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’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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)