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Hi, this is Michelle. As a discreet International Committee of the Red Cross works to get access to hostages held by Hamas and to bring aid to Gazans, its former officials break their silence to talk about what it means to be neutral amid the fighting.

The UN’s aid chief talks about what makes Gaza the worst situation humanitarians have seen in their time. And a landmark decision in New York is not living up to its potential.

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Michelle Langrand


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Health professionals attend a demonstration in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross in London on 9 November, 2023, calling on the organisation to provide aid to the hostages kidnapped from Israel by Hamas on 7 October. (Keystone/AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

⛑️ICRC: What is neutrality’s worth against the bombs? Eleven former ICRC officials who have worked in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories and Lebanon break their oath of silence confronted with the urgency in the Middle East.

Heidi.news (FR)

💭UN aid chief Martin Griffiths: ‘The war in Gaza isn’t halfway through’. The head of the UN’s humanitarian coordination agency shares his disappointment with efforts by warring parties to spare civilians in the ‘worst ever’ humanitarian crisis.

Financial Times (paywall) (EN)

🚧One year on: is the UN ‘humanitarian exception’ from sanctions working? Delays in aid delivery and blocked money transfers to Syria after the earthquake in February are just some of the examples of how countries are failing to implement the Security Council resolution, passed in December 2022.

Devex (EN)

🌽Russia not interested in extending Black Sea grain deal, according to the Russian state news agency RIA. Russia's agriculture minister said that while it is a political decision not to resume the agreement, the country’s grain exports are doing just fine without.

Reuters (EN)

💸Global health spending reached record level during height of Covid pandemic. Countries spent 10.3 per cent of global gross domestic product to fight the health emergency, according to the World Health Organization, with the richest spending $4,001 per person compared to $45 in low-income countries.

Health Policy Watch (EN)

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