Tag Archives: humanitarian aid

20+ NGOs Condemn ‘Reckless’ Decision to Cut Off UNRWA Aid

“Countries must reverse these funding suspensions, uphold their duties towards the Palestinian people, and scale up humanitarian assistance for civilians in dire need in Gaza and the region.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-29-2024 by Common Dreams

UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza in 2009. Photo: ISM Palestine/flickr/CC

More than 20 humanitarian aid organizations on Monday condemned the decision by the United States and a growing list of nations to suspend funding for the United Nations agency that provides vital services to Palestinians suffering through a genocidal Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

Following Israeli claims—reportedly extracted from Palestinian prisoners in an interrogation regime rife with torture and abuse—that 12 of the more than 13,000 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) workers in Gaza were involved in the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel, the United States and nine other nations cut off funding to the largest humanitarian aid organization operating in the besieged coastal enclave.

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UN Chief Invokes Article 99 to Spur Security Council Action on Gaza

“Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe and appeal for a humanitarian cease-fire to be declared.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 12-6-2023 by Common Dreams

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations during opening session of the High Level Segment at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council. 27 February 2023. UN Photo / Jean Marc Ferré

With over 16,000 Palestinians dead just two months into Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday demanded immediate action by the U.N. Security Council.

For the first time since becoming secretary-general nearly seven years ago, Guterres invoked Article 99, a rarely used section of the U.N. Charter empowering him to bring to the attention of the council “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

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Global Cease-Fire Call Grows as Israel Wages ‘War Against Hospitals’ in Gaza

“Children in Gaza are hanging by a thread,” said a UNICEF director, calling for attacks on healthcare facilities to stop immediately and the urgent delivery of supplies to hospitals.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-10-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: @SaveSJarrah/X

As Israeli forces waged what al-Shifa’s director described as a “war against hospitals” in Gaza on Friday, United Nations officials, human rights groups, and doctors demanded the protection of medical facilities and renewed calls for a cease-fire.

“Half of the Gaza Strip’s 36 hospitals and two-thirds of its primary healthcare centers are not functioning at all,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the U.N. Security Council. “Those that are functioning are operating way beyond their capacities. The health system is on its knees, and yet somehow is continuing to deliver some lifesaving care.”

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Hundreds of Thousands March in London Demanding ‘End to War on Gaza’

The large-scale demonstration in the U.K. occurred as paltry levels of humanitarian aide were finally allowed through the southern border of Gaza, but nowhere near enough given the scale of death and destruction.

By Jon Queally. Published 10-21-2023 by Common Dreams

People take part in a ‘March For Palestine,’ in London on October 21, 2023, to “demand an end to the war on Gaza.” Photo: Hope Worsdale/X

Organizers and participants said hundreds of thousands of people were in the streets of central London on Saturday to demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza as the Israeli military continued its bombardment of the besieged enclave a full two weeks after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.

Organized by a coalition that includes the Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the march also called for Israel to “end its occupation of Palestinian land and apartheid rule over the Palestinian people.”

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Amnesty Demands Civilian Protections in Sudan as Death Toll Soars

“The parties to the conflict must immediately stop using explosive weapons with wide area effects in the vicinity of concentrations of civilians,” said Amnesty International’s regional director for East and Southern Africa.

By Kenny Stancil. Published 4-17-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Naija/Twitter

As an armed conflict between Sudan’s military and a paramilitary group intensifies in the capital Khartoum and surrounding areas, Amnesty International on Monday implored the warring factions to protect civilians and ensure access to humanitarian aid.

Since fighting erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Saturday, more than 180 people have been killed and over 1,800 people have been wounded, U.N News reported Monday, citing United Nations envoy Volker Perthes.

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Syrian Relief Leader Urges US to Lift Sanctions Hindering Post-Earthquake Rescue Effort

“We need heavy equipment, ambulances, and firefighting vehicles to continue to rescue and remove the rubble, and this entails lifting sanctions on Syria as soon as possible,” said the head of a leading humanitarian group.

By Kenny Stancil  Published 2-8-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Khaled Karkout/Twitter

A disaster response expert has implored the United States to lift its economic sanctions against Syria, warning that the restrictions are hampering rescue and relief operations in the earthquake-ravaged country.

“We need heavy equipment, ambulances, and firefighting vehicles to continue to rescue and remove the rubble, and this entails lifting sanctions on Syria as soon as possible,” Khaled Hboubati, president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, said Tuesday at a press conference. Continue reading

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Ukraine is benefiting from generous donations – and many other global causes need help, too

A Yemeni mother holds the tiny foot of her malnourished child in 2021.
Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

Jessica Eise, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Ukraine’s resistance to Russia has captivated the world, dominating social media and the news since the Feb. 24, 2022, invasion. With this attention has come a massive outpouring of financial support.

Ordinary people, governments, corporations and celebrities have pledged billions to support Ukraine and have dispatched everything from missiles to cryptocurrency. Stories of sacrifice inspire courage, and photos of vulnerable victims, such as the pregnant woman on a stretcher after a bombing, have ignited rage and pain. When reports surfaced that the woman and her baby had both died, the collective sorrow only deepened.

The urge to express solidarity by making your own donation is only natural. Continue reading

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A wave of grassroots humanitarianism is supporting millions of Ukrainian refugees

Women offering Ukrainian refugees a place to stay in Berlin on Mar. 4, 2022.
Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Elizabeth Cullen Dunn, Indiana University

Along the Poland-Ukraine border, Polish volunteers have been driving Ukrainian refugees to local train stations, or directly to cities like Warsaw.

Other Poles are doing their volunteer work online or at train stations and airports, matching Ukrainian refugees with perhaps the most generous volunteers of all: those who are hosting some of the more than 2 million Ukrainians had fled their beseiged country, in their own homes.

The largest refugee flow in Europe since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s – has elicited an enormous volunteer humanitarian effort in Europe, particularly in Poland, as well as in Germany, Moldova and Romania. Continue reading

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‘Death Sentence for Untold Numbers of Civilians’: Biden to Permanently Seize Afghan Assets

“I can’t think of a worse betrayal of the people of Afghanistan than to freeze their assets and give it to 9/11 families,” said one person whose brother was killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

By Jon Queally. Published 2-11-2022 by Common Dreams

Humanitarians—including those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks of 2001—responded with condemnation Friday after it was reported that President Joe Biden has decided to permanently seize $7 billion of currently frozen Afghan assets even as the people of the war-torn and poverty-stricken nation suffer a broken economy, a collapsed healthcare system, and widespread starvation.

According to the New York Times, the Biden administration will soon formally announce a plan to make half of the $7 billion available to pay off legal claims by those who lost families members on 9/11 while the other half would be set aside for humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people. Continue reading

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As Activists’ Hunger Strike Reaches Day 13, Calls Mount for Biden to End US Complicity in Starvation of Yemen

“My pain cannot amount to that of Yemenis under siege,” said one hunger striker. “I am starving, but I am not being starved. I am suffering, but I can choose to end that suffering.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-10-2021

Photo: Joe Catron/Twitter

A hunger strike launched by Detroit-based anti-war activists in protest of the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen entered its 13th day on Saturday as calls grow for President Joe Biden to end all U.S. support for the kingdom’s deadly restrictions, which are preventing food, medicine, fuel, and other aid from reaching starving Yemenis.

Iman Saleh, a 26-year-old Yemeni American taking part in the hunger strike, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Friday that “the siege against Yemen not only has had a crippling effect on everyday life, but it is also compounding the ongoing conflict in the country, causing damage that exceeds even the violence itself in both scale and intensity.” Continue reading

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