Tag: Humanitarian Crises

Salvini ordered to stand trial on migrant kidnapping charge
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Salvini ordered to stand trial on migrant kidnapping charge

Rescue group hails decision to put far-right Italian politician on trial, which will begin in September.An Italian judge has ordered that Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, must stand trial on charges of kidnapping over his decision to prevent more than 100 refugees and migrants on a rescue ship from landing in the country in 2019. Salvini, who was interior minister and deputy prime minister at that time, left the people stranded at sea until prosecutors ordered the seizure of the ship and the evacuation of the people on board. The trial will begin in the southern city of Palermo on September 15. Proactiva Open Arms, the Spanish NGO which operated the Open Arms rescue ship at the heart of the case, welcomed the judge’s ruling. “Violating a fundamental right such as the p...
Hunger-striking US activists demand end to Yemen blockade
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Hunger-striking US activists demand end to Yemen blockade

Iman Saleh has not eaten anything in 17 days. The 26-year-old Yemeni American and her younger sister, Muna, came to Washington, DC late last month from the US state of Michigan to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where a war has raged for six years. Going on a hunger strike was a symbolic choice, Saleh told Al Jazeera, as millions of Yemenis are living under the threat of widespread famine amid the ongoing conflict. “We felt that the world wasn’t listening to what was happening in Yemen,” said Saleh, general coordinator of activist group Yemeni Liberation Movement. She said six activists originally joined the hunger strike, but now only she and her sister remain. They are only drinking water and water with electrolytes. “We felt that showing the world what the body goes ...
St Vincent warns of water shortages as volcano eruptions continue
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St Vincent warns of water shortages as volcano eruptions continue

Caribbean island is blanketed with ash from La Soufriere volcano, ruining crops and contaminating water supplies.Officials on the Caribbean island of St Vincent have warned that residents are facing water shortages, as ash from La Soufriere volcano has contaminated local supplies. The volcano erupted again around 6am local time (10:00 GMT) on Tuesday – the fifth straight day of explosions – and sent plumes of smoke into the air, as well as ash and other volcanic material flowing down its flanks. Between 16,000 and 20,000 people have been evacuated from areas near the volcano, including about 3,000 who are staying in more than 80 government-run shelters. La Soufriere first erupted on Friday, after the government had issued a mandatory evacuation order, and experts have said people can expec...
Kenyan court ‘temporarily blocks’ closure of refugee camps
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Kenyan court ‘temporarily blocks’ closure of refugee camps

Case involving government plans to close Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps to return in the courtroom in a month, reports say.Kenya’s high court has temporarily blocked the closure of two refugee camps hosting more than 400,000 people, according to media reports and activists. On March 24, Kenyan Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i announced the government’s intention to shut the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, giving the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) two weeks to present a plan to do so. The ministry called this an “ultimatum” and said there was no room for further negotiations. On Thursday, the court stayed the closure for 30 days, according to a copy of the court seen by news organisations. It originated from a petition filed by a local politician challenging a move to shut down the camps. ...
UN seeks $10bn for Syria as COVID adds to refugee suffering
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UN seeks $10bn for Syria as COVID adds to refugee suffering

The United Nations is seeking $10bn in aid to help Syria, saying civilians there continue to face attacks as well as increased hunger and poverty, as the COVID-19 pandemic compounds the “despair and disaster” of 10 years of civil war. The appeal came ahead of Tuesday’s Brussels Conference on Syria, an annual event co-hosted by the UN and the European Union. It includes $4.2bn for the humanitarian response inside Syria and $5.8bn for refugees and their hosts in the Middle East. The UN said at least 24 million Syrians need aid today – a rise of four million over the past year and the highest number yet since 2011, when President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters resulted in a brutal civil war. “It has been 10 years of despair and disaster for Syrians,” said UN aid chief...
France heightens pressure on Lebanon to form government
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France heightens pressure on Lebanon to form government

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian tells Lebanese leaders seven months of political deadlock in forming a cabinet are worsening the nation’s economic crisis.France’s foreign minister has cranked up pressure on Lebanese leaders to form a government, urging them in personal phone calls for an immediate halt to what he called “deliberate obstruction” that is driving the country towards collapse. Jean-Yves Le Drian called Lebanese President Michel Aoun, acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and parliament speaker Nabih Berri and deplored the seven months of political deadlock that is worsening Lebanon’s economic crisis, according to a statement from the foreign minister’s office on Monday. “The deliberate obstruction of any prospect of an exit from the crisis … by demands that are unreaso...
MSF says urgent aid needed for Yemen amid surging COVID cases
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MSF says urgent aid needed for Yemen amid surging COVID cases

A surging number of COVID-19 cases is increasing the pressure on war-torn Yemen’s already strained healthcare system, an international medical charity has warned. Doctor Without Borders (MSF) reported a “dramatic influx of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation in Aden, Yemen, and many other parts of the country” and called on humanitarians groups and international aid donors to “immediately” scale up activities and funding. “We are urging all medical humanitarian organisations already present in Yemen to rapidly scale up their COVID-19 emergency response,” said Raphael Veicht, head of mission of MSF in Yemen. “All aspects of the COVID-19 response are lacking and need greater international support, from public health messaging, to vaccinations to oxygen therapy,” Veicht...