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February 29, 2016 | 0 comments

The Turkish relief ship Şefkat Gemisi (Compassion Ship) reached Yemen's de facto capital of Aden on Thursday with food and medical supplies. The vessel delivered 5,400 tons of humanitarian assistance to Yemen. More than 6,100 people have been killed in fighting since March, when a Saudi-led coalition, including Qatari forces, initiated a military intervention in Yemen against Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels. Previously, on Feb. 14, 6,000 tons of humanitarian aid was sent to Yemen on a ship sent from Mersin. In a statement released on the same day, the Foreign Ministry said Turkey would continue to stand by Yemen during the difficult period as it always had in the past. According to the UN, 3,000 people have been wounded and 2.5 million forced to flee their homes. Donor organizations such as Qatar Charity and the Kuwait-based International Islamic Charitable Organization pledged more than $220 million of humanitarian aid to war-torn Yemen in a conference held in Doha on Wednesday: http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_compassion-ship-delivers-humanitari...

February 29, 2016 | 0 comments

An Israeli nonprofit has been secretly transferring humanitarian supplies to the Syrian populace devastated by the civil war, Israel21c reported on Friday. Doreen Gold’s Il4Syrians has been operating since 2011, and provides local NGOs with goods that they then pass on to needy Syrians. The volunteer organization has sent sanitation kits, baby powder, food and medical supplies and devices, including 3,000 protective suits for doctors treating victims of chemical attacks. Il4Syrians supports 17 field hospitals and operating rooms, all led by Syrian NGOs, by keeping them stocked with everything from sterilization equipment to anesthetics. It also trained 22 orthopedists to create prosthetic limbs with 3D printers, which it also provided. Convoys from the non-profit enter Syria every month or three, depending on funding: http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/02/28/israeli-ngo-secretly-providing-huma...

February 29, 2016 | 0 comments

On Feb. 20, Cyclone Winston struck the South Pacific island country of Fiji. With winds faster than 100 miles per hour, Winston was the most powerful cyclone to ever make landfall in Fiji. The storm uprooted trees, flattened buildings and knocked out power and communications. Forty-two people died. The governments of New Zealand and Australia are leading the international effort to assist Fiji in the wake of the storm. The Australian navy sortied its new flagship, the light aircraft carrier HMAS Canberra, on the vessel’s first operational mission. Canberra sailed from Brisbane on Feb. 25 carrying 880 people, three MRH-90 helicopters, Army engineering equipment and 60 tons of humanitarian supplies. “This capability will assist Fijian authorities to clear debris, restore power, purify water and conduct engineering assessments,” according to Australia’s foreign ministry. Threading the dissipating tendrils of the cyclone en route to Fiji, the 757-foot-long Canberra — which commissioned into Australian service in late 2014 — will join an multinational task force including New Zealand’s amphibious ship Canterbury and patrol ship Wellington and aircraft from the Australian and New Zealand air forces. Canberra is Australia’s biggest-ever warship. Sister ship Adelaide commissioned in December. Based on Spain’s Juan Carlos, the Canberra-class vessels can, in theory, accommodate short-takeoff “jump jets” such as Harriers or F-35Bs. But Australia has no plans to acquire jump jets. At...

February 26, 2016 | 0 comments

A selfie is easy to mock. ‘Narcissistic millennials only care about themselves.’ ‘Look at those stupid tourists and their selfie sticks.’ But for Alec Barton, founder & publisher at Developing Telecoms, a selfie for people like the Syrian refugees is a symbol of safety, a wink to loved ones back home. The image he put on the screen at Mobile World Congress during a forum on mobile and technology’s role in humanitarian aid was of a Syrian refugee taking a selfie with his group. The brief moment of happiness amongst the dread was “one of the most significant and moving images of the year.”
“These (refugee) selfies are about a simple and direct way to tell their family they are safe,” Barton said at MWC. “After safety, food, warmth and water, the next most important thing is the ability to communicate, which in reality means their mobile phone.”

Some of the first questions, he said, refugees ask when they get to a point is “‘where can I charge my mobile,’ ‘what network’ and ‘what’s the Wi-Fi password.’ Think about the significance of that.” “Even though communities as affected by crisis, people are still people,” Jacob Korenblum, CEO & Co-Founder of Souktel Digital Solutions, said at MWC. “They are still mobile users, they still have needs or desire that someone sitting in this room has. “People want to listen to music, take photos, do social.. it’s in fact a way of coping with the crisis surrounding them,” Korenblum said at MWC. For more:...

February 26, 2016 | 0 comments

Istanbul is set to host a global meeting focused on humanitarian aid to Somalia, which is scene to persistently high and alarming levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, with an estimated 4.7 million people - nearly 40 per cent of the Somali population - in need of humanitarian assistance. The New Deal for Somalia process was launched by the international community to ensure the coordination of international aid disbursement, enhance its effectiveness and reinforce Somali ownership with a view to maintaining peace and state-building in Somalia, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Feb. 22.

The High Level Partnership Forum on Somalia is the highest decision-making mechanism of this process, in which the Somali government, the United Nations and key donor countries are parties, the ministry said. The sixth meeting of the forum will be held at the ministerial level on Feb. 23-24 in Istanbul, it said. The forum will be co-chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. “The High-Level Partnership Forum on Somalia will be a concrete manifestation of the comprehensive policy that Turkey pursues in cooperation with the international community towards the establishment of the state institutions, as well as peace and stability, in Somalia,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The forum is expected to be attended by 50 countries and 12 international organizations as...