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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Outside Iona: Mar. 21

Photo courtesy of Haitham ImadEPA, via Shutterstock. Displaced Palestinians waited to receive donated food on Mar. 12, the second day of Ramadan.

Amidst eruption of gang violence, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Haiti
Adrian Vazquez    News Editor 

On Feb. 29, a wave of ongoing gang violence reverberated across Haiti. Now, 1 million of Haiti’s 11 million population people are nearing famine, according to the United Nations. The Feb. 29 attacks have crippled the relief efforts of aid groups like Food for the Hungry, a cash-based program that helps about 25,000 families by sending them money. With hospitals, banks and other critical city infrastructure raided or seized by gangs, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding with its focal point in the capital of Port-au-Prince. There are young kids in the streets with heavy automatic weapons,” radio broadcaster Blondine Tanis said. “They shoot people and burn their bodies with no remorse… Are they even human?” 

Information from NPR, AP News, New York Times.  

The political upheaval in Haiti has triggered a new humanitarian crisis : NPR 

Hunger soars and aid dwindles as gangs in Haiti suffocate the country | AP News 

A Humanitarian Crisis Is Rapidly Unfolding in Haiti – The New York Times (nytimes.com) 


With dwindling aid and rising violence, civil war in Syria enters 14th year  

Adrian Vazquez    News Editor 

After years of stagnation, violence surged in Syria. In retaliation to a drone strike on a military academy, government forces and allied Russian forces bombarded the opposition-held northwest, striking hospitals and camps for displaced persons. Israeli-launched drone strikes targeting Iran-linked targets in government-held areas have also resulted in civilian casualties. Starting in 2011 with a government repression of democratic, Arab Spring inspired protests, multifaction civil war has gripped Syria. David Carden, the United Nations Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria crisis, notes that of the more than $5 billion requested in the UN humanitarian plan in 2023, only 38% of the funds was received. “There are 4.2 million people in need in northwest Syria, and 2 million of those are children, of whom 1 million are not going to school,” Carden explained. “This is a lost generation.” 

Information from AP News, Voice of America News, The Washington Post.  

Violence in Syria is on the rise while aid is flagging as the civil war enters its 14th year | AP News 

Syria’s Plight Seems Forgotten as Nation Enters 14th Year of Civil War (voanews.com) 

Violence in Syria is on the rise while aid is flagging as the civil war enters its 14th year – The Washington Post 


In hard-pressed Rafah, uncertainty looms as Israel is poised to expand its offensive  

Adrian Vazquez    News Editor 

Most of Gaza’s 2.2 million people shelter in the Governate of Rafah, pressed between the advance of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in the north and the closed Egyptian border in the south. A sea of makeshift tents and scattered families hunkered in schools populates Rafah, previously home to only 300,000 people before the war. Rafah’s largest hospital, Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital, can no longer provide services like MRIs, intensive care and CT scans. Painkillers are scarce, and dialysis treatment is so reduced that multiple patients with kidney diseases have died. Israel’s chief military spokesman has indicated there is a plan to move those in Rafah to designated “humanitarian islands”, but no concrete plan has been shown to U.S. officials. 

Information from New York Times, UN News, AP News.  

Gazans Struggle to Find Food and Shelter in Rafah as Israeli Invasion Threat Looms – The New York Times (nytimes.com) 

Gaza: Rafah ground assault would increase risk of atrocity crimes | UN News 

Israel plans to direct Palestinians out of Rafah ahead of planned offensive | AP News 

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Adrian Vazquez
Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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