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31

Jul

It’s impossible for me to even imagine people saying these people were injured hours or days before the event occurred. Any doctor who saw them, treated them, could tell you their injuries had occurred just then. We took shrapnel out of a baby’s back. Do people really think a mother sat around with her baby’s back covered in shrapnel, waiting to take him to a hospital so that she could blame Israel for his death?

28

Jul

There is literally no safe place for civilians [in Gaza].
Jens Laerke, spokesman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

(Source: reuters.com)

11

Jul

The U.S. and Mexico should recognize that this is a refugee situation, which implies that they shouldn’t be automatically sent to their home countries but rather receive international protection.

19

Jun

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF on Wednesday upgraded Iraq’s latest crisis to a level 3 humanitarian disaster — its most severe designation — as U.N. officials said they were scrambling to provide basic services while preparing to cope with an estimated 1.5 million displaced people.

“Now we’re focused on delivering water, food and essential items,” said Colin MacInnes, deputy head of UNICEF in Iraq. The organization has been collaborating with other U.N. and humanitarian agencies to deliver aid.

The emergency distinction, which is rarely assigned, underscores just how critical Iraq’s crisis has become, one week after Sunni jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and began rapidly sweeping across the country, seizing towns and routing Iraqi forces.

“Iraq already has a level 3 polio disaster,” MacInnes said. The Syrian crisis next door is so desperate that it has also been named a level 3, he said. “With this designation in Iraq, that means we have currently three level-3 disasters that are affecting the country.”

He said he could not think of any other place or time in U.N. history where that has happened.

NYT: U.N. agency raises disaster designation in Iraq as refugees flood into Kurdistan (cont)

13

May

Syria’s apparent use of chlorine gas as a weapon – not to mention targeting of civilians – is a plain violation of international law. This is one more reason for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
It’s very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state.
Lakhdar Brahimi, United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, announced his resignation on Tuesday.

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

27

Mar

A United Nations panel finds the United States has fallen short of meeting its obligations under an international civil rights treaty
The United Nations raps United States civil rights over drone usage, secret programs and surveillance. source (via shortformblog)

28

Feb

This Photo Is Not From The ‘Game Of Thrones.’ It’s From Syria.
The hundreds, or thousands, in the back of this neverending line look like they could be CGI’d. The rubble to the left hangs precipitously, like an apple in a Cezanne still-life. There is a tree in the middle of the road. But this photo was posted Wednesday by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency—it is very real. It shows a street in Damascus, Syria, on January 31, as Palestinian refugees queue for their ever-diminishing daily food ration. They’re residents of Yarmouk Refugee Camp, an unofficial camp that before Syria’s civil war was home to 150,000 Palestinian refugees, a figure that since the war has dwindled to just 20,000. They are currently besieged by Assad forces, and of late UNWRA has not even been allowed in to distribute humanitarian aid—which, on Wednesday, prompted an official to speak out and, doubtlessly, prompted UNWRA to release this photograph.
Read more.

This Photo Is Not From The ‘Game Of Thrones.’ It’s From Syria.

The hundreds, or thousands, in the back of this neverending line look like they could be CGI’d. The rubble to the left hangs precipitously, like an apple in a Cezanne still-life. There is a tree in the middle of the road. But this photo was posted Wednesday by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency—it is very real. It shows a street in Damascus, Syria, on January 31, as Palestinian refugees queue for their ever-diminishing daily food ration. They’re residents of Yarmouk Refugee Camp, an unofficial camp that before Syria’s civil war was home to 150,000 Palestinian refugees, a figure that since the war has dwindled to just 20,000. They are currently besieged by Assad forces, and of late UNWRA has not even been allowed in to distribute humanitarian aid—which, on Wednesday, prompted an official to speak out and, doubtlessly, prompted UNWRA to release this photograph.

Read more.

17

Jan

Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found. A delay would most likely force future generations to develop the ability to suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and store them underground to preserve the livability of the planet, the report found. But it is not clear whether such technologies will ever exist at the necessary scale, and even if they do, the approach would probably be wildly expensive compared with taking steps now to slow emissions. The report said that governments of the world were still spending far more money to subsidize fossil fuels than to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy, thus encouraging continued investment in projects like coal-burning power plants that pose a long-term climate risk.

08

Jan

It was always a very difficult figure. It was always very close to the edge in terms of how much we could guarantee the source material was accurate. And it reached a point where we felt we could no longer cross that line. So for the time being, we’re not updating those figures.

The U.N.’s human rights office has stopped updating the death toll from Syria’s civil war, confirming Tuesday that it can no longer verify the sources of information that led to its last count of at least 100,000 in late July. (cont)