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DGI Brief - Oct 19, 2016

Good Wednesday, everyone. Today's top 5 global issues news are about #Haiti #Iraq #Turkey #SouthSudan and #Ukraine.

- HAITI: Government & UN officials report with concern the damage of 11 of 33 hospitals & most of the cholera treatment centers in in the most hard-hit regions (Grand’Anse, Nippes & Sud), as well as 34 of 212 centers for treatment of acute diarrhea countrywide. There are over 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, 40% of them are children. Why it matters: Already impoverished, the Haitian population is faced with severe food insecurity, clean water shortage & malnutrition and the devastation of livelihoods, shelter & infrastructure will further exacerbate the bleak sanitation situation that allows cholera & other diseases to thrive.

- IRAQ: The Mosul operation enters its 3rd with great advances on the ground by the entire coalition of forces – Iraqis, Kurds, Sunni & Shi’a militias. Thus far, the number of civilians fleeing the areas is manageable – around 5,000 per day. But groups are concerned about a mass exodus of around 1.3 million people as the fight to retake Mosul intensifies. Military officials estimate the operation will take several months. Meanwhile, people fear that Shi’a militias will take revenge on Sunni populations & resort to mass executions like they did when Fallujah & Ramadi were freed of ISIS. Why it matters: Retaking Iraqi territory from ISIS is the only commonality among these very unlikely allies. But what will happen as the liberation progresses? Infighting for power is very likely – a nightmare scenario given the enormity of the situation for humanitarian agencies. Is there a plan for “after ISIS”?

- TURKEY’s minister for EU affairs, Omer Celik, insisted that the EU-Turkey migrant deal to stop migrants & refugees from reaching the EU shores could collapse by the end of the year if EU doesn’t grant visa-free travel for Turkish citizens. Why it matters: Turkey wants it all, refusing to deliver on the deal’s requirement that it amend its anti-terror laws. It claims that it faces terrorism from multiple fronts & such amendment would threaten both Turkey & Europe’s security. EU is, fortunately, not buying it, clearly seeing Turkey label every possible opposition group as terrorist & erasing, little by little, traces of democracy & basic freedoms. But who will give in, given Turkey cozying up with Russia lately?

- SOUTH SUDAN’s ceasefire monitor reports “near-daily violations” on both sides including “egregious violations of human rights” that include killing of civilians & gang rapes. Why it matters: The ceasefire has always been fragile, as if the warring sides didn’t care for peace. The UN says that South Sudanese government is delaying “as much as possible” deploying additional 4,000 peacekeepers as recently agreed. Meanwhile the Security Council members noted the amount of money South Sudan spends of weapons & with the exception of Russia, does support an arms embargo. Another game of chess for Russia.

- UKRAINE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Holland & Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met in Berlin for the first time after more than a year to press for progress in the stalled Ukraine peace process. Why it matters: Although expectations about the outcomes of this meeting were extremely low & hopes for any significant breakthrough even lower, the fact that the “Normandy Four” actually came for discussions is important – as long as there is dialogue, there can be change.

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