The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 27 June 2020 :: Number 322

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDFThe Sentinel_ period ending 27 June 2020

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles

UN Charter Day – 26 June 2020 :: Marking 75 Years of the Charter of the United Nations

Global Governance

UN Charter Day – 26 June 2020
Marking 75 Years of the Charter of the United Nations
António Guterres
Ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The Charter of the United Nations has been a constant presence in my life. My awareness of it started with the usual brief introduction to the basics of the United Nations as an organization that many young people receive in school. Later, as my political awareness took shape against the backdrop of military rule in Portugal and my country’s status as a colonial power, the Charter’s calls for self-determination and other freedoms registered with urgency. During the time I spent as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, the Charter’s vision of social justice was equally resonant. In subsequent service as a parliamentarian and then as Prime Minister, I was privileged to have an opportunity to advance not only national progress but one of the Charter’s other main objectives: international cooperation. Across a decade as High Commissioner for Refugees and now in my current role, the Charter’s power inspires me onward every day in serving “we the peoples”, including the most vulnerable members of the human family, who have a special claim on that landmark document’s provisions and protections.

The adoption of the Charter of the United Nations was a pivotal and historic moment. The document enshrined a determination to establish a new international order built with the purpose of avoiding a third world war following two such cataclysms that took place within the space of a single generation. Over the past seventy-five years, the Charter has proven to be a solid yet flexible framework. Its ideals have endured, and its legal foundation has progressively adjusted to new situations and needs. Amidst crisis and complexity, the Charter has remained the touchstone we all refer to and rely upon to uphold our shared responsibilities and achieve our global commitments.

In an era of spreading hatred and impunity, the Charter reminds us of the primacy of human dignity and the rule of law. And in a time of rapid transformation and technological change, the Charter’s values and objectives endure: the peaceful settlement of disputes; the equal rights of men and women; non-intervention, self-determination and the sovereign equality of Member States; and clear rules governing the use of force, as set out in Article 2, paragraph 4, and Chapter VII of the Charter.

These principles are not favours or concessions. They form the bedrock of international relations and are central to peace. They have saved lives, advanced economic and social progress and inspired the further elaboration of international law, encompassing key areas such as human rights, the environment and international criminal justice.

When these principles have been flouted, put aside or applied selectively, the results have been catastrophic: conflict, chaos, death, disillusion and mistrust. Our shared challenge is to do far better in upholding the Charter’s values. One of the most effective ways to fulfil our commitments is to invest in prevention, as envisaged in the Charter’s Chapter VI. Another is by working more closely with regional organizations, as foreseen in Chapter VIII. And while peacekeeping is not mentioned in the Charter, it epitomizes the kind of collective action for peace that the Charter envisions and is an indispensable tool that merits strong international support.

Resilient and visionary, the Charter of the United Nations speaks to all people; it belongs to everyone, everywhere. At a time when the world is wrestling with the COVID-19 pandemic, rising geopolitical tensions and growing climate disruption, the Charter points the way to the solidarity we need today and across generations. As we strive to maintain international peace and security, protect human rights, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthen multilateralism, we must return to fundamental principles; we must return to the framework that has kept us together; we must come home to our Charter.

Ford Foundation Announces Sale and Pricing of Landmark $1 Billion Social Bonds

Philanthropy

Ford Foundation Announces Sale and Pricing of Landmark $1 Billion Social Bonds
Ford’s mission, financial health and stability drove investors to buy first labeled social bond by a nonprofit foundation in the U.S. taxable corporate bond market
23 June 2020
New York, NY – The Ford Foundation announced the pricing and sale of a $1 billion aggregate principal Social Bond (taxable), the net proceeds of which will help support and strengthen nonprofit organizations hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic. This Social Bond is the first-ever such offering by a U.S. nonprofit foundation in the taxable corporate bond market.

The foundation’s bond offering includes 30-year and 50-year maturities, with $300 million maturing in 2050 and $700 million maturing in 2070 at a fixed rate of 2.415% and 2.815%, per annum, respectively. The closing date of the sale is June 25, 2020.

The Ford Foundation Board of Trustees endorsed the social bond issuance as an innovative solution that achieved both objectives of increasing resources for grants and not taking capital out of the endowment at a critical time of market volatility.

“We’ve rarely seen investors both in the U.S and around the world, respond with such enthusiasm to a designated social bond offering of this kind. The Ford Foundation’s Social Bonds began gaining momentum as a “must have” for mission-driven, ESG investors in the U.S. bond market resulting in nearly $3.5 billion of orders during the first week of the marketing process,” said Sally Bednar of Wells Fargo Securities. “The low yields and the successful, rare, 50-year maturity achieved through the bond sale are a strong indication of investor confidence in the Ford Foundation’s stature in the private foundation space, its mission and investors’ appetite for securities with a positive ESG and, in particular, social impact. The 50-year bond maturity is a first of its kind for a U.S. private foundation.”

The net proceeds of the Social Bonds sale will enable the foundation to pay out what equates to more than 10 percent of the value of its total endowment in 2020 and 2021, which is double the level of grantmaking required by law. The foundation’s primary goal will be to stabilize and strengthen key organizations that are advancing the fight against inequality when communities that are most vulnerable have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

“We’re thrilled with the phenomenal response to our offering which generated an initial subscription rate of 5.8X the value of the initial $1 billion social bond issuance. There are 114 investors, many of which were socially mindful, and recognize the economic and societal ramifications of COVID-19 for the nonprofit sector, and Ford Foundation’s unprecedented effort to help sustain these organizations at a critical time in our nation’s history. The proceeds from this offering will help build the resilience and durability of nonprofits who will influence the recovery and reimagine a more just and inclusive society,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation’s Social Bonds, Series 2020 (taxable), were underwritten by joint lead managers Wells Fargo Securities and Morgan Stanley…

Financial Times Opinion :: IMF downgrades are a warning to the world

COVID-19 – Global Economic Impact

Financial Times
Opinion
IMF downgrades are a warning to the world
Fund’s forecasts reflect the fact that the pandemic is not under control
The editorial board
June 25,2020

The IMF has provided a stark warning that the damage coronavirus has done to the global economy is worsening. With the world failing to keep a lid on infections and the focal point of the crisis moving from Europe to the Americas, the fund has lowered the growth forecasts it made in April — which even then forecast the worst contraction since the Great Depression. With the downturn deepening, it is vital that policymakers redouble efforts to avoid further economic collapse, and support the eventual recovery.

While the general mood in Europe is one of relief at the gradual suppression of coronavirus and a determination to enjoy what is left of the summer, the disease is still spreading across the world. Many of the most populous countries such as India and Brazil are seeing rapid increases in the number of deaths. The case count is also rising in the US south and west but so far, mercifully, deaths are not increasing at the same rate. Even many of those countries that appear to have eliminated the virus altogether are occasionally seeing isolated outbreaks and must now learn to live with the virus as a constant presence and potential threat.

This persistence of the pandemic is one reason for the IMF’s downgrades. The fund now expects the world economy to shrink by 4.9 per cent this year, from 3 per cent in its previous set of forecasts. This would “imperil” much of the world’s progress in reducing extreme poverty since the 1990s. Government debt, meanwhile, will surpass the record level it reached during the second world war according to Gita Gopinath, the fund’s chief economist. Projections for next year are weak, too; apart from China, neither advanced nor emerging countries as a group will exceed the pre-crisis peak size of their economy before the end of 2021.

Many factors contributed to the bleaker outlook: the long-term damage to economic potential from the shutdowns is worse than the IMF anticipated, countries currently exiting lockdown will have to persist with social distancing for longer and additional costs to companies will be higher, with new safety and hygiene practices throughout the second half of this year. Moreover, economies now seeing increasing numbers of infections will have to extend lockdowns. The impact of all this is a reduction in global trade and business investment.

The one brighter spot is financial conditions. The efforts of central banks, led by the Federal Reserve, have stabilised capital markets and allowed emerging market governments to raise funds, after the disruption earlier in the year. However the divergence between equity markets and the economy more generally raises the possibility that financial conditions could suddenly worsen if shares drop, leading to a return of disorder in markets.

Monetary and fiscal stimulus is essential to help the world recover. The IMF also, sensibly, calls for countries to resist further escalations in conflict over trade and technology — the US is considering further tariffs on European exports as part of its dispute over the treatment of aircraft maker Airbus. It urges global co-operation, too, to mitigate any repeat of the pandemic and “build on” the fall in carbon emissions.

While lockdowns have reduced the spread of infections in Europe, they have worked less well in many poorer countries where informal economies and multiple generations living in the same household have made it much harder to contain the disease. Poorer countries, too, have far fewer resources to fight it. If the IMF’s forecasts are correct then they are likely to need even more financial assistance. The rich world must ensure they get it.

Global education monitoring report, 2020: Inclusion and education: all means all – UNESCO

Education – Global Assessment

Global education monitoring report, 2020: Inclusion and education: all means all
UNESCO
ISBN: 978-92-3-100388-2
2020 :: 424 pages
HIGHLIGHTS
Identity, background and ability dictate education opportunities.
In all but high-income countries in Europe and Northern America, only 18 of the poorest youth complete secondary school for every 100 of the richest youth. In at least 20 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, hardly any poor rural young women complete secondary school.

Discrimination, stereotyping and stigmatization mechanisms are similar for all learners at risk of exclusion.
While 68% of countries have a definition of inclusive education, only 57% of those definitions cover multiple marginalized groups.

Despite progress, many countries still do not collect, report or use data on those left behind.
Since 2015, 41% of countries, representing 13% of the global population, have not had a publicly available household survey to provide disaggregated data on key education indicators; the region with the lowest coverage is Northern Africa and Western Asia. Recent data from 14 countries using the Child Functioning Module suggest that children with disabilities constitute 15% of the out of school population. They face complex barriers. Those with a sensory, physical or intellectual disability are 2.5 times more likely to have never been in school as their peers without disabilities.

Millions are missing out on the opportunity to learn.
In middle income countries, despite a 25-percentage point increase in the past 15 years, only three quarters are still in school by age 15. Of those, only half are learning the basics, a rate that has been stagnant over the period. And many assessments overestimate how well students are doing: three quarters of students who did no better in multiple choice questions than random guessing were considered proficient in reading in a regional assessment of 15 countries in Latin America.

A key barrier to inclusion in education is the lack of belief that it is possible and desirable.
One in three teachers in 43 mostly upper-middle- and high-income countries in 2018 reported that they did not adjust their teaching to students’ cultural diversity.

While some countries are transitioning towards inclusion, segregation is still prevalent.
In the case of students with disabilities, laws in 25% of countries (but over 40% in Asia and in Latin America and the Caribbean) make provisions for education in separate settings, 10% for integration and 17% for inclusion, the remainder opting for combinations of segregation and mainstreaming. In OECD countries, more than two-thirds of all immigrant students attend schools where at least half the students are immigrants.

Financing needs to target those most in need.
Across 32 OECD countries, socio-economically disadvantaged schools and classrooms are more likely to have less qualified teachers. Conditional cash transfers in Latin America since the 1990s have increased education attainment by between 0.5 and 1.5 years. One in four countries has some form of affirmative action programme to help the marginalized get access to tertiary education. About 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not taken any measures to support learners at risk of exclusion during the Covid-19 crisis.

Teachers, teaching materials and learning environments often ignore the benefits of embracing diversity.
Some 25% of teachers in 48 education systems report a high need for professional development on teaching students with special needs. Just 41 countries worldwide recognize sign language as an official language. In Europe, 23 out of 49 countries do not address sexual orientation and gender identity explicitly in their curricula.

Toward a science of delivering aid with dignity: Experimental evidence and local forecasts from Kenya

Featured Journal Content

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/
[Accessed 27 June 2020]
Toward a science of delivering aid with dignity: Experimental evidence and local forecasts from Kenya
Catherine C. Thomas, Nicholas G. Otis, Justin R. Abraham, Hazel Rose Markus, and Gregory M. Walton
PNAS first published June 24, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1917046117
Significance
A new era of international development aspires to increase the dignity and capabilities of people in poverty. Yet narratives accompanying aid often reinforce stigmatizing views of those in poverty as deficient in their circumstances or ability. We find that typical deficit-focused narratives risk undermining the very goals of aid—to empower recipients to pursue their goals and experience dignity rather than shame. In contrast, narratives crafted to counter stigma and leverage culturally resonant forms of agency enhance recipients’ beliefs in themselves and investment in their skills, without reducing donor support. As models of agency differ across sociocultural contexts, program designers need tools for identifying effective narratives. We present “local forecasting” as a particularly efficient methodology for this need.
Abstract
How can governments and nonprofits design aid programs that afford dignity and facilitate beneficial outcomes for recipients? We conceptualize dignity as a state that manifests when the stigma associated with receiving aid is countered and recipients are empowered, both in culturally resonant ways. Yet materials from the largest cash transfer programs in Africa predominantly characterize recipients as needy and vulnerable. Three studies examined the causal effects of alternative aid narratives on cash transfer recipients and donors. In study 1, residents of low-income settlements in Nairobi, Kenya (N = 565) received cash-based aid accompanied by a randomly assigned narrative: the default deficit-focused “Poverty Alleviation” narrative, an “Individual Empowerment” narrative, or a “Community Empowerment” narrative. They then chose whether to spend time building business skills or watching leisure videos. Both empowerment narratives improved self-efficacy and anticipated social mobility, but only the “Community Empowerment” narrative significantly motivated recipients’ choice to build skills and reduced stigma. Given the diverse settings in which aid is delivered, how can organizations quickly identify effective narratives in a context? We asked recipients to predict which narrative would best motivate skill-building in their community. In study 2, this “local forecasting” methodology outperformed participant evaluations and experimental pilots in accurately ranking treatments. Finally, study 3 confirmed that the narrative most effective for recipients did not undermine donors’ willingness to contribute to the program. Together these studies show that responding to recipients’ psychological and sociocultural realities in the design of aid can afford recipients dignity and help realize aid’s potential.

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) :: Preserving our future by protecting wildlife health

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) [to 27 June 2020]
https://www.oie.int/en/for-the-media/press-releases/2020/
Press Releases
Preserving our future by protecting wildlife health
Today more than ever, the international health community recognises the importance of maintaining a global perspective and foresight on wildlife health and biodiversity and their inextricable connection with veterinary and human public health.

Paris, 22 June 2020 – Anthropogenic impact on the environment alters the delicate balance of ecosystems and their health. The recent spillover events, such as SARS and Ebola, have been associated with poorly regulated or managed wildlife trade and the lack of awareness of risks associated to human contact with potential reservoirs or intermediate hosts. Therefore, the suggestion that COVID-19 originated in wildlife highlights the importance of addressing health risks at the human-animal-ecosystem interface, as well as the need for integrated surveillance systems, all while preserving animal welfare and biodiversity.

Whether in the wild or in captivity, the health of wildlife represents a key component of global health. The OIE Working Group on Wildlife, formed in 1994, informs and advises the OIE on this matter. An overview of the main activities carried out by the group over last year is presented…

Improving wildlife disease surveillance
Wildlife disease surveillance allows early detection of potentially impactful animal and human health threats and implementation of appropriate control measures. This can only be achieved by timely reporting the occurrence of wild and domestic animal diseases. The OIE Working Group on Wildlife regularly encourages countries to notify wildlife diseases through the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) – Wild platform…

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Donors Launch International Alliance to Connect Research Data Sources and Enable Collaboration

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Donors Launch International Alliance to Connect Research Data Sources and Enable Collaboration
International COVID-19 Data Research Alliance and Workbench will bring together data to
accelerate the search for new therapies to fight the pandemic and save lives

SEATTLE, JUNE 26, 2020 – The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator donors and partners today announced the formation of the International COVID-19 Data Research Alliance to accelerate clinical research on COVID-19. Composed of academic institutions, research organizations, life sciences and technology companies, and philanthropies, the International Alliance was created to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the promise for use across other health conditions, including readiness for future pandemics.

Accelerator donors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Mastercard, Minderoo Foundation, and Wellcome, will be founding members of the International Alliance. It will be managed by Health Data Research UK, a national institute for health data science with expertise in harnessing data at scale to improve people’s lives, working in partnership with alliance partners from life science companies, academic institutions and clinical research organizations from around the world.

The current pandemic has prompted a great deal of research, but there are few environments where data sets generated by previous studies and trials can be accessed to inform research and development efforts. These data sets could address key questions about the course of COVID-19, how it impacts the body, and what treatments might be effective. In many cases, relevant data sets exist, but researchers cannot easily access or link them for integrated analysis. The International Alliance will provide a variety of ways for researchers to collaborate on data—from pooled to federated analyses—for trustworthy, privacy-protected, and ethical research as determined by a governance board of global specialists in the field.

“In a pandemic, the pathogen has the upper hand. We know very little about it, so access to information becomes an important commodity,” said Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Gates Foundation. “By entering into agreements on data sharing up front, we can avoid wasting time going down blind alleys, ultimately saving lives by getting definitive answers to key questions more quickly. This grant to form an international data alliance will accelerate efforts and provide a legacy for future collaboration on pandemics. We encourage others to join us and the other founding partners in this important initiative.”…

An Analytical Workbench for Scientific Inquiry
The Workbench will connect to regional and national data infrastructures used by International Alliance members, such as data generated by Therapeutics Accelerator-funded trials, pharmaceutical industry partners, the national BREATHE health data research hub in the United Kingdom, SAIL Databank and others to be confirmed in the coming months. The Workbench, developed by Aridhia Informatics, will enable the discovery of data relevant for answering priority questions from its own repository and federated repositories, and will provide a secure location where analysts can work collectively on a target research hypothesis. Data access and use will be conducted in accordance with the governance requirements of individual data controllers from countries around the world, in a transparent and ethical manner. Authorized users will be able to bring their data to the Workbench and collaborate with others in a secure environment. The Workbench will be designed to encourage and enable responsible data use, including transparency, ethical review, privacy, and data protection…

EMERGENCIES: Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

WHO – Situation report – 158
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
26 June 2020
Confirmed cases :: 9 653 048
Confirmed deaths :: 491 128
Countries, areas or territories with cases :: 216

Highlights
:: On 25 June, Health Minister Jens Spahn of Germany, and Solidarity and Health Minister Olivier Veran of France, visited WHO headquarters. During a press briefing they expressed their solidarity and additional support to both COVID-19 response and WHO’s core programmes.

Yesterday the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was declared over after nearly two years. The WHO Regional Office for Africa and partners are now building on the Ebola response to tackle COVID-19 in the country. Additionally, WHO is supporting other countries in Africa as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates in the region.

:: In a press briefing yesterday, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, spoke about COVID-19 in the region and how digital technology and artificial intelligence can empower people and play a leading role in optimizing efforts to control transmission of the disease.

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Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Final Statement on the 8th meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005)
26 June 2020 Statement
Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu) on 26 June 2020
…Conclusions and Advice
The Committee agreed that the current situation in the Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu provinces no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
The Committee emphasized the importance of continued donors’ funding and human resources to operationalize the 90-day day national response plan.
The Committee provided the following advice to the Director-General for his issuance as revised Temporary Recommendations, in accordance with Article 15(1) of the IHR (2005) “…Temporary Recommendations may be modified or extended as appropriate, including after it has been determined that a public health emergency of international concern has ended, at which time other temporary recommendations may be issued as necessary for the purpose of preventing or promptly detecting its recurrence […] These Temporary Recommendations shall automatically expire three months after their issuance.” …

…Based on this advice, the report made by the affected State Party and the currently available information, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on 26 June 2020 declared the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for this event…

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25 June 2020 News release
10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared over; vigilance against flare-ups and support for survivors must continue
Today marks the end of the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This long, complex and difficult outbreak has been overcome due to the leadership and commitment of the Government of the DRC, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), a multitude of partners, donors, and above all, the efforts of the communities affected by the virus.

WHO congratulates all those involved in the arduous and often dangerous work required to end the outbreak, but stresses the need for vigilance. Continuing to support survivors and maintaining strong surveillance and response systems in order to contain potential flare-ups is critical in the months to come.

“The outbreak took so much from all of us, especially from the people of DRC, but we came out of it with valuable lessons, and valuable tools. The world is now better-equipped to respond to Ebola. A vaccine has been licensed, and effective treatments identified,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We should celebrate this moment, but we must resist complacency. Viruses do not take breaks. Ultimately, the best defence against any outbreak is investing in a stronger health system as the foundation for universal health coverage.”

The outbreak, declared in North Kivu on 1 August 2018, was the second largest in the world, and was particularly challenging as it took place an active conflict zone. There were 3470 cases, 2287 deaths and 1171 survivors.

Led by the DRC Government and the Ministry of Health and supported by WHO and partners, the more than 22-month-long response involved training thousands of health workers, registering 250 000 contacts, testing 220 000 samples, providing patients with equitable access to advanced therapeutics, vaccinating over 303 000 people with the highly effective rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine, and offering care for all survivors after their recovery.

The response was bolstered by the engagement and leadership of the affected communities. Thanks to their efforts, this outbreak did not spread globally. More than 16 000 local frontline responders worked alongside the more than 1500 people deployed by WHO. Support from donors was essential, as was the work of UN partner agencies, national and international NGOs, research networks, and partners deployed through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. Hard work to build up preparedness capacities in neighbouring countries also limited the risk of the outbreak expanding…

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Ebola Outbreak in DRC 98: 23 June 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
In Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, no new confirmed cases of EVD have been reported since 27 April 2020…

Conclusion
Tuesday 23 June 2020 marks 41 days with no new cases of EVD since the Ministry of Health began its 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of the EVD outbreak in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu. Maintaining a robust surveillance system in order to detect, isolate, test and treat new suspected cases as early as possible will remain crucial for this response even after the declaration of the end of the outbreak, as will be coordination, among partners, authorities and communities and EVD survivor advocacy .

POLIO :: WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 24 June 2020
:: Dr Fiona Braka, Immunization Team Lead for WHO Nigeria, speaks about fighting polio outbreaks and toppling gender barriers.

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: three WPV1 cases, two WPV1 positive environmental samples and fourcVDPV2 cases
:: Pakistan: two WPV1 cases, and five WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Cameroon: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Chad: 23 cVDPV2 cases
:: Côte d’Ivoire: eight cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Togo: two cVDPV2 cases

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 27 June 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 98: 23 June 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 27 June 2020]
Burkina Faso [in French]
:: L’OMS appuie la construction des unités de triage des patients dans la lutte contre le COVID 19 21 juin 2020

Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 27 June 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – Page not responding at inquiry
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Recent Developments in Northwest Syria – Situation Report No. 16 – As of 26 June 2020

Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
::  26 June 2020 Zimbabwe Situation Report, 26 June 2020

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

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The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 20 June 2020 :: Number 321

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDF:The Sentinel_ period ending 20 June 2020

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles

UK Prime Minister announces merger of Department for International Development and Foreign Office

Development Governance

UK Prime Minister announces merger of Department for International Development and Foreign Office
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces merger of Department for International Development and Foreign Office.
Updated: 17 June 2020
The Prime Minister has announced that DFID and the FCO will merge, uniting development and diplomacy in one new department that brings together Britain’s international effort.

Work will begin immediately on the merger. The new department – the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – will be established in early September and will be led by the Foreign Secretary.

The merger is an opportunity for the UK to have even greater impact and influence on the world stage as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic and prepare to hold the G7 presidency and host COP26 next year.

UK aid will be given new prominence within our ambitious international policy. The Foreign Secretary will be empowered to make decisions on aid spending in line with the UK’s priorities overseas, harnessing the skills, expertise and evidence that have earned our reputation as a leader in the international development community.

The UK is the only G7 country to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas development and the Government remains committed to this target, which is enshrined in law.

Announcing the new department, the Prime Minister said:
:: This is exactly the moment when we must mobilise every one of our national assets, including our aid budget and expertise, to safeguard British interests and values overseas.
:: And the best possible instrument for doing that will be a new department charged with using all the tools of British influence to seize the opportunities ahead…

UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund announces its largest investment of startups in developing and emerging economies

Development Finance

UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund announces its largest investment of startups in developing and emerging economies
Among the awardees are companies expanding work to use their technologies to mitigate the hardships of COVID-19 on children and youth

New York, 19 June 2020 – Eight technology companies in developing and emerging economies will receive investment from the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund (CryptoFund) to solve local and global challenges.

The CryptoFund will invest 125 ETH in the eight companies – from seven countries – to develop prototypes, pilot, or scale their technologies over six months: Afinidata, Avyantra, Cireha, Ideasis, OS City, StaTwig, Somleng and Utopic.

All investees have previously received up to $100,000 from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund and are now receiving cryptocurrency to continue the development of their open-source and digital public goods.
Within the scope of their technology, several investees are working to mitigate the hardships of COVID-19 on children and youth around the world. They are collaborating with national governments and local partners to send vital messages on COVID-19, track the effectiveness of rice delivery to vulnerable communities, improve children’s literacy through remote learning, treat pandemic and isolation-related anxieties, and other vital solutions.

“We are seeing the digital world come at us more quickly than we could have imagined – and UNICEF must be able to use all of the tools of this new world to help children today and tomorrow,” says Chris Fabian, Senior Adviser, co-Lead, UNICEF Ventures. “The transfer of these funds – to eight companies in seven countries around the world – took less than 20 minutes and cost us less than $20. Almost instant global movement of value, fees of less than 0.00009% of the total amount transferred, and real-time transparency for our donors and supporters are the types of tools we are excited about.”

Afinidata (Guatemala) is further developing its AI-based app to provide parents with personalized early childhood educational activities.
Avyantra (India) is expanding the functionality of its health app which uses data science to support frontline health workers in the early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis.
Cireha (Argentina) is scaling the reach of its accessible app in three countries to help more children with speech impairments communicate using symbols.
Ideasis (Turkey) is transitioning its exposure therapy tool from VR to WebVR to address anxieties and phobias from users’ homes. They will develop new therapy scenarios to address COVID-19 and isolation-related disorders.
OS City (Mexico) is issuing blockchain-based government assets, heading towards issuing 1,000 blockchain IDs to allocate children’s educational diplomas.
StaTwig (India) is piloting its blockchain-based app by partnering with the Government of India to track and improve the delivery of rice and support their effort to secure food for millions living in poverty – a need amplified by the onset of COVID-19.
Somleng (Cambodia) is scaling its low-cost Interactive Voice Response platform by partnering with the Government of Cambodia to send vital information about COVID-19.
Utopic (Chile) is transitioning its learning game from VR to WebVR and empowering educators to assess, track, and help improve children’s reading skills from their homes during COVID-19 containment measures and beyond.

Selected from almost 40 startups that have graduated from the UNICEF Innovation Fund, these eight companies have undergone technical evaluations, quality assessments of their open-source tech solutions, evidence of impact and more. They join three other grantees that received the Fund’s first cryptocurrency investment last year.

Besides funding, investees receive business growth mentorship, product, and technical assistance, open-source and UX and UI development, access to experts and partners, as well as opportunities to showcase their solutions…

Landscape-scale forest loss as a catalyst of population and biodiversity change

Featured Journal Content

Science
19 June 2020 Vol 368, Issue 6497
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl
Research Articles
Landscape-scale forest loss as a catalyst of population and biodiversity change
By Gergana N. Daskalova, Isla H. Myers-Smith, Anne D. Bjorkman, Shane A. Blowes, Sarah R. Supp, Anne E. Magurran, Maria Dornelas
Science19 Jun 2020 : 1341-1347 Restricted Access
Declines in forest cover amplify both gains and losses in plant and animal population abundance and diversity over time.
Land-use change and forest biodiversity
Land-use change by humans, particularly forest loss, is influencing Earth’s biodiversity through time. To assess the influence of forest loss on population and biodiversity change, Daskalova et al. integrated data from more than 6000 time series of species’ abundance, richness, and composition in ecological assemblages around the world. Forest loss leads to both positive and negative responses of populations and biodiversity, and the temporal lags in population and biodiversity change after forest loss can extend up to half a century. Land-use change precipitates divergent population and biodiversity change. This analysis has consequences for projections of human impact, ongoing conservation, and assessments of biodiversity change.

Abstract
Global biodiversity assessments have highlighted land-use change as a key driver of biodiversity change. However, there is little empirical evidence of how habitat transformations such as forest loss and gain are reshaping biodiversity over time. We quantified how change in forest cover has influenced temporal shifts in populations and ecological assemblages from 6090 globally distributed time series across six taxonomic groups. We found that local-scale increases and decreases in abundance, species richness, and temporal species replacement (turnover) were intensified by as much as 48% after forest loss. Temporal lags in population- and assemblage-level shifts after forest loss extended up to 50 years and increased with species’ generation time. Our findings that forest loss catalyzes population and biodiversity change emphasize the complex biotic consequences of land-use change.

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Review
Climate-driven risks to the climate mitigation potential of forests
By William R. L. Anderegg, Anna T. Trugman, Grayson Badgley, Christa M. Anderson, Ann Bartuska, Philippe Ciais, Danny Cullenward, Christopher B. Field, Jeremy Freeman, Scott J. Goetz, Jeffrey A. Hicke, Deborah Huntzinger, Robert B. Jackson, John Nickerson, Stephen Pacala, James T. Randerson
Science19 Jun 2020
Risks to mitigation potential of forests
Much recent attention has focused on the potential of trees and forests to mitigate ongoing climate change by acting as sinks for carbon. Anderegg et al. review the growing evidence that forests’ climate mitigation potential is increasingly at risk from a range of adversities that limit forest growth and health. These include physical factors such as drought and fire and biotic factors, including the depredations of insect herbivores and fungal pathogens. Full assessment and quantification of these risks, which themselves are influenced by climate, is key to achieving science-based policy outcomes for effective land and forest management.
Structured Abstract
BACKGROUND
Forests have considerable potential to help mitigate human-caused climate change and provide society with a broad range of cobenefits. Local, national, and international efforts have developed policies and economic incentives to protect and enhance forest carbon sinks—ranging from the Bonn Challenge to restore deforested areas to the development of forest carbon offset projects around the world. However, these policies do not always account for important ecological and climate-related risks and limits to forest stability (i.e., permanence). Widespread climate-induced forest die-off has been observed in forests globally and creates a dangerous carbon cycle feedback, both by releasing large amounts of carbon stored in forest ecosystems to the atmosphere and by reducing the size of the future forest carbon sink. Climate-driven risks may fundamentally compromise forest carbon stocks and sinks in the 21st century. Understanding and quantifying climate-driven risks to forest stability are crucial components needed to forecast the integrity of forest carbon sinks and the extent to which they can contribute toward the Paris Agreement goal to limit warming well below 2°C. Thus, rigorous scientific assessment of the risks and limitations to widespread deployment of forests as natural climate solutions is urgently needed…

Lower socioeconomic status and the acceleration of aging: An outcome-wide analysis

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PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/
Research Article
Lower socioeconomic status and the acceleration of aging: An outcome-wide analysis
Andrew Steptoe and Paola Zaninotto
PNAS first published June 15, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1915741117
Significance
Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is a determinant of many of the health problems that emerge at older ages. The extent to which lower SES is associated with faster decline in age-related functions and phenotypes independently of health conditions is less clear. This study demonstrates that lower SES (defined by wealth) is related to accelerated decline over 6 to 8 y in 16 outcomes from physical, sensory, physiological, cognitive, emotional, and social domains, independently of diagnosed health conditions, self-rated health, education, and other factors. It provides evidence for the pervasive role of social circumstances on core aging processes and suggests that less affluent sectors of society age more rapidly than more privileged groups.
Abstract
Aging involves decline in a range of functional abilities and phenotypes, many of which are also associated with socioeconomic status (SES). Here we assessed whether lower SES is a determinant of the rate of decline over 8 y in six domains—physical capability, sensory function, physiological function, cognitive performance, emotional well-being, and social function—in a sample of 5,018 men and women aged 64.44 (SD 8.49) y on average at baseline. Wealth was used as the marker of SES, and all analyses controlled for age, gender, ethnicity, educational attainment, and long-term health conditions. Lower SES was associated with greater adverse changes in physical capability (grip strength, gait speed, and physical activity), sensory function (sight impairment), physiological function (plasma fibrinogen concentration and lung function), cognitive performance (memory, executive function, and processing speed), emotional well-being (enjoyment of life and depressive symptoms), and social function (organizational membership, number of close friends, volunteering, and cultural engagement). Effects were maintained when controlling statistically for other factors such as smoking, marital/partnership status, and self-rated health and were also present when analyses were limited to participants aged ≤75 y. We conclude that lower SES is related to accelerated aging across a broad range of functional abilities and phenotypes independently of the presence of health conditions and that social circumstances impinge on multiple aspects of aging.

The potential impact of COVID-19 in refugee camps in Bangladesh and beyond: A modeling study

Featured Journal Content

PLoS Medicine
http://www.plosmedicine.org/
(Accessed 20 June 2020)
Research Article
The potential impact of COVID-19 in refugee camps in Bangladesh and beyond: A modeling study
Shaun Truelove, Orit Abrahim, Chiara Altare, Stephen A. Lauer, Krya H. Grantz, Andrew S. Azman, Paul Spiegel
| published 16 Jun 2020 PLOS Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003144
Abstract
Background
COVID-19 could have even more dire consequences in refugees camps than in general populations. Bangladesh has confirmed COVID-19 cases and hosts almost 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, with 600,000 concentrated in the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Site (mean age, 21 years; standard deviation [SD], 18 years; 52% female). Projections of the potential COVID-19 burden, epidemic speed, and healthcare needs in such settings are critical for preparedness planning.
Methods and findings
To explore the potential impact of the introduction of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Site, we used a stochastic Susceptible Exposed Infectious Recovered (SEIR) transmission model with parameters derived from emerging literature and age as the primary determinant of infection severity. We considered three scenarios with different assumptions about the transmission potential of SARS-CoV-2. From the simulated infections, we estimated hospitalizations, deaths, and healthcare needs expected, age-adjusted for the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Site age distribution. Our findings suggest that a large-scale outbreak is likely after a single introduction of the virus into the camp, with 61%–92% of simulations leading to at least 1,000 people infected across scenarios. On average, in the first 30 days of the outbreak, we expect 18 (95% prediction interval [PI], 2–65), 54 (95% PI, 3–223), and 370 (95% PI, 4–1,850) people infected in the low, moderate, and high transmission scenarios, respectively. These reach 421,500 (95% PI, 376,300–463,500), 546,800 (95% PI, 499,300–567,000), and 589,800 (95% PI, 578,800–595,600) people infected in 12 months, respectively. Hospitalization needs exceeded the existing hospitalization capacity of 340 beds after 55–136 days, between the low and high transmission scenarios. We estimate 2,040 (95% PI, 1,660–2,500), 2,650 (95% PI, 2,030–3,380), and 2,880 (95% PI, 2,090–3,830) deaths in the low, moderate, and high transmission scenarios, respectively. Due to limited data at the time of analyses, we assumed that age was the primary determinant of infection severity and hospitalization. We expect that comorbidities, limited hospitalization, and intensive care capacity may increase this risk; thus, we may be underestimating the potential burden.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that a COVID-19 epidemic in a refugee settlement may have profound consequences, requiring large increases in healthcare capacity and infrastructure that may exceed what is currently feasible in these settings. Detailed and realistic planning for the worst case in Kutupalong-Balukhali and all refugee camps worldwide must begin now. Plans should consider novel and radical strategies to reduce infectious contacts and fill health worker gaps while recognizing that refugees may not have access to national health systems.

Author summary
Why was this study done?
:: Forcibly displaced populations, especially those who reside in settlements with high density, poor access to water and sanitation, and limited health services, are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
:: Bangladesh, which has confirmed COVID-19 cases, hosts almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the Cox’s Bazar district, approximately 600,000 of whom are concentrated in the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Site.
:: The capacity to meet the existing health needs of this population is limited; an outbreak of COVID-19 within this population threatens to severely disrupt an already fragile situation.
:: We conducted this study to estimate the number of people infected, hospitalizations, and deaths that might occur in the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Site to inform ongoing preparedness and response activities by the Bangladesh government, the United Nations agencies, and other national and international actors.

What did the researchers do and find?
:: Using a dynamic model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, we simulated how a COVID-19 outbreak could spread within the expansion site according to three possible transmission scenarios (high, moderate, and low).
:: Our results suggest that a large-scale outbreak is very likely in this setting after a single infectious person enters the camp, with 0.5%–91% of the population expected to be infected within the first three months and over 70%–98% during the first year, depending on the transmission scenario, should no effective interventions be put into place.
:: Hospitalization needs may exceed the existing hospitalization capacity of 340 beds 55–136 days after introduction.

What do these findings mean?
:: A COVID-19 epidemic in a high–population density refugee settlement may have profound consequences, requiring increases in healthcare capacity and infrastructure that exceed what is feasible in this setting.
:: As many of the approaches used to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in the most affected areas so far will not be practical in humanitarian settings, novel and untested strategies to protect the most vulnerable population groups should be considered, as well as innovative solutions to fill health workforce gaps.

Editorial :: Global governance for COVID-19 vaccines — The Lancet

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Jun 20, 2020 Volume 395 Number 10241 p1883-1948, e107-e111
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Editorial
Global governance for COVID-19 vaccines
The Lancet
The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered serious gaps in the health-care systems of many nations. In particular, it exposes a fragmented global governance system that does not have the structures to coordinate the pooling and sharing of resources needed to combat pandemics. Since the early days of the pandemic, medical protectionism has emerged as nations scrambled for their own stocks of personal protective equipment and ventilators. COVID-19 vaccines could be the next example. Already there is a danger of a vaccine bidding war, with governments competing for a limited number of doses, well before a vaccine even reaches the market.

Enormous amounts of public money and resources poured into vaccine research and development have resulted in more than 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates, ten of which are now in clinical trials. The most advanced candidate is AZD1222, first developed by researchers at the University of Oxford with public and philanthropic funds from CEPI and subsequently licensed to AstraZeneca. Last month, the UK Government boosted its national vaccine programme with £65·5 million towards AZD1222. In return, 30 million doses will be reserved for people in the UK by September, as part of an agreement to deliver 100 million doses in total. The US Government too set aside US$1·2 billion to secure 300 million doses of the same vaccine for use in the USA as part of the national programme Operation Warp Speed to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 medical countermeasures. But neither a nationalist nor a free-market-driven approach will lead to equal access to vaccines.

In June, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands formed the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance to persuade pharmaceutical companies to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible and affordable to EU member states. A portion of vaccines will be made available to low-income countries, including in Africa; yet how big this portion will be, which countries will benefit from it, and who will make these decisions are less clear. Many middle-income countries might be left out.

Political leaders, including Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and Xi Jinping, have rightly called for COVID-19 vaccines to be a global public good—a people’s vaccine, available to all. At the Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, world leaders including those from the UK, Germany, and Canada, together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pledged $750 million to AstraZeneca for 300 million doses of AZD1222 on a no-profit basis, as part of the Gavi Covax Advance Market Commitment. The Serum Institute of India will also produce up to 1 billion doses for low-income and middle-income countries. Covax’s initial aim is to raise $2 billion to accelerate the manufacture of a COVID-19 vaccine on a huge scale and to distribute it according to need, rather than ability to pay.

This commitment is commendable. It delivers a powerful message to governments and vaccine developers that if legally binding, solid measures are put in place, and money pledged, vaccines can be made available and affordable universally. However, many big questions remain. Have the funders agreed to equitable access? How will the vaccines be priced? Will governments commit to sharing vaccines according to fair allocation rules being developed by WHO? Can technology be transferred royalty-free to multiple manufacturers? “The question of who will get priority access to vaccines is core to the global public interest, we need to get the governance of these decisions right, otherwise there will be tremendous resentment and unnecessary deaths, not to mention decreased capacity to get this pandemic under control”, Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Health Centre at The Graduate Institute (Geneva, Switzerland), told The Lancet. Transparency in such decisions is fundamental.

There is a urgent need for new arrangements at the global level to facilitate the development, finance, production, and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Controlling the pandemic demands global cooperation. The nationalist and competitive approaches taken by a few high-income countries to get hold of a small supply of vaccines could result in excessive casualties in other parts of the world. Global solidarity is needed instead, and resources must be pooled and shared. Gavi Covax is a step in the right direction.

It is imperative that more governments and pharmaceutical companies agree to shoulder the costs of vaccine research and manufacturing, and to share data and technologies. They need to commit to WHO allocation guidelines and cooperate globally to distribute vaccines fairly to those at greatest risk. A pandemic vaccine needs strong global governance behind it.

Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

The Guardian, Sat 20 Jun 2020 08.42 EDT Last modified on Sat 20 Jun 2020 16.18
Coronavirus outbreak
‘The pandemic is accelerating’: WHO warns of dangerous coronavirus phase – video
The World Health Organization has announced the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating and more than 150,000 cases of Covid-19 were reported in one day on Thursday, the highest single-day number so far.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director general, told reporters in Geneva refugees were particularly at risk from the pandemic and that nearly half of the newly reported cases were in the Americas, with significant numbers from South Asia and the Middle East.
[Video: 02:03]

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WHO – Situation report – 152
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  20 June 2020
Confirmed cases :: 8 525 042
Confirmed deaths :: 456 973
Countries, areas or territories with cases :: 216

Highlights
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros, in his regular media briefing yesterday, highlighted that today is World Refugee Day and highlighted the risks of COVID-19 for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. He also stressed the shared duty to do everything we can to prevent, detect and respond to transmission of COVID-19 among refugee populations.

WHO has published ‘Criteria for releasing COVID-19 patients from isolation’ which provides an update to previous guidance. The updated criteria reflect recent findings that patients whose symptoms have resolved may still test positive for the COVID-19 virus for many weeks. Despite this positive test result, these patients are not likely to be infectious and therefore are unlikely to be able to transmit the virus to another person.

WHO has published an Emergency Global Supply Chain System (COVID-19) catalogue. This catalogue lists all medical devices, including personal protective equipment, medical equipment, medical consumables, single use devices, laboratory and test-related devices that may be requested through the COVID-19 Supply Portal.

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Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 97: 16 June 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
In Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, no new confirmed cases of EVD have been reported since 27 April 2020.
From 8 to 14 June 2020, an average of 2975 alerts were reported and investigated each day. Of these, an average of 274 alerts were validated as suspected cases each day, requiring specialized care and laboratory testing to rule out EVD. In the past week, there have been a stable number of daily alerts reported throughout active sub-coordinations. Timely testing of suspected cases continues to be provided from eight laboratories. From 8 to 14 June 2020, 3219 samples were tested, including 2513 blood samples from alive, suspected cases; 324 swabs from community deaths; and 382 from re-tested patients. None of them tested positive. The number of samples tested by the laboratories increased by 3% compared to the previous week…

Conclusions
Investigations into the origin of the last cluster of cases in Beni Health Zone are ongoing in
collaboration with the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale. There are challenges in EVD
response activites due to limited resources given the other local and global emergencies. Maintaining a robust surveillance system in order to detect, isolate, test and treat new suspected cases as early as possible remains crucial. Continued coordination, communication among partners, authorities and communities along with EVD survivor advocacy are also essential.

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