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)


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’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)


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)


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)


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)


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)