The New Humanitarian

Unfreeze Afghan assets or more hungry children may die

Following decades of conflict, people in Afghanistan are now grappling with another deadly issue as almost universal poverty grips the nation: soaring hunger. The Afghan economy had been deteriorating long before the government changed, but over the course of the Taliban’s first year back in power the country has suffered an economic implosion. This has led to almost 20 million people experiencing acute levels of food insecurity and put the lives of 1.1 million children with severe acute malnutrition at risk.
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Five articles to read as Gaza ceasefire takes hold

A truce between Israel and the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad appeared to be holding on Monday, after three days of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza left a reported 44 Palestinians dead, including several children. Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of rockets at Israel until the ceasefire came into effect at...

Drought: We know what to do, why don’t we do it?

The 20 million people struggling to survive a scorching drought in the Horn of Africa are victims not only of a climate crisis but of the failings of governments and humanitarians to heed the lessons from earlier disasters. Four consecutive seasons of failed rains have ruined people's lives and livelihoods...

Deadly DRC protests, Ukraine grain, and Lebanon’s upended lives: The Cheat Sheet

Our editors’ weekly take on humanitarian news, trends, and developments from around the globe. Protests against the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo have now left at least 36 people dead, including four blue helmets, according to the government. Demonstrators in several eastern cities have been demanding the departure of the mission – known as MONUSCO – which they say is failing to protect civilians. The latest incident, on 31 July, saw peacekeepers open fire on people at a border post, killing at least two. MONUSCO’s top official said the perpetrators had been arrested, and called the act “unspeakable and irresponsible”. Kinshasa said it is planning to re-evaluate the mission’s withdrawal plan, which envisages a 2024 departure date. The protests come amid a rebellion by the previously dormant M23 armed group (see our recent dispatches) that has killed civilians and captured chunks of the eastern province of North Kivu – just as it did 10 years ago. A UN expert report leaked this week cites “solid evidence” that Rwanda has provided weapons to the M23 and sent troops to fight alongside the rebels. Kigali called the report “unpublished and unvalidated”.

Is Poland’s smooth reception of Ukrainian refugees heading for trouble?

Poland’s right-wing government has garnered praise for the generous welcome it has extended to refugees from neighbouring Ukraine. But as Russia’s invasion enters its sixth month, aid workers and local civil society activists are warning that the relatively well-managed reception so far could soon start running into problems as volunteers who have been providing critical support burn out and plans to address the longer-term needs of the displaced seem lacking.

Peace talks with Sahelian jihadists? It’s worth a shot

Since at least 2017, when Mali’s government organised a peace forum called the Conference of National Understanding, prominent voices in the country and the wider Sahel region have explored the possibility of dialogue with jihadists. After years of failed counterterrorism campaigns by France and local armed forces, any possible...

Haiti’s deadly descent, Libya’s flare-up, and an African diplomatic lovefest: The Cheat Sheet

Our editors’ weekly take on humanitarian news, trends, and developments from around the globe. Haiti’s gang violence has been an escalating problem for months but recently became even more deadly and chaotic. Between 8 and 17 July, at least 209 people were killed and 254 were injured during clashes between the rival G9 and G-Pèp gangs in the capital Port-au-Prince, according to the UN. Around half of the casualties were people with no known links to gangs. Fierce gun battles were also reported in the heart of the capital on 27 July, spilling out of usual hotspots like Martissant or shantytowns like Cité Soleil. Thousands have been displaced, but the full impact of the fighting – including casualty figures – is difficult to confirm. “No one knows how many people have been killed or wounded… nor the exact number who have fled the area,” according to a Médecins Sans Frontières report about the escalation of violence in Martissant over the past year. For more, take a look at this roundup of our recent reporting.

WhatsApp, Lebanon?

Listen to the WhatsApp Lebanon playlist, featuring songs chosen by the WhatsAppers, on Spotifyor YouTube. For a behind the scenes look at how WhatsApp, Lebanon? came together, click here.

WhatsApp, Lebanon? Go behind the scenes

It took six months of thinking, planning, and reporting to create WhatsApp, Lebanon? – The New Humanitarian’s illustrated timeline of Lebanon’s collapse through the conversations of five people. While it has been nearly two years since the 4 August 2020 Beirut port explosion, Lebanon was in economic...

Playlist: WhatsApp, Lebanon?

No story is complete without a good soundtrack, so we asked the five contributors to WhatsApp, Lebanon? to share some of the music they’ve been listening to as life in Lebanon has changed. Below is a playlist curated by Afaf, Bassel, Mohamad, Roza, and Roger. It includes songs that...

Out of Sri Lanka’s tumult, a humanitarian crisis emerges

Amid fuel and medicine shortages, rapid food price inflation, and school closures, Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is fast becoming a humanitarian emergency, aid workers are warning, calling for immediate international support to prevent a further deterioration. “This crisis will turn really catastrophic and people and children will start dying...

Q&A: The EU’s ‘racist’ refugee system, and how to fix it

In the five months since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, around 890,000 Ukrainians have sought refuge in Germany. That is almost identical to the number of people from Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere who applied for asylum in Germany in 2015, at the height of the European refugee crisis.

Is Ukraine the next tipping point for humanitarian aid reform?

Mega-crises have the potential to trigger sector-wide humanitarian reform. The aid responses to these crises are usually highly visible, attract generous levels of funding, and involve numerous and varied humanitarian responders. They also expose areas where there has been insufficient progress and where aid approaches may need a rethink. Ukraine...

The humanitarian fallout of DR Congo’s M23 rebellion

The return of a long dormant rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is overstretching an underfunded humanitarian relief operation and piling hardship onto communities that are already contending with dozens of other armed insurgencies. For several months, the March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group has fought Congolese troops...