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Yesterday, we got a preview of a rare good-news story out of Congress: If the Senate has its way, America won’t abandon its commitments to the world’s most vulnerable and persecuted.
While President Obama recently received praise for reducing the rate of U.S. government spending, it’s Congress that must that must make the hard decisions about to how to prioritize funding trade-offs.
This post originally appeared on UN Dispatch.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) now estimates that there are about 60,000 Malian refugees spread out across multiple sites – formal and informal – in northern Burkina Faso.
This afternoon’s House mark-up of the State, Foreign Operations spending bill will show the world just how far and how fast some in the U.S. are willing to retreat from assuming America’s traditional leadership role in global affairs.
The House GOP leadership has allocated the State, Foreign Operations budget 9 percent less funding than was appropriated for the same accounts last year. This put legislators in a challenging position. Cuts were inevitable.
The Sahel region of West Africa is facing a major food crisis for the third time in seven years. The region has suffered from poverty and vulnerability for generations, but now drought, poor harvests, high food prices, environmental degradation, and decreased remittances from Libya and Cote d’Ivoire are putting millions at risk.
Newtok is a small Native American village on the northwestern coast of Alaska. Indigenous populations have inhabited Newtok for at least 2,000 years. But over the past two decades, unprecedented changes have taken place that threaten Newtok’s very existence.
Accelerated coastal erosion – exacerbated by thawing permafrost, declining sea ice protection, and warmer temperatures – along with increased storm surges and salt water inundation of fresh water supplies, are making life here untenable. So the Newtok community has decided to move.
Human beings have a remarkable capacity to endure suffering. And perhaps nowhere in the world is this capacity more thoroughly tested than in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There is news today that more than 20,000 people have fled their homes in eastern Congo during the past few weeks. Last month, Congolese President Joseph Kabila announced he would try to arrest one of his generals, Bosco Ntaganda. Ntaganda is a former rebel commander who has been accused by the International Criminal Court of committing war crimes.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Wednesday demanding that Sudan and South Sudan immediately stop fighting and conclude negotiations within three months on the issues of citizenship, oil revenue sharing, borders, and the status of Abyei.
The recent conflict between Sudan and South Sudan has seen civilians in border areas subjected to brutal attacks by both sides. However, as I found while in South Sudan last week, the impact of this conflict goes far beyond the disputed areas of Heglig or Abyei, threatening many more lives.
Prior to the most recent round of fighting, millions of Sudanese on both sides of the border were already displaced and vulnerable - from the restive Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, to South Sudanese villages emptied by tribal conflicts.