The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
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Week ending 23 June 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: The Sentinel_ period ending 23 Jun 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

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – Human Rights Council Opening Statement

Human Rights Council

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Opening statement and global update of human rights concerns by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at 38th session of the Human Rights Council
18 June 2018
[Excerpts; Editor’s text bolding]
Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Colleagues and Friends,
As this is my last global update to the Human Rights Council in a regular session – and before I turn, once again, to the important matter of access and cooperation – I wish to draw on some final reflections.

I heard recently a UN official telling others there is really no such thing as universal human rights, musing that they were picked from a Western imagination. I remember thinking to myself that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the most translated document in the world – was negotiated by the same political leaders who poured universal values into the Charter, creating the United Nations. Is the UN also then somehow not universal? Were its values sourced only from a Western tradition – unrepresentative of the rest of the world?

No. A clear rejection of this comes from a look at the negotiating record itself. The San Francisco Conference, which established the UN, was a circus of sound shaped from many tongues; its result was not a solo tune from a Western instrument. Had that been the case – had the countries that joined the organization believed they were being pinned to alien, Western values – why then did they not stream toward the exits? Why did they not withdraw from the UN?

But then why is the Universal Declaration, and the whole body of human rights law that followed it, the object of so much attack now –- not only from the violent extremists, like the Takfiris, but also from authoritarian leaders, populists, demagogues, cultural relativists, some Western academics, and even some UN officials?

I have spent most of my career at, and in, the UN. What I have learned is this: the UN is symptomatic of the wider global picture. It is only as great or as pathetic as the prevailing state of the international scene at the time. I also have come to understand how weak human memory is. That to many people history matters only in so far as it can be unsheathed and flung into political battle: they do not view it as a service to deeper human understanding.
There is a dangerous remove and superficiality to so many of our discussions, so much so that the deepest, core issue seems to have been lost on many.

Is it not the case, for example, that historically, the most destructive force to imperil the world has been chauvinistic nationalism – when raised to feral extremes by self-serving, callous leaders, and amplified by mass ideologies which themselves repress freedom. The UN was conceived in order to prevent its rebirth. Chauvinistic nationalism is the polar opposite of the UN, its very antonym and enemy. So why are we so submissive to its return? Why are we in the UN so silent?

The UN’s raison d’être is the protection of peace, rights, justice and social progress. Its operating principle is therefore equally clear: only by pursuing the opposite to nationalism – only when States all work for each other, for everyone, for all people, for the human rights of all people – can peace be attainable.

Why are we not doing this?

Those of us in the UN Secretariat, originating from all the 193 Member States, work collaboratively and we do not answer to any State. In contrast, too many governments represented at the UN will often pull in the opposing direction: feigning a commitment to the common effort, yet fighting for nothing more than their thinly-thought interests, taking out as much as they can from the UN, politically, while not investing in making it a true success. The more pronounced their sense of self-importance – the more they glory in nationalism – the more unvarnished is the assault by these governments on the overall common good: on universal rights, on universal law and universal institutions, such as this one.

And as the attack on the multilateral system and its rules, including most especially international human rights law, intensifies, so too will the risk increase of further mischief on a grander scale. The UN’s collective voice must therefore be principled and strong; not weak and whining, obsessed with endless wrangling over process, the small things, as it is the case today.

If my Office, of which I am very proud, and I, have gotten one thing right over the last few years, it is our understanding that only fearlessness is adequate to our task at this point in time. Not ducking for cover, or using excuses or resorting to euphemisms, but a fearlessness approaching that shown by human rights defenders around the world – for only by speaking out can we begin to combat the growing menace of chauvinistic nationalism that stalks our future.

I appeal to you to do more, to speak louder and work harder for the common purpose and for universal human rights law, to better our chances for a global peace…

Mr President,
People do not lose their human rights by virtue of crossing a border without a visa. I deplore the adoption by many countries of policies intended to make themselves as inhospitable as possible by increasing the suffering of many already vulnerable people. In recent weeks, I have become increasingly alarmed by two issues regarding access for civil society organisations to migrants.

In Hungary, I am deeply concerned about a bill presented to Parliament last month which, if adopted, would effectively criminalize human rights monitoring at borders and within border zones, as well as criminalizing the provision to migrants of information, legal aid and assistance.
The bill would also eliminate or impede judicial review in many cases. It is essential that independent monitoring bodies – including not only all international human rights bodies, but also national human rights institutions and civil society – be able to monitor the human rights situation of migrants without fear or obstruction. These prohibitions, and related measures adopted by the Government of Hungary in recent months, stigmatize and harm migrants in vulnerable situations and those who seek asylum, as well as punishing the admirable work of human rights defenders who seek to help them.

In the United States, I am deeply concerned by recently adopted policies which punish children for their parents’ actions.

In the past six weeks, nearly two thousand children have been forcibly separated from their parents. The American Association of Pediatrics has called this cruel practice “government-sanctioned child abuse” which may cause “irreparable harm,” with “lifelong consequences”. The thought that any State would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable. I call on the United States to immediately end the practice of forcible separation of these children, and I encourage the Government to at last ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in order to ensure that the fundamental rights of all children, whatever their administrative status, will be at the centre of all domestic laws and policies.

Mr President,
We request access so we can better work to help bring States’ laws and practices in line with the commitments which they themselves have made. Every decision to engage more productively with the human rights system is a decision to create openings towards a more harmonious society – one where there is greater justice, more sustainable peace and better development.

I am heartened by the new areas where access has been achieved over the past year. It is not easy to highlight conflicts which have been averted, violations which have been warded off, and spiralling violence that has been interrupted and diminished. But every step towards greater implementation of the human rights agenda is an act of prevention, which gathers and strengthens the bonds between communities and reinforces inclusive development and peace.
I am convinced that the human rights ideal has been the most constructive movement of ideas in our era – and among the most successful.

Over the past 70 years, a sustained peace has been achieved in and between many societies. Conflicts have been resolved, with respect and through law; a vastly increased number of people have been able to meaningfully express their views, and access education, healthcare and opportunities for development, without discrimination. Some may take these achievements for granted. But they are the enactment of policies – policies and laws that uphold the universal principles of human dignity and equality. And they are not the norm. Every society’s history is bloody with conflict and deprivation: we need only look back a little way to grasp the dangers, which our work averts.

When leaders undermine human rights, and human rights law, this is in no way an act of patriotism. They are eroding the structures which can ensure the safety of their people ¬– pitching their societies backwards into violence, destruction, exploitation and disaster. They are recreating the rule of brute force and exploitation – within countries and between them. True patriotism consists in viewing every State, and humanity as a whole, as a community of mutual responsibility, with shared needs and goals. True patriotism consists of the work of creating tolerant communities, which can live in peace.

I depart an Office which is strong, absolutely committed to its gargantuan task, and which, in the face of heavy headwinds, has made progress. These new areas of access are a testament to the credibility of our operations and the justice of our cause. I remain convinced that the monitoring and reporting we have achieved; our capacity-building for civil society and States; and our clear, steady and impartial advocacy have been significant contributors to governance that is more inclusive and respectful of the rights of the people; societies which are more peaceful; and development that is broader, deeper and of more benefit to all…

U.S. Withdraws from Human Rights Council

Remarks on the UN Human Rights Council
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley
06/19/2018
[Excerpts; Editor’s text bolding]

SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon. The Trump administration is committed to protecting and promoting the God-given dignity and freedom of every human being. Every individual has rights that are inherent and inviolable. They are given by God, and not by government. Because of that, no government must take them away.

For decades, the United States has led global efforts to promote human rights, often through multilateral institutions. While we have seen improvements in certain human rights situations, for far too long we have waited while that progress comes too slowly or in some cases never comes. Too many commitments have gone unfulfilled.

President Trump wants to move the ball forward. From day one, he has called out institutions or countries who say one thing and do another. And that’s precisely the problem at the Human Rights Council. As President Trump said at the UN General Assembly: “It is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the Human Rights Council.”

We have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for this council. But today, we need to be honest – the Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.
Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored, and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.

The only thing worse than a council that does almost nothing to protect human rights is a council that covers for human rights abuses and is therefore an obstacle to progress and an impediment to change. The Human Rights Council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those who have committed no offense. A mere look around the world today demonstrates that the council has failed in its stated objectives.

Its membership includes authoritarian governments with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records, such as China, Cuba, and Venezuela.

There is no fair or competitive election process, and countries have colluded with one another to undermine the current method of selecting members.
And the council’s continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable. Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined.

The United States has no opposition in principle to multilateral bodies working to protect human rights. We desire to work with our allies and partners on this critical objective that reflects America’s commitment to freedom.

But when organizations undermine our national interests and our allies, we will not be complicit. When they seek to infringe on our national sovereignty, we will not be silent.
The United States – which leads the world in humanitarian assistance, and whose service members have sacrificed life and limb to free millions from oppression and tyranny – will not take lectures form hypocritical bodies and institution as Americans selflessly give their blood and treasure to help the defenseless…

Ambassador Haley has spent more than a year trying to reform the Human Rights Council…

AMBASSADOR HALEY: Thank you. Good afternoon. I want to thank Secretary Pompeo for his friendship and his partnership and his leadership as we move forward on these issues.
One year ago, I traveled to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. On that occasion, I outlined the U.S. priorities for advancing human rights and I declared our intent to remain a part of the Human Rights Council if essential reforms were achieved. These reforms were needed in order to make the council a serious advocate for human rights. For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.

Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council. The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks…

When a so-called Human Rights Council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name. Such a council, in fact, damages the cause of human rights.

And then, of course, there is the matter of the chronic bias against Israel. Last year, the United States made it clear that we would not accept the continued existence of agenda item seven, which singles out Israel in a way that no other country is singled out. Earlier this year, as it has in previous years, the Human Rights Council passed five resolutions against Israel – more than the number passed against North Korea, Iran, and Syria combined. This disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.

For all these reasons, the United States spent the past year engaged in a sincere effort to reform the Human Rights Council. It is worth examining why our efforts didn’t succeed. At its core, there are two reasons. First, there are many unfree countries that simply do not want the council to be effective. A credible human rights council poses a real threat to them, so they opposed the steps that would create it.

Look at the council membership and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic human rights. These countries strongly resist any effort to expose their abusive practices. In fact, that’s why many of them run for a seat on the Human Rights Council in the first place: to protect themselves from scrutiny. When we made it clear we would strongly pursue council reform, these countries came out of the woodwork to oppose it. Russia, China, Cuba, and Egypt all attempted to undermine our reform efforts this past year…

I have traveled to the – to UN refugee and internally displaced persons camps in Ethiopia, Congo, Turkey, and Jordan, and met with the victims of atrocities in those troubled regions. We have used America’s voice and vote to defend human rights at the UN every day, and we will continue to do so. Even as we end our membership in the Human Rights Council, we will keep trying to strengthen the entire framework of the UN engagement on human rights issues, and we will continue to strongly advocate for reform of the Human Rights Council. Should it become reformed, we would be happy to rejoin it.

America has a proud legacy as a champion of human rights, a proud legacy as the world’s largest provider of humanitarian aid, and a proud legacy of liberating oppressed people and defeating tyranny throughout the world. While we do not seek to impose the American system on anyone else, we do support the rights of all people to have freedoms bestowed on them by their creator. That is why we are withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, an organization that is not worthy of its name.

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Press statement by the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Vojislav Suc (Slovenia)
19 June 2018
GENEVA, 19 June 2018 — Today I learned of the decision by the United States to withdraw its membership from the Human Rights Council.

While I recognize it is the prerogative of any member State to take such a decision, I wish to acknowledge that the United States has been a very active participant at the Council having engaged constructively on numerous issues aimed at improving the lives of rights holders around the globe, including the many issues which we are addressing in our current session. The Human Rights Council always stands to benefit from constructive engagement of its member States.

In times when the value and strength of multilateralism and human rights are being challenged on a daily basis, it is essential that we uphold a strong and vibrant Council recognizing it as a central part of the United Nations for the 21st century.

Over the past 12 years, the Human Rights Council has tackled numerous human rights situations and issues keeping them in sharp focus. In many senses, the Council serves as an early warning system by sounding the alarm bells ahead of impending or worsening crises. Its actions lead to meaningful results for the countless human rights victims worldwide, those the Council serves.

The Human Rights Council is the only intergovernmental body responding to human rights issues and situations worldwide, with the active participation of civil society. It provides a unique setting to hear a wide range of views, including those which other organisations are unable or unwilling to discuss.

Evidence of the significant role the Council plays is on display at our current session where dozens of independent human rights experts and investigative bodies, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and other participants, will appraise the international community about human rights issues and situations throughout the world.

The matter of filling the vacancy left in the Council membership through the United States’ decision will need to be addressed by the United Nations General Assembly.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018

Sustainable Development – SDGs Report

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018
United Nations, 2018 :: 40 pages
PDF: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/files/report/2018/TheSustainableDevelopmentGoalsReport2018.pdf
Overview
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reviews progress in the third year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This overview presents highlights of progress and remaining gaps for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on the latest available data, and examines some of the interconnections across Goals and targets. Subsequent chapters focus in more depth on the six Goals under review at the high-level political forum on sustainable development in July 2018. While people overall are living better lives than they were a decade ago, progress to ensure that no one is left behind has not been rapid enough to meet the targets of the 2030 Agenda. Indeed, the rate of global progress is not keeping pace with the ambitions of the Agenda, necessitating immediate and accelerated action by countries and stakeholders at all levels.

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Press Release
SDG Report 2018 Finds Conflict, Climate Change, Inequality Hindering Progress
20 June 2018: The UN has launched the 2018 version of the yearly Sustainable Development Goals Report. It finds that conflict, climate change and inequality are major factors in growing hunger and displacement, and are hindering progress towards the SDGs. The report highlights positive progress on the proportion of people living below the poverty line, under-five mortality and access to electricity…

The publication titled, ‘The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018,’ finds that “more people are leading better lives” than they were a decade ago. Since 2000, the proportion of people living with families on less than US$1.90 per day has fallen from 26.9% to 9.2%, and the unemployment rate has decreased. Maternal mortality has declined by 37%, and the under-five child mortality rate has decreased by 47%. The proportion of population with access to electricity in the least developed countries (LDCs) has more than doubled.

Child marriage continues to decline around the world, in line with progress towards SDG target 5.2. In Southern Asia, for example, the report states that a girl’s risk of marriage during childhood has decreased by more than 40% since 2000. On SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), the report states that over 100 countries now have sustainable consumption and production (SCP) policies and initiatives…

Individual SDG highlights include:
On SDG 2 (zero hunger), the number of hungry people in the world has risen from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, mostly as a result of conflicts and disasters and droughts linked to climate change. In 18 countries, the report finds that conflict is a main driver of food insecurity.
On SDG 4 (quality education), more than half of children and adolescents are not meeting minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics, with disparities persisting along gender, urban-rural and other divides.
On SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), in 2015, 2.3 billion people lacked a basic level of sanitation, and 892 million people practiced open defecation.
On SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 91% of the global urban population breathes air that does not meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality guidelines for particulate matter.
On SDG 14 (life below water), global trends suggest declining marine fish stocks and deterioration of coastal waters, due to pollution and eutrophication.
On SDG 15 (life on land), the report finds that the world’s forest areas continue to shrink.
On SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), more than 570 different flows involving trafficking in persons were found between 2012 and 2014.
On SDG 17 (partnership for the Goals), official development assistance (ODA) for capacity building and national planning has been stable since 2010.

The report recommends improving the collection and dissemination of reliable, accessible, disaggregated and timely data, and urges better evidence-based policymaking to support progress on the SDGs. The report further calls for: increased political commitment and investment and technology and innovation.

The 2018 Aid Transparency Index

Development – Aid Transparency

The 2018 Aid Transparency Index
Publish What You Fund
June 2018 :: 40 pages
Produced with financial support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the European Union, DFID, and the Aid Transparency Index Supporters’ Coalition.
The Aid Transparency Index is the only independent measure of aid transparency among the world’s major development agencies. In 2018, it assesses 45 agencies. It is researched and produced by Publish What You Fund.
PDF: http://www.publishwhatyoufund.org/reports/2018-Aid-Transparency-Index.pdf

Executive Summary [Editor’s text bolding]
The past year has been a complex and challenging one for aid and development transparency. To help fulfil development needs and ambitious global objectives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), more and better aid and development finance than ever is required, especially at a time when some donors’ budgets are being reduced. To help meet this demand, more actors – including development finance institutions (DFIs) and others from the private and humanitarian sector – have become more involved, changing the landscape of aid and development finance forever.

The involvement of a growing number of aid and development actors presents a transparency challenge. To ensure that we can see the whole picture of aid and development finance, information provided for public use must remain consistent, whatever type of donor shares it. This comes at a time when the effectiveness and accountability of aid is under increased scrutiny. This scrutiny is necessary – it is vital to ensure the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of future aid and development finance projects.

The 2018 Aid Transparency Index shows how these actors are performing individually and as a whole. Overall, the 2018 results show much to be positive about. For example, 93% of Index organisations are now publishing in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard, which means more timely aid and development data is being made openly available than ever before. Around half of the organisations are publishing essential information on their aid and development spending on a monthly basis. Compare this to just a quarter reported in
the 2016 Index.

Although this is, of course, to be applauded, the publishing of timely data in itself is not enough. To be of value, it also needs to be comprehensive and cover all aspects of development projects, including, but not limited to, financial and performance-related data. Only two organisations – the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – publish on all Index indicators in the IATI Standard.

This year, the AsDB, with a score of 98.6%, knocks the UNDP off the 2016 Index’s top spot. Other DFIs, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank International Development Association (WB-IDA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) have also done well. They dominate the ‘very good’ category. The UNDP, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UK-DFID) and the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation (US-MCC) also lead the way in this category.

Collectively, however, the ‘fair’, ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ categories are the Index’s largest. Typically, donors in these categories fail to share enough high-quality data across all indicators. For example, in the ‘poor’ category the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK-FCO) provides information on just 39% of indicators. And both the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spain-AECID) and Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (Japan-JICA) publish on fewer indicators than in 2016.

To help ensure transparency commitments are honoured and to be able to see a more complete picture of aid and development finance, development organisations need to be transparent on all aspects of development work, including on whether objectives are met. Publish What You Fund strongly urges organisations – in both the private and the public sector – to share detailed, timely, comprehensive and comparable data so this can happen.

Only when the missing pieces of the data transparency jigsaw are provided can open data be used and transformed into the life-changing first step required to make aid and development activities more effective and hold organisations and donors to account for significant and lasting change.

Belgium and IOM Collaborate to Reduce High Costs of Money Transfers to Developing Countries

Development – Remittances

Belgium and IOM Collaborate to Reduce High Costs of Money Transfers to Developing Countries
Posted: 06/18/18
Brussels – Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo joins forces with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to build a comprehensive price comparison app for international money transfers (remittances).

Belgium will support the development of MigApp: an app that provides objective information to migrants about migration, and includes a price comparison tool for international money transfers. Remittances are the private funds that migrants send to their home countries. At the request of Minister De Croo, IOM is expanding the app so that services from all fourteen partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation can be integrated in the price comparison tool. This extension has been made possible thanks to a new partnership between IOM and RemitRadar, an online financial technology provider active in the field of remittances. With the app, users will be able to assess the cheapest service provider options for sending money home. Belgium is one of the four pilot countries where the app has been launched. Other EU pilot countries include Greece, Ireland and The Netherlands.

Minister De Croo said: “The new price comparison tool should contribute to a decrease in the rates [of remittances], which are much too high at the moment. In some cases, one can even speak about extortionate prices. By giving an easy access for the users to information about the cheapest and fastest option, we aim at stimulating the competition. More and more [financial technology] enterprises are investing in mobile money, whose rates are on average half of the classic money transfers compared to the main popular players.”

According to World Bank figures, migrants sent USD 466 billion to developing countries in 2017, an amount that exceeds the amount of official development aid three times over. As such, migrants contribute greatly to the economy of developing countries. However, the problem with remittances resides in their high transfer costs. On average, the cost of sending the money is equal to 7,1 per cent of the amount being sent; for remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa this transfer costs are 9.4 per cent on average, and even higher in some cases. The UN has, in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, agreed to lower the costs of remittances to an average of 3 per cent by 2030.

William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, has recognized remittance flows as ‘economic lifelines’ for migrant families. Remittances reduce poverty, provide better health care and access to nutrition and increase education opportunities for children. In an op-ed published ahead of the International Day of Family Remittances (celebrated on 16 June), Ambassador Swing wrote: “let us pause to recognize the tremendous contribution of migrants, both in their financial and social remittances to economies, but most importantly to individual families.”

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ebola/EVD

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
20 June 2018
The Ministry of Health and WHO continue to closely monitor the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is cautious optimism. Slightly over a month into the response, further spread of EVD has largely been contained. However, in spite of progress, there should be no room for laxity and complacency until the outbreak is controlled. The focus of operations remains on intensive surveillance and active case finding.

Since 17 May 2018, no new confirmed EVD cases have been reported in Bikoro and Wangata health zones, while the last confirmed case-patient in Iboko developed symptoms on 2 June 2018 and died on 9 June…