Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 23 August 2018 [GPEI]
Summary of new viruses this week:
Afghanistan – two new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples. Democratic Republic of the Congo – circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 detected in the stool samples of two healthy contacts of two different negative AFP cases.
Nigeria – one new case of cVDPV2, and two new cVDPV2 positive environmental samples. Somalia – one new case of cVDPV2. See country sections below for more details.


WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 25 Aug 2018]
The Syrian Arab Republic
:: Critical funding shortage threatens WHO’s response in northwest Syria
20 August 2018 – As the conflict in northwest Syria escalates, WHO is appealing for US$ 11 million to provide life-saving health care to people in parts of Aleppo, Hama, Idleb and Lattakia governorates.
Hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have been previously displaced, may be displaced yet again as they flee growing insecurity and violence. The situation in Idleb is particularly dire; more than half a million people have been displaced to and within the governorate since January 2017…

Iraq  – No new announcements identified
Nigeria  – No new announcements identified
South Sudan  – No new announcements identified
Yemen  – No new announcements identified
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 25 Aug 2018]
:: Major outbreaks averted, thousands of lives saved; but Rohingyas continue to be vulnerable: WHO  24 August 2018
:: Measles cases hit record high in the European Region  20 August 2018

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.
LibyaNo new announcements identified.
Niger  – No new announcements identified.

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. 
:: Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 9 – 15 August 2018 |

Syrian Arab Republic   No new announcements identified.


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.
Somalia   – No new announcements identified.

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 18 August 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
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

The Sentinel_ period ending 18 Aug 2018

:: 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

Kofi Atta Annan, diplomat, born 8 April 1938; died 18 August 2018

Kofi Atta Annan, diplomat, born 8 April 1938; died 18 August 2018

Please also see statements by a number of UN agencies, IGOs and other organizations throughout this edition.

The Elders mourn the loss of Kofi Annan
The Elders are shocked and deeply saddened at the passing of their dear friend and colleague Kofi Annan, who was the globally admired and respected Chair of The Elders.
Press release 17 August 2018
The Elders are shocked and deeply saddened at the passing of their dear friend and colleague Kofi Annan, who was the globally admired and respected Chair of The Elders.

A founding member of The Elders, Kofi Annan succeeded Archbishop Desmond Tutu as Chair in May 2013. He played a vital role in leading The Elders’ work, and was a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private, most recently on visits to South Africa and Zimbabwe in July 2018.

As the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, he was a constant advocate for human rights, development and the rule of law. The first Secretary-General to reach the post from within an organisation he served for over 40 years, Kofi Annan had a life-long commitment to the cause of peace and was known for his staunch opposition to military aggression, notably the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The great respect for him and his essential work was illustrated when he, together with the United Nations as a whole, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:
“We are devastated at the loss of our dear friend and fellow Elder. Kofi was a strong and inspiring presence to us all, and The Elders would not be where it is today without his leadership. Throughout his life, Kofi worked unceasingly to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. While we mourn his passing today, we resolve as Elders to continue to uphold his values and legacy into the future”.

In retirement, Kofi Annan continued where he had left off at the United Nations, founding and leading the work of the Kofi Annan Foundation, based in Geneva, and maintaining a hectic international schedule. His quiet advice on how best to defuse impending crises was in constant demand from all corners of the globe, in particular from Africa.

All of the Elders and their Advisory Council and staff team members send their heartfelt condolences to Kofi’s family: his wife Nane, his children and grandchildren. They have lost a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

The world has lost an inspiring figure – but one whose achievements will never be forgotten, and whose commitment to peace and justice will endure to inspire future generations.


Opinion by Kofi Annan 30 July 2018
Donald Trump’s deal must put Palestinian rights centre stage
Writing in the Financial Times, Kofi Annan welcomes fresh approaches to peacemaking but warns that any deal that does not address the root causes of the conflict will be doomed to failure.


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on the dynamic, irreplaceable Kofi Annan
18 August 2018
“I am grief-stricken over the death of Kofi Annan. Kofi was humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss becomes even more painful.

He was a friend to thousands and a leader of millions. To me — like to so many in the UN, he was my immediate boss when I was thirty-one years of age — and what a boss! He was always courageous, direct in speech, but never discourteous — never discourteous. Later, when I was an ambassador at the UN he inspired us, by being a dynamic and charismatic leader in his capacity as Secretary-General. And most of all, he was a friend and counsel — to me and to so many others. Whenever — as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, I felt isolated and alone politically (which, in the last four years, was often) I would go for long walks with him around Geneva — and listen.

When I told him once how everyone was grumbling about me, he looked at me — like a father would look at a son — and said sternly: “you’re doing the right thing, let them grumble.” Then he grinned!

There are some human beings who will seem irreplaceable to us, rare human beings. Kofi Annan is high among them.
Goodbye my dear friend … goodbye Kofi.”

Secretary-General Appoints Michelle Bachelet of Chile United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human Rights – Governance

Secretary-General Appoints Michelle Bachelet of Chile United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
10 August 2018
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, following approval by the General Assembly, has appointed Michelle Bachelet of Chile the next United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She will succeed Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the United Nations.

Ms. Bachelet ended her second four-year term as President of Chile in March 2018, having already held the position between 2006 and 2010. The first woman elected to Chile’s highest office, after her first term, she joined the United Nations as the first Executive Director of the newly established United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).

A long-time human rights champion and ground-breaking leader, Ms. Bachelet is a paediatrician who began her Government career as an adviser in the Ministry of Health, rising quickly to become the first woman to lead Chile’s Health Ministry in 2000 and its Defence Ministry in 2002.

Ms. Bachelet became involved in Chilean human rights activism in the early 1970s. She and her parents were political prisoners, and her father, a general in the air force, died in prison. After their release, Ms. Bachelet and her mother spent several years in exile. She returned to Chile in 1979, finished school and became a paediatrician and public health advocate.

The holder of a medical degree, Ms. Bachelet also studied military strategy at Chile’s National Academy of Strategy and Policy and at the Inter-American Defense College in the United States.


Zeid warmly welcomes appointment of new UN Human Rights Chief
GENEVA (10 August 2018) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday warmly welcomed the UN General Assembly’s appointment of Michelle Bachelet to succeed him when his mandate comes to an end on 31 August 2018.

“I am truly delighted by the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as the next UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Zeid said. “She has all the attributes – courage, perseverance, passion, and a deep commitment to human rights – to make her a successful High Commissioner. The UN Human Rights Office looks forward to welcoming her and working under her leadership for the promotion and protection of all human rights, for everyone, everywhere.”

Bachelet most recently served as President of Chile (from 2014 to 2018, and 2006 to 2010). She was the first Executive Director of UN-Women between 2010 and 2013. She has also served as Minister of Defence and Minister of Health in Chile. The UN General Assembly today approved the UN Secretary-General’s appointment of Bachelet for a four-year term as High Commissioner.

Michelle Bachelet will be the seventh High Commissioner since the Office was created in 1993. Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein has been in office since 1 September 2014. His predecessors are: José Ayala-Lasso (1994-97); Mary Robinson (1997-2002); Sergio Vieira de Mello (2002-03); Louise Arbour (2004-08); and Navi Pillay (2008-14).

Children returned to Central America and Mexico at heightened risk of violence, stigma and deprivation – UNICEF

Irregular Migration/Deportations – Children

Children returned to Central America and Mexico at heightened risk of violence, stigma and deprivation
UNICEF Child Alert report shows dangerous journeys and deportations intensify root causes of irregular migration

NEW YORK/PANAMA CITY, 16 August 2018 – Extreme violence, poverty and lack of opportunity are not only powerful drivers of irregular child migration from northern Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) and Mexico, but also consequences of deportations from Mexico and the United States – UNICEF said today in a new report. The children’s agency also urged governments to work together in implementing solutions shown to help alleviate the root causes of irregular and forced migration and safeguard the wellbeing of refugee and migrant children along the journey.

Uprooted in Central America and Mexico examines the array of challenges and dangers faced by migrant and refugee children and families during the arduous process of migration and return.
“As this report shows, millions of children in the region are victims of poverty, indifference, violence, forced migration and the fear of deportation,” said María Cristina Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “In many cases, children who are sent back to their countries of origin have no home to return to, end up deep in debt or are targeted by gangs. Being returned to impossible situations makes it more likely that they will migrate again.”

More specifically, the report’s findings include:
Poverty – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are among the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with 44, 68 and 74 per cent of children living in poverty in each country respectively. Poor children and families often take out loans to finance their irregular migration to the U.S., leaving them in an even more precarious financial situation when they are apprehended and sent back without money and unable to repay their loans. This economic pressure can leave children and families without homes or the resources to pay for essentials.

Violence – Gang violence is pervasive in many communities across northern Central America, with children targeted for recruitment, abuse and even murder. Between 2008 and 2016 in Honduras, for instance, roughly one child fell victim to homicide each day. Likewise, in El Salvador, 365 children were murdered in 2017, while in Guatemala 942 violent deaths of children were reported last year. Children and families who migrate due to the threat of violence may be at even greater risk if they are forcibly returned without any support or protection to these communities where they were previously in danger. Many returnees end up being internally displaced because it is unsafe for them to return home.

Stigmatization – Returned children and families face stigmatization within the community because of their failed attempts to make it to Mexico or the U.S. This can make it harder for returning children to reintegrate into school and for adults to find employment.

Separation and detention – Detention and family separation by migration authorities are deeply traumatizing experiences that can adversely affect a child’s long-term development. Keeping families together and supporting alternatives to detention are key measures to ensure the best interest of migrant and refugee children.

The report also outlines a series of recommendations to keep refugee and migrant children safe and reduce the factors that push families and children to leave their homes in search of safety or a more hopeful future via irregular and dangerous migration routes.

“It’s essential to address the risks faced by migrant and refugee children and the root causes that contribute to large-scale population movements,” said Perceval. “Government leaders have an opportunity now to do the right thing. This means implementing proven approaches that can help alleviate the root causes; protect children in transit and upon reaching their destinations; provide children with access to essential services throughout the migration journey; ensure that deportation and return take place only when they are in the best interest of the child; and provide them with the protection and support needed to successfully reintegrate.”

UNICEF-supported programmes in northern Central America and Mexico are making a difference, but while many young migrants, refugees and returnees are benefitting, these initiatives would have to be scaled up enormously to meet all of the challenges facing the region’s children at risk.

Key Data
:: 68,409 migrant children were detained in Mexico between 2016 and April 2018 – 91 per cent of whom were deported to Central America.
:: Some 96,216 migrants from northern Central America, including 24,189 women and children, were returned from Mexico and the U.S. between January and June of this year. More than 90 per cent were deported from Mexico

Risk Preferences and the Decision to Flee Conflict

Conflict – Displacement – Risk

Risk Preferences and the Decision to Flee Conflict
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper – Ceriani, Lidia; Verme, Paolo.
2018 :: 41 pages
Despite the growing numbers of forcibly displaced persons worldwide, many people living under conflict choose not to flee. Individuals face two lotteries — staying or leaving — characterized by two distributions of potential outcomes. This paper proposes to model the choice between these two lotteries using quantile maximization as opposed to expected utility theory. The paper posits that risk-averse individuals aim at minimizing losses by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the lower end of the distribution, whereas risk-tolerant individuals aim at maximizing gains by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the higher end of the distribution. Using a rich set of household and conflict panel data from Nigeria, the paper finds that risk-tolerant individuals have a significant preference for staying and risk-averse individuals have a significant preference for fleeing, in line with the predictions of the quantile maximization model. These findings are contrary to findings on economic migrants, and call for separate policies toward economic and forced migrants.


Press Release
New Study Focuses on Risk Aversion to Understand Why Some People Flee Conflict, While Others Don’t
Date: August 13, 2018
Despite growing numbers of people that are forcibly displaced due to conflict, the reality is that many do not flee and continue to live under difficult circumstances. To understand how people make this choice, a new World Bank working paper, “Risk Preferences and the Decision to Flee Conflict,” examines the role of risk aversion and concludes that the risk-averse are the ones who prefer to flee, while the risk-tolerant stay in their own countries.

If confirmed more broadly, these findings contrast sharply with economic migrants, who are known to be risk takers seeking economic opportunities, underscoring the need to distinguish between these two groups with an appropriate policy response for each.

According to the paper, people living under conflict are faced with two choices or lotteries ¬– staying or leaving – characterized by two distributions of potential outcomes. Using a Quantile Maximization (QM) model and risk aversion, it posits that risk-averse individuals aim to minimize losses by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the lower end of the distribution, whereas risk-tolerant individuals aim to maximize gains by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the higher end of the distribution.

A four-step approach was used to test the model with household and conflict panel data collected from Nigeria for the period 2010-2016, which coincides with the Boko Haram conflict:
Estimation of the distributions of outcomes (lotteries) for people living under conflict who decide to stay or leave.
Predictions of migration choices for people with different risk preferences based on the QM model.
Test whether the QM predictions match observed risk preferences among stayers and leavers.
Test for any confounding factors.
It found that risk-tolerant individuals preferred to stay, while risk averse individuals chose to flee, in line with its prediction.

While these are early results in an area that has received very little attention in the past, derived from a country case study, it calls attention to the difference between previous findings on economic migrants and risk preferences. Economic migrants tend to be risk-takers and move with the expectation that it would lead to an overall better quality of life.

On the other hand, the forcibly displaced are more risk-averse. They move to protect their lives and minimum living standards. Evidence has shown that economic migrants move with the intention of finding opportunities for growth far away from their home countries, while forcibly displaced persons want to settle close to the place of origin with the expectation of returning home.

These results need to be validated with further work in Nigeria and elsewhere, but if confirmed more broadly, this means that combining the two groups is not beneficial for the place of origin nor the place of destination. Separate policies by host governments should be considered for economic migrants and forcibly displaced persons.

This work is part of the program “Building the Evidence on Protracted Forced Displacement: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership.” funded by UK aid from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Packard Foundation Joins Over 300 U.S. Philanthropic Leaders to Call for Removal of Citizenship Question from 2020 Census [U.S.]

Governance – Census/Citizenship

Packard Foundation Joins Over 300 U.S. Philanthropic Leaders to Call for Removal of Citizenship Question from 2020 Census [U.S.]
Packard Foundation Joins Over 300 U.S. Philanthropic Leaders to Call for Removal of Citizenship Question from 2020 Census

August 16, 2018 (Los Altos, CA) —The Packard Foundation joined 303 other philanthropic leaders calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to withdraw a citizenship question from the 2020 census, reflecting an unprecedented consensus in philanthropy from local foundations to national grantmaking organizations.

In a public comment letter submitted to the U.S. Commerce Department ahead of an August 7 deadline, the large collection of foundation presidents and chief executives, trustees and others speaking for their organizations said the question would “significantly undermine efforts to achieve a fair and accurate census in 2020.” The letter continues:

We have different funding priorities, are ideologically diverse, and do not always agree with each other. But we wholeheartedly agree that the citizenship question should not be part of the 2020 Census.

The full text of the letter can be found here.