The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 24 March 2018

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 24 March 2018

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

Scientific assessments by Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) confirm need for imperative actions to safeguard life on Earth

Heritage Stewardship – Biodiversity

Scientific assessments by Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) confirm need for imperative actions to safeguard life on Earth
:: Reports shows that biodiversity continues to decline in every region of the world
:: Loss of biodiversity undermines nature’s ability to ensure quality of life everywhere
:: Actions to safeguard biodiversity are being undertaken, but more needed
:: IPBES regional assessment reports are a central part of the knowledge base for biodiversity policy at national and international levels.

23 March 2018 – Landmark regional scientific reports were issued today in Colombia on the status of biodiversity in the following regions of the world: the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa as well as Europe and Central Asia. They show that pressures on biodiversity and resulting loss of biodiversity continue to increase in all of the regions. If unchecked, such loss will affect the ability of nature to support people and planet.

The regional assessments by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) show that the main pressures on biodiversity continue to be habitat change, climate change, invasive alien species, pollution and unsustainable use. However the relative importance of each of these pressures varies between the regions. These declines are of concern also because of the essential role biodiversity plays in providing for people, including, food, fuel and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

In all of the regions it is noted that actions have been taken to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. However, it is also noted that these actions have, for the most part, been insufficient. It is further observed that while various plans and strategies have been developed for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity these have not generally been translated into actions.

These reports confirm the conclusions of work done under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and suggest directions for additional urgent actions to achieve global biodiversity targets.

The landmark science reports were approved by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in Medellín, Colombia, at the 6th session of its Plenary on 22 March and released today. Written by more than 550 leading experts from over 100 countries, they are the result of three years of work, and include inputs from experts at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The four regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services cover the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, as well as Europe and Central Asia.

Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, CBD Executive Secretary, said: “These assessments are sobering. They show that the pressures on biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services from human activities, including climate change, are increasing. They show that the status of biodiversity is decreasing. They show that while the world is taking actions, more needs to be done to halt the loss of biodiversity.”

“These regional assessment reports help us understand variations across the regions of the world. However, if the current trends on biodiversity loss and ecosystems destruction are not reversed, the prospects for life on our planet become quite grim. At the current rate of destruction not only will it be difficult to safeguard life on Earth, but will jeopardize the prospects for human development and well-being. We need a paradigm shift in the way humans interact with nature; we need transformative change and a systemic approach to address the root causes of biological destruction.”…

Groundswell : Preparing for Internal Climate Migration :: Report – World Bank

Climate – Migration

Groundswell : Preparing for Internal Climate Migration
Report
World Bank Group, March 2018 :: 256 pages
This report, which focuses on three regions—Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America that together represent 55 percent of the developing world’s population—finds that climate change will push tens of millions of people to migrate within their countries by 2050. It projects that without concrete climate and development action, just over 143 million people—or around 2.8 percent of the population of these three regions—could be forced to move within their own countries to escape the slow-onset impacts of climate change. They will migrate from less viable areas with lower water availability and crop productivity and from areas affected by rising sea level and storm surges. The poorest and most climate vulnerable areas will be hardest hit. These trends, alongside the emergence of “hotspots” of climate in- and out-migration, will have major implications for climate-sensitive sectors and for the adequacy of infrastructure and social support systems. The report finds that internal climate migration will likely rise through 2050 and then accelerate unless there are significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and robust development action.
PDF: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/29461/WBG_ClimateChange_Final.pdf?sequence=18&isAllowed=y

Key messages
MESSAGE 1:
The scale of internal climate migration will ramp up by 2050 and then accelerate unless concerted climate and development action is taken.
Under all three scenarios in this report, there is an upward trend of internal climate migration in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America by 2050. In the worst-case or “pessimistic” scenario, the number of internal climate migrants could reach more than 143 million (around 86 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, 40 million in South Asia, and 17 million in Latin America) by 2050 (Figure 1). The poorest people and the poorest countries are the hardest hit.

In the “more inclusive development” scenario, internal climate migration across the three regions could drop to between 65 and 105 million. The “more climate-friendly” scenario projects the fewest internal climate migrants, ranging from 31 million to 72 million across the three regions.

Across all scenarios, climate change is a growing driver of internal migration. Climate change impacts (crop failure, water stress, sea level rise) increase the probability of migration under distress, creating growing challenges for human development and planning. Vulnerable people have the fewest opportunities to adapt locally or to move away from risk and, when moving, often do so as a last resort. Others, even more vulnerable, will be unable to move, trapped in increasingly unviable areas.

Internal climate migration will intensify over the next several decades and could accelerate after 2050 under the pessimistic scenario due to stronger climate impacts combined with steep population growth in many regions.

MESSAGE 2:
Countries can expect to see “hotspots” of climate-induced in- and out- migration. This will have significant implications for countries and future development planning.
The report projects that climate-driven “out-migration” will occur in areas where livelihood systems are increasingly compromised by climate change impacts. These “hotspots” are increasingly marginal areas and can include low-lying cities, coastlines vulnerable to sea level rise, and areas of high water and agriculture stress (Figure 2 for East Africa). In the northern highlands of Ethiopia for example, deteriorating water availability and lower crop yields will drive climate migrants from rainfed cropland areas. Even Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s largest city, could see slower population growth due to its reliance on increasingly unpredictable rainfall. The major cities of Dhaka in Bangladesh and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania will also experience dampened population growth due to rising sea level and storm surges.

Climate “in-migration” hotspots across the three regions emerge in locations with better climatic
conditions for agriculture as well as cities able to provide better livelihood opportunities. For example, the southern highlands between Bangalore and Chennai in India, the central plateau around Mexico City and Guatemala City, and Nairobi in Kenya are likely to become areas of increased climate in-migration.

Both types of hotspots emerge by 2030, and their number and spatial extent increase considerably by 2050. Planning and early action could help shape these hotspots: they are not pre-destined…

MESSAGE 3:
Migration can be a sensible climate change adaptation strategy if managed carefully and supported by good development policies and targeted investments…

MESSAGE 4:
Internal climate migration may be a reality but it doesn’t have to be a crisis. Action across three major areas could help reduce the number of people being forced to move in distress…

Global Report on Food Crises 2018

Food Security

Global Report on Food Crises 2018
FSIN [Food Security Information Network]
March 2018 :: 202pages
PDF: http://vam.wfp.org/sites/data/GRFC_2018_Full_Report_EN.pdf?_ga=2.164486135.933362886.1521951778-163706612.1521951778

The 2018 Global Report on Food Crises provides the latest estimates of severe hunger in the world. An estimated 124 million people in 51 countries are currently facing Crisis food insecurity or worse (the equivalent of IPC/CH Phase 3 or above). Conflict and insecurity continued to be the primary drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries, where almost 74 million food-insecure people remain in need of urgent assistance.

Last year’s report identified 108 million people in Crisis food security or worse across 48 countries. A comparison of the 45 countries included in both editions of the report reveals an increase of 11 million people – an 11 percent rise – in the number of food-insecure people across the world who require urgent humanitarian action.

Now in its third edition, the report is not a UN-owned publication but rather a public good, for use by those committed to achieving the objective of minimizing human suffering and eventually ending hunger. Prepared collectively by 12 leading global and regional institutions under the umbrella of the Food Security Information Network, the report provides thematic, country-specific, and trends analysis of food crises around the world.

he 2018 Global Report on Food Crises provides the latest estimates of severe hunger in the world. An estimated 124 million people in 51 countries are currently facing Crisis food insecurity or worse (the equivalent of IPC/CH Phase 3 or above). Conflict and insecurity continued to be the primary drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries, where almost 74 million food-insecure people remain in need of urgent assistance.

Last year’s report identified 108 million people in Crisis food security or worse across 48 countries. A comparison of the 45 countries included in both editions of the report reveals an increase of 11 million people – an 11 percent rise – in the number of food-insecure people across the world who require urgent humanitarian action.

Now in its third edition, the report is not a UN-owned publication but rather a public good, for use by those committed to achieving the objective of minimizing human suffering and eventually ending hunger. Prepared collectively by 12 leading global and regional institutions under the umbrella of the Food Security Information Network, the report provides thematic, country-specific, and trends analysis of food crises around the world.

“An unhealthy state to be in” [refugees] by Seth Berkley |

Refugees – Health/Immunization

An unhealthy state to be in
by Seth Berkley | Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
Thomson Reuters Foundation | 20 March 2018

Most refugees are living in low- and middle-income countries which are usually in no great position to support a huge influx of people

For the millions of people living in conflict zones, often the biggest killer isn’t bullets or bombs, but infectious disease. This was true of the First World War, where Spanish flu claimed four times more lives than conflict, and it is true of modern wars, even particularly brutal ones, like in Darfur. There, non-violent deaths, mainly due to infectious disease compounded by nutritional issues, were responsible for a ten-fold increase in mortality. Yet, for refugees it’s a very different story. There are always exceptions, but generally those people fleeing conflict or persecution who make it across national borders are on average no more likely to die than the residents of their new host country.

What this highlights is the vital role that aid agencies and host countries play in providing refugees with critical health interventions, such as vaccines, which may not have been available in their home country due to a breakdown of health services. As U.N. officials meet in Geneva this month to discuss a new draft global agreement on refugees, it’s also a role that is now likely to come under increasing pressure in the face of growing fragility, as the number of conflicts continues to rise, displacing more and more people.

With a record high of more than 65 million people across the world now displaced from their homes, conflict is only one driving force. Climate change, in the form of land degradation, desertification, rising sea levels and extreme weather events, is also now a contributing factor, as is the poverty that often comes with it. And in the coming decades this is expected to get worse.

All this points to two worrying challenges. The first is the question of how we continue to make immunisation and other vital preventive health interventions a priority for refugees. This can be challenging at the best times, as the ongoing diphtheria outbreak among the 650,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar demonstrates. But as the number of refugees continues to rise, this continuity of healthcare is likely to become less sustainable, raising difficult questions about who is responsible for providing for these essentially “stateless” people.

Indeed, given that refugee crises are rarely resolved quickly, and that it can take years before people can be safely repatriated, there is also the long-term pressure placed on host countries to consider. While headlines about the global refugee crisis mainly focus on the burden placed on wealthy nations, most refugees are living in low- and middle-income countries which are usually in no great position to support a huge influx of people. Countries like Jordan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda currently have millions of Syrian, Somali and Sudanese refugees in vast camp cities. Should countries like these be expected to use their limited resources or take out additional borrowing and incur sovereign debt in order to fund the needs of millions of people who are not their citizens, but are nevertheless on their territory?

The second arguably even greater challenge will be finding better ways to reach those tens of millions of people who are displaced but remain in their home country, which is the vast majority of the global total. These people are in so many ways more vulnerable, and yet harder to reach, with their health and safety often at the mercy of the same forces that drove them from their homes in the first place.

Continued fighting and a lack of basic infrastructure can make it extremely difficult for aid agencies to reach these displaced civilians populations, who are often sheltering in over-crowded situations, with limited access to food, water and sanitation, conditions that are ripe for outbreaks of disease and the vectors that spread them. If the children within that population miss out on vaccinations, such outbreaks become almost inevitable.

This is precisely what triggered the diphtheria outbreak among the Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar and this is what is now unfolding in Yemen. The only difference is that while aid agencies were able to get vaccines to the Rohingya refugees when they crossed over into Bangladesh, in Yemen access to the 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance is limited. With around 1,300 suspected cases of diphtheria and 73 deaths, there are now 7.2 million doses of the diphtheria vaccine on their way. It remains to be seen whether they make it to each and every person at risk.

Ensuring that health remains a priority in the new global agreement on refugees is one solution. In seeking to create a global public good that eases pressure on host countries and delivers services, as well supporting self-reliance of refugees and making it easier for them to either resettle in third countries or voluntarily repatriate, should be a positive step for all parties. However, we also need to find solutions to help people on the other side of the border, those millions of internally displaced people who are ultimately more at risk. By supporting their human right to lead healthy lives through the prevention of vaccine preventable disease, we can not only reduce the risk of outbreaks, but also end the tragedy of people fleeing violence only to be struck down by disease.

Comment :: Cholera control: one dose at a time

Featured Journal Content

Lancet Infectious Diseases
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/issue/current
Available online 14 March 2018
In Press, Corrected Proof — Note to users
Comment
Cholera control: one dose at a time
Louise C Iversa, b,
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30170-1
Open Access
Cholera continues to harm the most vulnerable people worldwide.1 As an indicator of human progress, the sustained or new presence of the disease in any region is a stark reminder of how far we, as a society, have to go to reach Sustainable Development Goal 6: ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.2 Diarrhoeal diseases are a major source of preventable morbidity and mortality, and in 2015 claimed the lives of more than 1·3 million people, of whom 499,000 were children younger than 5 years.3

As a contributor to the global burden of diarrhoeal disease, Vibrio cholerae is a particularly harsh pathogen, causing rapid onset of severe nausea, vomiting, and profuse watery diarrhoea that can lead to death within hours—even of the healthiest young adults. Whole communities can be rapidly affected in epidemics, causing both physical harm and psychological distress. The pervasive social determinant of the problem—poor or no access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene—means that displaced people, refugee populations, and those in conflict zones are at risk of major outbreaks of the illness. Cholera also continues to occur routinely, regularly, and with great impact (although often with less media attention) in endemic countries, such as Bangladesh and now Haiti, where children and the poorest people are the most at risk of being harmed. In both epidemic and endemic circumstances, the public health role of cholera vaccination has been re-emerging with interest from policy makers over the past 8 years.

In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Firdausi Qadri and colleagues 4 describe results of 2 years of follow-up of a large, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy trial of a single dose of an inactivated whole-cell oral cholera vaccine (OCV) in Bangladesh. They found that a single dose provided protection for at least 2 years when given to adults (vaccine protective efficacy against all cholera episodes 59%, 95% CI 42–71) and to children aged 5 years or older (52%, 8–75). The findings make an important contribution to cholera control around the world, and could help to take us one step closer to WHO’s ambitious goal of reducing deaths from the disease by 90% by 2030.5

Increasing practical experiences with large-scale public health use of OCV—initially including reactive vaccination campaigns in Guinea and Haiti in 2012,6 ; 7 revitalised WHO’s support of cholera-affected countries,8 and investment by GAVI, the vaccine alliance, in a global stockpile of vaccine—have resulted in millions of doses of OCV being used each year since 2014. The vaccine has most often been given in two doses, 14 days apart, as recommended by the manufacturers.9 Yet giving a second dose of OCV on schedule can be challenging during crisis situations. Furthermore, multiple competing demands on the global stockpile mean that, at times, officials might have to decide if they should vaccinate a population without guarantee of the availability of the second tranche of doses.

Qadri and colleagues’ trial complements findings from other important studies on the use of a single-dose OCV, which were largely secondary analyses and shorter-term prospective observational studies.10 ; 11 Together, the evidence shows that single-dose OCV campaigns can be effective both in the short term in outbreaks and for up to 2 years in endemic settings. With these data to further support decision making on who to vaccinate against cholera and when to vaccinate them, government agencies, multilateral organisations, and non-governmental organisations should continue to invest in cholera vaccines as a part of the toolkit to control and prevent the disease.

However, a single dose of OCV did not protect children younger than 5 years compared with placebo (vaccine protective efficacy against all cholera episodes −13%, 95% CI −68 to 25),4 consistent with the 6-month results of the same study.12 Other studies show some, but reduced, protection of two doses of OCV in this age group as well, which has implications for strategies on the use of OCV in highly endemic regions where young children are an important risk group.13 Further studies are needed to determine how best to protect the youngest individuals, and to identify the ideal dosing schedule of the vaccine.

Still more evidence is needed on how to integrate vaccination strategies into evidence-based water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions to interrupt diarrhoeal disease—a subject in which evidence of impact is surprisingly scarce.14 What is notable about the discourse on OCV in 2018 are the burning questions not associated with whether vaccines should be used in endemic countries or whether they should be used during epidemics for cholera control, but rather how best to use them in a way that maximises effectiveness and efficiency in saving the lives of the most vulnerable people from this entirely preventable disease.

Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 13 March 2018 [GPEI]
:: New on http://www.polioeradication.org: In Nigeria, experts from the frontline of polio eradication are supporting the Lassa fever response. Meanwhile, we asked what it takes to vaccinate every child in Afghanistan.

Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:
Afghanistan: Two new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) have been confirmed this week, one occurring in Kunar province, and one in Kandahar province. These cases were advance notification last week.
Pakistan: One new WPV1 positive environmental sample has been reported in Sindh province.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: One new case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) reported, from Haut Lomami province.
Somalia: An advance notification of one new cVDPV2 positive environmental sample has been received, from Banadir province.

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 24 March 2018]
The Syrian Arab Republic
:: WHO is providing urgent health services in response to displacements from Afrin
23 March 2018, Cairo, Egypt – The World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed mobile medical clinics and critical health supplies to areas hosting newly displaced people from the northern Syrian district of Afrin, while supporting partners struggling to maintain health services in Afrin city and surrounding areas.
An estimated 167 000 people have been displaced by the recent hostilities in Afrin District in northern Aleppo Governorate. The majority have fled to Tal Refaat, while others are seeking shelter in Nubul, Zahraa and surrounding villages. The massive influx of displaced people is putting a strain on host communities and already overwhelmed health facilities…

Iraq – No new announcements identified
Nigeria – No new announcements identified
South Sudan – No new announcements identified.
Yemen – No new announcements identified.

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 24 March 2018]
Bangladesh/Myanmar: Rakhine Conflict 2017 – No new announcements identified …
Cameroon – No new announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new announcements identified.
Democratic Republic of the Congo – No new announcements identified.
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified.
Libya – No new announcements identified.
Niger – No new announcements identified.
Ukraine – No new announcements identified.

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises.
DRC
:: Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock: Statement to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, New York, 19 March 2018

Syrian Arab Republic
:: 23 Mar 2018 UNICEF Briefing note on the situation of children in Idlib, Afrin and Eastern Ghouta, Syria, 23 March 2018
:: 19 Mar 2018 Statement attributed to Ali Al-Za’tari, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, on the catastrophic situation for people from East Ghouta and Afrin, 19 March 2018 [EN/AR]

Yemen
:: 19 Mar 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 12 March – 18 March 2018 | Issue 7

Iraq – No new announcements identified.

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified.
Nigeria – No new announcements identified.
Rohinga Refugee Crisis – No new announcements identified.
Somalia – No new announcements identified.