The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health ::
Holistic Development :: Sustainable Resilience
Week ending 23 January 2016

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

David R. Curry
Editor &
Founding Managing Director
GE2P2 – Center for Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

pdf version: The Sentinel_ week ending 23 January 2016

blog edition: comprised of the 35+ entries  posted below on 24 January 2016

An appeal to end the suffering in Syria [120+ humanitarian organizations and UN agencies]

An appeal to end the suffering in Syria
21 January 2016, ongoing
More than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal today urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis and to the suffering endured by millions of civilians. The appeal also outlines a series of immediate, practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria. You are invited to “sign” the appeal simply by liking, sharing, and retweeting it.

Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. “Enough”, they said, of the suffering and bloodshed.

That was three years ago.

Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens.

So today, we — leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies — appeal not only to governments but to each of you — citizens around the world — to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace.

More than ever before, the world needs to hear a collective public voice calling for an end to this outrage. Because this conflict and its consequences touch us all.

It touches those in Syria who have lost loved ones and livelihoods, who have been uprooted from their homes, or who live in desperation under siege. Today, some 13.5 million people inside Syria need humanitarian assistance. That is not simply a statistic. These are 13.5 million individual human beings whose lives and futures are in jeopardy.

It touches the families who, with few options for a better future, set out on perilous journeys to foreign lands in search of refuge. The war has seen 4.6 million people flee to neighbouring countries and beyond.

It touches a generation of children and young people who — deprived of education and traumatized by the horrors they have experienced — increasingly see their future shaped only by violence.

It touches those far beyond Syria who have seen the violent repercussions of the crisis reach the streets, offices and restaurants closer to their homes.

And it touches all those around the world whose economic wellbeing is affected, in ways visible and invisible, by the conflict.

Those with the ability to stop the suffering can — and therefore should — take action now. Until there is a diplomatic solution to the fighting, such action should include:
– Unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief to all those in need inside Syria
– Humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, vaccinations and other health campaigns, and for children to return to school
– A cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure — so that schools and hospitals and water supplies are kept safe
– Freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties

These are practical actions. There is no practical reason they could not be implemented if there is the will to do so.

In the name of our shared humanity… for the sake of the millions of innocents who have already suffered so much… and for the millions more whose lives and futures hang in the balance, we call for action now….Now.

U.S. – Strengthening the International Response to the Global Refugee Crisis

U.S. – Strengthening the International Response to the Global Refugee Crisis
Fact Sheet
Department of State – Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 22, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced today in Davos, Switzerland, that the United States is seeking significant new international commitments to strengthen the international response to the global refugee crisis. This effort responds to the growing numbers and needs of refugee populations around the world, and reflects our sense of urgency about expanding the humanitarian safety net and creating more long-term, durable opportunities for refugees.

The United States will work with partners to advance the initiative over the coming months, culminating in a high-level event to be hosted by President Obama on the margins of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. Event participants will be asked to make commitments in the following areas:

Broader and Deeper Commitment to Funding UN Humanitarian Appeals:
In order to create a stronger and more sustainable funding base for UN humanitarian appeals, we are seeking commitments to regular contributions from at least 10 new nations. In tandem with that effort, we will seek at least a 30 percent increase in financing for global humanitarian appeals, from $10 billion in 2015 to $13 billion this year.

Expanded Resettlement and Other Legal Channels for Humanitarian Admissions:
In order to create a brighter future for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, our goal is for nations with existing legal pathways for refugee admission to make commitments that double the global number of resettled refugees and those afforded other legal channels of admission, and for nations without such programs to establish them.

Facilitating Refugee Inclusion and Self-Reliance:
In order to enable refugees to meet their own needs and contribute to communities that host them, the United States seeks commitments to increase the number of refugees worldwide in school by one million, and the number of refugees granted the legal right to work by one million. We believe that at least 10 nations must strengthen their refugee policies and practices to help reach these goals.

The United States will announce significant new commitments over the coming months and will strongly encourage other nations to do the same. The President’s Summit will convene those nations that have made significant new commitments toward achieving the Summit’s core goals throughout the course of 2016, encouraging the international community to do more than we have in the past.

New multi-year initiative launched to step up global response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants

New multi-year initiative launched to step up global response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants
21 January 2016, Brussels – The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today launched the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants. A four-year joint initiative between the EU and UNODC, the programme will be implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through to 2019.

The programme forms part of a joint response to assist countries to develop and implement effective responses to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants. UNODC, together with IOM and UNICEF, will focus efforts on assistance to governmental authorities, civil society organizations, victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants.

John Brandolino, UNODC’s Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs, welcomed this initiative and stated that the global action signalled the continuing positive relationship between UNODC and the EU. Mr. Brandolino further added that “UNODC’s collaboration with IOM and UNICEF is key to successful global action. It will help provide a comprehensive prevention and protection approach to addressing the issue of trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants.”

Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, Director General of the European Union’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, added: “Trafficking in human beings is one of the most severe violations of human rights. This new project will help with the prevention efforts and will support the fight against this scourge.”

The programme is expected to be delivered across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America in 13 countries, namely: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa and Ukraine.

Too important to fail—addressing the humanitarian financing gap :: High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing Report to the Secretary-General

Too important to fail—addressing the humanitarian financing gap
High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing
Report to the Secretary-General
January 2016 :: 41 pages
Report Pdf

[Excerpts from Executive Summary]
The world today spends around US$ 25 billion to provide life-saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters. While this amount is twelve times greater than fifteen years ago, never before has generosity been so insufficient. Over the last years conflicts and natural disasters have led to fast-growing numbers of people in need and a funding gap for humanitarian action of an estimated US$ 15 billion. This is a lot of money, but not out of reach for a world producing US$ 78 trillion of annual GDP. Closing the humanitarian
financing gap would mean no one having to die or live without dignity for the lack of money. It would be a victory for humanity at a time when it is much needed.

The UN Secretary-General has appointed a nine-person group of experts (“the panel”) to work on finding solutions about this widening financial gap. The panel identified and examined three important and interdependent aspects of the humanitarian financing challenge: reducing the needs, mobilising additional funds through either traditional or innovative mechanisms, and improving the efficiency of humanitarian assistance.

The panel’s work aims to help inform and shape the objectives of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in May 2016. It is also highly relevant in the context of adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—only by focusing the world’s attention on the rapidly growing numbers of people in desperate need will we be able to achieve the SDGs…

…Improve delivery: a Grand Bargain on efficiency
The panel concurs with a widely shared view among stakeholders that systemic change in humanitarian aid delivery is needed in order to raise new money and use it more effectively. Greater efficiency will create a virtuous circle by drawing in more funding. Since the status quo is not an option, the panel calls on donors and implementing organisations to come together in a Grand Bargain. As part of that agreement, donors would not simply give more but give better, by being more flexible, and aid organisations would reciprocate with greater transparency and cost-consciousness.

The elements of a Grand Bargain include provision of more cash-based assistance, where appropriate, and recognition of the comparative advantages of local, national and international implementing organisations for delivery of services. To improve response time the panel suggests the creation of a repository of pre-qualified organisations to dispense with repeated screening of NGOs, as well as more work on strengthening local capacity.

The panel wants donors to commit to more multiyear funding and less earmarking, since flexible funding is the lifeblood of humanitarian operations. And donors should simplify and harmonise their reporting requirements, leaving aid workers more time to perform their life-saving activities. And we need greater transparency from implementing organisations so that everyone can “follow the money” on its journey from donor to recipient. A global data platform to provide open and transparent data would help reduce transaction costs and increase effectiveness.

By committing to joint needs assessments, such as those carried out in northern Syria and during the Nepal earthquake, humanitarian organisations would increase donors’ trust. True transparency is within our grasp thanks to digital technology and this should be extended to include communities receiving aid: humanitarian organisations can learn and improve by listening to the people they serve.

If we are to move towards a model of collaborative efficiency, the panel would like government donors and aid organisations to agree to a Grand Bargain. By doing so, they will clearly demonstrate a common commitment to the greater good.

The panel presents this report conscious that the implementation of its recommendations will depend upon the will of many to carry them forward. Panel members are committed to continuing to offer their assistance in the process of making these proposals a reality.
[Table, Excerpt from Grand Bargain discussion, p.24]
The panel recommends:
That by the World Humanitarian Summit donors and aid organisations work towards a collective roadmap for stretching available money to reach more people in need.

The main elements of a Grand Bargain are:
For aid organisations and donors to work more closely together towards:
…More financial transparency.
…More support and funding tools to national first responders.
…Scale up use of cash-based programming and more coordination in its delivery.

For aid organisations to commit to:
…Reduce duplication and management costs.
…Periodic functional expenditure reviews.
…More joint and impartial needs assessments.
…A Participation Revolution: listen more to and include beneficiaries in decisions that affect them.

For donors to commit to:
…More multi-year humanitarian funding.
…Less earmarks to humanitarian aid organisations.
…More harmonized and simplified reporting requirements.
Panel Members
Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Bulgaria, Vice President for Budget and Human Resources, the European Commission
HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah, Malaysia, Ruler of Perak, Malaysia
Panelists in alphabetical order
Ms. Hadeel Ibrahim, the United Kingdom, Executive Director, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Mr. Badr Jafar, the United Arab Emirates, Managing Director, the Crescent Group
Mr. Walt Macnee, Canada, Vice Chairman, MasterCard
Mr. Trevor Manuel, South Africa, Senior Advisor, Rothschild Group
Ms. Linah Mohohlo, Botswana, Governor, Bank of Botswana
Mr. Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Sri Lanka, Secretary-General, CIVICUS
Ms. Margot Wallström, Sweden, Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Rockefeller Foundation Announces $130 Million Initiative to Reduce Global Food Loss and Waste

The Rockefeller Foundation Announces $130 Million Initiative to Reduce Global Food Loss and Waste
January 21, 2016
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND—Today, as part of the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Annual Meeting, The Rockefeller Foundation announced the launch of YieldWise, a seven-year, $130 million initiative that will demonstrate how food loss and waste can be cut in half globally, continuing the Foundation’s long legacy in strengthening food security and advancing healthier, more productive food systems around the world.

“The amount of food lost or wasted before it ever reaches a table is simply unacceptable, with devastating impacts on people, profit, and planet,” said Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Yet, it’s a challenge that can be prevented with a blend of existing solutions, from technologies that help farmers keep more of what they grow to models for private sector engagement that ensure those crops will be bought, rather than left to rot. Through YieldWise, The Rockefeller Foundation will finish the business we started with the Green Revolution more than a half-century ago—to ensure more of the world’s people are fed and the planet’s precious resources are protected.”

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), we grow enough food to feed all the 1.2 billion hungry or undernourished people on the planet, yet one-third is never eaten. Given the projected 2 billion increase in the global population by 2050, the need to minimize loss, not just maximize production, is critical.

To do this, through YieldWise, The Rockefeller Foundation will engage private, nonprofit, and government actors across the food supply system. With large multinational companies like The Coca-Cola Company and Dangote as key collaborators, the initiative will focus on linking small and big businesses that can mutually benefit from diversified sources for products and enhanced markets. At the same time, the Foundation will make targeted investments toward dramatically reducing food waste generated by retail outfits and consumers across the U.S. and Europe…

YieldWise’s immediate focus will be in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, where up to half of some crops are lost to inefficient harvesting, storage, processing, and time to market. The Rockefeller Foundation will focus on streamlining the supply chain from farm to market, putting proven technologies—many of them simple—in the hands of smallholder farmers to increase yield and create new paths to prosperity.

“In the global conversation on food waste, we often overlook losses between harvest and retail. On 470 million smallholder farms across Africa, lack of access to training and technology negatively impacts harvests and farmer livelihoods. When crops and food exports don’t make it to market, the economic development and global competitiveness of agriculture-dependent nations suffer as well,” said Mamadou Biteye, managing director of The Rockefeller Foundation in Africa. “YieldWise is the first global solution to food loss and waste that works across the entire food system: from farm to store to table and beyond.”

YieldWise will focus on behavior change, from how smallholder farmers grow and store their crops to how companies account for food loss and waste across their supply chains. It will help the economic development and global competitiveness of agriculture-dependent nations, which currently suffer when crops and food exports don’t make it to market. Beyond impacts on business and trade, it will also help to relieve the 25 percent of freshwater and 20 percent of farmland that is currently wasted on the production of unconsumed food. Ultimately, YieldWise’s goal is an efficient, productive global food system with minimal loss.

Nationwide launch of Mobile Health Program in rural India signals new era of mHealth for emerging economies

Nationwide launch of Mobile Health Program in rural India signals new era of mHealth for emerging economies
Platform overcomes technology barriers; delivers life-saving health information to mothers and pregnant women on mass scale
Jan 15, 2016 (WASHINGTON)—Today, the Government of India launched a nationwide mobile health program designed to train community health workers and to directly reach millions of women within three years. The program is powered by MOTECH, a robust yet simple-to-use mobile health (mHealth) technology developed by Grameen Foundation, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Until now, mHealth applications have been relatively small and siloed,” said John Tippett, Global Director of Mobile Health at Grameen Foundation. “By allowing systems to work together and serve huge numbers of people, MOTECH opens a new era for tackling global health problems at scale through mobile technology.”…

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced the national roll out of two MOTECH-powered programs developed by BBC Media Action – Mobile Academy and Kilkari – both aimed at addressing health challenges that result in high infant and maternal mortality rates.

Kilkari directly calls pregnant women and mothers, delivering crucial health information targeted to their stage of pregnancy or their infant’s age. Mobile Academy uses Interactive Voice Response (IVR) messages on mobile phones to train front-line health workers in maternal and infant care. The health workers, known as ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists), are selected by the village they serve, and are central to India’s strategy to improve maternal and child health.

“The Government of India has launched Digital India program in order to transform the entire ecosystem of public services through the use of Information Technology,” said Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Honorable Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. “We need to transform healthcare by empowering people to become active healthcare citizens with choice but most powerfully with information and to take more responsibility over their own health and life choices… . I am confident that these services will bring us a step closer to the people who need our services the most.”

As of today’s announcement, national scale-up is underway. Kilkari—which is the Hindi word for “a baby’s gurgle,”—is live in six states, and Mobile Academy in four…

46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum to Focus on Fourth Industrial Revolution – Selected Announcements

46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum to Focus on Fourth Industrial Revolution

Selected Announcements

36 best quotes from Davos 2016

World Economic Forum Announces New Board of Trustees
News 23 Jan 2016
Jim Yong Kim and Marc R. Benioff join the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 23 January 2016 – The Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum yesterday elected Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, Washington DC; and Marc R. Benioff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce, USA, as its new members.
In accordance with the World Economic Forum’s status as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, as recognized by the Swiss Federal Council in January 2015, the Forum updated its governing body from Foundation Board to Board of Trustees in August. The Board of Trustees is set up to support the Forum’s mandate to serve as a representative group of key global stakeholders.
Jim Yong Kim brings two decades of experience in international development to the Foundation Board. Under his presidency, the World Bank adopted in 2012 two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030; and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in developing countries. He also possesses vast experience in healthcare, having led the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department between 2003 and 2005, during which time WHO introduced the “3 by 5” initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment.
Marc R. Benioff is a 35-year veteran of the software industry. Having co-founded in February 1999, he has served as its chief executive officer since November 2001. Alongside his business career, he is well known for his philanthropic work, as well as for taking a crusading stand in favour of LGBT rights and other important issues…

Keeping the Web ‘Worldwide’: Report Highlights Risk of Internet Fragmentation
News 23 Jan 2016
· New report by the World Economic Forum highlights 28 risks that could lead to fragmentation of the Internet
· Report provides the first systematic overview of the growth of Internet fragmentation
· The Internet’s openness and dynamism are at risk if Internet fragmentation grows unabated, but an open Internet can be preserved through multistakeholder collaboration

Preparing for the Next Pandemic: Fear Cannot be our Motivation
News 22 Jan 2016
· WHO’s Chan: national and local capacity must be built to prevent economic, growth and stability issues that arise from health crises
· William H. Gates III: Surveillance and primary care are critical to building resiliency
· World Economic Forum is launching a two-year initiative to manage the risk and impact of future epidemics through optimized public-private cooperation under its newly formed Global Challenge Initiative on the Future of Health

$100 Trillion by 2025: the Digital Dividend for Society and Business
News 22 Jan 2016
· The combined value – to society and industry – of digital transformation across industries could be greater than $100 trillion over the next 10 years
· “Combinatorial” effects of digital technologies – mobile, cloud, artificial intelligence, sensors and analytics among others – are accelerating progress exponentially, but the full potential will not be achieved without collaboration between business, policy-makers and NGOs

Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement: Now It’s Time to Act
News 21 Jan 2016
· The Sustainable Development Goals and climate change go together – at their nexus is disaster risk reduction
· Climate change undermines development gains
· The Paris Climate Agreement gives the private sector an unprecedented opportunity to foster a race to the top of climate ambitions
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 21 January 2016 – This year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is the first opportunity to take stock of the victories of 2015, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York, told participants. Now it is time to act. “We have delivered the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement (COP21),” he said. “The only agenda greater than our promises is to deliver and implement these two important agreements.”

Ban said the 17 SDGs and climate change are indivisible because climate change undermines development gains. “Now, we have a holistic approach,” he said. “The SDGs move us towards development models that are more sustainable.” He pointed to the critical nexus between development and climate change – disaster risk reduction, which also undermines development gains.

The Paris Climate Agreement gave the private sector “an unprecedented opportunity” to foster a race to the top of climate ambitions, Ban added. There is much work ahead…

United Nations, World Bank Group Launch High-Level Panel on Water in Davos
News 21 Jan 2016
· United Nations and World Bank announce launch of High-Level Panel on Water today at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016
· Panel to mobilize urgent action on the Sustainable Development Goal for water, sanitation and related targets
· Co-chaired by the President of Mauritius and the President of Mexico, the panel will comprise a group of heads of state and government from developed and developing countries

African Leaders Seek Strategic Partners to Empower Citizens
News 21 Jan 2016
· Universal access to energy, education and markets seen as prerequisite to sustain rapid growth
· Rather than depend on overseas exports, recent policies and partnerships seek to process and trade commodities within the continent
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 21 January 2016 – The only thing that worries Africa’s political and economic leaders about disruptive revolutions in industry, energy, trade and education is that they won’t be fast or big enough to keep up with growing demand for them.

“More than a century after Edison invented the light bulb, half of Africa is still in the dark,” said Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Abidjan. “We talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but it all starts with the need for electricity, which is like blood in the system. If we don’t have it, we can’t live.”

With 645 million Africans deprived of electricity, schools, hospitals and homes suffer. Some 600,000 women die each year from inhaling the smoke of cooking with wood or dung. To secure universal access by 2025, African heads of state have launched a new deal on energy, focused on power, potential and partnership. Revolutionary partnership may take several forms…

Davos Message from Pope: Don’t Forget the Poor at Dawn of Fourth Industrial Revolution
News 20 Jan 2016
· Holy Father sees “precious opportunity to build inclusive societies based on respect for human dignity, tolerance, compassion and mercy”
· Also warns the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings with it a growing sense that large-scale job loss is inevitable
Read the full message

More Plastic than Fish in the Ocean by 2050: Report Offers Blueprint for Change
News 19 Jan 2016
· Most plastic packaging is used only once; new report reveals that 95% of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80 billion-$120 billion annually, is lost to the economy
· Report predicts that, on the current track, oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 (by weight)
· Report offers vision for a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and a blueprint for the systemic change and collaboration needed to realize that vision
· Read the full report here

Five Million Jobs by 2020: the Real Challenge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
News 18 Jan 2016
· The Fourth Industrial Revolution, combined with other socio-economic and demographic changes, will transform labour markets in the next five years, leading to a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies
· Skills and jobs displacement will affect every industry and geographical region, but losses can be offset by job growth in key areas
· A clear majority of businesses believe that investing in skills, rather than hiring more short-term or virtual workers, is the key to successfully managing disruptions to the labour market for the long term
· The new research by the World Economic Forum is the first of its kind, representing more than 13 million employees in nine industry sectors and 15 economies; it aims to guide business and policy-makers on how to equip labour forces with the skills to navigate the disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
· Access the full report, infographics and more here.

Strategy for Reinforcing UNESCO’s Action for the Protection of Culture and the Promotion of Cultural Pluralism in the Event of Armed Conflict

Strategy for Reinforcing UNESCO’s Action for the Protection of Culture and the Promotion of Cultural Pluralism in the Event of Armed Conflict
November 2015 :: 11 pages
[Selected paragraphs]
1. Armed conflicts have always had a devastating effect on culture and heritage, including through intentional destructions of significant markers of identity. Destructive ideologies are also not new in history. In recent decades, however, culture has been increasingly at the frontline of conflicts, with violent extremism1 becoming a significant driver. Today, threats to cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict result from intentional destruction, collateral damage, forced neglect, as well as from the organized looting and illicit trafficking of cultural objects, which today occurs at an unprecedented scale and finances, in some cases, terrorism.

…12. The two intertwined objectives of UNESCO are the following:
:: Strengthen the ability of Member States to prevent, mitigate and recover the loss of cultural heritage and diversity as a result of conflict, by developing institutional and professional capacities for reinforced protection. UNESCO is committed to support national leadership and ownership in response, when culture is at risk or attacked in a specific country. Drawing on its comparative advantage as the only UN Specialized Agency with a mandate on culture, UNESCO will work with national authorities to facilitate a coordinated international response to achieve more effective results and impact.
:: Incorporate the protection of culture into humanitarian action, security strategies and peacebuilding processes by engaging with relevant stakeholders outside the culture domain. This will be achieved by developing new strategic partnerships with selected actors, in particular other UN entities, to build synergies, operational tools and mechanisms to enable the effective implementation of the provisions of the UNESCO Conventions, notably of the 1954 Hague Convention and its 1999 Protocol, and UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property ; as well as to encourage culturally-sensitive humanitarian, security and peacebuilding approaches.

…30. Together with major humanitarian actors, such as UNHCR, IOM and ICRC, UNESCO will propose methodologies, tools and possibly joint operational activities to support the protection of cultural diversity as an integral element of refugee and IDP protection. Particular attention will be given to mainstreaming due consideration for refugees’ and IDPs’ cultural rights into the services that they are offered and benefitting from in camps and host communities. Cultural initiatives to promote mutual understanding between refugees/IDPs and host communities will also be envisaged.

31. Cooperation with the military will be further developed, including with UN peace-keeping forces, to enhance knowledge and understanding of international humanitarian law related to the protection of cultural heritage during conflict. UNESCO will build on the positive experience of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2100 (2013) that established the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and requested it to ensure the safeguarding of cultural heritage sites in collaboration with UNESCO. In particular, the integration of a module on the protection of cultural heritage and diversity within the standard training of peace-keeping forces will be proposed. Ultimately, it is hoped that increased awareness of the military on international humanitarian cultural heritage law will lead to the operationalization of protected cultural areas4 in zones of conflict; that is significant cultural heritage sites, which are clearly identified and protected from the conflict based on a mutual agreement between military forces operating in the given area…

47. Based on UNESCO’s experience on the implementation of emergency action plans in times of conflict, an estimated amount of 25 million US Dollars, invested in a phased approach over the remaining six years of the 37C/4 Medium Term Strategy, is needed to support the implementation of all priority actions in the form of extra-budgetary contributions to the recently established Heritage Emergency Fund…

Press Release
UNESCO Strategy Reinforces Protection of Culture and Heritage in Armed Conflict
22 January 2016

Human Development Report 2015 – Work for Human Development [UNDP]

Human Development Report 2015 – Work for Human Development
UNDP – 2015
eISBN: 978-92-1-057615-4 :: 288 pages
Report pdf:
Twenty five years ago the first Human Development Report in 1990 began with a simple notion: that development is about enlarging people’s choices—focusing broadly on the richness of human lives rather than narrowly on the richness of economies. Work is a major foundation for both the richness of economies and the richness of human lives but has tended to be conceptualized in economic terms rather than in human development terms. The 2015 Human Development Report goes beyond that convention in directly linking work to the richness of human lives.

This Report starts with a fundamental question—how can work enhance human development? The Report takes a broad view of work, going beyond jobs and taking into account such activities as unpaid care work, voluntary work and creative work—all of which contribute to the richness of human lives.

The Report highlights impressive progress on human development over the past quarter century. Today people are living longer, more children are in school and more people have access to clean water and basic sanitation. Per capita income in the world has gone up, and poverty has gone down, resulting in a better standard of living for many people. The digital revolution has connected people across countries and societies. Work has contributed to this progress by building people’s capabilities. Decent work has provided people with a sense of dignity and an opportunity to engage fully in society.

Considerable challenges remain, from persistent poverty and grinding inequalities to climate change and environmental sustainability in general, and to conflict and instability. These all create barriers to people fully engaging in decent work, and as a result huge amounts of human potential remain untapped. This is of particular concern for young people, women, people with disabilities and others who may be marginalized. The Report argues that if the potential of all people is harnessed through appropriate strategies and proper policies, human progress would be accelerated and human development deficits would be reduced.

The Report reminds us that there is no automatic link between work and human development.  The quality of work is an important dimension of ensuring that work enhances human development. Issues such as discrimination and violence, however, prevent positive links between work and human development. Some work is very damaging to human development, such as child labour, forced labour and the labour of trafficked workers, all of which constitute serious violations of human rights. In many cases workers in hazardous conditions face serious risks of abuse, insecurity and loss of freedom and autonomy.

All these issues are becoming even more critical to address as the world of work, driven by globalization and technological revolution, is undergoing rapid changes. Globalization has generated gains for some and losses for others. The digital revolution has created new opportunities, but has also given rise to new challenges, such as irregular contracts and short-term work, which are asymmetrically distributed between highly skilled and unskilled workers.

The Report makes a strong case that women are disadvantaged in the world of work—in both paid and unpaid work. In the realm of paid work, they are engaged in the workforce less than men, they earn less, their work tends to be more vulnerable and they are underrepresented in senior management and decision-making positions. In terms of unpaid work, they bear a disproportionate share of the housework and care work.

The Report identifies sustainable work, which promotes human development while reducing and eliminating negative side effects and unintended consequences, as a major building block of sustainable development. Such work would expand opportunities for the present generation without shrinking those for future ones.

The Report argues that enhancing human development through work requires policies and strategies in three broad areas—creating work opportunities, ensuring workers’ well-being and developing targeted actions. The first area focuses on national employment strategies and seizing opportunities in the changing world of work, while the second area covers such important issues as guaranteeing workers’ rights and benefits, expanding social protection and addressing inequalities. Targeted actions should focus on sustainable work, addressing imbalances in paid and unpaid work and interventions for specific groups—for example, for youth and people with disabilities. Above all, there needs to be an agenda for action pursuing a New Social Contract, a Global Deal, and the Decent Work Agenda.

This year’s Report is particularly timely, following shortly after the UN Sustainable Development Summit, where the new Sustainable Development Goals were adopted, including Goal 8’s explicit emphasis on work: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

In this context there should be serious discussion about the challenges created by the ongoing changes in the world of work. Opportunities should be taken to strengthen the links between work and human development. During the past 25 years the human development concept, reports and indices have generated considerable debate, dialogue and discussions around the world on development challenges and policy issues. I expect this year’s report to be no exception in its capacity to generate dialogue and debate around the concept of human development and strategies to advance it.
Helen Clark
United Nations Development Programme

Helen Clark: Speech at the launch of the 2015 Human Development Report
Jan 18, 2016
Palais des Nations – Geneva, Switzerland

ITU International Telecommunications Union [to 23 January 2016]

ITU International Telecommunications Union [to 23 January 2016]

21 January 2016
Global partners join forces at Davos to connect the unconnected by 2020
Estimated cost of connecting next 1.5 billion is USD 450 billion
Davos,– A new global dialogue focused on getting the next 1.5 billion unconnected people online was forged at a special session of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development held at the World Economic Forum in Davos today…

A new Discussion Paper developed by ITU as a contribution to the work of the Commission presented at the session estimates that it will take global investment of USD 450 billion in network infrastructure to connect the next 1.5 billion unconnected people worldwide…

Internet of Things could be the low-cost ‘connectivity key’ that transforms lives in developing countries
New report from ITU and Cisco Systems throws spotlight on exciting development potential of hyper-connected world
Honolulu, 19 January 2016 – A new report from ITU and networking giant, Cisco, identifies the Internet of Things (IoT) as a major global development opportunity that has the potential to improve the lives of millions and dramatically accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Launched today at the Pacific Telecommunications Council annual meeting in Hawaii, “Harnessing the Internet of Things for Global Development” outlines how IoT could have a major impact in areas such as grassroots delivery of health care and education, positively transforming communities within a time frame that would have been unimaginable even a few years ago.

The joint report argues that strong demand for IoT technologies has created a huge array of IoT devices that are readily available, affordable and scalable for developing countries, providing an ideal platform to energize growth in emerging economies and improve people’s quality of life significantly – all with minimal investment.
The IoT concept refers broadly to the growing number of devices – from computers and smartphones to simple sensors and RFID chips – that are connected to the Internet and able to communicate with other devices, often without the need for human intervention. IoT is already extensively deployed in stock and inventory systems, fleet management, environmental monitoring and many industrial processes.

The ITU/Cisco report points to evidence of IoT already having an important impact on health, education and livelihood programmes (such as agricultural productivity) in developing countries. It cites three prime drivers that, if supported, could create an ‘IoT revolution’ in the developing world:

:: IoT devices are already common, cheap and easy replaceable in developing markets. Basic infrastructure to support IoT (Wi-Fi, Internet cafés, etc.) is already in place in many developing communities, with near-ubiquitous basic mobile connectivity (95% global 2G coverage, according to ITU’s latest statistics) and growing levels of 3G coverage (89% of the world’s urban dwellers – but only 29% of rural inhabitants).
:: IoT devices are increasingly being used in rugged, remote and inhospitable environments. ‘Extreme conditions’ operating parameters are now being built into IoT specs as more and more devices are required to operate outside in varying conditions and climates – making them well-adapted for challenging environments.
:: IoT R&D costs continue to be absorbed by strong demand in developed world markets, and there is little cost associated with ‘tweaking’ IoT devices for the developing world. The report also notes that in many cases, more complex developed world infrastructure is not required or necessary for developing markets; ‘core IoT’ is readily available and provides a digital backbone to build upon.

:: IoT devices are designed to be scalable. Many devices already offer very simple ‘plug & play’ functionality and do not require skilled technicians for installation or maintenance. Reduced and alternate power supplies (such as solar) can maintain sensors and networks where there is no consistent electricity supply, making them ideal for countries struggling with irregular or unavailable grid power. Finally, IoT devices also tend to be highly flexible, offering short- or long-term solutions and expansion at the household’s, the community’s or the country’s ‘own’ speed.

“The Internet of Things is one of the most exciting areas of our fast-evolving ICT industry, offering huge potential for disruption and transformation. In the context of global development challenges, this means we have the potential to surmount long-standing hurdles in basic services like health care, both quickly and affordably. IoT could prove the long-awaited new approach that will help turn-around developing economies and greatly improve millions of people’s day-to-day lives,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao…

New global platform to assist development of Smart Sustainable Cities
International standards to help achieve smart-city ambitions
Geneva, 18 January 2016 – The first World Smart City online community was launched today to assist city stakeholders in their efforts to develop Smart Sustainable Cities. The new community aims to identify the top ‘pain points’ presenting challenges to city development.

The community launch is part of the build-up to the first World Smart City Forum, organized by IEC in partnership with ISO and ITU. The Forum will be held in Singapore on 13 July 2016, co-located with the World Cities Summit

World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2016 [ILO]

World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2016
ILO – International Labour Organization
19 January 2016 :: 91 pages
The ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2016 includes a forecast of global unemployment levels, looking at the situation in developed, emerging and developing economies, with detailed charts and numbers. The report also focusses on the share of vulnerable employment as well as on the scale of the informal economy. It provides policy guidance to boost decent work opportunities around the globe.
Report pdf:—dgreports/—dcomm/—publ/documents/publication/wcms_443480.pdf

Press Release
World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2016
Global unemployment projected to rise in both 2016 and 2017
Despite falling unemployment levels in some developed economies, new ILO analysis – World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) – shows the global job crisis is not likely to end, especially in emerging economies.
News | 19 January 2016
GENEVA (ILO News) – Continuing high rates of unemployment worldwide and chronic vulnerable employment in many emerging and developing economies are still deeply affecting the world of work, warns a new ILO report.

The final figure for unemployment in 2015 is estimated to stand at 197.1 million and in 2016 is forecast to rise by about 2.3 million to reach 199.4 million. An additional 1.1 million jobless will likely be added to the global tally in 2017…

“The significant slowdown in emerging economies coupled with a sharp decline in commodity prices is having a dramatic effect on the world of work,” says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

“Many working women and men are having to accept low paid jobs, both in emerging and developing economies and also, increasingly in developed countries. And despite a drop in the number of unemployed in some EU countries and the US, too many people are still jobless. We need to take urgent action to boost the number of decent work opportunities or we risk intensified social tensions,” he adds.

In 2015, total global unemployment stood at 197.1 million – 27 million higher than the pre-crisis level of 2007.

Emerging economies worst hit
The unemployment rate for developed economies decreased from 7.1 per cent in 2014 to 6.7 per cent in 2015. In most cases, however, these improvements were not sufficient to eliminate the jobs gap that emerged as a result of the global financial crisis.

Moreover, the employment outlook has now weakened in emerging and developing economies, notably in Brazil, China and oil-producing countries.

“The unstable economic environment associated with volatile capital flows, still dysfunctional financial markets and the shortage of global demand continue to affect enterprises and deter investment and job creation,” explains Raymond Torres, Director of the ILO Research Department.

“In addition, policy-makers need to focus more on strengthening employment policies and tackling excessive inequalities. There is much evidence that well-designed labour market and social policies are essential for boosting economic growth and addressing the jobs crisis and almost eight years after the start of the global crisis, a strengthening of that policy approach is urgently needed,” adds Torres…

The authors of the WESO also document the fact that job quality remains a major challenge. While there has been a decrease in poverty rates, the rate of decline in the number of working poor in developing economies has slowed and vulnerable employment still accounts for over 46 per cent of total employment globally, affecting nearly 1.5 billion people.

Vulnerable employment is particularly high in emerging and developing economies, hitting between half and three-quarters of the employed population in those groups of countries, respectively, with peaks in Southern Asia (74 per cent) and sub-Saharan Africa (70 per cent).
Tackling informal employment

Meanwhile, the report shows that informal employment – as a percentage of non-agricultural employment – exceeds 50 per cent in half of the developing and emerging countries with comparable data. In one-third of these countries, it affects over 65 per cent of workers.

“The lack of decent jobs leads people to turn to informal employment, which is typically characterized by low productivity, low pay and no social protection. This needs to change. Responding urgently and vigorously to the scale of the global jobs challenge is key to successful implementation of the United Nations’ newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” concludes Ryder.

United Nations – Secretary General, Security Council, General Assembly [to 23 January 2016]

United Nations – Secretary General, Security Council, General Assembly  [to 23 January 2016]
Selected Press Releases/Meetings Coverage

22 January 2016
General Assembly Adopts Text Recognizing Dire Human Impact of Conflict-Driven Illicit Trade in Diamonds, Reaffirming Support for Kimberley Process
Precious gemstones were meant for development, not catalysing civil war, the General Assembly heard today as it adopted a resolution recognizing the devastating human impact of conflicts fuelled by the trade in illicit diamonds, while reaffirming support for the Kimberley Process initiative aimed at halting their flow into legitimate markets.

22 January 2016
Experts Call for Action to Preserve, Revitalize Indigenous Languages under Threat of Extinction, at New York Headquarters Meeting, 19-21 January
New York, 22 January 2016 (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) — A three-day meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York brought together experts from around the world to identify best practices and recommend ways to preserve and revitalize indigenous languages.

21 January 2016
Secretary-General Announces First Members of High-level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the first members of the High-level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child, who will help provide leadership and inspire actions for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the universal Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

21 January 2016
At Davos Meeting, Secretary-General Calls for Predictable Consistency in Sustainable Way of Funding, Providing Humanitarian Support

21 January 2016
At Least 51 United Nations Personnel Killed in Deliberate Attacks against Peacekeeping Operations in 2015
At least 51 United Nations and associated personnel were killed in the line of duty during the course of 2015, according to the United Nations Staff Union’s Standing Committee for the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service.

19 January 2016
Concrete Action Critical to Alleviating Human Suffering, Speakers Say, at Security Council Debate on Protection of Civilians
The situation of civilians in armed conflict zones — who were increasingly becoming targets themselves — remained “grim and bleak” even in the twenty-first century, stressed high-level briefers as the Security Council took on the issue of protection of civilians today.

Deputy Secretary-General, at Security Council, Stresses Need for Redoubled Efforts, ‘Ever More Concrete Actions’ to Ensure Protection of Civilians in Conflicts
Security Council: Protection of civilians in armed conflict (7606th meeting)
(Part 1) The protection of civilians in armed conflict – Security Council, 7606th meeting
19 Jan 2016
[Video: 2:58:20]
(Part 2) The protection of civilians in armed conflict – Security Council, 7606th meeting
[Video: 3:17:50]
(Part 3) The protection of civilians in armed conflict – Security Council, 7606th meeting
[Video: 2:35:15]
The open debate underscored “the responsibilities of national actors for the protection of civilians and consider questions relating to the conduct of hostilities, humanitarian access, attacks on humanitarian and medical staff and facilities and displacement.” It also addressed the role of the Council in restoring the centrality of international humanitarian law to international efforts to protect civilians and in energizing compliance and accountability measures

UN OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [to 23 January 2016]

UN OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [to 23 January 2016]
Selected Press Releases

Widespread human rights abuses by all sides as South Sudan peace process gets underway
JUBA/GENEVA (21 January 2016) – Widespread human rights violations and abuses have been committed in South Sudan by all parties to the conflict since December 2013, including hundreds of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, forced recruitment and indiscriminate attacks against civilians, according to a UN report published today.

The report, by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), shows that “very few places in areas of conflict have been safe, as the parties have intentionally attacked traditional safe havens, such as places of worship, hospitals and, from time to time, United Nations bases.”

These attacks reveal a shocking disregard for civilian life, the report says, with an increasing number of armed groups and communities being involved in the violence. “From the middle of 2015, a new pattern emerged, particularly in the central and southern counties of Unity State, with entire villages being burned down, food crops destroyed and livestock looted. There are indications that this may have been a deliberate strategy by the government or the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) aimed at depriving civilians of any source of livelihood with a view to forcing their displacement,” says the report.

The report documents at least 280 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, including gang-rape, sexual slavery and forced abortion. There has also been sharp increase in child recruitment, with at least 13,000 to 15,000 child soldiers, recruited mainly, but not solely, by opposition forces, as of December 2015.

“Despite the severity of the human rights and humanitarian law violations perpetrated by both sides to the conflict, there are no tangible accountability mechanisms beyond the rhetoric of the main belligerents,” says the report…

Staggering civilian death toll in Iraq – UN report
BAGHDAD/GENEVA (19 January 2016) – A UN report released today details the severe and extensive impact on civilians of the ongoing conflict in Iraq, with at least 18,802 civilians killed and another 36,245 wounded between 1 January 2014 and 31 October 2015. Another 3.2 million people have been internally displaced since January 2014, including more than a million children of school age.

Of the total number of casualties, at least 3,855 civilians were killed and 7,056 wounded between 1 May and 31 October last year – the period covered by the report, although the actual figures could be much higher than those documented. About half of these deaths took place in Baghdad.

The report, compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is based largely on testimony obtained directly from the victims, survivors or witnesses of violations of international human rights or international humanitarian law, including interviews with internally displaced people…

Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography [to 23 January 2016]

Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography [to 23 January 2016]

22 January 2016
UN Special Rapporteurs on sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution; contemporary forms of slavery; and the right to the highest attainable standard of health – Visit to Nigeria, 18 to 22 January 2016

22 January 2016
Nigeria / Boko Haram: “The reintegration of women and children essential to the path towards lasting peace” – UN experts

UN OCHA [to 23 January 2016]

UN OCHA [to 23 January 2016]

23 Jan 2016
Yemen: Statement of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick on his visit to Taizz, Ibb and the city of Taizz

21 Jan 2016
World: Mr. Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Statement on preparations for the World Humanitarian Summit, 19 January 2016, Geneva

19 Jan 2016
occupied Palestinian territory: UN officials call for an immediate revocation of plans to transfer Palestinian Bedouin in the Jerusalem area
Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: occupied Palestinian territory Today, the Coordinator for Humanitarian and UN Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Robert Piper, and the Director of UNRWA Operations West Bank, Felipe Sanchez, called for an immediate end to Israeli plans to transfer Palestinian Bedouin currently living within the occupied Palestinian territory in the Jerusalem area. The call follows a visit today with diplomats from 17 countries* to the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar, the site of recent demolitions and aid confiscations by the Israeli authorities…

19 Jan 2016
South Sudan: South Sudan: Humanitarian community appeals for $1.3 billion to assist 5.1 million people in need
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: South Sudan (Juba, 19 January 2016): The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016, which was officially launched today in Juba, requests US$1.3 billion to respond to the most life-threatening needs of 5.1 million of people across South Sudan. A total of 114 humanitarian organizations, including international and national NGOs and UN agencies have projects in the plan

19 Jan 2016
Somalia: $885 million needed for humanitarian aid in Somalia
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Country: Kenya, Somalia, Yemen (Mogadishu, 19 January 2016) – The humanitarian community in Somalia today launched a prioritized Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2016 in Mogadishu calling on the international community to ensure predictable and timely funding. The new plan is seeking USD $885 million to reach 3.5 million people with urgent life-saving assistance…

UNICEF [to 23 January 2016]

UNICEF [to 23 January 2016]
Selected Press Releases

Davos 2016: Humanitarian, philanthropic and insurance leaders call for “paradigm shift” in global response to crises
DAVOS, Friday 22 January – In the face of escalating humanitarian needs and costs, the heads of three of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, along with senior representatives from leading philanthropic and insurance organizations have called for a “paradigm shift” in the world’s approach to humanitarian assistance.

Slovenia and UNICEF in new partnership for refugee and migrant children on the move
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, 19 January 2016 – With up to 3,000 refugees and migrants passing through Slovenia each day, UNICEF and the Government of Slovenia today announced a partnership aimed at improving the care and protection of children on the move.

Concern over health of children on the move during harsh winter – UNICEF
GENEVA, 19 January 2016 – Children arriving into a harsh winter in southeastern Europe are physically exhausted, scared, distressed and often in need of medical assistance, UNICEF warned.

IOM / International Organization for Migration [to 23 January 2016]

IOM / International Organization for Migration [to 23 January 2016]

Migrant Arrivals in Europe by Sea Reached 36,556 in First 21 Days of 2016: IOM
Greece – IOM reports that deaths of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean already make this the deadliest January on record.

Guinea Revives Border Health Screening to Mitigate Risk of Spread of Ebola
Guinea – Following the confirmation of a new Ebola case in Sierra Leone on January 12 – and confirmation of another case on January 20th – IOM and its partners are reactivating cross-border health screening at Guinea’s borders with Sierra Leone and reinforcing their surveillance capacity in Forecariah Prefecture, the border area closest to the outbreak.

IOM Ghana Combats Child Trafficking through Education in Volta Region
Ghana – IOM Ghana, with support from UNICEF, has launched a project to increase child protection and combat child trafficking in eight districts of the Volta Region.

IOM Supports Salvadorean Call Centre for Migrants Abroad
El Salvador – IOM has handed over equipment to El Salvador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen its call center operation, which last year assisted approximately 267,000 Salvadoreans living abroad.

Migrant Arrivals in Greece in January Spike 2,100 Percent from a Year Ago: IOM
Greece – Since the beginning of 2016, IOM estimates that 31,244 migrants and refugees have arrived in Greece by sea.

UN Women [to 23 January 2016]

UN Women [to 23 January 2016]

Date: 22 January 2016
Stakeholders tackle how to make the SDGs a reality for women and girls
At a UN Women-organized Multi-Stakeholder Forum on 21 January in preparation for the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60), States, civil society and the United Nations system discussed ways to accelerate realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women and implementing related commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Date: 22 January 2016
UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT CEOs from Fortune 500 companies reveal gender data
Ten of the world’s leading companies have released new workforce gender diversity figures, including details on leadership roles and board membership, in UN Women’s inaugural HeForShe Parity Report.

Date: 20 January 2016
UN announces first-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment
Eminent experts to highlight the interactions between economic growth and gender to galvanize political will and leadership to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

WHO & Regionals [to 23 January 2016]

WHO & Regionals [to 23 January 2016]

El Niño threatens at least 60 million people
22 January 2016 — WHO and partners predict a major global increase in health-related emergencies this year due to El Niño. According to a new WHO report, severe drought, flooding, rains and temperature rises are all known effects of El Niño that can lead to food insecurity, malnutrition, disease outbreaks, acute water shortages and disruption of health services.
Read the story on El Niño and health

t on dracunculiasis cases, January– November 2015

Disease Outbreak News (DONs)
:: 21 January 2016 – Zika virus infection – France – Saint Martin and Guadeloupe
:: 21 January 2016 – Guillain-Barré syndrome – El Salvador
:: 21 January 2016 – Zika virus infection – Haiti
:: 20 January 2016 – Zika virus infection – Bolivia
:: 20 January 2016 – Zika virus infection – Guyana, Barbados and Ecuador
:: 19 January 2016 – Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

:: WHO Regional Offices
WHO African Region AFRO
No new digest content identified.

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: As the Zika virus spreads, PAHO advises countries to monitor and report birth anomalies and other suspected complications of the virus (01/18/2016)
:: PAHO helps countries in the Americas prepare for spread of Zika (01/16/2016)

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

WHO European Region EURO
:: Collaboration on refugee and migrant health 21-01-2016
Countries in the WHO European Region have agreed to prepare a common framework for coordinated collaboration and action on refugee and migrant health, based on solidarity and mutual assistance and in the spirit of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda, whereby “no one should be left behind”
…The document states, among other issues:
:: Migrants and refugees do not pose an additional threat to health security in host communities.
:: Screening can be an effective public health instrument but should be non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing and should benefit both the individual and the public.
:: Special attention should be paid to the most vulnerable groups, such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities and victims of torture.
:: Health records and health cards must be made portable as a priority…

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: New delivery rooms in camps for the internally displaced in Iraq save the lives of mothers and babies
20 January 2016

WHO Western Pacific Region
No new digest content identified.