Humanitarian Emergencies

Oceans in Crisis as they Absorb the Brunt of Climate Change

Warnings of strong winds, high waves and reduced visibility along the East African coastline are increasingly common. But local fisher folk like Ali Sombo from Kwale County, situated along Kenya's Indian Ocean Coastline, don't always heed the warnings by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) to stay clear of the open sea during rough waters.

Climate Emergency: A Humanitarian Call to Action


We saw this coming. As humanitarians, our risk assessments in different parts of the world have always factored in the potential for extreme weather events and the spread of vector-borne diseases, of drought, desertification, and mass displacement. Emergency first responders like us work up scenarios for interventions and gain experience each time we put our planning to the test in real crises.

Confronting the New Climate Reality in Asia and the Pacific

In less than ten days world leaders will be gathering at the United Nations in New York for the Climate Action Summit. Their goal is simple; to increase ambition and accelerate action in the face of a mounting climate emergency. For many this means ambition and action that enables countries to decarbonize their economies by the middle of the century. But that is only half the equation. Equally ambitious plans are also needed to build the resilience of vulnerable sectors and communities being battered by climate related disasters of increasing frequency, intensity and unpredictability.

What Research Reveals about Drivers of Anti-immigrant Hate Crime in South Africa

Mobs have attacked foreign-owned businesses on the streets of at least three South African cities in recent days. This has caused outrage across Africa. There have even been retaliatory attacks. The South African government, under pressure to protect her large international migrant community, quickly defused the attacks.

Is America Defeated in Afghanistan?

Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil, the United States and their allies went to Afghanistan to “smoke out” Osama bin Laden and his Taliban protectors. The most fundamental primary mistake was to let all terrorists flee to Pakistan instead of sealing the border and capturing their main figures.

UNICEF’s Goodwill Envoy a Messenger of ill-Will, Complain Critics

When two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, refused to make a commitment not to play in South Africa, a country blacklisted for its apartheid policies, the UN children’s agency stripped him of the prestigious title, back in October 1987.

Our Food Systems Need Transformation

The right to food is a universal human right. Yet, over 820 million people are going hungry, according the latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI 2019). In addition, 2 billion people in the world are food insecure with great risk of malnutrition and poor health” 1.

Malaysia Vastly Undercounting Poverty

Malaysia lays claim to the world’s lowest national poverty rate by using an unduly low poverty line that does not reflect the cost of living and by excluding vulnerable populations from its official figures.

After Two Years of Horrors in Burma, the U.S. Is Still Doing Too Little, Too Late

Monsoon season is currently wreaking havoc on the more than 911,000 Rohingya refugees displaced from their homeland in Burma (Myanmar) to the ramshackle camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Two Million Children in West and Central Africa Robbed of an Education Due to Conflict

Fourteen-year-old Fanta lives in a tent in a settlement in Zamaï, a village in the Far North Region of Cameroon with her mother and two brothers. They came here more than a year ago after her father and elder brother were murdered and her elder sister abducted by the extremist group Boko Haram.

Little Hope of Justice for Rohingya, Two Years after Exodus

Two years after the start of an exodus of Rohingya civilians from genocide-like attacks in Myanmar, members of the mainly Muslim minority have little hope of securing justice, rights or returning to their homes, according to the United Nations and aid groups.

A ‘Cure’ for Ebola but Will it Stop the Outbreak if People Won’t Get Treatment?

While people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are slowly being made aware that scientists have discovered two drugs that are effective in treating Ebola, letting go of the fear and anxiety that has prevailed across the country this year will require more work.

The Role of Women’s Organisations in Crisis-Settings

To mark World Humanitarian Day, we celebrate the overlooked women leaders who are first responders, unwavering advocates, and powerful change-makers in humanitarian emergencies.

Rules of War Widely Flouted, 70 years on: Red Cross

World governments are not doing enough to stop armed groups from committing mass rape, torture and other war crimes, the head of the Red Cross aid group head Peter Maurer said on Tuesday.

Canada Effectively Addresses Children in Armed Conflict

More than 24,000 violations have been committed against children across the globe, including recruitment into armed forces, abduction, sexual violence, deprivation of basic needs, attacks on schools and hospitals-- and even murder.

U.S. Sanctions Imperil Aid to Iran’s Flood Victims

Two major humanitarian groups have warned that United States sanctions on Iran are stopping cash flows for vital humanitarian work in the country, adding another complication to the growing rift between Washington and Tehran.

Environmental Migration a Global Challenge

The Atlas of Environmental Migration, which gives examples dating as far back as 45,000 years ago, shows that environmental changes and natural disasters have played a role in how the population is distributed on our planet throughout history.

Protect, Support and Empower Girls in Lake Chad Region

As Lake Chad enters its 10th year of conflict, millions of young girls are being used and manipulated in grotesque ways. Maria Sole Fanuzzi, Lake Chad Child Protection Specialist at Plan International, said: “New York City has 8.25 million people, so when we talk about the girls in the Lake Chad crisis, you have to imagine the whole city where we are now is completely filled by children, and half of that would be girls.”

Extreme Weather Events are Just the Tip of Rapidly Melting Icebergs

First August. It is the middle of summer in the northern hemisphere. We are witnessing not only record global warming but global political tensions are also heating up.

Migration and Human Solidarity

The migrant and refugee crisis has become a serious test for the unity of Europe as a political project. The inflow of destitute migrants and refugees has tested Europe’s political unity to an unprecedented extent. With a long-term solution to the migrant and refugee crisis nowhere in sight, the adverse impact of the current situation has the potential to unfold further and to give rise to a broader crisis with long-term implications, affecting Europe and the MENA region alike.

Horn of Africa Drought Threatens Re-run of Famines Past

Humanitarian groups and the United Nations are warning of another drought in the Horn of Africa, threatening a repeat of the deadly dry spell and famine that claimed lives in Somalia and its neighbours eight years ago.

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