Unleashing Youth Power: A Decade of Accelerating Actions Towards Zero Female Genital Mutilation

FGM

Unleashing Youth Power: A Decade of Accelerating Actions Towards Zero Female Genital Mutilation
Joint statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
NEW YORK, 6 February 2020 – “When Tabitha was growing up in rural Kenya, most of her 16-year-old peers were subjected to female genital mutilation – a human rights violation that more than 4 million girls worldwide are at risk of this year. Yet Tabitha remains unharmed, thanks to the unwavering support of her parents, who, in spite of enormous social pressure, saved their daughter from the same fate.

“On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, we join with Tabitha and young people around the world who are standing up for their rights with urgency and energy. They are engaging their peers, families, communities and governments with a call to end this harmful act of gender-based violence once and for all, as promised by the international community in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“While significant progress in eliminating the practice has been made in the last 30 years, approximately 200 million girls and women alive today have had their genitals mutilated. This can lead to long-term physical, psychological and social consequences.

“Support for the practice is dwindling. Adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 in countries where female genital mutilation is prevalent are less supportive of continuing the practice than are women aged 45 to 49. And in many countries, young girls are at much lower risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation than their mothers and grandmothers were. However, rapid youth population growth in countries where female genital mutilation is prevalent could lead to a significant rise in the number of girls at risk by 2030.

“Today’s young people can play a critical role in ending the practice. Unleashing the power of youth means investing in youth-led movements to champion gender equality, an end to violence against women and girls and the elimination of harmful practices. This requires including young people as partners when designing and implementing national action plans, building relationships with youth-led organizations and networks that work to end female genital mutilation and recognize it as a form of violence against women and girls, empowering young people to lead community campaigns that challenge social norms and myths, and engaging men and boys as allies.

“But this is not a goal young people can achieve alone, nor can it be addressed in isolation from other forms of violence against women and girls or from gender inequality. It also requires strong political leadership and commitment.

“Last year, at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, governments, civil society, faith-based organizations and private companies recommitted to ending gender-based violence and harmful practices – such as female genital mutilation – in 10 years, the same timeframe for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In March, we mark 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action, a global commitment to advance women’s rights across 12 critical areas, including the elimination of all harmful practices against girls and women. This year, we will announce the creation of a new Generation Equality to drive further investment and results for gender equality.

“Now is the time to invest, translating the political commitments already made into concrete action. Now is the time to do more and do it better and faster to end the practice once and for all. Now is the time to keep our promise to Tabitha and all girls of reaching zero female genital mutilation by 2030.”

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UNICEF Press release
Approximately 1 in 4 survivors of female genital mutilation were cut by a health care provider
Increased prevalence in medicalized FGM obscures global progress on eliminating support for the practice. Twice as many women in high-prevalence countries want the practice to end compared to 20 years ago… Read the full analysis here
05/02/2020

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6 February 2020
SG/SM/19960
Secretary-General Calls for Decade of Zero Female Genital Mutilation, Calling Practice ‘Extreme Violence against Girls’, in Observance Message

Spread of 1 Billion Small Arms, Light Weapons Remains Major Threat Worldwide, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Tells Security Council

Disarmament – Light Weapons

Spread of 1 Billion Small Arms, Light Weapons Remains Major Threat Worldwide, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Tells Security Council
5 February 2020 SC/14098
The widespread proliferation of approximately 1 billion small arms in circulation around the world — to terrorists, parties to intra-State conflict, organized criminals and warring gangs — continues to pose a major threat around the globe, the senior United Nations disarmament official told the Security Council today.

Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that small arms — such as rifles, pistols and light machine guns — contributed to some 200,000 deaths in every year from 2010 to 2015, and continue to represent a challenge that cuts across peace and security, human rights, gender, sustainable development and beyond.

Presenting the Secretary-General’s biennial report on small arms and light weapons (document S/2019/1011), she said that their use, whether in conflict or non-conflict settings, is prevalent from the Americas to Africa to Southern Europe. Indeed, no State is immune to the challenges posed by illicit weapons flows, she stressed, pointing that small arms continue to facilitate a vast spectrum of actions constituting violations human rights, including the killing and maiming of children, rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Noting that the Secretary-General has recognized the relationship between high levels of armed violence and challenges to the realization of sustainable development, she nevertheless emphasized that the gender dimension has not been sufficiently integrated into policies regulating small arms and light weapons.

Damien Spleeters, Deputy Director of Operations for the investigative organization Conflict Armament Research, also briefed the Council, providing a snapshot of the technical challenges on the ground. A widespread lack of detailed reporting has hampered international efforts to control the illicit flow of small arms, he noted, likening the situation to attempting to control the spread of an infectious disease without understanding its origins or transmission vectors. Some of the most common challenges identified by his organization include governmental failure to secure weapons against theft and looting, the falsifying of export-control documents and the deliberate supply, by States, of weapons to rebel, insurgent and terrorist forces…

Lancet Editorial: Safeguarding the health and livelihoods of migrants

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Feb 08, 2020 Volume 395Number 10222p389-466, e19-e27
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Editorial
Safeguarding the health and livelihoods of migrants
The Lancet
On Jan 9, 2020, the National Assembly of El Salvador passed an important new law to protect the health and safeguard the rights of internally displaced people in the country. Since 2006, more than 70,000 people in El Salvador have been displaced internally by organised crime and violence. Drafted with input from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and following the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, this legislation lays out a broad set of rights and standards for internally displaced migrants, including access to humanitarian assistance, protection of families, an adequate standard of living, and mechanisms to maintain claims on property that individuals might have been forced to abandon. Honduras is considering similar legislation.

Migration is a global reality. But when irregular or forced, migration and displacement can be dangerous. Although the journey is safe for most migrants, up to 71 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced because of conflict, climate change, or economic necessity. Nearly 800 migrants died in the Americas in 2019, most trying to cross the border between Mexico and the USA. Laws like the one in El Salvador will provide stability and relieve internal pressures that force displaced families to attempt potentially fraught transnational journeys that might expose them to traffickers, natural disasters, and anti-migrant policies. Implementation and enforcement of the law will be crucial to safeguard migrants’ rights to mobility and health.

On Feb 5, the Lancet Migration was launched. This new global collaboration between The Lancet, researchers, implementers, and others in the field aims to advance the health of migrants, building on the recommendations and ambitions of the UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health. Lancet Migration will focus on multidisciplinary research, dissemination, and advocacy to improve the health and wellbeing of migrants around the world. Laws like the one passed in El Salvador are important steps in recognising that migration should not strip people of their rights, and the need to ensure the health of everyone, displaced or not.

IFAD President calls on Member States to increase investment in rural development to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Poverty – Rural Development

IFAD President calls on Member States to increase investment in rural development to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Rome, 11 February 2020 – Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will today call on its 177 Member States to help the Fund reach its goal of doubling its impact on the lives of the world’s most marginalized people by 2030 – with a proposed US$30 billion programme of work over the next 10 years.

“With extreme weather, conflict, fragility and migration threatening our food systems, we need to invest more in the rural people who grow our food,” said Houngbo. “We have just 10 years to reach our global targets of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. That means stepping up our investments where poverty and hunger is concentrated – in rural areas.”

The call for increased investments will be made at the launch of IFAD’s 12th replenishment – a year-long consultative process during which IFAD’s Member States come together to agree strategic directions and mobilize funds for IFAD to provide as concessional loans and grants to developing countries.

With increased support from Member States, IFAD aims to raise the production of more than 200 million small-scale producers, improve the resilience of more than 100 million rural people, and increase the incomes of about 260 million rural women and men by at least 20 per cent by 2030.

The evidence is increasingly clear that the road to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) runs through rural areas, where 80 per cent of the world’s poorest people live. Investing in agriculture and rural development is the most direct means of increasing their incomes and food security. Studies show that economic growth in agriculture is two to three times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in any other sector.

“With more than 40 years’ experience on the ground, we know the last mile can be the hardest,” said Houngbo. “We can still deliver on the SDGs and eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – but not if we continue on our current trajectory. We need more funding, new partnerships and financial instruments, and more inclusive approaches.”

As the only multilateral institution exclusively focused on rural areas, IFAD works in remote places where few other development projects reach. Over the next decade, IFAD will use its unique focus and expertise in designing and rolling-out rural investment projects targeting the world’s most vulnerable groups, including rural women, youth and indigenous peoples.

To dramatically step-up its impact and capacity to assist the countries most in need, IFAD is developing a new financial model that enables more resources to be channeled to the poorest countries and the poorest people. This will ensure that IFAD can continue to offer a strong return on investment for its donors, and multiply the impact of their contributions.

The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), IFAD’s flagship programme for channeling climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers, will expand to provide more funding to lower-income countries, especially those with high levels of malnutrition, and to fragile situations where climate adaptation investment is lacking. It will focus more on the interlinkages between climate change and its impact on women, young people and nutrition.

In addition, the new Private Sector Financing Programme will aim to bring private sector investment and know-how to bear on the development of rural small and medium-sized enterprises and farmers’ organizations.

IFAD also acts as an assembler of finance and is valued as an honest broker, including by rural people and their organizations. By working with governments, civil society, the private sector, and other partners, IFAD increases investments that are transforming rural areas economically and socially.
IFAD will continue to invest at community level in small and medium enterprises, small-scale producers, and in the rural non-farm economy, simultaneously expanding its work on climate change adaptation, environmental protection, gender and youth empowerment, and improved nutrition.

UNFPA launches humanitarian aid appeal to urgently reach 48 million women and youth

Reproductive Health and Protection Services

UNFPA launches humanitarian aid appeal to urgently reach 48 million women and youth
UNITED NATIONS, New York – 6 February 2020
UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, today appealed to the international community for $683 million to urgently provide life-saving reproductive health and protection services to 48 million women, girls and young people, including 4 million pregnant women, in 57 countries affected by conflict or natural disasters in 2020.

The appeal, also known as UNFPA’s Humanitarian Action Overview, describes how women and girls face unique challenges during humanitarian disasters, from being more likely to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth to an increased risk of gender-based violence. Globally, more than half of all maternal deaths take place in countries affected by humanitarian crisis and fragility. The humanitarian assistance received following this appeal will provide life-saving sexual and reproductive health services, combat gender-based violence and extend mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies.

“Women and girls pay a high price in conflicts that they had no role in creating. It is time to prioritize their rights, safety and dignity in humanitarian action. During crises and conflict, violence against women and girls is staggering. And women do not stop getting pregnant and having babies when crisis strikes — we must provide them with the services and the support they need,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director.

In 2020, the world will face enormous humanitarian challenges: one out of every 45 people will be affected by a crisis. Right now more than 168 million people need humanitarian assistance worldwide.
UNFPA is currently assisting millions of women and girls affected by emergencies: from Bangladesh, Venezuela and Yemen to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and 52 other countries affected by natural disaster, war or conflict…

Values in Heritage Management: Emerging Approaches and Research Directions [ Getty

Heritage Stewardship – Values

Values in Heritage Management: Emerging Approaches and Research Directions
Edited by Erica Avrami, Susan Macdonald, Randall Mason, and David Myers
Book. Getty Conservation Institute (GCI). 2019 [J. Paul Getty Trust]
Abstract
Over the last fifty years, conservation professionals have confronted increasingly complex political, economic, and cultural dynamics. This volume, with contributions by leading international practitioners and scholars, reviews how values-based methods have come to influence conservation, takes stock of emerging approaches to values in heritage practice and policy, identifies common challenges and related spheres of knowledge, and proposes specific areas in which the development of new approaches and future research may help advance the field.
This open-access catalogue is also available for free online and in multiple formats for download, including PDF, MOBI/Kindle, and EPUB.

Emergencies

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [2019-nCoV]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Situation report – 18
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
7 February 2020
[Excerpt]
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
Globally :: 31,481 confirmed [3205 new]
China :: 31,211 confirmed
:: 4821 sever [962 new]
:: 637 deaths [73 new]
Outside of China
:: 270 confirmed [54 new]
:: 24 countries

WHO RISK ASSESSMENT
China – Very High
Regional Level – High
Global Level – High

HIGHLIGHTS
:: No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.
:: To date, a total of 72 States Parties were identified to be implementing travel restrictions through official reports, official statements and the media. Of these 72 States Parties, WHO received 23 (32%) official reports from States Parties about their travel restrictions.
:: “The Pandemic Supply Chain Network (PSCN)” has commissioned a market assessment of the personal protective equipment market which will be distributed shortly to stakeholders of the PSCN as it continues to monitor the market. Additionally, senior management of WHO spoke with the stakeholders of the PSCN to ensure the private sector’s continued engagement to distribute supplies to those countries in most need. The PSCN will encourage manufacturers to increase production, commit supplies to frontline health emergency responders, and expand the number of stakeholders who are involved in the PSCN to gain a critical mass of suppliers to mitigate the operational risks within the market. WHO will continue to provide the technical guidance and coordination of supplies to those countries in most need.

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WHO to accelerate research and innovation for new coronavirus
News release 6 February 2020
WHO is convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
“Harnessing the power of science is critical for bringing this outbreak under control,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “There are questions we need answers to, and tools we need developed as quickly as possible. WHO is playing an important coordinating role by bringing the scientific community together to identify research priorities and accelerate progress.”
The forum, to be held 11-12 February in Geneva, is organized in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness.
The forum will bring together key players including leading scientists as well as public health agencies, ministries of health and research funders pursuing 2019-nCoV critical animal health and public health research and the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, among other innovations…

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US$675 million needed for new coronavirus preparedness and response global plan
News release 5 February 2020
To fight further spread of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China and globally, and protect states with weaker health systems, the international community has launched a US$675 million preparedness and response plan covering the months of February through to April 2020.
“My biggest worry is that there are countries today who do not have the systems in place to detect people who have contracted with the virus, even if it were to emerge,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Urgent support is needed to bolster weak health systems to detect, diagnose and care for people with the virus, to prevent further human to human transmission and protect health workers.”
The Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) for the new coronavirus lays out activities and resources needed by international health organizations globally, including WHO, to implement priority public health measures in support of countries to prepare and respond to nCoV-2019 for a period February-April 2020. The objectives of the plan are to  limit human-to-human transmission of the virus, particularly in countries most vulnerable if they were to face an outbreak; identify, isolate and care for patients early; communicate critical risk and event information; minimize social and economic impact; reduce virus spread from animal sources; and address crucial unknowns.
The plan focuses on:
:: Rapidly establishing international coordination and operational support;
:: Scaling up country readiness and response operations;
:: Accelerating priority research and innovation…
The Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) for the 2019 novel coronavirus

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Dedicates Additional Funding to the Novel Coronavirus Response
The foundation will provide up to $100 million to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations in Africa and South Asia; and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics.
SEATTLE, February 5, 2020 – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced that it will immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The funding will help strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. The new funding is inclusive of $10 million the foundation committed to the outbreak in late January.

“Multilateral organizations, national governments, the private sector and philanthropies must work together to slow the pace of the outbreak, help countries protect their most vulnerable citizens and accelerate the development of the tools to bring this epidemic under control,” said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman. “Our hope is that these resources will help catalyze a rapid and effective international response. This response should be guided by science, not fear, and it should build on the steps that the World Health Organization has taken to date.”

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

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 78: 04 February 2020
[Excerpts]
Vaccines
:: From 8 August 2018 to 2 February 2020, 283,117 people were vaccinated with the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP Ebola vaccine.
:: Vaccination with the Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN-Filo vaccine continued in two health areas near Goma, with 9715 people vaccinated since its introduction on 14 November 2019, as of 31 January 2020.
Conclusion
New confirmed EVD cases continue to be reported in Beni and Mabalako Health Zones in North Kivu Province. Sustained and secure access to affected areas and heightened vigilance is required to continue essential response activites in order to refer and to test alert cases as soon as possible, treat confirmed cases early and to tackle further transmission of the disease in the community and in healthcare facilities.

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POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
http://polioeradication.org/polio-today/polio-now/this-week/

Polio this week as of 05 February 2020
:: The WHO Executive Board is currently holding its 146th session at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Among many others, polio is one of the topics of discussion, take a look at the report by the Director-General on polio eradication.
:: cVDPV2 confirmed in Kinshasa: a number of new cVDPV2s cases have been confirmed in DR Congo which may have significant implications on the current outbreak response activities. While none of the newly-confirmed cases are new emergences, the virus has now been detected in the mega-city of Kinshasa which is the first case in the city.

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Pakistan: eight WPV1 cases
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo): five cVDPV2 cases
:: Somalia: one cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Angola: eight cVDPV2 cases
:: Burkina Faso: one cVDPV2 case

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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 8 Feb 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 78: 04 February 2020

South Sudan
:: South Sudan launches a nationwide campaign to protect 2.5 million children against measles
Juba, 4 February 2020

Syrian Arab Republic
:: Northwest Syria: WHO raises alarm as more than 50 health facilities are forced to cease operations amid mass displacement and hostilities 3 February 2020

Yemen
:: Joint statement by UN Special Envoy for Yemen, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen and World Health Organization in Yemen on UN medical air bridge flights
3 February 2020, Sana’a/Amman — The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande and the World Health Organization Representative for Yemen, Altaf Musani, welcomed today the launch of the medical air bridge operation that brought the first group of Yemeni patients in need of specialized medical assistance from Yemen to Jordan.
Today was the maiden voyage of the medical air bridge operation that brought a number of patients out of an initial group of 30 along with their respective travel companions from Sanaa to Amman. The remaining of the first group of 30 patients will travel in a second flight while more patients will follow on subsequent flights. The World Health Organization in collaboration with the local public health and population authorities coordinated these flights. The medical air bridge flights come as part of the United Nations’ ongoing humanitarian assistance in Yemen including providing support to the health care system.
The United Nations is grateful to the host countries, Egypt and Jordan, but also to Saudi Arabia, for their efforts in this humanitarian measure. The collaboration and commitment of both the Government of Yemen and Sana’a authorities made the operation possible.
Many United Nations entities and several governments in the Region and around the world have collaborated to get these patients the treatment they need abroad, and we are grateful to them all. The United Nations will do what it can to ensure the continuation of the medical air bridge as a temporary solution to reduce the suffering of the Yemeni people until a more sustainable solution is reached in the near future.

Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 8 Feb 2020]
Iraq
:: Improving access to specialized health services for people with physical disability in Iraq
26 January 2020

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
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 8 Feb 2020]

Kenya
:: Surviving cervical cancer then taking on a new battle 03 February 2020

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – 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
:: Recent Developments in Northwest Syria – Flash Update – As of 6 February 2020

Yemen – 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.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
– No new digest announcements identified

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC
– No new digest announcements identified

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 1 February 2020 :: Number 304

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 1 Feb 2020

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]

Reflections of the President of the ICC, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, on the 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

Auschwitz – ICC

Reflections of the President of the ICC, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, on the 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation: ‘Never Again’ Must Not Be a Meaningless Mantra
Statement 26 January 2020
… Today, 27 January 2020, the world marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It is right that world leaders should gather together as they did last Thursday to mark the anniversary. And we must all reflect.

A guiding ethos of the world order following World War II – that was coeval with the Holocaust – was engraved in the commitment of ‘never again’. Yes, it bears repeating that the Holocaust remains the paradigm testament of the human capacity for evil. As a global undertaking, however, ‘never again’ was meant to stand against human atrocities of even lesser scale – so that humanity is never again to endure atrocity on the scale of the Holocaust. But, did ‘never again’ really mean anything? Or was it merely a self-serving salve to the world’s apathy and gutlessness that appeased and pleased a regime that hijacked the genius and might of one of the most powerful nations on earth, to commit a brand of evil that debased us all? It may be significant that in the decades following the liberation of Auschwitz, the world witnessed other atrocities – in the forms of war crimes, crimes against humanity and, yes, genocide.

It was to take events like the genocide against Rwandan Tutsis, and crimes against humanity committed in the former Yugoslavia, for the world finally to take firm action that gives concrete instrument to the ‘never again’ undertaking. That was the creation of the International Criminal Court.

As an actionable undertaking, ‘never again’ is a defiant pledge indeed. It communicates a promise of arduous struggle against an opposing foe — evil. It is in that light that the political attacks deployed against the ICC — since it commenced its work in 2002 — oddly make some sense. The ICC must be allowed to do its work undistracted by attacks directed against it in obvious strategy to intimidate. But it may well be wishful thinking to hope for an end to political attacks against the Court: as there is no readily available strategy to stop such attacks, short of those occasions when a particular attack crosses the line into the territory of a distinct offence prosecutable under article 70 of the Rome Statute.

We are thus left to recognise the significance of these political attacks. It is in the nature of the ICC’s mandate to attract resistance – and the resistance shows that the court is making a difference. It shows that the court cannot be ignored by those whose preference is to leave innocent victims at the mercy of heinous crimes.

Yes, it is in the very mandate of the Court to get in the way of atrocities — to stand against them. And, yes, it is better for the Court to draw the ire of potential forces of violations — and of those who see an interest in condoning such violations — than that their hellfire is allowed to rain unobstructed upon defenceless, innocent victims. Thus, comfort may be taken in the realisation that the political attacks against the ICC are a veritable signal that the Court is doing its work as it should – precisely by engaging in the very struggle that is inherent in the vow of ‘never again’.

The vow requires the world to stand hard and resolute against the danger of anti-Semitism and all other kinds of racism and religious bigotry — which always carry in their logic the associated risk of atrocity crimes motivated by them. The ICC is a newfound global instrument through which the world can take that stand.

From the perspective of the ICC the vow of ‘never again’ is a shared responsibility regarding which the ICC stands ready to play its part. That part requires the ICC to put itself between the victims and the atrocities that the world had in mind when creating the ICC — even if this means brooking political attacks against the Court itself.

And, for its part, the world must continue to support and nurture – in the most robust way – that institution of accountability that it established as a monument to the actionable vow that the world should ‘never again’ allow our shared humanity to endure a genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression – without effective objection.

A Data Revolution for All – The Rockefeller Foundation

A Data Revolution for All
Mike Froman Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah President, The Rockefeller Foundation
January 28, 2020
It has now been almost two decades since the original launch of DATA.org, a non-profit that marshaled $100 billion in debt forgiveness for poor countries, and another $50 billion in contributions for health and development. In a world with more data and data-science expertise than ever, it’s time to revive that innovative spirit.

Science has revolutionized medicine and agriculture over the last 100 years, particularly for the poorest of the poor. Achievements ranging from the treatment of hookworm to the green revolution attest to its power.

Looking ahead, data science has even greater potential to revolutionize everything from how we treat disease to how we build more inclusive economies. History shows us that when the power of science and technology is brought to bear on society’s greatest challenges, millions of lives can be improved…

…Transforming the role of data in addressing major social and economic issues is not a job for any one person or organization. We must build on the successes of those who have come before. In 2002, a group of innovative social entrepreneurs, together with anti-poverty advocates and the Irish rock musician and philanthropist Bono, launched DATA.org, a nonprofit committed to alleviating debt, fighting AIDS, and reducing trade inequalities in Africa. In what ultimately became the ONE Campaign, they galvanized support for poverty alleviation by focusing on real-world data, and by advocating evidence-based approaches to development.

At the time, these efforts broke new ground by recognizing the power of data to address society’s greatest challenges. In partnership with millions of activists around the world, the coalition behind DATA.org facilitated the cancellation of $100 billion of debt owed by poor countries, marshaled $50 billion in contributions for health and development aid, and pushed for trade deals that helped millions of vulnerable families.

But, although data are ubiquitous, and the opportunities offered by the data revolution are even larger, not everyone is poised to gain from it equally. Once again, we need a bold effort to bridge the gap and ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind.

With that challenge in mind, and with the support of DATA.org’s original founders, The Rockefeller Foundation and Mastercard are relaunching DATA.org to serve as a platform for partnerships to expand further the field of data science for social impact, and to ensure that non-profit and civic organizations are well-positioned to take advantage of the data revolution.

By relaunching the platform, we hope to use data to tackle homelessness, improve access to social benefits, and support community health workers worldwide. Those on the front lines of efforts to improve public health, fight poverty, and solve many other problems will have improved access to data scientists who can help them maximize their impact. Most importantly, this will be done in a way that brings more people and organizations together to effect positive social change, all while adhering to principles of responsible data use.

Expanding the field of data science for social impact is a shared global effort. It will take collaboration from all sectors to ensure that the nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced every day have a positive social impact. Just as DATA demonstrated the promise of evidence-driven policies for development 18 years ago, the relaunch of the platform this month will create new momentum for tackling the world’s biggest challenges.

The data revolution must benefit all. Together, we can make 2020 the year that partnerships began to extend the promise of a data-driven economy to everyone, everywhere.

http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/jobsanddevelopment/publication/exploring-universal-basic-income-a-guide-to-navigating-concepts-evidence-and-practices

Livelihoods – Universal Basic Income

Exploring Universal Basic Income : A Guide to Navigating Concepts, Evidence, and Practices
World Bank Feb 2020
Universal basic income (UBI)—defined as a transfer that is provided universally, unconditionally, and in cash—holds an attractive promise of change across many lines. These include coverage potential, fairness in social contracts, power relations in labor markets, and gender equity, among others. It may speak, for some, to the appetite for social justice generated by glaring and growing inequalities in societies. From this standpoint, a UBI engenders interest as a societal ideal to which to aspire, and not merely a program. For others, a UBI is poised to mitigate the effects of purported massive job losses from automation, streamline the chaotic plethora of state-provided schemes, or empower people by redirecting natural resource–related revenues from public coffers to citizens.

Currently, no country has a UBI in place, although there have been (and still are) several small-scale pilots and a few larger-scale experiences. Only two countries—Mongolia and the Islamic Republic of Iran—had a national UBI in place for a short period of time. The large majority of UBI pilots are variants of targeted schemes. For example, the proposal by Felman et al. (2019) on a “quasi-universal basic rural income” for India is simply a variant of a traditional guaranteed minimum income program. There are systemwide questions—around financing, inflation, linkages to pensions, relationship to minimum wages, and the political economy—that pilots cannot fully answer.

A UBI is a program to be delivered in cash, unconditionally, and to everyone. Its design features—all in cash, no conditions, and no targeting—challenge current practices to varying degrees.

The rationale for making transfers universal rests on five main arguments. First, by not establishing eligibility criteria (besides perhaps citizenship or established residency and age, e.g., for those above age 18), universality circumvents the contentious issue of exclusion and inclusion errors that are inherent in needs-based targeting. Under a UBI, there would be no such errors, as everybody is included by design, hence achieving substantial expansions in coverage.

Second, universality may eliminate any stigma affecting beneficiaries. Third, by changing the default position of people from being potential beneficiaries (subject to eligibility verification) to guaranteed recipients, there may be fewer transaction costs involved in accessing benefits (e.g., there is no need to spend time in applying), and various economic and psychological benefits stemming from a stable source of income over time (e.g., stress reduction, empowerment, avoiding taking desperate actions out of economic hardship). Fourth, a universal transfer would be more labor compatible than most programs, as it removes the price effect of transfers (i.e., the reduction in labor supply to avoid a reduction in benefits). And finally, universality may strengthen programs’ political sustainability as beneficiaries (and voters) would draw from the entire income distribution. The case against the “U” in UBI rests principally on cost, fit for purpose, and a different appreciation of the magnitude of its possible benefits.

So where would a UBI be more or less likely to be an appropriate option? Analysis, based on both generation of new results and extensive review of the theoretical and operational literature, points to some stylized implications for different contexts.

These could be summarized as follows:
:: Where social assistance provides relatively adequate benefits, substantial coverage, and slight to marked progressivity, policymakers could consider tackling specific bottlenecks that hamper eligibility, access, coverage, or delivery within the existing system. If a UBI is to be considered, it may have to be motivated by objectives other than poverty-related ones (e.g., automation-driven job insecurity, social dividends, etc.)

:: Where coverage is high, but not progressive, a UBI could be considered an option, although some vulnerable (age) groups may suffer from the shift.

:: Where social assistance is limited but provided progressively, a UBI would extend coverage but also flatten the distribution. If budget neutral, this means “less money for more people,” and likely “less at the bottom.”

:: Where social assistance is patchy and flat or regressive, a UBI could be an option to expand coverage if financed via progressive income taxation, elimination of energy subsidies, or redistribution of windfall revenues. Most low-income countries may not display those financing features; but some middle-income, resource-rich countries may do so.

:: For a typical low-income setting, a UBI could expand coverage, but is clearly financially daunting. Other factors, such as diversity in contexts at the subnational level (e.g., remote areas with little connection to markets, etc.), may also suggest the need for design flexibility (e.g., a balance of in-kind and cash transfers, sensible ways to account for children, etc.), thus possibly making the rigid design of a UBI less palatable.

The prominence of ideological forces and different expectations suggests the need for a balanced and evidence-based approach. This report does not aim to provide strict prescriptions for or against a UBI, but instead a framework within which to think about it. The report aims to provide a compass to help navigate key issues, elucidate trade-offs, and offer new data and analysis to better inform choices around the appropriateness and feasibility of a UBI in different contexts– primarily in the context of low- and middle-income countries.

NGOs warn U.S. Middle East Plan risks exacerbating instability and rights violations

Peace, Stability, Human Rights

NGOs warn U.S. Middle East Plan risks exacerbating instability and rights violations
Palestine | 29. Jan 2020
As humanitarian, development, and religious organisations serving Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, we fear the US Middle East Plan may spark an escalation in violence and entrench violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

We urge the international community to pursue a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in line with human rights and international law that guarantees safety for all of the region’s people.

The situation facing Palestinians is already critical. Nearly half of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza need humanitarian assistance. More than two thirds of Gaza’s population is food insecure and 90 percent lack access to clean water through the public water network. The health system in Gaza is on the verge of collapse and unemployment levels are unsustainable yet continue to increase – especially among women and youth. Any path forward must address this urgent and stark reality.

Any move to annex territory, transfer property, restrict movement, or limit access to goods and services following the plan’s disclosure would be in violation of international law. We condemn any acts of violence emboldened by, or in reaction to, the plan or any party’s response to it.

We call on the United States to support Israelis and Palestinians by opposing violence, ensuring respect for international law, defending human rights, and continuing to support lifesaving humanitarian assistance.

Signed,
Catholic Relief Services
CARE USA
Global Communities
Islamic Relief – USA
Lutheran World Federation
Norwegian Refugee Council
Mennonite Central Committee US Washington Office
Mercy Corps
Oxfam America

Research in global health emergencies: our call for action — Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Humanitarian Response – Research in Emergencies

Research in global health emergencies: our call for action
News 28 Jan 2020
Nuffield Council on Bioethics
Following a two-year international inquiry, we issued a Call for Action to research funders, governments, and others involved in health research systems for a more ethical and collaborative approach to conducting research during emergencies.

The Call for Action is as follows:
We want to maximise the contribution that scientifically robust, ethical research can make to improving the health of people affected by emergencies.

We are issuing a call for action to research funders, governments and others to:
:: Ensure that research is not supported unless the basic health needs of research participants are being addressed through the response effort. Research funders will need to work in partnerships with humanitarian organisations and ministries of health to ensure this.
:: Invest in putting community engagement mechanisms into emergency research to make them a reality. In the longer term, engagement must be a central part of local healthcare systems to ensure sustainability and preparedness.
:: Promote fair and equitable collaborations between research organisations, particularly between external research institutions and their local partners in high- and low-income settings.
:: Support emergency planning – including securing robust health and health research systems – given the vital importance of properly resourced preparedness between emergencies.

The Call for Action is supported by international research institutions and organisations including:
International Rescue Committee
The African Academy of Sciences
Wellcome
Médecins Sans Frontières UK
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Elrha – a global humanitarian research charity
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)
Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action
University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division

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Research in global health emergencies
Nuffield Council on Bioethics
January 2020
PDF: https://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/assets/pdfs/RGHE_full_report1.pdf
In January 2020, we published the findings of a two year in-depth inquiry into the ethical issues relating to research in global health emergencies. The inquiry was run by an international working group which gathered evidence and experience from many contributors across the globe.

Better evidence about what helps or doesn’t help during an emergency is needed in order to improve the response to global health emergencies. Research conducted during an emergency itself plays a crucial role in obtaining this evidence, and helps support the immediate response, as well as learning for the future.

The aim of the report is to identify ways in which research can be undertaken ethically during emergencies, in order to promote the contribution that ethically-conducted research can make to improving current and future emergency preparedness and response.

We have made 24 recommendations to ‘duty bearers’ such as research funders, research organisations, governments, and researchers. These are summarised in our call for action. We suggest changes that would align their policies and practices more closely to three core values of fairness, equal respect, and helping reducing suffering. The report presents these values in the form of an ‘ethical compass’ to guide the conduct of the very wide range of people involved in research in global health emergencies.
You can download the full report, short report and overview of the report in the left-hand navigation on this page. The overview is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. You can also read the short report online.

Progress in natural capital accounting for ecosystems

Featured Journal Content

Science
31 January 2020 Vol 367, Issue 6477
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl
Policy Forum
Progress in natural capital accounting for ecosystems
By Lars Hein, Kenneth J. Bagstad, Carl Obst, Bram Edens, Sjoerd Schenau, Gem Castillo, Francois Soulard, Claire Brown, Amanda Driver, Michael Bordt, Anton Steurer, Rocky Harris, Alejandro Caparrós
Science31 Jan 2020 : 514-515 Restricted Access
Summary
Reversing the ongoing degradation of the planet’s ecosystems requires timely and detailed monitoring of ecosystem change and uses. Yet, the System of National Accounts (SNA), first developed in response to the economic crisis of the 1930s and used by statistical offices worldwide to record economic activity (for example, production, consumption, and asset accumulation), does not make explicit either inputs from the environment to the economy or the cost of environmental degradation (1, 2). Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (EEA), part of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), has been developed to monitor and report on ecosystem change and use, using the same accounting approach, concepts, and classifications as the SNA (3). The EEA is part of the statistical community’s response to move SNA measurement “beyond gross domestic product (GDP).” With the first generation of ecosystem accounts now published in 24 countries, and with a push to finalize a United Nations (UN) statistical standard for ecosystem accounting by 2021, we highlight key advances, challenges, and opportunities.

Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
30 January 2020 Statement
[Excerpts]
Proceedings of the meeting
…The Chair then reviewed the agenda for the meeting and introduced the presenters.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China reported on the current situation and the public health measures being taken. There are now 7711 confirmed and 12167 suspected cases throughout the country. Of the confirmed cases, 1370 are severe and 170 people have died. 124 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

The WHO Secretariat provided an overview of the situation in other countries. There are now 83 cases in 18 countries. Of these, only 7 had no history of travel in China. There has been human-to-human transmission in 3 countries outside China. One of these cases is severe and there have been no deaths…

Conclusions and advice
…The Committee also acknowledged that there are still many unknowns, cases have now been reported in five WHO regions in one month, and human-to-human transmission has occurred outside Wuhan and outside China.

The Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk. It is important to note that as the situation continues to evolve, so will the strategic goals and measures to prevent and reduce spread of the infection. The Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and proposed the following advice to be issued as Temporary Recommendations. 

The Committee emphasized that the declaration of a PHEIC should be seen in the spirit of support and appreciation for China, its people, and the actions China has taken on the frontlines of this outbreak, with transparency, and, it is to be hoped, with success. In line with the need for global solidarity, the Committee felt that a global coordinated effort is needed to enhance preparedness in other regions of the world that may need additional support for that.

Advice to WHO
The Committee welcomed a forthcoming WHO multidisciplinary technical mission to China, including national and local experts. The mission should review and support efforts to investigate the animal source of the outbreak, the clinical spectrum of the disease and its severity, the extent of human-to-human transmission in the community and in healthcare facilities, and efforts to control the outbreak. This mission will provide information to the international community to aid in understanding the situation and its impact and enable sharing of experience and successful measures…

Measures to ensure rapid development and access to potential vaccines, diagnostics, antiviral medicines and other therapeutics for low- and middle-income countries should be developed…

WHO should continue to explore the advisability of creating an intermediate level of alert between the binary possibilities of PHEIC or no PHEIC, in a way that does not require reopening negotiations on the text of the IHR (2005).

WHO should timely review the situation with transparency and update its evidence-based recommendations.

The Committee does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.

The Director-General declared that the outbreak of 2019-nCoV constitutes a PHEIC and accepted the Committee’s advice and issued this advice as Temporary Recommendations under the IHR. 

[See additional announcement text here for]:
…To the People’s Republic of China
…To all countries

…To the global community
As this is a new coronavirus, and it has been previously shown that similar coronaviruses required substantial efforts to enable regular information sharing and research, the global community should continue to demonstrate solidarity and cooperation, in compliance with Article 44 of the IHR (2005), in supporting each other on the identification of the source of this new virus, its full potential for human-to-human transmission, preparedness for potential importation of cases, and research for developing necessary treatment.

Provide support to low- and middle-income countries to enable their response to this event, as well as to facilitate access to diagnostics, potential vaccines and therapeutics.

Under Article 43 of the IHR, States Parties implementing additional health measures that significantly interfere with international traffic (refusal of entry or departure of international travellers, baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods, and the like, or their delay, for more than 24 hours) are obliged to send to WHO the public health rationale and justification within 48 hours of their implementation. WHO will review the justification and may request countries to reconsider their measures. WHO is required to share with other States Parties the information about measures and the justification received.

The Emergency Committee will be reconvened within three months or earlier, at the discretion of the Director-General.

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Emergencies

Emergencies

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

No new Situation Update identified

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POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
http://polioeradication.org/polio-today/polio-now/this-week/

Polio this week as of 29 January 2020
:: Want to know more about the new cVDPV2 strategy and nOPV2? have a look at the newly released fact-sheet which provides a summary of the current situation and the new tool under development.
:: With the evolving public health emergency associated with the increase in new emergences of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2, a draft decision has been made available for consideration by the Executive board. Read more

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: three WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Pakistan: six WPV1 cases, ten WPV1 positive environmental samples, four cVDPV2 cases and one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Nigeria: two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo):  two cVDPV2 cases
:: Somalia: three cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Angola: 15 cVDPV2 cases
:: Ethiopia: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Philippines: one cVDPV1 case

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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 1 Feb 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Winning community trust in Ebola control 22 January 2020

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

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 1 Feb 2020]
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 1 Feb 2020]

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
:: Syrian Arab Republic: Recent Developments in Northwestern Syria Situation Report No. 7 – As of 29 January 2020

Yemen – 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.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
:: 27 Jan 2020 East Africa’s locust crisis in numbers
:: 28 January 2020 Southern Africa Humanitarian Snapshot (January 2020)

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

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