GENEVA (Reuters) – A record 4,077 migrants have died already this year crossing deserts and seas worldwide, three-quarters of them in perilous journeys across the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, an aid agency said on Monday.
They include an estimated 500 people fleeing Africa and the Middle East feared drowned in a shipwreck off Malta in mid-September after smugglers deliberately rammed their boat, the International Organization for Migration said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Friday that U.S.-led air strikes on Islamist insurgents in Iraq and Syria had worsened a dire humanitarian crisis on the ground.
All warring parties in the widening conflicts in the two countries should spare civilians and allow delivery of aid, the Geneva-based ICRC said in a statement.
GENEVA, Sept 26 (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation
(WHO) said on Friday it expected to begin small-scale use of two
experimental Ebola vaccines in West Africa early next year and
in the meantime, transfusions of survivors’ blood may offer the
best hope of treatment.
WHO is working with pharmaceutical companies and regulators
to accelerate the use of a range of potential treatments to
fight the disease that has no cure and which has killed 2,917
out of 6,263 people infected in West Africa since an outbreak
began in March, a senior WHO official said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Wars in Syria and Iraq, and instability in other hotspots are driving ever more people to seek asylum in wealthy nations, with requests on track to hit a 20-year high in 2014, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.
Some 330,700 people sought refugee status in 44 industrialized countries in the first half of the year, an almost 24 per cent rise on the same period in 2013, it said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States and its allies must comply with the rules of war in carrying out air strikes on Islamist targets in Iraq and Syria, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday.
The humanitarian agency is the guardian of the Geneva Conventions that lay down the rules of war, primarily aimed at protecting civilians caught up in armed conflicts.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Liberia, the West African state hardest-hit by the worst Ebola outbreak in history, remains gravely short of foreign health care workers despite repeated pleas for help, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.
Efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak, now six months old, have been too slow to stop the disease infecting more people than ever before and spreading from its origins in Guinea to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal, killing over 2,800.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday it was making contingency plans in case all 400,000 inhabitants of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani fled into Turkey to escape advancing Islamic State militants.
Some 138,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have entered southern Turkey in an exodus that began last week, and two border crossing points remain open, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.
GENEVA, Sept 23 (Reuters) – The Ebola outbreak in West
Africa could infect 20,000 people as soon as early November
unless rigorous infection control measures are implemented, and
might “rumble on” for years in a holding pattern, researchers
said on Tuesday.
In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine,
experts from the World Health Organization and Imperial College
said that infections will continue climbing exponentially unless
patients are isolated, contacts traced and communities enlisted.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The killing in Guinea of eight people trying to educate locals about Ebola showed how much rural populations in West Africa mistrust authorities after years of instability and conflict, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
Eight bodies were found after an attack on a team visiting remote southeastern Guinea, a government spokesman said on Thursday, showing the dangers faced by health workers fighting the deadly virus that is surrounded by suspicion and stigma.
GENEVA (Reuters) – A muscle relaxant appears to have been mixed mistakenly with measles vaccine, killing 15 children in Syria this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, calling it the biggest such tragedy in memory.
The WHO said it could not completely rule out sabotage, so the measles inoculation campaign remained suspended until the investigation was finished.