Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – August 6

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – August 6

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: The Telegraph/Simon Townsley

Latest News for August 2 – August 6, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

A rise in gender-based violence and oppression threatens the health and wellbeing of Rohingya women in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Rohingya women report an increase in extortion, attacks, kidnapping, and harassment within Cox’s Bazar, especially for those seeking education or speaking out about women’s rights. These oppressive fear tactics are preventing women from volunteering with aid organizations or seeking out health services provided by aid organizations. (The New Humanitarian)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

Flooding and landslides have prevented vital humanitarian aid from reaching displaced people in Colombia. Over 4,000 people have left their homes in Colombia’s rural regions due to violence and conflict, seeking safety in the nearby urban areas. The UN estimates that 1,300 of the 4,000 total displaced people are children. (The Guardian)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

According to data from the UN, social conditions in Gaza have worsened considerably since the conflict in May. Chronic unemployment and poverty are the main drivers of Gaza’s struggle with food insecurity. According to data from a recent UN needs assessment, unemployment has risen by 2 points since the conflict, and poverty has risen by 2.3 points. (World Food Programme)


India  

As of July 30, 7.2% of India is currently vaccinated against COVID-19. India’s government is confident that the entire adult population will be vaccinated by the end of 2021 as the pace of vaccinations & available supply has increased. However, lack of transparency, remaining supply problems, and issues with equitable pricing could stand in the way. (DW)


Lebanon  

A year after the Beirut Blast, people who lost their homes and were injured in the blast are still struggling to rebuild. Approximately 300,000 were left homeless after the initial explosion destroyed neighboring homes. Those who haven’t been able to afford new housing or weren’t able to live with relatives have been living in the ruins. Massive piles of unsorted, hazardous debris from the blast still haven’t been cleared. (Al Jazeera)


Pakistan

Natural disasters and epidemics have created ongoing humanitarian challenges in Pakistan. The Danish Refugee Council estimates that over 10 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Pakistan. Displacement and diaspora in Pakistan is very common. The Pakistani Diaspora has the 7th largest immigrant population worldwide. (Danish Refugee Council)


Sudan

Sudanese health workers estimate that COVID-19 has killed tens of thousands. Sudan’s official government statistics report that only 2,770 people have died from COVID-19, but approximately 90% of COVID-19 related deaths go unreported. Mass burials at Al Sahafa cemetery in Khartoum are common. Stigma, lack of testing, and a delayed vaccine rollout negatively impacts health outcomes while hospitals struggle to access electricity, soap, and medications. (The Telegraph)


Syria

Shelling and intense conflict has put civilians in southern Syria in peril. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet warns of danger as violence near the city of Daraa has surged in the last week. OHCHR has reported at least eight civilian deaths in just last week alone. Over 18,000 people have been displaced from the Daraa al-Balad neighborhood since July 28. (UN News)


Yemen

Only 50% of Yemen’s original health infrastructure remains. What is left lacks vital resources. Six years of ongoing conflict has exhausted and overstretched Yemen’s health services and workers. COVID-19 has further exacerbated the health crisis, and has left 20.1 million people without access to primary health care. (ICRC)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – July 30

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: AFP/Tanbir Miraj

Latest News for July 26 – July 30, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

Flash floods and landslides in Cox’s Bazar have killed at least 14 this week. Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh face dangers as the annual monsoon season brings flash floods, heavy rains, and landslides. Shelters and health infrastructure in the camps are at high risk for destruction. Nearly 10,000 Rohingya have been evacuated over the last few days after their shelters had been destroyed due to the severe weather. (Al Jazeera)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

Colombia has seen high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault amidst armed conflict and COVID-19 lockdown. Survivors of sexual assault in Colombia have formed Mujeres Sembrando Vida (Women Sowing Life), a group dedicated to supporting other survivors of GBV in conflict-affected areas. The organization provides assistance to survivors who wish to report their assault, leads gender equality workshops, and also functions as a support group. (The Guardian)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

Vaccine hesitancy is damaging Gaza’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, only 5% of those eligible have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Damaged health infrastructure and difficulty of physical distancing makes vaccination especially vital. Skepticism and misinformation are some of the biggest challenges. (Al Jazeera)


India  

India’s monsoon season has brought over 250 deaths in the past month alone. 30,000 additional people have had to be evacuated to relief camps. Rescue workers in Maharashtra continue to work towards locating those cut off by landslides triggered by heavy rains. Climate change continues to exacerbate existing threats. (New York Times)


Lebanon  

A year after the Beirut Blast, humanitarian crises in Lebanon have only worsened. 33% of children go to bed hungry and over 50% of the country is living in poverty. Lebanon’s economic crisis has taken an especially large toll on the country’s health facilities, most of which lack life-saving medications and face medical oxygen shortages. (Project HOPE)


Pakistan

343 Afghan migrants recently returned to Afghanistan after previously seeking refuge in Pakistan. 286 returned via the Chaman border point, and 57 returned through the Torkham border point. Of the 343 total returning migrants, 12% were either elderly or dealt with chronic health issues, and are therefore especially vulnerable to negative health outcomes associated with migration difficulties. (International Organization for Migration)


Sudan

The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur is in its final stages of shutdown. After protecting civilians in Darfur for the last 13 years, the mission’s mandate ended on schedule last December. Now, nearly all staff members and UN peacekeepers have left and nearly $41 million in equipment and facilities have been transferred to local authorities. (UN News)


Syria

Families living in the city of Raqqa are still living in ruins and lack options for the future. Four years ago, Raqqa saw as many as 150 air raids per day. Today, 36% of the city’s infrastructure remains in ruins while civilian health and safety continue to be at stake. Threat of land mines, lack of education, clean water, and lack of electricity are some of the most pressing concerns. (Al Jazeera)


Yemen

Multiple, intersecting humanitarian crises continue to plague Yemen. Acute malnutrition and food insecurity are some of the most dire threats. 2.3 million children in Yemen are projected to experience acute malnutrition in 2021. 400,000 face death if they don’t receive immediate humanitarian aid. These existing crises have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. (ReliefWeb)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – July 23

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: The Independent/Bel Trew

Latest News for July 19 – July 23, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

The UN Child Rights Committee has warned that the recent conflict in Myanmar will damage an entire generation of children. Updated estimates reveal that thousands of children are in dire need of medical care, 75 children have been killed, and 1,000 have been arbitrarily detained since the start of the most recent conflicts. “Catastrophic loss of life” is imminent, and widespread trauma is common among children who have survived such atrocities. (UNCRC)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

As of June 2021, 1,063,903 Venezuelan migrants have been registered through Colombia’s Temporary Protection Status (TPS) initiative. UNHCR reports that 759,584 of these migrants have been granted residence permits and regular stays. According to health organizations working in the Norte de Santander humanitarian corridor, most migrants crossing into Colombia are in urgent need of medical care. (ReliefWeb)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

People of Gaza are struggling with trauma and economic crisis after recent conflicts, marking a solemn Eid Al-Adha. Eid Al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, should be a joyful celebration and time spent with family. However, many living in Gaza are haunted by the pain of losing loved ones. More than 250 Palestinians were killed during the 11-day conflict in May. Reports also indicate that Gaza’s livestock and agricultural markets, usually central to Eid celebrations, are still recovering from the blows they suffered during the conflict. (Reuters)


India  

On Wednesday, India reached nearly 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in July alone, the highest number of monthly deaths recorded yet. India’s official COVID-19 death toll is 418,480, but recent reports from the Center for Global Development estimate that excess deaths related to COVID-19 have reached 4.9 million. The recent reporting of previously unknown deaths has led experts to believe that India’s true death rate is much higher than officially reported statistics indicate. (Reuters)


Lebanon  

Syrian refugees that sought shelter in Lebanon are now attempting to return to Syria rather than face starvation in Lebanon. Starvation and economic crisis in Lebanon has hit Syrian refugees especially hard. The UN reports that practically all of the 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are living far below the poverty line. Many Syrian families are now choosing potential “suicide” by returning to zones of conflict in hopes that life will be “marginally less hellish”. (The Independent)


Pakistan

As of July 17, 1,236,000 million AstraZeneca doses were delivered to Pakistan through COVAX facilities in Islamabad. The WHO has applauded Pakistan’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign that has so far reached over 4.5 million people, even those in remote areas. Efficient vaccine rollout has prevented the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 infections and has significantly reduced the burden placed on Pakistan’s hospitals and health workers. (ReliefWeb)


Sudan

According to a ground-breaking UN-backed study in Sudan, gender-based violence and child marriage is on the rise. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) also remains prevalent in Sudan, but is not widely considered to be a practice of concern. This study from Voices of Sudan 2020 was published last week and is the first nationwide qualitative assessment of gender-based violence. The report aims to fill existing gaps in data and research while centering the voices of women and girls most at risk of victimization. (UN News)


Syria

In just three days this week, 13 children in northwest Syria have been killed during violent conflicts. These deaths have been the latest in the disturbing trend of civilians being targeted in conflicts, particularly in the days approaching the start of Eid. According to Save the Children, the majority of the victims were between 4-14 years old. Shelling and other forms of violence continue to ravage communities as International Humanitarian Law is ignored. (ReliefWeb)


Yemen

Yemen’s hunger crisis is worse than ever as currency devalues to new lows. Over half of the country already struggles with food insecurity, and a startling 66% of Yemenis rely on humanitarian aid. Urgent need is rapidly growing as skyrocketing food prices make it nearly impossible for families to afford the necessities for survival. (IRC)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – July 16

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo

Latest News for July 12 – July 16, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

Myanmar residents express concern over oxygen shortages amid rising COVID-19 cases. In Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, residents are lining up to refill oxygen cylinders. Many are desperate to save sick or at-risk family members. Shortages of medical oxygen equipment have caused many people to use oxygen cylinders intended for the welding industry as an alternative. (Reuters)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

17,000 Venezuelan migrants have been seeking safety across the US-Mexican border over the last eight months. Venezuelan migrants fleeing economic turmoil and political instability often choose to migrate to neighboring South American countries. However, due to the health and economic impact of COVID-19 on these countries, record-breaking numbers of Venezuelan migrants have been choosing the United States as an alternative destination. (Reuters)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

Lack of electricity has exacerbated humanitarian and economic crises in the Gaza Strip. According to a survey conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, 82% of respondents in Gaza are unable to refrigerate their food and 94% believe that the widespread lack of electricity is damaging to mental health. (International Committee of the Red Cross)


India  

India’s adult population is far from reaching benchmarks for full COVID-19 vaccination by the end of 2021. Amid fears of a third COVID-19 wave during the coming months, vaccination rollout in India is more urgent than ever. As of July 13, only 5% of adults in India are fully vaccinated. Vaccine shortages and vaccine hesitancy, particularly in India’s rural areas, pose challenges to the efficacy of the rollout program. (The Guardian)


Lebanon  

Children in Lebanon are being forced into child labor amid economic and COVID-19 crises. In order to provide for their families, young children have taken to selling black-market gasoline and scrap metal on the streets of cities and refugee camps. Child labor creates numerous health and safety risks for children. Reports of increased violence and even dog attacks are common as children are being forced to trade their safety for vital food and medication. (Save the Children)


Pakistan

2021 marks MSF’s 10-year anniversary of partnership with Peshawar Women’s hospital in Pakistan. MSF works in Peshawar Women’s hospital to provide free maternal and child health care services for women and children of rural Pakistan in high need of care. Peshawar Women’s hospital has 24 beds, a delivery room, a labor room, and emergency care for women dealing with complicated deliveries. (ReliefWeb)


Sudan

According to the UNHCR, an additional USD $33 million is needed to fund the Ethiopian Refugee Response Plan. These estimates bring the total financial requirement to USD $182 million. Sudan currently hosts over 1.1 million refugees from South Sudan, Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Etreria, the Central African Republic, and others. An estimated 120,000 more refugees from Ethiopia are expected to enter Sudan by the end of 2021. (Radio Dabanga)


Syria

Displaced children in northwest Syrian IDP camps struggle with dangers of extremely high summer temperatures. With temperatures consistently surpassing 40 degrees Celsius, severe burns are common, and even tent shelters intended to protect residents from dangerous weather fail to provide relief. (Al Jazeera)


Yemen

Healthcare deserts pose severe health risks for Yemenis. Hard-to-reach areas of Yemen are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. One hospital in the town of Haydan reported a 45% increase in pediatric admissions in 2021. Geographical isolation, lack of functional health care systems, lack of medical personnel, and poverty has made treatable diseases and conditions increasingly deadly. Continued conflict has only exacerbated these issues. (Al Jazeera)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – July 9

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: Clarke for UNOCHA

Latest News for July 2 – July 9, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

COVID-19 cases in Cox’s Bazar have risen, but Rohingya are still waiting to receive their first vaccine dose. Despite the best efforts of health workers in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, officials report higher rates of COVID-19 cases in the last few days than have been seen recently. The Rohingya are included in the Bangladesh government’s vaccine rollout plan, but vaccine shortages have prevented any Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar from receiving the vaccine. (Dhaka Tribune)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) makes donation to support integration of Venezuelan migrants into Columbia. Alongside the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), AECID has donated 50 million euros in loans to Barranquilla, a city in Colombia, in order to facilitate socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants. Barranquilla has taken in 140,000 Venezuelan migrants, nearly 10% of the city’s total population. This donation is a good step towards filling the funding gaps seen so far during the Venezuelan migration crisis. (ReliefWeb)

Venezuelan migrants living in informal Columbian settlements struggle with malnutrition and water sanitation issues. An ‘endless lake of cardboard and tin shacks’ has sprung up as an informal settlement in Maicao for Venezuelan migrants entering Columbia. Food and water are both in short supply for the inhabitants of this camp, and the water that does enter the camp is extremely expensive and untreated. Many suffer from malnutrition and intestinal diseases related to untreated water. (The Guardian)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

Complex wounds have long-term health consequences due to limited health infrastructure in Gaza. Complex wounds during conflict often occur as a result of being hit by shelling or ammunition and need quick, responsive treatment, or amputation. These services are often beyond what local health services or aid organizations are able to provide. With health infrastructure on a decline, many Palestinians are suffering from chronic pain and deadly infections from complex wounds incurred years ago with no relief in sight. (The Guardian)


India  

As COVID-19 cases surge, poor families in rural areas have been hit the hardest. COVID-19 has devastated India’s economy, and has led to a 75% (on average) decrease in household income. Many have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. These conditions have compounded existing issues of debt and income inequality in rural areas, leading to an increased risk for malnutrition and preventable diseases for families unable to afford food or adequate shelter. (Reuters)


Lebanon  

Lebanon is a mere ‘days away from social explosion’. According to the World Bank, the world hasn’t seen an economic crisis like the current crisis in Lebanon in 170 years. Currency devaluation and chronic shortages leave Lebanese people quite literally in the dark as they struggle to pay for food & medicine, access health care, and pay for fuel amid a growing crisis. (The Independent)


Pakistan

The WHO announces commitments to address gender-based barriers to polio vaccination at the Gender Equality Forum (GEF). Women have long played a major role in Pakistan’s polio eradication programme, and are the main drivers behind vaccinations in hard to reach areas. These new commitments will support these women in their public health efforts,  prioritize full participation of women in health campaigns, and seek to understand and break down cultural barriers to vaccinations. (Global Polio Eradication Initiative)


Sudan

Rising greenhouse gas emissions put millions at increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) recently published a study in the Lancet Planetary Health journal stating how rising emission levels could lengthen the mosquito-borne disease transmission season by 4 months for dengue fever and 1 month for malaria. Conversely, the study provides insight into how global prioritization of lowering greenhouse emissions could have a significant, positive impact on health for millions of people. (The Guardian)


Syria

International Rescue Committee (IRC) data reveals an increase of suicide rates in North West Syria alongside record high need for humanitarian aid. As the deadline to renew the cross-border aid resolution in NW Syria fast approaches, new data shows a startling lack of mental health infrastructure in Syria. In NW Syria, there is only 1 psychiatrist per 1 million people. According to the IRC, 93% of people surveyed believe that suicide rates have risen in recent years. Depression, loss of hope, and domestic violence were cited as the main reasons for the prevalence of suicide in NW Syrian communities. (IRC)

Without a renewal of cross-border assistance in NW Syria, over 1 million will starve, education will suffer, and existing hospitals would be left without support. The vote to renew cross-border humanitarian aid at the Bab al-Hawa crossing has become politicized, threatening the health and safety of millions. According to Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of MedGlobal, “The large-scale weaponisation of humanitarian aid is something that the Syrian regime invented.” Cross-line operations in Syria are described as ‘delayed, uncoordinated, and inadequate’, and no substitute for the magnitude of cross-border aid. (Middle East Eye)


Yemen

Two million Yemeni children are out of school due to ongoing armed conflict and economic collapse. This is double the number of children that were out of school in 2015, and UNICEF estimates that the number of children not receiving an education could rise to 6 million. Disruption in education during times of crisis perpetuates dangerous cycles of poverty, food insecurity, and lack of opportunity that all lead to negative health outcomes. (UNICEF)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – July 2

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Latest News for June 28 – July 2, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) and Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) undertake a joint project to improve living conditions in Cox’s Bazar. 1,200 shelters and three health care centers will be built in the Bangladesh refugee camp of Cox’s Bazar that will increase humanitarian organizations’ capacity to deliver life-saving aid and health interventions. (ReliefWeb)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

UN World Food Programme (WFP) starts school meals programme. This WFP initiative received its first food shipment on July 1. The WFP intends to provide food to vulnerable school-aged children living in food-insecure areas of Venezuela, planning to deliver 42,000 food packages in July alone. (WFP)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

Conflict-driven trauma in Gaza damages maternal and infant health. According to Palestinian psychologist Helana Musleh, “Trauma, stress and proximity to explosions have led to many miscarriages during the war, as well as a higher number of stillbirths.” Widespread birth difficulties show how war and conflict often have the most severe impact on women and children. (The Guardian)


India  

Women in India are vaccinated against COVID-19 at a significantly lower rate than men. Vaccine hesitancy, lack of prioritization of women’s health, and lack of access to vaccination centers all greatly contribute to this gender-driven vaccination disparity. Recommendations are made for social activists to address the social norms at the root of this health disparity. (The Guardian)


Lebanon  

Lebanon’s economic collapse is damaging children’s futures. 70% of households in Lebanon are food-insecure. Often, families have no other choice than to use negative coping mechanisms that are very harmful to children in order to make ends meet. Children in Lebanon often skip meals, enter the labor force, or are married off at a young age in order to provide for themselves and their families. (UNICEF)


Pakistan

The National Institute of Health and the WHO work to improve Pakistan’s capacity to address COVID-19. 32 PCR machines for COVID-19 testing have been delivered so far. Additional equipment has also been delivered that will strengthen Pakistan’s health infrastructure, allowing for increased ability to survey for future variants of SARS-CoV2. (WHO)


Sudan

Sudan has seen a 30% decrease in internal displacement since May 27 of this year. The latest June 27 estimates from the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) report that 105,100 internally displaced people currently reside in Ag Geneina and surrounding areas of Sudan. Despite the recent improvements in stabilization of the area, many people returning home from displacement are in need of psychosocial and mental health care to deal with the trauma of their experiences. (UN OCHA)


Syria

Failure to renew cross-border assistance in Syria by July 10 will have catastrophic consequences. Bab al-Hawa in northwest Syria is currently the last open cross-border site that allows for life-saving humanitarian aid to be delivered to millions of Syrians. Without the 1,000 truckloads of medicine and aid supplies arriving into Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing per day, preventable illness and death could increase on an alarming scale. Cross-line aid is no substitute for cross-border operations. Vetoing of cross-border assistance would be fatal for millions. (Reuters)


Yemen

As of July 1, the World Bank will give Yemen $150 million to combat aid funding gaps. This grant money will help to address the worst ongoing humanitarian crisis in the world, funding sorely needed public health projects across the area. Officials hope that the grant will reach extremely vulnerable populations suffering from severe food insecurity and lack of health infrastructure in hard to reach areas. (Reuters)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – June 25

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: Schneyder Mendoza/AFP/Getty

Latest News for June 21 – June 25, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

COVID-19 continues to overburden healthcare facilities in Cox’s Bazar, putting Rohingya refugees at increased risk for negative health outcomes. According to the WHO, Cox’s Bazar currently has 175 healthcare facilities that provide a wide range of primary healthcare services for approximately 844,000 Rohingya refugees. A variety of humanitarian aid organizations and agencies work to deliver equitable access to quality medical care for all, despite limitations imposed since the start of the pandemic. (WHO)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

Venezuela is facing the world’s second largest external displacement crisis, yet receives a fraction of humanitarian aid given to other countries. Since 2015, an estimated 5.6 million people (2,000 per day) have left Venezuela seeking refuge from economic and social upheaval. Last week, governments and international aid agencies pledged $1.5 billion in support. However, Venezuela’s refugee crisis remains chronically underfunded amidst ‘donor fatigue’, and is now at a ‘tipping point’ that threatens the stability of the broader region. (The Guardian)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

As of June 21, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will provide emergency assistance to rebuild Gaza’s agricultural sector. The most recent conflict in Gaza has exacerbated the multiple existing humanitarian crises, ruined livelihoods, and destroyed infrastructure. Damage to Gaza’s agricultural sector has left farmers and herders without animal feed and prevents continuation of normal agricultural operations. The FAO will work with local NGOs to rebuild capacity by distributing wheat bran and barley to 1,600 vulnerable farmers and their families. (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)


India  

The UN Secretary-General calls on India to join the Safe Schools Declaration. The Safe Schools Declaration is an international commitment to protect children’s right to education and the safety of teachers and students during conflict. According to recent UN reports, security forces in India occupied seven schools for four months. This is the latest of similar attempts by the UN to encourage greater protections for students and educators in India. (Human Rights Watch)


Lebanon  

Lebanon’s economic crisis causes disproportionate suffering among the elderly. 55% of Lebanon’s large elderly population lives in poverty. Any life savings have lost most of their value or are inaccessible due to the banking crisis, the welfare and healthcare systems have been decimated, and unemployment is rising. Some become homeless, and have no choice but to beg for food or search through trash. (Al Jazeera)


Pakistan

While Pakistan is still fighting polio, women work on the frontlines of vaccination campaigns. 82% of the 280,000+ healthcare workers that are part of the national polio vaccination campaigns are women. These women work towards eradication by breaking down barriers to vaccination in geographically isolated and conservative areas. (Global Polio Eradication Initiative)


Sudan

Deteriorating conditions in El Tenideba refugee camp in Sudan put 40,000 Ethiopian refugees in danger. Recent storms have destroyed nearly all of the tents in the camp and damaged the Doctors Without Borders clinic. Extreme weather conditions during Sudan’s rainy season continues to pose dire threats to the health and safety of refugees. Many refugees choose to return to conflict-affected areas such as Tigray rather than stay in the camp’s conditions. (Radio Dabanga)


Syria

MedGlobal and 27 other NGOs pen open letter to the UN Security Council Ambassadors. The Syria cross-border resolution is up for renewal on July 10. An estimated 81% of people in northwest Syria, and 69% in northeast Syria are in need of humanitarian aid. Over 10 years of conflict in Syria has created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. Failure to renew the cross-border resolution would cut off the only source of vital resources for millions, resulting in preventable loss of life. (ReliefWeb)


Yemen

The UNHCR estimates 20.7 million people in need of aid and 4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Yemen. UNHCR and various NGOs provide a wide range of protection and healthcare services for approximately 2,000 IDPs. As of June 16, only 46% of 2021 operations in response to Yemen’s refugee crisis have received funding. (UNHCR)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – May 28

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Latest News for May 21 – May 28, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

Bangladesh has imposed lockdowns in five camps after a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases among Rohingya refugees. On May 20, the positive test rate in the crowded camps was above 18%. In total, officials have reported 864 cases and 13 deaths among the Rohingya refugees. Bangladesh’s vaccination campaign has also stalled after India halted vaccine exports, leading to an indefinite delay in vaccinations for refugees. (Reuters)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

Colombia is asking the United States for COVID-19 vaccines to help accelerate its vaccination campaign. The request comes after the U.S. announced its plan to donate 80 million doses to poor and developing countries. In Colombia, eight million people have been vaccinated and the government says it has purchased enough doses for 35 million people. More than 8,000 critically-ill patients are currently receiving treatment for COVID-19 and intensive care units across the country are at full capacity. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Colombia has recorded 3,270,614 cases of COVID-19 and 85,666 deaths. (The City Paper Bogota)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

UN agencies are calling for a surge in medical aid to Gaza following the ceasefire. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 8,538 people were injured and 257 died in Gaza during the conflict. Damage to 30 health facilities, including two hospitals that are fully incapacitated, and roads have drastically reduced access to health services. COVID-19 testing has stopped after the main laboratory was damaged and the WHO has warned that there may be a massive outbreak of new infections. There are also concerns of unexploded bombs that may cause further injuries and deaths in the coming days. (Reuters)


India  

India has reported more than 300,000 deaths from COVID-19 and nearly 27 million cases since the pandemic began. The most recent wave of infections overwhelmed the health systems of major cities and many residents died at home or in overcrowded hospitals amid dire oxygen shortages. The virus is now spreading rapidly throughout rural areas where the majority of the population lives with limited access to health services. India has inoculated only 3.8% of its population and the national vaccination campaign has slowed due to shortages of vaccines. (Associated Press)


Lebanon  

Lebanon’s central bank announced that it will not release funds to continue subsidizing medicines. The bank cited concerns over having to use its mandatory reserves, which have been depleted by half since the financial crisis began in 2019. Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hasan, said that 50% of required medicines are currently sitting in warehouses as importers wait for payment. Money for subsidies—including for fuel, wheat, medicine, and other basic goods—is expected to run out in May. (Al Jazeera)


Pakistan

On Monday, Pakistan reported only 57 deaths from COVID-19, one of its lowest daily death tolls in recent months. Pakistan’s top health official says that the addition of thousands of hospital beds and increased production of oxygen has allowed the country to manage its third wave of infections so far. The highly infectious Indian variant of COVID-19 has also not yet been detected within the country. Pakistan has vaccinated more than five million people and hopes to reach one third of its population by the end of the year. Officials have reported more than 900,000 cases and 20,000 deaths since the pandemic began. (Associated Press)


Sudan

As of May 25, around 70,319 Ethiopian refugees have entered Sudan after fleeing the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The protracted displacement has led to concerns over refugee safety due to the spread of COVID-19, violence along the border, and expected flooding during the upcoming rainy season. According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), an estimated 1,594 female refugees are currently pregnant and in need of sexual and reproductive health services. In the coming month, UNFPA expects more than 1,000 adults with STIs and 352 survivors of sexual violence to seek medical care. (ReliefWeb)


Syria

The UN Security Council will soon vote on whether or not to extend the use of a border crossing for humanitarian aid between Turkey and northwest Syria. The Syrian government has repeatedly prevented assistance and aid workers from reaching opposition-held areas, leading to the creation of humanitarian border crossings to provide aid directly to northern Syria. Of the four crossing points that were originally established in 2014, three have already closed and the remaining one will expire on July 10. The closing of the UN border crossing may reduce aid to northwest Syria by half. (The New Humanitarian)


Yemen

The World Food Program (WFP) is ramping up food aid to Yemen, but has warned that the underlying conflict, economic crisis, and COVID-19 continue to threaten long-term food security. The WFP resumed monthly food distributions to 350,000 people in February and scaled up assistance to six million people in April and May after receiving new funding. Food prices in Yemen are 200% above pre-conflict costs and 13 million Yemenis depend on the WFP for emergency food assistance. Nearly 50,000 people are living in famine-like conditions and five million people are on the brink of famine. (UN News)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – May 21

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: Hosam Salem for The New York Times

Latest News for May 17 – May 21, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

UNHCR has raised only 36% of requested funding to support Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The Joint Response Program (JRP) for 2021 asks for $943 million to meet the needs of more than one million Rohingya living in camps in Bangladesh. This year, due to the effects of COVID-19, more than 40% of funding is focused on health and food security. The JRP for 2020 never exceeded 60% funding. (Radio Free Asia)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

Widespread anti-government protests have led to a surge in COVID-19 cases across Colombia. On Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported 530 deaths in a single day, the highest number since the pandemic began. Hospitals in Medellin and Cali, two of Colombia’s largest cities, have been overwhelmed by new cases and the health system in Bogota is under threat of collapsing. Colombia’s vaccination campaign has inoculated just 8% of its goal of 35 million people since February. (Colombia Reports)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

Gaza has suspended administering COVID-19 tests after the only lab capable of processing test kits was damaged by an airstrike. Testing for HIV and other medical conditions has also paused. More than 200 people have been killed by airstrikes and many Palestinians are crowding into schools for safety. Only 1.9% of Gaza’s 2 million residents are fully vaccinated and a surge in COVID-19 cases is expected. (The New York Times)


India  

On Wednesday, India reported 4,529 deaths from COVID-19, the highest number of deaths in a single day of any country since the pandemic began. The government has confirmed more than 280,000 deaths and 25 million cases, both of which are likely undercounts. Though the situation in India’s cities is starting to improve, the spread of the virus in rural areas with weak health systems and limited testing has become a focus of concern. India’s vaccination campaign has also slowed in recent weeks, falling from four million doses administered per day in April to only two million this week. (Associated Press)


Lebanon  

Lebanon faces increased blackouts after Karpowership, a Turkish company providing a quarter of Lebanon’s electricity, ceased operations. Lebanon has been unable to make payments to the company since the beginning of its financial crisis 18 months ago and now owes more than $100 million. The decrease in supply will result in a total capacity that is less than one-third of Lebanon’s electrical demand. (Reuters)


Pakistan

Pakistan has modified one of its power plants to produce medical oxygen to meet the growing need for COVID-19 patients. The plant in Sindh province will produce 268,000 liters of oxygen for nearby public health facilities. There are at least two other power plants in Sindh that may also be modified to produce oxygen in the future. (Gulf News)


Sudan

Sudan has imposed new COVID-19 restrictions over concerns of a surge in new cases. Schools and universities will close for one month, all large gatherings are banned, and masks are required in public areas. Sudan will also restrict travel from India to prevent the spread of the new B.1.617 variant. Health systems across the country are facing shortages of oxygen, medications, and hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients. The government has reported nearly 35,000 cases and has warned that the number could increase to 100,000 by mid-June unless guidelines are followed. (Reuters)


Syria

On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General released a report on children and armed conflict in Syria. The report, which covers the period from July 2018 to June 2020, found that there were more than 4,724 grave violations against children by 32 parties involved in the conflict. Airstrikes and indiscriminate shelling maimed or killed more than 2,700 children and at least 1,400 children were recruited by armed groups. There were also 236 verified attacks on classrooms and 135 on medical facilities. (UN News)


Yemen

More than 2 million children have lost access to education as a consequence of Yemen’s ongoing conflict. In March alone, five attacks against schools left an additional 30,600 children without access to education. Escalating violence in Taiz governorate and other areas of Yemen during the first quarter of 2021 killed or injured 50 children. Over the past three years, one quarter of all casualties from the conflict were children. (Save the Children)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – May 14

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinan Territories, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: Reuters

Latest News for May 7 – May 14, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

Bangladesh has extended its border closure with India an additional two weeks after detecting its first case of the Indian variant of COVID-19. At least six cases of the highly transmissible variant have been reported as Bangladesh continues a loose lockdown until May 16. Overall infections in Bangladesh are declining following a peak in April with only 1,285 cases and 45 deaths reported on May 8. In total, Bangladesh has recorded 772,127 cases of COVID-19 and 11,878 deaths since the pandemic began. (Reuters)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

Colombia expects a surge in COVID-19 cases following two-weeks of massive protests across the country. Intensive Care Units in Colombia’s largest cities are approaching full capacity and officials have warned that the health system is at risk of collapsing. At least 26 people have died and 800 people have been injured during the anti-government protests, which are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. (Al Jazeera)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

The escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza is putting immense pressure on Gaza’s weak health system and may cause a new wave of COVID-19 infections. According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, at least 580 Palestinians have been injured and 103 have died. Several health facilities in Gaza have stopped COVID-19 testing and vaccinations as they deal with the influx of wounded people. FIghting has also led to the closure of Gaza’s borders, which prevents the delivery of medical supplies, COVID-19 vaccines, and fuel for generators. Gaza officials have warned that hospitals across Gaza may lose access to electricity in the next few days. (The Washington Post)


India  

India is experiencing the worst COVID-19 outbreak of any country since the pandemic began with over 400,000 daily cases. Health experts have warned that the recorded number of infections is likely a severe undercount since two-thirds of the population live in areas with limited testing. Officials have reported 254,000 deaths from COVID-19, but some estimates suggest that the true number is more than 750,000 and predict that total deaths will double by August. A new variant of COVID-19 has also emerged in India and has already spread to 44 other countries. As of May 12, only 2.8% of India’s population has been vaccinated. (TIME)


Lebanon  

Karadeniz, a Turkish firm which provides nearly one third of Lebanon’s electricity, has threatened to halt supplies unless debts are paid. The company claims it has not been paid since the beginning of Lebanon’s financial crisis 18 months ago. Even before the crisis, Lebanon struggled to generate enough power to meet domestic demands and daily power cuts have increased in recent months. The loss of Turkish power supplies will reduce Lebanon’s overall capacity to less than one third of its energy demand. (Al Jazeera)


Pakistan

On Saturday, Pakistan received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX program. The shipment of 1.2 million doses will boost Pakistan’s vaccination campaign which has already inoculated 3.3 million people. Pakistan is currently imposing nationwide restrictions, including a ban on public transportation, to manage a spike in cases expected from Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Despite having a population of 220 million, only 40,000 COVID-19 tests are conducted per day and health workers lack the testing kits needed to detect the Indian variant of the virus. (Reuters)


Sudan

Sudan’s government has suspended the activities of Anhar Organization for Peace, a Sudanese humanitarian NGO, over alleged ties to the previous regime. The suspension has resulted in the closure of 16 health centers in camps for displaced persons. Anhar provided health, nutrition, water, and sanitation services to more than 169,000 people across North Darfur. No alternative services were put in place prior to the suspension and community leaders in Kabkabiya, Saraf Omra, and El Fasher have warned of deteriorating health conditions. (Radio Dabanga)


Syria

Widespread vaccine hesitancy in northwest Syria is hindering the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. In April, the northwest received 54,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX program. Many people living in the region have expressed concerns over vaccine side effects, such as blood clots, and question the severity of the health crisis. Even among frontline workers, only 6,070 out of 40,000 health and humanitarian workers have been vaccinated. Two more shipments of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in northwest Syria by the end of the year with enough doses for 850,000 people out of the region’s 3.5 million residents. (Reuters)


Yemen

According to UNHCR, more than 40,000 Yemenis have been affected by heavy rains and flooding across the country. The majority of people impacted are internally displaced persons who were already living in precarious shelter conditions. Over 4 million Yemenis are currently displaced, 80% of whom have been displaced for more than one year, and ongoing clashes continue to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. Around 20.7 million people are in need of aid and the current response plan is only 27% funded. (ReliefWeb)

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – May 7

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover Image: AFP

Latest News for April 30 – May 7, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

Bangladesh is postponing COVID-19 vaccinations for Rohingya refugees until it begins receiving shipments from COVAX. Vaccinations for 130,000 refugees were originally planned to begin on March 27, but were canceled after the disruption of vaccine imports from India due to the latter’s growing COVID-19 crisis. India was expected to produce 70% of vaccines for COVAX in the first half of 2021, including 10 million doses that would have gone to Bangladesh by the end of May. There have only been 570 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among refugees since the pandemic began, but infections and hospitalizations are rising in the surrounding communities. (The New Humanitarian)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

Hundreds of people have been injured, dozens are missings, and at least 24 have died during week-long protests across Colombia. Protests were initially sparked over proposed tax reforms, but have become a broader movement against the government’s handling of the pandemic and economic crisis. Nearly half of Colombia’s population now lives in poverty. (BBC News)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

In April, Gaza recorded 35,882 new cases of COVID-19 and a 58% increase in active cases. Health officials reported 288 deaths in April, up from only 28 in March, bringing the total number of deaths in Gaza to 899. The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests during the last week of the month was 30%. Currently, 44 out of Gaza’s 77 intensive care unit beds are occupied. Only 36,496 people in Gaza are vaccinated, including 25,746 who have received two doses. (UN OCHA)


Lebanon  

Lebanon may cease generating electricity this month due to fuel shortages caused by the economic crisis. Lebanon’s currency has lost 90% of its value against the dollar, making it increasingly difficult to finance basic imports. In March, Lebanon’s parliament approved a $200 million emergency loan for fuel imports, but the country’s constitutional committee has yet to approve it. Hours-long power cuts are already a common occurrence in the capital and other areas. (Reuters)


Pakistan

Pakistan is implementing new border restrictions, including banning all travel from India, as part of its strategy to manage its most recent wave of infections. Pakistan has reported 830,000 infections and more than 18,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The UK variant of COVID-19 is currently the cause of most new infections, but the highly contagious variants from Brazil and South Africa have also been detected recently. Pakistan began vaccinating its population in February, but has only administered doses to 2 million out of 220 million people, the lowest rate in South Asia. (Voice of America News)


Sudan

Sudan is experiencing multiple health crises as it grapples with a third wave of COVID-19 infections. The Ministry of Health reported 138 new cases and five deaths over a three-day period. Local health systems continue to face regular attacks against health workers and suffer from shortages of oxygen and hospital beds. Sudan’s financial crisis has also halted imports of critical medications, causing severe shortages in medications needed for the treatment of cancer, kidney diseases, heart problems, and diabetes. (Radio Dabanga)


Syria

A new wave of COVID-19 infections is impacting northeast Syria amid shortages of testing equipment and oxygen supplies. As of April 26, there have been at least 15,000 cases, including 960 health workers, and 640 deaths. Hospitals in the region lack the capacity to handle the number of cases and there is limited personal protective equipment for medical staff. Two treatment centers have suspended operations due to shortages and the only laboratory processing tests are expected to run out of supplies in the next two weeks. (Voice of America)


Yemen

Widespread flooding across Yemen has killed at least seven people and affected more than 3,700 families. Heavy rains and flash floods in the Aden, Abyan, Daleh, Lahj, Hadramawt, Marib and Taiz governorates have caused extensive damage to infrastructure, homes, and shelters. The majority of people who have been impacted were already internally displaced. (France 24

Yemen’s vaccination campaign is struggling to overcome vaccine hesitancy and barriers to access as cases continue to rise. Yemen received 360,000 COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX program, but a fragile health system, vaccine hesitancy, and Yemen’s ongoing conflict have derailed rollout efforts. In Taiz, which has received 70,000 doses, only 500 have been administered over the past two weeks. According to health workers, the month of Ramadan has also hindered vaccinations as many Yemenis believe receiving a vaccine would break their fast. (Reuters

Weekly Humanitarian News Digest – April 30

Each week, we highlight the latest news related to the humanitarian and health crises in our countries of operation: Bangladesh/ Myanmar, Colombia/ Venezuela, Gaza/ Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For more frequent updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Latest News for April 23 – April 30, 2021

Bangladesh/ Myanmar 

Bangladesh has approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use after losing access to vaccines from India. The government had previously signed agreements for 30 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine with India, but received only seven million doses before India halted exports due to a surge of new cases. Bangladesh expects to receive four million doses of the Russian vaccine by May and is in the process of approving China’s Sinopharm vaccine as well. (Reuters)


Colombia/ Venezuela 

The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting vulnerable communities in Colombia and Venezuela. In Colombia, intensive care units have filled to capacity and Venezuela’s crippled health system was already requiring patients to provide their own medical supplies before the outbreak of COVID-19. While both countries have begun vaccination campaigns, the rapid spread of the Brazilian strain of the virus threatens to undo progress. (ABC Local 10)


Gaza/ Palestinian Territories

Gaza’s Ministry of Health has reported that at least five doctors have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Many health workers have contracted COVID-19 and the rate of infection remains high as Gaza grapples with a second wave of infections. The elderly and people with underlying conditions represent the majority of those who have died. (Middle East Monitor)

Gaza’s hospitals are struggling to manage the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by a more transmissible strain of the virus and large crowds during Ramadan. Infection rates hover between 1,000 and 1,500 new cases per day. Gaza’s main health facility treating COVID-19 patients reports that its oxygen supplies are nearly exhausted. Gaza is also facing a shortage of vaccines, having received enough doses for only 55,000 people, and vaccine skepticism is high among the general public. (Associated Press)


Lebanon  

An estimated 1,000 health workers have left Lebanon since the Beirut port explosion last August. In the midst of Lebanon’s financial crisis, imports of medications and medical equipment dwindled and the salaries of some medical workers lost 90% of their value. Many health workers, including senior members of the medical community, have left to pursue work in wealthier countries in the Gulf, Europe, and North America. (The World)


Pakistan

On Tuesday, Pakistan reported 201 deaths due to COVID-19, the highest number of deaths in a single day since the pandemic began. According to government figures, at least 17,530 people have died and there are more than 88,000 active cases. In response, the government has deployed the military to 16 major cities to enforce COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing guidelines. The Ministry of Health is working to expand hospital capacity as the vaccine rollout continues to lag behind other countries in the region. (Al Jazeera)


Sudan

Sudan is experiencing its third wave of COVID-19 infections with rising numbers of new cases in Khartoum, El Gezira, and Kassala. Health authorities are calling on members of high-risk categories, including medical workers, the elderly, and people with underlying conditions, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. In March, Sudan received 828,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and plans to begin administering second doses on May 9. The government has reported  33,104 cases and 2,349 deaths since the pandemic began. (Radio Dabanga)


Syria

Syria is experiencing a rapidly growing third wave of COVID-19 infections amid nationwide shortages of medical equipment, testing kits, and oxygen. Health officials in the northeast have reported more than 5,300 cases in April as 47% of tests return positive results. The only COVID-19 laboratory in the northeast is expected to run out of testing kits within the week. Intensive care units in Damascus are at full capacity and, according to the International Rescue Committee, 83% of patients who receive invasive ventilation are dying. (The Guardian)


Yemen

More than four million people are displaced in Yemen, many of whom have experienced multiple displacements and remain at risk of violence. In Marib governorate, an area with a 2014 population of 20,000, an estimated one million displaced persons live in crowded camps near the frontlines of fighting. Camps have repeatedly been hit by shelling, which has killed dozens and displaced more than 13,700 people since the beginning of 2021. Many families have nowhere else to go and are waiting until the violence escalates further before attempting to move again. (Middle East Eye)