World News Brief, Thursday November 14

Aid on way to Philippines, most survivors yet to receive help; China's Communist Party talks reform and economics; far-right rioters disrupt Poland's independence day celebrations; Norway's housing market deflates; and more 

Top of the Agenda: U.S. Sends Warships for Philippines Relief

A U.S. aircraft carrier set sail for the Philippines on Tuesday to help with relief efforts after a typhoon killed thousands this weekend, and should arrive along with four other Navy ships in three days (Reuters). Aid is coming in to Tacloban, the hardest hit city in the Philippines, but the scale of the destruction and the difficult logistics have hindered access, and most survivors have not yet received help (AP). The United Nations launched a $301 million fundraising effort and said more than eleven million people were affected by the storm, with almost 675,000 displaced (BBC).


"The horrific quality of infrastructure in the Philippines—even worse than countries in the region with similar levels of economic development—certainly has made these storms deadlier. Because the Philippines is one of the most unequal and corrupt countries in Asia, funds for housing projects, roads, and seawalls and other public monies routinely vanish into the pockets of political dynasties," writes CFR Senior Fellow Joshua Kurlantzick.

"After the tsunami, villages and towns across Asia abounded with tales of profligate and unnecessary donations. Some survivors reportedly received packages containing ski jackets, Viagra and, in Indonesia, some 75 tons of expired medications. Along this coast, many villages were similarly overwhelmed by an unanticipated windfall of fishing boats," Akash Kapur writes for Bloomberg.

"The scope of destruction is daunting, and there are worrisome signs that the international community faces an uphill struggle to mobilize for it. UNICEF said in a statement Monday that as many as 4 million children in the Philippines have been affected by Haiyan. In the same statement, it said a UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen was sending supplies—water-purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarps—for just 10,000 families," the Washington Post writes in an editorial.


China's Communist Party Chart 'Deep Reform'

Nearly four hundred senior members of China's Communist Party approved a document at a plenary session that would establish a "state security committee" and a "deep reform leadership group," which will focus on the economy (SCMP).

This CFR Backgrounder explains China's ruling party's origins and the challenges it faces.


Rioters disrupt Poland's independence day celebrations

Norway's housing market deflates 

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