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Weekly news digest: 16th - 22nd August

Catch up on a selection of global news stories that are affecting children
Catch up on a selection of global news stories that are affecting children

Each week we bring you a selection of the latest news stories from around the world. Focusing on issues that affect children, we look at the themes of education, health, community development and emergencies. Catch up on the news from 16th-22nd August by reading these news summaries, and click-through for related articles.

Haven't had time to catch up the news this week? Don't worry - we've summarised a selection of news stories for you. Special features this week include a picture slideshow of Syria between 2011-2014, and a look at how ICT can support development projects.

Children's rights

SOUTH SUDAN: Violating international law, both government and opposition forces in South Sudan have been recruiting and deploying children in recent fighting which began in December 2013. "South Sudan's army has returned to a terrible practice, once again throwing children into the battlefields. Civilian and military leaders should immediately remove all children from their ranks and return them to their families," said Human Rights Watch. Learn about our work in South Sudan...

Education

NIGERIA: The kidnapping of 200 girls by Boko Haram militants in the northeast of Nigeria shed light on the insecurity-driven education crisis in the area. Since March, all schools have been closed in Borno State - which already had the sixth worst literacy rate out of Nigeria's 36 states. The five-year conflict has worsened the northeast's historically poor social indicators, with more than 42% of children stunted by malnutrition (compared to 16% in southeast), reports IRIN. Learn about our work in Nigeria...

Health

SOS Nursery in Sierra Leone
Ebola remains a threat in West Africa, where our Children's Villages
are taking strict precautions against the outbreak. 

WEST AFRICA: A rising death toll is reported in Guinea. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, where over 1350 people have been killed by Ebola,  reports IRIN. Ethical questions are being asked about using experimental drugs to combat the virus, which carry unknown risks. However in such a crisis, the incentive to use untested medicine is rising. Next rises the question about which patients have priority in using the limited amount of drugs available; medical professionals, children, indigenous people or foreigners? Read how SOS Villages are tackling the Ebola outbreak...

GLOBAL: New research suggests that a double polio vaccine (oral and injection) greatly boosts children's immunity in remote and conflict-torn regions, reports the Guardian. A study in northern India involving 1000 children, followed by a similar study in southern India with 450 children, proved the effectiveness of the double vaccine method. This year, the threat of polio has re-emerged in countries affected by violence, such as Syria, Somalia and Iraq. Though more expensive, a double vaccine may be worth the investment if it helps to eliminate polio in infected areas, says WHO. Read about our healthcare projects around the world...

Community development

Special feature: SMS messages to help mothers give better care for their children; internet access via satellites in remote areas; a computer system for patients' records at a clinic in Kenya: How can ICT support development?

Conflict & natural disaster

Sisters in Damascus
Watch our picture slideshow of Syria from 2011, when the conflict
began, to today. 

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: In the Bambari region of the CAR, thousands of people have been displaced since late June 2014. Currently, the World Food Programme is feeding over 22,000 displaced people per month in Bambari, which is 380km northwest of Bangui, reports AlertNet. Learn about our work in the Central African Republic... 

CÔTE-D'IVOIRE: Children and teenagers who got involved in the 2010-2011 post-election violence are joining youth gangs in the city of Abidjan. Local officials claim that politicians and others used the child fighters to help oust the former president, but abandoned them once the conflict was over. Aged 10-20, they now survive by robbing residents and stall-owners - often using weapons, reports IRIN. Learn about our work in the Ivory Coast...

SYRIA - special feature: In Syria, society's youngest and most vulnerable continue to suffer. To date, the nation's three-year war has forced thousands of families from their homes, often into dangerous, damaged or substandard housing. 

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