Western humanitarian groups are warning about a possible COVID-19 outbreak in rebel held northwest Syria, where three million people live in camps without adequate healthcare or basic sanitation. Reuters reports volunteers in the camps are making their own hand-made personal protective equipment and ventilators. But social distancing is nearly impossible among displaced persons living in crowded conditions.
(“Syria Forgotten Civil War Is a Pandemic Time Bomb,” Foreign Policy, April 23, 2020; “Syria’s Divisions Damage Efforts to Mobilize Against Virus,” Associated Press, April 20, 2020; “Germany Takes Rare Step in Putting Syrian Officers on Trial in Torture Case,” New York Times, April 23, 2020)
South Sudan had little time to celebrate the end of its bloody civil in late February before the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world. The civil war left six million people in need of food aid with over 180,000 internally displaced refugees living in United Nations camps. The conflict-ridden African nation, dependent on oil revenue, has only four ventilators— and relies on humanitarian groups to provide health care.
A generation ago, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco was thriving market for fresh, wild-caught seafood, but today the populations of endangered Chinook salmon, smelt and other species are collapsing, reports the Nation magazine. A serious initiative to restore the endangered fish species and waterways along San Francisco Bay’s estuary was blocked by powerful political and agribusiness interests who divert fresh river water to grow crops and supply municipal water systems.
(“The Extinction Crisis Devastating San Francisco Bay,” The Nation, April 4, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.