Russia’s 35th Humanitarian Aid Convoy Departs for Donbass

Read this article http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150814/1025733358.html

Russia’s 35th humanitarian convoy for residents of Ukraine’s southeast has departed for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s 35th humanitarian convoy for residents of Ukraine’s southeast (Donbass) has departed for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, a spokesperson of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said.

“At 04:00 Moscow time [01:00 GMT] the convoy headed from the Donskoy rescue center of the Emergencies Ministry toward the state border,” the spokesperson said early on Friday.

The convoy consists of over 100 vehicles that are loaded with over 1,000 metric tons of aid, which includes food, medicine and items of first necessity.

At the border with Ukraine the vehicles will split into two groups, one of which will head to the southeastern region of Donetsk, while the other one will go to Lugansk.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions have been severely affected by fighting between Ukrainian troops and Donbass independence supporters, which started in April 2014 when Kiev launched a military operation in the region. In February 2015 the two sides agreed to a ceasefire, however, sporadic fighting has continued in Donbass.

Overall, Russia has sent more than 42,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid to the region over the past year.

Saudi Arabia in Yemen Gives Weapons to Humanitarian Aid

Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen five months ago. However, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has yet to cause Yemen to surrender. Yemen is the poorest country on the Arabian peninsula and has had its military reduced significantly and an economy that is almost non-existent. Despite Yemen’s struggles, Saudi Arabia has not been able to cause Yemen to collapse.

Just because the Yemenis have not surrendered does not mean they are not suffering. In June, the World Health Organization warned that a major health crisis is unfolding in Yemen. Hospitals have been destroyed, health officials have been murdered, and there are shortages of medical supplies, food, and fuel. At the beginning of July, the United Nations determined the crisis in Yemen to be at the highest level of humanitarian emergency. According to a report created during this time, 1,500 civilians have been murdered, 3,600 have been injured, and over a million have been displaced during this conflict. The United Nations estimates that almost 80 percent of Yemenis, which is around 20 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.download

Saudi Arabia has been looking for ways to get Yemen to surrender. They are withholding humanitarian aid from Yemen civilians to prevent them from carrying out their movement against Saudi Arabia’a rule. By using the United Nation humanitarian institutions to wage war, Saudi Arabia is weaponizing aid.

What’s really interesting about this is that this has caused oil prices to plummet and the prices for limo services, for instance, have fortunately become much cheaper for consumers.

Yemen humanitarian aid boosted by EU

The European Union (EU) announced Wednesday that the EU’s humanitarian aid will be increased to the Yemen population affected by the crisis. The amount of aid was raised by 12 million euros, or the equivalent of about 13.04 million US dollars. The aid was sent to assist with the most pressing needs of the suffering population, according to a EU statement.

 

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, stated, “The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is reaching catastrophic proportions with 80 percent of the population now in need of assistance.”

 

Ten million euros are to help provide for nutrition, food, health, water, sanitation, shelter, emergency household supplies, and protection for those vulnerable in Yemen. Djibouti and Somalia will divide the remaining 2 million euros to facilitate the fleeing refugees and returnees from Yemen to countries of the Horn of Africa.

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The EU, however, called for humanitarian pauses during the conflicts. The commissioner stated that humanitarian workers and organizations need these pauses in order to deliver the vital aid. The conflict’s parties must guarantee these pauses unconditionally.

 

The EU issued a reiteration to the fighting sides concerning adherence to the international humanitarian law protecting civilians.

 

Steady airstrikes and ground fighting for the past four months have led to critical shortages of water, food, fuel, and medicine in Yemen.

 

The already fragile countries of Djibouti and Somalia are being strained to their limits because of the flooding of Yemeni refugees and returning Somalia refuges.

Read more about this at http://www.redr.ca/

Humanitarian aid workers and their protection under international law

Found this great article on https://www.icrc.org/en/document/humanitarian-aid-workers-and-their-protection-under-international-law

Humanitarian aid, by definition, is provided in complex and insecure settings. Therefore humanitarian workers, including health-care personnel, often face tremendous risks to provide assistance and care to people in need. Are they protected under International Law? To what extent? And what steps can aid agencies and workers themselves take to increase this protection.

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In this podcast, hosted by Advanced Training Program in Humanitarian Action (ATHA), the Health Care in Danger project contributed to the panel discussion on “The Protection of Humanitarian Aid Workers Under International Law” – bringing in the experience of the ICRC and the efforts a four year long project dedicated to improving access to and delivery of health care in insecure settings.

Key questions discussed in the podcast include:

How does the law currently protect humanitarian professionals in insecure settings, and what gaps exist with regard to these legal protections?
What are the consequences of protection disparities between humanitarian professionals, particularly national or local staff?
What legal developments are feasible to improve the protection of humanitarian actors in insecure settings and to further accountability efforts for attacks against aid workers?