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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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’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)