COVID-19: Resource Hubs, Portals, Special Collections
Number One :: 31 March 2020

GE2P2 Global Foundation
Center for Disaster & Humanitarian Ethics

Editor
Steven Martin, MPhil
Senior Researcher
GE2P2 Global Foundation
steven.martin@ge2p2global.org

PDF: The Sentinel – Special Bulletin_COVID-19 Resources_Version 1-0_31 March 2020

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, a range of organizations globally have launched portals, resource pages, and digital collections of guidance, recommendations, resources, and other content. Our initial inventory presented below will be refreshed regularly as we anticipate that these resources will grow in number and depth.

At the global health governance/guidance level, the World Health Organization has launched a portal which includes authoritative daily situation reports and press briefings, updates on R&D for medicines and vaccines, country and technical guidance, travel advice and more.

Other UN agencies have launched resource collections focused to their remits including UNICEF for children’s issues, including guidance on strengthening protection measures for children during pandemic. Joint guidance from IFRC, UNICEF and WHO includes practical actions and checklists for administrators, teachers, parents and children. UNESCO has published [in Spanish] ethical guidelines for the conduct of research during the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Veterinary Association issued a joint statement addressing the roles and responsibilities of the veterinary profession for public health in the pandemic.

Also at global level, the Global Fund has issued guidance on the pandemic’s impact on supply chain logistics involving health products. Given that robust risk management processes in medical laboratories are the best defense against errors and false results, ISO has updated ISO 22367, the relevant international standard.

At the multilateral level, the OECD’s Tackling the coronavirus [COVID-19] resource collates key impacts, country profiles, data, videos, policy responses, resources and real-time data. The European Commission has made available relevant standards for medical supplies to facilitate increases in production.

In the human rights space, Freedom House has produced guidelines for protecting democracy and political rights in the context of COVID-19. Similarly, Human Rights Watch has outlined concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak, drawing on examples of government responses to date, and recommends ways governments and other actors can respect human rights in their response. ISPCAN has drawn together resources for child protection professionals.

In the humanitarian response sector, Elrha has launched and will continue to update Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources for humanitarians which will capture content which supports response efforts from a range of organizations. Disaster ready provides access to a collection of free resources from reputable health organizations such as WHO, CDC, KonTerra to help responders of COVID-19 to work safely and promote infection prevention, preparedness and well-being during this pandemic. Evidence Aid is compiling links to entry points for this literature and features Italian and Japanese guidelines on COVID-19. ALNAP’s COVID-19 Response Portal features a collection of guidelines, tools, papers and lessons learnt which are relevant to responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Sphere has also issues guidance based on humanitarian standards, applying humanitarian standards to fight COVID-19. The CHS Alliance sets out a principled and people-centered approach management, response and adaptation to COVID-19 aligned with the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). ICRC has published guidance on inclusive programming during coronavirus. The IASC has identified identify specific challenges and vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration in camps and camp-like settings.

Ethical analysis and resources are being aggregated by The Hastings Center including guidance, tools, and resources for Hospital Ethics Committees (HECs) and Clinical Ethics Consultation (CEC), and an Ethical Framework for Health Care Institutions & Guidelines for Institutional Ethics Services Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The philanthropic/donor sector response to the coronavirus outbreak.is being served by a resource maintained by the Council on Foundations.

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

Below is an alphabetical list for easy navigation, and a more extended listing with titles and links:

ALNAP (The COVID-19 Response Portal)
CHS Alliance https://www.chsalliance.org/get-support/article/covid-19-and-the-chs/
Council on Foundations (COVID-19 Resource Hub).
Disaster ready (Coronavirus (COVID-19)
European Commission (Coronavirus: European standards for medical supplies made freely available to facilitate increase of production).
Evidence Aid (Coronavirus resources)
Freedom House (https://freedomhouse.org/article/principles-protecting-civil-and-political-rights-fight-against-covid-19) and (https://freedomhouse.org/article/freedom-house-offers-guidelines-protecting-democracy-during-pandemic)
Global Fund (COVID-19 Impact on Supply Chain Logistics: Assessment and Recommendations).
Hastings Center (COVID-19: Supporting Ethical Care and Responding to Moral Distress in a Public Health Emergency). and (https://www.thehastingscenter.org/ethicalframeworkcovid19/)
Human Rights Watch (https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/19/human-rights-dimensions-covid-19-response)
IASC (https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/other/interim-guidance-scaling-covid-19-outbreak-readiness-and-response-operations-camps-and-camp )
ICRC (https://www.icrc.org/en/document/covid-19-coronavirus-inclusive-programming)
ISAC (https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/other/interim-guidance-scaling-covid-19-outbreak-readiness-and-response-operations-camps-and-camp)
ISO (Reducing the risk of errors in medical laboratories with updated International Standard).
ISPCAN (ISPCAN’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON COVID-19)
OECD (Tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19))
SPHERE (https://spherestandards.org/coronavirus/)
UNESCO (https://en.unesco.org/news/ethics-research-times-pandemic-covid-19)
UNICEF (COVID-19: Children at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence amidst intensifying containment measures) (COVID-19: IFRC, UNICEF and WHO issue guidance to protect children and support safe school operations)
WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Veterinary Association (WVA) (COVID-19 and veterinary activities designated as essential)

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

ALNAP [to 28 Mar 2020]
The COVID-19 Response Portal
This portal holds a vast collection of guidelines, tools, papers and lessons learnt from across and beyond the ALNAP Membership which are relevant to responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

CHS Alliance [to 28 Mar 2020]
26 March 2020
COVID-19 and the Core Humanitarian Standard: How to meet our CHS commitments in the coronavirus pandemic
The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) sets out our sector’s core commitments to the people we assist. It guides us in taking a principled and people-centred approach to the way we manage the response and adaptation to COVID-19. This is a guide to how the CHS commitments can inform your response to the pandemic, along with some useful resources…

Council on Foundations [to 28 Mar 2020]
Council Resources for Responding to COVID-19
Council resources for foundations responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

U.S. Government Action on COVID-19
Stay up-to-date on the latest legislation and government actions in the United States concerning COVID-19.

COVID-19 Resource Hub
Resources and news for philanthropy’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Disaster ready [to 28 Mar 2020]
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Learning Resources
Collection of free resources from reputable health organizations such as WHO, CDC, KonTerra, and EJ4 will help responders of COVID-19 to work safely and promote infection prevention, preparedness and well-being during this pandemic

European Commission [to 28 Mar 2020]
Coronavirus: European standards for medical supplies made freely available to facilitate increase of production
Upon the urgent request of the Commission, CEN and CENELEC, in collaboration with all their members, have agreed to immediately make available a number of European standards for certain medical devices and personal protective equipment.

Evidence Aid [to 28 Mar 2020]
Italian guidelines on Novel Coronavirus
Created on 29 February 2020. Last updated 29 February 2020. Compiled by colleagues at the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group in Italy

Japanese guidelines on Novel Coronavirus
Created on 26 February 2020. Last updated 26 February 2020. Compiled by colleagues at Bukkyo University, co-ordinated by Prof. Hajime Takeuchi MD. A. Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan.

Coronavirus resources
Claire Allen
The outbreak of the Coronavirus is leading to a rapidly expanding and evolving literature. Evidence Aid is compiling links to entry points for this literature and will include these on this web page. If you have any suggestions for other resources that we might consider linking to, please let us know.

Freedom House [to 28 Mar 2020]
Freedom House Offers Guidelines for Protecting Democracy during Pandemic opens in new tab
Press release
March 24, 2020

Principles for Protecting Civil and Political Rights in the Fight against Covid-19 opens in new tab
Perspectives
March 24, 2020

Global Fund [to 28 Mar 2020]
COVID-19 Impact on Supply Chain Logistics: Assessment and Recommendations
12 March 2020

The Hastings Center [to 28 Mar 2020]
COVID-19: Supporting Ethical Care and Responding to Moral Distress in a Public Health Emergency
Guidance, tools, and resources for Hospital Ethics Committees (HECs) Clinical Ethics Consultation (CEC)

Ethical Framework for Health Care Institutions Responding to Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
Guidelines for Institutional Ethics Services Responding to COVID-19. Ethical Framework for Health Care Institutions & Guidelines for Institutional Ethics Services Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Human Rights Watch [to 28 Mar 2020]
Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response
March 19, 2020
This document provides an overview of human rights concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak, drawing on examples of government responses to date, and recommends ways governments and other actors can respect human rights in their response.

ICRC [to 28 Mar 2020]
COVID-19: Inclusive programming during the time of coronavirus
This paper brings together guidance and messages from the ICRC’s Operations Diversity Inclusion, Sexual Violence and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse teams, in collaboration with the Global Adviser on Children.
27-03-2020 | Article

IFRC [to 28 Mar 2020]
COVID-19: IFRC, UNICEF and WHO issue guidance to protect children and support safe school operations
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 10 March 2020 – The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) today issued new guidance to help protect children and schools from transmission of the COV …

IOM / International Organization for Migration [to 28 Mar 2020]
IOM Joins Global Response to Prevent the Spread, Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Crisis-Affected Communities
2020-03-25 16:52
Geneva – Today (25 March) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is joining the health and humanitarian community to launch the interagency COVID-19 Global Humanitarian…

ISAC [to 28 Mar 2020]
Interim Guidance on Scaling-up COVID-19 Outbreak in Readiness and Response Operations in Camps and Camp-like Settings (jointly developed by IFRC, IOM, UNHCR and WHO)
People affected by humanitarian crises, particularly those displaced and/or living in camps and camp-like settings, are often faced with specific challenges and vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration when planning for readiness and response operations for the COVID-19 outbreak.

ISPCAN [to 28 Mar 2020]
ISPCAN’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON COVID-19
ISPCAN is committed to providing support to individuals, caregivers, and professionals as they navigate through the COVID 19 pandemic by providing up-to-date resources in collaboration with our partner organizations around the globe. We have gathered resources on this topic and want our members to also share.

OECD [to 28 Mar 2020]
Tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19)
What are the impacts and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on our lives and our societies – and what are some of the solutions we can find to boost our healthcare systems, secure our businesses, maintain our jobs and education, and stabilise financial markets and economies?

OIE [to 28 Mar 2020]
COVID-19 and veterinary activities designated as essential
Joint Statement by the World Organisation for Animal Health and World Veterinary Association
In the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Veterinary Association (WVA) jointly draw attention to the roles and responsibilities of the veterinary profession for public health. They highlight the specific veterinary activities which are key to ensure a continuum in food safety, disease prevention and emergency management.

SPHERE [to 28 Mar 2020]
COVID-19 guidance based on humanitarian standards
COVID-19 guidance based on humanitarian standards, applying humanitarian standards to fight COVID-19. The guidance can be download in multiple languages.

UNESCO [to 28 Mar 2020]
Ethics in research in times of pandemic COVID-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has arrived in Latin America and the Caribbean and with it the certain possibility that various types of related biomedical research will be carried out on vulnerable populations in the region.
26/03/2020

WHO [to 28 Mar 2020]
Daily WHO situation reports here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

Daily WHO press briefings here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/press-briefings

COVID-19: IFRC, UNICEF and WHO issue guidance to protect children and support safe school operations
Guidance includes practical actions and checklists for administrators, teachers, parents and children
10 March 2020

WHO: Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic
Interim guidance – 26 March 2020
This document provides guiding principles and considerations to support countries in their decision-making regarding provision of immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic and is endorsed by the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization.

:

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 28 March 2020 :: Number 310

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 28 Mar 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]

Secretary-General Calls for Global Ceasefire, Citing War-Ravaged Health Systems, Populations Most Vulnerable to Novel Coronavirus

COVID-19 :: “Global Ceasefire”

Secretary-General Calls for Global Ceasefire, Citing War-Ravaged Health Systems, Populations Most Vulnerable to Novel Coronavirus
23 March 2020 SG/SM/20018
Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ appeal for a global ceasefire amid the COVID-19 pandemic, issued today in New York:

Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly.

Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world. The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price. They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.

Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed. Health professionals, already few in number, have often been targeted. Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable.

The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.

That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.

To warring parties, I say: Pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns, stop the artillery, end the airstrikes.

This is crucial — to help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy. To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Let us take inspiration from coalitions and dialogue slowly taking shape among rival parties to enable joint approaches to COVID-19. But we need much more.

End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.

Remarks by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva During an Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit

COVID-19 :: G20

Remarks by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva During an Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit
March 26, 2020
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva made the following statement today following a conference call of G20 Leaders’ Summit:
“I am grateful to the Saudi presidency for calling this extraordinary summit – so we can close ranks as a global community to protect people’s lives and guard the world economy. We project a contraction of global output in 2020, and recovery in 2021. How deep the contraction and how fast the recovery depends on the speed of containment of the pandemic and on how strong and coordinated our monetary and fiscal policy actions are.

“You, the G20 leaders, have already taken extraordinary steps to save lives and safeguard your economies.

“Particularly critical is the targeted fiscal support to vulnerable households and to large and small businesses, so they can stay afloat and get quickly back to work. Otherwise it will take years to overcome the effects of widespread bankruptcies and layoffs.

“Such support will accelerate the eventual recovery, and put us in a better condition to tackle challenges such as debt overhangs and disrupted trade flows.

“And it is paramount we recognize the importance of supporting emerging market and developing economies to overcome the brunt of the crisis and help restore growth. They find themselves particularly hard hit by a combination of health crisis, sudden stop of the world economy, capital flight to safety, and – for some – sharp drop in commodity prices. These countries are the main focus of our attention. We have a considerable, $1 trillion strong, financial capacity to place in their defense, working closely with the World Bank and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

The challenge though is enormous:
:: Exceptionally large number of countries simultaneously require IMF emergency financing.
:: Emerging markets are dramatically impacted by record high capital outflows and severe shortage of FX liquidity
:: Many low income countries step into this crisis under a high burden of debt.

“We must act at par with the magnitude of the challenge. For us at the IMF it means working with you to make our crisis response even stronger. For this we ask your backing to:
:: Double our emergency financing capacity.
:: Boost global liquidity through a sizeable SDR (Special Drawing Right) allocation, as we successfully did during the 2009 global crisis and by expanding the use of swap type facilities at the Fund
:: Support action of official bilateral creditors to ease the debt burden of our poorest members during the times of global downturn.

“We will get through this crisis together. Together we will lay the ground for a faster and stronger recovery.”

A global approach is the only way to fight COVID-19, the UN says as it launches humanitarian response plan

COVID-19 :: UN Funding Appeal – USD$2 billion

A global approach is the only way to fight COVID-19, the UN says as it launches humanitarian response plan
OCHA 25 March 2020
:: UN humanitarian chief warns that failing to help vulnerable countries fight the coronavirus now could place millions at risk and leave the virus free to circle back around the globe.
:: UN launches US$2 billion global humanitarian response to fight COVID-19 across South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
:: Governments urged to commit to fully supporting the global humanitarian response plan, while sustaining funding to existing humanitarian appeals.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today [Wednesday, 25 March] launched a $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to protect millions of people and stop the virus from circling back around the globe.

COVID-19 has killed more than 16,000 people worldwide and there are nearly 400,000 reported cases. It has a foothold across the globe and is now reaching countries that were already facing humanitarian crisis because of conflict, natural disasters and climate change.

The response plan will be implemented by UN agencies, with international NGOs and NGO consortia playing a direct role in the response. It will:
:: deliver essential laboratory equipment to test for the virus, and medical supplies to treat people;
:: install handwashing stations in camps and settlements;
:: launch public information campaigns on how to protect yourself and others from the virus; and
:: establish airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said:
“COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough. “We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable – millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves. This is a matter of basic human solidarity. It is also crucial for combating the virus. This is the moment to step up for the vulnerable.”

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said:
“COVID-19 has already upended life in some of the world’s wealthiest countries. It is now reaching places where people live in warzones, cannot easily access clean water and soap, and have no hope of a hospital bed if they fall critically ill.

“To leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries to their fate would be both cruel and unwise. If we leave coronavirus to spread freely in these places, we would be placing millions at high risk, whole regions will be tipped into chaos and the virus will have the opportunity to circle back around the globe.

“Countries battling the pandemic at home are rightly prioritizing people living in their own communities. But the hard truth is they will be failing to protect their own people if they do not act now to help the poorest countries protect themselves.

“Our priority is to help these countries prepare and continue helping the millions who rely on humanitarian assistance from the UN to survive. Properly funded, our global response effort will equip humanitarian organizations with the tools to fight the virus, save lives, and help contain the spread of COVID-19 worldwide.”…

Urgent action needed to prevent COVID-19 “rampaging through places of detention” – Bachelet

COVID-19 :: Detention

Urgent action needed to prevent COVID-19 “rampaging through places of detention” – Bachelet
GENEVA (25 March 2020) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called on governments to take urgent action to protect the health and safety of people in detention and other closed facilities, as part of overall efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 has begun to strike prisons, jails and immigration detention centres, as well as residential care homes and psychiatric hospitals, and risks rampaging through such institutions’ extremely vulnerable populations,” said Bachelet.

“In many countries, detention facilities are overcrowded, in some cases dangerously so. People are often held in unhygienic conditions and health services are inadequate or even non-existent. Physical distancing and self-isolation in such conditions are practically impossible,” she added.

“Governments are facing huge demands on resources in this crisis and are having to take difficult decisions. But I urge them not to forget those behind bars, or those confined in places such as closed mental health facilities, nursing homes and orphanages, because the consequences of neglecting them are potentially catastrophic,” the High Commissioner said.

“It is vital that governments should address the situation of detained people in their crisis planning to protect detainees, staff, visitors and of course wider society,” she added.

“With outbreaks of the disease, and an increasing number of deaths, already reported in prisons and other institutions in an expanding number of countries, authorities should act now to prevent further loss of life among detainees and staff,” Bachelet said.

The High Commissioner urged governments and relevant authorities to work quickly to reduce the number of people in detention, noting several countries have already undertaken some positive actions. Authorities should examine ways to release those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, among them older detainees and those who are sick, as well as low-risk offenders. They should also continue to provide for the specific health-care requirements of women prisoners, including those who are pregnant, as well as those of inmates with disabilities and of juvenile detainees.

“Now, more than ever, governments should release every person detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views,” Bachelet stressed.

When people are released, they should be medically screened and measures taken to ensure that if needed they receive care and proper follow-up, including health monitoring.

“Under international human rights law, States have an obligation to take steps to prevent foreseeable threats to public health and have a duty to ensure that all who need vital medical care can receive it,” Bachelet said.

For those in detention, the State has a particular duty to protect inmates’ physical and mental health and well-being, as set out by the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules).

Measures taken amid a health crisis should not undermine the fundamental rights of detained people, including their rights to adequate food and water. Safeguards against ill-treatment of people in custody, including access to a lawyer and doctor, should also be fully respected.

“Restrictions on visits to closed institutions may be required to help prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, but such steps need to be introduced in a transparent way and communicated clearly to those affected. Suddenly halting contact with the outside world risks aggravating what may be tense, difficult and potentially dangerous situations,” Bachelet said. She noted examples of alternative measures taken in some countries, such as setting up expanded videoconferencing, allowing increased phone calls with family members and permitting email.

“COVID-19 poses a huge challenge to the whole of society, as governments take steps to enforce physical distancing. It is vital such measures are upheld, but I am deeply concerned that some countries are threatening to impose prison sentences for those who fail to obey. This is likely to exacerbate the grave situation in prisons and do little to halt the disease’s spread,” Bachelet warned.
“Imprisonment should be a measure of last resort, particularly during this crisis.”

Interim Guidance on Scaling-up COVID-19 Outbreak in Readiness and Response Operations in Camps and Camp-like Settings

COVID-19 :: Camps

Interim Guidance on Scaling-up COVID-19 Outbreak in Readiness and Response Operations in Camps and Camp-like Settings (jointly developed by IFRC, IOM, UNHCR and WHO)
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
People affected by humanitarian crises, particularly those displaced and/or living in camps and camp-like settings, are often faced with specific challenges and vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration when planning for readiness and response operations for the COVID-19 outbreak. They are frequently neglected, stigmatized, and may face difficulties in accessing health services that are otherwise available to the general population. In the context of this Interim Guidance, the people in humanitarian situations affected by this guidance may include internally displaced persons (IDPs), host communities, asylum seekers, refugees and returnees, and migrants when in similar situations. While further adaptations might be needed for some population groups, including those living in slums this interim guidance is issued to assist field staff to immediately respond to urgent needs.

ICAO assisting with humanitarian flight operations during COVID-19

COVID-19 :: Humanitarian Flight Operations

ICAO assisting with humanitarian flight operations during COVID-19
Montréal, 25 March 2020 – As part of its ongoing efforts in the global response to COVID-19, ICAO has taken action to assist the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by the World Food Programme (WFP), as it continues to try to deliver reliable and effective passenger and light cargo transport during the COVID-19 pandemic in support of wide-ranging humanitarian goals.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently drew attention to the fact that the COVID-19 virus “does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly.” He underscored that as armed conflicts still rage around the world, “the most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price.”

With WFP facing difficulties in keeping abreast of global airport closures, posing risks to the reliable transport of relief staff and supplies, ICAO assisted with a new app it had already been developing to monitor government aeronautical information for up-to-the-minute airport closure updates.

ICAO’s Regional Offices have been actively coordinating with WFP counterparts and have been assisting with their efforts to expand MEDEVACS capacity globally and to establish seven dependable hub airports to support its worldwide humanitarian flight operations…

“UNHAS operations are critical to many citizens and societies no matter the global situation, and in many instances they are the only option for getting supplies to the world’s most remote and challenging locations,” noted ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu. “As we work together to respond to a global pandemic they become even more important, however, and therefore throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we’re calling on governments to be cognizant and proactive in assuring and supporting these vital air services.”

UNESCO rallies international organizations, civil society and private sector partners in a broad Coalition to ensure #LearningNeverStops

COVID-19 :: Education

UNESCO rallies international organizations, civil society and private sector partners in a broad Coalition to ensure #LearningNeverStops
26/03/2020
At a time of when 87% of the world’s student population is affected by COVID-19 school closures, UNESCO is launching a global education coalition to support countries in scaling up their best distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk.

Over 1.5 billion learners in 165 countries are affected by COVID-19 school closures.
“Never before have we witnessed educational disruption on such a scale,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “Partnership is the only way forward. This Coalition is a call for coordinated and innovative action to unlock solutions that will not only support learners and teachers now, but through the recovery process, with a principle focus on inclusion and equity.”…

Multilateral partners, including the International Labor Organization, the UN High Commission for Refugees, The United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Telecommunication Union, as well as the Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Asian Development Bank have joined the Coalition, stressing the need for swift and coordinated support to countries in order to mitigate the adverse impacts of school closures, in particular for the most disadvantaged.

The private sector, including, Microsoft, GSMA, Weidong, Google, Facebook, Zoom, KPMG and Coursera have also joined the Coalition, contributing resources and their expertise around technology, notably connectivity, and capacity strengthening. Companies using learner and educational data have committed to uphold ethical standards.

Philanthropic and non-profit organizations, including Khan Academy, Dubai Cares, Profuturo and Sesame Street are also part of the Coalition, mobilizing their resources and services to support schools, teachers, parents and learners during this time of unparalleled educational disruption.
Media outlets are also invited to join the Coalition, as has done the BBC World Service as part of its commitment to supporting young people in lockdown across the globe. The BBC will be producing advice, stories, and media education materials to help isolated young people understand how the Coronavirus may affect them…

Specifically, the Coalition aims to:
:: Help countries in mobilizing resources and implementing innovative and context-appropriate solutions to provide education remotely, leveraging hi-tech, low-tech and no-tech approaches
:: Seek equitable solutions and universal access
:: Ensure coordinated responses and avoid overlapping efforts
:: Facilitate the return of students to school when they reopen to avoid an upsurge in dropout rates

“We are working together to find a way to make sure that children everywhere can continue their education, with special care to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, in a video message marking the Coalition’s launch, together with UNESCO Director-General and other personalities.

COVID-19: WCO launches an IPR CENcomm Group for data exchange on counterfeit medical supplies and fake medicines

COVID-19 :: Fake Medicines

COVID-19: WCO launches an IPR CENcomm Group for data exchange on counterfeit medical supplies and fake medicines
25 March 2020
While the world is gripped by the fight against COVID-19, criminal organizations have turned this global pandemic into an opportunity to carry out their fraudulent activities, particularly by trafficking counterfeit medical supplies such as face masks and medical gloves.

Recognizing the importance of permanent and real-time exchange of relevant information to fight these criminal activities, the World Customs Organization (WCO) launched the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) CENcomm Group on the newly modernized CENcomm 3.0 platform.

“The WCO stands for a united and strong response to any crisis, which affects the global supply chain and safety of societies,” said WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya. “This new IPR CENcomm group will globally enhance real-time intelligence sharing on fake medical supplies and medicines and enable Customs worldwide to fight illicit trade. Organized criminal groups will not be the winner in this challenge,” added Dr. Mikuriya.

This tool, a web-based communication system, will allow a closed user group of Customs officers to exchange intelligence information, messages and alerts via secure channels. This information exchange will empower and enhance participating administrations’ risk management and enforcement operations in the areas of countering IPR infringements and consumers safety capacity.

The WCO urges its 183 Members to register for the IPR CENcomm Group and to submit the details of their national contact points of this group.

The WCO is constantly monitoring the development of this situation and is updating its Members on any new development through the dedicated WCO webpage.

WHO: Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 :: Immunization

WHO: Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic
Interim guidance – 26 March 2020
This document provides guiding principles and considerations to support countries in their decision-making regarding provision of immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic and is endorsed by the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. It is complemented by a range of WHO technical materials on response and mitigation measures for COVID-19.4 Each country will need to make individual risk assessments based on the local dynamics of COVID-19 transmission, immunization and health system characteristics, and current VPD epidemiology in their setting.

Guiding Principles
1. Immunization is a core health service that should be prioritized for the prevention of communicable diseases and safeguarded for continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic, where feasible.5 Immunization delivery strategies may need to be adapted and should be conducted under safe conditions, without undue harm to health workers, caregivers and the community.6

2. VPD surveillance should be maintained and reinforced to enable early detection and management of VPD cases, and where feasible, contribute to surveillance of COVID-19.

3. National authorities will need to continuously monitor the dynamics of COVID-19 in their country or region. National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) have an important role in providing advice with respect to the maintenance, adaptation, suspension and/or reinstatement of immunization services.

4. If provision of immunization services is negatively impacted by COVID-19, countries will need to design strategies for catch-up vaccination for the period post COVID-19 outbreak and make plans which anticipate a gradual recovery. Implementation of catch-up will require strategies to track and follow-up with individuals who missed vaccinations, assess immunity gaps, and re-establish community demand. Innovation and creativity will be required.

5. Based on the current understanding of transmission of the COVID-19 virus and recommendations for physical distancing, mass vaccination campaigns should be temporarily suspended. Countries should monitor and re-evaluate at regular intervals the necessity for delaying mass vaccination campaigns.

6. The conduct of outbreak response mass vaccination campaigns will require a careful risk-benefit analysis on a case-by-case basis, assessing risks of a delayed response against the risks associated with an immediate response, both in terms of morbidity and mortality for the VPD and the potential impact of further transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

7. Where feasible, influenza vaccination of health workers, older adults, and pregnant women is advised.7

Related documents
:: Guidance for health-care workers during COVID-19
:: COVID-19: Operational guidance for maintaining essential health services during an outbreak

::::::

Statement
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on the disruption of immunization and basic health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic
NEW YORK, 26 March 2020: “Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is overstretching health services as health workers are diverted to support the response.

“Physical distancing is leading parents to make the difficult decision to defer routine immunization.

“Medical goods are in short supply and supply chains are under historic strain due to transport disruptions. Flight cancellations and trade restrictions by countries have severely constrained access to essential medicines, including vaccines.

“As the pandemic progresses, critical life-saving services, including immunization, will likely be disrupted, especially in Africa, Asia and the Middle East where they are sorely needed.
“At the greatest risk are children from the poorest families in countries affected by conflicts and natural disasters.

“We are particularly concerned about countries that are battling measles, cholera or polio outbreaks while responding to COVID-19 cases, such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, the Philippines, Syria and South Sudan. Not only would such outbreaks tax already stretched health services, they could also lead to additional loss of lives and suffering. At a time like this, these countries can ill-afford to face additional outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

“The message is clear: We must not allow lifesaving health interventions to fall victim to our efforts to address COVID-19.

“UNICEF is committed to supporting basic health care and immunization needs in the worst affected countries, and to doing so in a way that limits the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We are working hard to ensure adequate vaccine supplies are available in countries that need them. We are in close communication with global vaccine suppliers to ensure production is not disrupted and supply is managed in the best possible manner under these difficult circumstances. We are also providing greater support to governments to continue the supply of vaccines during this pandemic.

“In the days to come, governments may have to temporarily postpone preventive mass vaccination campaigns in many places to ensure that the delivery of immunization services does not contribute to COVID-19 spread, and to follow recommendations on physical distancing.
“UNICEF strongly recommends that all governments begin rigorous planning now to intensify immunization activities once the COVID -19 pandemic is under control. These vaccination activities must focus on children who will miss vaccine doses during this period of interruption and prioritize the poorest and most vulnerable children. To successfully roll-out vaccines against COVID -19 when they become available, we need to ensure that our immunization programmes remain robust and can reach those that will need these vaccines the most.

“Immunization remains a life-saving health intervention. As the world’s biggest buyer and supplier of vaccines, UNICEF will continue to play a pivotal role in supporting governments’ current and future immunization efforts.”

EMERGENCIES – Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Editor’s Note:
We certainly recognize the velocity of global developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have concentrated the most current key reports just below, COVID-19 announcements, analysis and commentary will be found throughout this issue, in all sections.
Beyond the considerable continuing coverage in the global general media:
:: Daily WHO situation reports here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
:: WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) daily press briefings here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/press-briefings

::::::

Situation report – 67 [WHO]

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
27 March 2020
[Excerpts]
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
Globally
509 164 confirmed (46 484)
23 335 deaths (2501)

Western Pacific Region
100 018 confirmed (960)
3567 deaths (27)

European Region
286 697 confirmed (36 414)
16 105 deaths (2155)

South-East Asia Region
2932 confirmed (396)
105 deaths (26)

Eastern Mediterranean Region
35 249 confirmed (2807)
2336 deaths (174)

Region of the Americas
81 137 confirmed (5425)
1176 deaths (111)

African Region
2419 confirmed (482)
39 deaths (8)

WHO RISK ASSESSMENT
Global Level – Very High

HIGHLIGHTS
:: Two new countries/territories/areas from the Region of the Americas [2] have reported cases of COVID-19.

:: The total global number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 500 000.

:: Addressing the Extraordinary Summit on COVID-19, the WHO Director-General called on G20 leaders to fight, unite, and ignite against COVID-19.

:: WHO concluded the technical support mission to Egypt on 25 March 2020. More information can be found on the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office site.

:: OpenWHO celebrates 1 million enrollments today. Seventy percent of the total enrollments are on COVID-19 resources, reflecting the critical role the platform is playing in supporting the response to the pandemic. On 25 March, a new course was launched describing how to design and operate treatment centres for the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 resources are hosted on two learning channels: one for courses in official WHO languages and a second for courses in additional national languages.

:: The number of countries implementing additional health measures that significantly interfere with international traffic has increased since the declaration of COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern. The United Nations World Tourism Organization launched a Crisis Committee to review the impact of the outbreak on the aviation, shipping and tourism sectors and propose innovative solutions for recovery.

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

Emergencies – Ebola

Emergencies

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

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 85: 24 March 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update
No new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported since 17 February 2020. The last person confirmed to have Ebola was discharged from an Ebola Treatment Centre on 3 March 2020 after recovering and testing negative for the virus twice. The last 46 contacts finished their follow-up period on 9 March 2020. These developments are significant milestones in this outbreak. There is, however, still a high risk of re-emergence of EVD, and it is critical to maintain response activities to rapidly detect and respond to any new cases, and to continue ongoing support and health monitoring operations for EVD survivors – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.
Extensive surveillance, pathogen detection, and clinical management activities in previously affected areas continue, including alert validation, rapid diagnosis of suspected cases, and building of partnerships with community members to strengthen investigation of potential community EVD deaths…

…Conclusion
Given the challenges related to continued insecurity and population displacement in previous hotspots, limited access to some affected communities, and potential shortages of resources required to carry out response activities, there remains a high risk of re-emergence of the virus in the period leading up to the declaration of the end of the outbreak, as well as for several months following that declaration. In order to mitigate the risk of re-emergence, it is essential to maintain surveillance and rapid response capacities, prioritize survivor care, and maintain cooperative relationships with survivors’ associations.

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

Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 25 March 2020
:: The COVID-19 emergency means that many aspects of the polio eradication programme will be affected. In light of the situation, the Polio Oversight Board (POB) has come up with a set of recommendations for polio eradicators…[See Milestones above for detail]

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: four WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Pakistan: two WPV1 cases and six WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Central African Republic: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Angola: two cVDPV2 cases
:: Cameroon: one cVDPV2 case and three cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Chad: five cVDPV2 cases and two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Côte d’Ivoire: two cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Ethiopia : three cVDPV2 cases
:: Malaysia: one cVDPV1 case
:: Ghana: two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples

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

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 28 Mar 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 85: 24 March 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

Mozambique floods
:: World Health Organization: Five cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Mozambique 26 March 2020

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

::::::

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 28 Mar 2020]
Niger
:: Niger : Table ronde des PTF pour le financement du plan global de réponse à la pandé…
26 mars 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 – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi – 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
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 28 Mar 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

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

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 – Situation Report No. 11 – As of 27 March 2020
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Update No. 03 – 25 March 2020

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.
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 21 March 2020 :: Number 309

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 21 Mar 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]

World Bank Launches First Global Public Procurement Database to Promote Procurement Reform and Innovation

Governance – Global Procurement

World Bank Launches First Global Public Procurement Database to Promote Procurement Reform and Innovation
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2020—The World Bank launched today an online database that convenes unique data on different countries’ procurement laws, systems, and performances across the world.

The Global Public Procurement Database (GPPD) is a-first-of-its-kind knowledge product that makes public procurement information from 218 countries and territories available to practitioners, government officials, academics, civil society organizations, private sector companies, and citizens.

The GPPD is a one-stop-shop that aims to help improve transparency, accountability, and efficiency and to enable an environment conducive to global public procurement reform and the adoption of best practices.

“Having public procurement data from all over the world just one click away is a powerful source of information to enhance transparency and accountability in using public resources. The Global Public Procurement Database is a unique tool that can inform the design of better public procurement reforms needed to accelerate a country’s social development and economic growth,” said Vinay Sharma, Global Director, Governance Procurement, World Bank.

GPPD users will have the ability to search for country procurement information with an easy-to-use World Map Graphical User Interface and Advanced Search. Users can compare performance information across multiple countries and regions. All the data in the GPPD is publicly accessible, searchable, and downloadable. Users can also find a document library, which contains more detailed assessment reports, country procurement laws, and other information provided by the Public Procurement Agencies or authorized government representatives for each of the countries.

The team conducted an exhaustive research to collect data from the 218 countries and territories drawing on information from existing World Bank resources and public procurement agencies to capture their GPPD indicators…

HIV Testing/Reproductive Health Services for Adolescents – Access/Consent/Assent [UNAIDS]

HIV Testing/Reproductive Health Services for Adolescents – Access/Consent/Assent

Parental consent undermines the right to health of adolescents
16 March 2020
Many countries have laws or policies that prevent adolescents from accessing essential health services without the consent of a parent or guardian. The original intention may have been to protect minors, but these stipulations often have the opposite effect and increase the risk of HIV and other health problems among adolescents.

A large proportion of countries across all regions restrict access to HIV testing and treatment for adolescents. In 2019, for instance, adolescents younger than 18 years needed explicit parental consent in 105 of 142 countries in order to take an HIV test. In 86 of 138 reporting countries, they needed such consent to access HIV treatment and care. These kinds of laws and policies also may complicate or hinder adolescent access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a highly effective prevention tool.

Research in sub-Saharan Africa shows that in countries where the age of consent is 15 years or lower, adolescents are 74% more likely to have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months compared with countries where the age of consent is 16 years or higher—with girls especially benefiting from the easier access.

Country-level details on which countries have consent laws can be viewed on the UNAIDS Laws and Policies Analytics web page.

COVID-19 : Children

COVID-19 : Children

Press release
COVID-19: Children at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence amidst intensifying containment measures
Newly released technical guidance aims to help authorities strengthen protection measures for children during pandemic
NEW YORK, 20 March 2020 – Hundreds of millions of children around the world will likely face increasing threats to their safety and wellbeing – including mistreatment, gender-based violence, exploitation, social exclusion and separation from caregivers – because of actions taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF is urging governments to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children amidst the intensifying socioeconomic fallout from the disease. The UN children’s agency, together with its partners at the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, has released a set of guidance to support authorities and organizations involved in the response.

In a matter of months, COVID-19 has upended the lives of children and families across the globe. School closures and movement restrictions are disrupting children’s routines and support systems. They are also adding new stressors on caregivers who may have to forgo work.

Stigma related to COVID-19 has left some children more vulnerable to violence and psychosocial distress. At the same time, control measures that do not account for the gender-specific needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls may also increase their risk of sexual exploitation, abuse and child marriage. Recent anecdotal evidence from China, for instance, points to a significant rise in cases of domestic violence against women and girls.

“In many ways, the disease is now reaching children and families far beyond those it directly infects,” said Cornelius Williams, UNICEF Chief of Child Protection. “Schools are closing. Parents are struggling to care for their children and make ends meet. The protection risks for children are mounting. This guidance provides governments and protection authorities with an outline of practical measures that can be taken to keep children safe during these uncertain times.”

Increased rates of abuse and exploitation of children have occurred during previous public health emergencies. School closures during the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa from 2014 to 2016, for example, contributed to spikes in child labor, neglect, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancies. In Sierra Leone, cases of teenage pregnancy more than doubled to 14,000 from before the outbreak.

As part of the guidance, the Alliance is recommending that governments and protection authorities take concrete steps to ensure protection of children is integral to all COVID-19 prevention and control measures, including:
:: Train health, education and child services staff on COVID-19 related child protection risks, including on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and how to safely report concerns;
:: Train first responders on how to manage disclosure of gender-based violence (GBV Pocket Guide), and collaborate with healthcare services to support GBV survivors;
Increase information sharing on referral and other support services available for children;
:: Engage children, particularly adolescents, in assessing how COVID-19 affects them differently to inform programming and advocacy;
:: Provide targeted support to interim care centres and families, including child-headed households and foster families, to emotionally support children and engage in appropriate self-care;
:: Provide financial and material assistance to families whose income generating opportunities have been affected; and
:: Put in place concrete measures to prevent child-family separation, and ensure support for children left alone without adequate care due to the hospitalization or death of a parent or caregiver; and
:: Ensure the protection of all children is given the utmost consideration in disease control measures.

COVID-19 : Refugees-Migrants

COVID-19 : Refugees-Migrants

COVID-19 does not discriminate; nor should our response
Statement by the United Nations Network on Migration
20 March 2020 [Editor’s text bolding]
As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Network on Migration salutes the immense efforts to date to combat this crisis and urges that all – including migrants regardless of migratory status – are included in efforts to mitigate and roll back this illness’s impact. To that end, migrants must be seen as both potential victims and as an integral part of any effective public health response. It is particularly important that all authorities make every effort to confront xenophobia, including where migrants and others are subject to discrimination or violence linked to the origin and spreading of the pandemic. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and nor should our response, if it is to succeed.

A comprehensive approach to this crisis has implications for national and local public health, housing, and economic policies. Migrants and people on the move face the same health threats from COVID-19 as host populations but may face particular vulnerabilities due to the circumstances of their journey and the poor living and working conditions in which they can find themselves. Migrants too often face needless obstacles in accessing health care. Inaccessibility of services; language and cultural barriers; cost; a lack of migrant-inclusive health policies; legal, regulatory and practical barriers to health care all play a part in this, as does, in too many instances, prejudice. If a migrant fears deportation, family separation or detention, they may well be less willing to access health care or provide information on their health status.

Too often, millions – including migrants – are denied the right to an adequate standard of living, including housing, food, water and sanitation, and find little choice but to live in overcrowded, unhygienic conditions, with limited or no access to health services. This is a combination which increases communities’ and migrants’ vulnerability to disease, and massively hinders the ability of authorities to effectively put in place the early testing, diagnostics and care vital for effective comprehensive public health measures. It is crucial that government authorities at national and local levels take the measures necessary to protect the health of all those living in unsafe conditions and the most vulnerable regardless of status. Measures should include adequate prevention, testing, and treatment; continued and increased access to emergency shelters for homeless people without barriers related to immigration status; and suspensions of evictions.

While many countries have chosen to tighten controls at their borders in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that such measures be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, in line with international law, and prioritizing the protection of the most vulnerable. Enforcement policies and practices, including forced return and immigration detention, must be carried out in accordance with human rights obligations and may need to be adjusted to ensure they are compatible with effective public health strategies and maintain adequate conditions. In this regard, it is vital that any limitations on freedom of movement do not unduly affect human rights and the right to seek asylum, and that restrictions are applied in a proportionate and non-discriminatory way.

For our response to this pandemic to be effective, we must overcome the current barriers to adequate, affordable, truly universal, health coverage. The inclusion of all migrants and marginalized groups is necessary in all aspects of the response to COVID-19, whether we are looking at prevention, detection, or equitable access to treatment, care or containment measures, or safe conditions of work. Risk communication messages on how to protect everyone need to engage with all communities and be available in languages and media formats that are understandable and accessible by all.

Immigration detention centers are too often overcrowded and lack adequate healthcare and sanitation. In order to avoid a rapid spread of the virus, States should put in place the necessary measures to protect the health of migrants in these facilities and urgently establish non-custodial alternatives to detention as a measure to mitigate these risks.

Further, it is important that migrants are included in measures that are being introduced to mitigate the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Migrants and their families are often part of marginalized and vulnerable groups that are already experiencing economic hardship as a result of containment measures. The impact of the closing down of activities due to the pandemic may particularly affect low-wage workers and those in the informal sector, including youth and women, who are often in precarious or temporary jobs and lack access to social protection, paid sick leave, or lost earnings support. Domestic workers may be more acutely affected by social distancing measures and isolation in employers` homes, and subject to discrimination.

Specific attention is needed for those workers many of whom are migrants, who continue ensuring indispensable services for people during the pandemic, such as those in the care economy and, the service industry and the gig economy, to ensure safeguards of their entitlements and fundamental rights at work. We welcome measures taken by Member States to extend working visas and other appropriate steps to alleviate constraints faced by migrant workers and their families due to the business closures, and to ensure the continuing protection of their international human rights, including their labour rights.

Only with an inclusive approach, truly leaving no-one behind, will we all be able to overcome this global crisis of unprecedented magnitude and proportions.

::::::

COVID-19 and refugee camps: the “perfect” storm
A COVID-19 outbreak in refugee camps would have catastrophic consequences. Prof. Karl Blanchet shares his growing concerns and calls for the creation of an academic taskforce to help governments apply the latest evidence on COVID-19 and make decisions using evidence-based information.
Karl Blanchet, CERAH Director; Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva (UNIGE)

In February 2020, I was working in the refugee camps of Kakuma in Norther Kenya and Azrak, in Eastern Jordan. At that time, COVID-19 was still perceived as one of the many coronaviruses already known by the scientific community and was considered largely as a South East Asia outbreak. In March, just a month later, the World Health Organisation has declared a pandemic. COVID-19 has reached more than 30 countries with 125,000 cases confirmed and 4,600 deaths (as recorded on 12 March 2020).

While scientists and doctors worldwide are still studying this novel virus, it is a fact that containment situations increase the risk and pace of transmission. Refugee camps and slums are exactly the type of overcrowded environment where the virus would spread very rapidly. In such settings, people live in close proximity and do not have the option to follow preventive guidelines recommending to maintain “social distancing”. Additionally, hygienic conditions in formal and informal settlements are very poor, and too often people do not have access to clean water or soap, let alone protective masks and other sanitation products.

There are therefore serious concerns that refugee populations may be at very high risk, especially people already vulnerable and living in refugee camps such as in Jordan, Kenya, Cox’s Bazar or refugee camps in Greece. Urgent humanitarian action is needed.

To add an extra layer of complexity to an already challenging scenario, many refugee camps are located in countries with health systems that will struggle to screen, test and contain the epidemic. In Greece, for example, I anticipate that authorities and their international partners will experience great challenges in case an outbreak happened in a refugee camp. In fact, this may already be happening in Lesbos, where a case of COVID-19 on the island has been confirmed.

More importantly, I also have concerns that access for refugees to testing facilities and healthcare services will not be prioritized by governments. The latter will certainly give priority to host populations, especially in an environment of constrained resources. I am also worried that many governments, in particular the most populist ones, will exploit the situation to deter refugee populations or even force them out, even though it is proven that the infection does not come from refugees. Unjustified and arbitrary quarantine measures vis-à-vis refugee populations may be witnessed in the next few days and weeks. This will raise important ethical and equity issues.

Beyond this more political and ethical considerations, there are also crucial practical problems that need to be rapidly addressed to protect refugee populations. The disease surveillance system currently in use in refugee camps does not include any respiratory infections. This will need to be quickly added to the current protocols. It is also important that all national and international staff working inside camps respect the correct procedures in order not to infect refugees, and of course need support to ensure they maintain their own health status to continue delivering care to those in need. It is urgent to make sure that refugee populations are given the possibility to protect themselves from any infection.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 will mobilise a lot of resources, which might mean rechanneling some of the resources from humanitarian crises. Join me in calling upon policymakers and donors to ensure that countries have enough funding and resources to make sure that these populations at risk receive appropriate protection and care. I also would like to advocate for the creation of an academic taskforce to help governments apply the latest evidence on COVID-19 and apply this science for their decisions.

::::::

Opinion
Forgetting “refugees” during COVID-19
COVID-19 has brought to the surface social inequalities for which “refugees” and the less advantaged are not morally responsible.
Beirut Today
March 21, 2020
By Thalia Arawi, Founding Director, Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program- American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center

A few years back, I visited refugee camps in Sabra and Chatila, Mar Elias, and Ain el Helweh among others. I still recall climbing the stairs in one of the camps, looking at the people who were clustered there through no fault of their own.

The stench of sewage went straight through my nostrils and made its way to my lungs. Whether I felt dizzy because of my asthma or the mental shock at what I saw was unclear, but my forehead became cold as ice and I fainted for a few seconds.

I went to these camps because I wanted to start asking our medical students to visit these areas and foster an understanding of the social determinants of health and how the setting, environment, and living conditions play a role in healthcare. I also wanted them to help the very few doctors volunteering in these camps. Most importantly, I wanted them to see how those who are less fortunate than they live every day.

They are called refugees, a term I never made peace with –and perhaps never will. Nowadays, to add insult to injury, the term in people’s eyes denotes people who are less worthy than they.

When it was time to visit a few patients in their homes at the camp, I had to go through a damp, cramped, and mostly-destroyed hallway that smelled of sewage. The stench made the distance feel longer than it actually was.

I was welcomed into a humble house consisting of one room and a few jagged mats on the floor. I was asked to sit and offered tea. The eight-year-old boy had an infection in his eye, one he got from work. The other seven children were also around, dressed in rugged clothes.

There was poverty beyond imagination, no money, no cleanliness, no education. Just a day-to-day mechanism of survival, made lighter (or not) by lots of love and affection.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, stores around Lebanon are now closed. People are also practicing social distancing and purchasing, if not hoarding, huge amounts of disinfectants, gloves, and face masks.

The Ministry of Health issued guidelines on how to face the pandemic. So did the World Health Organization and many other official organizations hoping to contain the disease. Military forces are doing their work to ensure these COVID-19 measures are taken. But where is all this in refugee camps?

In refugee camps, people live en masse in small houses, rooms or tents. Forty people live in the same so-called home. It is impossible to observe social distancing when streets are flooded with individuals who live in less than humane conditions.

In refugee camps, there is no hot water and no soap to wash hands “for 20 seconds.” Attempting to buy a disinfectant might mean no food for one day or more. There are no hygiene kits that are distributed to a poverty stricken segment of society for free, no food and water delivered to their homes without cost to contain the virus from spreading, and definitely no electronic thermometer to check temperatures. There are no test kits.

“Refugees” are shunned to the margins of society and to the brims of life. The media proudly, and perhaps carefully, broadcast images and footage of empty streets in the country and yet are silent when it comes to refugee camps –as if shunning them away from the consciousness of the public would eliminate their existence altogether. Or worse: so-called refugee camps are totally disremembered. Whichever it is, the fact remains that a portion of humanity is forgotten in an apocalyptic Neverland they did not want to inhabit in the first place.

Unless authorities, the Ministry of Health, NGOs and others do their duty towards “refugees” and help them face the pandemic, the coronavirus will spread to the entire country with time. So, here comes a selfish bit of advice: Help them so as to help yourselves.

Some of us feel ashamed when we use disinfectants in abundance knowing that kids, elderly, young men and women, and pregnant wives somewhere in the Sabra neighborhood, Shatila camp, or Ain el Helweh have nothing to rely on and no one to resort to.

COVID-19 has brought to the surface social inequalities for which “refugees” and the less advantaged are not morally responsible. A social (and moral) catastrophe leading to grave health inequalities that decide who lives and who dies.

COVID-19 has revealed a unique ecology of sickness based on social determinants of health. If no measures are taken to counter this, we are heading towards a form of eugenics based on social endowments which are morally arbitrary.

EMERGENCIES – Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Editor’s Note:
We certainly recognize the velocity of global developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have concentrated the most current key reports just below, COVID-19 announcements, analysis and commentary will be found throughout this issue, in all sections.
Beyond the considerable continuing coverage in the global general media:
:: Daily WHO situation reports here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
:: WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) daily press briefings here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/press-briefings

::::::

Situation report – 60 [WHO]

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
20 March 2020
[Excerpts]
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
Globally
234,073 confirmed (24 247)
9840 deaths (1061)

Western Pacific Region
93,349 confirmed (1016)
3405 deaths (28)

European Region
104,591 confirmed (17 506)
4899 deaths (816)

South-East Asia Region
918 confirmed (261)
31 deaths (8)

Eastern Mediterranean Region
20,759 confirmed (1254)
1312 deaths (151)

Region of the Americas
13,271 confirmed (4104)
178 deaths (57)

African Region
473 confirmed (106)
8 deaths (1)

WHO RISK ASSESSMENT
Global Level – Very High

HIGHLIGHTS
:: Six new countries/territories/areas (African Region [2], and Region of the Americas [2], and Western Pacific Region [2]) have reported cases of COVID-19.

:: To increase access to reliable information, WHO has partnered with WhatsApp and Facebook to launch a WHO Health Alert messaging service. This service will provide the latest news and information on COVID-19, including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves. The Health Alert service is now available in English and will be introduced in other languages next week. To access it, send the word “hi” to the following number on WhatsApp: +41 798 931 892.

:: The first vaccine trial has begun just 60 days after the genetic sequence of the virus was shared by China. This is an incredible achievement. To ensure clear evidence of which treatments are most effective, WHO and its partners are organizing a large international study, called the Solidarity Trial, in many countries to compare different treatments.

:: WHO and Global Citizen launched #TogetherAtHome, a virtual, no-contact concert series to promote physical distancing and action for global health. Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, kicked it off earlier this week with a performance from his home. More Solidarity Sessions are planned to promote health, show support for people who are staying at home to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, and encourage donations to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

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

NIH clinical trial of investigational vaccine for COVID-19 begins
March 16, 2020 — Study enrolling Seattle-based healthy adult volunteers.
A Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is funding the trial. KPWHRI is part of NIAID’s Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium. The open-label trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers ages 18 to 55 years over approximately 6 weeks. The first participant received the investigational vaccine today.

The study is evaluating different doses of the experimental vaccine for safety and its ability to induce an immune response in participants. This is the first of multiple steps in the clinical trial process for evaluating the potential benefit of the vaccine.

The vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) supported the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate for the Phase 1 clinical trial.

“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”

…Currently, no approved vaccines exist to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2.
The investigational vaccine was developed using a genetic platform called mRNA (messenger RNA). The investigational vaccine directs the body’s cells to express a virus protein that it is hoped will elicit a robust immune response. The mRNA-1273 vaccine has shown promise in animal models, and this is the first trial to examine it in humans…

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

Milken Institute launches COVID-19 treatment and vaccine tracker
Publicly available resource monitors development of therapies to treat and prevent disease
March 19, 2020 08:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Milken Institute is launching a resource to help the public and policymakers track progress in the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
The tracker is available online at https://milkeninstitute.org/covid-19-tracker. It is developed and maintained by FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, with an Advisory Council comprised of a Nobel Laureate researcher, former FDA chiefs, and industry leaders..
The Milken Institute COVID-19 vaccine development and treatment tracker is compiled from publicly available sources. It will grow to include FDA-approved indications where applicable, as well as basic information about the focus of each clinical trial…

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

ICC-WHO Joint Statement: An unprecedented private sector call to action to tackle COVID-19
16 March 2020 Statement
In a coordinated effort to combat the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have agreed to work closely to ensure the latest and most reliable information and tailored guidance reaches the global business community.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health and societal emergency that requires effective immediate action by governments, individuals and businesses. All businesses have a key role to play in minimising the likelihood of transmission and impact on society. Early, bold and effective action will reduce short- term risks to employees and long-term costs to businesses and the economy.

To aid this collective effort, ICC will regularly send updated advice to its network of over 45 million businesses so that businesses everywhere can take informed and effective action to protect their workers, customers and local communities and contribute to the production and distribution of essential supplies.

ICC will also contribute to enhancing information flows on the coronavirus outbreak by surveying its global private sector network to map the global business response. This will both encourage businesses to adopt appropriate precautionary approaches and generate new data and insights to support national and international government efforts.

As an immediate priority, businesses should be developing or updating, readying or implementing business continuity plans. Business continuity plans should aim to reduce transmission, including by: promoting understanding of the disease, its symptoms and appropriate behavior among employees; setting up a reporting system for any cases and contacts; preparing essentials; limiting travel and physical connectivity; and planning for measures such as teleworking when necessary.

Calls to Action
:: ICC strongly endorses WHO’s call on national governments everywhere to adopt a whole-of- government and whole-of-society approach in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing the further spread of COVID-19 and mitigating its impact should be a top priority for Heads of State and Government. Political action should be coordinated with actors in the private sector and civil society to maximize reach of messaging and effectiveness.

:: Governments should commit to making available all necessary resources to combat COVID-19 with the minimum of delay and to ensure that cross-border medical and other essential goods supply chains are able to function effectively and efficiently

:: ICC and the WHO encourage national chambers of commerce to work closely with UN country teams, including WHO country offices where they exist, and to designate mutual focal points to coordinate this collaboration.

:: ICC encourages its members to support their country’s national response efforts and to contribute to the global response efforts coordinated by the WHO through http://www.covid19responsefund.org.

As the pandemic evolves, ICC Secretary General John W.H Denton AO and WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will continue to coordinate their efforts.

Essential information on the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the WHO’s dedicated site.

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