UN Security Council Resolution: Syria – unhindered humanitarian access across conflict lines and borders

Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2139 (2013) to Ease Aid Delivery to Syrians, Provide Relief from ‘Chilling Darkness’ (22 February 2014)

Secretary-General Welcomes Security Council Adoption of Resolution on Syria, but Says It Should Not Have Been Needed as Humanitarian Aid Not Negotiable (22 February 2014)

Joint Statement :: Humanitarian, Human Rights and Peace Groups welcome unanimous Security Council Resolution demanding unhindered humanitarian access across conflict lines and borders, urge swift implementation 
22 Feb 2014
A coalition of 17 international Humanitarian, Human Rights and Peace Groups welcome today’s unanimous Security Council resolution demanding safe and unhindered humanitarian access – including across conflict lines and across borders –  to people in need throughout Syria.

Today’s action by the Security Council is an important step towards getting desperately needed aid to millions of Syrians, including a quarter of a million who are trapped in besieged communities. However, this resolution will only be meaningful if it results in real, substantial changes on the ground in Syria…

…Getting aid to all those in need in Syria in the midst of an ongoing conflict is a complex and dangerous challenge. But the test of whether this resolution is being implemented is fairly simple, and requires real progress by all parties, in the next 30 days, on five central points at a minimum:

1. Lifting of sieges on populated areas and ensuring all people in besieged communities have safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid;

2. Opening of border crossings from neighbouring countries for deliveries of life-saving aid by both the UN and NGOs;

3. Stream-lined procedures for approving humanitarian aid convoys and prompt approval of requests for convoys to travel to hard-to-reach areas;

4. Cessation of attacks on schools and hospitals and the demilitarization of these facilities, as well as the facilitation of free passage for all medical personnel and equipment;

5. Cessation of indiscriminate use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and any methods of warfare which do not respect the obligation under international humanitarian law to distinguish between civilian populations and combatants.

The Security Council’s resolution is a diplomatic breakthrough; it is not yet a humanitarian breakthrough. This will require the swift translation of the Council’s strong, shared words into meaningful action. For the sake of more than 9 million suffering Syrians, we call on all parties to act immediately on the Security Council’s demands and we call on Security Council members to be firm in ensuring the rapid implementation of the resolution.
Full text: http://www.rescue.org/press-releases/joint-statement-18322

Center for Victims of Torture; Center for Civilians in Conflict; Christian Aid; Conectas Human Rights; Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect; Human Rights Watch; International Rescue Committee; Islamic Relief Worldwide; Médecins du Monde; Norwegian Refugee Council; PAX; Pax Christi International; People in Need; Save the Children; Solidarités International; Syrian American Medical Society; Tearfund; World Vision International

Collaboration in Response to Disaster — Typhoon Yolanda and an Integrative Model

New England Journal of Medicine
February 19, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1315960

Collaboration in Response to Disaster — Typhoon Yolanda and an Integrative Model
Ofer Merin, M.D., M.H.A., Yitshak Kreiss, M.D., M.H.A., M.P.A., Guy Lin, M.D., Elon Pras, M.D., and and David Dagan, M.D.

The powerful typhoon that struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013, was the strongest in local history, causing massive destruction and affecting 25 million people.1 More than 5000 people were confirmed dead, 22,000 were still reported missing when our team arrived in the country, and many others had lost their homes. The damage to the infrastructure left many areas without running water and electricity and caused total devastation in others. Some hospitals were shut down altogether, and some continued to work at partial capacity, leaving many of the injured without access to medical assistance. Various countries and relief organizations responded by sending medical supplies and personnel.2 Our delegation, from Israel, was assigned by the Philippine government to provide medical assistance to the city of Bogo (population, 75,000), which had been severely affected by the storm.

Five days after the catastrophic event, the delegation’s 147 members landed on the island of Cebu with 80 tons of supplies and set out for the Severo Verallo Memorial District Hospital, which serves more than 250,000 people living in the region. This 80-bed hospital had a staff of five physicians and included an emergency room, a single operating room, a delivery room, four wards (pediatrics, maternity, male, and female), and basic laboratory and x-ray facilities. When we arrived, the hospital had no electricity, no running water, and about 120 hospitalized patients. The operating room, laboratory, and x-ray apparatus were not functional, and the two physicians assigned to each shift were struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of patients.

Foreign medical teams customarily arrive at a disaster zone and follow the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for field hospitals, which recommend being “entirely self-sufficient.”3 Our team has had experience in relief missions throughout the world and had previously deployed as a freestanding, self-sufficient field hospital. In such instances, we followed a model of “nonintegrative collaboration,” which is especially suitable for a chaotic area with a nonfunctioning infrastructure. This time, however, we realized that we’d entered an unusual situation in which there was a local system in place. We decided to rethink our standard operating procedure and combine our physical setup with the local structure and our medical and auxiliary staff with the local staff in order to provide the most benefit. Thus, we created a model of “fully integrative collaboration.”

With the support of the local health care administrators, we deployed our field hospital to abut the local one, thereby creating one integrated medical facility. We were familiar with and respected the need to be sensitive to cultural differences and language barriers, but we had always functioned as a tightly knit and independent unit. Although we had brought advanced medical supplies that were not available locally, and our team included 25 physicians representing most medical subspecialties as well as first-class logistics support, we had to relinquish sole authority for decisions regarding use of our own and other supplies. In order to overcome the basic differences between our military unit and the local civilian facilities, we needed to quickly improvise and establish a model of cooperation; the protocol we developed had four major parts, and both teams agreed to adhere to it.

Patients would first be seen at our field hospital, where they would be triaged. Those who needed to be hospitalized (including candidates for surgery) would first be stabilized and then be admitted, with the concurrence of a local physician.

Open discussions between the two teams were held to establish clear lines of responsibility regarding patient care. It was agreed that registering, documenting, evaluating, and treating potential outpatients would be carried out solely by the Israeli staff, whereas inpatients would be the responsibility of the local staff, with the assistance of the Israeli team. By unanimous agreement, a senior physician from the Israeli team was assigned to act as the principal coordinator. Morning inpatient rounds would be conducted by a combined team, but the documentation and physician’s orders would be written and executed by the local team. The responsibility for auxiliary services, including laboratory work, imaging, and pharmacy services for both inpatients and outpatients, was assigned to the Israeli team.

A protocol for the use of the operating room was established that specified that priority would be given to nonelective procedures (e.g., lifesaving or limb-saving procedures) and any surgery for conditions associated with unrelenting pain. Indications for surgery would be approved by a local physician and at least two senior physicians from the Israeli team. Surgical procedures would be performed by surgeons from both teams after written informed consent had been obtained from the patient by a local physician. Given the limited quantities of free medications, which would last only a short time, the combined teams decided not to offer pharmacologic treatment to the many outpatients with chronic diseases (e.g., hypertension or diabetes mellitus) but instead to have the Israeli team explain to patients the nature of their condition and offer suggestions for risk-factor modification.

It went without saying that reimbursement would be entirely in the hands of the local medical system, since our mission was a humanitarian one. The local authorities decided that patients who did not need to be hospitalized would not be charged, but hospitalized patients would continue to pay the usual fees even if they had been partially treated by our team.

During the 10 days of our joint operation, we were able to provide medical assistance to about 300 new patients daily, for a total of 2686 cases. These results were achieved thanks to the full cooperation and coordination between the two teams. Our primary mission has always been to treat the victims, and this time we aimed to do so in partnership with the local medical team.    We could also provide assistance in rebuilding the local hospital, in restoring electricity by means of generators, and in leaving many much-needed supplies, including a mobile x-ray machine, an autoclave, and a large quantity of pharmaceuticals.

Our experience suggests that the WHO guidelines3 are sound and appropriate when there is a total collapse of the local medical infrastructure. When the local facility is partly functional, however, there are important short- and long-term benefits to integrating foreign teams with the local units. Foreign medical groups that blend with local ones can quickly gain the trust of the local population. A merged model allows the deployment of functioning parts of the local facility. In the Philippines, we also observed that a cooperative model facilitates departure; after treating hundreds of patients every day, we were able to hand over care to our local partners and a small medical group that had arrived from Austria, Germany, and Slovakia, rather than abruptly discontinue medical assistance.

It is always easier to be in full control of these kinds of operations, especially when the balance of experience lies on the side of the “guest” team. Following a cooperative model may pose some challenges, particularly if the visiting team must strike compromises regarding either its own beliefs about the best management of care or important administrative issues, such as patient responsibility or setting up priorities for triage. In this instance, however, by relinquishing our well-established habit of operating as a highly independent unit, we found that, when feasible, a cooperative model can have additional and important benefits for the victims of a disaster.

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.
This article was published on February 19, 2014, at NEJM.org.
Source Information
From the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps Field Hospital, Tel Hashomer (O.M., Y.K., G.L., E.P., D.D.); the Department of Cardiac Surgery, Trauma Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center (O.M.), and the Department of Military Medicine (Y.K.), Hebrew University, Jerusalem; the Trauma Unit, Meir Medical Center, Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, Kfar Saba (G.L.); and the Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan (E.P.) — all in Israel.

UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2014

UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2014

February 2014
Humanitarian Action for Children highlights the situation of children and women living in the most challenging circumstances, outlines the support required to help them survive and thrive, and shows the results UNICEF and its partners have achieved and are working towards.
Overview: http://www.unicef.org/appeals/files/HAC_Overview_2014_WEB.pdf

Every year, UNICEF responds to the needs of children in more than 250 humanitarian situations around the world – delivering medicines, vaccines, safe drinking water and other life-saving assistance, as well as ensuring that children have a safe learning environment and are protected from harm, abuse and exploitation…

Gender at Work: A Companion to the World Development Report on Jobs

Gender at Work: A Companion to the World Development Report on Jobs
World Bank Group
February 2014

:: Women around the world are more economically excluded than men.
:: Social norms affect women’s work by dictating the way they spend their time and undervaluing their potential.
:: Legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014—Women around the world still face huge, persistent gender gaps at work, according to a new report by the World Bank Group, which calls for bold, innovative measures to level the playing field and unleash women’s economic potential.

By virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men, according to Gender at Work. Trends suggest women’s labor force participation worldwide has stagnated over the past 30 years, dropping from 57 to 55 percent globally, despite accumulating evidence that jobs benefit women, families, businesses, and communities.

“The reasons for this will differ from country to country, but we think that the persistence of norms—which means that women don’t have as much choice over their livelihoods as men—as well as legal barriers to work are both playing important roles,” said Jeni Klugman, World Bank Group Gender and Development Director.

A companion to the 2013 World Development Report on jobs, the report notes that since women face multiple constraints to jobs, starting early and extending throughout their lives, progressive, broad-based, and coordinated policy action is needed to close gender gaps. Common constraints include lack of mobility, time, and skills, exposure to violence, and the absence of basic legal rights.

Gender at Work also finds that legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work. Restrictive laws can hinder women’s ability to access institutions, own or use property, build credit, or get a job. In 15 countries, women still require their husbands’ consent to work.

To address these inequalities, the report recommends governments target actions that cover a woman’s life cycle—saying interventions that focus only on women of productive age start too late and end too early….

Prespective: Why ageing is an issue for emerging markets

Prespective: Why ageing is an issue for emerging markets
Toby Porter
World Economic Forum Blog  Feb 12th 2014
Toby Porter is Chief Executive Officer of HelpAge International, a global movement for the rights of older people.

One in every two children born today will see their 104th birthday. This was just one of many remarkable predictions that former US Vice-President Al Gore placed in front of participants at the recent World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos.

The implications of population ageing have been high on the Forum agenda for many years. It’s an issue that’s multi-dimensional, complex and, above all, pressing: By 2030 there will be 1 billion people over the age of 60; more than children under 10.

The degree of success in reshaping our world around population ageing will define the civil, economic and political rights of an increasingly large segment of the world’s population. It’s not yet clear how institutions will adapt, particularly those delivering health, care and social security services. What is sure, however, is that this reshaping will be felt by hundreds of millions of older people, and alter the relationship and expectations between state and individual in developed economies in the next few decades.

The Annual Meeting is one of the few places where the top representatives of governments, business and civil society can convene around such a key issue as health. Take the discussion on dementia, for example, which brought together the world’s top experts on Alzheimer’s and other dementias, government and private healthcare providers, along with CEOs of major pharmaceutical companies and venture capital firms that invest in new medicines. They were joined by experts on social security, senior politicians and top civil servants.

I left Davos with two impressions. The first was how we deal with the implications of people living longer lives. We don’t yet have the answers, but many critical questions are being asked of politicians, businesses and society at large. And second, is how we need to more systematically include developing countries in these discussions.

In many of the fastest emerging economies, social security infrastructures are taking shape, offering some degree of health, care and economic security for their older citizens. In countries such as Brazil and South Africa, for example, basic pensions have had a noticeable impact on the poverty of older people and also of the households in which they live. The picture for some of these societies is, however, mixed, with India yet to translate its growing wealth into a secure old age for the one-third of older Indians which the government estimates to be living in poverty.

But what about the hundreds of millions of older people in countries where hardly any such services or social security architecture exist? By 2050, 80% of the world’s population over 60 will be living in developing countries.

The older age to which they can look forward to will depend, as it does in the rich world, on the priorities set by governments and societies. Again, the picture is mixed, with some countries outperforming their economic status in terms of their provision for older people, while others lag behind in the Global AgeWatch Index.

Everyone is talking about inclusion, yet older people in the poorest contexts continue to be excluded. The oft-quoted adage that poor countries “are growing old before they grow rich” just doesn’t bear scrutiny. It’s a political choice, not a matter of fiscal inevitability to rule out older people from early inclusion in social security systems. Even countries with limited resources can decide to support their citizens throughout life, ensuring a reasonable quality of life in old age.

I left Davos knowing that the most important contribution that the HelpAge network can make is to redouble our advocacy efforts to ensure that future discussions around population ageing are truly global, relevant and ultimately have a positive impact on the lives of older people wherever they are living.

The Mobile-Finance Revolution – How Cell Phones Can Spur Development

The Mobile-Finance Revolution – How Cell Phones Can Spur Development
Jake Kendall, Rodger Voorhies
Foreign Affairs – March/April 2014 Issue

The roughly 2.5 billion people in the world who live on less than $2 a day are not destined to remain in a state of chronic poverty. Every few years, somewhere between ten and 30 percent of the world’s poorest households manage to escape poverty, typically by finding steady employment or through entrepreneurial activities such as growing a business or improving agricultural harvests. During that same period, however, roughly an equal number of households slip below the poverty line. Health-related emergencies are the most common cause, but there are many more: crop failures, livestock deaths, farming-equipment breakdowns, even wedding expenses.

In many such situations, the most important buffers against crippling setbacks are financial tools such as personal savings, insurance, credit, or cash transfers from family and friends. Yet these are rarely available because most of the world’s poor lack access to even the most basic banking services. Globally, 77 percent of them do not have a savings account; in sub-Saharan Africa, the figure is 85 percent. An even greater number of poor people lack access to formal credit or insurance products. The main problem is not that the poor have nothing to save — studies show that they do — but rather that they are not profitable customers, so banks and other service providers do not try to reach them. As a result, poor people usually struggle to stitch together a patchwork of informal, often precarious arrangements to manage their financial lives.

Over the last few decades, microcredit programs — through which lenders have granted millions of small loans to poor people — have worked to address the problem. Institutions such as the Grameen Bank, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, have demonstrated impressive results with new financial arrangements, such as group loans that require weekly payments. Today, the microfinance industry provides loans to roughly 200 million borrowers — an impressive number to be sure, but only enough to make a dent in the over two billion people who lack access to formal financial services.

Despite its success, the microfinance industry has faced major hurdles. Due to the high overhead costs of administering so many small loans, the interest rates and fees associated with microcredit can be steep, often reaching 100 percent annually. Moreover, a number of rigorous field studies have shown that even when lending programs successfully reach borrowers, there is only a limited increase in entrepreneurial activity — and no measurable decrease in poverty rates. For years, the development community has promoted a narrative that borrowing and entrepreneurship have lifted large numbers of people out of poverty. But that narrative has not held up.

Two trends, however, indicate great promise for the next generation of financial-inclusion efforts. First, mobile technology has found its way to the developing world and spread at an astonishing pace. According to the World Bank, mobile signals now cover some 90 percent of the world’s poor, and there are, on average, more than 89 cell-phone accounts for every 100 people living in a developing country. That presents an extraordinary opportunity: mobile-based financial tools have the potential to dramatically lower the cost of delivering banking services to the poor.

Second, economists and other researchers have in recent years generated a much richer fact base from rigorous studies to inform future product offerings. Early on, both sides of the debate over the true value of microcredit programs for the poor relied mostly on anecdotal observations and gut instincts. But now, there are hundreds of studies to draw from. The flexible, low-cost models made possible by mobile technology and the evidence base to guide their design have thus created a major opportunity to deliver real value to the poor…


WHO: 140,000 people to get cholera vaccine in South Sudan

WHO: 140,000 people to get cholera vaccine in South Sudan
News release – Excerpt
22 February 2014 | GENEVA – WHO is working with the South Sudan Government and partners to provide vaccines to protect nearly 140,000 people living in temporary camps in South Sudan against cholera.

The vaccines come from an emergency stockpile managed by WHO, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and UNICEF. It is the first time the stockpile, created in 2013 by WHO, is being activated.

Although currently there is not a cholera outbreak, people displaced by the recent conflict and living in the camps are at risk due to poor sanitary conditions and overcrowding.

Starting today, 94,000 people will be vaccinated in the Minkaman camp, Awerial County, targeting displaced people and host communities, followed by vaccination campaigns in camps based in Juba, covering an additional 43 000 people.

Two doses of vaccine are required for an individual to be protected. The campaign begins with an initial round of vaccinations followed by – after a required 14 day interval – a second round of doses, which will complete the vaccination. For such a campaign to be effective, it is vital that a second dose is administered and this factor has led to the decision to begin with Minkaman, Awerial County, and Juba camps.

“Minkaman camp in Awerial County and Juba camp have been selected because of the relative stability of the situation and easier access in those places,” says Dr Abdinasir Abubakar, from WHO’s Disease Surveillance and Response team, in South Sudan. “We are also looking at other camps, and once the accessibility and security improves, we will expand the cholera vaccination campaigns into these areas. We will be reviewing the situation day by day.” …

WHO Fact sheet N°378: Immunization coverage

WHO Fact sheet N°378: Immunization coverage
Updated February 2014

Key facts
:: Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including diphtheria, measles, pertussis, pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.
:: Global vaccination coverage is holding steady.
:: Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year.
:: But an estimated 22.6 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines.

Immunization averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. Global vaccination coverage—the proportion of the world’s children who receive recommended vaccines—has remained steady for the past few years. For example, the percentage of infants fully vaccinated against diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) has held steady at 83% for the last three years.

During 2012, about 110.6 million infants worldwide got three doses of DTP3 vaccine, protecting them against infectious diseases that can cause serious illness and disability or be fatal. By 2012, 131 countries had reached at least 90% coverage of DTP3…


AMREF [to 23 February 2014]

AMREF  [to 23 February 2014]

AMREF partners with WHO to encourage integration of TB into various programmes
The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently launched ENGAGE-TB.  This is an approach that seeks to integrate community-based TB activities into the work of NGOs and CSOs. To this end, a 5-day training workshop was held at the AMREF International Training Centre between 10th and 14th February 2014 and was facilitated by both AMREF and WHO experts.  The workshop was attended by 17 leading consultants from various community-based programmes from around the world.  The countries represented were; Kenya, Canada, India, Zimbabwe, Tajikistan, Guinea, South Africa, Nigeria, Japan, Jamaica and Nepal.

AMREF ‏@AMREF_Worldwide Feb 17
@Emashoo: @AMREF_Worldwide Sponsored cleft lip/palate surgical camp is FREE! Take that boy or girl and have that lip corrected #Uganda

BRAC [to 23 February 2014]

BRAC  [to 23 February 2014]

BRAC’s Intervention in increasing resilience of agriculture and aquaculture systems in the south
19 February 2014, Dhaka. Cultivation of rice, jute, sunflower, tomato should be increased to face the climate change affects in Bangladesh. Lack of sustainable process to reduce salinity in the water is one of the major challenges here, agro-experts suggested in the workshop held on Tuesday 18 February at BRAC Centre Inn. They also mentioned, that attention is needed in increasing the production as well as creating a market for the harvested crops. In the keynote presentation, the programme Head……Read More

Retweeted by BRAC
Susan Davis ‏@SusanDavisBRAC Feb 20
@BRACworld founder Sir Fazle Abed keynotes @CGAP conference at World Bank on Graduation approach #reachingthepoorest.

BRAC ‏@BRACworld Feb 17
BRAC & @Connect2GDNet calling for #research papers on small holders #agriculture w/ emphasis on #Asiahttp://bit.ly/1cfgKu2  #globaldev

Casa Alianza :: Covenant House [to 23 February 2014]

Casa Alianza  [to 23 February 2014]
Covenant House [to 23 February 2014]

Casa Alianza UK ‏@CasaAlianzaUK Feb 17
A very warm welcome to our new Trustee, @GeorginaMortime. We’re chuffed you’re on board and helping #streetchildren! https://www.facebook.com/CasaAlianzaUK/posts/602603779820363?stream_ref=10 …

Retweeted by Covenant House
Kevin Ryan ‏@CovHousePrez Feb 21
Since Mayor @BilldeBlasio took office, he has expanded emergency beds for homeless youth. Here’s what that means. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-m-ryan/want-to-fight-trafficking_b_4826947.html 

Want to Fight Trafficking? Fight Homelessness
Kevin Ryan, president of Covenant House
Friday, February 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm
There’s a homeless girl in our study of youth sex trafficking whom we know only as Participant #2. When she was five, she was sexually abused by a man who gave her drug-addicted mother money in exchange. When she was 11, she ran away from home. Because she had no one to stay with, she merely escaped from one form of sexual abuse into another. A pimp took control of her life, and made her sell her body for his profit.

If we want to fight the sexual exploitation of young people, we absolutely must fight youth homelessness. Kids who don’t have a safe place to stay enter a direct pipeline to the pimps and exploiters who recognize their desperation and are waiting to prey on them.

Covenant House New York‘s trafficking study, recently completed with Fordham University, showed that almost a quarter of the homeless young people surveyed had been commercially sexually exploited, either by being trafficked or by having to trade sex for something of value, usually a safe place to stay. Half of the kids who engaged in commercial sex said they would not have done so if they had had safe shelter. Covenant House New York provides shelter and services to 3,000 young people each year, which means about 700 of them may have been exploited sexually. And that’s the estimate for kids living in just one program, on one block, in one city. The scope of the problem nationally is staggering.

Kids who don’t have shelter are easy pickings for a friendly, flirtatious guy — often called a Romeo pimp — who offers a meal, a new outfit and a party to attend. The attention and warm shelter can be far more inviting to a teenager than a night on a cold park bench, especially if that kid is estranged from family and starved for affection. Pimps often hang out where homeless kids congregate — bus stations, pizza parlors near shelters, the subway — eager to tell kids there isn’t room for them at the shelters.

And, quite frankly, there isn’t. On any given night, there are 100 kids on waiting lists for shelter in New York City. In New York City there are only 253 government-funded beds every night for the approximately 3,800 kids who need them. If we can’t keep them safe inside, there are people waiting to take advantage of their desperate circumstances.

Since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office last month, he has taken a big step in the right direction and offered city funding for 76 additional beds for homeless young people. He has done more to create safe shelter for unaccompanied homeless teenagers in two months than many of his contemporaries across the country during their much longer, undistinguished tenures.

But on the state level, there are even fewer resources available to homeless kids than there were at the beginning of the recession. Since 2007-2008, New York State’s investment in services for homeless youth has decreased 59 percent, to $2.3 million this fiscal year, a tiny fraction of the state budget, especially as the state is in line to amass a $300 million surplus this year. It is an appalling blight on the records of state leaders of both parties — our most vulnerable kids deserve much better from them, and from all of us.

Sexually exploited kids are notoriously difficult to count. A 2007 study by the state Office of Children and Family Services found 2,652 children who had been sexually exploited for someone else’s profit, and a study a year later by the Center for Court Innovation and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found 3,946 in New York City alone. But there are fewer than 50 beds designated for young trafficking survivors in New York State.

We are proud to work with kids in many states across the country, including New York, the first state to pass a Safe Harbor law, which recognizes that kids who have been sexually exploited for profit must be considered victims in need of services, not criminals. We are proud that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an improvement to that law last month [jan], extending that protection to 16- and 17-year-olds as well, and we are grateful to Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, and Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island, for sponsoring that bill. We are grateful to state, local and federal law enforcement officials for rescuing 16 underage children from being trafficked for sex, during the ramp up to the Super Bowl.

Now we call on State leaders to implement these excellent laws, by providing the funding to enable young victims to benefit from the services that Albany says they are due. New Yorkers have worked hard to pass a thoughtful package of legislation to help sexually exploited children; we can’t abuse them further by refusing to put programs in place for them.

New York’s children need a stronger safety net: at least 25 long-term, residential treatment center beds for sexually exploited children, 40 crisis shelter “Safe House” beds for victms of human trafficking, an additional 100 beds for homeless kids with nowhere else to turn, as well as outreach services, mental health care, and a service coordinator in each of the new trafficking courts. Please join me in signing a petition asking for this investment, here.

New York has precedent-setting laws to protect the young sexually-exploited victim. It is time we break more ground by backing them up with funding for promised services, so we can help survivors of human trafficking work towards the bright futures they deserve.

ECPAT [to 23 February 2014]

ECPAT  [to 23 February 2014]

Today is World Day of Social Justice!
In 2007, the UN General Assembly proclaimed February 20 as the World Day of Social Justice. The celebration of this day should support the efforts of the international community to promote freedom, harmony and equality for all. We at ECPAT are supporting this cause by taking, each day, steps towards eradicating the commercial sexual exploitation of children

This day recognises the need to draw attention to issues relating to poverty and social exclusion. The truth is tens of millions of children are living in poverty today. Poverty deprives children of basic necessities and opportunities to develop and thrive. It can also make children more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and violence, including commercial sexual exploitation. Shockingly, there are as many as 1.8 million children exploited in prostitution or pornography worldwide…

ECPAT International ‏@ECPAT Feb 18
It’s great to see these notices by ECPAT member @Child_Wise posted all over #Cambodia, warning against #ChildSexAbuse pic.twitter.com/UCFSEri89C

Handicap International [to 23 February 2014]

Handicap International  [to 23 February 2014]

Handicap Intl UK ‏@HI_UK Feb 21
Brilliant video about our work in #Libya to reduce the threat from explosive weapons & armed violence http://bit.ly/1h4t41z  #demining #MRE

Handicap Int’l-US ‏@HI_UnitedStates Feb 21
Handicap International’s road safety expert on 30% uptick in #motorcycle deaths in #Cambodia: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/7days/motorbike-deaths-increase …

Handicap Int’l-US ‏@HI_UnitedStates Feb 20
@HI_UK @HI_france @handicap@minesinafrica made this #Storify of “US & the ’97 Mine Ban Treaty” http://sfy.co/jcD6  #banminesusa

Handicap Intl UK ‏@HI_UK Feb 20
Handicap International condemns the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan http://bit.ly/1jSUQBz

Retweeted by Handicap Intl UK
HelpAge ‏@helpage Feb 20
Check out our Age & Disability Monitor looking at our work with @HI_UK on #Syria crisis http://www.scribd.com/doc/208121353/Age-and-Disability-Monitor-January-2014 … #ScribdDocs

Handicap Intl UK ‏@HI_UK Feb 18
Which countries are contaminated by #landmines and cluster bombs? – Check out our #maps and find out. http://bit.ly/1nKGBvZ

Heifer International [to 23 February 2014]

Heifer International  [to 23 February 2014]

Heifer International ‏@Heifer 1h
A new program in Nepal is showing that Heifer’s work can have a much broader impact on feeding the world. http://hefr.in/1k0h4BU

Heifer International ‏@Heifer Feb 20
Heifer has helped over 20.7 million families in the past 70 years out of hunger and poverty. http://hefr.in/1fDUx6D

Retweeted by Heifer International
Pierre Ferrari ‏@HeiferCEO Feb 18
Returning from #Kenya. Learn more about @Heifer’s work there: http://www.heifer.org/ending-hunger/our-work/africa/kenya.html …

HelpAge International [to 23 February 2014]

HelpAge International  [to 23 February 2014]

HelpAge ‏@helpage Feb 21
Find out about our innovative new project to measure malnutrition in older people in emergencies http://bit.ly/OiLodS  (thnks @The_HIF)

HelpAge ‏@helpage Feb 20
Check out our Age & Disability Monitor looking at our work with @HI_UK on #Syria crisis http://www.scribd.com/doc/208121353/Age-and-Disability-Monitor-January-2014 … #ScribdDocs

HelpAge ‏@helpage Feb 20
Reforming health systems key to quality of life for older people – HelpAge’s Charlotte Evans for @swissre http://bit.ly/1eW7asV  #openminds

HelpAge ‏@helpage Feb 19
@HelpAgeEspana event tom in support of convention on older people’s rights. Find out more & follow #derechosmayores http://bit.ly/1e6RXVz

HelpAge ‏@helpage Feb 18
Why #ageing is an issue for emerging markets: Our CEO @tobyhporter blogs on the @wef / @Davos website http://forumblog.org/2014/02/ageing-issue-emerging-markets/ … #WEF

HelpAge ‏@helpage Feb 17
We have a new publication now available on our work on home care for older people in #ASEAN countries http://www.scribd.com/doc/207545743/Home-care-for-older-people-The-experience-of-ASEAN-countries … #ScribdDocs

International Rescue Committee [to 23 February 2014]

International Rescue Committee   [to 23 February 2014]

IRC Blog
Quoted: ‘Children suffer the most in refugee camps’
Posted by The IRC on February 21, 2014
The IRC’s Salih Musa, a refugee himself from Syria, says his mission is to help the youngest victims of the Syrian conflict. more »

Layla’s story: Resilience in the face of adversity
Posted by The IRC on February 20, 2014
Layla’s life changed forever in a single day. This time last year, her home outside Damascus was destroyed during fighting in the Syrian civil war; she lost her husband and two brothers. Her first decision as a widowed mother was to take her children away from the war. more »

South Sudan crisis: Vaccinations help protect children in refugee camp
Posted by The IRC on February 19, 2014
In northern Kenya, the IRC recently launched a major vaccination campaign for children living in the Kakuma refugee camp. Many of the camp residents are from South Sudan, with approximately 370 newcomers arriving daily. more »

1 million uprooted by violence in Central African Republic [Video]
Posted by The IRC on February 17, 2014
One million people in the Central African Republic have been uprooted from their homes due to extreme violence. The IRC is there, providing emergency assistance in camps across the capital city, Bangui. more »

Intl Rescue Comm IRC ‏@theIRC 19h
Read our joint statement on today’s UN Security Council #UNSC resolution on humanitarian aid access to #Syria HERE>> http://bit.ly/Joint_Statement

Intl Rescue Comm IRC ‏@theIRC Feb 20
(2/2) #WorldDayOfSocialJustice FACT: In 2013, IRC counseled & provided essential services to 27k+ survivors of #GBV: http://bit.ly/IRCin2013

Intl Rescue Comm IRC ‏@theIRC Feb 19
2013 FACT: IRC supported clinics&hospitals that helped 272k women deliver healthy babies http://bit.ly/IRCin2013  (2/2) pic.twitter.com/G7k42Mwx0O

IRC Press ‏@IRCPress Feb 19
U.S. can’t stand on the sidelines. As crisis rages in #SouthSudan, we must do our part to support @UNPeacekeeping: http://bit.ly/1j5olga

Intl Rescue Comm IRC ‏@theIRC Feb 19
Yesterday, @theIRC participated in an @hpn_hpg event on gender-based violence #GBV in emergencies. Watch it HERE>> http://bit.ly/NapvMC

Intl Rescue Comm IRC ‏@theIRC Feb 18
Our 2013 annual report is online! –> http://bit.ly/IRCin2013  (Photo of #Syria‘ns in @ZaatariCamp by @Peter_Biro) pic.twitter.com/IjBAD5xvXc

MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières [to 23 February 2014]

MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières  [to 23 February 2014]

International Efforts to Protect Civilians in Central African Republic Failing to Stop Slaughter
February 18, 2014

GENEVA/NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 18, 2014—The extreme levels of violence against civilians and targeted killing of minority groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) illustrate the utter failure of international efforts to protect the population, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). This is a damning indictment of the international response to the crisis and amounts to the effective abandonment of the Central African population.
More >

Doctors w/o Borders ‏@MSF_USA Feb 21
.MSF_Access: “The #TPP remains the most damaging trade agreement we’ve ever seen.” http://bit.ly/1h5AQrU

Doctors w/o Borders ‏@MSF_USA Feb 21
MSF Urges #TPP Countries Not to Abandon Public Health in Bid to Finalize Trade Deal http://bit.ly/1h5AqSi

Doctors w/o Borders ‏@MSF_USA Feb 18
“A mobilization must come now, not in 1 month, or 6 months down the line,” Dr. Joanne Liu of MSF. #CARcrisis http://bit.ly/N6owNE

Partners In Health [to 23 February 2014]

Partners In Health  [to 23 February 2014]

Feb 21, 2014
Radio: Ophelia Dahl on Health Care Prescriptions from the Developing World

Feb 19, 2014
World Social Justice Day: ‘Together We are Going Somewhere’

Feb 19, 2014
Malawi: Improving Health through Social Support
In Malawi, the Program on Social and Economic Rights aims to address the social determinants of illness.

Feb 19, 2014
A New Era of Nursing in Haiti
The State University of Haiti awarded the first Master’s of Science in Nursing degrees to 12 nursing faculty on Tuesday, February 18, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. President Bill Clinton was on hand to congratulate the nurses and other partners. The program, funded in part by a grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, is a partnership among the Haitian Ministry of Health, State University of Haiti, Regis College, and Partners In Health.

Partners In Health ‏@PIH Feb 20
World Social Justice Day: ‘Together We are Going Somewhere’ http://www.pih.org/blog/world-social-justice-day-together-we-are-going-somewhere …

Partners In Health ‏@PIH Feb 17
Dr. Hugo Flores Navarro of @PIH Mexico hopes for a revolution in global health: http://ow.ly/tE5Nx

PATH [to 23 February 2014]

PATH  [to 23 February 2014]

Press release | February 18, 2014
Mass campaign with first vaccine allowed “outside cold chain” in Africa protects remotest African regions from deadly meningitis epidemics
A second study by World Health Organization suggests keeping vaccines at ambient temperatures during campaigns could cut storage and transportation costs in half…

PATH ‏@PATHtweets 20h
From #DC to South Africa, the @PATHdrugdev team has been busy! Get the latest updates on PATH’s #drugdev work: http://bit.ly/1bMXfvp .

PATH ‏@PATHtweets Feb 19
We’ve set our sights on eliminating #malaria from #Senegal, one community at a time. Our blog: http://bit.ly/1f1U5CH  pic.twitter.com/ubwOKaKveL

SOS-Kinderdorf International [to 23 February 2014]

SOS-Kinderdorf International  [to 23 February 2014]

Reaching Thousands in Syria ‘Winterisation’ Campaign
20 Feb 2014 – In the last two months, SOS Children’s Villages has distributed vital winter clothing to families shivering with cold in the Damascus winter

Norwegian video drawing attention to plight of children in Syria goes viral
20 Feb 2014 – A video produced by SOS Children’s Villages Norway to draw attention to the horrible situation that children are currently experiencing in Syria has gone viral, attracting more than 1.5 million hits on its YouTube channel in the first 24 hours.

Fighting in Malakal Shatters South Sudan Ceasefire
19 Feb 2014 – SOS Children’s Villages Doing Everything Possible to Ensure Safety of Children and Co-workers More…

Children’s Villages ‏@sos4children Feb 22
Have you seen it yet? Watch SOS Children’s viral video http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/news/what-would-you-do-if-you-saw-a-freezing-child … #Syria