How to improve health for Myanmar's ethnic minorities
Developing existing ethnic minority health systems could be part of the solution, but it would require government recognition and international support. full report
Peshawar killings provoke crackdown on Afghans
5 February 2015
Thousands of Afghans in Pakistan have been arrested or moved from their homes of many years in the wake of December’s killing of over 100 schoolchildren in the city of Peshawar. The Afghans, the majority of whom are not registered refugees, have been targeted in a government crackdown announced immediately after the killings.
Opening up? Sri Lanka's new government confronts legacy of war
3 February 2015
Sri Lanka’s new government says it will tackle sensitive issues relating to the civil war that ended in May 2009, including allegations of human rights abuses, missing persons and political prisoners. But it still insists international investigators are not welcome.
Sri Lanka's NGOs test limits of new freedoms
28 January 2015
The surprise victory of Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka's recent presidential election could signal an easing of restrictions on NGOs and activists working in the conflict-scarred north. Early indications suggest the highly sensitive issue of the thousands still missing after the end of the war is now no longer politically taboo. But will the new space for discussion lead to concrete action?
Myanmar’s reform roller coaster
23 January 2015
MSF's announcement that it has resumed operations in Rakhine state is welcome news. But the space for humanitarian agencies shifts in line with Myanmar's stumbling reform process. And in an election year, it could become an increasingly bumpy ride.
Accountability after Haiyan
21 January 2015
When Typhoon Haiyan swept across the central Philippines in November 2013, the emergency response was a test case for the aid industry's aspiration to be accountable to affected populations. What lessons were learnt?
Vietnamese asylum cases test Cambodia
30 December 2014
Cambodia’s actions in the ongoing case of a group of Vietnamese ethnic minorities suggests the country’s capacity and willingness to protect asylum seekers remains weak. A group was transferred to the capital, Pnom Penh, in recent weeks to have their claims processed which, refugee advocates say, will be a “test” for the Cambodian government as it prepares to welcome some 1,000 refugees from Australian detention centres.
Aceh's unfinished recovery
26 December 2014
In a guest post, Lilianne Fan with Overseas Development Institute examines the fallout of the Indian Ocean tsunami, which released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs and devastated coastal towns and communities. The impact was global in scale - an estimated 270,000 people killed or missing across 14 countries, with casualties in 46 nations. But while the tsunami’s destruction was felt around the world, Aceh was by far the region most devastated by the disaster, bearing almost half of the total damage and losses worldwide.
Sri Lanka, the tsunami and the evolution of disaster response
24 December 2014
On the morning of 26 December 2004, Mohideen Ajeemal, a fish distributor from Sainathimaruthu, a village on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast, hurriedly climbed a coconut tree to escape rapidly rising seawater. As he did so he saw his young daughter and son struggling to save themselves. “I found both bodies later that afternoon. My son’s body was swept away about a mile, my daughter’s had got stuck in a fence,” he said.