Archive for May 27th, 2016

27/05/2016

Humanitarian Summit Must Address Weapons Shipments Too

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, May 22 2016 (IPS) – Boats carrying refugees and boats carrying aid supplies will be on the agenda at the World Humanitarian Summit this week, but advocates say discussing the free flow of shipments carrying bombs and guns might be even more critical.
A civil defence team in Aleppo, Syria searches for survivors after a barrel bomb attack in August 2014. Credit: Shelly Kittleson/IPS

A civil defence team in Aleppo, Syria searches for survivors after a barrel bomb attack in August 2014. Credit: Shelly Kittleson/IPS

This is partly because a stark contradiction exists, many of the same Western countries sending humanitarian aid to countries in conflict are also continuing to supply weapons which are being used in these same conflicts.

“The contradiction is there and it is stark,” Belkis Wille, Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch told IPS.

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27/05/2016

Africa, Resolved to Address African Problems With African Solutions

Human Wrongs Watch

ISTANBUL, Turkey , May 22 2016 (IPS) – The African Union (AU) representing 54 countries and home to 1,2 billion inhabitants, will be in Istanbul to participate in the May 23-24, 2016, first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) with two key demands—that the international humanitarian system be redefined, and a strong, firm own commitment to itself, to the continent and its people, anchoring on the primacy of the states.
Olabisi Dare, Head of Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees, and Displaced Persons Division at the AU Commission.

In an interview with IPS on the eve of the WHS, the Head of Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees, and Displaced Persons Division at the AU Commission, Olabisi Dare said:

“All the key concerns that the AU will be raising at the World Humanitarian Summit is that there is a need for the redefinition of the international humanitarian system; this redefinition should take the form of a reconfiguration of the system.”

The Nigerian career diplomat and international civil servant with over 27 years international field and desk experience in Asia, Africa, Europe and America, added that the requested redefinition “should take the form of a reconfiguration of the system, it being understood that the existing system which is predicated on the UN Resolution 46 182 is to say the least not being faithfully implemented.”

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27/05/2016

When Emergencies Last for Decades

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 2016 (IPS) – For the millions of people whose lives have been uprooted by conflict and natural disasters the average amount of time before they can return home is now 17 years.

Water scarcity is fuelling violence in Kenya. Credit: Protus Onyango/IPS.

Water scarcity is fuelling violence in Kenya. Credit: Protus Onyango/IPS.

Yet often the assistance provided to people living in these crisis situations is designed to only meet their short-term needs.

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27/05/2016

‘We Cannot Keep Jumping from Crisis to Crisis’

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 20 2016 (IPS) – “We cannot keep jumping from crisis to crisis. We have to invest in long-term development that helps people cope with shocks so that they can continue to grow enough food for their communities and not require emergency aid.”

Josefina Stubbs, IFAD's Chief Development Strategist, visits an IFAD-funded program in Guatemala’s Verapaces region, Arminda Cruz. The micro-irrigation project is improving the livelihoods and food security of thousands of smallholder farmers, especially women, in the country. Credit: IFAD

Josefina Stubbs, IFAD’s Chief Development Strategist, visits an IFAD-funded program in Guatemala’s Verapaces region, Arminda Cruz.. Credit: IFAD

With this clear warning, Josefina Stubbs, Chief Strategist of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has just launched a strong message for leaders who will gather at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey next week.

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27/05/2016

The Real Heresy of London’s New Mayor Is that He Is a Liverpool Fan?

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 16 2016 (IPS) – Sadiq Khan is not just the new mayor of London, but happens to have individually won more votes than any other politician in British history.

farhana_200

Farhana Haque Rahman

Prime ministers and members of Parliament run in their home districts, where the total number of ballots are fewer.

Municipal elections don’t always draw global interest, but London is London, and what the world’s pundits and media has said, and as a result what the bulk of public opinion has heard, is that Mr. Khan is a Muslim, born to a family whose ancestral roots are in Pakistan.

The general reaction to a Muslim mayor of London is, thankfully, one of praise for the city’s cosmopolitan spirit and tolerance. Abroad, the tone has been one of great respect, with a few spoonfuls of feigned envy.

Other points could have been made about a vote in which the Labour Party, which last won the general elections 11 years ago, dislodged the Conservatives in the U.K.’s largest city.

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27/05/2016

‘Human Suffering Has Reached Staggering Levels’

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 17 2016 (IPS) – “Human suffering from the impacts of armed conflicts and disasters has reached staggering levels.”

Stephen O’Brien during a visit to Yemen, Faj Attan neighbourhood of Sana'a. Credit: OCHA /Philippe Kropf

Stephen O’Brien during a visit to Yemen, Faj Attan neighbourhood of Sana’a. Credit: OCHA /Philippe Kropf

With these one dozen or few words, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, briefly but sharply portrayed the current humanitarian drama, explaining why the UN has decided to hold the first ever World Humanitarian Summit on May 23-24 this year in Istanbul, Turkey.

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27/05/2016

Climate Change Compounds Humanitarian Crises in Global South

Human Wrongs Watch

SAN JOSE, May 20 2016 (IPS) – As the Global South works to overcome a history of weak institutions, armed conflict and poverty-driven forced exodus, key causes of its humanitarian crises, developing countries now have to also fight to keep global warming from compounding their problems.

Tacloban, in the Philippines, one of the areas hit hardest by super typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. The disaster coincided with the COP19 climate talks and served as the backdrop for negotiations on mechanisms of damage and losses. Credit: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development

Tacloban, in the Philippines, one of the areas hit hardest by super typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. The disaster coincided with the COP19 climate talks and served as the backdrop for negotiations on mechanisms of damage and losses. Credit: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development

“Disaster Risk Reduction and climate change adaption in fragile and conflict-affected states in the Global South have long been overlooked, as it is often perceived as too challenging or a lower priority,” Janani Vivekananda, an expert in security and climate change, told IPS.

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27/05/2016

Now 1 in 2 World’s Refugees Live in Urban Areas

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 19 2016 (IPS) – It is true that millions of refugees, especially in Africa and the Middle East, reside in camps. But in all they represent only one-quarter of the total number of refugees.

A view of an IDP camp in Al-Jamea, Baghdad, where 97 families from Anbar Governorate have found temporary shelter. Photo: ©UNICEF Iraq/2015/Khuzaie

A view of an IDP camp in Al-Jamea, Baghdad, where 97 families from Anbar Governorate have found temporary shelter. Photo: ©UNICEF Iraq/2015/Khuzaie

Meanwhile, more than 1 in 2 of all the world’s refugees live in slums or in informal settlements and on the fringes of cities, in overcrowded neighbourhoods and in areas prone to flooding, sanitation hazards and diseases.

These are some of the facts that United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has just revealed basing on data from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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