The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 25 July 2020 :: Number 326

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

PDFThe Sentinel_ period ending 25 July 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

Temporary Basic Income to protect the world’s poorest people could slow the surge in COVID-19 cases, says UNDP

Temporary Basic Income to protect the world’s poorest people could slow the surge in COVID-19 cases, says UNDP

Posted on July 23, 2020

New York – The immediate introduction of a Temporary Basic Income for the world’s poorest people could slow the current surge in COVID-19 cases by enabling nearly three billion people to stay at home, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report released today.

The report, Temporary Basic Income: Protecting Poor and Vulnerable People in Developing Countries estimates that it would cost from $199 billion per month to provide a time-bound, guaranteed basic income to the 2.7 billion people living below or just above the poverty line in 132 developing countries.

The report concludes that the measure is feasible and urgently needed, with the pandemic now spreading at a rate of more than 1.5 million new cases per week, particularly in developing countries, where seven out of ten workers make a living through informal markets and cannot earn money if they are at home.

Many of the huge numbers of people not covered by social insurance programmes are informal workers, low-waged, women and young people, refugees and migrants, and people with disabilities – and they are the ones hardest hit by this crisis. UNDP has carried out assessments on the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 in more than 60 countries in the past few months and the evidence shows that workers who are not covered by social protection cannot stay at home without an income.

A Temporary Basic Income would give them the means to buy food and pay for health and education expenses. It is also financially within reach: a six-month Temporary Basic Income, for example, would require just 12 percent of the total financial response to COVID-19 expected in 2020, or the equivalent of one-third of what developing countries owe in external debt payments in 2020.

“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented social and economic measures. Introducing a Temporary Basic Income for the world’s poorest people has emerged as one option. This might have seemed impossible just a few months ago,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.

“Bailouts and recovery plans cannot only focus on big markets and big business. A Temporary Basic Income might enable governments to give people in lockdown a financial lifeline, inject cash back into local economies to help keep small businesses afloat, and slow the devastating spread of COVID-19,” he said.

A Temporary Basic Income is not a silver bullet solution to the economic hardship this pandemic has brought, however. Protecting jobs, expanding support to micro, small and medium enterprises, and using digital solutions to identify and access people who are excluded, are all measures that countries can take.

One way for countries to pay for a Temporary Basic Income would be to repurpose the funds they would use this year to service their debt. Developing and emerging economies will spend $3.1 trillion in debt repayment this year, according to official data. A comprehensive debt standstill for all developing countries, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, would allow countries to temporarily repurpose these funds into emergency measures to combat the effects of the COVID-19 crisis…

Joint Call to Action: Reimagining the World We Need [UNICEF, ICC]

Joint Call to Action: Reimagining the World We Need

by Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and John W.H. Denton, AO Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce

NEW YORK/PARIS, 21 July 2020 – Businesses of all sizes are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented measures to contain it. As orders are cancelled and export barriers and movement restrictions cut-off supply chains, millions of businesses worldwide, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are at risk.

As these businesses are affected, so are their employees. In communities worldwide, SMEs represent 80% of global employment. They are an economic engine for local and national economies alike.

Under COVID-19, this powerful engine could grind to a halt. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 400 million full-time jobs were lost globally between April and June 2020.

These job losses have direct impacts not only on economies, but on children—on their health, their nutrition, their wellbeing and their education. The economic fallout could push up to 86 million more children into household poverty by the end of 2020. With the poorest and most vulnerable people at the greatest risk, the impact of COVID-19 could have devastating and lasting repercussions on children and societies alike, making the poor poorer, and pushing millions more into lives of lasting deprivation.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the institutional representative of over 45 million businesses, and UNICEF, the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, are calling on businesses, governments and civil society to gather behind these urgent needs.

We must work together to keep economies afloat, avoid permanent damage to business operations and employment pipelines, and support children, families and communities through, and beyond, this global emergency.

At the same time, this is also an opportunity to re-imagine and re-build systems and economies that benefit all people, including the poorest and most vulnerable. Now is the time to “build back better,” by putting prosperity and opportunity for all at the heart of our response.

As representatives of children and businesses, UNICEF and ICC are launching a joint call to action to the public and private sectors to help ensure that any recovery benefits families and economies alike, and brings us closer to the better, fairer, healthier and more prosperous world we all need.

Our response to COVID-19 will help define the 21st century – Wellcome Trust

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

Wellcome Trust [to 25 July 2020]
https://wellcome.ac.uk/news
Opinion | 24 July 2020
Our response to COVID-19 will help define the 21st century
Jeremy Farrar, Director Wellcome
The true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt beyond its immediate effects. Jeremy Farrar explains why the choices leaders make now will help define the 21st century.
[This article was first published in the Financial Times (opens in a new tab).]

It is discomfiting but true that most people still underestimate the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its immediate effects are so shocking that we are all caught up in them. But the longer-term implications may be more profound still. If we are not careful, they will shake the world order to its foundations.

To understand the crisis fully, imagine the concentric ripples generated by a stone thrown into a pond.

The innermost circle is the immediate impact of the virus: fear, illness and death. The second, larger circle describes COVID-19’s indirect health effects, such as missed cancer screenings. In the 2014 Ebola outbreak, more people died of malaria in west Africa than of the virus itself. It can take years for people to regain trust in healthcare systems.

The third circle, the social and economic impact of rising joblessness and shrinking economies, is larger still. Like every crisis, the pandemic will amplify existing social fractures and inequalities. This will have political consequences. Some governments may fall as a result of COVID-19.

That leads to the fourth and biggest circle: geopolitics. How world powers choose to look after themselves versus the rest of the world will define global politics over the coming decades.

For example, as many governments come to face rising criticism for their perceived or actual failure to protect their citizens, one natural response will be to blame others.

In the UK, there have been increased attacks on minority groups (opens in a new tab). In the US, President Donald Trump has referred to the “China virus” and threatened to withdraw the US from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In stark contrast, China’s President Xi Jinping has sought to position his country (opens in a new tab) as Africa’s friend, promising the continent vaccines as soon as any Chinese citizens get them. Only time will tell if Mr Xi’s promise was true altruism, or merely diplomatic powerplay. But it deliberately differentiated China from Europe and the US. It also underlined the accelerating shift of global power from west to east.

Still, none of the above ripple effects are inevitable.

Of the first two circles, it is not too late to improve disease-surveillance measures, public health and clinical care to reduce the impact of COVID-19’s first wave, and to prepare for potential second waves. We must invest the $31 billion needed in diagnostics, treatments and vaccines (opens in a new tab) to build health systems for all, regardless of ability to pay. This is the only true exit strategy from the pandemic.

The social and political impacts of the third circle can also be mitigated. Among the most vitally needed responses are: debt relief for poorer countries; investment to help the digital transition; support for green technologies to build a carbon neutral world; better education for the young; anti-corruption fighting; and enhanced democratic structures and institutions.

Lastly, there is the fourth circle, where we also face a choice. We can choose nationalistic routes that blame others for our problems. Or we can work together to forge a better, shared future.

There are historical parallels. The international institutions such as the UN, World Bank and WHO that were established after the second world war were born of a moment of enlightened self-interest by leading nations. These institutions have been central to the world’s largely peaceful order of the last 75 years.

Today, they require reform. But they are also needed more than ever. The giant social, scientific and technological advances that humanity saw during the later half of the 20th century grew out of a global commitment to sharing. This did not happen by chance. It happened as a result of choices that were made.

The effects of COVID-19 have been and will continue to be devastating. But infectious disease and pandemics are not the only global challenges that we face. We urgently need to address other issues, including climate change, access to clean water, antimicrobial resistance and mental health.

Like coronavirus, these problems transcend borders. They will not be defeated by insular nationalism, blaming others or drifting into a more polarised world – all this only leaves everyone more vulnerable. Rather, they can be solved by enhancing international cooperation and developing a sense of shared destiny.

It is not inevitable that COVID-19 ripples out these four circles of ruinous effects. But avoiding this outcome requires leaders who lay out honestly the challenges that we face and then, equally honestly, how to deal with them.

The choices we make today will help define the 21st century.

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

EMERGENCIES

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

Situation report – 187
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
25 July 2020

Confirmed cases :: 15 581 009 [week ago: 13 876 441]
Confirmed deaths :: 635 173 [week ago: 593 087]

Highlights [selected]
:: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected older people disproportionately, especially those living in long-term care facilities. WHO has published a policy brief on preventing and managing COVID-19 across long-term care services.

:: WHO has released a set of practical steps for implementing the prescriptions of the WHO Manifesto for a healthy recovery from COVID-19. These prescriptions aim to create a healthier, fairer and greener world while investing to maintain and resuscitate the economy hit by the effects of the pandemic.

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

New COVID-19 Law Lab to provide vital legal information and support for the global COVID-19 response
22 July 2020 News release New York/Geneva
Launching today, the COVID-19 Law Lab initiative gathers and shares legal documents from over 190 countries across the world to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic. The goal is to ensure that laws protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and that they adhere to international human rights standards.
The new Lab (at www.COVIDLawLab.org) is a joint project of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.
Well-designed laws can help build strong health systems; evaluate and approve safe and effective drugs and vaccines; and enforce actions to create healthier and safer public spaces and workplaces. Critically, they are key to effective implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations: surveillance; infection prevention and control; management of travel and trade; and implementation of measures to maintain essential health services.
“Laws and policies that are grounded in science, evidence and human rights can enable people to access health services, protect themselves from COVID-19 and live free from stigma, discrimination and violence,” says Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “The COVID-19 Law Lab is an important tool for sharing good practices on laws and policies.”…

POLIO – Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC); WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 21 July 2020
:: In response to donor and stakeholder feedback, as well as the programme’s evolving needs and challenges, in December 2019, GPEI launched an internal governance review process to evaluate how to improve the partnership’s operations and structures at the leadership level (Polio Oversight Board, Finance & Accountability Committee and Strategy Committee). The result of a series of surveys, workshops, interviews and stakeholder consultations conducted over a six-month period, this report outlines key issues with recommendations aimed at strengthening the programme’s governance [see below].

Summary of new WPV and cVDPV viruses this week (AFP cases and environmental samples):
:: Afghanistan: five WPV1 cases and five WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Pakistan: two WPV1 cases and eight WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Cameroon: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Chad: three cVDPV2 cases

::::::

GPEI – Governance Review Final Report
July 2020 :: 25 pages
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In response to donor and stakeholder feedback, as well as the programme’s evolving needs
and challenges, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) undertook an internal review process to evaluate how to improve the partnership’s operations, structures and culture in order to more efficiently and effectively progress towards the endgame strategy’s goals and objectives. The result of a series of surveys, workshops, interviews and stakeholder consultations, this report sets forth key issues and recommendations aimed at strengthening
the programme’s structure and operations.

Stakeholders also emphasized the importance of integration activities and – while not a primary focus of this report – we acknowledge that work remains to be done to strengthen efforts toward GPEI’s integration goal. Incorporating these recommendations through deliberate and concerted actions – while simultaneously strengthening efforts towards integration and fostering a culture of change – GPEI can achieve greater accountability for decisions and
implementation, increase transparency around its decision-making and financial processes,
enhance country engagement and ownership, and reinforce continuous improvement. These outcomes will help GPEI reach its goals: eradication, integration, containment and certification.

GPEI has achieved significant and important successes. There are, however, obstacles that GPEI must address in order to realize its goals. The programme must rise to meet significant
challenges, including GPEI’s work in the remaining endemic countries, contending with
circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses, vaccine supply issues and the impact of COVID-19 on
GPEI operations and vaccination efforts.

Donors have questioned whether GPEI’s structure and governance remain fit for purpose to eradicate polio. This report outlines proposed changes that stakeholders feel will reinforce the partnership’s fitness moving forward. These recommendations do not address questions of
programme strategy and are not intended to be the sum total of the governance review process. They are, however, important steps in GPEI’s ongoing improvement to ensure the partnership is fit for purpose and provide important substrate for the larger revision of the endgame strategy. The GPEI Strategy Committee should actively manage and monitor implementation of the recommendations and any required follow-ups.

While the need for this review was identified and the exercise itself began before the onset of COVID-19, the challenges confronting GPEI as a result of the pandemic have reinforced

CONCLUSION AND NEXT STEPS
The donor community is supportive of GPEI and its work. Though this review explored the possibility, no one suggested that GPEI should be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up. The history, momentum, institutional knowledge and capabilities of the partnership are unparalleled, and stakeholders are eager to see the partnership succeed. However, stakeholders want substantive changes within the partnership related to role clarity, accountability, and considering new perspectives.

This review emphasizes stakeholders’ concerns with some of GPEI’s operations and structures across all levels of the programme and presents some ways forward to address them. GPEI must commit to a strong culture of change to implement these recommendations and improve the programme’s accountability, transparency, country engagement and ownership, as well as the ability to continuously improve. GPEI must also refocus its integration efforts, which will allow GPEI to support immunization, health systems and emergency response in the near term, particularly in the wake of COVID-19, as well as in the long-term, cementing its legacy in a post-polio world.

GPEI’s donors, stakeholders and partners are rooting for its success, and seeing demonstrable progress on these recommendations will strengthen their commitment and resolve to achieve a polio-free world.

As immediate next steps, the Strategy Committee needs to:
reflect on recommendations and determine how to move forward;
consult with the POB on its conclusions and course of action;
develop an implementation workplan;
follow up (as soon as possible) with donors and other stakeholders, outlining which steps are to be taken and what the implementation workplan (and timeline) looks like; and
provide regular updates to the programme and stakeholders on the progress of the implementation workplan.

It is critical that GPEI leadership follow through on the steps listed above to ensure that this is
a substantial, serious effort – and demonstrate that change is welcome within the partnership
because eradication goals may be at risk with the partnership’s current structure and practices

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

Emergencies

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

Last WHO Situation Report published 23 June 2020

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

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 25 July 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo – No new digest announcements identified
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

::::::

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 25 July 2020]
Burkina Faso [in French]
:: Combattre la peur et la stigmatisation liées à la COVID-19
23 juillet 2020
Hésitation à se faire dépister, éviter les personnes chargées de la recherche des contacts ou se méfier de ce que diront les voisins : la pandémie de COVID-19 a déclenché chez certains habitants de Ouagadougou des réactions diverses qui ont rendu la riposte plus difficile.

Iraq
:: WHO mobile clinics serving the vulnerable in Mosul amid COVID-19 outbreak 20 July 2020

Niger
:: Continuité des services de santé en contexte de COVID19 : l’OMS accompagne le Gouver… 19 juillet 2020
Le Niger a lancé officiellement le 13 juillet l’édition 2020 de la campagne de chimio prévention du paludisme saisonnier. Cette campagne couplée au dépistage de la malnutrition, entre dans le cadre de la lutte contre le paludisme au Niger qui reste une des principales préoccupations de santé pour le pays. La cérémonie de lancement a eu lieu à Niamey dans la salle de conférence de l’hôtel Bravia sous le patronage du Ministre de la Santé Publique, Dr Idi Illiassou Mainassara en présence de la Représentante de l’OMS au Niger Dr Anya Blanche, et des autres partenaires du Programme.

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Angola – 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
Iran floods 2019 – 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
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – 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 25 July 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – Page not responding at inquiry
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
:: 23 Jul 2020 Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Nigeria – Syria

Yemen
:: 22 Jul 2020 UN report: Yemen sees return to alarming levels of food insecurity
:: 20 Jul 2020 Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: India – Nepal – Sudan – Yemen

::::::

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.
East Africa Locust Infestation
:: Desert Locust situation update – 21 July 2020

COVID-19
:: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 37: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 16 July 2020, information for period: 5 March – 23 July 2020

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

 

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 18 July 2020 :: Number 325

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

PDFThe Sentinel_ period ending 18 July 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

UN Security Council Underlines Vital Role of Youth in Building Peace, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2535 (2020)

Peacebuilding – Youth

Security Council Underlines Vital Role of Youth in Building Peace, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2535 (2020)
14 July 2020
SC/14251
The Security Council today underscored the role of youth in preventing and resolving conflict, as well as in building and maintaining peace, encouraging Member States to include young people in decision-making processes across these areas.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2535 (2020), the 15-member organ called on all relevant actors to consider ways to increase the inclusive representation of youth for the prevention and resolution of conflict, as well as in peacebuilding, including when negotiating and implementing peace agreements.

The text, tabled by the Dominican Republic and France, also called for measures to ensure the full, effective and meaningful participation of youth in these processes, recognizing that their marginalization is detrimental to building sustainable peace.

Today’s adoption followed a 27 April open video teleconference meeting titled: “Towards the fifth anniversary of the youth and peace and security agenda: accelerating implementation of resolutions 2250 and 2419” under the Council presidency of the Dominican Republic. (See Press Release SC/14170.)

By the text, the Council encouraged Member States to support and integrate youth into decision-making processes, recognizing their unique role in strengthening the national, local and community-based capacities in conflict and post-conflict situations to prepare for and respond to increasingly frequent, severe weather events and natural hazards, as well as public health challenges that affect young people’s life and their future, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, the Council encouraged the Peacebuilding Commission to continue to support the important role that young people play and the participation and views of youth-led organizations, in planning and stabilization efforts in peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

The Council called on Member States, regional organizations and the United Nations system, including peacekeeping and special political missions, to coordinate and increase their engagement in the implementation of resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020).

In this regard, the Council encouraged the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth to promote coordination and coherence of youth, peace and security activities across the United Nations system while tracking implementation of resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020).

The Council requests the Secretary-General to develop a dedicated guidance on the protection of young people, including those who engage with the United Nations in the context of peace and security and as part of the new Common Agenda on Protection for the United Nations system…

New report identifies 27 countries heading for COVID-19-driven food crises – FAO and WFP

COVID-19 – Food Security

Press Release
New report identifies 27 countries heading for COVID-19-driven food crises
FAO and WFP collaborate on a unique analysis of countries on the precipice of what could be the worst food crisis in generations
17 July 2020, Rome – New analysis out today by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) identifies 27 countries that are on the frontline of impending COVID-19-driven food crises, as the pandemic’s knock-on effects aggravate pre-existing drivers of hunger.

No world region is immune, from Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Asia, to Haiti, Venezuela and Central America, to Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Syria in the Middle East to Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Liberia Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe in Africa.

The joint analysis by FAO and WFP warns these “hotspot countries” are at high risk of – and in some cases are already seeing – significant food security deteriorations in the coming months, including rising numbers of people pushed into acute hunger.

These countries were already grappling with high levels of food insecurity and acute hunger even before COVID-19, due to pre-existing shocks and stressors such as economic crises, instability and insecurity, climate extremes, and, plant pests and animal diseases, noted FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

“Now they are on the frontline and bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s disruptive effects on food systems, which are fuelling a hunger crisis within a health crisis,” he said, adding: “We must not think of this as a risk that will emerge sometime down the line. We cannot treat this as tomorrow’s problem. We need to do more to safeguard both food systems and our most vulnerable populations – right now.”

Four ways COVID-19 is pushing up acute food insecurity
FAO and WFP say that there are four main ways that COVID-19 is pushing people into deeper hunger:
:: Dropping employment and wages means that people have less money to spend on household food and that overseas workers send to relatives in food insecure countries as remittances. At the same time, food prices are up in many hotspot countries, posing a barrier to food access.

:: A range of disruptions associated with necessary pandemic and health countermeasures are also having significant – and increasing – impacts on food production and supply.

:: Plummeting government revenues mean that critical safety nets such as social protection and school feeding programs are underfunded and unable to respond to growing needs.

:: Finally, the pandemic may contribute to political instability as well as fuelling conflict, for example between communities over natural resources like water or grazing land or migration routes, which further disrupts agricultural production and markets.

Emerging evidence from ongoing FAO surveys in countries with food crises contexts back up today’s joint analysis, indicating that food production is emerging as a serious challenge…

:::::::::::

FAO-WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity hotspots
July 2020 :: 25 pages

IMF Managing Director Urges Further Action to Secure a Resilient Recovery [COVID-19]

COVID-19 – Global Financial Recovery

IMF Managing Director Urges Further Action to Secure a Resilient Recovery
July 18, 2020
Washington, DC: Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today at the conclusion of the virtual meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, chaired by Saudi Arabia:

“Due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy faces a deep recession this year, with partial and uneven recovery expected in 2021. While there remains great uncertainty on the outlook, the unprecedented actions taken by the G20 countries and others have helped to avert a much worse outcome. As we enter the next phase of the crisis, further policy action will be required, as well as increased international cooperation. The G20 Action Plan is key to this effort.

“To support countries in fighting the crisis and to prevent long-lasting scarring of the global economy—particularly waves of bankruptcies, risks to financial stability, high unemployment, and increasing inequality—I emphasized the following:

“First, the public health response remains the main priority to protect people, jobs, and economic activity. Across the world, countries have implemented exceptional measures to support individuals and workers. These lifelines should be maintained as needed and, in some cases, expanded.

“Second, supportive fiscal and monetary policies will need to continue until we can secure a safe and durable exit from the crisis. Premature withdrawal of this support could derail the recovery and incur larger costs.

“Third, policies need to prepare for and support transformational change, as some sectors may permanently shrink, while others—such as digital services—will expand. Adapting to change in an inclusive manner will require adequate social protection, and training and job search assistance to workers.

“Fourth, we need to unite to help the poorest and most vulnerable economies, especially those struggling with high debt or dependent on hard-hit sectors. The G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) has been commendable and I hope that consideration will be given to extending it. In addition, to make it even more effective, greater private sector participation, and greater debt transparency, should be strongly promoted. Beyond the DSSI, there is a need to fill gaps in the international debt architecture and think about more comprehensive debt relief for many countries. We stand ready to support these efforts.

“I also emphasized that we can use the crisis as an opportunity to build a better future for all people by: maximizing the potential of the digital economy; promoting green investment to combat climate change in a job-rich manner; and investing in human capital to build a more inclusive economy.

“The IMF has moved with unprecedented speed—providing emergency financing to 72 countries in four months—and we will continue to support our member countries relentlessly. We see especially pressing needs to assist low-income countries, and small and fragile states which have been hit very hard with the support of our membership, we continue to mobilize additional concessional resources to help them. In this context, we are stepping up action to make better use of existing—Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

“The IMF will explore additional tools that could further help in this crisis that is like no other and play our role at the center of the global financial safety net in this time of unprecedented need for our member countries.”

UN issues $10.3 billion coronavirus appeal and warns of the price of inaction [EN/AR]

UN issues $10.3 billion coronavirus appeal and warns of the price of inaction [EN/AR]
17 July 2020
The UN’s Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock, has called on G20 nations to act now or face a series of human tragedies more brutal and destructive than the direct health impacts of the virus as he released an updated US$10.3 billion appeal to fight the coronavirus in low-income and fragile countries.

Without mitigating action, the pandemic and associated global recession are set to trigger the first increase in global poverty since 1990 and push 265 million people to the point of starvation by the end of the year. Recent estimates suggest up to 6,000 children could die every day from preventable causes as a result of direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19. Meanwhile, diverted health resources could mean the annual death toll from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria doubling.

COVID-19 is now present across the globe, with more than 13 million confirmed cases and more than 580,000 deaths worldwide. Last week the first confirmed case was reported in Idlib, Syria, sparking fears of a devastating outbreak in crowded camps holding displaced people. In Yemen people’s immune systems are struggling to fight back after years of war and deprivation and about a quarter of Yemenis confirmed to have COVID-19 have died – five times the rate globally.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said: “The pandemic and associated global recession are about to wreak havoc in fragile and low-income countries. The response of wealthy nations so far has been grossly inadequate and dangerously short-sighted. Failure to act now will leave the virus free to circle round the globe, undo decades of development and create a generation’s worth of tragic and exportable problems.

“It doesn’t have to be like this – this is a problem that can be fixed with money from wealthy nations and fresh thinking from the shareholders of international financial institutions and supporters of UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and NGOs.

“Rich countries have thrown out the rulebook when it comes to protecting their own economies. They must apply the same exceptional measures to countries that need help. The prospect of cascading crises more brutal and destructive than anything the virus alone can do must jolt us all out of our comfort zone.”

The COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan is the international community’s primary fundraising vehicle to respond to the humanitarian impacts of the virus in low- and middle-income countries and support their efforts to fight it. It brings together appeals from WHO and other UN humanitarian agencies. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and NGO consortiums have been instrumental in helping shape the plan and deliver it, and they can access funding through it. The plan provides help and protection that prioritize the most vulnerable. This includes older people, people with disabilities, displaced people, and women and girls, given pandemics heighten existing levels of discrimination, inequality and gender-based violence.

Since the plan was first launched on 25 March, $1.7 billion in generous donor funding has been raised.
The updated plan released today includes a supplementary $300 million to bolster rapid response from NGOs, on top of their specific requirements in each country; a new famine prevention envelope of $500 million; and a sharper focus on preventing gender-based violence. With funding of $10 billion, the plan will support 63 vulnerable countries and cover the global transport system necessary to deliver the relief.

The COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan operates alongside other complementary initiatives to protect the most vulnerable people. The initiatives include the Red Cross and Red Crescent appeals; the Global Fund’s programme to safeguard a decade of work to combat malaria, tuberculosis and HIV; the Vaccine Alliance’s (Gavi) work to keep future generations free from measles, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases; and the UN Women’s Gender in Humanitarian Action programme. All require urgent funding.

WHO urges greater COVID-19 health services in Africa’s humanitarian settings

WHO urges greater COVID-19 health services in Africa’s humanitarian settings
16 July 2020
Brazzaville – The World Health Organization (WHO) today called for greater access to COVID-19 detection, testing and care among vulnerable populations grappling with the impacts of protracted conflict and humanitarian emergencies across Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to over 26% of the world’s refugees. Long-running conflicts in regions like the Sahel have led to the closure of health facilities and the flight of health workers. In Burkina Faso, 110 health facilities have been closed due to insecurity while services have been impaired in 186 others, leaving around 1.5 million people without adequate health care. In Mali’s central and northern regions, health services have been paralysed by persistent attacks. In 2019 alone, 18 attacks on health facilities were reported. So far this year, one health centre has been attacked.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated existing humanitarian challenges, particularly with regards to access to health services in many countries in the region,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “With the pandemic, we have seen some humanitarian operations delayed due to lockdowns, curfews and the restrictions of movement for both personnel and cargo vital for COVID-19 response.”

Crowded settings such as displacement camps can heighten the risk of COVID-19 transmission due to difficult access to clean water, leading to inadequate hygiene, and where physical distancing is almost impossible.

The United Nations system has activated health clusters in eight countries where the humanitarian situation requires support from the international community, including Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger and South Sudan. Although information on COVID-19 transmission in humanitarian settings remains limited so far, about 1800 COVID-19 cases have been reported in seven of these countries among the displaced, refugees, migrants or in areas affected by humanitarian crises. Due to the limited detection and testing capacity, the number is likely to be an under-estimate.

“WHO urges the humanitarian community and Member States to increase support to the millions of people in dire need of assistance in the region. If we don’t step up health services, including testing, tracing, isolation and care for people already living in precarious settings and displacement camps, COVID-19 could spark untold tragedy,” said Dr Moeti…

WHO and UNICEF warn of a decline in vaccinations during COVID-19

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

WHO and UNICEF warn of a decline in vaccinations during COVID-19
News release
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 15 July 2020 – The World Health Organization and UNICEF warned today of an alarming decline in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines around the world. This is due to disruptions in the delivery and uptake of immunization services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new data by WHO and UNICEF, these disruptions threaten to reverse hard-won progress to reach more children and adolescents with a wider range of vaccines, which has already been hampered by a decade of stalling coverage.

The latest data on vaccine coverage estimates from WHO and UNICEF for 2019 shows that improvements such as the expansion of the HPV vaccine to 106 countries and greater protection for children against more diseases are in danger of lapsing. For example, preliminary data for the first four months of 2020 points to a substantial drop in the number of children completing three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3). This is the first time in 28 years that the world could see a reduction in DTP3 coverage – the marker for immunization coverage within and across countries.

“Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools in the history of public health, and more children are now being immunized than ever before,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “But the pandemic has put those gains at risk. The avoidable suffering and death caused by children missing out on routine immunizations could be far greater than COVID-19 itself. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Vaccines can be delivered safely even during the pandemic, and we are calling on countries to ensure these essential life-saving programmes continue.”

COVID-19 disruptions
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 30 measles vaccination campaigns were or are at risk of being cancelled, which could result in further outbreaks in 2020 and beyond. According to a new UNICEF, WHO and Gavi pulse survey,  conducted in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control, the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, three quarters of the 82 countries that responded reported COVID-19 related disruptions in their immunization programmes as of May 2020. The reasons for disrupted services vary. Even when services are offered, people are either unable to access them because of reluctance to leave home, transport interruptions, economic hardships, restrictions on movement, or fear of being exposed to people with COVID-19. Many health workers are also unavailable because of restrictions on travel or redeployment to COVID response duties as well as a lack of protective equipment.

“COVID-19 has made previously routine vaccination a daunting challenge,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “We must prevent a further deterioration in vaccine coverage and urgently resume vaccination programs before children’s lives are threatened by other diseases. We cannot trade one health crisis for another.”…

 

COVAX – More than 150 countries engaged in COVID-19 vaccine global access facility

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

COVAX – More than 150 countries engaged in COVID-19 vaccine global access facility
:: Seventy-five countries submit expressions of interest to COVAX Facility, joining up to 90 further countries which could be supported by the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC)
:: The COVAX Facility, and the AMC within it, is designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country in the world, rich and poor, to make rapid progress towards slowing the pandemic
:: Interest from governments representing more than 60% of the world’s population offers ‘tremendous vote of confidence’ in the effort to ensure truly global access to COVID-19 vaccines, once developed

Geneva/London, 15 July 2020 – Seventy-five countries have submitted expressions of interest to protect their populations and those of other nations through joining the COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

The 75 countries, which would finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets, partner with up to 90 lower-income countries that could be supported through voluntary donations to Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Together, this group of up to 165 countries represents more than 60% of the world’s population. Among the group are representatives from every continent and more than half of the world’s G20 economies.

“COVAX is the only truly global solution to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “For the vast majority of countries, whether they can afford to pay for their own doses or require assistance, it means receiving a guaranteed share of doses and avoiding being pushed to the back of the queue, as we saw during the H1N1 pandemic a decade ago. Even for those countries that are able to secure their own agreements with vaccine manufacturers, this mechanism represents, through its world-leading portfolio of vaccine candidates, a means of reducing the risks associated with individual candidates failing to show efficacy or gain licensure.”

The COVAX Facility forms a key part of the COVAX pillar (COVAX) of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers. COVAX aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

It will achieve this by sharing the risks associated with vaccine development, investing in manufacturing upfront so vaccines can be deployed at scale as soon as they are proven successful, and pooling procurement and purchasing power to achieve sufficient volumes to end the acute phase of the pandemic by 2021.

“This early level of interest represents a tremendous vote of confidence in COVAX and our shared goal to protect people around the globe through the fair allocation of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI. “COVAX offers an innovative solution to the gravest public health crisis in living memory. It will speed up the availability of safe and effective vaccines through early investment in manufacturing capacity, and maximise the chances of success by backing a broad and diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates. Through COVAX our aspiration is to be able to vaccinate the most vulnerable 20% of the population of every country that participates, regardless of income level, by the end of 2021. Ensuring fair access is not only a matter of equity; it is the fastest way to end this pandemic”

The goal of COVAX is by the end of 2021 to deliver two billion doses of safe, effective vaccines that have passed regulatory approval and/or WHO prequalification. These vaccines will be delivered equally to all participating countries, proportional to their populations, initially prioritising healthcare workers then expanding to cover 20% of the population of participating countries. Further doses will then be made available based on country need, vulnerability and COVID-19 threat. The COVAX Facility will also maintain a buffer of doses for emergency and humanitarian use, including dealing with severe outbreaks before they spiral out of control.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, like every health crisis, also presents us with opportunities,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist. “A vaccine that is affordable and accessible to all will help us address systemic health inequalities. We need all countries to support COVAX to achieve this goal and bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic.”

The success of these efforts will ultimately depend on securing enough funding from governments and commitments from vaccine manufacturers to participate at a scale large enough to deliver a global solution. The formal expressions of interest submitted are non-binding; the COVAX pillar will now begin a process of consultation with all 165 countries, with countries funding vaccines through their own domestic budgets being required to provide an upfront payment and a commitment to purchase doses by the end of August to secure involvement in the COVAX Facility.

Significant progress has been achieved by the COVAX partners to date, with seven of the nine candidate vaccines supported by CEPI already in clinical trials. A memorandum of understanding with AstraZeneca also commits them to supply 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX.

In addition, in June Gavi launched the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a financing instrument aimed at incentivising vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of eventual COVID-19 vaccines to ensure access for developing countries. The Gavi COVAX AMC has already raised close to US$ 600 million against an initial target of US$ 2 billion from high income donors as well as the private sector. Gavi will also work with developing countries to assure readiness of supply and cold chain and training to reach high risk groups.

Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

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

Situation report – 180 – WHO
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
18 July 2020

Confirmed cases :: 13 876 441 [week ago: 12 322 395]
Confirmed deaths :: 593 087 {week ago: 556 335]

Highlights
:: WHO has published an interim checklist for local authorities on Practical actions in cities to strengthen preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The checklist accompanies the interim guidance on Strengthening preparedness for COVID-19 in cities and urban settings.

:: The WHO Regional Office for Europe joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF to issue a policy paper on how to strengthen protection against, and address, social and economic shocks such as those caused by the pandemic.

: Ghana’s nurses are delivering child healthcare services to communities in need amid COVID-19. Segla, a community nurse who provides preventive healthcare to children in the north of Accra, emphasized the importance of visiting households if pediatric patients do not attend clinics due to COVID-19

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WHO urges greater COVID-19 health services in Africa’s humanitarian settings
16 July 2020
Brazzaville – The World Health Organization (WHO) today called for greater access to COVID-19 detection, testing and care among vulnerable populations grappling with the impacts of protracted conflict and humanitarian emergencies across Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to over 26% of the world’s refugees. Long-running conflicts in regions like the Sahel have led to the closure of health facilities and the flight of health workers. In Burkina Faso, 110 health facilities have been closed due to insecurity while services have been impaired in 186 others, leaving around 1.5 million people without adequate health care. In Mali’s central and northern regions, health services have been paralysed by persistent attacks. In 2019 alone, 18 attacks on health facilities were reported. So far this year, one health centre has been attacked.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated existing humanitarian challenges, particularly with regards to access to health services in many countries in the region,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “With the pandemic, we have seen some humanitarian operations delayed due to lockdowns, curfews and the restrictions of movement for both personnel and cargo vital for COVID-19 response.”

Crowded settings such as displacement camps can heighten the risk of COVID-19 transmission due to difficult access to clean water, leading to inadequate hygiene, and where physical distancing is almost impossible.

The United Nations system has activated health clusters in eight countries where the humanitarian situation requires support from the international community, including Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger and South Sudan. Although information on COVID-19 transmission in humanitarian settings remains limited so far, about 1800 COVID-19 cases have been reported in seven of these countries among the displaced, refugees, migrants or in areas affected by humanitarian crises. Due to the limited detection and testing capacity, the number is likely to be an under-estimate.

“WHO urges the humanitarian community and Member States to increase support to the millions of people in dire need of assistance in the region. If we don’t step up health services, including testing, tracing, isolation and care for people already living in precarious settings and displacement camps, COVID-19 could spark untold tragedy,” said Dr Moeti…

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Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

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

Last WHO Situation Report published 23 June 2020

Democratic Republic of the Congo Ebola cases rise, surpass previous outbreak
16 July 2020
Brazzaville – The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Equateur Province continues to grow, causing major concern as the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners face critical funding gaps. Confirmed cases have now surpassed the total number recorded during the province’s last outbreak in 2018.
The latest outbreak, DRC’s 11th, was declared on 1 June 2020 after a cluster of cases was detected in Mbandaka area of Equateur Province. The outbreak has since spread to six health zones, with 56 cases recorded. The city of Mbandaka and its surroundings were also the site of the country’s 9th Ebola outbreak which lasted from May to July 2018 and in which 54 cases were confirmed.
Of the 56 cases reported so far, 53 are confirmed and three are probable. In the last three weeks alone, 28 cases have been confirmed.
“Responding to Ebola in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is complex, but we must not let COVID-19 distract us from tackling other pressing health threats,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The current Ebola outbreak is running into headwinds because cases are scattered across remote areas in dense rain forests. This makes for a costly response as ensuring that responders and supplies reach affected populations is extremely challenging.”
The ongoing Ebola response is also facing funding shortfalls. So far WHO has mobilized US$ 1.75 million, which will last only a few more weeks. Additional support is needed to rapidly scale up the efforts by WHO, the DRC health authorities and partners to ensure all the affected communities receive key services including health education and community engagement, vaccination, testing, contact tracing and treatment.
Significant achievements have been made since the outbreak began. In six weeks, more than 12 000 people have been vaccinated. During the 2018 outbreak in Equateur, it took two weeks to start vaccinations. This time around vaccinations started within four days of the outbreak being declared…

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Polio; WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 14 July 2020
:: A virtual meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on polio eradication in Pakistan was held on 11 and 15 of June 2020. The meeting report is now available here.
:: The polio eradication programme has stepped up to help the Sudanese Ministry of Health limit spread of the COVID-19 virus. The programme is working in 14 states in the country supporting COVID-19 surveillance, information dissemination and training of health workers. Read more

Summary of new WPV and cVDPV viruses this week (AFP cases and environmental samples):
:: Afghanistan: four cVDPV2 cases
:: Pakistan: two WPV1 cases and seven WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Angola: one cVDPV2 case
:: Cameroon: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Chad: two cVDPV2 cases
:: Malaysia: one cVDPV1 positive environmental sample

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 18 July 2020]

Somalia
:: Strengthening laboratory capacity in Somalia 17 July 2020

Democratic Republic of the Congo – No new digest announcements identified
Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 18 July 2020]
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – 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
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
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – 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 18 July 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – Page not responding at inquiry
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
:: Recent Developments in Northwest Syria – Situation Report No. 17 – As of 13 July 2020

Yemen
:: 12 July 2020 Yemen: COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Monthly Report (June 2020) [EN/AR]

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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.
East Africa Locust Infestation
:: Desert Locust situation update – 13 July 2020

COVID-19
:: (COVID-19) Situation Report 36: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 16 July 2020, information for period: 5 March – 16 July 2020
Highlights
:: The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to surge in the West Bank with an average of 365 new cases per day since July 1
:: WHO has visited Hebron to consult with the governor and health teams on support priorities for this most affected governorate
WHO preparedness, readiness and response
:: WHO is continuing to work with partners to support Ministry of Health’s (MoH) efforts to respond to the COVID-19 situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

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The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 11 July 2020 :: Number 324

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

PDFThe Sentinel_ period ending 11 July 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

UNESCO statement on Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Heritage Stewardship

Hagia Sophia: World Council of Churches appeals to Turkey on mosque decision
BBC News 11 July 2020
The World Council of Churches has called on Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reverse his decision to turn the celebrated Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque.

In a letter to Mr Erdogan, the Council, which counts 350 churches as members, said the move would sow division.

The Unesco World Heritage site in Istanbul has been a museum since 1934.

The president announced his decision on Friday following a court ruling which annulled its museum status.

The Hagia Sophia was built 1,500 years ago as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in 1453…

 

UNESCO statement on Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Hagia Sophia: UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls for the universal value of World Heritage to be preserved
Paris, Friday 10 July – The Director-General of UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, to change the status of Hagia Sophia. This evening, she shared her serious concerns with the Ambassador of Turkey to UNESCO.

Hagia Sophia is part of the Historic Areas of Istanbul, a property inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. “Hagia Sophia is an architectural masterpiece and a unique testimony to interactions between Europe and Asia over the centuries. Its status as a museum reflects the universal nature of its heritage, and makes it a powerful symbol for dialogue,” said Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

This decision announced today raises the issue of the impact of this change of status on the property’s universal value. States have an obligation to ensure that modifications do not affect the Outstanding Universal Value of inscribed sites on their territories. UNESCO must be given prior notice of any such modifications, which, if necessary, are then examined by the World Heritage Committee.

UNESCO also recalls that the effective, inclusive and equitable participation of communities and other stakeholders concerned by the property is necessary to preserve this heritage and highlight its uniqueness and significance. The purpose of this requirement is to protect and transmit the Outstanding Universal Value of heritage, and it is inherent to the spirit of the World Heritage Convention.

These concerns were shared with the Republic of Turkey in several letters, and again yesterday evening with the representative of the Turkish Delegation to UNESCO. It is regrettable that the Turkish decision was made without any form of dialogue or prior notice. UNESCO calls upon the Turkish authorities to initiate dialogue without delay, in order to prevent any detrimental effect on the universal value of this exceptional heritage, the state of conservation of which will be examined by the World Heritage Committee at its next session.

“It is important to avoid any implementing measure, without prior discussion with UNESCO, that would affect physical access to the site, the structure of the buildings, the site’s moveable property, or the site’s management,” stressed Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture. Such measures could constitute breaches of the rules derived from the 1972 World Heritage Convention.

Increased trafficking in falsified medical products due to COVID-19, says UNODC research

COVID-19 – Falsified Medicines

Increased trafficking in falsified medical products due to COVID-19, says UNODC research
Vienna (Austria), 8 July – The sudden increase in demand for medical products to address the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an expansion in the trafficking of substandard and falsified products, according to research published today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The virus has further highlighted the shortcomings in regulatory and legal frameworks aimed at preventing the manufacture and trafficking of such products, the “COVID-19-related Trafficking of Medical Products as a Threat to Public Health” research brief points out.

“Health and lives are at risk with criminals exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to cash in on public anxiety and increased demand for PPE and medications,” said UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly.

“Transnational organized crime groups take advantage of gaps in national regulation and oversight to peddle substandard and falsified medical products. We need to help countries increase cooperation to close gaps, build law enforcement and criminal justice capacity, and drive public awareness to keep people safe.”

Organized criminal groups have exploited uncertainties surrounding the virus by filling the gap in the demand for medical products that are in short supply with sub-standard and falsified products. The falsification of medical products bears significant risks for public health as products may not properly treat the disease and may facilitate the development of drug resistance.

Criminal groups have also quickly adjusted to the opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic to exploit the vulnerabilities and gaps in the health and criminal justice systems. Evidence shows that illicit events, such as fraud, scams and seizures, involving the manufacture and trafficking of substandard and falsified medical products, have followed the spread of the virus…