Text messaging is an excellent way to reach out to people during disasters, Tim Large writes. But badly coordinated plans can create unrealistic expectations from the affected communities and create headaches for aid workers, he argues.
The United Nations and others will be participating in Tuesday's conference in London on moving Somalia forward. The Somali government is keen to rebuild the country to stave off assaults from Islamist insurgents.
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday voted to open an assistance mission office in Somalia to help the country rebuild its government. The UN won't be sending peacekeepers, leaving that role to the African Union.
The Democratic Republic of Congo's Katanga province has been inaccessible to aid workers for months, leading to severe malnutrition of the population. "There is a lack of basic services in every sector -- health, water, nutrition and agriculture -- and the conflict and displacement make an already bad situation much worse," says UNICEF's Quoc Nguyen.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council are discussing diplomatic ways to end the Syrian conflict. Ban is being urged by diplomats to take a more active role in solving the Syrian crisis as it seems likely that UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will resign, diplomats say.