The situation in South Sudan is quickly becoming a humanitarian emergency. The U.N. has announced that part of the country is now officially suffering from a famine, and millions of people are in danger. One Unicef official told The New York Times,
Over a quarter of a million children are already severely malnourished. If we do not reach these children with urgent aid, many of them will die.
According to the U.N., 100,000 people are currently on the verge of starvation with another 4.9 million in “urgent need” of food.
Those effected in the northern region of the young country live in an area that has suffered through three years of on-going ethnic violence, with fighting between rebel forces and the government claiming the lives of thousands. In recent months there have been reports of widespread rape, war crimes and murders. The fighting has hampered communities’ ability to operate farms and provide food.
Currently, humanitarian aid groups have had trouble reaching the people effected by the critical food shortage—many of whom are children—because of attacks on aid convoys. Groups including Oxfam, World Vision, the World Food Program and others continue to seek support in order to deliver life-saving aid to the people in need.
Dozens of people have been arrested after a horrific attack in Pakistan, where at least 88 people were killed. The ISIS terrorists targeted worshippers at a large Sufi shrine. Following the attack, authorities in Pakistan said that they believed the terrorists responsible were from Afghanistan. They soon closed a major border-crossing and shelled a nearby region of the country.
Overnight, at least 39 people were killed when authorities conducted raids in insurgent areas, as gunfights broke out between militants and military forces.
The attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine was one of the deadliest in years in the country.
India's economy has experienced a huge boost. Industrialization, population growth and its increased integration into the global economy have all been factors of its growth into the sixth-largest economy in the world. It's also brought unprecedented challenges.
Over the last 25 years, India has registered an increase of nearly 50 percent in premature deaths caused by air pollution, deaths attributed to a cause otherwise known as "particulate matter." This matter increases in the air because of industrialization and enters the bloodstream through the lungs, increasing the risk of stroke, cardiac arrest, heart failure and severe respiratory issues like asthma and pneumonia.
The role of public policy in preventing deaths caused by worsening pollution can't be understated. The New York Times reports that efforts to reduce emissions from industrialization caused a 20 percent decrease in the rate of deaths caused by air pollution between 1990 to 2015. Yet in India, Bhargav Krishna, manager for environmental health at the Public Health Foundation of India in New Delhi, said "the idea that policy making should be led by government is lacking." In China however, which faced similar pollution issues, the trajectory of deaths has stabilized due to the country's leadership in stabilizing efforts to reduce pollution.
Even when regulations do pass through courts in India, usually after relentless petitioning from local advocates, enforcing them remains a challenge. India’s environmental court, the National Green Tribunal, ordered farmers to stop burning their crops in the region around New Delhi because it contributes to one quarter of the levels of air pollution but the practice still continued last year. Discuss
About a year ago, a photograph taken in Nigeria went viral, showing a heartbreaking image of an emaciated toddler who had been abandoned by his parents. Anja Ringgren Loven, who is featured in the photo giving the young boy water, ended up adopting the child. The boy, like many children in the region, had been outcast by his family because they believed he was a witch.
Now, Loven has posted some encouraging updates about young Hope, showing how much healthier he has become, and informing followers that he will soon be attending school.
I travelled alone to Nigeria where I met children who had been tortured and beaten almost to death because they were accused of being witches and therefore left alone on the street … That’s why I decided to sell everything I owned in Denmark to devote my time and life to help ‘witch children’ in Nigeria.
As this recent video shows, her work is having an impact.
Following a terrorist attack by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Tuesday, the already-fragile country suffered another tragedy this morning when six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were killed in Qush Tepa area on Wednesday by suspected Islamic State terrorists, according to reports.
The employees were on a convoy mission to deliver much-needed resources to Afghan residents. The organization has had uninterrupted work in the country over 30 years.
Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, released a statement expressing his shock and condemning the attacks.