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IRAQ-SYRIA: WFP food aid for Iraqi IDPs, refugees in Syria
8 January 2008 (IRIN ), Iraqi officials and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have welcomed the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) emergency operation announced on 3 January to provide food aid to displaced Iraqi families.
ISRAEL: Immediate action taken to contain avian flu, officials say
6 January 2008 (IRIN ), On 3 January, the veterinary institute in the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that the potentially deadly H5N1 virus was found in dead birds at a local zoo in an isolated location in the town of Binyamina. A teacher at a nearby kindergarten noticed the dead birds and alerted the veterinary services.
ISRAEL-AFRICA: African asylum-seekers detained in "harsh conditions"
3 January 2008 (IRIN ), Some 1,000 African asylum-seekers, including over 200 women and children, are being detained in Ktsiyot prison in Israel's Negev desert. Some have been held for up to six months.
YEMEN: Residents of Sanaa slum battle disease, lack of water
3 January 2008 (IRIN ), Salwa Mohammed Hassan, her sick husband and seven children live in one of the poorest slums in Sanaa, known as Mahwa Aser. According to a local leader who preferred anonymity, Mahwa Aser has a population of over 17,000 living in some 1,500 haphazardly constructed stone houses and tin shacks without basic services and asphalt roads. A local doctor said 70 percent of residents had diseases of one sort or another.
EGYPT: No bird flu pandemic despite recent deaths - health officials
3 January 2008 (IRIN ), Four humans have died of bird flu in Egypt in the past week but health officials deny the country is gripped by an influenza pandemic.
IRAQ-SYRIA: Starving to survive: Iraqi refugees resort to desperate measures
2 January 2008 (IRIN ), Iraqi Fatima Ahmaji earns money to feed her family in Damascus by starving herself. Living with her two children in a bare room in Sayeda Zeinab, the Iraqi-majority suburb of Damascus, Fatima does not eat from dawn until dusk on behalf of people who have missed days of fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
IRAQ: Islamic extremists target women in Basra
2 January 2008 (IRIN ), One hundred and thirty-three women were killed last year in Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, either by religious vigilantes or as a result of so-called “honour” killings, a report said on 31 December.
IRAQ: Government to give financial aid to displaced in north
31 December 2007 (IRIN ), Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered financial support for all Kurdish families driven from their homes in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in the wake of Turkish bombardments on rebel hideouts, his office said on 30 December.
ISRAEL-OPT: Aida refugee camp residents say Barrier harming their livelihoods
31 December 2007 (IRIN ), Behind a luxurious five-star hotel and close to Bethlehem, yet unknown to most visitors who converged on nearby Manger Square for the recent Christmas mass, residents of Aida refugee camp - home to nearly 5,000 people - say their lives have been adversely affected by the Israeli restrictions on movement, in particular the Barrier built around the city.
ISRAEL-OPT: Pollution without borders
30 December 2007 (IRIN ), In what should be a dry river bed at this time of year, grey water flows, revealing the extent to which the River Hebron, which runs from the West Bank into Israel, is polluted. The stench underlines the problem.

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