humanitarian action

International aid groups in Myanmar have urged the government to allow free access to Rakhine State, where an army offensive has sent 480,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh but hundreds of thousands remain cut off from food, shelter and medical care. [...] "INGOs in Myanmar are increasingly concerned about severe restrictions on humanitarian access and impediments to the delivery of critically needed humanitarian assistance throughout Rakhine State," aid groups said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Within 24 hours of of hearing from the country’s national security adviser that Sierra Leone needed food for survivors, Israel had sent supplies expected to provide nourishment for three days. [...] The ambassador emphasized the importance of getting the aid into the country quickly, in order to illustrate to desperate citizens that help was on its way and there was reason for hope.

Following 9/11, there has been a growing recognition in the Pentagon that the "soft power" of overseas aid helps in the fight against extremism. If America is seen to be indifferent to, say, the Ebola crisis or a huge earthquake, it can act as a recruiting sergeant for radical groups. There are some signs that Mr Trump might be persuaded by this argument; that aid and security go hand-in-hand.

Today, Afghan refugees in Pakistan are dealt with in an inhuman and undignified manner. Despite holding legal documents, Pakistani authorities raid and humiliate Afghan refugees and jail them. When Pakistan welcomed Afghan refugees, it was because of the huge amount of donor aid that was pouring through Pakistan’s government from international communities and organizations. 

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, one Haitian-American doctor is fighting back against cholera, a disease that has devastated her parents’ home country. Starting just after sunrise each morning, Dr. Naima Joseph begins work at the cholera treatment unit in Les Anglais on Haiti’s southern peninsula. For about 12 hours each day, Naima and a dozen Haitian nurses and aides treat patients believed to be suffering from potentially lethal waterborne diseases.

PD News headlines focused on the role of public diplomacy in empowering vulnerable populations. 

The Ebola virus is expected to be all but gone in Liberia, thanks in large part to the work of Cuban doctors in Africa.

The asylum application is the first step towards relocation or reunion, neither of which is working. The reunion programme is limited to spouses and minors, otherwise families are prohibited from reuniting for five years, so that English teacher Thenna must choose her husband in Germany or her sons, aged 18 and 20. Ireland has received just one family and blamed “low take up” on refugees who had not wished to complete the first step of applying for asylum. Well, you try applying for asylum by Skype when you have no internet and no passport!