The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 25 November 2017

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

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

pdf version:The Sentinel_ period ending 25 November 2017

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research
:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals

Efforts To Address Burma’s Rakhine State Crisis – Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State

Human Rights – Ethnic Cleansing – Accountability

Efforts To Address Burma’s Rakhine State Crisis
November 22, 2017 Press Statement
Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
[Editor’s text bolding]

I visited Naypyitaw, Burma on November 15, where I met separately with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. I reaffirmed the United States’ strong commitment to Burma’s successful democratic transition as the elected government strives to implement reforms, bring peace and reconciliation to the nation, and resolve a devastating crisis in Rakhine State. Our first priority is to relieve the intolerable suffering faced by so many. In response to the dire situation, I announced last week an additional $47 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Rakhine State crisis, bringing the total amount spent in response to this crisis to more than $87 million since August of this year.

Burma’s response to this crisis is vital to determining the success of its transition to a more democratic society. As I said in Naypyitaw, the key test of any democracy is how it treats its most vulnerable and marginalized populations, such as the ethnic Rohingya and other minority populations. Burma’s government and security forces must respect the human rights of all persons within its borders, and hold accountable those who fail to do so.

I reiterate the United States’ condemnation of August 25 attacks on security forces by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Yet no provocation can justify the horrendous atrocities that have ensued. These abuses by some among the Burmese military, security forces, and local vigilantes have caused tremendous suffering and forced hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children to flee their homes in Burma to seek refuge in Bangladesh. After a careful and thorough analysis of available facts, it is clear that the situation in northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.

Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable. The United States continues to support a credible, independent investigation to further determine all facts on the ground to aid in these processes of accountability. We have supported constructive action on the Rakhine crisis at the UN Security Council and in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee. The United States will also pursue accountability through U.S. law, including possible targeted sanctions.

We support the Burmese government’s commitment to create the conditions necessary for all refugees and internally displaced people to return to their homes safely and voluntarily, and welcome recent exchanges between the governments of Burma and Bangladesh on repatriation. Support by Burma’s military for these government efforts is crucial. This is a difficult and complex situation. Many stakeholders must work together to ensure progress.

Despite progress, 180 million children face bleaker prospects than their parents – UNICEF

World Children’s Day – UNICEF Analysis

Despite progress, 180 million children face bleaker prospects than their parents – UNICEF
Press release
World Children’s Day activities in over 130 countries to provide platform for children to speak out about their concerns; advocate for children being left behind

NEW YORK, 20 November 2017 – Despite global progress, 1 in 12 children worldwide live in countries where their prospects today are worse than those of their parents, according to a UNICEF analysis conducted for World Children’s Day.

According to the analysis, 180 million children live in 37 countries where they are more likely to live in extreme poverty, be out of school, or be killed by violent death than children living in those countries were 20 years ago.

“While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world’s children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this – through no fault of their own or those of their families – is a travesty” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy…

“It is the hope of every parent, everywhere, to provide greater opportunities for their children than they themselves enjoyed when they were young. This World Children’s Day, we have to take stock of how many children are instead seeing opportunities narrow and their prospects diminish,” added Chandy.

Assessing children’s prospects in escaping extreme poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent deaths, the UNICEF analysis reveals that:
:: The share of people living on less than $1.90 a day has increased in 14 countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This increase is mostly due to unrest, conflicts or poor governance.

:: Primary school enrolment has declined in 21 countries, including Syria and Tanzania, due to such factors as financial crises, rapid population growth and the impact of conflicts.

:: Violent deaths among children below the age of 19 have increased in seven countries: Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen – all countries experiencing major conflicts.

:: Four countries – Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen – witnessed a decline across more than one of the three areas measured, while South Sudan has experienced declines across all three.

“In a time of rapid technological change leading to huge gains in living standards, it is perverse that hundreds of millions are seeing living standards actually decline, creating a sense of injustice among them and failure among those entrusted with their care,” said Chandy. “No wonder they feel their voices are unheard and their futures uncertain.”

A separate UNICEF survey of children aged 9-18 in 14 countries also released today shows that children are deeply concerned about global issues affecting their peers and them personally, including violence, terrorism, conflict, climate change, unfair treatment of refugees and migrants, and poverty…

Dai-ichi Life Invests in First Ever ADB ‘Gender Bond’ to Support Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Development Finance – “Gender Bond”

Dai-ichi Life Invests in First Ever ADB ‘Gender Bond’ to Support Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
Media Release
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 November 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has issued its first “gender bond” to finance a pool of eligible projects that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Asia and the Pacific. The NZ$130 million bond (equivalent ¥10 billion) was purchased in its entirety by Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited of Japan.

The proceeds raised through the gender bond will be used by ADB to finance projects that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, such as ADB’s support for financial inclusion for women. One example is the Second Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Project in Bangladesh, which in addition to access to credit provides women with tools to increase financial literacy and training.

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are valuable in their own right, but they are also an integral part of fostering more inclusive development outcomes in Asia,” said ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem. “Through the issuance of this bond, ADB is demonstrating that we can integrate gender considerations into our funding operations. Incorporating gender equality into ADB’s work is essential in our mission to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in Asia and the Pacific.”…

Dai-ichi Life continues to improve its investment returns through enhancement and diversification of its investment methods, while proactively expanding ESG investment [1] in an effort to contribute to creating a sustainable society as a responsible institutional investor. While they secure stable returns through investment in this bond, they support projects for gender equality and women’s empowerment in Asia and the Pacific through financing and by regularly following up on the progress of these projects.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

[1] ESG stands for Environment, Society and Governance. Dai-ichi Life follows ESG investment principles that combine safety and profitability with social and public interest (environmental protection, social contributions, promotion of diversity and corporate governance).

President Enrique Peña Nieto Signs Revillagigedo National Park Decree – Mexico

Heritage Stewardship

President Enrique Peña Nieto Signs Revillagigedo National Park Decree
“Mexico confirms its commitment to global efforts to conserve the environment for the benefit of all people and nations”
November 24, 2017 Press Release
:: The decision was taken to turn the Revillagigedo Archipelago into a national park, the largest in North America, to ensure its conservation by providing it with the greatest possible protection.
:: During this Administration, six Natural Protected Areas and five safeguard zones have been decreed, equivalent to just over 65 million hectares, almost triple the area protected at the beginning of this government.
:: Mexico has thereby achieved a total of 182 Protected Natural Areas, which together cover approximately 91 million hectares, including nearly 70 million hectares of marine areas and 21 million of land areas.

President Enrique Peña Nieto today signed the Revillagigedo National Park Decree, whereby the Mexican government fulfills its commitment to ensuring the conservation of this exceptional archipelago, which will allow the conservation of hundreds of marine species, many of them at risk.

After noting that, “This wonderful protected natural area is an invaluable heritage of Mexico as well as an enormous responsibility,” the president declared that he made the decision to convert the Revillagigedo Archipelago into a national park, the largest in North America, to ensure its conservation by providing it with the greatest possible protection…

He explained that as a result of these actions, “In 2016, we joined the small group of countries that have complied with the marine component of the Aichi target, which establishes the commitment to protect 10 percent of the marine area, which we have already more than doubled by achieving nearly 23 percent”

President Peña Nieto recalled that barely a year has passed since the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Revillagigedo Archipelago a World Heritage Site, adding that, “The criteria on which its inscription in this list were based reflect the importance of this maritime paradise”:
FIRST: Possessing natural beauty and exceptional aesthetic value.
SECOND: Being a representative example of the biological and ecological processes of marine ecosystems; and
THIRD: Containing natural habitats for the in situ conservation of biological diversity, particularly of threatened species with universal value.

The president declared that the decree signed today, “Will contribute to maintaining the connectivity of Pacific Ocean ecosystems, including other protected areas in that extensive marine corridor such Clipperton Atoll, the Galapagos Islands and Coco Island, in Costa Rica”.

The core zone of the Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park includes14.8 million hectares. As of the entry into force of this decree, “Any fishing activity, extraction of any natural resource or the construction of hotel infrastructure will be prohibited in this area”. Unlike what has happened in the past, he said, “This national park came into existence with equipment, facilities and personnel, which will ensure its proper conservation”.

“To this end, the Mexican Navy, in collaboration with the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, will carry out surveillance, equipment and training actions, which will include remote monitoring in real time, environmental education for fishermen, and sanctions against offenders. These actions will contribute to increasing the number of species and will help the recovery of marine banks that have been reduced by environmental impact and human activity,” he explained…

Women on the move: Migration, care work and health – WHO

Women on the move: Migration, care work and health
World Health Organization
2017 : 102 pages
ISBN: 978-92-4-151314-2
PDFs:
Women on the move: Full report
Women on the move: Policy brief

Executive Summary [Excerpt; text bolding from original]
Ageing in late industrial and middle-income economies, combined with rising demographic dependency ratios and female labour force participation, has led to emerging care deficits in many developed and developing countries. Around the world, more women are entering the labour force, thus taking them away from traditional unpaid caring roles.

This report focuses largely on one population group: women migrant care workers who provide home-based personal care. However, many of the issues, and the next steps suggested here, also apply to other migrants and refugees – particularly women and girls – as well as to other socially excluded and marginalized groups engaged in paid and unpaid care work across the world.

Without a doubt, women migrant care workers play an increasingly prominent role in securing and protecting the health status of others and are contributing both to health in the broadest sense
and to health systems. Yet relatively little is known about their own health status, the health implications to their families of their out-migration, and the extent of their important contributions to health systems. Around the world, care workers are overwhelmingly female, and many are migrants. This report documents how, despite making a large contribution to global public health, they are exposed to many health risks themselves, while enjoying few labour market and health protections. The report also underscores that paid and unpaid care work is central to the broad health and well-being of individuals, their families and communities, as well as society at large.

The care paradox: global public health and the role of migrant women care workers
Increasingly, immigrant women are being imported into receiving country economies to care, often in informal settings, and are frequently engaged by private households, without full access to social protection and labour rights. Yet this group of migrants provides essential care services and, increasingly, health-care services, thus contributing to health systems and to health and well-being worldwide.

As the leading normative agency on health, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls attention to the paradox that migrant women care workers buttress health systems in countries with shortfalls in health-care provision, while their own rights to health may be eroded and their health-care needs are unfulfilled. Migrant women care workers act as a cushion for states that lack adequate public provision for long-term care, child care and care for the sick.

Unmet needs and growing demand for care
Home-based personal care – whether for older persons, children, or those with chronic diseases or disabilities – constitutes an important component of modern health systems. This applies to both high-income countries, where formal health-care institutions and services are struggling to meet the growing demand for such care, as well as to middle- and lower-income countries and regions where home-based care relieves the demand for, and expense of, institutional care. In all societies there is a cultural preference for care “in the family” or for “ageing in place”.

One area in which the care deficit in receiving countries is particularly pronounced is long-term care for older persons. Critical shortages of long-term care workers make quality services unavailable for large parts of the global population aged 65 years and over. The extent of the unmet need varies worldwide, but in Europe alone the shortage is estimated at around 2.3 million formal long-term care workers.

The policy architecture related to care work, migration and women
The unique status of migrant women care workers as both providers and consumers of health and social care requires that both sending and receiving countries reflect on this paradox and work
urgently, and much more collaboratively, to overcome challenges, contradictions, gaps and inconsistencies in international, regional, national and subnational policies, laws and programmes across all relevant sectors. This report proposes the integration of policy actions – and of gender, equity and human rights approaches – to mediate concerns about care deficits and decent and safe work in the care sector as a crucial component of maintaining global and national public health.

Why this report?
WHO initiated this report in response to growing global political interest in population health and development, particularly noting discussions at the 42nd G7 meeting in Japan in May 2016 which called for more attention to migrants and their role in paid and unpaid care work. It is hoped that this report, and its reflection on potential next steps, will foster further debate about approaches to ensure that the global community meets its obligations to leave no one behind in securing long-term equitable and sustainable development. The analysis is also shaped by commitments to the principles of human rights, the Tanahashi Framework on health service coverage and evaluation, the United Nations Migration Governance Framework,i the Framework of priorities and guiding principles for a World Health Assembly Resolution on the health of migrants and refugees, the concept of progressive universalism towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC), and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentii with its overarching goal of leaving no one behind…

Featured Journal Content – PLoS Medicine

Featured Journal Content

PLoS Medicine
http://www.plosmedicine.org/
(Accessed 25 November 2017)
Policy Forum
Extreme exploitation in Southeast Asia waters: Challenges in progressing towards universal health coverage for migrant workers
Rapeepong Suphanchaimat, Nareerut Pudpong, Viroj Tangcharoensathien
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002441
Summary points
:: Labour exploitation and enslavement of sea workers have caught significant political attention in many Southeast Asian countries in recent years. These human rights violations are complicated by human trafficking syndicates, economic disparities between countries in the region, weak rule of law, inadequate labour inspection and protections, poor access to healthcare, and corruption.
:: Although some Southeast Asian nations attempt to protect the health and well-being of “everyone” on their soil by introducing health insurance policies, there remain unsolved implementation challenges.
: Effectively combating extreme labour exploitation requires a collective effort from all concerned stakeholders, seamless collaboration across countries, and long-term comprehensive mechanisms to prevent further abusive treatments; this is particularly relevant with a highly mobile population like migrant seafarers.

Essay
Labour trafficking: Challenges and opportunities from an occupational health perspective
Elena Ronda-Pérez, Bente E. Moen
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002440
Summary points
:: Labour trafficking is intrinsically related to occupational health; however, very little attention has been paid to the issue from an occupational health perspective.
:: The recognition of certain work-related health problems in workers in specific work sectors can help to identify victims of labour trafficking.
:: This essay identifies a series of opportunities for occupational health services to detect and address labour trafficking and increase health personnel awareness of the problem.

Essay
Child sex trafficking in the United States: Challenges for the healthcare provider
V. Jordan Greenbaum
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002439
Summary points
:: Victims of child sex trafficking are at high risk of numerous physical and behavioral health problems and are likely to seek medical attention. This places healthcare providers (HCPs) in a position to identify high-risk youth and offer critical services.
:: Children are unlikely to disclose their victimization spontaneously to HCPs. To increase the likelihood that providers recognize victims and appropriately respond to their particular needs, training and resources are needed in the following 3 areas: understanding trauma and its impact on children, victim-centered and human rights–based approaches to care, and developmentally appropriate interview techniques.
:: Building trust and establishing the rapport needed to allow a child victim to disclose exploitation typically requires time. This may be difficult to allocate in busy medical settings. Screening tools, division of responsibilities among staff, and prioritization of assessment for trafficking may help to address this problem.
:: Trafficked children have a wide range of physical, mental health, educational, and social needs that are best met by multidisciplinary collaboration of HCPs, victim service providers, government agencies, and other stakeholders. Development of detailed hospital/clinic protocols will assist HCPs in accessing appropriate community and national resources.

Essay
Sexual exploitation of unaccompanied migrant and refugee boys in Greece: Approaches to prevention
Julie Freccero, Dan Biswas, Audrey Whiting, Khaled Alrabe, Kim Thuy Seelinger
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002438
Summary points
:: The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has drawn international attention to the issue of sexual exploitation of unaccompanied and separated refugee boys, requiring humanitarian actors and service providers to quickly develop responses in the absence of an established evidence base.
:: Although adolescent boys comprise a substantial majority of the population of unaccompanied and separated children, they are rarely the focus of policy discussions and are consistently left out of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts. Gender-specific research, policy guidance, and evidence of best practices related to interventions preventing the sexual exploitation of boys are extremely limited.
:: Three prevention approaches have been heavily debated in Greece among policy makers and practitioners: high-security shelter models, life skills education, and cash transfer programming. While lessons can be drawn from evidence of these interventions in other contexts or among other target populations, research on the impact of these approaches on vulnerability to sexual exploitation among unaccompanied refugee and migrant boys is urgently needed to inform policy and program design.
:: A combination of approaches, addressing risk factors at multiple levels, such as building individual-level knowledge and skills, providing community- or family-level protection in the absence of traditional support mechanisms, and structural interventions to address economic vulnerability, is likely needed in order to significantly reduce the vulnerability of unaccompanied and separated boys to sexual exploitation.
:: Rigorous evaluation of current pilot approaches is critical to building the gendered evidence base, guidance, and resources practitioners urgently require.

Collection Review
Human trafficking and exploitation: A global health concern
Cathy Zimmerman, Ligia Kiss
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002437
Summary points
:: Labor migration is an economic and social mobility strategy that benefits millions of people around the world, yet human trafficking and the exploitation of low-wage workers is pervasive.
:: The negative health consequences of human trafficking—and labor exploitation more generally—are sufficiently prevalent and damaging that they comprise a public health problem of global magnitude.
:: Human trafficking and labor exploitation are substantial health determinants that need to be treated as preventable, drawing on public health intervention approaches that target the underlying drivers of exploitation before the harm occurs.
:: Exploitative practices are commonly sustained by business models that rely on disposable labor, labyrinthine supply chains, and usurious labor intermediaries alongside weakening labor governance and protections, and underpinned by deepening social and economic divisions.
:: Initiatives to address human trafficking require targeted actions to prevent the drivers of exploitation across each stage of the labor migration cycle to stop the types of harm that can lead to generational cycles of disability and disenfranchisement.

Emergencies

Emergencies
 
POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 22 November 2017 [GPEI]
:: On the 14 November, the 15th IHR Emergency Committee convened to review the risk of international spread of poliovirus. The committee agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and recommended the extension of revised Temporary Recommendations for a further three months.
:: To mark World Children’s Day, we reported on how the polio eradication programme helps deliver a bright future to children in Nigeria.

:: Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:
Afghanistan: Four new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples, three collected from Kandahar province, and one from Kabul province.
Pakistan: One new WPV1 positive environmental sample, collected from Sindh province.
Syria: Seven new circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases reported, all from Deir Ez-Zor governorate.

::::::
 
Statement of the 15th IHR Emergency Committee regarding the international spread of poliovirus
WHO statement
14 November 2017
[Excerpts; Editor’s text bolding]
The fifteenth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus was convened by the Director-General on 14 November 2017 at WHO headquarters with members, advisers and invited member states attending via teleconference.

The Emergency Committee reviewed the data on wild poliovirus (WPV1) and circulating vaccine derived polioviruses (cVDPV). The Secretariat presented a report of progress for affected IHR States Parties subject to Temporary Recommendations. The following IHR States Parties presented an update on the current situation and the implementation of the WHO Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 3 August 2017: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Nigeria, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Wild polio

Overall the Committee was encouraged by continued steady progress in all three WPV1 infected countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan and the fall in the number of cases globally, and that international spread remained limited to between Afghanistan and Pakistan only. While falling transmission in these three countries decreased the risk of international spread, the consequences of any failure to prevent spread would increasingly be a set-back to eradication and a risk to public health, as funding winds down in the coming years.

The Committee commended the high-level commitment seen in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the high degree of cooperation and coordination, particularly targeting the high risk mobile populations that cross the international border, such as nomadic groups, local populations straddling the border, seasonal migrant workers and their families, repatriating refugees (official and informal), and guest children (children staying with relatives across the border). Stopping transmission in these populations remains a major challenge that cannot be under-estimated, underlining the critical continuing need for cross border activities in surveillance and vaccination.

The Committee commended the achievements in Pakistan that have resulted in the number of cases falling to just five so far in 2017; achievements included the improved accessibility, improved communication to reduce missed children and better quality supplementary immunization activities (SIA). However, WPV1 transmission continues to be widespread geographically as detected by environmental surveillance and this remains a source of major concern, notwithstanding that the intensity of environmental surveillance is now higher than previously, meaning the probability of environmental detection is now higher.
The Committee was concerned by the ongoing risks to eradication posed by the number of inaccessible and missed children in Afghanistan, particularly in the southern region resulting in ten cases to date in 2017.

The Committee was impressed by the innovations that continue to be made in Nigeria to reach children in Borno, but was very concerned that although the number of inaccessible settlements has fallen, there remains a substantial population in Borno state that is totally inaccessible, including around 160,000 – 200,000 children aged under five. The Committee concluded that there is a substantial risk that polioviruses are still circulating in these inaccessible areas. Nigeria also reported on ongoing efforts to ensure vaccination at international borders (including at airports), other transit points, IDP camps and in other areas where nomadic populations existed, but the Committee felt that efforts to date were inadequate. The Committee also noted that routine immunization, particularly in high risk areas of northern Nigeria, is performing poorly and along with polio eradication has been made a national priority. Although it is over 13 months since the last detection of WPV1 in Nigeria, the recent outbreak response assessment by global polio experts concluded ongoing transmission could not be ruled out.

There was ongoing concern about the Lake Chad basin region, and for all the countries that are affected by the insurgency, with the consequent lack of services and presence of IDPs and refugees. The risk of international spread from Nigeria to the Lake Chad basin countries or further afield in sub-Saharan Africa remains high. The Committee was encouraged that the Lake Chad basin countries including, Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), Niger and Nigeria continued to be committed to sub-regional coordination of immunization and surveillance activities. However, there is concern about the Lake Chad islands which are currently inaccessible and also about significant gaps in population immunity exist in some areas of these countries in border areas with Borno, and the ongoing population movement in the sub-region was a major challenge.

Vaccine derived poliovirus
The Committee commended the efforts made in some very challenging circumstances in DR Congo and the Syrian Arab Republic. These outbreaks highlighted the presence of vulnerable under-immunized populations in areas with inaccessibility, either due to conflict or geographical remoteness. Furthermore, the delay in detection of these outbreaks illustrated that serious gaps in surveillance exist in many areas of the world, often related to weak health systems or to conflict resulting in disrupted health systems.

In DRC, there has been transmission after the initial SIA’s with geographical spread outside the health zones covered, into Tanganyika, necessitating further rounds with mOPV2. Risks are compounded by poor surveillance in many areas, and widespread gaps in population immunity.

The Committee was very concerned by the size of the outbreak in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the difficulty of reaching target populations because of the conflict. As type 2 population immunity rapidly wanes, the risk of spread within the Syrian Arab Republic and beyond its borders will increase substantially, meaning urgent action is needed to stop transmission. The Committee commended countries surrounding the outbreak zone that are responding to prevent importation, particularly among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. The Committee urged any country receiving Syrian refugees, particularly from Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa, to ensure polio vaccination with IPV.

The Committee noted with concern the recent detection of a single highly diverged VDPV2 in sewage in Mogadishu in Somalia, with genetic evidence of more than three years of replication without detection.

Conclusion
The Committee unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and recommended the extension of revised Temporary Recommendations for a further three months. The Committee considered the following factors in reaching this conclusion:

  • The potential risk of further spread through population movement, whether for family, social or cultural reasons, or in the context of populations displaced by insecurity, returning refugees, or nomadic populations, and the need for international coordination to address these risks, particularly between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Nigeria and its Lake Chad neighbors, and countries bordering the Syrian Arab Republic.
  • The current special and extraordinary context of being closer to polio eradication than ever before in history, with the incidence of WPV1 cases in 2017 the lowest ever recorded.
  • The risk and consequent costs of failure to eradicate globally one of the world’s most serious vaccine preventable diseases. Even though global transmission of WPV1 has fallen dramatically and with it the likelihood of international spread, the consequences and impact of international spread should it occur now would be grave and a major set-back to achieving eradication.
  • The risk of global complacency developing as the numbers of polio cases continues to fall and eradication becomes a tangible reality soon.
  • The outbreak of WPV1 (and cVDPV) in Nigeria highlighting that there are high-risk areas where surveillance is compromised by inaccessibility, resulting in ongoing circulation of WPV for several years without detection. The risk of transmission in the Lake Chad sub-region appears high.
  • The serious consequences of further international spread for the increasing number of countries in which immunization systems have been weakened or disrupted by conflict and complex emergencies. Populations in these fragile states are vulnerable to outbreaks of polio. Outbreaks in fragile states are exceedingly difficult to control and threaten the completion of global polio eradication during its end stage.
  • The importance of a regional approach and strong cross­border cooperation, as much international spread of polio occurs over land borders, while also recognizing that the risk of distant international spread remains from zones with active poliovirus transmission.
  • Additionally with respect to cVDPV:

:: cVDPVs also pose a risk for international spread, which without an urgent response with appropriate measures threatens vulnerable populations as noted above;
:: The large number of cases in the Syrian outbreak within a short space of time and close to the international border with Iraq in the context of ongoing population movement because of conflict, considerably heightens the risk of international spread;
:: The ongoing circulation of cVDPV2 in DR Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic demonstrates significant gaps in population immunity at a critical time in the polio endgame;
:: The ongoing urgency to prevent type 2 cVDPVs following the globally synchronized withdrawal of the type 2 component of the oral poliovirus vaccine in April 2016, noting that population immunity to type 2 polioviruses is rapidly waning;
:: The ongoing challenges of improving routine immunization in areas affected by insecurity and other emergencies
:: The global shortage of IPV which poses an additional risk.


Additional considerations
The Committee noted that in all the infected and vulnerable countries, routine immunization was generally quite poor, if not nationally, then in sub-national pockets. The Committee strongly encourages all these countries to make further efforts to improve routine immunization, and requested international partners to support these countries in rapidly improving routine immunization coverage to underpin eradication.

The Committee also strongly encouraged countries newly infected with WPV or cVDPV to act with a great degree of urgency in responding to outbreaks as national public health emergencies, and to ensure emergency operations are used to facilitate this accelerated response…

Based on the current situation regarding WPV1 and cVDPV, and the reports made by Afghanistan, DR Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Syrian Arab Republic, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on 20 November 2017 determined that the situation relating to poliovirus continues to constitute a PHEIC, with respect to WPV1 and cVDPV…

::::::

Syria cVDPV2 outbreak situation report 23: 21 November 2017
Situation update 21 November 2017
…Seven (7) new cases of cVDPV2 were reported this week— 4 cases from Mayadeen and 3 from Boukamal district, Deir Ez-Zor governorate. The most recent case (by date of onset) is 9 September 2017 from Mayadeen district.
…The total number of confirmed cVDPV2 cases is 70.
…Outbreak response teams are planning a third mass immunization round to reach children under 5 with mOPV2 in areas where evidence of virus transmission continues.
…A request from the Syrian Ministry of Health for up to one (1) million doses of mOPV2 and 500 000 inactivated polio vaccine doses is being processed to ensure readiness for the second phase of the outbreak response
…Subnational immunization days aiming to reach children under 5 with bOPV started this week in areas of Rural Damascus, districts of Damascus, Homs, Aleppo and accessible areas of Deir Ez-Zor city. Children aged 2-23 months will also be reached with supplementary IPV during the subnational campaign, particularly in areas with large IDP populations.
…A joint supervisory team is monitoring the IPV campaign in all areas of Damascus, with a focus on areas where there are large IDP populations from Deir Ez-Zor to ensure campaign quality.

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 25 November 2017]
The Syrian Arab Republic
:: WHO gravely concerned by deteriorating situation in eastern Ghouta, Syrian Arab Republic
22 November 2017, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic – Seven people have been killed and 42 people injured in Damascus city and surrounding areas in recent days.
In eastern Ghouta, Rural Damascus, local health authorities report that during a 4-day period alone from 14 to 17 November, 84 people were killed, including 17 children and 6 women; and 659 people were injured, including 127 children and 87 women.
During the same period, more than 200 surgical operations were conducted in eastern Ghouta’s overwhelmed and under-resourced hospitals.
Despite escalating violence and increasing humanitarian needs, life-saving medicines, medical equipment, and surgical supplies are prevented from entering the area…

:: Polio- Situation update 21 November 2017
[See Polio above for detail]

South Sudan
:: WHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health established water quality control to prevent water-borne diseases in South Sudan
21 November 2017 Juba — The cost of delivering safe water, sanitation and hygiene services is a public health concern in South Sudan. To ensure high quality, sustainable water quality testing, monitoring and surveillance, WHO provided mobile water quality and safety testing kits to the National Public Health Laboratory. The mobile kits are to be used to test and monitor the quality and safety of water in the country.

Yemen
:: Yemen – Cholera Response  W46 2017 [Nov 13-Npv 19]
Highlights
Cumulative figures
-The cumulative total from 27 April 2017 to 19 Nov 2017 is 945,362 suspected cholera cases and 2,211 associated deaths, (CFR 0.23%), 1049 have been confirmed by culture.
-The median age of suspected cases is (20) and the median age of death is (38)
– 59.3 % of death were severe cases at admission
– The total proportion of severe cases among the suspected cases is 18%
– The national attack rate is 343.26 per 10,000. The five governorates with the highest cumulative attack rates per 10,000 remain Amran (801), Al Mahwit (760), Al Dhale’e (641), Abyan (491) and Sana’a (459).
– Children under 5 years old represent 27.8% of total suspected cases.
– In total, 20,884 rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) have been performed which represents 22.1% coverage.
– 2,375 cultures have been performed which represents 22.6% coverage.
– The last positive culture was on 7 Nov 2017 in Al Garahi district
– Among the 305 affected districts, 43 districts in 12 governorates (Abyen, Al Baydha, Al Hudei deh, Al mahrah, Hajjah, Lahj ,Marib, Mokal l a, Sa’dah, Seyoun, Shabwah, Taizz) did not report any suspected case the last three consecutive 3 weeks.
Governorate and District level
– At governorate level, the trend from W43-W45 decrease or was stable in all governorates.
– No district is reporting a CFR higher than 1%.
Trends
– The weekly number of cases is decreasing for the 10th consecutive week.
– The weekly proportion of severe cases has significantly decreased representing now 10% of the admitted cases.
-The use of RDTs has significantly increased since week 40.
Week 46
– 14,955 suspected cases and 6 associated deaths were reported.
– 10 % are severe cases
– 924 RDTs were performed, 176 were positive
– 0 Positive culture

::::::
 
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 25 November 2017]
Myanmar
:: Weekly Situation Report 4 – 22 November 2017
Key Highlights
…As of 21 November 2017, the cumulative number of new arrivals in all sites was 622,000. …This number includes over 341,000 arrivals in Kutupalong Balukhali expansion site, 235,000 in other camps and settlements, and 46,000 arrivals in host communities.
…153,765 adolescents and children received measles vaccination
…WHO Mental Health Gap Action Training commenced
Situation Overview
Approximately 170 health care facilities are known to be operating across all camps and settlements. However, many of these facilities provide a basic level of services and referrals for additional services within camps and outside of the camps remains a challenge. Government hospital facilities are overcrowded and do not have the resources to cope with the high volumes of referral patients. Moreover, the services provided are not standardized and the quality of health care services varies considerably.
The latest EWARS data show that fevers of unexplained origin are the most commonly reported disease (29%), followed acute respiratory infections (27%) and acute watery diarrhoea (21%). In view of the low immunization coverage among the Rohingya population, strengthening vaccination programmes is a priority.
Potential outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases including

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh: Health Sector Bulletin No. 1
Period: 01 October – 15 November 2017
[1] Health Situation
Around 1.2 million people are estimated to be in need of health assistance. This number includes both newly arrived Rohingyas from Myanmar since 25 August, and their host communities. Based on the public health situation analysis published on 10 October 2017, WHO has graded this crisis as a level 3 emergency. the highest possible rating.

[5.4] Vaccines and Immunization
Challenges
The baseline coverage for routine immunization is low. This, combined with crowded living conditions, lack of adequate water and sanitation and reported levels of high malnutrition, represents a public health risk to both the new arrivals and the host population.
Health Sector Response
The health sector has conducted several vaccination campaigns. In the first campaign, which ended on 3 October 2017, 135 519 children under 15 years of age were vaccinated against measles and rubella, 72 334 children under 5 years of age were vaccinated against polio and 72 064 children received Vitamin A.
To mitigate the outbreak of cholera, the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision mobilized 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) for a large-scale cholera vaccination campaign among recently arrived Rohingyas and their host communities. The health sector worked with the MOHFW to plan, train volunteers, fund, implement and monitor this campaign. The campaign to administer the first dose (targeting 650 000 individuals over one year of age) was successfully implemented from 10 to 18 October 2017. It reached a total of 712 797 people, 179 848 of whom were children aged from one to five years old. To help improve personal hygiene, vaccinators handed out soap to each person vaccinated.
From 4 to 9 November 2017, the health sector supported the MOHFW in implementing the second phase of a cholera and polio vaccination campaign for children. A total of 199 472 children aged between one and five years received a second dose of oral cholera vaccine for added protection (estimated target population: 180 000), and 236 696 children under five years received oral polio vaccine (estimated target population: 210 000).
In addition, the health sector continues to support the MOHFW’s efforts to strengthen routine vaccination. Approximately 100 vaccinators have been trained on the current routine Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) schedule, key EPI messages, the importance of maintaining the cold chain, monitoring vaccine vials, injection safety, registration, reporting and waste management. Polio, measles and tetanus immunization began on 11 November from static sites within the camps. Through these static sites, to date 719 children have been vaccinated against polio, 589 children against measles and 476 pregnant women against tetanus.
Additionally, since 1 November, 970 children (6 months – 15 years) passing through the two transit sites have been vaccinated against measles and rubella (MR) and 1038 children under five years received oral polio vaccine (bOPV).
Establishing the routine Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in camps and settlements and setting up vaccination posts at entry points into Bangladesh are both key to controlling measles and other diseases. However, in response to the significant increase in measles cases, MoHFW and health sector have agreed to rapidly initiate a measles campaign targeting 360 000 children under 15 for MR vaccination. In view of the urgency of the situation, the campaign is planned to start on 18 November and microplanning has begun…

::::::

WHO AFRO – Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin, Week 46: 11 – 17 November 2017
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 46 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
:: Dengue fever in Burkina Faso,
:: Plague in Madagascar,
:: Lassa fever in Nigeria,
:: Marburg virus disease in Uganda,
:: Humanitarian Crisis in Central African Republic,
:: Humanitarian Crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

::::::
::::::
 
UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: 25 Nov 2017  Urgent Call to Address Gender-based Violence in Syria [EN/AR]

Yemen 
:: 24 Nov 2017 – Yemen: Impact of the closure of seaports and airports on the humanitarian situation – Situation Update 3 | 23 November 2017
:: 24 Nov 2017 – Yemen Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 29 | 20 November 2017
 
::::::

UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
ROHINGYA CRISIS
:: ISCG Situation Update: Rohingya Refugee Crisis, Cox’s Bazar – 23 November 2017
::::::
::::::
 
Editor’s Note:
We will cluster these recent emergencies as below and continue to monitor the WHO webpages for updates and key developments.
 
Yellow Fever  [to 25 November 2017]
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/yellowfev/en/
Disease outbreak news
Yellow fever – Brazil – 24 November 2017

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 18 November 2017

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

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

pdf version:The Sentinel_ period ending 18 November 2017

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research
:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals

Buenos Aires Declaration on Child Labour, Forced Labour and Youth Employment – ILO

Child Labour – Forced Labour

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Buenos Aires Declaration on Child Labour, Forced Labour and Youth Employment
IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour
Meeting document | 16 November 2017 :: 11 pages
PDF: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_597667.pdf

[Excerpts; Text bolding from original]
Noting the estimates that 152 million girls and boys are still engaged in child labour, with 73 million in its worst forms; that 25 million people, including more than 4 million children, are still subject to forced labour, noting the importance of trafficking in persons; that 71 million youth are unemployed; that most child labour and forced labour is found in the informal rural and urban economies, not least in areas of armed conflict and crisis and is acute in the lower segments of some global supply chains;

Recognizing that child labour, notably its worst forms, and forced labour are major violations and abuses of human rights and dignity; and both causes and consequences of poverty, inequality, discrimination, social exclusion and lack of access to education; and noting that child labour, forced labour, poverty and decent work deficits for adults are all inter-connected and
require an integrated and holistic approach to achieve their eradication;

Recognizing that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (hereafter “the 2030 Agenda”) represents a unique opportunity to accelerate the eradication of inequality and poverty; and noting its Target 8.7 to eradicate child labour in all its forms by 2025 and forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030;

Welcoming the establishment of Alliance 8.7 to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour, which can strengthen international cooperation, coordination and assistance through enhanced, appropriate multi-stakeholder partnerships to accelerate implementation of Target 8.7, as well as other relevant goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda…

Noting that the unprecedented scale of migration and forced displacement has increased the number of children and adults who are or are at risk of becoming victims of child labour and forced labour; and that such risk can be mitigated or prevented by strengthened governance of labour migration;

Noting that child labour and forced labour are exacerbated by crisis situations arising from conflicts and disasters; and deeply concerned that conflict alone affects more than 250 million children, including those who are forcibly recruited into armed conflict and those subjected to sexual exploitation, with many more at greater risk of other forms of child labour;

We declare our commitment to the eradication of child labour and forced labour, and call upon governments, social partners, international and regional organizations, civil society organizations and all other relevant stakeholders to take up the following principles and actions:

1) Principles
Public policies and programmes addressing child labour and forced labour should:
i) respect, promote and protect human rights, in particular fundamental principles and rights at work and the rights of the child;
ii) serve the best interests of the child;
iii) recognize the need for rights and obligations to be matched with appropriate and effective remedies when breached;
iv) be designed and implemented through tripartite social dialogue, and as part of coherent and coordinated national policies for decent work;
v) pay special attention including to social protection and to integrated measures to support families;
vi) pay due attention to persons in situations of vulnerability, who might be victims of discrimination on any grounds and to social and economic exclusion;
vii) be evidence-based;
viii) be sensitive to gender, age, disability and origin, where appropriate;
ix) assure that children, who are capable of forming their own views, and adults directly concerned, have the right to express their own views freely in all matters affecting them, with the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child;
and
x) make effective, efficient, and results-based use of resources, focusing on impact….

.

Press Release
The international community agrees to redouble efforts to fight against child labour and forced labour 
16 November 2017
BUENOS AIRES (ILO News) – The IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour , held in Buenos Aires, concluded with a call to action to accelerate efforts to end child labour by 2025 and forced labour by 2030, and to generate more decent employment opportunities for young people around the world.

The Buenos Aires Declaration was delivered on the last day of the three-day conference that convened delegations from around the world in the Argentine capital. More than 3,000 people signed up to attend plenary sessions, panel discussions on specific topics and special events in which some 250 speakers participated.

“We know what to do, and there are no excuses not to do so,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, who participated in a high-level panel discussion in which he told delegates that “we have the duty to ensure a future of work in which there is no child labor or forced labour.”

The Conference was organized by the Argentine Government with the support of the ILO and brought together representatives of governments, employers and workers, as well as civil society, and regional and international organizations.

It included a call to the national delegations to make pledges for concrete measures to accelerate efforts against child labour and forced labour. About 100 such pledges were made.

The Buenos Aires Declaration recalls that there are an estimated 152 million boys and girls in child labour, including 73 million engaged in the worst forms of child labour. In addition, 25 million people continue to be subjected to forced labour, including 4 million children. And at least 71 million young people are unemployed around the world.

The Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security of Argentina and president of the 4th global conference, Jorge Triaca, as well as representatives from social partners, presented the Declaration to the ILO.

“Child labour, especially in its worst forms, and forced labour, are serious violations and abuses of human rights and human dignity,” the Declaration states, adding that “they are both cause and consequence of poverty, inequality, discrimination, social exclusion and lack of access to education.”

The final document of the Conference spells out a series of principles and actions, which it urges governments, social partners, civil society organizations and interested parties to adopt.

The principles highlight the need to “address the best interests of children and adolescents,” contains a commitment to respect human rights as well as fundamental principles and rights at work, and underlines the importance of tripartite social dialogue and coherent and coordinated national policies that generate decent work.

The actions, which cover most of the Declaration, are divided into three areas: politics and governance; knowledge, data and supervision; and partnerships and innovation. A starting point is the ratification of international commitments to eradicate child labour by 2025 and forced labour by 2030, as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

It also notes the support given to Alliance 8.7 , which has been established to fulfill that objective of the 2030 Agenda in relation to child labour and forced labour.

“We hope that Buenos Aires will be the place where the international community takes measures so as not to tolerate the intolerable,” Ryder said during the Conference. He said significant progress has been achieved and that child labor has been reduced in the last 20 years, but warned that with 152 million children still in child labour, it is time “to do more and to do it better”.

European Agenda on Migration — Consolidating the Progress Made [Speech]

Migration – Asylum – Human Rights

Editor’s Note:
We present the full text of one of the more extraordinary speeches we have encountered in the last few years…

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European Agenda on Migration: Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos on consolidating the progress made
European Commission – Speech
Brussels, 15 November 2017
Dear all,
Today we present the consolidated progress that we have been making in managing migration on all fronts. The total number of arrivals along the main migratory routes has gone down by 63% compared to last year, and we are trying to gradually exit the crisis mode.

This does not mean that we should become complacent or that our work is over. The fact that migration flows have gone down should not make us forget that migrants are stranded in a terrible situation in Libya.

I fully share the concerns that are being documented about Libya. This is precisely why the EU is acting on all fronts. Our main priority is and remains to save lives and ensure the human and dignified treatment of all migrants, regardless of their status.

Right now, thousands of migrants in Libya are being provided with medical assistance and basic support by international organisations such as IOM and UNHCR, thanks to our €90 million under the EU Africa Trust Fund.

At the same time, we are working with Libya and neighbouring countries to avoid that migrants are stranded in Libya in the first place. To those persons who are in need of protection, we want to offer support and help to get resettled. I welcome the fact that the first group of 25 of the most vulnerable persons needing protection were evacuated from Libya to Niger last weekend, awaiting their further resettlement.

Now that the flows have gone down, we must all urgently invest more in legal pathways. This is why I am pleased to have received more than 34,400 resettlement pledges in response to my call last month from many Member States, and I urge the others to follow soon.

On top of this commitment, over 25,700 persons have been resettled to the EU since 2015. At the same time, to those who don’t need protection, we want to offer help to return home, particularly if they are stranded in Libya.

So far, over 15,000 migrants, including over 10,000 from Libya, have already benefitted from assisted voluntary return, thanks to our support and in cooperation with IOM.

Projects are in development to step up the work with Libya’s neighbours to help more migrants return home from Libya, in a safe and orderly way. We also want to further crack down on the criminal groups that exploit the vulnerability of these desperate people.

For example, we already have clear results through our cooperation and support to Niger: over 100 suspected traffickers and smugglers have been arrested already in the first half of 2017.
We now want to expand this model to other countries. Apart from all our political and operational efforts, our financial commitments must continue too.

Two years after its launch, the EU Trust Fund for Africa is supporting economic development and migration management in countries facing crises of different natures, with programmes worth almost €2 billion having been approved so far.

In Turkey, the EU is well on track to contract the €3 billion under the Facility for Refugees by the end of 2017. One million of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees are now receiving monthly electronic cash transfers and almost two million will soon be able to benefit from healthcare.

Through all our actions, it is very clear: Europe is not a fortress and we remain a safe haven for those in need of protection. But to ensure that we can continue to live up to our standards, we can only provide protection to those who need it. Those who have no right to stay must be returned. Return rates at EU level however remain unsatisfactory still, in particular also under the EU-Turkey Statement.

This brings me to another example where we cannot become complacent: Greece. I take this opportunity to express our deep condolences for the tragic losses in West Attica due to the floods caused by the extreme weather conditions. Our thoughts are with families of the victims and of course with all those people who are still battling an uneven fight against this unprecedented natural and human disaster.

Right now, at the same time, Greece is facing another situation of severe overcrowding on most of the islands. But we cannot have a repetition of last year. The EU is supporting Greece financially and operationally to expand adequate reception capacity on the islands.

Greece should also speed up its asylum and return procedures, and further cooperate with local authorities to expand reception facilities. The European Commission is offering and will continue to offer its full support.

Finally, I want to say a word on relocation. Member States have continued showing solidarity towards Italy and Greece with over 31,500 persons relocated so far. Right now, around 800 eligible persons in Greece and 3,000 in Italy are left to be relocated, and we urge Member States to fulfil their legal obligations as soon as possible.

As I have said before, this solidarity cannot stop and should continue beyond the current schemes.

Now that the situation is gradually more stable, the time has come to move forward and structurally improve our migration and asylum systems, for the future. The comprehensive reform of our asylum system and Dublin are essential.

I also welcome Member States’ willingness to engage with us on developing specific labour migration pilot projects with key countries.

If anything is clear, it is that we are not closing our doors. But we want well-managed, orderly, safe and fair migration.
Thank you.

“Co-Impact” Launched — a Global Collaborative for Systems Change, With U.S. $500 Million in Planned Initial Funding

Leading Philanthropists Announce Co-Impact, a Global Collaborative for Systems Change, With U.S. $500 Million in Planned Initial Funding
November 15, 2017
Initial core partners include Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani, and The Rockefeller Foundation

Co-Impact will make large multi-year investments in health, education, and economic opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people around the world

NEW YORK, November 15, 2017—A group of the world’s leading philanthropists today announced the formation of Co-Impact (www.co-impact.io), a new global model for collaborative philanthropy and social change at scale. Co-Impact will invest US $500 million in three critical areas—health, education, and economic opportunity—to improve the lives of underserved populations across the developing world.

Co-Impact Is Focused on Changing Underlying Systems to Deliver Sustainable Results
Co-Impact’s goal is to improve the lives of millions by advancing education, improving people’s health, and providing economic opportunity so that all families, no matter where they live, have a more hopeful future.

Co-Impact is founded on the belief that achieving these goals requires collaboration and partnership, long-term support for promising approaches, and a commitment from key actors to change underlying systems. Systems change succeeds by bringing together local communities, non-profits, governments, business, donors, and others to drive lasting change beyond what any individual actor could possibly do alone. Co-Impact’s role is to connect philanthropists with each other and with social change leaders to develop, support, and invest in proven solutions that are ready to scale even further.

Co-Impact’s Donor Community and Leadership
Co-Impact’s initial core partners are Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, Dr. Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The core partner group will define strategy and select the opportunities Co-Impact will support. In addition to its role as a core partner, The Rockefeller Foundation has incubated Co-Impact and will provide staff, significant operating funds, and ongoing strategic support. The EkStep Foundation, co-founded by Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, will serve as Co-Impact’s technical partner by supporting a number of Co-Impact programs with their open knowledge and societal platform assets as well as capacity building.

Co-Impact expects to add additional core partners as well as co-investors interested in specific initiatives or geographic areas. In addition, a Co-Impact Network will provide a broader group of philanthropists from around the world with an opportunity to contribute, exchange, and learn from Co-Impact’s model.

Olivia Leland, Managing Director at The Rockefeller Foundation and founding director of the Giving Pledge, is the founder of Co-Impact and will be Co-Impact’s CEO.

“We believe that collaboration is critical to solving some of the world’s most daunting social challenges,” said Leland. “Our goal is to build a community where philanthropists can work and learn together – along with successful social change leaders – to drive extraordinary results. Our hope is that over time more philanthropists will come together to pool resources and expertise to support great social change approaches and drive results at scale.”

Co-Impact’s Grantmaking
Co-Impact will make its first system change grants in the first half of 2018. These grants will be informed by more than a year’s worth of due diligence and field research. Systems change grants will be up to US $50 million, flexibly structured, and will go to initiatives with proven leadership and results that are poised to scale even further. Co-Impact will also seek to unlock additional participation by governments and the private sector.

The Need for Co-Impact
The model for Co-Impact grew out of Leland’s experience with the Giving Pledge and subsequent research with donors and social change leaders. That research identified key gaps in the current philanthropic and social change landscape.

There are few effective mechanisms for donors to pool expertise and resources to fund large multi-year projects or for social change leaders to find the philanthropists interested and capable of providing that long-term capital and support. As a result, donors must invest significant time and resources to find, vet, and manage even one game-changing investment. This limits the number of large-scale projects being funded, and keeps many donors from being able to engage in these kinds of projects, despite their desire to do so. Similarly, social change leaders must devote extraordinary amounts of time and energy to piecing together disparate and ultimately insufficient funding, limiting their ability to scale their work.

The result is that with the exception of a handful of extraordinary global initiatives, most giving today is for US $10 million or less, short-term, and focused on growing individual organizations rather than creating change at the systems level. Co-Impact is designed to fill these gaps.
What’s Different about Co-Impact’s Collaborative Model

Co-Impact will drive significant, lasting results by:
:: Connecting established and emerging philanthropists from around the world, who share a vision of driving change at scale, with each other and with social change leaders in order to pool their knowledge, relationships, and resources;
:: Supporting proven systems change opportunities with significant multi-year funding and technology, program management, and other support so they can scale even further; and
:: Leveraging additional support by inviting other donors to join, co-invest, and learn alongside, and by actively engaging both the public and private sector.

New $100m fund to combat river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in Africa and Middle East

$100m fund to combat two infectious diseases $20 million donated by Mohammad Bin Zayed to combat river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in Africa and Middle East
Abu Dhabi: A new $100 million (Dh367 million) fund was launched in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to end river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (LF), two preventable infectious diseases, in Africa and the Middle East.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, personally contributed $20 million (Dh73.46 million) to the Reaching the Last Mile fund, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also expected to grant up to $20 million (Dh73.46 million) towards it. The funds will be managed by END Fund, a private investment platform dedicated to ending five common neglected tropical diseases. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Gates launched a call to action for the remaining $60 million (Dh220 million ) to be raised.

The announcement was made at the Reaching the Last Mile conference, where more than 200 government officials, philanthropists, activists, medical professionals and social workers met to discuss the development and challenges towards tackling infectious diseases.

Attending the conference, Mohammad Bin Zayed and Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chair of the philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also presented awards to five individuals who made significant progress in the fight against guinea worms. The Recognising Excellence Around Champions of Health (Reach) awards also recognised former US President Jimmy Carter for being a long-term advocate for action against guinea worm disease…

Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change – UNESCO

Heritage Stewardship
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Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change
UNESCO
Adopted 13 November 2017 :: 15 pages
PDF: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002601/260129e.pdf
[Excerpts]
Article 7: Scientific Knowledge and Integrity in Decision-Making
1. Decision-making based on science is critically important for meeting the mitigation and adaptation challenges of a rapidly changing climate. Decisions should be based on, and guided by, the best available knowledge from the natural and social sciences, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science, and by taking into account, as appropriate, local, traditional and
indigenous knowledge.

2. In order to optimally aid in decision-making, science needs to meet the highest standards of research integrity by being impartial, rigorous, honest, and transparent, and should give adequate estimates of uncertainty in order to provide decision-makers with insight into, and understanding of, the underlying risks as well as opportunities, and guidance to their formulating long-term
strategies.

3. Scientific cooperation and capacity-building should be strengthened in developing countries in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of climate change impacts as well as potential mitigation and adaptation actions.

4. States, according to Article 6 of the UNFCCC and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement adopted under the Convention, and other relevant actors should:
(a) take measures which help protect and maintain the independence of science and the integrity of the scientific process. This includes assisting in maintaining strong scientific standards as well as transparency at all levels with respect to scientific funding, methodologies and research conclusions;
(b) raise awareness and promote literacy in science in all sectors and amongst their populations in order to underpin strong and collective action and understanding of how to respond to climate change;
(c) promote accurate communication on climate change based on peerreviewed scientific research, including the broadest promulgation of science in the media and other forms of communication;
(d) build effective mechanisms to strengthen the interface between science and policy to ensure a strong knowledge-base in decision-making….

.

Press Release
UNESCO Member States adopt Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change
13 November 2017
UNESCO is asserting that at its core, climate change is an ethical issue. In a broad consensus, the organization’s 195 Member States adopted a global Declaration of ethical principles in relation to climate change during the 39th Session of its General Conference (Paris, 30 October to 14 November).

UNESCO’s Declaration aims to help governments, businesses, and civil society mobilize people around shared values on climate change. lt sounds the alarm that, unless ethical principles become the basis of climate action, both climate change and responses to it could create unacceptable damage and injustice.

Among other ethical principles, a science-based approach to decision-making about climate is crucial. “Decision-making based on science is critically important for meeting the mitigation and adaptation challenges of a rapidly changing climate. Decisions should be based on the best available knowledge from the natural and social sciences,” the text says…

The process was initiated in 2008, when the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (“COMEST”), a global advisory body of experts, started framing the issues and urging policy responses…

The Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa (link is external), has been crystal clear: “Implementing the Paris Agreement requires action on the ground and for that we need to mobilize everybody! We need to mobilize governments – not only national governments – governments at all levels. We need to mobilize civil society, scientists, private sector – everybody needs to be mobilized.”

In a show of support for this UNESCO Declaration, government representatives have asked UNESCO to disseminate and promote the Declaration. UNESCO will continue to be fully engaged in this endeavour.
:: Read the background report

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 11 November 2017

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

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

pdf version:The Sentinel_ period ending 11 November 2017

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research
:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals

Heritage Stewardship – ICC and UNESCO strengthen Cooperation on the Protection of Cultural Heritage

Heritage Stewardship – ICC

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor and UNESCO sign Letter of Intent to strengthen Cooperation on the Protection of Cultural Heritage
5 November 2017
Paris, France – Recognising the importance of protecting cultural heritage from attack in time of conflict, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”), today signed a Letter of Intent by which UNESCO and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor will formalise and further enhance their collaboration, in line with their respective mandates…

“The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage not only affects peoples’ historical identity but fuels sectarian violence and hampers post-conflict recovery and peace building. UNESCO and the ICC must strengthen their cooperation for the protection of cultural property in armed conflicts, as this is a humanitarian and security imperative”, stated Mrs Bokova.

Praising UNESCO for its crucial work, Prosecutor Bensouda emphasised that more can be done going forward, adding that “an effective strategy to address the destruction of cultural heritage requires a multi-faceted and collaborative approach. UNESCO is a natural partner for my Office and, the ICC more broadly, in confronting the scourge of attacks against cultural heritage, within the Rome Statute framework. This Letter of Intent is a recognition of that important relationship and paves the way for continued cooperation.” She added: “cultural heritage is the embodiment of the continuity of the human story, a celebration of our commonality and the richness of our diversity. We all have a duty to protect cultural heritage. With close collaboration with UNESCO, we hope to make a difference.”

The recent historic ruling of the ICC in the case of the destruction of shrines and mausoleums in Timbuktu (Mali), the first of its kind before the Court, sent a clear signal that intentional targeting of cultural heritage is a serious crime that causes significant suffering to those immediately affected and beyond, and should not go unpunished. In its subsequent Reparation Order, moreover, the Court established that the victims of such crimes were entitled to compensation and issued a Reparation Order.
The importance of prosecuting those responsible for war crimes against cultural heritage was echoed in the ground-breaking UN Security Council Resolution 2347, adopted in March 2017, the first ever to condemn the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage. These unprecedented developments have led over the past years to frequent exchanges and collaboration between UNESCO and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, based on the convergence of similar aims within their respective independent mandates.

As attacks against culture have regrettably become more frequent, the need for a stronger and more articulated framework of cooperation has become apparent. In addition to expertise UNESCO has provided in the context of the Al Mahdi case, cooperation has also been at the non-operational level, for example through participation in the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s new policy initiative on cultural heritage, which is scheduled for finalisation and adoption in 2018. The Letter of Intent signed today builds on these efforts, further solidifying the existing relationship, with a view to establishing a comprehensive cooperation agreement in the near future.

Governance – Humanitarian Response :: New IFRC President, Global Meeting Sets Strategic Agenda

Governance – Humanitarian Response

Italy’s Francesco Rocca elected President of world’s largest humanitarian network
6 November 2017
Italian lawyer and humanitarian, Francesco Rocca, was today elected the new President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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Shaping the future of the world’s largest humanitarian movement
Antalya, Turkey, 11 November 2017 – A major conference has adopted a series of measures that will shape the efforts of the world’s largest humanitarian movement to respond to the needs of people affected by crises. The global meetings of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement looked at pressing emergencies and challenges, while also exploring emerging trends that will have a profound impact on the future of humanitarian action.

The global meetings were held in Turkey – a country surrounded by some of the world’s most urgent humanitarian crises, including the conflict in Syria and the ongoing emergency facing people trying to cross the Mediterranean.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement called on States to guarantee the safety and dignity of all migrants, along with their unrestrained access to humanitarian assistance.

“We are calling on States to ensure that all people – regardless of their nationality or legal status – are treated with dignity and respect,” said Francesco Rocca, who was elected President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) during the meetings. “As a Red Cross and Red Crescent, we must be ready to stand up and advocate for all vulnerable migrants, for all vulnerable people. We must be prepared – we are prepared – to work with the international community for the respect and dignity of all people.”

While emphasizing the need for new approaches to respond to dramatically shifting needs, the Movement also reaffirmed the non-negotiable importance of principled humanitarian action.

“In a world where faith in institutions is rapidly evaporating, great trust is placed in the symbols of the red cross and red crescent and in the neutral, impartial, independent humanitarian action that brings them to life,” said Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “But in many places across the world, the space for such impartial action is under threat. Human dignity is disregarded, the applicability of the law is questioned, and humanitarian aid is politicized.”

One of the most pronounced examples of disregard for humanitarian law and norms is the increasing number of attacks on humanitarian aid workers and volunteers. Since the beginning of 2017 alone, more than 45 Red Cross and Red Crescent personnel have been killed in the line of duty.

Further resolutions were adopted on education, with the Movement committing to expanding its work in this area in situations of conflict and disasters. On nuclear weapons, a resolution was adopted calling on States to sign and implement the recently-adopted Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Movement also pledged to scale up its response to the mental health consequences of humanitarian crises, and to strengthen and codify its work during pandemics and epidemics. Commitment was also made to reinforce gender equality and equal opportunities in the leadership and work of the Movement…

Evidence – Humanitarian Response :: “8 things we learned from our work on evidence this year” ALNAP

Evidence – Humanitarian Response

8 things we learned from our work on evidence this year
ALNAP
07 November 2017
In 2016, ALNAP launched a new webinar, ‘Bridging the Evidence Gap.’ Organised around key humanitarian challenges, it looks at how leading thinkers are ‘bridging the gap’ between evidence and practice in order to improve humanitarian action. We wanted to take stock of the rise in high-quality research and better data collection in the humanitarian sector, and explore how these activities are connecting to users and decision-makers.

We’ve discovered a lot from the five webinars produced over the last year and, in honour of Humanitarian Evidence Week, here’s what we’ve learned about the state of evidence and its use in humanitarian action today:

[1] Evidence is “in”
From the Sphere handbook to national NGOs in Somalia, humanitarian actors are taking huge strides to improve the quality of data that they use, and to strengthen the link between evidence and decision-making. It is great to witness this, and to make sure this trend continues we need to find better ways to link evidence producers with users. We looked at this issue in our first webinar with the Humanitarian Evidence Programme, the IRC and 3ie, who are bringing together large bodies of evidence to make them easier to access and use by practitioners through gap mapping and evidence synthesis approaches

[2] Not everyone knows what we mean by evidence
While many across the humanitarian sector recognise its importance, there’s not always agreement on how to define high-quality evidence. To ALNAP, evidence is information that supports or contradicts a given proposition. Others understand evidence differently, using definitions imported from the health sector where there is an emphasis on control studies and demonstrating the efficacy of interventions. While we can have different interests in an evidence agenda , it is important to move towards more consistent language to avoid confusion and lower the barriers to evidence use by practitioners.

[3] We must not forget about the basics of good data collection
Throughout the year we heard from people who are trialling new, more rigorous research approaches in order to answer difficult questions, such as what types of programming work most effectively in different sectors or what is an accurate picture of humanitarian presence on the ground in conflict settings. Yet, the answers to these questions can only be as good as the data that informs them. From poor, inconsistent monitoring data collected by operational organisations to the lack of transparent and strong methods used in humanitarian research and evaluations, the quality of our data is often far from satisfactory.

[4] Greater use of secondary data enables better decision-making
It is no secret that humanitarian organisations prefer primary data – they are able to control how this data is collected and they know where it has come from. Yet, one of the key messages from the Bridging the Gap webinar series is the importance of secondary data, closer collaboration on data collection and better data sharing between humanitarian actors at different levels, from donors to field staff. There is a risk of information overload when each humanitarian actor rushes to collect their own primary data, as the focus is often taken away from those crucial analysis tasks that make data useable for decision-making. In our second webinar, Development Initiatives, ECHO and DFID discussed how the use of shared data or more similar data gathering activities would help donors make better, more complementary decisions.

[5] The gap still needs closing and there are at least two issues preventing that from happening
As we touched on earlier, there is a definite gap between those creating evidence and those who want to use it. Users don’t know where to get evidence and producers don’t know what expectations users have. This gap is fuelled by at least two issues:

:: Accessibility of evidence
New evidence is often only available in a fragmented way: on individual organisations’ websites, portals, or at times only internally. This isn’t helpful, as we’ve learned from discussions with Sphere Handbook revision leads and humanitarian donors.

:: Unclear expectations
The expectations of end-users’ may not always be clear to those conducting research, not only in terms of the messaging but also in terms of the level of analysis that is needed for the uptake.

[6] There’s a need to communicate evidence on humanitarian action beyond the sector
Humanitarians still have a long way to go in making evidence more accessible and digestible. This is true not only within the sector, but also to the general public whose opinions have the power to sway donor governments’ agendas from one year to the next. Our default deliverable for evaluation processes is still thick, hard to read reports lacking even basic design. In this time of greater public scrutiny of humanitarian aid, we need to be prepared to respond with evidence that is solid yet easy to consume and understand by the average tax payer. With the growing number of tools and formats for the presentation of information (e.g. mobile video, podcasts, infographics, interactive websites), the presentation and delivery of compelling evidence should no longer be an afterthought.

[7] Humanitarian evaluations do not always help to paint a bigger picture
ALNAP is currently conducting an evaluation synthesis for the State of the Humanitarian System 2018 report. During this review of over 100 evaluations, it has become clear that their quality varies dramatically. Many reports have shortcomings either in methodology or execution, or both. But perhaps a more profound question to be raised is the value of evaluations for the improvement of the humanitarian system as a whole. Understandably, most reports focus exclusively on the project or programme at hand, but this poses an important challenge when attempting to synthesise findings and draw conclusions on the performance of the sector.

[8] We can’t forget the political side of evidence
We can often fall into thinking about evidence as a technical issue: put more evidence in, get better decisions out. But getting higher quality evidence shared and used is just as much about politics: who is asking the questions for which evidence is being collected, and what are the incentives for collecting accurate, relevant data. This highlights the importance of ‘Clarity of Context and Method’, a criterion of evidential quality discussed in ALNAP’s 2014 paper on Evidence. Stronger and more clearly communicated methodologies may help in the aggregation of evidence. Also, being more transparent about how research is selected, designed, and funded, can help us understand who is directing the evidence agenda in the sector and think about voices or perspectives that are being excluded from this process.

G7 Milan Health Ministers’ Communiqué – 5-6 November, 2017

Health – Governance

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G7 Milan Health Ministers’ Communiqué – 5-6 November, 2017
“United towards Global Health: common strategies for common challenges”
[9 pages; Editor’s excerpts]
PREAMBLE

4. We recognize the importance of improving emergency preparedness, as well as crisis management and response, in cases of weather-related, and other disasters, epidemics and other health emergencies. In this respect, we welcome the consultation, led by the Italian Presidency and with international experts, providing science-based considerations to support informed decisions. We are determined to coordinate efforts, foster innovation, and share knowledge, information, and monitoring and foresight tools, to support the resilience of health systems and to protect the health of our populations. We underline the need to safeguard the protection of health workers and facilities during emergencies and in conflict-affected areas as provided by international humanitarian law.

5. In line with previous G7 and G20 commitments and the objectives set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we reiterate the importance of strengthening health systems through each country’s path towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), leaving no one behind, and of preventing health systems from collapsing during humanitarian and public health emergencies and effectively mitigating health crises. We will work together to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. We seek to reduce global inequalities; to protect and improve the health of all individuals throughout their life course through inclusive health services; to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs); to sustain our commitments to eradicate polio through support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis by 2030 through the support to the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID; to support key global initiatives such as Gavi the Vaccine Alliance; and to invest in research and innovation important to global health.

6. As the world gets closer to achieving global polio eradication, we also recognize the importance of continuing our efforts to succeed and keep the world sustainably polio‐free, and, of the opportunity to leverage and transition polio assets and resources that have generated major and broader health benefits, including strengthened health systems.

7. We acknowledge the central leadership and coordinating role of WHO in country capacity building in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies, building resilient health systems, and the new strategic priority of WHO leadership to address the health impacts of climate and environmental factors. We acknowledge that WHO’s financial and human resource capacities have to be strengthened, including through adequate and sustainable funding of the WHO Emergency Programme and the Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE). We will explore supporting the World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) and the WHO programme on environmental degradation and other determinants of health.

IMPACTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON HEALTH
25. We welcome and support the provision of health services, particularly including immunization programs for migrants and refugees, including in situations of forced displacement and protracted crises, as well as the improvement of health services in transit and destination countries. This includes making immunization programs and clinical services available and accessible to everyone, while increasing the surveillance of infectious diseases and the monitoring of NCDs and their risk factors.

26. We will seek to improve access to physical and mental health services and assistance to migrants, refugees and crisis affected populations as appropriate. We will promote the identification, sharing, and adoption of good practices to address psychosocial needs of refugees and migrants. Following the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, and the Resolution WHA 70.15 in May 2017, the support for migrants and refugees should consider their specific needs, leaving no one behind, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

GENDER PERSPECTIVE IN HEALTH POLICIES AND RIGHTS FOR WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
31. We invite the OECD to benchmark mental health performance focusing specifically on adolescents. We condemn sexual and gender-based violence that impacts women and girls across the globe. We need to demonstrate our commitment and our leadership in addressing sexual and gender‐based violence, including harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation, in line with SDG 5.2 and 5.3, and human trafficking, including for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

32. We will support and empower women’s, children’s and adolescents’ voices, and meaningful participation through our policy, advocacy and programmatic engagement on health and nutrition and actively involve also men and boys as agents of change.

33. We will seek to invest in their education, improving their health literacy, skills, and capacities, including children and adolescents’ gender and diversity-sensitive sexuality education, programmes, and tools.

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
39. We will promote R&D for new antimicrobials, alternative therapies, vaccines and rapid-point-of care diagnostics, in particular for WHO-defined priority pathogens and tuberculosis. We endeavor to preserve the existing therapeutic options. We see at this as a first step towards the acceleration of political commitments and urgent coordination, we look forward to the report to the United Nations General Assembly on AMR and the High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in 2018.

CONCLUSIONS
43. We recognize the urgent need to build political momentum on the importance of addressing the impacts of environmental degradation and other factors on health and coordinated action for strengthening health systems, in line with aid effectiveness principles. This includes addressing health workforce shortages and poor health financing by countries to achieve their goals of increasing access to health care. We welcome WHO, World Bank, UNICEF, and relevant partners, including OECD, joint action for supporting countries to achieve SDG 3.8, and look forward to the progress reported at the UHC Forum 2017 next month in Tokyo.

44. We acknowledge the particular challenges of delivering health services in fragile states and conflict‐affected areas, where health systems are often compromised and ill-equipped to respond. Moreover, medical personnel and facilities in areas of conflict are increasingly under attack. Highlighting UN Security Council Resolution 2286 (2016) and UN General Assembly Resolution A RES/69/132 and UNGA 71/129, we strongly condemn violence, attacks, and threats directed against medical personnel and facilities, which have long term consequences for the civilian population and the healthcare systems of the countries concerned, as well as for the neighbouring regions. We therefore commit to improving their safety and security by upholding International Humanitarian Law.

45. We reiterate our commitment to build our International Health Regulations (IHR) core capacities and to assist 76 partner countries and regions to do the same. We also recognize the importance of developing national plans to address critical health security gaps as notably identified using the WHO’s Joint External Evaluation tool. We call on all countries to make specific commitments to support full implementation of the IHR and recognize their compliance with IHR as essential for efficient global health crisis prevention and management. We encourage other countries and development partners to join these collective efforts.

Yemen: Statements by UNICEF, Humanitarian Community On The Complete Closure Of Yemen’s Borders

Yemen

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Statement By The Humanitarian Community In Yemen On The Complete Closure Of Yemen’s Borders
Yemen, November 8, 2017
The humanitarian community in Yemen is greatly alarmed at the decision by the Saudi-led Coalition (SLC) to closure all of Yemeni airports, seaports and land crossings which is preventing critical humanitarian aid deliveries and commercial supplies from reaching the country and the movement of aid workers in and out of Yemen.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is extremely fragile and any disruption in the pipeline of critical supplies such as food, fuel and medicines has the potential to bring millions of people closer to starvation and death.

There are over 20 million people in need of humanitarian assistance; seven million of them, are facing famine-like conditions and rely completely on food aid to survive. In six weeks, the food supplies to feed them will be exhausted. Over 2.2 million children are malnourished, of those, 385,000 children suffer from severe malnutrition and require therapeutic treatment to stay alive.

Due to limited funding, humanitarian agencies are only able to target one third of the population (7 million) and some two thirds of the population rely on the commercial supplies which are imported, therefore, the continued availability of commodities in the markets is essential to prevent a deterioration of food insecurity. Any food shortage will result in a further increase of food prices beyond the purchasing power of the average Yemeni. The closure has started to impact the daily life of Yemenis with the price of fuel spiking 60 per cent overnight and the price of cooking gas doubling.

The current stock of vaccines in country will only last one month. If it is not replenished, outbreaks of communicable diseases such as polio and measles are to be expected with fatal consequences, particularly for children under five years of age and those already suffering from malnutrition.

The people of Yemen are already living with the catastrophic consequences of an armed conflict – lasting for over two and a half years – that has destroyed much of its vital infrastructure and brought the provision of basic services to the brink of collapse. Any further shocks to imports of food and fuel may reverse recent success in mitigating the threat of famine and the spread of cholera.

The continued closure of Yemen’s borders will only bring additional hardship and deprivation with deadly consequences to an entire population suffering from a conflict that it is not of their own making.

The humanitarian community in Yemen calls for the immediate opening of all air and seaports to ensure food, fuel and medicines can enter the country. We ask the Saudi-led Coalition to facilitate unhindered access of aid workers to people in need, in compliance with international law, by ensuring the resumption of all humanitarian flights.

We reiterate that humanitarian aid is not the solution to Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe. Only a peace process will halt the horrendous suffering of millions of innocent civilians.

Agency sign on by:
1. ACF
2. ACTED
3. ADRA
4. CARE
5. DRC
6. Handicap International
7. International Rescue Committee
8. MdM
9. NRC
10. Oxfam
11. PU-AMI
12. Relief International
13. Saferworld
14. Save The Children
15. ZOA
16. Mercy Corps
17. Islamic Relief
18. INTERSOS
19. International Training and Development Center
20. Search for Common Ground
21. Islamic Help
22. Human Appeal
23. United Nations

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Geneva Palais Briefing Note: The impact of the closure of all air, land and sea ports of Yemen on children
This is a summary of what was said by Meritxell Relano, UNICEF Representative in Yemen – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
GENEVA, 10 November 2017 – Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis and the worst food crisis in the world. Nearly 7 million people do not know where their next meal will come from and the survival of millions of people depends on humanitarian assistance operations. You have all seen the statements from the humanitarian community in Yemen and from the Emergency Relief Coordinator based on his last visit on the ground. Fuel, medicines and food are essential in this context. And in order to get them in, we need access.

ACCESS
The recent closure of the Yemen’s airspace, sea and land ports has worsened the already shrinking space for the lifesaving humanitarian work. It is blocking the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance to children in desperate need in Yemen. And it is making a catastrophic situation for children far worse. The port of Hodeida is where most of the humanitarian supplies enter and it is essential that the port resumes its activity.

Also, because missions on the ground are not possible, blocking the movement of humanitarian workers and supplies, this means that millions of children will be deprived of lifesaving humanitarian assistance.

IMPACT
Let me give you some examples of the impact of the closure of the entry points to the country:
The current stocks of fuel will only last until the end of November. We need fuel to maintain health centers open and water systems functioning (both for distributing water and for treating used water). The price of existing fuel has increased by 60%.

If fuel stocks are not replenished:
:: UNICEF’s ongoing WASH response to respond to the cholera outbreak is likely to be affected. This could impact nearly 6 million people living in cholera high-risk districts.
:: The operating water supply systems and waste water treatment plants will stop functioning, causing unimaginable risks.
:: The functionality and mobility of the Rapid Response Teams, serving nearly half a million every week, will be hindered.
:: Due to shortage of fuel supply, 22 Governorates/District cold rooms/district vaccine stores are at a major risk of being shut down. Vaccines for thousands of children could be damaged.

If vaccines are blocked from reaching Yemen, at least 1 million children under the age of one will be at risk of diseases including polio and measles:

…The current stock of vaccines in the country will last 1 month
…Shortage of medical supplies will only worsen the Diphtheria outbreak recently reported in five districts of Ibb. About 87 suspected cases were reported with nine associated deaths.

With more than 60 per cent of population food insecure, the closure of the Yemen’s airspace, sea and land ports will lead to more deterioration in food security level which will worsen malnutrition rates.

Children are suffering from severe malnutrition and diseases that could be easily prevented. Children need urgent care and any disruption in bringing in therapeutic nutrition supplies will only mean that more children in Yemen will die.

UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to allow and facilitate safe, sustainable, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to all children and families in need, through land, air and sea.