Syria: Pregnancy and childbirth in besieged east Aleppo
November 29, 2016

(MSF) – Even as the bombs fall on east Aleppo, babies are being born in the besieged city. For their mothers, experiencing pregnancy and childbirth in such desperate conditions is extremely challenging, both physically and psychologically. The difficulties begin in early pregnancy. The siege has led to severe food shortages, and many pregnant women are undernourished, which can lead to severe anaemia and other health problems.

 

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Syria: Amid ‘chilling’ situation in Aleppo, 16,000 flee intense fighting, UN aid chief warns
November 29, 2016

(UN News Centre) – Citing preliminary reports that that up to 16,000 people have fled fighting in the eastern neighbourhoods of Syria’s Aleppo city over the past few days, the United Nations humanitarian chief today warned that thousands more will have no choice but to flee should the attacks spread and escalate over the coming days. “I am extremely concerned about the fate of civilians as a result of the deeply alarming and chilling situation unfolding in Aleppo city,” the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said in a statement.

 

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Iraq: Airstrike Hits Clinic, 8 Civilians Died
November 29, 2016

(Human Rights Watch) – An airstrike targeting Islamic State, also known as ISIS, fighters hit a clinic south of Mosul on October 18, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack destroyed half the clinic, killed eight civilians, and wounded at least two more. Two ISIS fighters and the ISIS transport minister were also killed, a witness told Human Rights Watch. A healthcare worker said ISIS fighters had forcibly taken over an office at the clinic and were holding meetings there regularly, putting civilians at risk of attack.

 

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A passionate voice for Syrian children
November 28, 2016

(UNICEF) – Aleppo is my home. I grew up and live in one of its neighborhoods – just 500 metres away from the front lines. And despite the ongoing war that rages around us, I had been spared the worst. As a former English teacher, I always enjoyed listening to schoolchildren’s stories. When I joined UNICEF in Aleppo in 2015, I was privileged to meet children whom I wouldn’t normally encounter in everyday life.  Many were delighted when I listened to their stories of how their lives have changed and how they are coping with the reality of this barbaric war.

 

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Opinion piece: when it comes to Yemen, our indifference is deadly
November 28, 2016

(ICRC) – When I first started my career as a humanitarian working in war zones, I figured it would only be a matter of time before I became thick-skinned in the face of human suffering. In my line of work, death and destruction is all around, and misery is in the air we breathe. After many years in the field, I’m still waiting to become immune to the horrors. My home for the past year has been Yemen, a desperately poor country bordering the much larger Saudi Arabia to the north, and Oman to the east.

 

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Why Are Children Suffering in Aleppo?
November 28, 2016

(Human Rights Watch) – How are children suffering in Aleppo? The atrocities during the last few months alone are almost too many to count. They are killed by Syrian-Russian airstrikes in East Aleppo. We occasionally glimpse the results, like the two young boys filmed in an East Aleppo suburb, grieving after the death of their brother after an airstrike in August. Days later, Syrian aircraft bombed the funeral procession. And then they bombed people who came to the rescue.

 

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Silent Victims of Violence: 4 Million Kids Orphaned in Congo
November 28, 2016

(AP) – More than 4 million children have lost at least one parent in Congo over the past two decades, the silent victims of continuous cycles of violence. And more than 26 million orphans live in West and Central Africa, where Congo is located — the second highest number in the world behind South Asia, according to the United Nations. These children have grown up amid conflict fueled by ethnic strife and the fight over Congo’s valuable minerals. The violence and displacement are eroding the tradition of families caring for their own.

 

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In Syria I met a child from Mosul, scared and alone
November 28, 2016

(Save the Children) – It’s been about two years since 11-year-old Iraqi refugee Samer* has been held by his mother, or played with his four brothers. He has never met his new baby sister. “I miss them so much,” he says, sad eyes on the concrete floor of his temporary home in sprawling Al Hol camp in the northeast of neighbouring Syria, about 200km west of Mosul. Along with thousands of other Iraqis, Samer took a dangerous journey to escape ISIS – even a dirty, polluted camp in Syria is a safe haven after the brutality of life under the terror group. Now living in an unpainted, and as yet unheated, breeze-block shelter with two small rooms, he shyly peers at me as he tells the agonising story of his separation from family.

 

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Half a million children live under siege in Syria
November 27, 2016

(UNICEF) – As violence continues to escalate across Syria, the number of children living under siege has doubled in less than one year. Nearly 500,000 children now live in 16 besieged areas across the country, almost completely cut off from sustained humanitarian aid and basic services. “For millions of human beings in Syria, life has become an endless nightmare – in particular for the hundreds of thousands of children living under siege. Children are being killed and injured, too afraid to go to school or even play, surviving with little food and hardly any medicine,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “This is no way to live – and too many are dying.”

 

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The small African region with more refugees than all of Europe
November 26, 2016

(The Guardian) – As Ali Kawu eases his handcart to a halt on a recent morning in north-east Nigeria, it is the first time he has dared to stop walking in more than 24 hours. A day earlier, at 8am, Boko Haram militants raided his village. Kawu, 25, escaped with what he could – his wife, their three children, and kindling for a fire. They left behind their papers, six sacks of beans, up to 15 dead neighbours, and 10 kidnapped villagers. Then they walked all day and all night.

 

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