(UNICEF)*

© UNICEF/NYHQ2014–3132/Nesbitt

After Mercy Kennady, 9, lost her mother to Ebola, she made international news when she was found crying, scared and alone, wandering the streets of Liberia. Her journey has taken her from being orphaned, facing stigma and undergoing quarantine to starting anew in the loving home of a foster family.

In November 2014, Mercy waved farewell as she left a UNICEF-supported interim care centre in Monrovia. Children exposed to Ebola stay at the centre for the duration of the virus’s 21-day maximum incubation period, receiving support while waiting to make sure they have not contracted the disease.

28/03/2015

The Boy Who Was Buried Alive and Survived

Human Wrongs Watch

When his village in Nigeria was attacked, 10-year-old Ibrahim witnessed his father’s brutal murder. Then the insurgents came after him. Ibrahim’s story.

(03252015)_Featured_TheBoyNigeria

The crescent-shaped scar on Ibrahim’s head is a visible reminder of his ordeal. UNHCR/Hélène Caux

By Hélène Caux*

25 March 2015 — Thirty-three-year-old Sarratou will never forget the day when dozens of heavily armed men ambushed her village in Nigeria’s Borno State. It was 10 o’clock in the morning and she was at home with three of her four children. The gunshots rang in their ears as they hastily embarked on a 12-kilometre trip on foot towards the Cameroon border.

At the time, her husband and their eldest son, 10-year-old Ibrahim, were caring for their cattle on the outskirts of the village. Although they tried to flee, there was no escape. “My husband got too tired. He was exhausted and could not continue running,” Sarratou says. “Boko Haram caught up with them, and they cut the throat of my husband, in front of our son.”

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