The Humanitarian Times

March 12, 1999


- 10,000s OF SOMALIS FLEE FAMINE IN GEDO AND BAKOOL REGIONS, to southern reg's & Ethiopia, reports Refugees International, a non-profit. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) reports that it is expanding its water supply programs -- borehole-drilling - in Bakool, with Danish Gov support. The ICRC reported yesterday its concern that most aid agencies had pulled out of the Bay & Bakool regions because of security threats.


- KOSOVO SHELLING, FIGHTING, SIEGE, ARRESTS & DISPLACEMENT GROWS, leading Maj.Gen. John Drewienkiewicz, Chief of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission, to suggest military intervention: "I do not think we can stagger on with this mission indefinitely... it has been getting steadily worse," (interview with the NY Times). Yesterday the US House of Rep. approved US troop deployment to Kosovo, as part of a planned 30,000 troop NATO mission.


- NIGERIAN LEADERS ALLOW FOR LONGER ECOMOG STAY IN SIERRA LEONE, following visits this week by UK's British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and from Sierra Leone's Pres. Kabbah. Nigeria's current and newly elected Presidents softened on earlier claims to pull ECOMOG troops out of Sierra Leone, an act that would allow widespread massacres to reoccur there. Intl. donors are raising funds to reinforce ECOMOG with an increased share of troops from other West African nations.


- RUSSIA WILL NOT RE-INVADE CHECHNYA, SAID PRIME MINISTER Yevgenii Primakov yesterday to Russia's Parliament.


- FLOODING DISASTERS AFFECT HUNGARY, MOZAMBIQUE: 20,000 are at risk in Hungary's Tisza Valley, after heavy snow now melting. 70,000 Mozambicans are affected by severe flooding & crop loss in Moz's southern Inhambane district. (UN OCHA)


- OSLO LANDMINE SUMMIT CHARTS NEXT PHASE OF INTL. CAMPAIGN. The Intl. Campaign to Ban Landmines heard news about new country campaigns established and evolving demining and victim assistance programs. 60 countries provided advice on the new Landmine Monitor Report which will also fit into the World Health Organizations developing global injury surveillance system.


- LANDMINE BAN AGREED TO BY BOTH SUDAN GOV. AND S.SUDAN REBELS, UN Spec. Rep. Olara Otunnu reported this week. (Reuters).


- COLOMBIA MURDERS BRINGS ATTENTION TO INDIGENOUS GROUP. While never meaning to be caught up in the protracted armed conflict between the leftist FARC rebel group and the Colombian government, the three aid workers killed last week -- purportedly by the FARC -- have indirectly achieved the international recognition they had sought about the plight of the 5,000 U'wa Indians who earlier had threatened to commit mass suicide to preserve lands from exploitation by Occidental Petroleum company.


- 10m CHILDREN TO BE IMMUNIZED AGAINST POLIO IN FORMER ZAIRE, one of the final countries reached in the global campaign to eradicate polio. DRC leader Kabila and a Gen. dia Wamba, of the RCD armed opposition group both agreed to allow "days of tranquility" this summer for the UN to conduct three phased vaccinations.




- TODAY'S CONF. "MANAGING INFORMATION CHAOS" WILL BE WEB-CAST after 9 am, at the US Institute of Peace's website:


- JAPANESE GOV GIVES AID TO UPGRADE MEDICAL CARE INSIDE BURMA: a Feb. grant upgrades medical facilities & training in Mandalay.


- NGO GLOBAL FORUM, CONVENED BY INTERACTION, IN VIRGINIA, will be held April 26-28. Disaster Response Committee of relief NGOs meets April 26. Contact:


- RECENT REPORT: "EDUCATION, STATE OF THE WORLD'S CHILDREN 1999" by UN Children's FUND (NY: UNICEF) warns that far too little has been made toward the goals of the 1990 Jomtien World Conf. on Education for All. Though evidence mounts about the benefits of universal basic education (econ. growth, equality, reduced pop.

Growth, conflict prevention) govs & donors have failed to improve access of basic education to the poor. And, in many countries undergoing transition, basic education has lost considerable ground: "The educational heritage has been shattered" it reports, in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Yugoslavia and Bosnia. The report cites pioneering efforts to use schools as zones for safety in conflict areas, and as measures to mainstream lessons of peace (Sri Lanka). It argues for gender sensitivity, including detailed education statistics that disaggregate by gender, in order to "get a true picture about girls' access." It reviews the benefits and costs of multi-lingual education.

UNICEF finds success in models of decentralized school management which are less expensive & "can create educational opportunities for groups that may be traditionally excluded."


- REPORT: "RAPID EDUCATIONAL RESPONSE IN COMPLEX EMERGENCIES" by Pilar Aguilar and Gonzalo Retamal (1998), reviews recent UNICEF, UNESCO and UNHCR efforts to give outside support to non- formal education in crisis areas of Somalia, Rwanda, Liberia.

Positive results have been seen where in-service teacher training and school supplies have been provided, i.e. for refugees.

Available on the web:


- NEW BOOK: "GENERATION IN JEOPARDY" ON E.EUROPE & SOVIET UNION, (ed. Alexandre Zouev) collects data on the cost to children of economic, political, environmental, and humanitarian crises, in countries in transition. The report sounds an intl. alarm about the collapse in children's access to basic social services, including child health, environment, nutrition, & education. Case studies are given of the special child protection needs in the area covered; for children in especially difficult circumstances including refugee movements, child abuse, child labor.