Stories written by Baher Kamal

The Humanitarian Clock Is Ticking, The Powerful Feign Deafness

The humanitarian clock is now ticking away faster than ever, with over 130 million of the world’s most vulnerable people in dire need of assistance. But the most powerful, richest countries—those who have largely contributed to manufacturing it and can therefore stop it, continue to pretend not hearing nor seeing the signals.

Humanitarian Summit, The Big Fiasco

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) held in Istanbul on May 23-24, managed to send a strong wake-up call to the world about the unprecedented human suffering now in course, but failed to achieve the objective of attracting the massive funds needed to alleviate the humanitarian drama, as none of the leaders of the Group 7 of the richest courtiers nor of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council attended, with the exception of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Humanitarian Summit: Too Big to Fail?

With a line up of heads of state or government telling all what they did to alleviate human suffering and promising to do more, along with leaders of civil society and humanitarian organisations denouncing lack of honest political will to act while governments continue spending trillions of dollars in weapons, the two-day World Humanitarian Summit kicked off today May 23 in Istanbul.

Humanitarian Summit Aims to Mobilise Up to 30 Billion Dollars

The two-day World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), opening today May 23 in Istanbul, aims at mobilising between 20 and 30 billion dollars to face the on-gowing, worst-ever humanitarian crises, said Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs andEmergency Relief Coordinator.

Africa: Resolved to Address African Problems Using African Solutions

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.

‘We Cannot Keep Jumping from Crisis to Crisis’

“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.”

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

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.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.

‘Human Suffering Has Reached Staggering Levels’

“Human suffering from the impacts of armed conflicts and disasters has reached staggering levels.”

Middle East – The Mother of All Humanitarian Crises

When, in March 2015, delegates from the Middle East met in Amman for their regional consultations round in preparation for the May 23-24 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, most likely what they had in mind is the fact that their region was --and still is-- the dramatic set of “the mother of all humanitarian crises.”

Mideast: 1 in 3 Bribes to Access Basic Public Services

Just an ordinary citizen living in a Middle East and North of Africa country and requring a birth certificate for your new-born daughter? No problem—just take something with you, either some cash, a pack of cigarettes or buy a glass of tea with milk and a lot of sugar.

Any Ways to Combat Extremism?

“The objective of extremists is for us to turn on each other [and] our unity is the ultimate rebuke for that bankrupt strategy.”

Climate: Africa’s Human Existence Is at Severe Risk

“Africa’s human existence and development is under threat from the adverse impacts of climate change – its population, ecosystems and unique biodiversity will all be the major victims of global climate change.”

Climate Change and the Middle East (II)
No Water in the Kingdom of the Two Seas—Nor Elsewhere

There is an oil producing country situated in the Gulf region, made of a cluster of islands. It is small, surface and population wise. But it holds the dubious privilege of ranking top of the list out of the 33 countries most likely to be water-stressed in the year 2040.

Climate Change (I)
Will the Middle East Become ‘Uninhabitable’?

This is not about any alarming header—it is the dramatic conclusion of several scientific studies about the on-going climate change impact on the Middle East region, particularly in the Gulf area. The examples are stark.

Can an Animal Heist Fable Help Solve the Middle East Crisis?

Make no mistake-the Middle East is the longest and perhaps the most complex crisis in recent History, this explaining the innumerable, successive –and frustrating- attempts to solve it.

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