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DGI Brief - Sep 2, 2016

Happy Friday to all. Today's top 5 global issues news are about #Myanmar #USA #Syria #Haiti and a #GoodStoryFriday about #Jordan

- MYANMAR: Representatives of the Wa ethnic group, with a 20,000-strong, heavily armed United Wa State Armed walked out of peace talks on Thursday citing discrimination for being accredited only as observers & not being allowed to address the Union Peace Conference. The Wa declared a ceasefire in 1989 in exchange for territory bordering China, now the hub of drug production & trafficking. Other groups at the peace talks deny the Wa were treated unfairly. Why this matters: the plan is to negotiate peace for a formation of a federal state where all ethnic groups are represented. With a major (& armed) group not participating, the fragile dance of diplomacy & peace is threatened. Or at least prolonged. Unnecessarily.

- USA: What does the increased demand for guns signify? The 2nd largest US gunmaker Smith & Wesson declared profits of $87.6 million in its latest quarterly report – a period including the Orlando mass shooting & Dallas police shootings. That is a 49% jump. 2.2 million firearm background checks were processed just this July, compared to 1.6 million last year. Why this matters: Are people buying guns out of fear of ‘bad guys’ with guns? That’s a race to the bottom.

Photo source: Liberty Upward

- SYRIA: The Syrian government has been using the tactic of besieging areas while destroying all key infrastructure including hospitals & finally their brutality is bearing ‘fruit’ – after the fall of Daraya last week, Moadamiyeh suburb with estimated 28,000 residents joined this week. Under the surrender conditions, people may leave for government-controlled areas while fighters must either lay down arms or go elsewhere. Why this matters: such appalling tactics of starving your own people into submission are causing forced displacement. It seems to be winning wars despite the global outcry about its inhumanity & immorality. What can we do about it?

- HAITI: The punishing 5-month-long strike by medical professionals across dozens of government hospitals finally came to an end on Thursday after the government agreed to meet the demands for increased pay & improved working conditions. Why this matters: public health needs to be a greater priority for the Haitian government that spends only 4.7% of its budget on healthcare. Malnutrition & disease are widespread with cholera epidemic still raging & Zika virus claiming its first birth of a child with microcephaly recently.

- #GoodStoryFriday The Kingdom of JORDAN is opening doors to all Syrian refugee children to go to school. The massive enrollment program will allow over 90,000 children attend school who weren’t able to before. Only 145,000 refugee children found space in Jordanian schools the previous year. Jordan has made some important strides in refugee assistance, providing access to legal work & education, as part of joined efforts with partners to discourage migration to Europe. The open school program needs about $1 billion over 3 years to double schools with second shifts, build 500 more classrooms & 300 new schools & hire 5,000 teachers. Thus far only $80 million of the pledged funds were received, not enough for the program to last the entire school year. Why this matters: Dear donors, this is truly a priority, we cannot have a “lost generation”.

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