A roundup of what’s been written, shared, and happening in humanitarian crises, situations, and the sector recently.
- Above, IRIN’s latest film tells the story of the Afghan Women’s Skills Development Centre (AWSDC), where abused women and children are taken in, and the stories of female activists in the country.
- Over 33 million people: The number of displaced people, whether internally or as refugees, is the highest it’s been in the last 20 years. Raised extensively by the crisis in Syria where over 9,000 people are forced from their homes each day, as well as newly recognized displacement in places like Nigeria.
- A spillover of Boko Haram activities in Cameroon has the country trying to strengthen their military surveillance and intelligence system on the border with Nigeria, and highlights the fear among people living near the border.
- Nigeria has formally asked the UNSC al-Qaeda committee to sanction Boko Haram.
- Those who fled from election violence three years ago are returning to Cote d’Ivoir without homes to return to - with land was a major source of tension and 2015 elections coming up violence could ignite again
- A humanitarian group in Arizona is fighting to keep US Border Patrol from entering their camp 20 miles from the US-Mexico border. Agents want to enter the camp in order to find illegally entered persons, but the group maintains they have a right to deny entrance without a warrant.
- Beautiful storytelling in The War by Al Jazeera - unfolding the reality of those in the Central African Republic who try to escape violence and find peace.
- French photojournalist, Camille Lepage, was killed last week in the Central African Republic while traveling with a rebel group.
- Both the US and UN sanctioned leaders in CAR, former politicians as well as the leaders of rebel forces, earlier this month.
- After three MSF staff were killed in CAR in April, the agency has halted most of it’s work in the country.
- After accusations and evidence of armed groups from both countries crossing the border between CAR and Chad, Chad has closed it’s border and withdrawn 800 of its peacekeeping troops from it’s neighbor’s region.
- Joseph Kony’s son has taken control of the LRA in Northern Uganda.
- Sudan has a history of mistrust with international aid agencies and has most recently been accused of bombing a clinic run by relief workers in the Nuba Mountains region.
- The US has said it will increase the amount of aid given to the DRC by $30 million and lift the freeze of international adoption of orphans in the country if the Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, agrees to step down.
- Lawyers in Frankfurt have claimed that Assad’s government has no legal right to deny access for humanitarian aid organizations in regions no longer under the government’s control.
- After reports of mass executions in Egypt, US Sen. Leahy blocked a plan to continue military aid into the country, aid that Cairo has depended on for decades.
I spent 16 hours a day wandering around several square blocks in pursuit of a solitary goal, trying to visually translate the resolve evident all around me. After last week’s actions, in which I saw dozens of protesters armed with nothing more than clubs and flimsy metal shields shot by police snipers, it’s small comfort that those deaths appear, for now, not to be in vain.
Photojournalist Brendan Hoffman instagrammed a revolution.
This a new weekly roundup of humanitarian and development stories from around the web.
Above, the BBC’s Mary Harper reports on how aid agencies are working in Somalia, large parts of which are controlled by Al Shabaab.
The Independent in the UK published a scathing article claiming Save the Children refused to campaign against fuel poverty due to its donor ties with big oil - following a BBC documentary and whistleblower’s claims.
Save the Children has responded denying the claims and saying they try to harness “the power of the private sector.”
The World Bank reports "policy bottlenecks" in Nigeria have led to gaps and inequalities in education. They recommend addressing these policies using a SABER tool developed by their experts.
As the humanitarian sector is utilizing data gathering more and more to follow emergencies and help establish aid in crises, a new “crowd sources scenario planning” organization called FutureScaper has been created by MIT students.
ECHO has reported IDPs in Central African Republic have reached 160,000 amidst new violence. And MSF’s General Director has said the aid community has failed in the region.
If Syrians weren’t already having a rough last couple of years, refugees are now facing one of the worst blizzards in a decade to hit the region. Blizzard Alexa is hitting Lebanon and Syria, including at refugee camps at the border.
In an effort to clean up the government after 200 anti-government protesters were killed in September, Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has reshuffled his cabinet. However, The Economist reports this has done more to remove cabinet who’ve gained influence and power in the country with closer allies to the president than to improve the country.
The aid community has begun its first conferences to discuss the post-2015 development goals.
Health care workers have been at the brunt of many recent attacks in conflict zones in the last few years. More data from the ICRC, among others, quantifies what this really looks like, raising awareness of the dangers faced by medical staff, which are some of the only aid workers in many conflict zones.
The information the NSA is collecting is metadata, not content (like a wiretap), and not account names. Uncovering personally identifiable information would require separate warrants to do so. This was a pattern analysis, not really mass surveillance as we traditionally understand it. Anyone who calls this a “wiretap” is probably stupid or didn’t read the order.
finally seeing more on Twitter from Beruit, but little live coverage elsewhere.
A Giant Hospital Chain Is Blazing a Profit Trail
Profits at the health care industry giant HCA, which controls 163 hospitals from New Hampshire to California, have soared, far outpacing those of most of its competitors.
The big winners have been three private equity firms — including Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate — that bought HCA in late 2006.
HCA’s robust profit growth has raised the value of the firms’ holdings to nearly three and a half times their initial investment in the $33 billion deal.
The financial performance has been so impressive that HCA has become a model for the industry. Its success inspired 35 buyouts of hospitals or chains of facilities in the last two and a half years by private equity firms eager to repeat that windfall.
HCA’s emergence as a powerful leader in the hospital industry is all the more remarkable because only a decade ago the company was badly shaken by a wide-ranging Medicare fraud investigation that it eventually settled for more than $1.7 billion.
Among the secrets to HCA’s success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.
In late 2008, for instance, HCA changed the billing codes it assigned to sick and injured patients who came into the emergency rooms. Almost overnight, the numbers of patients who HCA said needed more care, which would be paid for at significantly higher levels by Medicare, surged.
(Source: The New York Times)