United Nations Confronting Worst Liquidity Crisis in Recent Years

Global Governance – Fiscal Stability

11 October 2019
GA/AB/4332
United Nations Confronting Worst Liquidity Crisis in Recent Years, Top Management Official Says, Presenting Key Financial Indicators for 2019 to Fifth Committee
…Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, said the United Nations risks starting November with insufficient cash to cover even payrolls and uncertainty about paying its vendors on time. Unpaid assessed contributions as of 4 October 2019 totalled nearly $1.4 billion, $299 million higher than last year. Ms. Pollard detailed the Organization’s three main financial categories — the regular budget, peacekeeping operations and the international tribunals — for the Fifth Committee.

She said the cash shortfall in the regular budget exists despite the Secretariat’s attempts to curb costs since the beginning of the year by slowing hiring and curtailing several non-post expenditures. It also shifted money from the Working Capital Fund in July and borrowed from the Special Account in August. “The cash deficits occur earlier in the year, linger longer and run deeper,” she said. “For the second successive year, we have exhausted all regular budget liquidity reserves, despite several measures we had taken to reduce expenditures to align them with available liquidity.”

The ongoing financial uncertainty has compelled the Organization to manage expenditures based on liquidity rather than programme delivery, which runs counter to the Secretariat’s efforts to focus less on inputs and more on results, she said. “Unless these structural and liquidity issues are addressed expeditiously, our work and our reforms will be at increasing risk,” she warned…

Watershed moment as countries step forward to tackle global statelessness

Statelessness

Watershed moment as countries step forward to tackle global statelessness
11 Oct 2019
In a historic moment in the global fight against statelessness, more than 85 governments, civil society and international and regional organizations have this week pledged hundreds of new commitments to end statelessness, a major cause of human rights deprivations for millions of people worldwide.

More than 300 pledges were received at a meeting in Geneva hosted by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The meeting, known as the High-Level Segment on Statelessness, was part of UNHCR’s annual gathering of its governing Executive Committee.

The sheer number of pledges is unprecedented for a single occasion. Among them over 220 were commitments by more than 55 states to accede to or ratify the UN statelessness conventions, facilitate naturalization of stateless people, prevent statelessness by ending gender discrimination in nationality laws, ensure universal birth registration, provide protection to stateless people and enhance or initiate data collection on stateless populations.

“We are reaching a critical mass in the global effort to stamp out statelessness. This week has shown that there is an unprecedented level of political will and commitment to resolve this issue and prevent it from arising in the first place,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“It is crucial that these commitments are now turned into action. We will be stepping up our own efforts to help States work towards the goal of eradicating statelessness completely – a goal that is within our reach, as long as this momentum is sustained.”…

United Nations Task Force calls on Member States to end children’s deprivation of liberty

Children – Liberty

United Nations Task Force calls on Member States to end children’s deprivation of liberty
Geneva/ New York/ Vienna, October 8 – The United Nations Task Force supporting the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty calls on Member States to put an end to children’s deprivation of liberty, following the submission and presentation of a report by the Independent Expert to the UN General Assembly.

The Independent Expert’s report highlights that while this year marks the 30 th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark treaty aiming at promoting and protecting the rights of children’s worldwide, countless children still suffer violations of their basic human rights. The UN Task Force further notes that in adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Member States made a clear commitment to leave no child behind and yet, children deprived of liberty continue to be one of the most vulnerable, invisible and forgotten groups in societies across the globe. The UN Task Force joins the Independent Expert in calling on States to end the deprivation of liberty of children or those at most risk as a matter of urgency. The Task Force emphasizes that it is indeed time to put the most vulnerable first.

Children around the world are deprived of their liberty in closed institutions, psychiatric centres or detention facilities, sometimes together with adults. Furthermore, children are detained for national security, armed conflict or migration-related reasons. They are denied family care and access to justice, often unable to challenge the legality of their detention. These children are exposed to further human rights violations, enduring cruel, inhumane and/or degrading conditions. Furthermore, they are often denied the right to education, and health care, and do not benefit from tailored and long-term rehabilitation and reintegration support. Deprivation of liberty has a destructive impact on children’s physical and mental development, and often compounds trauma they have suffered.

The UN Task Force believes that the presentation of the report creates a unique momentum to learn from children and Member States’ experiences. The UN Task Force member organizations express their strong commitment to work together with Member States, civil society and children themselves to end children’s deprivation of liberty and safeguard their rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international standards, and further re-affirmed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was established as a platform to provide UN system-wide support to the study development and comprises the following member organizations: Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children ( Chair) (SRSG-VAC); Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC); Committee on the Rights of the Child; Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); International Office for Migration (IOM); and World Health Organization (WHO).

The Independent Expert submitted his final report on the Study (A/74/136) to the General Assembly during its seventy-fourth session and presents his main findings, conclusions and recommendations to the Third Committee of the General Assembly on 8 October 2019.
[Excerpt p.7-8]
B. Views of children
23. Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that children shall have the right to express their views freely in all matters affecting them and that their views shall be given due weight. During his fact -finding missions in all world regions, as a former United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Independent Expert spoke to many children and witnessed their immense suffering in all situations of deprivation of liberty. The study is also informed by the testimonies of children during regional consultations and by the findings of a cross -national consultation, facilitated by an international group of child rights experts which, in partnership with non-governmental organizations, carried out face to face interviews with 274 children.

24. The consultation process identified the importance of hearing directly from children about their lived experiences. They reported that their rights were not protected, including being detained in poor conditions, being denied access to information, with poor health care and inadequate access to education and leisure. Many children also experienced barriers to contact with their families and struggled to access support for reintegration. They reported struggling to be heard in decisions made about them. The findings show how children deprived of their liberty experience fear, isolation, trauma and harm in addition to discrimination, stigma and disempowerment.

25. Children also shared experiences of resilience and hope and highlighted the importance of friendships with peers and adults whom they could trust and who were working in their best interests. Many children had positive aspirations for a future beyond detention, where they would reunite with their families and friends and enjoy a life as independent human beings contributing to their communities. They saw education and skills development as integral to their achieving a better life…

ICRC – Children, no matter their association, are entitled to rights and protections as children

ICRC – Children, no matter their association, are entitled to rights and protections as children
11-10-2019 | Statement
As delivered by Senior Policy Adviser, Ms. Ann Deer
…This year, we mark the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The ICRC bears witness to the achievements of both. When a wounded child is allowed through a checkpoint or when the best interest of the child is considered first, it shows these laws work. Yet, alongside achievements, we also observe the suffering of children when those rules are not respected.

Today, we would like to draw attention to the worrying trend of the selective implementation of the law. We see this happening in various places and for various reasons, but primarily for questions of national borders or national security and in the emblematic case of children associated with groups designated as terrorists. Children associated with certain categories of people are treated as exceptional cases to whom existing law does not apply. In these cases, who your parents are determines your treatment. If you are a child born of a “migrant” or “violent extremist” you may be treated with lower standards of protection or, at times, none at all.

Millions of children in conflict zones daily face discrimination, ostracization, and stigmatization. In particular, for children affiliated with groups designated as terrorists, we are concerned about three policies and practices:

:: Discrimination between children based on their age in a manner inconsistent with international law, creating blanket categories of “good children” and “bad children.”

:: The separation of children above a certain age from their families and decisions against returning foreign children to countries of origin based on age.

:: Sentencing extremely young children associated with armed groups for their own alleged criminal wrongdoing. States are prosecuting children based on an age of criminal responsibility that falls below international standards, and at times for mere association with an armed group.

We must reaffirm that all children are entitled to their rights and protections as children, without distinction based on their age, gender, religion, or whether they are associated with an armed group designated as terrorist.

The ICRC therefore calls on States to implement, apply, and enforce three key standards without distinction or exception:
First is the principle of the best interest of the child. It must be a primary consideration in the decisions made by authorities.

Second is the right of all children not to be separated from their parents against their will, unless authorities determine this necessary, subject to certain procedures. In the vast majority of cases, remaining with the family – including parents and siblings – is in the child’s best interest. In the emblematic case of foreign fighters and their families, we urge States considering repatriations to repatriate children with their parents, with full and informed consent, even in cases when judicial proceedings await upon return and with due respect for the principle of non-refoulement.

Third is the obligation to reintegrate children who have participated in an armed conflict. States are reticent to apply the law and standards governing the treatment of children associated with armed groups to children who have been trained or used in hostilities by armed groups designated as terrorist. However, the CRC and its Optional Protocol emphasize States’ obligations and do not allow for exceptions based on labels.

Children, even those associated with armed groups designated as terrorists, must be considered first and foremost as victims. The ICRC is available to provide policy and legal guidance to States as they define their policies and approach in this area.

14 aid agencies warn of humanitarian crisis in north-east Syria

Syria – Turkey

14 aid agencies warn of humanitarian crisis in north-east Syria
Published 10. Oct 2019
Civilians at risk as violence escalates and humanitarian work is suspended.

Civilians in north-east Syria are at risk and humanitarian aid could be cut off following the launch of a new military operation in the area, leading aid agencies are warning.

Reports from humanitarian responders on the ground say civilians are already on the move and that some vital services have been interrupted, including medical facilities and water supplies. Agencies say that some of their staff have fled with their families, while others are on lockdown.

An estimated 450,000 people live within 5 kilometres of the Syria-Turkey border and are at risk if all sides do not exercise maximum restraint and prioritise the protection of civilians. The population includes more than 90,000 internally displaced people, who have already been forced to flee their homes at least once in Syria’s unrelenting war.

The 14 aid agencies are urging parties to the conflict to fully respect International Humanitarian Law and ensure that they refrain from using explosive weapons in populated areas. They must ensure all measures are taken to protect civilians and facilitate safe, unhindered humanitarian access. People living in the area affected by this military action have the right to freedom of movement and must not be forcibly displaced from their homes.

Likewise, there must be no forcible returns of refugees living in Turkey to Syria. Anyone returned could face threats to their safety and security, continued internal displacement and reliance on humanitarian assistance that the international community is not in a position to provide. According to the Government of Turkey, an estimated 83 per cent of the three million Syrians in Turkey do not originate from the north-east.

The international community has an important role to play in helping to resolve this crisis. The UN Security Council, which is expected to discuss the situation today (10 October 2019), must emphasize the need for restraint and reiterate importance of protecting civilians and facilitating unimpeded humanitarian operations.

The security situation in the area is already fragile, with tens of thousands of fighters and their families being held in camps and detention centres. All children must be protected and provided humanitarian assistance, and countries of origin must take immediate steps to repatriate the estimated 9,000 children from at least 40 different nationalities who are in north-east Syria.

Urgent action is needed to ensure that the humanitarian situation in north-east Syria does not worsen further, with potentially dire consequences for families and children who find themselves once again caught up in deadly violence.

Signed:
Action Against Hunger
Christian Aid
CARE International
DanChurchAid
Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe
Humanity & Inclusion
International Rescue Committee
Medecins du Monde
Mercy Corps
Norwegian Refugee Council
Oxfam
People in Need
Un Ponte Per
World Vision

Societal burdens of nature loss…Global modeling of nature’s contributions to people

Featured Journal Content

Science
11 October 2019 Vol 366, Issue 6462
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl

EDITORIAL
Responsible genetic genealogy
Thomas F. Callaghan
Summary
The scientific development of forensic genetic genealogy (FGG), which couples genetic analysis with investigation of publicly available genealogy information, has successfully transformed law enforcement investigations by solving more than 50 cases over the last 18 months in the United States. However, use of FGG by law enforcement has preceded widespread development of best practices to protect the genetic privacy of private citizens who have voluntarily submitted samples to genealogy databases. Absent best practices, use of FGG could lead to compromised cases, diminished use, or the loss of this new investigative tool. Public support for FGG could be jeopardized and confidence in forensic DNA analysis could be undermined. As the custodian of a national law enforcement DNA database (CODIS), the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looked to by many in the law enforcement and forensic DNA communities for guidance, and its efforts often influence the global community. The emergence of FGG suggests that further discussions on privacy, genomics, and the use of genealogy by law enforcement would be beneficial. Accordingly, the FBI seeks to engage the scientific and bioethics communities in such a dialogue.

Perspectives
Societal burdens of nature loss
By Patricia Balvanera
Science11 Oct 2019 : 184-185 Restricted Access
Interdisciplinary science and international policy collaborate to stem inequities
Summary
The rapid decline of biodiversity predicts dire consequences for human society, according to the recent Global Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (1). The report notes that up to a million species are threatened with extinction (2) and that many benefits humans obtain from nature have decreased over the last 50 years, a decline likely continue until at least 2050. If transformative changes are to be implemented, scientists and policy-makers must address questions about the deterioration of nature and the locations that bear the greatest resulting burdens. On page 255 of this issue, Chaplin-Kramer et al. (3) address these questions by presenting global models of the current status and future trends of three key contributions from nature.

Reports
Global modeling of nature’s contributions to people
By Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Richard P. Sharp, Charlotte Weil, Elena M. Bennett, Unai Pascual, Katie K. Arkema, Kate A. Brauman, Benjamin P. Bryant, Anne D. Guerry, Nick M. Haddad, Maike Hamann, Perrine Hamel, Justin A. Johnson, Lisa Mandle, Henrique M. Pereira, Stephen Polasky, Mary Ruckelshaus, M. Rebecca Shaw, Jessica M. Silver, Adrian L. Vogl, Gretchen C. Daily
Science11 Oct 2019 : 255-258 Full Access
Projections to 2050 show up to 5 billion people at risk of water pollution, coastal storms, and deficient crop pollination.
Editor’s Summary
The future of nature’s contributions
A recent Global Assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has emphasized the urgent need to determine where and how nature’s contribution matters most to people. Chaplin-Kramer et al. have developed a globalscale modeling of ecosystem services, focusing on water quality regulation, coastal protection, and crop pollination (see the Perspective by Balvanera). By 2050, up to 5 billion people may be at risk from diminishing ecosystem services, particularly in Africa and South Asia.
Abstract
The magnitude and pace of global change demand rapid assessment of nature and its contributions to people. We present a fine-scale global modeling of current status and future scenarios for several contributions: water quality regulation, coastal risk reduction, and crop pollination. We find that where people’s needs for nature are now greatest, nature’s ability to meet those needs is declining. Up to 5 billion people face higher water pollution and insufficient pollination for nutrition under future scenarios of land use and climate change, particularly in Africa and South Asia. Hundreds of millions of people face heightened coastal risk across Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. Continued loss of nature poses severe threats, yet these can be reduced 3- to 10-fold under a sustainable development scenario.

WHO launches first World Report on Vision

Health – Vision

WHO launches first World Report on Vision
At least 2.2 billion people have vision impairment or blindness, of which over 1 billion cases could have been prevented or have yet to be addressed
8 October 2019 News release Geneva
More than 1 billion people worldwide are living with vision impairment because they do not get the care they need for conditions like short and far sightedness, glaucoma and cataract, according to the first World report on vision issued by the World Health Organization.

The report, launched ahead of World Sight Day on 10 October, found that ageing populations, changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, are among the main drivers of the rising numbers of people living with vision impairment.
“Eye conditions and vision impairment are widespread, and far too often they still go untreated,” says

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “People who need eye care must be able to receive quality interventions without suffering financial hardship. Including eye care in national health plans and essential packages of care is an important part of every country’s journey towards universal health coverage.”

Dr Tedros adds: “It is unacceptable that 65 million people are blind or have impaired sight when their vision could have been corrected overnight with a cataract operation, or that over 800 million struggle in everyday activities because they lack access to a pair of glasses.”

Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.

Other main findings of the report include:
:: The burden of eye conditions and vision impairment is not borne equally: it is often far greater in people living in rural areas, those with low incomes, women, older people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations.

:: The unmet need of distance vision impairment in low- and middle-income regions is estimated to be four times higher than in high-income regions.

:: Low- and middle-income regions of western and eastern sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have rates of blindness that are eight times higher than in all high-income countries. Rates of cataract and trachomatous trichiasis are higher among women, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

:: US$14.3 billion is needed to address the backlog of 1 billion people living with vision impairment or blindness due to short and far sightedness, and cataracts.

UNICEF launches Cryptocurrency Fund

Cryptocurrency – UN Agencies

UNICEF launches Cryptocurrency Fund
UN Children’s agency becomes first UN Organization to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency
NEW YORK, 9 October 2019 – UNICEF will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin, through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. In a first for United Nations organizations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.

Under the structure of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, contributions will be held in their cryptocurrency of contribution, and granted out in the same cryptocurrency.

“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”

The first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation and will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund – and a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the internet…

The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee for UNICEF. UNICEF national committees of USA, Australia and New Zealand also accept cryptocurrency…

Emergencies

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 62: 08 October 2019
Situation Update
In the past week, from 30 September to 6 October, 14 new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, with an additional nine deaths, have been reported from seven health zones in two affected provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although the decline in the number of new cases is encouraging, the recent fluctuations in case numbers per week must be interpreted with caution, as case reporting is contingent upon the level of access and security.
During mid-September, serious security incidents in Lwemba Health Area, Mandima Health Zone, stalled outbreak response activities for more than two weeks. Response activities have since resumed but remain limited. Last week, an open forum for discussion and reconciliation was held in Lwemba with partners and civil society to dispel mistrust and enhance engagement in future response activities. Improved access may result in enhanced case finding and an increase in the number of reported cases from the area…

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As measles deaths in the Democratic Republic of the Congo top 4,000, UNICEF rushes medical kits to health centers and vaccinates thousands more children
KINSHASA/DAKAR/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 9 October 2019 – UNICEF is vaccinating thousands more children against measles and rushing life-saving medicines to health centers across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as deaths from the world’s largest measles outbreak top 4,000.

Since January, 203,179 cases of measles have been reported in all 26 provinces of the country, and 4,096 have died.  Children under the age of five represent 74 per cent of infections and nearly 90 per cent of deaths. The number of measles cases in DRC this year is more than triple the number recorded for all of 2018. The measles outbreak in DRC has become far deadlier than Ebola, which to date, has taken 2,143 lives.

“We’re fighting the measles epidemic on two fronts – preventing infections and preventing deaths,” said UNICEF Representative in the DRC, Edouard Beigbeder. “Along with the government and key partners, UNICEF has been racing to vaccinate children against measles, and at the same time, supplying clinics with medicines that treat symptoms and improve the chance of survival for those already infected.”

This week and next, an additional 1,111 medical kits are being delivered to health centers in measles hot-spots. The kits contain antibiotics, rehydration salts, Vitamin A, pain relievers, antipyretics and other supplies to care for over 111,000 people infected with the highly contagious and potentially deadly viral disease.

Over the past year, UNICEF supplied more than 8.6 million doses of the measles vaccine for emergency outbreak responses rolled out by multiple organizations. UNICEF has led outbreak responses in eight hard-hit provinces—vaccinating more than 1.4 million children.  The most recent concluded last month in Kasai Central, where over 210,000 children were vaccinated…

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POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 09 October 2019
:: On 24 October 2019, World Polio Day, an event will be held at the WHO to mark the potential certification of eradication of wild poliovirus type 3. With no poliovirus type 3 detected anywhere in the world since 2012, the Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) is anticipated to officially declare this strain as globally eradicated. The event will also be broadcast on the internet. Viewers are welcome to follow the proceedings through a WebEx broadcast that will be available here.

:: In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an Outbreak Response Assessment (OBRA) conducted in the country noted operational and Coordination improvements and strengthened government ownership in support of the outbreak response.  As a result, three genetically-distinct outbreak strains have been successfully stopped and recommended for closure, demonstrating the effectiveness of outbreak response measures, if fully implemented. At the same time, however, the OBRA noted that the strengthened political ownership now needed to rapidly translate into uniformly high-quality outbreak response, including through appropriate use and management of mOPV2, effective implementation of accountability framework to ensure high quality campaigns to urgently stop the remaining outbreak lineages and prevent further strains from emerging in the future.

:: On 16 September 2019, the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) held its twenty-second meeting. Read the committee’s report of progress for affected IHR States Parties subject to Temporary Recommendations.

Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Pakistan — three WPV1 cases and 13 WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Central African Republic— four cVDPV2 cases and two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples;
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo — three circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases;
:: Philippines — three cVDPV2 positive environmental samples.

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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 12 Oct 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 62: 08 October 2019
[See Ebola above for detail]

Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 12 Oct 2019]

Iran floods 2019
:: WHO mobile clinics deployed to Islamic Republic of Iran 9 October 2019

Libya
:: WHO provides support for treatment of leishmaniasis in Libya 7 October 2019

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi floods – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
Niger No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 12 Oct 2019]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syria ǀ Flash Update #2, Humanitarian impact of the military operation in north-eastern Syria, 11 October 2019
:: Syrian Arab Republic: Recent Developments in Northwestern Syria Situation Report No. 13 – as of 8 October 2019

Yemen – No new digest 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.
Editor’s Note:
Ebola in the DRC has bene added as a OCHA “Corporate Emergency” this week:
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
:: 06 Oct 2019 Cholera response plan launched in Sudan

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

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Continue reading

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 5 October 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
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 5 Oct 2019

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

Global wildlife trade across the tree of life

Featured Journal Content

Science
04 October 2019 Vol 366, Issue 6461
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl
Research Articles
Global wildlife trade across the tree of life
By Brett R. Scheffers, Brunno F. Oliveira, Ieuan Lamb, David P. Edwards
Science 04 Oct 2019 : 71-76 Full Access
A heavy toll
Trade in wildlife, and their parts, is well recognized for a few key species, such as elephants and rhinos, but it occurs globally, across a wide array of species. Scheffers et al. looked across tens of thousands of vertebrate species and found that one in every five species is affected by trade of some sort. The impacts of trade tend to be concentrated in certain phylogenetic groups, thus the potential for long-term impact on certain lineages is substantial. This analysis allows for prediction of potential for trade where it does not yet occur, facilitating proactive prevention.
Abstract
Wildlife trade is a multibillion dollar industry that is driving species toward extinction. Of >31,500 terrestrial bird, mammal, amphibian, and squamate reptile species, ~18% (N = 5579) are traded globally. Trade is strongly phylogenetically conserved, and the hotspots of this trade are concentrated in the biologically diverse tropics. Using different assessment approaches, we predict that, owing to their phylogenetic replacement and trait similarity to currently traded species, future trade will affect up to 3196 additional species—totaling 8775 species at risk of extinction from trade. Our assessment underscores the need for a strategic plan to combat trade with policies that are proactive rather than reactive, which is especially important because species can quickly transition from being safe to being endangered as humans continue to harvest and trade across the tree of life.

Yemen — Joint NGO Statement on Yemen – 74th UN General Assembly

Yemen

Joint NGO Statement on Yemen – 74th UN General Assembly
September 2019
Humanitarian Crisis in Free Fall
After almost five years of conflict, and despite all efforts to halt displacement, hunger and disease, Yemen remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The suffering inflicted on Yemeni people is entirely manmade and will continue to deteriorate rapidly on all fronts without urgent action to end the violence, and to address humanitarian needs. Unfortunately, despite the Stockholm agreement, the situation for ordinary Yemenis has altered little since last year, with growing numbers of humanitarian need , and escalating violence all highlighting the deteriorating situation.

Increased fighting risks pushing the country into utter devastation: Conflict continues on many fronts particularly in Al Dhale, Taizz, Hodeidah, Hajjah, and Aden. Increased conflict and political stalemate in Hodeidah, as well as the recent flare in fighting and escalation of conflict in Aden, both of which are major port cities, jeopardises the safety of civilians and threatens channels for critical fuel, food and medical supplies to the rest of the country. It is crucial that these remain open and fully functional. Millions of Yemeni women, men and children are dependent on these lifelines for their survival.

Civilians continue to bear the brunt: Civilians and civilian infrastructure including hospitals, schools, water facilities, food transport, farms and market places, continue to be hit by all parties with impunity, along with the potential use of starvation as a tactic of war continuing to exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation as reported by the UN Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, as well as in the UN Secretary General’s Annual Report on the Situation of Children and Armed Conflict.

A lost generation of Yemeni children: The two million children and young people who remain out of school are being deprived of an education, exposing them to violence and exploitation. Millions of displaced children cannot access education, and ongoing attacks on schools or their use and occupation by armed groups mean children’s safety at school cannot be guaranteed. In 2018 alone, there were 44 verified attacks on schools and 32 instances of military uses of schools , highlighting the extent of the issue.

Populations on the brink of starvation: Approximately 17 million people, over 60 percent of the population, are food insecure. Although increased humanitarian food assistance has lessened the severity of the impact over the past year, without this vital assistance, many areas of the country would likely be facing higher levels of food insecurity . The gains in preventing starvation are undermined by fighting and continued bureaucratic impediments, delays and denial of access by conflict parties, and donors failing to meet their funding pledges. The impact of food insecurity is especially dire for children, as an estimated 2 million children are acutely malnourished, including 360,000 who suffer from severe acute malnourishment. There are also over one million acutely malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women. Yemen’s conflict remains the main driver of food insecurity, along with high levels of unemployment coupled with extremely high food prices and a currency crisis.

A struggling economy continues to falter: A crippled economy continues to weaken, with the Yemeni Riyal depreciating in recent weeks to the lowest levels since 2018. Deteriorating public services and failure to pay civil servants further constrains peoples’ ability to purchase food and medicine, with many having to make agonising choices between the two, and many others left with too little to access either. Protracted conflict and eroding safety nets have left millions of Yemenis without access to livelihoods or the ability to deal with economic shocks; this is particularly concerning for female-headed households, which are more vulnerable in conflict.

Barriers to access continue: Imports of commercial goods, food and fuel continue to fluctuate due to restrictions on imports. The closure of land, sea and air trade routes has led to severely reduced supplies of vital commodities and resulted in high prices for these goods. In addition to uncertainty about the accessibility of Yemen’s seaports – particularly Hodeidah and Aden – Sana’a’s airport has been closed to commercial flights since August 2016 and containerised cargo through Hodeidah continues to be impeded. Aden’s airport has recently been temporarily closed multiple times due to resurgences in fighting, further restricting the mobility of the Yemeni population. The majority of Yemeni people are trapped in a conflict without the freedom to escape, particularly the sick who are unable to leave the country for medical treatment.

In addition, 5.1 million people in need live in areas where it is difficult for them to access aid. The UN estimates that 6.5 million people are affected by delays in project implementation resulting from bureaucratic impediments imposed by authorities. Escalation in fighting has exacerbated these challenges, with hundreds of thousands displaced over the past five years of conflict. In 2019 alone, it is estimated at least 350,000 have been displaced , with families and communities scattered by the conflict.

We call on the international community to apply concerted pressure to all parties to the conflict to:
:: Comply with their obligations under international law, and take immediate measures to prevent and end all violations of international humanitarian law, including grave violations against children and gender-based violence; including by cooperating with the Group of Eminent Experts Report (GEE) and implementing their recommendations; engaging with the Panel of Experts on Yemen and UN special representatives and rapporteurs, as well as with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict;

:: Engage in good faith and without pre-conditions in efforts to expand the political process beyond the Stockholm Agreement, in an inclusive process that involves the meaningful participation of women, youth, civil society and other traditionally marginalised groups;

:: Agree and implement a nation-wide ceasefire; and

:: Ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian and commercial access of essential goods and services to and throughout Yemen.

A political solution can bring the war to an end and reinstate peace in Yemen and support lasting solutions to the dire humanitarian situation. All parties must immediately cease hostilities, agree to a nationwide ceasefire, and cooperate in ‘good faith’ with UN Special Envoy Martin Griffith’s, and help restart a broader peace process.

Signed by:
Action Contre la Faim
Adventist Development and Relief Agency
CARE
Danish Refugee Council- Danish Demining Group
FHI 360
Future Forum
Global Communities
Handicap International – Humanity and Inclusion
Human Appeal
International Medical Corps
International Rescue Committee
INTERSOS
Islamic Help
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Medecins du Monde
Mercy Corps
Norwegian Refugee Council
Oxfam
Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale
Relief International
Save the Children
Search for Common Ground
War Child
ZOA

Majority of States signal support for action against bombing populated areas

Urban Warfare

[Editor’s Note: We paused when we read the headline in the press release below, suggesting a kind of triumph that a majority of states might “signal support for action against bombing in populated areas”…]

Majority of States signal support for action against bombing populated areas
Humanity & Inclusion Press Release
October 02, 2019
Vienna, Austria—A historic, two-day meeting in Vienna attracted 133 States to discuss the civilian suffering caused by bombing and shelling in urban areas, as well as the technical, legal and military aspects of urban warfare. “The Vienna Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare” marked an important success, as a majority of States announced their willingness to work on a political declaration to end the human traumas caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas…

…Armed conflicts are increasingly fought in populated areas—mainly cities. The impact of the use of explosive weapons is devastating for civilians. According to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), 20,384 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2018 alone. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 90% of the victims are civilians.

The urgency to right this wrong was clear on the final day, when a majority of States at the conference publicly stated their willingness to negotiate a political declaration to end human suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons.

“We are very happy to see States finally acting, and ready to negotiate a political declaration—something we have been requesting for a long time,” Anne Héry notes. “We will constructively participate in this process, providing evidence from affected areas, and reinforcing our global, public campaigns to ensure that the declaration brings an end to the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas, and improve support to affected people.”

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas also leads to the destruction of essential infrastructure like houses, hospitals, schools, water and electricity supply systems, leaves massive unexploded ordnance contamination, and is one of the key drivers of population displacement.

In the next six months, discussions will be decisive to protect millions of civilians living in war zones, or fleeing their homes or even their countries as conflict approaches. The next phase of the negotiation process kicks off on Nov. 18, in Geneva. This meeting should result in a set date for a Conference in early 2020, when a political declaration should open for endorsements. Humanity & Inclusion, alongside fellow INEW members, will continue to meet with States to convince them to fully support a strong political declaration to end the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas and to support the affected people…

Moving Beyond the Emergency: A Whole of Society Approach to the Refugee Response in Bangladesh – Center for Global Development

Bangladesh – Rohingya

Moving Beyond the Emergency: A Whole of Society Approach to the Refugee Response in Bangladesh
Center for Global Development
October 3, 2019
Lauren Post , Rachel Landry and Cindy Huang
PDF: https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/moving-beyond-emergency-whole-society-approach-refugee-response-bangladesh.pdf

Bangladesh provides a significant global public good by hosting over one million Rohingya refugees. Most are living in camps in Cox’s Bazar district, where resources and livelihoods are strained. The refugee situation is likely to be protracted, and medium-term planning is critical. CGD has been working with local and international partners to understand what that medium-term response could look like. This is one of five publications where we outline steps for developing a medium-term plan for Bangladesh, to benefit refugees and their host community alike. The other four cover forest and landscape restoration, trade, private sector investment, and labor mobility.

Executive Summary
In August 2017, more than 740,000 stateless Rohingya started to flee systematic violence and persecution perpetrated by Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, and other security forces in Rakhine State. The government of Bangladesh generously opened its borders to these forcibly displaced Rohingya and is now hosting over one million refugees, the vast majority of whom are confined to camps in one of the country’s poorest districts, Cox’s Bazar. Two years on from what quickly became the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis, all signs point to an acute need to change the approach to the Rohingya refugee response.

The current response is based on an understandable, but ultimately insufficient, short-term view that focuses on delivering basic and lifesaving humanitarian assistance. But the needs of the Rohingya refugees and local hosting community are far more complex. The government of Bangladesh rightly wants Myanmar to be held accountable for resolving the root cause of the crisis, but the reality is safe and voluntary returns of the Rohingya to Myanmar are unlikely in the near term. There have been several attempts at repatriation since the start of the crisis, most recently in August 2019; but none has been successful as refugees refuse to return until their citizenship, safety, freedom of movement, and access to services and livelihoods in Rakhine are guaranteed. For the sake of both Rohingya and Bangladeshi residents of Cox’s Bazar, the government of Bangladesh must prepare for the fact that this refugee crisis is on track to becoming protracted. Even if Myanmar successfully addressed the underlying causes of inequality and marginalization across Rakhine State, and refugee returns became a reality, credible estimates show that in a realistic scenario for repatriation, significant numbers of Rohingyas will remain in Bangladesh for more than 10 years.[1]

The inadequacy of the current response has implications for the refugees, host communities, and Bangladesh’s development trajectory. The well-being of refugees and host communities is at risk and social cohesion is deteriorating. Nearly 44 percent of Rohingya refugees and 40 percent of the host community have poor or borderline food consumption, meaning they are unable to get enough to eat and are not getting the right nutrition—which could lead to malnutrition and other health issues. Poverty levels among refugees and host communities are high: 75 percent of refugees live below the minimum expenditure basket. Approximately 33 percent of the local population in Cox’s Bazar lives below the national poverty line, compared with the national average of 25 percent.[2] Negative coping strategies, including child labor, early marriage, and drug trafficking, are frequently reported in the camps. And while only 11 percent of Rohingya indicated in a recent survey that there are inter-community tensions, 48 percent of locals said tensions exist.[3] services. It is difficult to imagine how Bangladesh, and Cox’s Bazar in particular, will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and its commitment to Leave No One Behind given this trajectory.

Unlike five to ten years ago, when a short-term response to refugee crises was the accepted norm, the international community now acknowledges the importance of development approaches in refugee settings. The Grand Bargain, Global Compact on Refugees, and World Bank have catalyzed a set of tools for humanitarian and development actors to better support both refugees and hosts in protracted situations. However, the government of Bangladesh’s policy environment is a barrier to fully realizing these approaches and the positive impact they can have. Since the start of the crisis, the government has restricted NGO access in the camps, and put in place measures that prohibit refugees from accessing the labor market and getting a formal, accredited education in schools. Some progress has been made, including allowing refugees to partake in cash-for-work and paid volunteer opportunities in the camps and approving two out of four levels of an informal learning framework for Rohingya children. However, this progress is a far cry from meeting needs and enabling self-reliance.

Inadequate financing to support the government of Bangladesh and implementing agencies is only contributing to the challenges. The 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP) was funded at just 34 percent as of July 2019. The 2018 JRP was only 69 percent funded, leaving a shortfall of nearly US$300 million. In addition, humanitarian funding that is available is being disbursed in short-term grants—which is inefficient and unsustainable especially as donor fatigue sets in. While development financing from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will help meet the needs of refugees and host communities, the banks have not successfully shifted the response to a multiyear plan to align with the multiyear financing they are bringing to the crisis. The World Bank has so far not been able to leverage its financing to encourage the government of Bangladesh to make necessary reforms to its refugee policies to support self-reliance as it has done in other contexts, such as Jordan and Ethiopia. Consequently, bank financing is being used as gap-filling for humanitarian aid rather than as catalytic development financing.

Global experience has demonstrated that developing a plan to address medium-term needs for refugees and for hosts—or a whole of society approach—is critical and that this plan should be put in place within the first few years of a crisis. Some of the benefits of a whole of society, medium-term plan that enables self-reliance have been demonstrated in countries such as Uganda, Jordan, and Colombia, where refugees have legal pathways to formal education and decent work. At the same time, the risks of failing to devise and implement such a plan have been made clear through protracted refugee situations such as in Thailand, where refugees do not have livelihoods opportunities, leading to high levels of economic stress and negative coping strategies such as early marriage, alarming levels of suicide, and violence—impacting the well-being of both refugees and host communities alike.

The inevitable protracted nature of this refugee crisis, combined with the increasingly pressing challenges faced by Rohingya and their hosts, demands a change in course. Donors and implementing partners are starting to think about what a medium-term approach could look like. National and international actors should prioritize three pillars of actions:

[1] The government of Bangladesh, with development and humanitarian actors, should develop a three-to-five-year Whole of Society Medium-Term Response Plan that addresses the well-being of, and enables self-reliance among, Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi host community in Cox’s Bazar. The plan must define a set of shared outcomes to be achieved, outline complementary actions, and identify incremental steps to expand refugees’ protections and access to services and the labor market.

[2] The government of Bangladesh, with development and humanitarian actors, should create a Coordination Platform that is responsible for designing the plan, coordinating its implementation, and monitoring progress towards agreed outcomes.

[3] The international community—particularly donors, UN agencies and the private sector—should provide adequate and appropriate support for the implementation of the plan, including multiyear financing, economic incentives for private investment, and other “beyond aid” measures to support economic growth.

Immense mental health toll of humanitarian crises not being addressed, warns Red Cross

Humanitarian Response – Mental Health

ICRC/IFRC PRESS RELEASE: Immense mental health toll of humanitarian crises not being addressed, warns Red Cross
Geneva 04 October 2019–The massive mental health needs of people affected by humanitarian emergencies are not being addressed, warned leaders of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

People living in conflict-affected areas are three times more likely than the general population to suffer from conditions such as depression and anxiety, to post-traumatic stress disorder. From experience Red Cross says this can be similarly true for other humanitarian crises like disasters, and health emergencies.

“These mental health issues, if left untreated, create hidden wounds which have far reaching and long term negative impacts for people and communities dealing with humanitarian emergencies,” said Elhadj As Sy, IFRC’s Secretary General, speaking ahead of a conference on mental health and psychosocial support in crisis situations in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

“Supporting people’s mental health and psychosocial support can be lifesaving in times of disasters, war and violence, just as much as stemming the bleeding from a deep wound or having clean water. Hidden wounds are no less dangerous to a person’s well-being and ability to thrive during crisis,” said ICRC’s Director General Yves Daccord.

But in low- and middle-income countries where most humanitarian crises occur, mental health and psychosocial support services are underprioritized and underfunded with an average of two mental health workers per 100,000 people. As a result, two thirds of people with severe mental health conditions in these countries go without any treatment.

This lack of treatment also increases stigma, exclusion and discrimination. The consequences of which can severely impact a person’s safety, dignity, and health and further undermine the ability of communities and states to appropriately address mental health and psychosocial challenges.

“Investing in mental health and psychosocial support saves lives and must be integrated into all humanitarian responses.” said IFRC’s Elhadj As Sy. “We know that early interventions can prevent distress from developing into more severe mental health conditions which can have much more serious and long-term consequences.”

Mental health and psychosocial support in post-conflict environments is highly effective: every $1 invested in treatment for depression can lead to a $5 return in better health. Community-based volunteers and trained professional workforces are critical to bridging this resource gap.

The ICRC and IFRC are calling for increased recognition of the mental health consequences of humanitarian crises and greater investment in the critical role of local actors to fill existing gaps in providing mental health and psychosocial services during humanitarian crises.

“We see more and more invisible suffering today. Mental health and psychosocial support must therefore be a priority in humanitarian emergencies and taken as seriously as physical health,” said ICRC’s Yves Daccord.

Emergencies

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 61: 01 October 2019
Situation Update
In the past week, from 23 to 29 September, 20 new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, with an additional 12 deaths and an additional three probable cases validated from late August/early September, have been reported from seven health zones in two affected provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This perceived decrease in the number of cases should be interpreted with caution, as operational and security challenges in certain health zones make it difficult to undertake case detection and response functions. An increase in the number of reported cases is expected in the coming weeks once response activities resume in full.

The security situation In the overall operational areas of the EVD response is reported calm with no major security incidents affecting operations between the period between 26 to 29 September 2019…

Case management
…The The Pamoja Tulinde Maisha (PALM [together save lives]) randomized, controlled trial and Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions framework continue to enroll EVD confirmed patients, total patients thus far are 857 and 761, respectively as of 24 September 2019…

Implementation of ring vaccination protocol
As of 28 September 2019, 230,055 people at risk have consented to and received the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP Ebola vaccine. Of those, 55,801 are contacts and 154,689 contacts-of-contacts. The total number of vaccines includes 47,533 HCWs/FLWs.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo health authorities have endorsed the use of a second investigational Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. This vaccine, which is administered as a two-dose course, 56 days apart, will be circulated in at-risk populations in areas that do not have active EVD transmission. Regular vaccination activities in EVD-affected areas will continue. The Merck/MSD vaccine will continue to be provided to all people at high risk of Ebola infection including those who have been in contact with a person confirmed to have Ebola, all contacts of contacts, and others determined to be at high risk of contracting Ebola…

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1,000 Ebola survivors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Joint Press Release by the UN Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator, World Health Organization, World Food Programme, UNICEF and Save the Children

GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 October 2019 – As the 1000th Ebola survivor returns home, United Nations agencies working to stop the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today commended the strong leadership of the DRC health authorities and the tireless efforts of thousands of local health workers and partners that have led to 1000 people surviving the disease.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres handed Kavira her Ebola survivor certificate in early September. “I never thought I would make it at first but now that I am cured, I want to go back to my community and tell them to seek treatment early if they are affected because you can actually survive,” said Kavira.

The outbreak, declared on 1 August 2018, started in North Kivu and has since spread to parts of Ituri and South Kivu provinces. Currently, active transmission is confined to Ituri, in several hotspots – Mambasa and Mandima – but the epidemic is evolving in an extremely complex environment, marked by poor health infrastructure, political instability, insecurity, community mistrust and resistance, and ongoing conflict involving scores of armed groups.

Through an integrated UN system-wide approach, the United Nations scaled-up its efforts in May in support of the DRC government-led response in the areas of public health, assistance to Ebola-affected communities, political engagement, security and strengthened financial management…

Although this is the largest and longest-running Ebola outbreak the DRC has experienced, new tools are now available to help stop the virus and save lives. A highly effective vaccine (shown to have 97.5% efficacy) has protected over 226,000 people. New treatments, that recent study results show can save over 90 per cent of people who come early during their illness, improve survival rates of people infected with Ebola.

“We have the tools, vaccines and treatments, but we still need to find and support every person who has been in contact with someone infected with Ebola,” Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, World Health Organization Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response, said. WHO is the UN Agency leading the public health response. “Surviving this disease is all about trusting the responders – contact tracers, decontamination teams, burial teams, vaccinators, Ebola Treatment Centre staff – who are working tirelessly to protect people from this virus”…

Led by UNICEF with the support of international partners, thousands of Congolese responders and associations from the affected communities are engaging with community and religious leaders, mass media, and Ebola survivors to bring crucial knowledge of symptoms, prevention and treatment to the households and communities most at risk. Children are among the most vulnerable in the communities, as they are not only at risk of contracting the virus but are also affected if they lose their parents or schools are closed. Save the Children and other organizations are reaching out to children on how to prevent contracting Ebola, through child-friendly awareness campaigns in schools and youth groups. An important part of this work is listening and responding to their pressing concerns, particularly in the areas where Ebola is often not perceived as a priority.

“When survivors tell communities the reason they are alive is because they sought treatment early, people believe them and are getting the help they need sooner. Survivors have become a crucial element in gaining the community trust and acceptance required to defeat this epidemic”, Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in the DRC, said. “At the same time, having experienced the disease, they are able to offer a level of support and compassion to patients and their family members that is especially meaningful.”…

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:: 430 days and 1000 victories in the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 04 October 2019 Statement from Dr Matshidiso Moeti

:: Surviving Ebola and passing final school exams while in treatment isolation: Now bring on the future 02 October 2019

:: Dear parents and neighbours – A young mother tells her story of Ebola denial and then gratitude for treatment 01 October 2019

:: Ebola, cholera and measles: Triple threats to the poorest communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1 October 2019

:: A doctor takes you to the tough and joy-filled days in the Ebola battle in Goma 30 September 2019

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POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 25 September 2019
:: September’s Polio News is now available with the latest polio numbers and news updates.
:: Read through the August 2019 Technical Advisory Group (TAG) reports on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Pakistan — three WPV1 cases and 13 WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo — one circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) case;
:: Ghana — one cVDPV2 case and five positive environmental samples;
:: Philippines — one cVDPV2 case, one cVDPV2 and 5 cVDPV1 positive environmental samples.

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Philippines
Philippines: Red Cross scales up as polio threatens 11 million children
Manila/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva 2 October 2019 –  Polio has made an alarming come-back after officially being eradicated 19 years ago in the Philippines. The Philippine Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are scaling up to help contain the highly infectious virus.

On 19 September, a three-year-old girl was diagnosed with polio, the Philippines’ first confirmed case since 2000. A five-year-old boy has since tested positive. The polio virus was also detected in Manila’s sewage and the waterways of Davao in Mindanao. Low immunization rates have contributed to the outbreak. Polio is mainly transmitted by food, water or hands contaminated with human faeces containing the virus, so good hygiene is vital.

Philippine Red Cross Chairman, Richard Gordon said:
“We have mobilized all our chapters to coordinate with the health department and local officials and to provide the full support of volunteers for mass immunization and updating the list of all zero to five-year-old children and get their vaccination status. This will help us identify the areas with the highest risk of polio based on low vaccination coverage as well as the lack of toilets and limited running water.”

The IFRC has released 336,302 Swiss francs (336,700 US dollars) from its disaster relief emergency fund to support the Philippine Red Cross in Mindanao and Metro Manila to go house-to-house to vaccinate in high-risk areas including in informal settlements and hard-to-reach areas, and children who have missed out on vaccinations. Social mobilization teams and an information campaign will target 1.2 million people with messages on the importance of vaccination.

Head of the IFRC Philippines Country Office, Chris Staines said:
“We are very concerned that the resurgence of polio in the Philippines puts 11 million Filipino children under five at high risk of disability and even death. We appeal to all parents to protect their children against the virus during this massive, synchronized nationwide campaign. The Philippines has eradicated polio before, and together we can do it again.”

This is the third health emergency this year that the Philippine Red Cross has responded to, with babies and young children disproportionately affected. During a measles outbreak in February, the Red Cross cared for 3,400 patients by setting up seven measles care units in tents outside six hospitals, vaccinated nearly 17,000 children between six months and five years of age, and reached more than 1.9 million people with life-saving information. In response to a dengue outbreak, the Red Cross cared for 5,000 patients in nine emergency medical units set up at eight hospitals, and reached 120,000 people with messages on dengue prevention and management. Philippines Red Cross volunteers continue to respond to both of these ongoing health emergencies, even as they scale up to face the urgent risks of polio.

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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 5 Oct 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 61: 01 October 2019
:: 1000 Ebola survivors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 04 October 2019
:: 430 days and 1000 victories in the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 04 October 2019 Statement from Dr Matshidiso Moeti
:: Surviving Ebola and passing final school exams while in treatment isolation: Now bring on the future 02 October 2019
:: Dear parents and neighbours – A young mother tells her story of Ebola denial and then gratitude for treatment 01 October 2019
:: Ebola, cholera and measles: Triple threats to the poorest communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1 October 2019
:: A doctor takes you to the tough and joy-filled days in the Ebola battle in Goma 30 September 2019

Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 5 Oct 2019]

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Iran floods 2019 – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi floods – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
Niger No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 5 Oct 2019]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified

UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Yemen
:: 03 October 2019 Yemen: Flash Floods Flash Update No. 1 (As of 3 October 2019)

Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest 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.
Editor’s Note:
Ebola in the DRC has bene added as a OCHA “Corporate Emergency” this week:
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
:: 02 Oct 2019 Southern Africa: Climate crisis leaves 9.2 million people severely food insecure
:: 30 September 2019 Southern Africa: Humanitarian Key Messages, September 2019

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified