The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 23 February 2019

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

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 23 Feb 2019

:: 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
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

Venezuelan Outflow Continues Unabated, Population Abroad Now Stands at 3.4 Million

Venezuela – Exodus

Venezuelan Outflow Continues Unabated, Population Abroad Now Stands at 3.4 Million
Joint Announcement Posted: 02/22/19
Geneva – The number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide now stands at 3.4 million, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the International Organization for Migration, announced today.

According to data from national immigration authorities and other sources, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are hosting an estimated 2.7 million Venezuelans, while other regions account for the rest.

On average, during 2018, an estimated 5,000 people left Venezuela every day in search of protection or a better life.

Colombia hosts the highest number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, with over 1.1 million. It is followed by Peru, with 506,000; Chile, 288,000; Ecuador, 221,000; Argentina, 130,000; and Brazil, 96,000. Mexico and countries in Central America and the Caribbean are also hosting significant numbers of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

“The countries of the region have shown tremendous solidarity with refugees and migrants from Venezuela, and implemented resourceful solutions to help them. But these figures underscore the strain on host communities and the continued need for support from the international community, at a time when the world’s attention is on political developments inside Venezuela,” said Eduardo Stein, joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

Latin American countries have granted some 1.3 million residence permits and other forms of regular status to Venezuelans and reinforced their asylum systems in order to process an unprecedented number of asylum applications. Since 2014, over 390,000 asylum claims have been lodged by Venezuelans, over 232,000 in 2018 alone.

With rising numbers, the needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and the communities hosting them continue to increase. Governments in the region have strengthened their national response and are cooperating – through the Quito process – to enhance the assistance and protection of Venezuelan nationals and facilitate their legal, social and economic inclusion. The next regional meeting of this process will take place in Quito in the first week of April.

To complement these efforts, a humanitarian Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) for refugees and migrants from Venezuela was launched last December, targeting 2.2 million Venezuelans and 500,000 people in host communities in 16 countries.

Nationwide measles and rubella immunization campaign reaches 11.6 million children in Yemen


Nationwide measles and rubella immunization campaign reaches 11.6 million children in Yemen
21 February 2019 – In collaboration with local health authorities, WHO and UNICEF have concluded a nationwide measles and rubella vaccination campaign in Yemen reaching more than 11.6 million (90%) children aged 6 months–16 years across the country.

WHO, with the support of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, contributed to the campaign through the provision of vaccines, fuel, training, deployment of health workers and supervisors, as well as raising awareness among communities about ways to protect themselves against these diseases.

Dhamar, Mareb and Sana’a governorates have reported over 100% coverage due to a large number of internally displaced persons coming from other governorates. The campaign continued for an additional 3 days in districts where low coverage was reported.

Despite the challenging conditions, WHO teams and health workers were able to reach high-risk areas, IDP camps and marginalized communities with awareness-raising activities and vaccination.


Development :: World Youth Report

2018 :: 252 pages ISBN: 978-92-1-130349-0 eISBN: 978-92-1-363256-7

Institutional and structural synergies and integration at the local and national levels are essential for meeting the objectives embodied in the 2030 Agenda. Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals will require working not only horizontally across policy sectors and 4 The priority areas are education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, substance abuse, juvenile justice,
leisure-time activities, girls and young women, full and effective participation of youth in the life of society and in decision-making, globalization, information and communication technologies, HIV/AIDS, armed conflict, and intergenerational issues…

The Report comprises six substantive chapters:

Chapter I provides an overview of global youth population trends and their implications, the role of youth in relation to the 2030 Agenda, and how youth are referenced in the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Chapter II explores the area of youth education, outlining opportunities and challenges for young people and policymakers. The chapter details aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals that pertain to education—with particular emphasis on Goal 4 (quality education)—and examines related targets. This chapter also explores the multidimensional issues surrounding education and how they impact youth, with special attention given to disparities in education; the rights-based approach to education; education challenges for young women, youth with disabilities, migrant youth and youth
affected by conflict; entrepreneurship education; and financing education.

Chapter III explores the area of youth employment, highlighting development challenges and opportunities for young people and policymakers. The chapter focuses on aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals pertaining to employment, looking specifically at Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), and examines the relevant targets. This chapter also explores global and regional
trends and priorities such as underemployment, formal versus informal work, entrepreneurship, and disguised employment; it further considers employment challenges specific to youth living in poverty, youth with disabilities, young women, youth in conflict and post-conflict settings, and young migrants.

Chapter IV explores the nexus between the youth education and employment issues addressed in chapters II and III. It specifically examines those areas in the context of the transition from school to work, providing a set of case studies on skills development targeting marginalized and vulnerable youth. It also explores the human development approach to youth education and employment.

Chapter V examines the key elements of youth policies and their role in advancing youth development objectives in the context of the 2030 Agenda. Special emphasis is given to the importance of accurate, timely and high-quality age-disaggregated data for the development of evidence-based youth policymaking. The chapter considers how enhanced efforts to ensure the collection of such data, including data on marginalized and vulnerable youth, can be undertaken through statistical and data system capacity-building, public-private partnerships, and support for youth-led data collection and use. It also addresses issues related to defining and interpreting indicators, and provides an in-depth analysis of indicators associated with both the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Programme of Action for Youth.

Chapter VI moves to the concrete aspects of implementing the 2030 Agenda, analysing the role young people have and can play at the local and national levels. It sets out a series of principles to help guide such engagement, while highlighting, including through case studies, the many ways young people are contributing to the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda through engagement in awareness-raising, policymaking and data collection, as well as through participation in national and international review processes.

A concluding chapter summarizes and synthesizes the key messages put forward in the Report. A statistical annex presents the most recent data available on the 90 youth-related indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals and the 34 core indicators for the World Programme of Action for Youth.


Press Release
World Youth Report: Addressing the complex challenges facing young people today
20 February 2019, New York
Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration…

In education, 142 million youth of upper secondary age are out of school. In employment, 71 million young people are unemployed; and millions more are in precarious or informal work. Disparities within and between countries in education and employment among youth are stark, with gender, poverty, rurality, disability, and migrant/refugee status all being major elements of disadvantage. For instance, about 156 million youth in low- and middle-income countries are working poor (ILO), while almost 30 per cent of the poorest 12- to 14-year old have never attended school…

US$180m programme launched on mining sector [Health :: Labor :: Environment]

Health :: Labor :: Environment

US$180m programme launched on mining sector
New $180-million Global Environment Facility programme will improve health conditions for artisanal miners across eight countries, while slashing mercury emissions harmful to the environment

The artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector accounts for 20 per cent of the world’s annual gold production;

As many as 15 million people work in the ASGM sector globally – including 4.5 million women and over 600,000 children;

The ASGM sector is the single largest source of man-made mercury emissions, responsible for the release of as much as 1,000 tonnes of mercury to the atmosphere annually, which represents nearly 40% of the total emissions.

London, 18 Feb 2019 – Urgent action is needed to protect millions of men, women and children exposed to toxic levels of mercury through gold production every year, according to the supporters of a new $180-million programme to reform the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASGM) sector.
Launched today at London’s Goldsmiths’ Centre, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported Global Opportunities for the Long-term Development of the ASGM Sector (GEF GOLD) programme aims to reduce the use of mercury in artisanal gold mining and introduce and facilitate access to mercury-free extraction methods, while also working with governments to formalize the sector, promote miners’ rights, safety and their access to markets.

Spanning eight countries the five-year programme is a partnership between the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Conservation International and the governments of Burkina Faso, Colombia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines and Peru.

“From smartphones to wedding rings, gold passes through all of our hands every day. But for most of us the source of that gold, and its real cost, remains a mystery,” said Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Director of Programs. “Introducing safe, mercury-free technologies into the ASGM sector will help provide a safe transition to job formality and dignified work for millions, while putting an end to the environmental impacts that can pave way to sustainably produced gold.”

Every year, more than 2,700 tonnes of gold is mined around the world. Twenty percent of that – over 500 tonnes annually is produced by artisanal and small-scale miners. These miners and processors— majority of them in developing countries often work in harsh conditions, without the protection of industry regulations on pay, health or safety, in order to sate the global hunger for gold—investment in jewellery and consumer products.

While ASGM represents a development opportunity for rural populations, who often have few livelihood alternatives, miners operate on the edges of legality in many countries, with ASGM either banned outright or limited by legislation and licensing procedures designed primarily for large-scale operations.

By supporting the regulatory and policy reforms needed to formalize the work of artisanal and small-scale miners across the eight programme countries, GEF GOLD aims to secure miners’ livelihoods, through opening up the access to markets and finance needed to increase incomes and enable the uptake of mercury-free technology. By phasing out mercury use, the programme aims to achieve eventual mercury emission reductions of 369 tonnes, supporting countries’ commitments under the Minamata Convention on Mercury to reduce and, where feasible, eliminate mercury use in the sector…

Heritage Stewardship – Sites in Iran, Morocco and Spain recognized as important for the world’s agricultural heritage

Heritage Stewardship

Sites in Iran, Morocco and Spain recognized as important for the world’s agricultural heritage
21 December 2018, Rome – A traditional saffron cultivation system in Iran, an argan-based agro-pastoral system in Morocco, and an ancient olive trees system in Spain today won recognition from FAO as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).

All the sites feature unique ways to produce nutritious foods and/or spices using traditional knowledge and skills while improving local people’s livelihoods and preserving biodiversity.

The sites were designated by the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group based on selection criteria, including: global importance, their value as a public good in terms of supporting food and livelihood security, agro-biodiversity, knowledge systems, adapted technologies, cultures, and outstanding landscapes.

…FAO’s global agricultural heritage network now consists of 57 remarkable landscapes in 21 countries around the globe.

Saffron Farming System based on Qanat irrigation in Gonabad, Iran
The Saffron Farming System is located in Iran’s central plateau that has an arid and semi-arid climate. Severe water shortages in the area pose major threats to food security and livelihoods of local communities.

However, proper use of water resources supplied by the Qanat (or aquaduct) irrigation system and production of high value added products, especially saffron, have created a unique opportunity for farmers and residents of the region to improve their livelihoods.

Saffron does not require large quantities of water compared to cereals, which has resulted in allocation of more areas for the cultivation of this invaluable crop making it a major source of income for many farmer households. Today it plays a key role in creating job opportunities, reducing migration, providing sustainable livelihoods, improving efficiency in water use and productivity as well as developing eco-tourism in the area.


Ancient Olive Trees Agricultural System “Territorio Sénia”, Spain
“Territorio Sénia” is located at the meeting point between the areas of the Valencian Community, Catalonia and Aragon. This territory includes 27 municipalities which are linked by their geography, their history, their language and their culture and also have the highest concentration of ancient olive trees in the world.

The existence of 5,000 ancient olive trees is what makes this territory a unique place offering local communities numerous opportunities for rural development, including the recovery of abandoned ancient olive trees and utilizing these for production, a bigger cooperation between economic sectors, production of olive oil, oleotourism and many others. Average annual output of olive oil in the area is estimated at more than 12,000 tonnes. These income generating activities have significantly helped to improve the living conditions of local people. In addition, there are different varieties of olives on each farm, to improve the pollination of flowers and future varieties of olives, contributing to biodiversity.


Argan-based agro-pastoral system in Ait Souab-Ait Mansour Region, Morocco
The agro-forestry-pastoral system in Ait Souab-Ait Mansour is a unique region where argan trees have been cultivated for centuries. This system is based on agroforestry practices in dry stone terraces being highly resilient to arid environment, water scarcity and poor soils. It uses only locally adapted species and pastoralism activities and relies on a traditional water management provided by the Matifiya – a rain water reservoir carved into rock.

The Amazigh indigenous communities as well as communities of Arab origin have developed a specific culture and identity sharing their traditional knowledge and skills. Although farmers earn the majority of their income from the cultivation of argan trees, the integrated system also provides them with other food and material such as staple crops, cereals, fire wood, meat and wool.

Prevention of psychological distress and promotion of resilience amongst unaccompanied refugee minors in resettlement countries

Featured Journal Content

Child Care, Health and Development
Volume 45, Issue 2 Pages: 147-311 March 2019
Prevention of psychological distress and promotion of resilience amongst unaccompanied refugee minors in resettlement countries
Ritu Mitra, Matthew Hodes
Pages: 198-215
First Published: 20 January 2019
As increasing numbers of unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs) are arriving in Europe, there is a need to investigate which factors promote psychological resilience and improve their mental health. This review aims to identify preventive post settlement influences, including living arrangements, access to mental health services, and effective treatments that may improve mental health outcomes.
A systematic literature review was conducted of published papers in any language for children (<18 years) entering a host country, unaccompanied and seeking asylum. Specific studies were eligible if they examined any treatment or nontreatment influences on mental health or psychological resilience for the URM. Thirteen published quantitative studies were identified.
URMs in more supportive living arrangements including foster care had lower risk of PTSD and lower depressive symptoms compared with those in semi‐independent care arrangements. URMs living in reception settings that restricted freedom had more anxiety symptoms. Regarding help seeking, one study found only 30% of URMs had foster parents or guardians who could detect a mental health need. Two papers found the URMs had low levels of contact with mental health services despite the high prevalence of psychiatric symptoms. URMs were less likely than accompanied children to receive trauma‐focused interventions, cognitive therapy, or even practical assistance with basic social needs.
With regard to treatment evaluation, only case series were identified. Three studies found cognitive behavioural therapy improved PTSD symptoms and mental health outcomes. A less structured approach (mental health counselling alone) did not improve functional health outcomes.
Higher support living arrangements with low restrictions are associated with lower psychological distress. Most URMs are not receiving psychological interventions, and there is a dearth of studies evaluating treatment effectiveness for this group. There is an urgent need for more research to investigate pathways to mental health services and treatment efficacy in this vulnerable group.