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By Kristy Siegfried | 12 June, 2019


Uganda confirms first cross-border Ebola cases. The World Health Organization and Uganda’s health ministry confirmed on Tuesday that a five-year-old boy who had visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his family to attend his grandfather’s funeral was diagnosed with the Ebola virus. A Ugandan health ministry official told AFP today that the boy has since died and that two of his family members have tested positive for the virus. They are the first confirmed cases in Uganda since an outbreak started in neighbouring DRC last August. Since then, more than 2,000 cases have been reported, resulting in nearly 1,400 deaths. The boy had been isolated with family members at an Ebola treatment facility in Bwera near the border. In a statement, Uganda’s health ministry said the child’s mother was Congolese, but that she was married to a Ugandan and the family lived in Uganda. The DRC’s health ministry alerted colleagues in Uganda when the family returned there. The family was found at a hospital near the border, where they were seeking treatment for the child.

Mistrial declared in case of US aid worker who helped migrants. An Arizona judge on Tuesday declared a mistrial in the case of aid worker Scott Warren, who was charged with three felonies for providing aid to two undocumented migrants near the US-Mexico border. After three days of deliberations, the jury were unable to reach a verdict on the case. Warren, who volunteers with a faith-based group called No More Deaths that leaves water and food for migrants and asylum-seekers traversing the Arizona desert, had faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Eight other volunteers with the group have been charged with crimes related to their work, but only Warren faced more serious felony charges.


Displaced Yazidi farmers struggle to restart livelihoods. When ISIS captured Iraq’s Sinjar region in 2014, they burned and destroyed crops, machinery and property belonging to Yazidi farmers. PRI reports on the efforts of Yazidi farmers to restore their livelihoods after years living in IDP camps. The risk of landmines left behind by ISIS in farmers’ fields is one of many obstacles they face. In the absence of government support, a pilot project launched by the NGO Nadia’s Initiative, founded by Yazidi Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, is helping some Yazidi farmers to rehabilitate their fields. In a statement at the weekend, Murad said wildfires had destroyed large swathes of agricultural land in Sinjar on Saturday night, killing two young men and causing heavy crop losses.

Mental illness affects a fifth of people living in war zones. More than one in five people living in conflict zones suffers from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, according to a report by the World Health Organization published in the UK medical journal The Lancet. The findings, which draw on data from 39 countries, suggest that previous studies underestimated the burden of mental health conditions in war zones. Study author Mark van Ommeren, a mental health specialist at the WHO, said the findings add more weight to calls for increased and sustained investment in mental health services for people living through conflict and its aftermath.

Financial services company launches initiative to help refugee entrepreneurs. Square, the payments company co-founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has launched an initiative to enable UK-based refugee entrepreneurs to accept card and mobile payments, to help their businesses get off the ground. Square will partner with The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network to give participants card readers, training and to waive transaction fees. Speaking at a London Tech Week event, Dorsey told Reuters that nothing the company did was more important than “serving folks like refugees, who are just getting started…and just need a little bit of help”. Dorsey said Square could seek similar partnerships elsewhere.


In this film by the International Cricket Council, Afghan cricketer Mohammad Nabi talks about returning from living as a refugee in Pakistan to help Afghanistan’s national cricket team become a force in world cricket.


In the past year, the lack of agreement between EU Member States on where refugees and migrants rescued in the Central Mediterranean can disembark has left 2,433 people stranded at sea for a combined total of 140 days.