This story was originally featured in our April 2017 edition of The Next Step.
Aderito Ismael, HI's head of demining operations in Colombia and former head of demining in Mozambique shares about our operations in Colombia:
Colombia is mountainous. Demining here is complicated. In rural areas, many routes are inaccessible, or even non-existent.
By Karen Saba
This is my first International Day of Persons with Disability since getting home from a five-month mission in Beirut, Lebanon, where I helped eight other NGOs make their water points, toilets and hygiene facilities more inclusive for people with disabilities, older people, and the vulnerable.
As a woman who is a native Arabic speaker with a “CP (cerebral palsy) accent,” this was an opportunity to not only do the job, but to show Lebanese people, and Syrian refugees the professional potential for a woman with a disability.
Earlier this year, 17-year-old Abu Sadeq and 600,000 other Rohingya fled Myanmar in hopes of finding food, shelter, and a safe place to stay. Abu and ten members of his family made it to the Unichipalong camp in Bangladesh, but not without injury. He tells his story:
More than 5,000 civilians have been killed and 9,000 injured in the conflict in Yemen over the last three years. More than 70% of the population–21 million Yemenis–need emergency aid and to make matters worse, on November 6, a blockade was imposed, preventing the entry of food, medical supplies, and humanitarian aid into the country. Yemeni ports of entry are beginning to see some desperately needed shipments of food and aid, but 7 million people in the country continue to be on the brink of famine. Arnaud Pont, Yemen emergency desk officer at HI explains the gravity of the situation:
From 27 to 28 November, Handicap International (HI) is organising a regional conference on the bombing of civilians in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. This conference will bring together some 20 States, 10 African civil society organisations and international NGOs. The goal is to raise awareness of this vital challenge among African countries and to encourage them to take action on the world stage to protect civilians from the devastating impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
What does this conference aim to achieve
“It was 3 June 2015, and I was nearly 13. I remember the friend I was with. A staircase. An explosion. Then waking up in a hospital bed. And my family’s terrified faces. I’ve forgotten the rest. I don’t know what happened. I don’t want to know,” says Dayana, jittery but smiling.
Launched in 2011, the six-year mine action project in Casamance, has freed more than 160,000 sq.m of land, equivalent to 24 football fields! The threat from mines and explosive remnants of war–the legacy of a pro-independence conflict in the region in the 1980s and 1990s–has now been lifted for more than 1.5 million people across 12 villages.
Ayesha Begum is 22 years old. In early September, she and her three children took refuge in Bangladesh after her husband was killed in Myanmar. Today, Ayesha and her children live with her brothers in a temporary shelter on the edge of Kutupalong camp. She takes part in a parents’ club organized by HI, which provides psychosocial support to mothers living as refugees.
12 days since land, air and seaports in Yemen were closed, Oxfam and 13 other aid agencies are appalled by the complacency and indifference of the international community regarding the historic humanitarian disaster now unfolding.
La communauté humanitaire au Yémen s’insurge du maintien du blocus, par la coalition menée par l’Arabie Saoudite, du fret humanitaire et commercial pourtant essentiels à la survie de la population yéménite.
The humanitarian community in Yemen is outraged by the continued blockade by the Saudi-led coalition of humanitarian and commercial supplies desperately needed for the survival of the Yemeni population.
Now in its eleventh day, the blockade on almost all of Yemen’s seaports, airports and land crossings prevents the entry of food, fuel, medicines and supplies, exposing millions of people to disease, starvation and death. While the reopening of Aden port and airport is a positive development, it is insufficient to cover the needs of the entire Yemeni population.
Since 1990, mines have caused more than 11,100 casualties in Colombia. Pauline Boyer, mine action coordinator for Handicap International (HI) in Colombia, explains the urgent need to free the country of mines.
Why is mine clearance a priority for HI in Colombia?
More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August 25 from neighboring Myanmar. Our team is on the ground, providing emergency aid to Rohingya refugees who, having escaped, now live in utter destitution. Gilles Nouziès, HI's head of programs in Asia travelled to Bangladesh to organize activities with our teams. He explains what he saw and what HI is doing to help.
AFTER MORE THAN A WEEK IN THE FIELD, WHAT CAN YOU SHARE ABOUT THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS FACING THE ROHINGYA?
The undersigned INGOs welcome the organization of the first regional conference on stabilization for the Lake Chad Basin and the involvement of all present actors to find long-term solutions to the current humanitarian, security, political and socioeconomic crisis in the region.
Les ONGI signataires de cette déclaration accueillent avec enthousiasme l’organisation de la première conférence régionale sur la stabilisation dans le Bassin du Lac Tchad et l’implication de tous les acteurs présents pour trouver des solutions de long-terme à la crise sécuritaire, humanitaire, politique et socio-économique que traverse la région.
(Paris, November 8, 2017) – President Emmanuel Macron of France should take the opportunity of his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates on November 8, 2017, to make the voice of Yemeni civilians heard, six human rights and humanitarian organizations said today. President Macron, accompanied by the French ministers of foreign affairs and culture, visited the United Arab Emirates for the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The humanitarian community in Yemen is greatly alarmed at the decision by the Saudi-led Coalition (SLC) to closure all of Yemeni airports, seaports and land crossings which is preventing critical humanitarian aid deliveries and commercial supplies from reaching the country and the movement of aid workers in and out of Yemen.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is extremely fragile and any disruption in the pipeline of critical supplies such as food, fuel and medicines has the potential to bring millions of people closer to starvation and death.
Thousands of Syrians are still being killed, wounded, displaced, and besieged every day as the war rages on and help is not reaching people in need, the Syria INGO Regional Forum (SIRF) said today. The Forum warns against a narrative that violence is reducing in the wake of recent political agreements.
More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August from neighbouring Myanmar. Handicap International is implementing emergency actions to assist these refugees, who are utterly destitute. Logistics platform coordinator Emmanuel Pajot arrived in the field two weeks ago to address the related logistics and emergency distribution problems. Below, he describes the complexity of the humanitarian situation.