The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health ::
Holistic Development :: Sustainable Resilience
Week ending 21February 2015

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, consortiums 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 &
Founding Managing Director
GE2P2 – Center for Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

pdf verion: The Sentinel_ week ending 21 February 2015

blog edition: comprised of the 35+ entries to be posted below on 22 February 2015

Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition

Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition
Henry Foy, Central Europe Correspondent
Financial Times, Last updated: February 18, 2015 6:23 pm

Poland will be the first country to pay damages for participating in the US Central Intelligence Agency’s secret rendition programme after its was found to have hosted a facility used for illegal rendition and interrogation.

The country will pay €230,000 in compensation to two terror suspects held at a CIA site in Poland between 2002 and 2003, the first state-level fine in relation to the programme set up by the US to increase counter-terrorism activity after the September 11 attacks.

Politicians in Poland, an important US ally, have admitted that the country did host a CIA “black site”, but a six-year long domestic investigation into the facility has so far failed to provide any judgments.

Grzegorz Schetyna, foreign minister, said on Wednesday that Poland would accept the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights ordering it to pay the former detainees.
“We will abide by this ruling because we are a law-abiding country,” Mr Schetyna told local radio. “It is a question of the coming weeks, a month.”

Last July, the European court ruled Poland had violated the rights of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah in permitting the CIA to imprison them in the country.
After the two men subsequently sued the country, the court also ordered Poland to pay compensation. That ruling was appealed but upheld this week.

Both men are currently being held at the US military detention centre in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, raising potential issues with how they will be paid.

“There is a question with how the money will be spent, whether we will pay them directly,” said Mr Schetyna.

The court ordered Poland to pay €130,000 to Mr Zubaydah and €100,000 to al-Nashiri, who has been charged with organising the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American seamen.

Other European countries such as Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia and Romania have either admitted their role or been found to have participated in elements of the CIA programme.
Poland’s own investigation into the detention centre has rumbled on since 2008 with little visible progress….


European Court of Human Rights : Information Note on the Court’s case-law
No. 176 July 2014
Extraordinary rendition to CIA of suspected terrorist facing capital charges: violation
Al Nashiri v. Poland – 28761/11
Judgment 24.7.2014 [Section IV
[See pdf below, Article 3, page 13 for overview of the facts of the case, decision inventory and rationales.]

Leaders from around the world are “All In” to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents

Leaders from around the world are “All In” to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents
UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and youth movements represented by PACT and Y+ join President Uhuru Kenyatta to launch All In, a new platform for action against the adolescent AIDS epidemic.

NAIROBI, 17 February 2015—While major advances have been made in almost every area of the response to HIV, progress for adolescents is falling behind, said leaders in the global response to end the AIDS epidemic.

AIDS has become the leading cause of death for adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. Just one in four children and adolescents under the age of 15 have access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment. Deaths are declining in all age groups, except among 10–19 year olds.

New HIV infections among adolescents are not declining as quickly as among other age groups. Adolescent girls, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, are most affected. In South Africa in 2013, more than 860 girls became infected with HIV every week, compared to 170 boys.

To address this inequity, UNAIDS, UNICEF and partners have launched All In, a new platform for action to drive better results for adolescents by encouraging strategic changes in policy and engaging more young people in the effort.

Leaders from around the world met today in Nairobi, Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the new platform, which will help address one of the most pressing gaps in the AIDS response.

“By including adolescents in decision-making processes that have a direct effect on their lives, this initiative will be a catalyst for change,” said President Kenyatta. “Kenya is proud to support this new initiative.”

All In focuses on four key action areas: engaging, mobilizing and empowering adolescents as leaders and actors of social change; improving data collection to better inform programming; encouraging innovative approaches to reach adolescents with essential HIV services adapted to their needs; and placing adolescent HIV firmly on political agendas to spur concrete action and mobilize resources….

WHO supports global “All In” initiative for adolescents living with HIV
February 2015 — WHO joined global agencies and leaders to launch the “All In” initiative that aims to prioritize and scale up HIV services for adolescents. There are over 2 million adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, which is a leading cause of death among this population group.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder vows ILO leadership in fight against forced labour on World Day of Social Justice.

World Day of Social Justice 2015
“There is no inevitability, no excuse: Forced labour can be stopped”
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder vows ILO leadership in fight against forced labour on World Day of Social Justice.
International Labour Organization

Statement | 20 February 2015
World Day of Social Justice should galvanize action against poverty and social exclusion. Work done in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity – decent work – is a key to inclusion and it is a conduit of social justice. Yet the global situation gives cause for grave concern.

The economic gap continues to widen, with the richest 10 per cent earning 30 to 40 per cent of total income while the poorest 10 per cent earn between 2 and 7 per cent.
In 2013, 939 million workers – 26.7 per cent of total employment, were still coping on US$2 a day or less. Millions of young people facing a future of unemployment or working poverty are losing hope in promises of economic and social progress.

The situation is aggravated by the widespread absence of basic social protection. Millions of people are subjected to unacceptable conditions of work and the denial of fundamental rights.

This year, the UN is putting the spotlight on human trafficking and modern slavery – a fundamental right and freedom denied.

Today, about 21 million women, men and children are forced to work under inhuman conditions on farms, in sweatshops, on board fishing vessels, in the sex industry or in private homes. Their sweat generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits annually.

Women and children are particularly at risk of being abducted and sold into slavery in times of violent conflict. In some instances, forced labour keeps entire families and communities in abject poverty for generations.

There is growing recognition that the situation must change and good experience in documenting and tackling forced labour is accumulating.

Ending forced labour calls for integrated approaches. Governments, employers and their organizations, trade unions and civil society organizations, each have a role to play in protecting, defending and empowering those who are vulnerable, as well as creating opportunities for decent work for all.

The 2014 Protocol to the ILO Forced Labour Convention (No. 29) sets out preventive measures that can be taken and also calls on governments to ensure that victims of forced labour have access to effective remedies, such as compensation.

There is no inevitability, no excuse: with commitment and the right policies and institutions, forced labour can be stopped. Let us forge alliances to make this a reality
Today the ILO recommits to working for social justice through the world of work.

:: ILO topic portal on forced labour

IMO Secretary-General reiterates need to address unsafe migration by sea

IMO Secretary-General reiterates need to address unsafe migration by sea
International Maritime Organization
Secretary-General Sekimizu calls for action to address criminals who organize illegal and unregulated sea passage by migrants, putting thousands of lives at risk.
Following the events of recent days in which more than 2000 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea and several hundred lost their lives, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu today (Monday 16 February) called for more concerted action to address the issue of criminals who organize illegal and unregulated sea passage by migrants, putting thousands of lives at risk.

“We do not seek to prevent migration. People have the human right to migrate. But it is time to stop illegal, unregulated passage arranged by people smugglers. Not only do they put the lives of the migrants in danger, they also endanger the rescue services and merchant shipping which take part in the rescue operations. Something needs to be done against the smugglers or the situation will not improve. It is placing an intolerable strain on rescue services and on merchant vessels,” Mr. Sekimizu said….

…“This is a serious issue for IMO and a humanitarian tragedy. There is a strong tradition of search and rescue at sea and this will continue but the search and rescue services provided by a number of countries are overstretched. Even with the contribution of the Italian Navy and Italian Coast Guard, more than 600 merchant ships were diverted last year to go to the support of persons in distress at sea. This is beyond acceptable limits and without the Italian efforts many more would have died. The efforts of Italian rescuers – and others – are greatly appreciated but we have reached the point where we need to focus more effort on the prevention side.”

IMO will host an inter-agency meeting on the Travelling of Migrants by Sea on 4 March 2015, with the expected participation of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Interpol and other organizations and members of the Global Migration Group as well as interested Member States and shipping industry bodies. The high-level inter-agency meeting will develop potential ways forward both by individual agencies and through the Global Migration Group.

Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence – Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia

Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence – Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia
Mercy Corps
February 2015 :: 60 pages

Our new report…tackles some of the most persistent assumptions driving youth programming in fragile states. Drawing on interviews and surveys with youth in Afghanistan, Colombia and Somalia, we find the principal drivers of political violence are rooted not in poverty, but in experiences of injustice: discrimination, corruption and abuse by security forces.

In light of these findings, many familiar approaches — vocational training programs, for instance, and civic engagement — are unlikely, in isolation, to have much effect on stability. We need a new approach, one that tackles the sources of instability, not just the symptoms.

In addition to documenting our findings, and the risks of getting youth development wrong, this report provides recommendations for getting youth-focused programming right, including:
:: End siloed, single-sector programming, and support multi-sectoral, multi-year programs that create systems within which youth can thrive;
:: Target the most vulnerable youth – and be vigilant about ensuring programs don’t just reach privileged youth in urban centers;
:: Shape future “countering violent extremism” (CVE) strategies through rigorous, iterative analyses of the political, social and economic factors that drive youth to support political violence; and
:: Increase investments in two-track governance programs that connect youth “voices” with meaningful reforms on issues of corruption, predatory justice systems and exclusive governance structures.

[Excerpt from press release]
…With more than half the world’s population under 30 and 300,000 child soldiers fighting in conflicts around the globe, Mercy Corps urges the international community to reevaluate its collective approach to deterring youth from engaging in political violence….

“With youth forming the backbone of many paramilitary and terrorist organizations, efforts by the Obama Administration and others to counter violent extremism must recognize the critical importance of addressing the underlying grievances driving young people to join these groups,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps. “The Administration’s renewed focus on approaches to preventing violence presents a golden opportunity for the U.S. to invest wisely and appropriately in adolescents living in fragile states.”

Research: A Call to End Violence against Children in Alternative Care

From a Whisper to a Shout: A Call to End Violence against Children in Alternative Care
SOS Children’s Villages International, University of Bedfordshire
2014 :: 72 pages
[From Executive Summary]
…This report draws on evidence from an extensive global literature review, and assessments of the implementation of the Guidelines (UN-endorsed Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children) in 21 countries around the world. It makes bold claims about high levels of vulnerability and risk of violence facing children in alternative care, but concludes that violence is not inevitable, and with an emphasis on providing quality care it is possible to mitigate the risks of harm for all children.

:: Effective implementation of the Guidelines and quality care reduce children’s vulnerability to violence.
:: Competent oversights and independent complaints mechanisms reduce the risk of violence against children.
:: Systematic collection and analysis of data is critical to designing and implementing effective systems to protect children.

Preventing and responding to violence against children in alternative care is a shared responsibility. While states bear the primary responsibility to implement protective measures to prevent violence, all stakeholders – international and regional organisations, donors, NGOs, care providers, civil society, the private sector, communities, families, and children and young people – must be empowered to work together to hold states accountable and to do everything possible to protect children.

1. States should strengthen national legislation and policy to ensure that there are specific provisions against violence in all forms of alternative care.
Legislation should address all forms of abuse and neglect; harmful institutional practice that
could include abusive forms of discipline or control; and peer violence.
2. States should ensure that removal of a child from the care of the family is viewed “as a measure of last resort … and for the shortest possible duration” (§14).
States should invest in preventive services, including family strengthening and capacity building to assist parents to care for and protect their children. In situations of violence and abuse, sanctions should be directed at the perpetrators rather than automatically removing children for protective purposes.
3. States should improve their ability and the capacity of their competent authorities to monitor the quality of alternative care provision.
This includes providing sufficient standards and guidelines to ensure that any monitoring is based on valid criteria; adequate resources to ensure authorities have the practical tools to fulfil
their responsibilities, including the capacity to elicit the views of children; and the necessary
follow-up mechanisms with the power to impose sanctions on alternative care provision that fails to meet standards.
4. States should assume their primary role as the coordinator of alternative care provision with all other stakeholders.
States have a primary role as coordinators or alternative care provision to ensure that alternative care providers within the care system provide a range of suitable alternative care options, fulfil their obligations to provide independent reporting mechanisms, and ensure
meaningful child participation (see below).

1. Alternative care providers should ensure that specialist services are available for families and
children that experience violence, and that their services constitute quality care.
These services should be both preventive – to avoid removing the child from the family environment – and rehabilitative – to ensure that children and their families that have experienced violence are provided with the support to heal.
2. Alternative care providers should ensure that they develop adequate, independent and confidential mechanisms for children and others to report violence in alternative care.
Reporting mechanisms are essential to ensure that children do not suffer in silence and that
violence is not perpetrated with impunity. Children should be provided with confidential support in order to report violence (or any other complaints) and adequate mechanisms to follow up on reports and protect children should be in place.
3. Alternative care providers should take measures to ensure that all children and where appropriate their families are able to meaningfully participate in any decisions relating to alternative care placements.
Children should be empowered to participate according to their capacity in all decisions
affecting their alternative care provision. Parents and other family members should be kept
informed of decisions and where appropriate provided with the opportunity to participate in
decision-making processes.

1. All stakeholders should collaborate in collecting comprehensive data and expanding contributions to research on violence against children.
In particular, it is important to have information on the child population in alternative care, to ensure appropriate policies are in place and adequate resources are provided for their quality care. This also involves ensuring that children’s voices are heard in research into their
experiences of violence, and are provided with opportunities to offer their own understandings
and solutions.
2. All stakeholders should contribute towards coordinated efforts to raise awareness and educate society on violence against children in alternative care.
This includes ensuring that children are informed that violence is not a necessary or legitimate element of alternative care: either as a form of discipline or control. It also means challenging levels of tolerance in society that allow violence against children to continue with impunity.

This report stands as a testament to the violence suffered by children in alternative care. It finds that to the best of our knowledge, children in alternative care are vulnerable to violence, and that the systems in place to care for them put them at further risk of harm.
This report also stands witness to the great resilience of children; who with strength and dignity prevail in the most difficult circumstances, even without the necessary care and protection.
But it is also a call for change. With knowledge, political will and resources it is possible to change the experiences of children in alternative care, so that they receive the quality care they deserve. In doing so we meet our obligations to respect and protect their rights, but we also demonstrate our true measure, as societies that care for our most vulnerable.

The Rockefeller Foundation, AUC and IFAD launch L4Ag (Leadership for Agriculture) Network

The Rockefeller Foundation, AUC and IFAD launch L4Ag (Leadership for Agriculture) Network
African Ministers of Agriculture and Finance join hands to catalyze greater financial investment in Africa’s Agriculture sector.

Press Release
Rome, Italy – February 15th, 2015 – The Rockefeller Foundation, the African Union Commission and the International Fund for Agriculture Development today launched the ‘Leadership for Agriculture (L4Ag): The Network for African Ministers of Finance and Agriculture’ on the sidelines of this year’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Governing Council Meeting.

L4Ag is an exclusive network of Africa’s ministers of finance and of agriculture who are coming together to provide leadership and strategic thinking to transform and energize Africa’s agricultural sector, to position it as a major contributor to economic growth across the continent.

Formed in early 2014, L4Ag aims to promote strategic networking amongst member ministers and stakeholders to increase commitment to investing in agriculture; enable members to share best practices in innovative success cases in Africa for replication in their respective countries; promote a structured approach to agriculture productivity across in Africa; encourage stronger accountability measures for agricultural productivity; and to transform the smallholder farm into a productive unit and the farmer into a businessperson.

The network was first convened by the Rockefeller Foundation at 2014’s Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi, together with the African Union Commission. It is open to membership by all of Africa’s Finance and Agriculture ministers, and currently has a growing membership led by the founding countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea. The network was joined by Ghana, Madagascar, Sudan and Chad at the launch, and together the ministers expressed confidence that it would catalyze the much needed development and investment in Africa’s agriculture. There was also representation from Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe.

“Across Africa, the majority of people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, yet millions of smallholder farmers and their families remain trapped in poverty. Corporates and financial institutions shy away from making greater investments in the sector due to perceived risks,” said Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office. “We can change this, and the new Leadership for Agriculture Network will play an essential role by sharing knowledge among African ministers of agriculture and of finance, particularly about national reforms that can transform agriculture towards enhanced resilience and more inclusive economic growth for farmers, communities, and nations.”

“It is only through collective action and investment that we can ensure that Africa’s future includes a vibrant and productive rural economy that begins on the smallholder family farm, which makes up 80 per cent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa. Investing in the smallholder farmer is investing in the resilience of food systems, the vigour of communities, and the strength of nations,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President.

“This ministerial network contributes to the outcomes of the African Union Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Africa Agriculture Growth and Transformation, which calls for partnerships and collaboration at multi-sectoral and multi-institutional level. This underscores the importance of Africa’s finance and agriculture sectors sharing information and working together in order to achieve the goal of a food and nutrition secure, and poverty free Africa.” said H.E Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission.

Together, the Rockefeller Foundation and the AUC already have a number of initiatives in Africa that are aimed at improving the lives of poor and vulnerable people in agriculture and other sectors. In 2014 they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote increased cooperation between them in their efforts towards Africa’s progress.

Evidence-Based Research Network (EBRNetwork) – Launch Press Release 18 February 2015

Too much health and medical research may be unnecessary, unethical, unscientific, and wasteful, warns new network
Evidence-Based Research Network (EBRNetwork)
Launch Press Release 18 February 2015

Researchers, research funders, regulators, sponsors and publishers of research fail to use earlier research when preparing to start, fund or publish the results of new studies. To embark on research without systematically reviewing evidence of what is already known, particularly when the research involves people or animals, is unethical, unscientific, and wasteful.

To address this problem a group of Norwegian and Danish researchers have initiated an international network, the ‘Evidence-Based Research Network’ (EBRNetwork). The EBRNetwork brings together initial partners from Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and USA, and was established in Bergen, Norway in December 2014.

At the ‘Bergen meeting’ partners agreed the aim of the EBRNetwork is to reduce waste in research by promoting:
:: No new studies without prior systematic review of existing evidence
:: Efficient production, updating and dissemination of systematic reviews

The EBRNetwork issues a call for interested individuals and organizations to join the EBRNetwork and work together in developing a consensus statement to address this challenge to the very heart and values of research. To become a member of the EBRNetwork please contact


Clinton Foundation [to 21 February 2015]

Editor’s Note:
A series of articles and opinion pieces this week – primarily in the Wall Street Journal – have addressed the mix of donations to the Clinton Foundation from corporations and foreign governments. We include this content below (subscription required) and Clinton Foundation responses.

Wall Street Journal
Politics and Policy
Clinton Foundation Rethinking Foreign Donations
Family’s charities will reconsider overseas contributions if Hillary Clinton runs for president
Hillary Clinton’s Complex Corporate Ties
The Clinton Foundation and other family charities have collected donations from companies Hillary Clinton promoted as secretary of state.
Kim Strassel: The Clinton Foundation Super PAC
It’s past time to drop the fiction that the Clinton Foundation is a charity.

Clinton Foundation Defends Acceptance of Foreign Donations
The Clinton Foundation defended its practice of accepting donations from overseas governments.

Foreign Government Gifts to Clinton Foundation on the Rise
Donations from foreign governments raise ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency

Statement from the Clinton Foundation
19 February 2015
Like other global charities, the Clinton Foundation receives support from individuals, organizations and governments from all over the world. Contributions are made because the Foundation’s programs improve the lives of millions of people around the globe. The Clinton Foundation has a record of transparency that goes above what is required of U.S. charities. This includes the voluntary disclosure of contributions on the Foundation’s website. Should Secretary Clinton decide to run for office, we will continue to ensure the Foundation’s policies and practices regarding support from international partners are appropriate, just as we did when she served as Secretary of State.

Blog: Bringing People Together to Find Solutions
Robert Harrison
Chief Executive Officer, Clinton Global Initiative Share
19 February 2015
The Clinton Foundation works across the globe to expand opportunity and help millions of people live their best life story. The work of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), one of the Foundation’s initiatives, helps bring people together from the public sector, the private sector, and civil society to address today’s great global challenges. We do this because it’s increasingly clear that in our interdependent world, sustainable positive change depends on creative collaboration between partners from different sectors.

As part of their participation in CGI, members make “Commitments to Action” to address challenges of their choosing in ways that are new, specific, and measurable. Recently, a Wall Street Journal article questioned the work of some CGI members and their motivations.

Here are the facts: since CGI was created in 2005, CGI members have made nearly 3,200 commitments to improve more than 430 million lives in 180 countries. These commitments are helping address issues such as climate change, economic development, global health, access to education, and the empowerment of women and girls…

…Many of the corporations named in the Wall Street Journal article have partnered with non-profit organizations, other corporations, and public sector entities on Commitments to Action that are making a huge positive impact. In fact, a recent survey of all CGI commitments revealed that partnerships across sectors often increase the likelihood of a project achieving its objectives. CGI members have formed partnerships that have made tremendous impact – for example, improving educational opportunities for 36.5 million people; expanding access to capital for 3.1 million people; and increasing opportunities of various kinds for 2.8 million women and girls.

This is the story the Wall Street Journal missed – the positive impact that members of CGI are having on millions of people worldwide and the evolution of the conventional philanthropic model over the past decade to a dynamic ecosystem that now promotes creative collaboration across antiquated divides. We are grateful to our members, who take on complex problems and often provide life-changing solutions.

At the Clinton Foundation, we often say “No one has all the answers, but we can bring together people who can find them.” That is the approach we take through CGI – to connect partners across sectors so they can leverage their expertise and resources in the most effective way, for the largest positive impact. This is what enables us to make a difference in so many people’s lives.

EBOLA/EVD [to 21 February 2015]

EBOLA/EVD [to 21 February 2015]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC); “Threat to international peace and security” (UN Security Council)

WHO: Ebola Situation Report – 18 February 2015
[Excerpt; Editor’s text bolding]

Total weekly case incidence increased for the second consecutive week, with 144 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 8 February. Guinea reported a sharp increase in incidence, with 65 new confirmed cases compared with 39 the week before. Transmission remains widespread in Sierra Leone, which reported 76 new confirmed cases, while the resurgence in cases in the western district of Port Loko continued for a second week. Liberia continues to report a low number of new confirmed cases.

Despite improvements in case finding and management, burial practices, and community engagement, the decline in case incidence has stalled. The spike in cases in Guinea and continued widespread transmission in Sierra Leone underline the considerable challenges that must still be overcome to get to zero cases. The infrastructure, systems, and people needed to end the epidemic are now in place; response measures must now be fully implemented.

The surge of new confirmed cases reported by Guinea was driven primarily by transmission in the capital, Conakry (21 confirmed cases) and the western prefecture of Forecariah (26 confirmed cases). Community engagement continues to be a challenge in Conakry and Forecariah, and in Guinea more widely. Almost one-third of the country’s EVD-affected prefectures reported at least one security incident in the week to 8 February. Effective contact tracing, which relies on the cooperation of communities, has also proved challenging. In the week to 1 February, just 7 of 42 cases arose among registered contacts. A total of 34 unsafe burials were reported, with 21 EVD-positive deaths reported in the community.

Seven new confirmed cases were reported in the east-Guinean prefecture of Lola. A field team is currently deployed to Côte d’Ivoire to assess the state of preparedness in western areas of the country that border Lola.

Follow-up preparedness missions are planned for Mali and Senegal later this month, culminating in a tri-partite meeting between Guinea, Mali, and Senegal to strengthen cross-border surveillance.

A total of 3 confirmed cases was reported from Liberia. All of the cases originated from the same area of Montserrado county, linked to a single chain of transmission.

Following the steep decline in case incidence in Sierra Leone from December until the end of January, incidence has now stabilized. A total of 76 cases were reported in the week to 8 February, a decrease from the 80 confirmed cases reported in the week to 1 February, but higher than the 65 confirmed cases reported in the week to 25 January. Transmission remains widespread, with 7 districts reporting new confirmed cases. A total of 41 unsafe burials were reported in the week to 8 February.

The case fatality rate among hospitalized cases (calculated from all confirmed and probable hospitalized cases with a reported definitive outcome) remains high, between 53% and 60%.

There have been almost 23,000 reported confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (table 1), with almost 9000 reported deaths (outcomes for many cases are unknown). A total of 65 new confirmed cases were reported in Guinea, 3 in Liberia, and 76 in Sierra Leone in the 7 days to 8 February (data missing for 8 February in Liberia). At the start of the epidemic many reported suspected cases were genuine cases of EVD. At this stage, with improved surveillance systems in place, a far smaller proportion of suspected cases are confirmed to have EVD. Consequently, the incidence of new confirmed cases gives a more accurate picture of the epidemic.

A stratified analysis of cumulative confirmed and probable cases indicates that the number of cases in males and females is similar (table 2). Compared with children (people aged 14 years and under), people aged 15 to 44 are approximately three times more likely to be affected. People aged 45 and over are almost four times more likely to be affected than are children.

A total of 830 confirmed health worker infections have been reported in the 3 intense-transmission countries; there have been 488 reported deaths…

United Nations – Secretary General, Security Council, General Assembly [to 21 February 2015]

United Nations – Secretary General, Security Council, General Assembly  [to 21 February 2015]
Selected Press Releases/Meetings Coverage
18 February 2015
Comprehensive Strategy to Combat Terrorism in Libya Critical, Special Representative Tells Security Council
“Horrific and brutal” acts of terrorism in Libya had “shaken our collective conscience” and must prompt swift action in support of the political process there, said the United Nations top official in that country as he briefed the Security Council this afternoon.

18 February 2015
Special Committee Speakers Seek Clarification of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Use to Protect Peacekeepers in Increasingly Toxic Environments
Continuing its 2015 session today, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations tackled a plethora of peacekeeping concerns from the use of new technology and civilian protection mandates to pre-deployment planning and training to troop reimbursement rates.

19 February 2015
Stressing 21 Million People Are ‘Modern Slaves’, Secretary-General Urges Further Global Efforts to End Trafficking, in World Day for Social Justice Message

19 February 2015
In Message to Special Committee, Secretary-General Urges International Community to Find Innovative Ways of Decolonization in Remaining 17 Territories

19 February 2015
Human Rights, Participation ‘Among Our Most Powerful Weapons’ against Terrorism, Says Secretary-General in Remarks to Summit on Violent Extremism

18 February 2015
In General Assembly Meeting on Ebola, Secretary-General Urges Member States to Sustain Crucial Work, Provide Resources Needed to Reach ‘Zero Cases’

UNOCHA [to 21 February 2015]

UNOCHA [to 21 February 2015]
18 Feb 2015
South Sudan: Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and ERC, Valerie Amos: Remarks to the Ambassadorial Meeting of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Protection of Civilians and Ethnic and Cultural Dimensions in Disasters and Emergencies

18 Feb 2015
Malawi: UN Emergency Fund CERF gives US$10.2 million for flood response in Malawi and Mozambique

16 Feb 2015
Senegal: Regional partners present $2 billion Sahel response plan

WHO urges governments to increase investment to tackle 17 neglected tropical diseases

WHO urges governments to increase investment to tackle 17 neglected tropical diseases
News release
19 February 2015 ¦ GENEVA – WHO urges affected countries to scale up their investment in tackling 17 neglected tropical diseases in order to improve the health and well-being of more than 1.5 billion people. This investment would represent as little as 0.1% of current domestic expenditure on health in affected low- and middle-income countries for the period 2015-2030.

Neglected tropical diseases cause blindness, disfigurement, permanent disability and death, particularly among the poor…

“Increased investments by national governments can alleviate human misery, distribute economic gains more evenly and free masses of people long trapped in poverty,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.

The report highlights progress made in recent years, largely attributed to a scale-up of control interventions in reaching the poorest. For example, in 2012 alone, more than 800 million people were treated for at least one neglected tropical disease. In 2014 there were just 126 cases reported of Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), compared to almost 1800 in 2010 and 3.5 million in the mid-1980s. Eradication of this disease is achievable with continued effort and investment.
Need for increased domestic investment targets

The report sets specific investment targets for many of the 17 diseases. It stresses that countries must make firm and sustainable budgetary commitments if they are to meet WHO targets and accelerate progress.

The investments
:: An annual investment of US$ 2.9 billion until 2020 (including vector control), is required to reach targets set in 2012 in the WHO Roadmap for 2015-2020.
:: For the following 10 years (2021-2030), investment requirements will drop to US$ 1.6 billion per year. Annual investments will continue to decrease as diseases are reduced or eliminated.
:: This adds up to a total investment of US$ 34 billion (over 16 years) and excludes cost of donated medicines and other in-kind contributions.
The impacts
:: By 2017, the number of people receiving preventive treatment for at least one of the diseases should reach 1.5 billion. As diseases are reduced or eliminated, the number of people needing and receiving treatment will obviously fall. Early detection of some neglected tropical diseases will allow more children to continue school and adults to work while reducing the costs associated with treating more advanced forms of these diseases.
:: Moving towards universal health coverage will ensure that all people have access to preventive and curative health services for neglected tropical diseases without the risk of financial hardship when paying for them.
:: Investing to overcome the impact of neglected tropical diseases – Third WHO report on neglected tropical diseases

WHO & Regionals [to 21 February 2015]

WHO & Regionals [to 21 February 2015]
:: Global Alert and Response (GAR): Disease Outbreak News (DONs)
– 16 February 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

:: The Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) 20 February 2015, vol. 90, 8 (pp. 57–68) includes:
– Meningococcal A conjugate vaccine: updated guidance, February 2015
– Preparation for Ebola in Côte d’Ivoire: WHO Ebola response and preparedness support team, October 2014
– Monthly report on dracunculiasis cases, January– December 2014
In an updated position paper published in today’s edition, WHO emphasizes the importance of completing mass vaccination campaigns in individuals aged 1 to 29 years in all countries in the African meningitis belt, and the need to conduct high quality surveillance and vaccine programme evaluation in those countries

:: WHO Regional Offices
WHO African Region AFRO
:: Plague in Madagascar: need for heightened vigilance
[Undated] Since September 2014, 283 suspected, probable or confirmed cases, including 74 deaths have been reported for all affected areas in Madagascar. The outbreak peaked in November and December but has slowed for the time being. Health officials are keeping a close watch over the situation as the plague season on the island continues until April. The district of Amparafavarola, in the central highlands, has been one of the most heavily affected areas, where cases of pneumonic plague have been reported…

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
No new digest content identified.

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
No new digest content identified.

WHO European Region EURO
:: Medical supplies from WHO reach Donetsk as part of UN aid convoy 21-02-2015
:: New tool helps countries identify foods with too much fat, sugar and salt 19-02-2015
:: WHO increases humanitarian efforts as crisis in Ukraine continues 17-02-2015

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: WHO responds to increasing health needs in Yemen 16 February 2015

WHO Western Pacific Region
Getting everyone in the picture by 2024
16 February 2015 – If someone asks you to prove who you are, you would show them your passport or birth certificate. However, many children are born and people of all ages die without their births and deaths ever recorded. Countries need to know how many people are born and die each year – and the main causes of their deaths – to develop well-functioning health systems. Many Pacific Island countries do not have adequate civil registration and vital statistics systems…

UNDP United Nations Development Programme [to 21 February 2015]

UNDP United Nations Development Programme [to 21 February 2015]

19 Feb 2015
Global innovators build Apps for peace
New York – A range of new mobile Apps and digital games have been hailed by international experts as world-beating examples of how technology can boost peace, break barriers and smash damaging stereotypes.

19 Feb 2015
Preventing future Ebola outbreaks in West Africa
Banjul – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided over 105,000 US Dollars to support the Gambia’s efforts to build a strong and robust surveillance system to detect cross-border infections and to help people, communities and the state swiftly stamp out outbreaks.

17 Feb 2015
China’s success on Millennium Development Goals provides an example for others to follow for the post-2015 development agenda, says new UNDP report
With one-fifth of the world’s population, China has greatly contributed to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals worldwide, according to a new UNDP report.

DESA United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs [to 21 February 2015]

DESA United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs [to 21 February 2015]
Valuing the environment – from sustained to sustainable growth
18 February 2015, New York
Growth has, for a long time, been seen as a crucial enabler in fighting poverty and the social injustices that come with it. In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the desired growth pattern was set to be sustained, inclusive and equitable. However, when looking at the post-2015 era and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mr. Pingfan Hong, Director of UN DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division, saw the need for a new kind of growth pattern where sustained growth has to be replaced by sustainable growth, whereby the value of the environment is fully considered.

The sustained, inclusive and equitable growth pattern has been an effective path towards reaching the MDGs. During the MDG era, 700 million people were freed from extreme poverty. Hunger was reduced, access to healthcare was improved, more people were afforded primary education and there was an increase in the political participation of women.
In a Development Policy Seminar on 11 February, Mr. Hong presented his analysis of growth patterns and their role in the transition from MDGs to SDGs. He explained that while the strife for equitable and inclusive growth still will be effective in the SDGs era, the concept of sustained growth will not be sufficient in reaching the objectives.

“From the lens of sustainable development, a horizon of two or three decades is myopia,” Mr. Hong said, referring to the shortsightedness of a sustained growth pattern and its impact on the environment as well as some economies.

“The current pattern of growth in the world economy is not sustainable. For instance GDP per capita growth has been closely associated with increase in carbon dioxide emission.”
Mr. Hong also explained how in some countries, the cost of environmental damage is contracting the GDPs of many developing countries, so that the aim to reduce poverty with a sustained economic growth actually becomes counterproductive.

“The environmental toll in many developing countries has reached three to ten percent of their GDP. So, if the economy grows less than three percent in developing countries, there is no gain, if you take into account the cost of the environment.”

In Mr. Hong’s view, the desired growth pattern must change from sustained into sustainable. “Sustainable growth means that growth still needs to be robust and stable but this growth should not compromise environmental sustainability.”

In the seminar, Mr. Hong presented some important steps in transforming sustained growth into sustainable growth. “The first important thing is to count the full value of the environment in the measurement of the national wealth. We have to include the true value of the environment.”

Mr. Hong suggested mainstreaming SEEA (System of Environmental-Economic Accounting) a multipurpose conceptual framework for understanding the interactions between the environment and the economy. He also stressed the need for governmental action in acknowledging environmental costs, in order to change the behavior of businesses and consumers.

“Markets alone cannot price environmental goods and services properly because environmental goods and services have the nature of public goods and high degree of externality. It is up to the government to use taxes and regulations to get the prices of environmental goods and services right so that the businesses and consumers will take these prices into account in their decision-making. Change their behavior and change an unsustainable pattern of production and consumption.”…

FAO Food & Agriculture Organization [to 21 February 2015]

FAO Food & Agriculture Organization [to 21 February 2015]
Agriculture must change
FAO Director-General speaks at International Forum on Agriculture and Climate Change
20 February 2015, Paris – The model of agricultural production that predominates today is not suitable for the new food security challenges of the 21st century, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.
While the numbers of the chronically hungry have been reduced by 100 million over the past decade, 805 million still go without enough to eat on a regular basis, he noted in remarks to ministers, scientists, farmers, and representatives of civil society gathered in the French capital for a government-organized International Forum on Agriculture and Climate Change.
Increasing production has long seen as the natural pathway to ending hunger – but today, even though the world produces enough food to feed everyone, hunger remains a problem, he pointed out.
“Since food production is not a sufficient condition for food security, it means that the way we are producing is no longer acceptable,” said Graziano da Silva.
“What we are still mostly seeing is a model of production that cannot prevent the degradation of soils and the loss of biodiversity – both of which are essential goods, especially for future generations. This model must be reviewed. We need a paradigm shift. Food systems need to be more sustainable, inclusive and resilient,” he added…

Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction
Some 64 percent of the oceans’ surface lies beyond national jurisdictions, meaning that effective management of fisheries in such areas poses a number of challenges. This workshop aims to foster an open policy dialogue on to address those challenges.

Ebola-ravaged rural communities in Guinea to benefit from new food security initiatives
The funding is a much needed contribution towards building the resilience of communities whose already precarious situation of chronic food insecurity has been exacerbated by Ebola-related disruptions to farm labour, agricultural production and food markets.

Fertilizer Use to Surpass 200 Million Tonnes in 2018
Global fertilizer use is likely to rise above 200.5 million tonnes in 2018, 25 percent higher than recorded in 2008. World fertilizer consumption will grow by 1.8% a year through 2018, according to FAO’s new report “World fertilizer trends and outlook to 2018”. At the same time “the global capacity of fertilizer products, intermediates and raw materials will increase further,” the report said.

USAID [to 21 February 2015]

USAID [to 21 February 2015]
Remarks by Administrator Shah at the American Enterprise Institute
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah Reflects on a Half-Decade of Development Leadership
Thursday, February 12, 2015 – 2:30pm [As Delivered]

As I reflect on five years in the role as Administrator of USAID, I am really proud to have had the opportunity to reflect, and represent, the best of what America’s about, the values that Jeff talked about—enterprises that started in the fight against the earthquake and started the recovery of Haiti, to the more immediate effort to stop Ebola in its tracks in West Africa. I am deeply proud of efforts that so many of you have partnered with myself and our teams on in the past years to build bold new public-private partnerships to end hunger, to eliminate preventable child death, to deliver electricity to hundreds of millions of people who still live in the dark, and to create an opportunity for justice and basic human aspirations. There’s so many people around the world that still, incredibly, live and subsist in conditions that—despite our thoughtfulness—we can hardly empathize with, and hardly experience ourselves….

ECHO [to 21 February 2015]

ECHO [to 21 February 2015]
€4 million in EU aid to tackle food insecurity in Central America
More than 2.5 million people in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua are reported to be facing severe or moderate food insecurity. The European Commission is providing €4 million in humanitarian aid to assist those in need.

EU provides assistance to conflict and malnutrition-affected Malians
Three years after the start of the conflict, renewed violence and persistent food scarcity are creating urgent humanitarian needs in Mali. The EU is providing €32 million in humanitarian aid to assist people affected by the conflict…

Over €150 million in EU aid to meet Sahel’s growing food needs
In Africa’s Sahel, close to 20 million people don’t know where their next meal will come from. The EU is giving €156 million in humanitarian funding for 2015 to the Sahel region to address the recurrent food crises and increasing needs.