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Humanitarian news briefs, April 13

By Kathryn Reid and Chris Huber
Apr 10, 2015
©2014 Nigel Marsh/World Vision
In a U.N. protection site in Malakal, South Sudan, Veronica, a mother of five, and her youngest child, Joseph Kyanowok, received a month’s worth of food from World Vision and the World Food Program last October. Because of increased violence, about 4,500 people flocked to the camp since April 2.

Kenya: Dealing with the aftermath of the shocking student massacre

World Vision and the Kenya Red Cross are working together to provide psychosocial aid to survivors of the April 2 massacre at a university in northeast Kenya. Authorities say 148 people, mostly students, were killed in the attack at Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya. Another 100 were injured. Trained counselors will provide emotional support, help survivors to cope with their experiences, and assist them with locating family members. World Vision will also train teachers, community leaders, and faith leaders in humanitarian practices so that churches, mosques, and schools are better prepared to cope with disasters. Read more.

South Sudan: Thousands more seek U.N. protection

In response to increased violence, about 4,500 people have sought shelter at the U.N. mission in South Sudan's Malakal, Upper Nile State, since April 2. This new influx brought the number of displaced at that site to 26,000, the highest it’s been since conflict broke out in December 2013. There are approximately 110,000 people under U.N. protection throughout South Sudan. World Vision and other aid groups are distributing household items to the newcomers and arranging for food, water, and sanitation. “We will continue doing our best to help everyone here in need, but children should be the priority,” says Perry Mansfield, World Vision country director. World Vision is opening Child-Friendly Spaces for the newly arrived children, in part to prevent their recruitment into armed factions.

Haiti: Floods claim lives, destroy houses

Five children were among the six people who died after torrential rains struck Haiti last weekend, triggering flooding and landslides. Two of the children were killed when a wall collapsed, the others died in a landslide. More than 8,000 houses were damaged. A voluntary evacuation of 245 families may have helped to prevent a higher death toll. With the ground saturated and occasional showers in the forecast, civil authorities are cautioning citizens to watch for high water and hillsides giving way.

Shutdown of money transfers could hinder aid delivery in Somalia

Since the massacre of Kenyan university students, that country’s central bank has shut down 13 money remittance providers in an effort to stem the flow of funds to armed militias in the region. Somalia has no central bank, and the nation depends on remittances from Somali expatriates, who send home about $1.3 billion annually, much of it routed through Kenya. In addition, a consortium of aid agencies that work in Somalia says that some could lose their only means of transferring money to sustain their operations. Francois Batalingya, World Vision country director for Somalia, says the closing of remittance providers could have a “massive impact” on aid delivery. Read more.

How to help

You can help World Vision provide critical emergency aid for disaster-affected children and families by giving to the disaster relief fund.