The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 13 October 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 13 Oct 2018

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

Respect for Traditional Self-Governance, Informed Consent in Decisions Critical to Upholding Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Mandate Holder Tells UNGA Third Committee

Governance – Indigenous Peoples

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Respect for Traditional Self-Governance, Informed Consent in Decisions Critical to Upholding Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Mandate Holder Tells Third Committee
General Assembly, Third Committee
Seventy-third Session, 16th Meeting (AM)
GA/SHC/4234
12 October 2018
Background
The Third Committee met this morning to consider the rights of indigenous peoples. Before it was a report by the Secretary General on the Status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples (document A/73/137), as well as a Secretariat note transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the rights of indigenous peoples (document A/73/176).

Overview
Self-governance and multilateral support are critical to fulfilling the aims of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, delegates told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today in a half day discussion on the matter.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said almost every indigenous group faces extreme marginalization and human rights violations. As such, it is critically important to protect and promote their institutions and governance systems. At the core of this issue are the rights to autonomy and self determination. Stressing that she would focus more on this topic over the next year, she urged States to provide recommendations on strengthening self governance, as there are many good examples.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates said that while it is difficult to describe what indigenous self governance systems are, they include a range of unique institutions — some centuries old — that establish rules for relating with one another, and are characterized by different histories, contexts and struggles that have shaped them.

Some pointed out that indigenous rights defenders often face peril. In fact, 2017 was the deadliest year yet for human rights defenders, said the European Union’s delegate — and a disproportionate number of the 197 documented killings were of indigenous people. Norway’s representative advocated a zero tolerance approach to such killings and asked how rights defenders can better cooperate with Governments, both local and nationally.

South Africa’s delegate said the multiple socioeconomic challenges faced by communities in his country are directly linked to the dispossession of land. Addressing the issue of land ownership is essential. As such, the Government has restored a sizeable amount of land to previously disadvantaged groups, he said.

Others underscored the need to involve indigenous peoples and institutions in decisions affecting them, especially at the United Nations. Finland’s representative, on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries, commended the Special Rapporteur for increasing cooperation with the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Canada’s delegate emphasized the need to renew relationships between Governments and indigenous peoples, calling it essential to building self determining indigenous nations that govern themselves. Along those lines, Guatemala’s delegate said the Government will work to rescue and revitalize indigenous languages — 22 Maya languages, along with Grifuna and Xinka.

Also speaking today were the representatives of El Salvador (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), Antigua and Barbuda (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Mexico (on behalf of the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples), Iraq, Russian Federation, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Australia, Ecuador, Namibia, Panama, Iran, Spain, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Fiji, Malaysia, Ukraine, Cameroon and Cuba, as well as the Holy See and the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean…

Signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding Between USAID and Knights of Columbus

Governance, Aid, Faith Community

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Signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding Between USAID and Knights of Columbus
October 12, 2018
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Knights of Columbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding Thursday that will facilitate partnerships to help communities in the Middle East recover from genocide and persecution. The partnership between USAID and the Knights of Columbus is a cornerstone of the Vice President’s commitment to helping communities recover in the wake of the genocidal campaign waged by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

USAID deeply values the contributions of the Knights of Columbus to respond to genocide and persecution in the Middle East. The relationships of trust the Knights have forged with persecuted communities, and their deep experience promoting interfaith dialogue, provide them with a reach and a voice in communities that often exceeds our own. The importance of a trusted voice when assisting survivors of genocide cannot be overstated.

The Memorandum of Understanding will allow USAID and the Knights of Columbus to leverage U.S. Government funding against the contributions of American philanthropists in a coordinated response to genocide and persecution. USAID and the Knights of Columbus will work together to identify populations in need and assist them, convene local actors, advance pluralism, and collaborate on efforts to prevent future atrocities.

The new partnership is part of USAID’s continuing effort to expand its partner base, including with local and faith-based organizations, to meet the needs of persecuted ethnic and religious minorities more effectively and promote diversity in the Middle East. USAID looks forward to adding additional public-and private-sector partners to advance the Vice President’s Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Initiative in the Middle East Region.

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Knights of Columbus
Bringing Help and Support to Persecuted Christians
Since the establishment of the Christian Refugee Relief Fund in 2014, the Knights of Columbus has collected more than $18 million. As of Dec. 31, 2017, over $16 million has already been distributed to provide food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care to persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

UN Migration Agency Launches Digital Platform to Engage Diaspora Members in Development

Development – Diaspora Communities

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UN Migration Agency Launches Digital Platform to Engage Diaspora Members in Development
2018-10-09 16:55
Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, officially launched its iDiaspora platform yesterday (08/09), during a side event as part the International Dialogue for Migration that is underway in Geneva. iDiaspora is a global engagement and knowledge exchange hub for transnational communities and those looking to engage with them. To reflect the global nature and diversity of this initiative, satellite launches are being planned in Cairo, London and Washington, DC.

IOM recognizes that there is mounting evidence regarding the important role that diaspora members and transnational communities play towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in countries of origin and destination.

Diaspora contributions vary in type and scope, and range from skills, knowledge and know-how transfer to investment, entrepreneurship and trade. Diaspora communities too are increasingly becoming more cognizant of their role, as evidenced by a multiplicity of diaspora organizations, associations, and confederations at the local, national and international levels. In launching the platform, the organization hopes to provide an all-in-one space for diaspora individuals, their organizations and partners to interact and exchange ideas as they work towards their shared development goals.

Users can register on the site – idiaspora.org – using Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, or complete their profiles with their name, location, fields of expertise, interest and a photo. They help shape the platform and can take advantage of it to Connect, Learn and Contribute: by finding other like-minded users from their community or other communities with whom to collaborate, using and/or contributing to the growing repository of resources, identifying concrete opportunities to give back their skills and resources and actively participating in development of their home and host communities.

In July 2017, the concept of the platform was launched during consultations for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) in New York. Feedback from these sessions demonstrated significant interest in the iDiaspora platform among a wide range of diaspora associations and individuals engaged in supporting economic development in their countries of origin/heritage and advocating for better migration policies within the GCM. Following that, IOM conducted a series of consultations with stakeholders from diaspora associations and international communities in the US and the UK to help shape the platform to respond to the needs of actors working in this space…

U.K. Foreign Secretary pledges to do everything possible to protect wild animals

Heritage Stewardship – Wildlife

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Foreign Secretary pledges to do everything possible to protect wild animals
U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt comments ahead of the London Illegal Wildlife Trade conference
Published 11 October 2018
In the last 5 decades, the world has lost nearly 60 percent of its vertebrate animals. In case you believe that is just another statistic, think about what it means.

The magnificent wildlife that humanity has inherited – the animals that enliven our imaginations, enhance the beauty of the world and provide livelihoods for millions of people – are disappearing with terrifying speed. We have lost two thirds of Africa’s elephants since the 1970s. We are down to the last 80,000 giraffes and the final 20,000 lions. The world’s tiger population has dropped by 95% in the last century.

If we go on like this, our grandchildren may only know of these animals from David Attenborough documentaries.

So today, I will open a conference in London attended by 80 countries on how to combat the illegal wildlife trade. The criminal gangs who smuggle horns and tusks pose one of the greatest threats to the survival of wildlife. They target some of the poorest countries in the world, spreading corruption and depriving governments of desperately needed revenues that could be used for schools and hospitals.

The World Bank estimates that governments lose as much as $15 billion (£11 billion) every year because of illegal logging. And the same criminal networks that traffic the body parts of wild animals may also deal in guns and drugs and people.

This week, I have joined Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, to announce a new British initiative to target the traffickers by helping countries in Africa and Asia to launch investigations and seize assets. We are sending more British diplomats to Africa, including experts on combating the illegal wildlife trade.

Last year, our Parliament passed the Criminal Finances Act, strengthening the British Government’s powers to combat money laundering and freeze unexplained wealth. Since then, we have placed another law before Parliament that would ban domestic ivory sales.

We will also contribute £250 million to the United Nations Global Environment Facility by 2022. As part of this, the Global Wildlife Programme has worked with Kenya on a new law imposing tougher punishments for wildlife crimes, including life imprisonment for anyone caught smuggling the body parts of an endangered species.

We are using our aid budget to help the UN Office of Drugs and Crime to strengthen the ability of developing countries to enforce their laws against the wildlife trade and improve their investigative skills.

When laws are enforced and smugglers prosecuted, wildlife populations can and do recover. The number of wild tigers in Nepal, for example, has doubled in the last nine years.

The London conference will be the biggest international gathering of its kind ever held. My aim is for Britain to do everything possible to protect wild animals for the sake of our grandchildren. If we failed to act, quite simply we would never be forgiven.

WTO, IMF, World Bank and OECD heads call for new focus on trade as a driver of growth

Global Governance – Multilateral Trade

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WTO, IMF, World Bank and OECD heads call for new focus on trade as a driver of growth
At a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on 10 October, the heads of four international organisations issued a strong call to ease trade tensions and refocus on the importance of trade and the multilateral trading system in fuelling economic growth. This call was made by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, together with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank President Jim Kim and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, at a jointly-organised conference under the theme “How global trade can promote growth for all.”

DG Azevêdo said:
“The trading system is not perfect — but it represents the best efforts of governments around the world, working together for 70 years, to find ways to cooperate on trade issues. It took a lot of people and a lot of time to push the boulder this far up the hill. Even keeping it in place requires constant effort.

“Today the WTO covers around 98% of global trade. It is has overseen a historic opening of markets and integration of economies. Since 1980, average tariffs have been cut by two thirds. The system has provided stability and predictability in global trade — holding firm even during the financial crisis. And, as a result, it has helped to fuel unprecedented growth and development around the world, as well as a dramatic reduction in poverty. The system has real value. So we have to keep working at it.

“We have to explore all avenues which could ease the current tensions and strengthen the trading system. We all know the risks of further escalation — risks to the economy and risks to the trading system itself, which would multiply the economic risks over the long term. We can’t let that happen. We need trade and the trading system to play their part in fuelling growth — just as they have done so effectively for seven decades.”

DG Azevêdo’s full speech is available here.

An Open Letter to the World: We Should Care About Human Capital :: Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016

Human Rights – Human Capital

An Open Letter to the World: We Should Care About Human Capital
October 11, 2018

We are coming together to send this urgent message. If we want a better world—one that is stable, more prosperous and equitable, where people’s potential is fulfilled—countries need to start investing more effectively in their people today.

Tremendous advances have been made in the past generation. Never in history has such a large share of people survived childhood, gone to school, become literate, escaped poverty, gone into the work force or lived so long. But these very gains—and the fact that change is possible—make today’s status quo all the more unjustifiable.
:: More than half the world’s population cannot access essential health services, with almost 100 million people pushed into extreme poverty every year by health costs.

:: In the world’s poorest countries, four out of five poor people are not covered by a social safety net, leaving them extremely vulnerable.

:: An estimated 5.4 million children under 5 years of age died in 2017, mostly of preventable causes. Newborns account for around half of those deaths.

:: Over 750 million adults are illiterate, their lifetime productivity severely diminished by a poor education.

:: More than 260 million children are not in primary or secondary school. And another quarter of a billion children cannot read or write despite having gone to school. If they formed a country, it would be the third largest country in the world.

:: Nearly one in four young children around the world are undernourished (stunted), their life prospects permanently limited by an accumulation of adversity in their earliest years.

Our fear is that a whole generation will not be equipped to reach its full potential and compete in the economy of the future. The nature of work is changing rapidly across the globe, as are demands for higher order skills. Yet half a billion young people in developing countries today are underemployed or in insecure jobs. If young people don’t have the opportunities to realize their aspirations, we risk more fragility and conflict across the globe—with incalculable economic costs.

It is time to recognize that investing in people is investing in inclusive growth. One additional year of schooling raises a person’s earnings by 8 to 10 percent. In some places, the returns are as high as 22 percent. The median benefit to cost ratio for interventions that reduce stunting in the first 24 months of life is equal to $18 of benefit for every $1 spent. If there were gender equality in earnings, human capital wealth could increase by 21.7 percent globally.

The message for countries, economies, leaders and concerned citizens across our interconnected world is clear: if we don’t turn our attention toward better and more strategic investments in people today, countries and economies will pay a steep price down the road.

There is powerful evidence that with a big push, progress can happen quickly. We can harness lessons from Malawi, where the stunting rate has come down ten percentage points to 37 percent in only a few years. Or from Vietnam, where learning outcomes have skyrocketed in reading, math and science. In both these cases, success was rooted in focused leadership, engaged stakeholders, and integrated government-wide approaches.

We hope the Human Capital Project—and the new Human Capital Index which links human capital outcomes to future productivity—will fuel momentum for action and put us more firmly on the path to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

We invite you to stand with us as we call for more and better investments in people. By doing so, we can transform the futures of nations, families and generations whose dreams are only matched by their will to achieve them.

Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister, Ethiopia
Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP
Aliko Dangote, Chair, President and Founder, Dangote Foundation
Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum
Sir Chris Hohn, Co-Founder, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Douglas Peterson, President and CEO, S&P Global
Sir Fazle Abed, Founder & Chair, BRAC
Frans van Houten, CEO, Philips
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
Hugh Evans, Chair, Global Citizen
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group
Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS
His Majesty King Letsie III, Lesotho
Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State, International Development, UK
Dr. Rajiv. J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
Shinichi Kitaoka, President, JICA
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore
Youssou N’Dour, Musician, Senegal

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Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016
Stephen S Lim, Rachel L Updike, Alexander S Kaldjian, Ryan M Barber, Krycia Cowling, Hunter York, Joseph Friedman, R Xu, Joanna L Whisnant, Heather J Taylor, Andrew T Leever, Yesenia Roman, Miranda F Bryant, Joseph Dieleman, Emmanuela Gakidou, Christopher J L Murray
The Lancet, Oct 06, 2018 Volume 392 Number 10154 p1167-1278 e10
Open Access
Human capital is recognised as the level of education and health in a population and is considered an important determinant of economic growth. The World Bank has called for measurement and annual reporting of human capital to track and motivate investments in health and education and enhance productivity. We aim to provide a new comprehensive measure of human capital across countries globally.

Emergencies

Emergencies
 

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 25 September 2018 [GPEI]
:: Papua New Guinea’s National Department of Health, WHO, UNICEF and partners issue a ‘100 Days Report’: featuring the highlights of response operations so far, the report is dedicated to the thousands of front-line polio workers who brave difficult conditions and work long hours to protect children in Papua New Guinea from polio.
:: The G20 group of countries keeps polio eradication in their priorities: in their statement following the G20 Health Ministerial meeting, Ministers recognize “the importance of eradicating polio” and planning for a sustainable polio-free world.
:: World Polio Day is coming up on 24 October: join partners around the world in making this year’s World Polio Day a success.

Summary of new viruses this week:
Pakistan – Positive samples from environmental surveillance: wild poliovirus in Pakistan (10)
Niger – one new case of cVDPV2
Nigeria – two new cases of cVDPV2
Papua New Guinea – one new case of cVDPV1
Somaiia – one new case of cVDPV2

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::::::

 
Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 13 Oct 2018 ]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: 10: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu  9 October 2018
:: Disease Outbreak News (DONs)  Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
11 October 2018
[See Milestones above for detail]

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new announcements identified
Nigeria – No new announcements identified
Somalia – No new announcements identified
South Sudan – No new announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new announcements identified
Yemen – No new announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 13 Oct 2018 ]
Brazil (in Portugese) – No new announcements identified
Cameroon  – No new announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new announcements identified
Iraq – No new announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new announcements identified
Libya – No new announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new announcements identified
Myanmar – No new announcements identified
Niger – No new announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new announcements identified
Sudan – No new announcements identified
Ukraine – No new announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new announcements identified
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Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin, Week 40: 29 September – 05 October 2018
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 54 events in the AFRO region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
:: Hepatitis E in Central African Republic
:: Monkeypox in Central African Republic
:: Dengue fever in Senegal
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 13 Oct 2018 ]
Afghanistan
Angola (in Portuguese)
Chad
Ethiopia
Kenya
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Mali
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Tanzania
Tropical Cyclone Gira
Zambia 

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:: Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 28 September – 6 October 2018 | Issue 29

Key Issues
…Suspected cholera cases have increased with roughly 10,000 reported per week, double the average in the first eight months of this year.

Syrian Arab Republic   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  :: Ethiopia: Gedeo-West Guji, Displacement Crisis, Situation update No.8, 9 October 2018

Somalia  No new announcements identified.

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::::::

 

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 25 September 2018 [GPEI]
:: Papua New Guinea’s National Department of Health, WHO, UNICEF and partners issue a ‘100 Days Report’: featuring the highlights of response operations so far, the report is dedicated to the thousands of front-line polio workers who brave difficult conditions and work long hours to protect children in Papua New Guinea from polio.
:: The G20 group of countries keeps polio eradication in their priorities: in their statement following the G20 Health Ministerial meeting, Ministers recognize “the importance of eradicating polio” and planning for a sustainable polio-free world.
:: World Polio Day is coming up on 24 October: join partners around the world in making this year’s World Polio Day a success.

Summary of new viruses this week:
Pakistan – Positive samples from environmental surveillance: wild poliovirus in Pakistan (10)
Niger – one new case of cVDPV2
Nigeria – two new cases of cVDPV2
Papua New Guinea – one new case of cVDPV1
Somaiia – one new case of cVDPV2

::::::
::::::

 
Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 13 Oct 2018 ]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: 10: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu  9 October 2018
:: Disease Outbreak News (DONs)  Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
11 October 2018
[See Milestones above for detail]

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new announcements identified
Nigeria – No new announcements identified
Somalia – No new announcements identified
South Sudan – No new announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new announcements identified
Yemen – No new announcements identified

::::::

 
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 13 Oct 2018 ]
Brazil (in Portugese) – No new announcements identified
Cameroon  – No new announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new announcements identified
Iraq – No new announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new announcements identified
Libya – No new announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new announcements identified
Myanmar – No new announcements identified
Niger – No new announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new announcements identified
Sudan – No new announcements identified
Ukraine – No new announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new announcements identified

Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin, Week 40: 29 September – 05 October 2018

The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 54 events in the AFRO region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
:: Hepatitis E in Central African Republic
:: Monkeypox in Central African Republic
:: Dengue fever in Senegal
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.

::::::
 
WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 13 Oct 2018 ]
Afghanistan
Angola (in Portuguese)
Chad
Ethiopia
Kenya
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Mali
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Tanzania
Tropical Cyclone Gira
Zambia 

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:: Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 28 September – 6 October 2018 | Issue 29

Key Issues
…Suspected cholera cases have increased with roughly 10,000 reported per week, double the average in the first eight months of this year.

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  :: Ethiopia: Gedeo-West Guji, Displacement Crisis, Situation update No.8, 9 October 2018

Somalia  No new announcements identified.

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::::::

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 6 October 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 6 Oct 2018

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

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2018

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2018

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes. Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.

The physician Denis Mukwege has spent large parts of his adult life helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the Panzi Hospital was established in Bukavu in 1999, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults. Most of the abuses have been committed in the context of a long-lasting civil war that has cost the lives of more than six million Congolese.

Denis Mukwege is the foremost, most unifying symbol, both nationally and internationally, of the struggle to end sexual violence in war and armed conflicts. His basic principle is that “justice is everyone’s business”. Men and women, officers and soldiers, and local, national and international authorities alike all have a shared responsibility for reporting, and combating, this type of war crime.

The importance of Dr. Mukwege’s enduring, dedicated and selfless efforts in this field cannot be overstated. He has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticised the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.

Nadia Murad is herself a victim of war crimes. She refused to accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

Nadia Murad is a member of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq, where she lived with her family in the remote village of Kocho. In August 2014 the Islamic State (IS) launched a brutal, systematic attack on the villages of the Sinjar district, aimed at exterminating the Yazidi population. In Nadia Murad’s village, several hundred people were massacred. The younger women, including underage children, were abducted and held as sex slaves. While a captive of the IS, Nadia Murad was repeatedly subjected to rape and other abuses. Her assaulters threatened to execute her if she did not convert to their hateful, inhuman version of Islam.

Nadia Murad is just one of an estimated 3 000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS army. The abuses were systematic, and part of a military strategy. Thus they served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities.

After a three-month nightmare Nadia Murad managed to flee. Following her escape, she chose to speak openly about what she had suffered. In 2016, at the age of just 23, she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

This year marks a decade since the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1820 (2008), which determined that the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict constitutes both a war crime and a threat to international peace and security. This is also set out in the Rome Statute of 1998, which governs the work of the International Criminal Court. The Statute establishes that sexual violence in war and armed conflict is a grave violation of international law. A more peaceful world can only be achieved if women and their fundamental rights and security are recognised and protected in war.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is firmly embedded in the criteria spelled out in Alfred Nobel’s will. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad have both put their personal security at risk by courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for the victims. They have thereby promoted the fraternity of nations through the application of principles of international law.
Oslo, 5 October 2018

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Hailing Nobel Laureates as ‘Defenders of Human Dignity’, Secretary-General Says Peace Prize Also Honours Hidden, Stigmatized, Forgotten Victims
5 October 2018
SG/SM/19278

I congratulate Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege on being awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. In defending the victims of sexual violence in conflict, they have defended our shared values.

Nadia Murad gave voice to unspeakable abuse in Iraq when the violent extremists of Da’esh brutally targeted the Yazidi people, especially women and girls. As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime since 2016, she has pursued support for victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery, and justice [against] perpetrators. Her powerful advocacy has touched people across the world and helped to establish a vitally important United Nations investigation of the harrowing crimes that she and so many others endured.

Dr. Denis Mukwege has been a fearless champion for the rights of women caught up in armed conflict who have suffered rape, exploitation and other horrific abuses. Despite regular threats to his life, he made the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a haven from mistreatment. The United Nations has supported his efforts. He has been a strong voice calling the world’s attention to the shocking crimes committed against women in wartime. As a skilled and sensitive surgeon, he not only repaired shattered bodies, but restored dignity and hope.

Ten years ago, the Security Council unanimously condemned sexual violence as a weapon of war. Today, the Nobel Committee recognized the efforts of Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege as vital tools for peace. By honouring these defenders of human dignity, this prize also recognizes countless victims around the world who have too often been stigmatized, hidden and forgotten. This is their award, too.

Indeed, the award is part of a growing movement to recognize the violence and injustice disproportionately faced by half of our population. Let us honour these new Nobel laureates by standing up for victims of sexual violence everywhere.

Collective Statement of the Members of the Secretary-General’s Circle of Leadership on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in United Nations Operations

Human Rights – Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Collective Statement of the Members of the Secretary-General’s Circle of Leadership on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in United Nations Operations
27 September 2018
1. As Members of the Circle of Leadership, we join the United Nations Secretary-General in issuing this Collective Statement to reaffirm our continued personal commitment as global leaders to support efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse across the United Nations system;

2. We recognize the unique responsibility of the United Nations to set the standard for preventing, responding to, and eradicating sexual exploitation and abuse within the United Nations system, address its impact effectively and humanely, and safeguard and empower victims;

3. We recognize the shared responsibility of the United Nations and its Member States to protect victims and whistle-blowers and take appropriate action against perpetrators;

4. We commit to working together in partnership with the Secretary-General to implement his strategy to strengthen a system-wide approach across all United Nations entities and all categories of personnel – military, police, and civilian. We underscore the crucial role of this partnership in the achievement of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. We recognize the need for the consistent and coordinated implementation of policies and approaches to prevent the occurrence of sexual exploitation and abuse across the United Nations system and the ongoing need to ensure accountability for perpetrators. We strongly encourage the efforts of the Secretary-General in confronting unequal power relationships and gender roles through meaningful organizational culture change;

5. We commend those Member States that have contributed to the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, as well as those that are signatories to the Voluntary Compact on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse;

6. We welcome the steps taken by the United Nations and Member States to enhance the institutional response by actively following up on reports and cases. We are convinced that the highest standards of conduct require training, capacity-building, awareness-raising, vetting and the appropriate enforcement of national laws. We encourage the United Nations system to continue to promote best practice and raise awareness;

7. We pledge to continue our efforts to elevate the rights and dignity of victims and expand opportunities and modalities for them to report sexual exploitation and abuse and advocate for their own needs. In this regard, we also reaffirm the importance of the role of the Victims’ Rights Advocate. We strongly encourage the further strengthening of an integrated response to victim assistance across the United Nations system, together with Member States and civil society;

8. We honour the thousands of women and men working under the United Nations flag – civilian and uniformed – who uphold the values of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every day, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. We strongly condemn the behaviour of those who violate and undermine the values of the Organization through their behavior by abusing and exploiting those who are looking to the United Nations for protection;

9. We commend the efforts of other international and regional organizations to support the implementation of the strategy of the Secretary-General to improve the Organization’s system-wide approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse. We also applaud the work of civil society in this endeavour;

10. We urge all United Nations entities to strengthen the alignment of their policies and programmes with the strategy of the Secretary-General and to commit to the spirit of this Collective Statement;

11. We encourage all Heads of State or Government to join the Circle of Leadership. We will discuss progress in the implementation of the strategy of the Secretary-General at our next meeting to be convened during the High-level Segment of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly;

12. Together, we reaffirm our commitment to make zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse a reality. This is an urgent and moral imperative, as well as an operational necessity to ensure the effectiveness and credibility of the United Nations around the world.

List of members of the Secretary-General’s Circle of Leadership endorsing the Collective Statement
1. H.E. Antoni Martí-Petit, Prime Minister, Principality of Andorra
2. H.E. Mauricio Macri, President, Republic of Argentina
3. H.E. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister, Commonwealth of Australia
4. H.E. Alexander van der Bellen, President, Republic of Austria
5. H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, People’s Republic of Bangladesh
6. H.E. Charles Michel, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Belgium
7. H.E. Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Bhutan
8. H.E. Michel Temer, President, Federative Republic of Brazil
9. H.E. Rumen Radev, President, Republic of Bulgaria
10. H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President, Burkina Faso
11. H.E. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada
12. H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
13. H.E. Nicos Anastasiades, President, Republic of Cyprus
14. H.E. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister, Denmark
15. H.E. Danilo Medina Sánchez, President, Dominican Republic
16. H.E. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President, Arab Republic of Egypt
17. H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President, Republic of Estonia
18. H.E. Sauli Niinistö, President, Republic of Finland
19. H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President, French Republic
20. H.E. Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany
21. H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President, Republic of Ghana
22. H.E. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister, Republic of Iceland
23. H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, Republic of India
24. H.E. Leo Varadker, Taoiseach, Ireland
25. H.E. Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister, Republic of Italy
26. H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, Japan
27. H.E. Jae-in Moon, President, Republic of Korea
28. H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, President, Republic of Lithuania
29. H.E. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister, Kingdom of the Netherlands
30. H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway
31. H.E. Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, President, Republic of Panama
32. H.E. Martin Vizcarra Cornejo, President, Republic of Peru
33. H.E. António Luís Santos da Costa, Prime Minister, Portuguese Republic
34. H.E. Klaus Werner Iohannis, President, Romania
35. H.E. Allen Michael Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
36. H.E. Macky Sall, President, Republic of Senegal
37. H.E. Andrej Kiska, President, Slovak Republic
38. H.E. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President, Republic of South Africa
39. H.E. Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister, Spain
40. H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, President, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
41. H.E. Alain Berset, President, Swiss Confederation
42. H.E. Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
43. H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President, Togo
44. H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President, Republic of Uganda
45. H.E. Theresa May, Prime Minister, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
46. H.E. Donald J. Trump, President, United States of America
47. H.E. Tabaré Vázquez, President, Oriental Republic of Uruguay
48. H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President, Republic of Zambia

List of the United Nations Entities endorsing the Collective Statement
1. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations on behalf of all UN Secretariat entities
2. Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCWA)
3. Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
4. Ms. Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
5. Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)
6. Mr. William L. Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
7. Mr. Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator, and Chair of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee
8. Mr. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
9. Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
10. Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
11. Ms. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
12. Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
13. Mr. Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
14. Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
15. Mr. Yury Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOV/UNODC)
16. Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
17. Mr. David Malone, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU)
18. Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-WOMEN)
19. Mr. David Muldrow Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP)
20. Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
21. Mr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
22. Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Pakistan Orders 18 International Aid Groups Closed

Governance

Pakistan Orders 18 International Aid Groups Closed
By The Associated Press
Oct. 5, 2018
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan ordered 18 international aid organizations to close, threatening the assistance they provide to some of the country’s most vulnerable, international aid workers said Friday.

The majority of the shuttered aid groups are U.S.-based, while the remainder are from Britain and the European Union, according to a government list, which was seen by The Associated Press.

Caught in the latest order to close are aid groups such as World Vision U.S., Catholic Relief Services U.S., International Relief and Development U.S., ActionAid U.K., and Danish Refugee Council, Denmark.

There was no official explanation from the new government and there was no response to queries about the closures from the Interior Ministry, which issued the order. The Information Ministry and Foreign Ministry also did not respond to the AP requests for comments…

IMF – Managing Director’s Statement on the Role of Fund Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States

Global Financial Governance – Fragile, Conflict Contexts

IMF – Managing Director’s Statement on the Role of Fund Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
October 4, 2018
In light of the recent Independent Evaluation Office report on The IMF and Fragile States and to ensure that we deliver our best to these countries in terms of capacity development (CD), policy advice, and financial support, I seek endorsement by the IMF membership of an ambitious package of interlinked actions to further strengthen the effectiveness of our engagement and to underline the importance of our work in FCS.

The IMF is a global institution with a responsibility to address the risks and fragilities that threaten economic stability in each member, to the best of its ability. In addition, supporting countries in fragile and conflict situations (FCS) is an international priority that affects all Fund members, including through rising migration, forced displacement, trafficking, and terrorism.

The IMF is committed to put in place HR policies, in the context of a new HR strategy, that would ensure staff expertise and experience are appropriate to effectively meet FCS needs including by introducing stronger career incentives to work on FCS and low-income countries. These actions, along with staff training and consideration in the budget of additional resources to provide appropriate staffing in FCS missions, will lay the foundation for more effective support to these members.

As institutional weakness is a defining characteristic of fragility, CD must be front and center in our engagement. Each FCS country team will articulate a succinct engagement strategy that identifies the nature of fragility, surveillance and, where applicable, program priorities, where and how CD can be best delivered in the short and medium term to address identified institutional weaknesses in areas of Fund competence, complemented by, as warranted, Fund financial support. The country strategies will be discussed with country authorities and as needed with development partners as part of the Article IV consultation process and in new program requests. It will underpin alignment of the Fund engagement strategy with the authorities’ needs while also improving CD coordination.

We will continue to look for ways to make our CD in FCS more impactful, by reaping benefits from our investment in results-based management, learning lessons from our FCS engagement in financial sector and statistical capacity development, taking stock of the existing Capacity Building Framework pilots, stepping up training on macro policies in FCS, and aiming to raise adequate funding for CD provision in FCS, particularly long-term experts in-country or in the region, that are able to help country authorities implement CD recommendations.

We are committed to continue to improve and tailor financing facilities to FCS needs, recognizing the strong catalytic role of Fund’s financing. The ongoing Review of Facilities for LICs explores proposals to raise access, and to both extend the duration of arrangements and provide shorter-term options for countries meeting specified criteria.

To deliver on these plans, a high-level interdepartmental Committee on FCS, reporting to Management, will assess progress made in delivering this Management Implementation Plan (MIP) through end-2020. The Committee will be supported by a Technical Taskforce comprising of staff from departments engaged in FCS work, that will review the MIP implementation, revisit FCS guidance, and conduct policy and analytical work on FCS issues. These efforts will be complemented by stronger Fund staff engagement with agencies, country groupings, and other organizations that tackle FCS issues including OECD, World Bank, United Nations, bilateral agencies, G7+, Think Tanks, and CSOs.

As is often the case, the combined impact of these actions should be significantly greater than the sum of the parts—so this is a package deal where success is measured across many dimensions, by efforts of many staff across the IMF. We will report to the Board on progress in 2019 and 2020.

In closing, let me thank the IEO for bringing these long-standing issues to the fore, and the Board for acknowledging that the Fund needs to be more agile and integrated in its support of members in fragile and conflict situations.

Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Oct 06, 2018 Volume 392 Number 10154 p1167-1278 e10
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Articles
Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016
Stephen S Lim, Rachel L Updike, Alexander S Kaldjian, Ryan M Barber, Krycia Cowling, Hunter York, Joseph Friedman, R Xu, Joanna L Whisnant, Heather J Taylor, Andrew T Leever, Yesenia Roman, Miranda F Bryant, Joseph Dieleman, Emmanuela Gakidou, Christopher J L Murray
Open Access
Summary
Background
Human capital is recognised as the level of education and health in a population and is considered an important determinant of economic growth. The World Bank has called for measurement and annual reporting of human capital to track and motivate investments in health and education and enhance productivity. We aim to provide a new comprehensive measure of human capital across countries globally.
Methods
We generated a period measure of expected human capital, defined for each birth cohort as the expected years lived from age 20 to 64 years and adjusted for educational attainment, learning or education quality, and functional health status using rates specific to each time period, age, and sex for 195 countries from 1990 to 2016. We estimated educational attainment using 2522 censuses and household surveys; we based learning estimates on 1894 tests among school-aged children; and we based functional health status on the prevalence of seven health conditions, which were taken from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016). Mortality rates specific to location, age, and sex were also taken from GBD 2016.
Findings
In 2016, Finland had the highest level of expected human capital of 28·4 health, education, and learning-adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years (95% uncertainty interval 27·5–29·2); Niger had the lowest expected human capital of less than 1·6 years (0·98–2·6). In 2016, 44 countries had already achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital; 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Of 195 countries, the ten most populous countries in 2016 for expected human capital were ranked: China at 44, India at 158, USA at 27, Indonesia at 131, Brazil at 71, Pakistan at 164, Nigeria at 171, Bangladesh at 161, Russia at 49, and Mexico at 104. Assessment of change in expected human capital from 1990 to 2016 shows marked variation from less than 2 years of progress in 18 countries to more than 5 years of progress in 35 countries. Larger improvements in expected human capital appear to be associated with faster economic growth. The top quartile of countries in terms of absolute change in human capital from 1990 to 2016 had a median annualised growth in gross domestic product of 2·60% (IQR 1·85–3·69) compared with 1·45% (0·18–2·19) for countries in the bottom quartile.
Interpretation
Countries vary widely in the rate of human capital formation. Monitoring the production of human capital can facilitate a mechanism to hold governments and donors accountable for investments in health and education.
Funding
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Research in context
Evidence before this study
Previous studies have examined the association between a range of dimensions of human capital and economic growth. These studies have shown that the average number of years of completed schooling is associated with subsequent economic growth and that incorporation of measures of the distribution of education might explain more of this variation. More recent analyses from the past 5–10 years that use performance on international student assessments as a measure of educational quality or learning find it to be a more predictive measure of economic growth than attainment alone. Far fewer efforts have been made to expand the measurement of human capital so that it also encompasses health; however, these studies suggest that an expanded measurement might also be important for understanding economic growth. Despite the accumulated evidence of the associations between the core dimensions of human capital—education and health—and economic growth, no comprehensive measure presently exists for all countries globally.

Added value of this study
This study provides a new measure of expected human capital for 195 countries, consisting of four components: educational attainment, learning, health, and survival, based on a systematic analysis of all available data. This measure, in units of health, education, and learning-adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years, is estimated each year from 1990 to 2016 and can be updated annually. Compared with existing metrics of human capital, this more comprehensive measure provides a detailed characterisation of these differences across countries and over time, revealing marked variations in expected human capital for children born in different countries and differential progress in the improvement of expected human capital over the past 25 years. An inconsistent gender differential exists—for countries below approximately 10 years of expected human capital, this tends to be higher in males; for countries above this level, it is higher in females.

Implications of all the available evidence
Human capital is an important factor in economic development that requires improved metrics and regular monitoring. The systematic analysis of data on four components—educational attainment, learning, health, and survival—establishes the feasibility of an annual measurement of expected human capital, providing a means to monitor and assess investments in health and education. This more comprehensive measure of human capital has revealed variability across countries in building human capital that is independent of baseline levels of health and education, suggesting that building human capital is amenable to policy intervention.

Discovering Invisible Truths – The rise of populist movements worldwide is challenging science and motivating scientists to join the debate and enter politics…

Featured Journal Content

Discovering Invisible Truths
Ilaria Capua, DVM, PhD, Professor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, IFAS, University of Florida
Journal of Virology, October 2018; Volume 92, Issue 20

The rise of populist movements worldwide is challenging science and motivating scientists to join the debate and enter politics. Based on my experience, taking a public stand will not come without slanderous personal and institutional attacks as an attempt to shake scientific credibility.

INTRODUCTION: GIVING VOICE TO SCIENCE
Several years ago, I was a leading influenza scientist (1). I headed a fantastic team at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Legnaro, Italy. There, I was very fortunate to lead at least two impactful projects. First, we developed a vaccination system for avian influenza in poultry that successfully controlled and eradicated subsequent epidemics of the disease in Italian farms (2). Second, we ignited an international debate on sharing avian influenza virus genetic sequences in an open-access environment to boost research and preparedness in a pre-pandemic phase (3, 4). The latter challenged an existing paradigm on data sharing across disciplines and organizations and was covered broadly in the popular press (5, 6).

However, scientific research and the efforts of scientists are not often fully recognized or appreciated by the general public, stakeholders, and policymakers. In the current environment, some believe that standing up and fighting for science has become part of the responsibility scientists hold and is a moral imperative. I had that opportunity and I grasped it. The Italian Prime Minister in office in 2013, Mario Monti, asked me to run for a seat in the Italian Parliament “to populate the Italian Parliament with members who understand the complexity of science policy and who can defend and promote science to make Italy more competitive” (M. Monti, personal communication, 6 January 2013). I accepted (7).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: CONSPIRACY THEORY AND SLANDER
I was elected to the House of Representatives of the Italian Parliament and then selected as Vice Chair of the Science, Culture and Education Commission of the Chamber. I was motivated to make a difference. I was the speaker for the nation’s research budget (Fondo Ordinario per il finanziamento degli Enti e istituzioni di ricerca; FOE), and I achieved a unanimous vote on my proposed modification of part of the nation’s €1.7 billion research funding scheme. It was a complicated and challenging task and I was respected and appreciated for how I was managing the process.

One year after my election, an Italian weekly magazine, l’Espresso, published a cover article entitled “Virus traffickers: scientists have agreements with ‘Big Pharma’ to sell their vaccines and create epidemics” (8). The magazine cover was bright yellow and pictured a scientist in a biosafety level 4 (BSL4) lab suit with subheadlines screaming “Commercial agreements between scientists and pharmaceutical companies to manufacture and sell vaccines for their own profit,” alleging that bird flu strains were being “smuggled through the mail,” and referring to epidemics as “big business” (8) (the publisher declined a request to reproduce the image here). The article summarized a secret investigation led by the Rome Deputy District Attorney into a purported criminal organization that was selling influenza field viruses to pharmaceutical companies to enable them to produce vaccines for contemporary strains. The investigation also clearly alleged that there was evidence of deliberate spread of pathogenic viruses into the environment, with the criminal intention of establishing avian influenza epidemics in poultry and in humans in Italy between 1999 and 2008. The magazine cited me as the criminal mastermind behind an organization of approximately 40 people (8, 9).

I learned about the accusations with horror and dismay by reading the 6-page article, which also included distasteful pictures from layer poultry farms and infected sites during culling operations. The story was based on an absurd distortion of real events occurring between 1999 and 2007 that had been extensively reported in the scientific literature by myself, my collaborators, and external observers in review articles. To exemplify the level of inaccuracy of the investigation, investigators and prosecutors had confused outbreaks occurring in different years and caused by different viruses in different countries. As an example, they stated or believed that highly pathogenic (HP) A/H7N3/Pakistan/1995 (A/H7N3/PAK/95) was the causative agent of outbreaks caused by low-pathogenic viruses, such as A/H7N3/Italy/2003. These two viruses were addressed generically as H7N3 and then were additionally confused with an A/Italy/H7N1/HP/2000 virus. The “subtle” genetic, pathogenetic, and antigenic differences between H7 viruses were not taken into account in the narrative, and relevant scientific literature was completely ignored by the investigators (10). According to their reconstruction of events, I had taken personal advantage of the avian influenza vaccination campaign for my own profit, through royalties and contracts with pharmaceutical companies. A simple fact-checking exercise would have clearly shown that all intellectual property rights related to the DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) test had been transferred to my home institution (9, 11). Another accusation was that I had actually promoted sharing of influenza virus sequence data globally so that I could create “killer” viruses in the lab. Further, conversations with colleagues, captured through phone tapping, in which I discussed my commitment to provide strains held in our repository to other scientists worldwide, were used against me as proof of misconduct. My words were repositioned in space and time and misrepresented to support a conspiracy theory between scientists and Big Pharma. I was accused of a dozen crimes, one of which was punishable with life imprisonment (9).

RESULTS: VISIBLE TRUTHS
Justice is never fast enough, and certainly it is particularly slow in Italy. For over 2 years, I was shamed in the media and violently attacked in the Italian Parliament. I was asked publicly and repeatedly to resign and was the subject of multiple interrogations by populist parliamentarians. But the worst was the personal shame—neighbors’ and acquaintances’ slippery looks and abrupt shifts on the sidewalk left me in great distress. I was also shamed in the scientific community. The story was covered by both Science and Nature (12–16). The personal and professional alienation was paralyzing (9).

Notwithstanding my status in Parliament as a full-fledged lame duck, I continued to advocate for science and for greater attention to emerging threats, including antimicrobial resistance, Ebola preparedness and response, and Xylella fastidiosa infection in olive trees. I also was dedicated to maintaining a balance and institutional representation during the Commission sessions I chaired.

But a new challenge had begun. I had to provide evidence for my innocence, and to prove that members of my team had nothing to do with this. I spent endless days and nights assembling a 400-page dissertation to defend my professional work—digging out old papers, reviews, emails, calendars, presentations, and records of trips and meetings. I had to recover and document everything that happened in my professional life between 1999 and 2008, compiling evidence to nullify the accusations. Those were years of fear—fighting for science and my reputation against a system that is highly bureaucratized and scientifically incompetent.

A little over 2 years after the leak to the press, the judge for the preliminary investigation reviewed the case and dropped all charges against me and others because “there was no case to answer” (17). My 400-page defense had convinced the judge of our innocence. After being completely cleared, I resigned as a Member of Parliament (9).

DISCUSSION: THE INVISIBLE TRUTHS
The series of events that have triggered this rather devastating experience are irrelevant to the argument I would like to make. The detail is just an example; the context is instead very concerning. This happy-ending horror story is not only about me—it is about all of us and it holds multiple invisible
truths.

The winds of anti-science ideology are now strong on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The rise of populist movements and the dawn of the post-truth era are a threat to the values we cherish as scientists and to scientific competence. The populist movements generate oversimplified solutions to complex problems, and the post-truth era contributes to this framework by giving more value to sensationalism and opinions than to facts. The combination of these effects is destructive and should be of great concern to all, as it has the power of undermining basic scientific tenets, such as the efficacy of vaccination.

Scientists are entering or approaching politics in record numbers to stand up for and defend science and science-based investigation. In the current environment, this is both important and necessary. From my experience, it is a calling that comes with personal and professional sacrifice and risk, especially in a populist and post-truth setting. It is possible that increased exposure of scientists in the political arena might elicit stronger anti-science campaigns from populist movements. Anti-science movements often support Big Pharma conspiracy theories and include extremists of the anti-vaccination movement or of animal rights activist groups. As a community, we must be vigilant and prepared.

Microbiologists and molecular biologists have easily become among their targets. Some of us work with pathogens that elicit fright with even a mention. Terms such as “cloning,” “mutation,” and “virulence” are a small part of the peculiar verbiage we use to describe daily work and ordinary challenges. Snippets of these conversations can be easily misconstrued and interpreted incorrectly or deliberately taken out of context, especially by people who are motivated to do so from a political point of view.
We should be mindful that we are in an era in which competence and truth are devalued. Certain groups may go beyond demonstrating against some of our activities and may try to attack our credibility. This is an asset we cannot afford to lose.

We do science because we want the world to be a better place. But we cannot take for granted that science stands on its own. Some of us have taken on the challenge of fighting for science to defend its place in society, and more and more scientists are expected to join in. Perhaps as a community, we should reflect on how to proactively manage the challenges to come before they manifest themselves with the destructive force of slander.

Inappropriate reactions to slander could nullify important achievements of the past and weaken our strength in battles we are called to fight, such as tackling antimicrobial resistance or continuing our work on developing novel vaccines. As scientists, we have the moral responsibility to support the advancement of science rather than its devaluation and decline. Hard times seem to be approaching, and we cannot be caught unguarded, unprepared, or unable to respond to attacks fueled by anti-science movements.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This is a summary of the keynote lecture I delivered in Baltimore, Maryland, on 14 February 2018 at the Biothreats 2018 meeting (18). The audience present gave me the most overwhelming standing ovation. I thank those who were there and gave me that long applause—it meant very much to me.
My thanks also to Stefano Bertuzzi, Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Microbiology, and Stacey Schultz-Cherry, President of the American Society for Virology, who strongly encouraged me to put pen to paper.
Writing this Gem was hard. I would like to thank my collaborators for kneading my words with questions, ideas, and thoughts that have made this Gem more precious.
References available at title link above

PDF available at: https://jvi.asm.org/content/92/20/e00757-18.full-text.pdf

Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 25 September 2018 [GPEI]
:: Preparations for World Polio Day are in full swing:  partners and stakeholders across the world are preparing for World Polio Day on 24 October, to raise awareness and resources for the global eradication effort.  Join Rotarians around the world in making this year’s World Polio Day a huge success.  Click here to view a video message by Rotary International President Barry Rassin, inviting everyone to join in World Polio Day activities.

Summary of new viruses this week:
Afghanistan – one case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and five WPV1-positive environmental samples;
Pakistan – seven WPV1-positive environmental samples;
Nigeria – three cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2);
Horn of Africa (Somalia) – one cVDPV type 3-positive environmental sample
 
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Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 6 Oct 2018 ]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: 09: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu  4 October 2018
:: Disease Outbreak News (DONs)  Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
4 October 2018
[See Milestones above for detail]

Nigeria
:: Yobe State requests WHO’s expertise over fresh cholera outbreak
Damaturu, 27 September 2018 – The Yobe state Government has called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to deploy its human resources and technical expertise to contain the ongoing outbreak of cholera in the state. The request was contained in a Press statement in Damaturu, the state capital by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Bello Kawuwa…

Syrian Arab Republic
:: WHO delivers largest cross-border shipment of health supplies to northwest Syrian Arab Republic to date
5 October 2018 — The World Health Organization (WHO) supported close to 180 health facilities in northwest Syrian Arab Republic in September 2018 with essential medical supplies, totaling over 104 tonnes worth US$ 1.3 million. This is one of the biggest monthly shipments to date this year from its operational hub in Turkey, delivered to prepare for any possible escalation of conflict.
With these supplies, health facilities will be able to provide approximately 677 000 medical treatments for surgery and trauma, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and more. Medical supplies allow health facilities to remain functional and continue providing medical services to both trauma patients and those in need of primary health care…

Yemen – No new announcements identified
[See joint WHO-UNICEF press release above]

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new announcements identified
Somalia – No new announcements identified
South Sudan – No new announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 6 Oct 2018 ]
Zimbabwe
:: Zimbabwe to vaccinate 1.4 million people against cholera in Harare

3 October 2018, Harare – The Government of Zimbabwe with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners is launching today an oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign to protect 1.4 million people at high risk of cholera in Harare…
[See OCV above for more detail]
 
Iraq
:: Restoring mobility and hope in Mosul   5 October 2018
 
MERS-CoV
:: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia  3 October 2018
 
Cameroon  – No new announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new announcements identified
Libya – No new announcements identified
Myanmar – No new announcements identified
Niger – No new announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new announcements identified
South Africa Listeriosis (2017) – No new announcements identified
Sudan – No new announcements identified
Ukraine – No new announcements identified

Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin, Week 37: 22 -28 September 2018
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 54 events in the AFRO region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:
:: Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe
:: Cholera outbreak in Cameroon
:: Plague outbreak in Madagascar
:: Monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria.
::::::
 
WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 6 Oct 2018 ]
Afghanistan
Angola (in Portuguese)
Chad
Ethiopia
Kenya
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Mali
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Tanzania
Tropical Cyclone Gira
Zambia
 
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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. 
Yemen
:: Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 18 – 27 September 2018 | Issue 28

Key Issues
– Food and fuel prices have skyrocketed following a sharp depreciation of the Yemeni Rial against the US dollar. Crippling fuel queues are reported in Sana’a.
– Food security has further deteriorated, which could add another 3.5 million people to the 8.4 million people who currently need emergency food assistance in Yemen.
– The main Al Hudaydah-Sana’a road remains inaccessible due to fighting; access to the city is only from the north, on the Al Hudaydah-Hajjah road.
– Over 2.3 million people have been displaced by conflict since 2015; and an additional 58,000 households were displaced between June and August 2018.
– Efforts are underway to expedite the release of humanitarian cargo currently held at Yemen’s main entry points awaiting import approval.

Syrian Arab Republic   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 
:: Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 64 | 17 – 30 September 2018
Somalia   
:: Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, 5 September – 4 October 2018