Internally displaced Afghan children wait for winter relief assistance from the UN refugee agency at a camp in Kabul. Photograph: Musadeq Sadeq/AP
UN appeals for Afghan refugee aid as harsh winter proves deadly
The deadly struggle with Afghanistan’s bitter winter is only likely to get worse in the coming years, a top UN official warned, as he called for more aid money to be dedicated to emergency relief.
At least two children are already reported to have died from the cold this year in Kabul’s makeshift refugee camps, crammed with tens of thousands of Afghans who have fled violence or desperate poverty, despite a drive by aid groups to prepare for sub-zero temperatures.
“Each family already has two or three people who are sick,” said 77-year-old Shah Ghasi, who has squatted in the Bagh Dawood camp on the outskirts of Kabul for nearly a decade. “We only have hot water to try and keep warm – no stoves, no fuel.”
Last year the bitterest winter in decades caught the country by surprise, and more than 100 children died in the cramped and squalid camps around Kabul. This year there has been a more organised effort to get food, blankets, fuel and medicine to people who sometimes have little more than a sheet of plastic to shelter them from snow and ice.(more…)
Winter cold is setting in in Afghanistan - not good news for IDPs and refugees without access to heat and other services.
We hope you had a restful and joyous New Year! Our project is going well and we’re excited – and to that end, here are some recent stories of Afghanistan, human rights, and markets in the news. Let us know of any interesting or relevant articles or pieces you see in your reading travels!
- Shopkeepers and businesspeople affected by the fire at Kabul’s Mandawi (main commercial district) are exempt from tax for the next 4 years – Wadsam Afghan News Business Portal
- What’s at stake for Afghan women – Gayle Tzemach Lemmon for CNN
- Another Afghan Buddhist archeological site is threatened because it sits on top of a copper mine – NYT
- Afghan government raising tariffs on imported fruit juices in a move to protect local production – Wadsam Afghan News Business Portal
- A beautiful set of photos of Afghan landscapes – Warkadang on Tumblr
- Bleak humanitarian outlook for 2013 in Afghanistan – IRIN
- Afghan refugees living in Kabul battle deadly cold as winter sets in – NYT
- Great photos from a press conference of the Afghanistan Forum for Electoral Reforms – Thru Afghan Eyes
- Insight: Once a symbol of new Afghanistan, can policewomen survive? – Reuters
- Energy Drinks Take Afghanistan By Storm – Radio Free Europe
- Top Human Rights stories on Twitter in 2012 – HRW
- Long road ahead for Afghan women – Heather Barr for HRW
(Photo credit to Frédéric Lagrange: “The grasslands that surround Lake Chaqmaqtin, Afghanistna, sustain herds of goat, sheep, and yak.”)
The Proofreading Primer →
#tips and tricks
Patrick LaForge, New York Times’ editor of news presentation, offers today’s best in Freshest Advices.
In a memo to the paper’s editors and reporters, he offers “proofreading tips culled from years of journalism tip sheets.”
- Break your mind-set: Read the copy out loud. Read it silently, one word at a time. Read it backward and focus on the spelling of words. Print a copy. Preview it in a different application. Change the format or the screen resolution. Justify or unjustify the type. Take a break and return to it with fresh eyes.
- Use spelling checkers but don’t trust them. In particular, be aware of homophone confusion: complement and compliment, accept and except, effect and affect, oversees and overseas.
- Memorize frequently misspelled and misused words. Here’s a list: http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/misspelled.html.
- Beware of contractions and apostrophes: their and they’re, its and it’s, your and you’re.
- After reading for content and spelling, proofread separately for punctuation.
- Beware of doubled words at the end and start of a line. A doubled “that” will often slip right by if you let it.
- Double-check proper names and claims of distinction (first, best, oldest, tallest, etc.).
- Double-check little words that are often interchanged: or, of; it, is.
- Check all the numbers, especially any reference to millions, billions or trillions. Do the math. Do the math again.
- Set aside a regular time to review stylebook and usage rules. This includes backfield editors and reporters. If you don’t want someone to change your story on style grounds (and perhaps introduce an error), learn the basics and follow them.
- Be aware of dates and days of the week, especially in advance copy or copy that has been held. Be aware of references to next month/last month around the time the month is changing.
- Make a personal checklist of the things you tend to miss. Use it on every story.
- Have someone else, preferably a copy editor, read behind you.
Last of all, think of our readers — and care what they think of us.
H/T: Regret The Error.
Editing: it’s important.
(Source: futurejournalismproject, via onaissues)
Piece by piece, Afghanistan reclaims its history
While everyone else is worrying about Afghanistan’s future, a dedicated band of men and women is gathering up its past, hoping that a growing museum collection will show the world Afghan culture is more sophisticated than the tide of news reports suggest.
(click-through for full story)
"So if we are serious about this undertaking, if we really want to achieve parity for women in the workforce, both that they participate and how they participate, then we must remove structural and social impediments that stack the deck against them. Now, I don’t urge this because it is the right thing to do, though I believe that it is, but for the sake of our children and our nations, it is necessary to do. Because a rising tide of women in an economy raises the fortunes of families and nations."
#global development issues
#four for you hilldawg