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Latest reports from the Middle East

SYRIA: US funding offer for NGOs draws mixed reactions

DAMASCUS, 21 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - US funding that has been made available for local pro-democracy NGOs has received mixed reactions from Syrian rights groups.Full report

IRAQ: Thousands of families still displaced after flooding

BAGHDAD, 21 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Nearly 6,000 families forced to leave their homes in the wake of heavy flooding in northern and southeastern Iraq earlier this month remain displaced, mostly due to the destruction of their houses.Full report

YEMEN: Two killed in flash floods

SANA, 21 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Two people were killed and a number of houses destroyed in flash floods that hit the village of Ma’abar, in the southwestern Thamar governorate, on the night of 20 February.Full report

YEMEN: Measles vaccination campaign launched to prevent children’s deaths

SANA, 21 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - A massive vaccination drive against measles began this week in an effort to stamp out a disease that kills between 5,000 and 10,000 Yemeni children ever year. For the first time in the country, the campaign is targeting children over 18 months old as part of a global campaign to eradicate the contagious disease.Full report

EGYPT: Defiant judges charged with “defamation”

CAIRO, 20 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Human rights groups condemned a recent decision by the Higher Judiciary Council to strip three members of the Egyptian Judge’s Club of their right to judicial immunity for calling attention to voting irregularities during recent elections.Full report

IRAQ: Local NGO documents prisoner abuse

BAGHDAD, 20 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - An NGO established this year to assist former prison detainees who have suffered abuses in prison has received an overwhelming initial response. “This organisation has already received nearly 125 reports of prisoner abuse inside Iraqi prisons,” said Khalid Rabia’a, spokesman for the Prisoners’ Association for Justice (PAJ), which officially began its work six weeks ago.Full report

IRAQ: New suspected bird flu infection cases being tested in Iraq

BAGHDAD, 19 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - The Ministry of Health has said it is testing 13 new suspected human cases of the H5N1 virus, known as bird flu, in the southern governorate of Missan and 12 in Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq.Full report

EGYPT: Government appeals for calm after appearance of bird flu among poultry

CAIRO, 19 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - The government appealed for calm after poultry infected with the H5N1 virus, known as bird flu, were detected in three different Egyptian governorates, including the capital, Cairo. “There is no immediate danger,” said a source at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, who requested anonymity. Full report

IRAQ: Loss of oil revenue hampers reconstruction efforts

BAGHDAD, 19 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Attacks on oil pipelines cost the Iraqi economy an estimated US $6 billion in 2005, severely restricting the funding available for post-war reconstruction, according to the Ministry of Oil. Full report

IRAQ: Health alert in south warns of bird flu

BAGHDAD, 16 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - The Iraqi government has raised a health alert in a southern governorate after local laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the H5N1 bird flu virus in dozens of birds in the area.Full report


Year in Brief and Review

LEBANON: Year in Review 2005 - Developments in democracy

LEBANON: Year in Brief 2005 – A chronology of democratic developments

IRIN ME Focuses & Interviews

MIDDLE EAST: Journalists hoping to improve reporting on HIV/AIDS

IRAQ: Activists call on army, police to respect women’s rights

IRAQ: Male homosexuality still a taboo

EGYPT: Islamists appeal for release of prisoners

EGYPT: Interview with Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Essam al-Arian


IRAQ: Briefing paper on food security

IRAQ: Briefing paper on power

IRAQ: Briefing paper on water and sanitation

IRAQ: Briefing paper on Education

IRAQ: Briefing paper on health

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