|—||IRIN’s Cathy Otten on the state of the Iraqi healthcare system and what it means for victims of a war that never ends. For the full story, see "Victims of violence struggle for medical treatment in Iraq"|
In this Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 photo, Syrian residents walk on a street among the debris of buildings shattered by heavy shelling in Tarik Al-Bab neighborhood, southeast of Aleppo City.
(AP Photo/Narciso Contreras).
Afghanistan: Treating Child Malnutrition in Helmand
“She was vomiting and had diarrhea, and she kept losing weight,” says Mariam of her five-month-old granddaughter Nazia. “Her mother just didn’t have enough milk to feed her. We went to a private clinic but they couldn’t help us, and finally we drove here from our home district of Sangin. Nazia is feeling a little better now.”
Nazia, who still has a distended belly and a clearly visible rib cage, is one of the patients in the MSF herapeutic feeding center in Boost hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
Boost hospital, where MSF has been working since 2009, is one of only two hospitals in all of southern Afghanistan. Helmand is one of the country’s most war-ravaged provinces, and has seen intense fighting over the past decades. It is home to a largely poor, rural population, even if there are signs of a growing middle class in Lashkargah.
MSF opened its feeding center in December 2011 to tackle the chronic problem of malnutrition among children in Helmand. This specialized unit helps children on the verge of starvation gain weight through assisted feeding.
Photo: An MSF staff member examines a child for malnutrition at Boost hospital.
Afghanistan 2012 © Camille Gillardeau
"It was 7am. There was a knock at the door. My youngest daughter went to open it. She thought her friends had come.
“She opened the door and found around 50 soldiers. The army came to my home to fire on the rebels from the veranda. Some of them stayed at the entrance, and the others came into the house - into the bedroom, kitchen and balcony.
“You cannot ask `Why?’. We were not allowed to leave. We had to stay inside. We hid in the bathroom for nine hours. They said it was not safe to leave with the family. The operation was running on two sides. It was very bad. You could hear the gunfire. It was right next to us, right in front of our eyes. We are in the corridor and they are on the balcony shooting.
“I was screaming more than the kids. My oldest daughter had delivered a baby just a week before they came to the house. I told the officer, `My daughter has just given birth. She is not well. She needs a hospital. Soon, it will be 4pm, the roads will close, and we won’t be able to leave.’
“He said, `You cannot leave.’
"Mustafa" who, along with his family, lived in a strategic location - on a hill overlooking a Syrian town where rebels had been increasing in force.
Read the entire report by the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN, at: SYRIA: Mustafa, “The army came to my home to fire on the rebels from the veranda”
|—||JOSHUA LANDIS, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, on a speech in which President Bashar al-Assad of Syria defended a crackdown and sought to rally supporters.|
In this Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 photo, an apartment shattered by tank shelling is viewed at the top level of one house building in Karmal Jabl neighborhood after several days of intense clashes between rebel fighters and the Syrian army in Aleppo City.
(AP Photo/Narciso Contreras)
In many societies, marriage is a celebrated institution signifying a union between two adults and the beginning of their future together. Unfortunately, millions of girls still suffer from a vastly different marriage experience every year. Worldwide, many brides are still children, not even teenagers. So young are some girls that they hold onto their toys during the wedding ceremony. Usually these girls become mothers in their early teens, while they are still children themselves. The practice can result in profound negative consequences for the girls, their families and their entire communities.
Too Young to Wed, a multimedia partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and premier photo agency VII, seeks to raise awareness of the practice and ultimately, to end it.
While the global launch of the TOO YOUNG TO WED exhibition at the United Nations in New York was a heartfelt success, the project and the campaign supported by UNFPA and VII continues to raise awareness about child marriage and urge policymakers to enact and enforce laws that will end the practice forever. The work has only just begun.
Follow the stories and get involved at: www.TooYoungToWed.org
A child’s drawing of the civil war in Syria. Many children who have stayed in the increasingly ravaged country “face bombardment, food shortages and bitter cold without fuel or school.”
Bradley Secker / For The Washington Post
More than 60,000 people have died in the Syrian uprising and civil war, the United Nations said on Wednesday, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending.
Dozens were killed in a Damascus suburb when a government air strike turned a petrol station into an inferno, incinerating drivers who had rushed there for a rare chance to fill their tanks, activists said.
“I counted at least 30 bodies. They were either burnt or dismembered,” said Abu Saeed, an activist who arrived at the area an hour after the raid occurred at 1:00 PM (1100 GMT) in Muleiha, a suburb on the eastern edge of the capital.
U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said in Geneva that researchers cross-referencing seven sources over five months of analysis had listed 59,648 people killed in Syria between March 15, 2011 and November 30, 2012.
“The number of casualties is much higher than we expected and is truly shocking,” she said. “Given that there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013.”