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By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   |  27 September, 2018

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Nearly 400,000 deaths from South Sudan conflict. An estimated 383,000 people have died as a result of South Sudan’s five-year civil war, according to a new report by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The researchers used census projections, mortality and other data to determine that half of the estimated deaths were caused by fighting between ethnic rivals while the other half were from disease, hunger and other causes exacerbated by the conflict. The number far surpasses earlier estimates and supports the authors’ argument that the humanitarian response in South Sudan needs to be strengthened. The violence has driven the continent’s largest refugee crisis, forcing a third of the population to flee their homes. Fighting between rebels and government forces resumed less than a week after the signing of South Sudan’s latest peace deal on 13 September. On Monday, rebels attacked a military convoy escorting a group of internally displaced people back to their home area in north-western Wau State.

EU inquiry into possible misuse of refugee funds managed by Greek authorities. The European Anti-Fraud Agency (OLAF) has confirmed that it’s investigating “alleged irregularities concerning the provision of EU-funded food for refugees in Greece” following information submitted by the European Commission’s directorate general of migration and home affairs in 2017. News of the inquiry emerged following the publication of an article in Greek newspaper, Fileleftheros, at the weekend alleging that businesspeople close to Defense Minister Panos Kammenos received some of the EU funding by over-charging for contracts relating to catering and plumbing.


WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR

Time running out to avoid famine in Yemen. Seventeen aid organizations issued a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday warning that 8.4 million Yemenis are on the brink of starvation and that parties to the conflict “continue to deny or delay basic humanitarian services”. In this disturbing video, Al Jazeera reports from northern Yemen, where families with children suffering from severe malnutrition cannot afford to travel to the capital, Sana’a, to access specialist care. There are worries about how long it will take to open a promised humanitarian corridor between Sana’a and Al Hudaydah, where fighting continues to rage.

More businesses commit to helping refugees. From employing thousands of refugees to investing millions of dollars in skills training, technology and educational equipment, this week 20 global companies , including Microsoft, IKEA, H&M, Sodexo and Hilton, announced plans to help thousands of refugees. The new commitments were announced on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at an event hosted by the Tent Partnership for Refugees and the World Bank. Microsoft announced that it will invest US$2 million in a partnership with UNHCR to bring digital learning and training opportunities to refugees, while Hissho Sushi said it would help 1,250 refugees to become franchise owners in locations throughout the United States by 2023.

Photography competition boosts UK campaign to reunite child refugees with families. Proposed legislation that would give child refugees in the UK the right to sponsor close family members to join them passed its second reading in Parliament in March, but the government has been accused of “dragging its heels ” to prevent the Refugee Family Reunion Bill from progressing. Amnesty UK together with UNHCR, Oxfam, the Refugee Council and the British Red Cross yesterday launched a competition to celebrate family life using photos submitted from across the country to create the UK’s Biggest Family Photo Album. The photos will then be presented to the Home Secretary along with a petition urging him to change the rules governing refugee family reunion.


GET INSPIRED

Until recently, South Sudanese refugees living in remote settlements in Uganda struggled to stay in touch with family members back home because of poor or non-existent mobile phone coverage. But over the past year, mobile providers have installed cell towers across the region, bringing mobile coverage and internet to millions of refugees and local Ugandans for the first time.


DID YOU KNOW?

Nearly 190,000 South Sudanese people are thought to have died of violent injuries between December 2013 and April 2018.