The Stream, August 22: Global HotSpots Edition

The Global Rundown

Researchers claim that a Saudi-led military coalition is responsible for Yemen’s cholera outbreak. Thousands of civilians flee Tal Afar, Iraq as the Iraqi government begins retaking the district from ISIL. The Red Cross prepares to fix the Tabqa dam near Raqqa, Syria, which was damaged by Islamic State militants. Violent incidents targeting aid workers and civilians in West and Central Africa are at an all-time high. On World Humanitarian Day, top UN officials honor aid workers and emphasize that civilians in conflict are not a target.

“For the millions of people caught in conflict, struggling to find food, water, and safe shelter; who have been driven from their homes with little hope of return; whose schools have been bombed; and who await life-saving medical care – we cannot afford to fail.” –UN Secretary General António Guterres, in a speech given on World Humanitarian Day, which took place on Saturday, August 19.  Guterres thanked aid workers and urged people worldwide to stand in solidarity with civilians in conflict zones. UN News Centre

By The Numbers

18 Number of humanitarian workers who died this year as a result of violent attacks in West and Central Africa. Incidents against aid workers in the region are at a record high, causing some humanitarian organizations to cease operations. The unrest could restrict the delivery of life-saving food, water, and medicine to people throughout the region. Relief Web

30,000 Number of civilians who have fled Tal Afar and the surrounding area as the Iraqi government prepares to recapture the district from ISIL. Food and water supply in Tal Afar is already low and shortages are expected to increase as fighting spreads throughout the city. Thousands more are expected to flee in coming weeks. Relief Web

Science, Studies, And Reports

A Saudi-led military coalition is responsible for Yemen’s cholera outbreak, according to recent research. An analysis by London’s Queen Mary University determined that 81 percent of cholera deaths in Yemen took place in rebel-controlled areas cut off from supplies by a Saudi-led military coalition. The coalition obstructed the delivery of items such as chlorine, food, and medicine, creating the unsanitary conditions required for the disease to spread. Reuters

On The Radar

The Red Cross hopes to quickly repair the Tabqa dam near Raqqa, Syria. The dam, which is on the Euphrates River, was recaptured from Islamic State militants in late spring, but aid agencies are only now gaining access. Once repaired, the dam will provide electricity throughout Syria and irrigation water to northern cities such as Raqqa, Deir al-Zor, and rural Aleppo. Reuters