The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 4 July 2020 :: Number 323

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 4 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

Remarks by President Trump at South Dakota’s 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration | Keystone, South Dakota, USA

Heritage as Political Asset

Remarks by President Trump at South Dakota’s 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration | Keystone, South Dakota
Issued on: July 4, 2020
[Excerpts]
…Seventeen seventy-six represented the culmination of thousands of years of western civilization and the triumph not only of spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason.

And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure.

Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.

…Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them.

…In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us.

Make no mistake: this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress.

To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.

…No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart. Can’t have it. No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future.

The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society. It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance, and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of repression, domination, and exclusion.

…Centuries from now, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all.

The Mellon Foundation Announces Transformation of its Strategic Direction and New Focus on Social Justice

Philanthropy

The Mellon Foundation Announces Transformation of its Strategic Direction and New Focus on Social Justice
NEW YORK, June 30, 2020 – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced a major strategic evolution for its organization, prioritizing social justice in all of its grantmaking. The Foundation’s board has resoundingly endorsed a refined mission statement and updated program areas. While Mellon’s strategic shift—under the leadership of Mellon President Elizabeth Alexander— has been two years in the making, current events make the Foundation’s new social justice lens even more relevant to Mellon’s philanthropic efforts supporting the arts and humanities.

Since its founding, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has sought to strengthen, promote, and defend the arts and humanities as essential to democratic societies. An increased focus on just communities comes at a moment in which a national spotlight is shining on widespread—and longstanding—social and racial injustice. The new mission notes that the Foundation’s focus will be on building “just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking where ideas and imagination can thrive” and animated by a belief that “the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity.”

“We have been evolving our work since I arrived as President, and we are unveiling it at a transformational moment in our history. At Mellon, we believe in the power of the humanities and the arts to facilitate a deeper understanding of the richness of human experience. Now, we urgently ask the question, ‘What does it mean to pursue social justice through the humanities and the arts?’,” said Elizabeth Alexander, president of the Mellon Foundation. “We are a problem-solving foundation looking to address historical inequities in the fields we fund. Our mission clearly reflects our values, and the core of our philanthropic approach.”…

Security Council Underlines Support for Secretary-General’s Global Ceasefire Appeal, Fight against COVID-19, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2532 (2020)

Global Ceasefire

Security Council Underlines Support for Secretary-General’s Global Ceasefire Appeal, Fight against COVID-19, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2532 (2020)
SC/14238
1 July 2020
The Security Council, in a 1 July videoconference meeting*, announced its decision to adopt a resolution expressing its support for the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire, which he issued in March to help unite efforts to fight COVID-19 in the most vulnerable countries.

In unanimously adopting resolution 2532 (2020), the Council demanded a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda and supports the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General and his Special Representatives and Special Envoys in that respect.

The 15-member organ called upon all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days, to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance, and provision of related services by impartial humanitarian actors, in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. The pause would also enable medical evacuations, in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian and refugee law as applicable.

However, the Council affirmed that the general and immediate cessation of hostilities and humanitarian pause does not apply to military operations against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), Al-Qaida and Al-Nusra Front, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida or ISIL, and other Council-designated terrorist groups.

The Council requested the Secretary-General to help ensure that all relevant parts of the United Nations system, including country teams, accelerate their response to the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on countries in need, including those in situations of armed conflict or affected by humanitarian crises.

The 15-member organ also requested the Secretary-General to provide updates on the Organization’s efforts to address the coronavirus in countries facing situations of armed conflict or affected by humanitarian crises, as well as on the impact of COVID-19 on the ability of peacekeeping operations and special political missions to deliver their mandated priority tasks.

Furthermore, it requested the Secretary-General to instruct peacekeeping operations to provide support, within their mandates and capacities, to host country authorities in their efforts to contain the pandemic.

The Council also acknowledged the critical role that women play in COVID-19 response efforts, as well as the disproportionate negative impact of the pandemic, notably the socioeconomic impact, on women and girls, children, refugees, internally displaced persons, older persons and persons with disabilities. It called for concrete actions to minimize this impact and ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth in the development and implementation of an adequate and sustainable response to the pandemic.

[Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March (China).]

ICRC :: Six Essential Lessons for a Pandemic Response in Humanitarian Settings

Pandemic Response – Humanitarian Contexts

Six Essential Lessons for a Pandemic Response in Humanitarian Settings
Statement to UN Security Council Open Debate: Pandemics and Security
Peter Maurer, ICRC President
2 July 2020
[Editor’s text bolding]
Chair, excellencies. Thank you for the opportunity to brief you today.

Conflict zones are the sharp end of pandemics. Communities are already living on a knife edge where additional shocks can be catastrophic.

The ICRC is seeing first-hand how COVID19 and its economic aftershocks are deepening fragility – spiking humanitarian needs, accentuating the impact of violence and conflict, opening the doors to alarming levels of stigmatization, increasing global poverty, heightening instability and tensions and reversing hard-won development gains.

These are deeply complex and fragile places in which to launch a pandemic response. It is clear that pandemics cannot be addressed solely as health issues.
Instead the precondition is a political environment which supports health systems, social supports and humanitarian action; simultaneous emergency and development approaches; as well as a fundamental change of behavior of belligerents in conflicts.

Unquestionably pandemics are changing humanitarian work. We already know that needs are vast and growing: according to our legal analysis there are now around 100 armed conflicts around the world involving 60 States and more than 100 non-state armed groups as parties to those conflicts. This represents a steady rise in the total number of classified conflicts over recent decades.

ICRC is drawing lessons from the impacts of COVID19 across these conflicts as well as the experiences of other infectious diseases like Ebola, cholera, and tuberculous. Today I bring to your attention six essential lessons for a pandemic response in humanitarian settings.

One, International Humanitarian Law must be better respected to protect civilians and their infrastructure from multiple future shocks, including pandemics.
Violations of IHL – cities bombed to rubble, mass displacement – are the enemy of a pandemic response.

Countries where health services have been destroyed by war stand little chance to treat or contain COVID19. Emergency room mortality rates are spiking dramatically. Attacks – including cyber-attacks – on health care workers and facilities are continuing unabated.

Health workers and humanitarians are our first and last lines of defence and they must be protected. Words and promises, resolutions like 2286, which are agreed by this Council, are fruitless if they do not result in meaningful changes on the ground.

Positive influence by those who have leverage over parties to conflict must be a priority. ICRC is doing our share with millions of health workers around the world with advice on implementing protective measures, fighting stigma and maintaining neutral and impartial services in the midst of war and violence.

Two, assistance and protection must be available to all those in need without the threat of politicization or manipulation.

Under international law, impartial humanitarian aid cannot come with strings attached or be withheld from so-called ‘enemy’ groups. People’s needs are the only reasonable basis on which to respond.
Misinformation and exclusionary responses can fuel unrest and instability. Today, the distribution of scarce medicine and protective materials are triggering violent flare-ups; tomorrow, the inequitable distribution of any COVID19 vaccine could destabilize communities.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has joined the UN Secretary General in calling for a people’s vaccine which ensures no one is left out. Once vaccines will be available, their equitable distribution will be critical. We are working to plan with States and with millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent and other humanitarian workers to help to mitigate against potentially very dangerous situations.

Three, the response must go far beyond health needs and mitigate the wider secondary impacts of pandemics.

Pandemic responses cannot be reduced to the delivery of masks or confined to emergency rooms.

Communities need measures to guard against the multiple dimensions of fragility – health and sanitation systems, social safety nets and livelihoods.

There are no silver bullets, but where people are hit by the double burden of conflict and disease, context-specific, evidence-driven approaches will balance the imperatives of controlling infections and mitigate the secondary impacts.

I warn against compartmentalizing the response into humanitarian or development – we must enable emergency and long-term responses, preventative and curative responses in sync. It is possible.

ICRC has seen a growing recognition that inhumane conditions, for example in detention or in displacement camps, can become deadly during a pandemic – not only for those interned but for host communities.
In detention facilities in more than 50 countries, the ICRC is working with the authorities to strengthen health care and hygiene measures. We have seen such measures effectively prevent the spread of cholera and Ebola into places of detention in Guinea, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

By responding to health needs, it is possible to improve inhumane conditions for the longer term and diffuse rising tensions in communities. ICRC has delivered more than 200 confidential reports to authorities concerned over the past few months on the conditions in detention facilities, making recommendations on systems wide improvements covering health, sanitation and hygiene services, overcrowding, family contact, ill treatment and judicial processes. We commend the many authorities, who have responded positively to our recommendations and who have prevented a degradation of their security environment.

Four, responses must be built to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized community members. No-one is safe from a pandemic until everyone is safe.

Pandemics will affect some people more than others. We must ensure responses reach those less visible and silenced. For example, displaced people, those working in the informal sector, those in areas controlled by non-State armed groups, people detained, people with disabilities, the elderly, racial groups, women and girls as well as sexual and gender minorities.

We must look at the landscape of needs, rather than creating trade-offs between the COVID response and other responses. The war wounded, those with chronic diseases must still be treated, mental health and sexual violence responses must be scaled up to dramatically increasing demand. Livelihood assistance and other social supports must be boosted as critical prevention measures. Failure to do so will nurture the cycle of exclusion, violence and conflict.

Five, we must proactively guard against any rollback of civilian protections.

Governments must not exploit the pandemic and set draconian precedents, which undermine International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. Any exceptional measures to fight and contain the pandemic must be time-bound, non-discriminatory and proportional to public health needs.

We urge wider implementation of the good practice of granting exceptions to humanitarians whenever possible. Humanitarian organizations are ready for their part to take additional precautionary measures in their work.

Given the mistrust and heightened tensions in areas of violence and conflict, States need to be especially vigilant to ensure that laws restricting the use of force are thoroughly applied. This should be followed through to ensure rules of conduct and training are in place, as well as robust oversight of security forces. Checks and balances must be in place so emergency measures, such as lock downs or widescale data collection, are not used as abusive tools to control a population, nor undermine public trust in health measures. Temporary restrictions on humanitarian access must not become fixed.

Six, responses will only be effective if there is community trust and engagement.

The global COVID response is a game changer for state-citizen trust. Healthcare at gunpoint is futile. Even in conflict-affected environments, local authorities can build trust by listening to communities, and acting with transparency.

Responders also need to be trusted, and stigma combatted. ICRC, together with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and its existing community networks is often one of the few responders in contested areas.

We see there is no substitute for neutral and impartial humanitarian action which secures the trust of populations, and the trust of authorities across frontlines and the so-called “last mile” of service delivery.

Trust can be achieved by listening to the plight of communities, by walking the talk, by engaging and cooperating with local leaders and faith-based organizations and religious leaders. On the frontlines of fighting the pandemic the convergence of health and security is not a matter of political debate but of simple and experienced truth.

Colleagues, even in this uncertain time, we have the knowledge and the lessons on how to tackle COVID19. Much can be done – in this Council and beyond:

The passing of UNSC resolution 2532 represents a chance to reset – to translate the consensus reflected in the text into greater cooperation and action to protect civilians.

The choices are there – choose to respect the ceasefire; choose to intensify diplomacy to make it happen. Choose to enable humanitarian access including facilitating movement. Choose to follow the laws you created in international humanitarian law. Choose to give space to first responders and local communities.

Millions around the world are depending on you to make the choices that protect them from the health crises of the future.

Comment \: A wake-up call: COVID-19 and its impact on children’s health and wellbeing

Featured Journal Content

Lancet Global Health
Jul 2020 Volume 8 Number 7 e860-e972
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/issue/current
Comment
A wake-up call: COVID-19 and its impact on children’s health and wellbeing
Henrietta H Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF

As cases of COVID-19 surge worldwide and threaten to overwhelm life-saving health services, the survival of mothers and children is at great risk.

In The Lancet Global Health, Timothy Roberton and colleagues1 present startling new evidence on the potential rise in maternal and child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries if essential health services are disrupted as a result of COVID-19. Building on lessons learned from previous outbreaks of Ebola virus disease and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the authors estimate a devastating increase in the numbers of maternal and child deaths resulting from reductions in routine health service coverage.

Left unchecked, these reductions (due to, for example, disruptions in medical supply chains or the availability of human and financial resources) along with declines in the uptake of health services by communities fearful of infection will be more catastrophic for mothers and children than COVID-19 itself. The projection of an additional 1·2 million child deaths and 56 700 maternal deaths in 118 countries if coverage of essential services drops by around 45% for 6 months is alarming. It is also avoidable if we act now.

These findings reinforce the multi-part approach that UNICEF has adopted from the start of the outbreak.2 First, we are working to prevent COVID-19 transmission and treat those who fall sick. Second, we are working to address the effects of the policy responses aimed at containing the spread, including maintaining routine health services for all children and mothers, ensuring continuity of learning, keeping mothers and children safe and protected from violence, and scaling up social protections to keep children and their families afloat. Third, we are working to strengthen the systems that underpin all of these services.

The evidence is already showing the negative effects of COVID-19, and the unprecedented measures to contain it, on maternal and child health. Children are at risk not only of infection, but also of losing or being separated from family members and caregivers. Mothers and children are affected by the disruption of essential preventative and curative support and supplies resulting from suspensions in services and transportation systems, as well as by financial constraints.3,4

Constrained access to clinics, schools, social workers, water, and sanitation is a particular threat to the most vulnerable populations, and the lack of child protection and broader social services is particularly harmful to women and children in need of safety.

Looming above all of these concerns is the economic impact of both the pandemic control measures governments are taking and the predicted knock-on effects of the projected global recession:5 reduced incomes, public and private debt, and reduced access to goods will affect many aspects of household health and nutrition. In short, these effects threaten to roll back the hard-won progress countries have made in recent decades.

As a global community, overcoming the negative impacts of the pandemic will require focus on six key areas of action and investment.

First, we must keep children healthy and well nourished by providing supplies and protective equipment, which must reach health workers and affected communities. At the same time, life-saving maternal, newborn, and child health services, routine vaccinations, and access to HIV treatment must be maintained.

Second, we must urgently prioritise funding and support for maintaining and strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene. The combined work of governments and the private sector will be required to increase the practice of handwashing across the board, tapping into local innovation and global partnerships.

Third, learning and connectedness among children must be maintained, and support must be given to governments to provide no-technology, low-technology, and digital solutions. Already before the crisis, UNICEF was working on an initiative6 with partners to extend digital infrastructure to ensure all children can learn, no matter who and where they are, and this work needs to be brought quickly to scale.

Fourth, we must recognise parents and families as essential front-line workers. They need support through social protection measures that include cash and nutrition support. Fiscal response packages must target women and children. More than ever, everyone needs access to paid family leave, paid sick leave, and childcare.

Fifth, services to prevent and address gender-based violence—including counselling and support—must be designed and delivered. These services should be designated as essential, and moved online. The current crisis makes women and children even more vulnerable to violence.3

Finally, we must not forget about refugee and migrant children or children affected by conflict. An effective COVID-19 response is one that includes all children in a country—whatever their status.

As we think through new and innovative ways to support children and their families, it is encouraging to see that many local initiatives have already begun.7

These initiatives push us all to consider the new opportunities that this crisis creates for communities to recover better, build stronger systems, and orient these services to reach all people, rich and poor alike.

This kind of long-term thinking can help us to prevent further loss of life from COVID-19 and to reduce the effects of the global recession, while making progress towards the healthier, more equal, resilient, and sustainable future envisioned in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This future is not automatic. It begins by heeding the findings of models like those presented by Roberton and colleagues, and by realising that the full effects of the disease on health and wellbeing of children reach beyond the immediate illness. These effects threaten global progress in a number of areas, as well as the lives and rights of a generation of children.

By working together as a global community, we can learn from these data and invest in future-oriented solutions now, and spur a lasting recovery that will benefit children and communities for decades to come.

EMERGENCIES: Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

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

WHO – Situation report – 166 
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
4 July 2020

Confirmed cases :: 10 922 324
Confirmed deaths :: 523 011
Countries, areas or territories with cases :: 216

Highlights
:: WHO is providing support to bridge a shortfall in oxygen supplies in Iraq. To counter severe shortages, WHO has airlifted 300 oxygen concentrators from WHO’s warehouses in the United Arab Emirates.
:: As African countries begin to reopen borders and air spaces, it is crucial that governments take effective measures to mitigate the risk of a surge in infections.
:: The UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres in his remarks to the Security Council on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security warned that the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting peace and security around the world. He stated that “Collective security and our shared well-being are under assault on many fronts led by a relentless disease and abetted by global fragilities.”
:: In Yemen, healthcare workers face a double battle – COVID-19 in a conflict zone. WHO chronicles the work of Dr Sami Al Hajj, a young doctor working at the Science and Technology Hospital in Sana.

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2 July 2020
Global scientific community unites to track progress on COVID-19 R&D, identifies new research priorities and critical gaps

1 July 2020
Redefining global care: Duty, service and choices made in the time of COVID-19

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Pfizer and BioNTech Announce Early Positive Data from an Ongoing Phase 1/2 study of mRNA-based Vaccine Candidate Against SARS-CoV-2
In an ongoing U.S. Phase 1/2 placebo-controlled, observer-blinded clinical trial, nucleoside-modified messenger RNA vaccine candidate (BNT162b1) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) is being evaluated in 45 subjects

At day 28 (7 days after dose 2), all subjects who received 10 or 30 mg of BNT162b1 had significantly elevated RBD-binding IgG antibodies with geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) of 4,813 and 27,872 units/ml which are 8- and 46.3-times, respectively, the GMC of 602 units/ml in a panel of 38 sera of convalescent patients who had contracted SARS-CoV-2

At day 28 (7 days after dose 2), all subjects who received 10 or 30 mg of BNT162b1 had SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies with geometric mean titers (GMTs) of 168 and 267, which are 1.8- and 2.8-times, respectively, the GMT of the convalescent serum panel

Local reactions and systemic events after immunization with 10 µg and 30 µg of BNT162b1 were dose-dependent, generally mild to moderate, and transient. No serious adverse events were reported

Further data from the ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial of four vaccine candidates will enable selection of a lead candidate and dose level for a large, global Phase 2b/3 safety and efficacy study that may begin as early as July 2020

Efforts to manufacture the leading candidates, at risk, are gearing up. In case the safety and efficacy study is successful, and the vaccine receives regulatory approval, the companies are expecting to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021

July 01, 2020 08:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time
NEW YORK & MAINZ, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced preliminary data from the most advanced of four investigational vaccine candidates from their BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine program, Project Lightspeed, against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the current global pandemic. The BNT162 program is evaluating at least four experimental vaccines, each of which represents a unique combination of mRNA format and target antigen. The manuscript describing the preliminary clinical data for the nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) candidate, BNT162b1, which encodes an optimized SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen, is available on an online preprint server at https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.30.20142570v1 and is concurrently undergoing scientific peer-review for potential publication. Overall, the preliminary data demonstrated that BNT162b1 could be administered in a dose that was well tolerated and generated dose dependent immunogenicity, as measured by RBD-binding IgG concentrations and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers.

“We are encouraged by the clinical data of BNT162b1, one of four mRNA constructs we are evaluating clinically, and for which we have positive, preliminary, topline findings”

“We are encouraged by the clinical data of BNT162b1, one of four mRNA constructs we are evaluating clinically, and for which we have positive, preliminary, topline findings,” said Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research & Development, Pfizer. “We are dedicated to develop potentially groundbreaking vaccines and medicines, and in the face of this global health crisis, we approach this goal with the utmost urgency. We look forward to publishing our clinical data in a peer-reviewed journal as quickly as possible.”…

Emergencies: Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

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

Last Situation Report published 23 June 2020

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Johnson & Johnson Announces European Commission Approval for Janssen’s Preventive Ebola Vaccine
:: This marks the first major regulatory approval of a vaccine developed by Janssen
:: The Ebola vaccine regimen leverages Janssen’s AdVac® technology, plus Bavarian Nordic’s established MVA-BN® technology
: Janssen’s AdVac® technology is also being used to develop a vaccine candidate to prevent COVID-19
July 01, 2020 09:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Johnson & Johnson today announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted Marketing Authorisation for its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies’ Ebola vaccine regimen for the prevention of Ebola Virus Disease. Enabled by this approval, Janssen is now collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) on vaccine pre-qualification, which should help accelerate registration of its preventive Ebola vaccine regimen in African countries and facilitate broader access to those most in need.

Two Marketing Authorisation Applications (MAAs) were submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the vaccines composing the two-dose regimen, Zabdeno® (Ad26.ZEBOV) and Mvabea® (MVA-BN-Filo). Marketing Authorisation under exceptional circumstances has been granted following Accelerated Assessment of the MAAs and a positive opinion by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). Janssen’s Ebola vaccine regimen is indicated for active immunization for the prevention of Ebola Virus Disease caused by the Zaire ebolavirus species in individuals aged one year and above.

“The European approval of Janssen’s Ebola vaccine regimen is a landmark moment – both for our Company and in the world’s battle against the deadly Ebola virus. Building on our history, we are committed to bringing forward vaccines to help overcome the threat of some of the world’s most life-threatening infectious diseases,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson…

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Emergencies: POLIO; WHO/OCHA

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 24 June 2020
:: WHO is looking to fill the Director position of its polio eradication department. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute to a major global public health achievement: polio eradication. More information

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: seven WPV1 cases
:: Pakistan: two WPV1 cases and 10 WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo: 13 cVDPV2 cases
:: Burkina Faso: five cVDPV2 cases
:: Côte d’Ivoire: eight cVDPV2 cases
:: Somalia: two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 4 July 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Building on Ebola response to tackle COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
25 June 2020
:: Heroes of the Ebola response 25 June 2020

Nigeria
:: Community leaders help drive COVID-19 testing in Nigeria’s Kano 29 June 2020
:: Germany boosts WHO’s strategies to support government-led interventions for vulnerable populations in the North-east 29 June 2020

Syrian Arab Republic
:: WHO calls for unhindered humanitarian access to all Syrians and support for health system resilience 30 June 2020
:: UNICEF and WHO support national immunization campaign in Syria amid COVID-19 pandemic
29 June 2020

Yemen
:: WHO and KSrelief join forces to preserve the health system in Yemen 30 June 2020
:: Noncommunicable diseases are a silent burden on the people of Yemen 30 June 2020

Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 4 July 2020]
Burundi
:: Communities and coordination are crucial in fighting Ebola
04 July 2019
Close to the border with the Ebola-hit Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), over 100 volunteer health workers are busily planning surveillance actions to detect potential Ebola cases and defend against the virus.

Iraq
:: WHO provides support to bridge shortfall in oxygen supplies in Iraq
Baghdad, Iraq, 2 July 2020 – In light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Iraq and the severe shortage of oxygen in hospitals, WHO has succeeded in securing 300 oxygen concentrators to be used in Iraqi hospitals according to the Ministry of Health’s distribution plan. The concentrators were airlifted from WHO’s warehouses in the United Arab Emirates and delivered to the Ministry of Health…

Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – 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
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
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 4 July 2020]

Kenya
:: Kenyan communities taking the lead in curbing COVID-19 spread 02 July 2020
By the time the public health officials reached a Maasai community not far from Nairobi, Julius Oloiboni had already mobilized everyone to protect themselves and others against COVID-19.
:: The EU and WHO working Together to Defeat COVID-19 in Kenya 29 June 2020

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – Page not responding at inquiry
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Update No. 13 – 29 June 2020

Yemen
Highlights Last Updated: 02 Jul 2020
:: A tragedy unfolds as funding falls short
:: COVID-19 rapidly spreading
:: COVID-19 exacerbates Yemen’s economic problems
:: Heavy rains and flooding hit southern and eastern governorates
:: Migrant arrivals plummet while anti-migrant abuse spikes leaving thousands stranded

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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 – 27 June 2020

COVID-19 – No new digest announcements identified

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The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 27 June 2020 :: Number 322

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 27 June 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 Charter Day – 26 June 2020 :: Marking 75 Years of the Charter of the United Nations

Global Governance

UN Charter Day – 26 June 2020
Marking 75 Years of the Charter of the United Nations
António Guterres
Ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The Charter of the United Nations has been a constant presence in my life. My awareness of it started with the usual brief introduction to the basics of the United Nations as an organization that many young people receive in school. Later, as my political awareness took shape against the backdrop of military rule in Portugal and my country’s status as a colonial power, the Charter’s calls for self-determination and other freedoms registered with urgency. During the time I spent as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, the Charter’s vision of social justice was equally resonant. In subsequent service as a parliamentarian and then as Prime Minister, I was privileged to have an opportunity to advance not only national progress but one of the Charter’s other main objectives: international cooperation. Across a decade as High Commissioner for Refugees and now in my current role, the Charter’s power inspires me onward every day in serving “we the peoples”, including the most vulnerable members of the human family, who have a special claim on that landmark document’s provisions and protections.

The adoption of the Charter of the United Nations was a pivotal and historic moment. The document enshrined a determination to establish a new international order built with the purpose of avoiding a third world war following two such cataclysms that took place within the space of a single generation. Over the past seventy-five years, the Charter has proven to be a solid yet flexible framework. Its ideals have endured, and its legal foundation has progressively adjusted to new situations and needs. Amidst crisis and complexity, the Charter has remained the touchstone we all refer to and rely upon to uphold our shared responsibilities and achieve our global commitments.

In an era of spreading hatred and impunity, the Charter reminds us of the primacy of human dignity and the rule of law. And in a time of rapid transformation and technological change, the Charter’s values and objectives endure: the peaceful settlement of disputes; the equal rights of men and women; non-intervention, self-determination and the sovereign equality of Member States; and clear rules governing the use of force, as set out in Article 2, paragraph 4, and Chapter VII of the Charter.

These principles are not favours or concessions. They form the bedrock of international relations and are central to peace. They have saved lives, advanced economic and social progress and inspired the further elaboration of international law, encompassing key areas such as human rights, the environment and international criminal justice.

When these principles have been flouted, put aside or applied selectively, the results have been catastrophic: conflict, chaos, death, disillusion and mistrust. Our shared challenge is to do far better in upholding the Charter’s values. One of the most effective ways to fulfil our commitments is to invest in prevention, as envisaged in the Charter’s Chapter VI. Another is by working more closely with regional organizations, as foreseen in Chapter VIII. And while peacekeeping is not mentioned in the Charter, it epitomizes the kind of collective action for peace that the Charter envisions and is an indispensable tool that merits strong international support.

Resilient and visionary, the Charter of the United Nations speaks to all people; it belongs to everyone, everywhere. At a time when the world is wrestling with the COVID-19 pandemic, rising geopolitical tensions and growing climate disruption, the Charter points the way to the solidarity we need today and across generations. As we strive to maintain international peace and security, protect human rights, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthen multilateralism, we must return to fundamental principles; we must return to the framework that has kept us together; we must come home to our Charter.

Ford Foundation Announces Sale and Pricing of Landmark $1 Billion Social Bonds

Philanthropy

Ford Foundation Announces Sale and Pricing of Landmark $1 Billion Social Bonds
Ford’s mission, financial health and stability drove investors to buy first labeled social bond by a nonprofit foundation in the U.S. taxable corporate bond market
23 June 2020
New York, NY – The Ford Foundation announced the pricing and sale of a $1 billion aggregate principal Social Bond (taxable), the net proceeds of which will help support and strengthen nonprofit organizations hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic. This Social Bond is the first-ever such offering by a U.S. nonprofit foundation in the taxable corporate bond market.

The foundation’s bond offering includes 30-year and 50-year maturities, with $300 million maturing in 2050 and $700 million maturing in 2070 at a fixed rate of 2.415% and 2.815%, per annum, respectively. The closing date of the sale is June 25, 2020.

The Ford Foundation Board of Trustees endorsed the social bond issuance as an innovative solution that achieved both objectives of increasing resources for grants and not taking capital out of the endowment at a critical time of market volatility.

“We’ve rarely seen investors both in the U.S and around the world, respond with such enthusiasm to a designated social bond offering of this kind. The Ford Foundation’s Social Bonds began gaining momentum as a “must have” for mission-driven, ESG investors in the U.S. bond market resulting in nearly $3.5 billion of orders during the first week of the marketing process,” said Sally Bednar of Wells Fargo Securities. “The low yields and the successful, rare, 50-year maturity achieved through the bond sale are a strong indication of investor confidence in the Ford Foundation’s stature in the private foundation space, its mission and investors’ appetite for securities with a positive ESG and, in particular, social impact. The 50-year bond maturity is a first of its kind for a U.S. private foundation.”

The net proceeds of the Social Bonds sale will enable the foundation to pay out what equates to more than 10 percent of the value of its total endowment in 2020 and 2021, which is double the level of grantmaking required by law. The foundation’s primary goal will be to stabilize and strengthen key organizations that are advancing the fight against inequality when communities that are most vulnerable have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

“We’re thrilled with the phenomenal response to our offering which generated an initial subscription rate of 5.8X the value of the initial $1 billion social bond issuance. There are 114 investors, many of which were socially mindful, and recognize the economic and societal ramifications of COVID-19 for the nonprofit sector, and Ford Foundation’s unprecedented effort to help sustain these organizations at a critical time in our nation’s history. The proceeds from this offering will help build the resilience and durability of nonprofits who will influence the recovery and reimagine a more just and inclusive society,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation’s Social Bonds, Series 2020 (taxable), were underwritten by joint lead managers Wells Fargo Securities and Morgan Stanley…

Financial Times Opinion :: IMF downgrades are a warning to the world

COVID-19 – Global Economic Impact

Financial Times
Opinion
IMF downgrades are a warning to the world
Fund’s forecasts reflect the fact that the pandemic is not under control
The editorial board
June 25,2020

The IMF has provided a stark warning that the damage coronavirus has done to the global economy is worsening. With the world failing to keep a lid on infections and the focal point of the crisis moving from Europe to the Americas, the fund has lowered the growth forecasts it made in April — which even then forecast the worst contraction since the Great Depression. With the downturn deepening, it is vital that policymakers redouble efforts to avoid further economic collapse, and support the eventual recovery.

While the general mood in Europe is one of relief at the gradual suppression of coronavirus and a determination to enjoy what is left of the summer, the disease is still spreading across the world. Many of the most populous countries such as India and Brazil are seeing rapid increases in the number of deaths. The case count is also rising in the US south and west but so far, mercifully, deaths are not increasing at the same rate. Even many of those countries that appear to have eliminated the virus altogether are occasionally seeing isolated outbreaks and must now learn to live with the virus as a constant presence and potential threat.

This persistence of the pandemic is one reason for the IMF’s downgrades. The fund now expects the world economy to shrink by 4.9 per cent this year, from 3 per cent in its previous set of forecasts. This would “imperil” much of the world’s progress in reducing extreme poverty since the 1990s. Government debt, meanwhile, will surpass the record level it reached during the second world war according to Gita Gopinath, the fund’s chief economist. Projections for next year are weak, too; apart from China, neither advanced nor emerging countries as a group will exceed the pre-crisis peak size of their economy before the end of 2021.

Many factors contributed to the bleaker outlook: the long-term damage to economic potential from the shutdowns is worse than the IMF anticipated, countries currently exiting lockdown will have to persist with social distancing for longer and additional costs to companies will be higher, with new safety and hygiene practices throughout the second half of this year. Moreover, economies now seeing increasing numbers of infections will have to extend lockdowns. The impact of all this is a reduction in global trade and business investment.

The one brighter spot is financial conditions. The efforts of central banks, led by the Federal Reserve, have stabilised capital markets and allowed emerging market governments to raise funds, after the disruption earlier in the year. However the divergence between equity markets and the economy more generally raises the possibility that financial conditions could suddenly worsen if shares drop, leading to a return of disorder in markets.

Monetary and fiscal stimulus is essential to help the world recover. The IMF also, sensibly, calls for countries to resist further escalations in conflict over trade and technology — the US is considering further tariffs on European exports as part of its dispute over the treatment of aircraft maker Airbus. It urges global co-operation, too, to mitigate any repeat of the pandemic and “build on” the fall in carbon emissions.

While lockdowns have reduced the spread of infections in Europe, they have worked less well in many poorer countries where informal economies and multiple generations living in the same household have made it much harder to contain the disease. Poorer countries, too, have far fewer resources to fight it. If the IMF’s forecasts are correct then they are likely to need even more financial assistance. The rich world must ensure they get it.

Global education monitoring report, 2020: Inclusion and education: all means all – UNESCO

Education – Global Assessment

Global education monitoring report, 2020: Inclusion and education: all means all
UNESCO
ISBN: 978-92-3-100388-2
2020 :: 424 pages
HIGHLIGHTS
Identity, background and ability dictate education opportunities.
In all but high-income countries in Europe and Northern America, only 18 of the poorest youth complete secondary school for every 100 of the richest youth. In at least 20 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, hardly any poor rural young women complete secondary school.

Discrimination, stereotyping and stigmatization mechanisms are similar for all learners at risk of exclusion.
While 68% of countries have a definition of inclusive education, only 57% of those definitions cover multiple marginalized groups.

Despite progress, many countries still do not collect, report or use data on those left behind.
Since 2015, 41% of countries, representing 13% of the global population, have not had a publicly available household survey to provide disaggregated data on key education indicators; the region with the lowest coverage is Northern Africa and Western Asia. Recent data from 14 countries using the Child Functioning Module suggest that children with disabilities constitute 15% of the out of school population. They face complex barriers. Those with a sensory, physical or intellectual disability are 2.5 times more likely to have never been in school as their peers without disabilities.

Millions are missing out on the opportunity to learn.
In middle income countries, despite a 25-percentage point increase in the past 15 years, only three quarters are still in school by age 15. Of those, only half are learning the basics, a rate that has been stagnant over the period. And many assessments overestimate how well students are doing: three quarters of students who did no better in multiple choice questions than random guessing were considered proficient in reading in a regional assessment of 15 countries in Latin America.

A key barrier to inclusion in education is the lack of belief that it is possible and desirable.
One in three teachers in 43 mostly upper-middle- and high-income countries in 2018 reported that they did not adjust their teaching to students’ cultural diversity.

While some countries are transitioning towards inclusion, segregation is still prevalent.
In the case of students with disabilities, laws in 25% of countries (but over 40% in Asia and in Latin America and the Caribbean) make provisions for education in separate settings, 10% for integration and 17% for inclusion, the remainder opting for combinations of segregation and mainstreaming. In OECD countries, more than two-thirds of all immigrant students attend schools where at least half the students are immigrants.

Financing needs to target those most in need.
Across 32 OECD countries, socio-economically disadvantaged schools and classrooms are more likely to have less qualified teachers. Conditional cash transfers in Latin America since the 1990s have increased education attainment by between 0.5 and 1.5 years. One in four countries has some form of affirmative action programme to help the marginalized get access to tertiary education. About 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not taken any measures to support learners at risk of exclusion during the Covid-19 crisis.

Teachers, teaching materials and learning environments often ignore the benefits of embracing diversity.
Some 25% of teachers in 48 education systems report a high need for professional development on teaching students with special needs. Just 41 countries worldwide recognize sign language as an official language. In Europe, 23 out of 49 countries do not address sexual orientation and gender identity explicitly in their curricula.

Toward a science of delivering aid with dignity: Experimental evidence and local forecasts from Kenya

Featured Journal Content

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/
[Accessed 27 June 2020]
Toward a science of delivering aid with dignity: Experimental evidence and local forecasts from Kenya
Catherine C. Thomas, Nicholas G. Otis, Justin R. Abraham, Hazel Rose Markus, and Gregory M. Walton
PNAS first published June 24, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1917046117
Significance
A new era of international development aspires to increase the dignity and capabilities of people in poverty. Yet narratives accompanying aid often reinforce stigmatizing views of those in poverty as deficient in their circumstances or ability. We find that typical deficit-focused narratives risk undermining the very goals of aid—to empower recipients to pursue their goals and experience dignity rather than shame. In contrast, narratives crafted to counter stigma and leverage culturally resonant forms of agency enhance recipients’ beliefs in themselves and investment in their skills, without reducing donor support. As models of agency differ across sociocultural contexts, program designers need tools for identifying effective narratives. We present “local forecasting” as a particularly efficient methodology for this need.
Abstract
How can governments and nonprofits design aid programs that afford dignity and facilitate beneficial outcomes for recipients? We conceptualize dignity as a state that manifests when the stigma associated with receiving aid is countered and recipients are empowered, both in culturally resonant ways. Yet materials from the largest cash transfer programs in Africa predominantly characterize recipients as needy and vulnerable. Three studies examined the causal effects of alternative aid narratives on cash transfer recipients and donors. In study 1, residents of low-income settlements in Nairobi, Kenya (N = 565) received cash-based aid accompanied by a randomly assigned narrative: the default deficit-focused “Poverty Alleviation” narrative, an “Individual Empowerment” narrative, or a “Community Empowerment” narrative. They then chose whether to spend time building business skills or watching leisure videos. Both empowerment narratives improved self-efficacy and anticipated social mobility, but only the “Community Empowerment” narrative significantly motivated recipients’ choice to build skills and reduced stigma. Given the diverse settings in which aid is delivered, how can organizations quickly identify effective narratives in a context? We asked recipients to predict which narrative would best motivate skill-building in their community. In study 2, this “local forecasting” methodology outperformed participant evaluations and experimental pilots in accurately ranking treatments. Finally, study 3 confirmed that the narrative most effective for recipients did not undermine donors’ willingness to contribute to the program. Together these studies show that responding to recipients’ psychological and sociocultural realities in the design of aid can afford recipients dignity and help realize aid’s potential.

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) :: Preserving our future by protecting wildlife health

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) [to 27 June 2020]
https://www.oie.int/en/for-the-media/press-releases/2020/
Press Releases
Preserving our future by protecting wildlife health
Today more than ever, the international health community recognises the importance of maintaining a global perspective and foresight on wildlife health and biodiversity and their inextricable connection with veterinary and human public health.

Paris, 22 June 2020 – Anthropogenic impact on the environment alters the delicate balance of ecosystems and their health. The recent spillover events, such as SARS and Ebola, have been associated with poorly regulated or managed wildlife trade and the lack of awareness of risks associated to human contact with potential reservoirs or intermediate hosts. Therefore, the suggestion that COVID-19 originated in wildlife highlights the importance of addressing health risks at the human-animal-ecosystem interface, as well as the need for integrated surveillance systems, all while preserving animal welfare and biodiversity.

Whether in the wild or in captivity, the health of wildlife represents a key component of global health. The OIE Working Group on Wildlife, formed in 1994, informs and advises the OIE on this matter. An overview of the main activities carried out by the group over last year is presented…

Improving wildlife disease surveillance
Wildlife disease surveillance allows early detection of potentially impactful animal and human health threats and implementation of appropriate control measures. This can only be achieved by timely reporting the occurrence of wild and domestic animal diseases. The OIE Working Group on Wildlife regularly encourages countries to notify wildlife diseases through the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) – Wild platform…

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Donors Launch International Alliance to Connect Research Data Sources and Enable Collaboration

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Donors Launch International Alliance to Connect Research Data Sources and Enable Collaboration
International COVID-19 Data Research Alliance and Workbench will bring together data to
accelerate the search for new therapies to fight the pandemic and save lives

SEATTLE, JUNE 26, 2020 – The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator donors and partners today announced the formation of the International COVID-19 Data Research Alliance to accelerate clinical research on COVID-19. Composed of academic institutions, research organizations, life sciences and technology companies, and philanthropies, the International Alliance was created to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the promise for use across other health conditions, including readiness for future pandemics.

Accelerator donors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Mastercard, Minderoo Foundation, and Wellcome, will be founding members of the International Alliance. It will be managed by Health Data Research UK, a national institute for health data science with expertise in harnessing data at scale to improve people’s lives, working in partnership with alliance partners from life science companies, academic institutions and clinical research organizations from around the world.

The current pandemic has prompted a great deal of research, but there are few environments where data sets generated by previous studies and trials can be accessed to inform research and development efforts. These data sets could address key questions about the course of COVID-19, how it impacts the body, and what treatments might be effective. In many cases, relevant data sets exist, but researchers cannot easily access or link them for integrated analysis. The International Alliance will provide a variety of ways for researchers to collaborate on data—from pooled to federated analyses—for trustworthy, privacy-protected, and ethical research as determined by a governance board of global specialists in the field.

“In a pandemic, the pathogen has the upper hand. We know very little about it, so access to information becomes an important commodity,” said Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Gates Foundation. “By entering into agreements on data sharing up front, we can avoid wasting time going down blind alleys, ultimately saving lives by getting definitive answers to key questions more quickly. This grant to form an international data alliance will accelerate efforts and provide a legacy for future collaboration on pandemics. We encourage others to join us and the other founding partners in this important initiative.”…

An Analytical Workbench for Scientific Inquiry
The Workbench will connect to regional and national data infrastructures used by International Alliance members, such as data generated by Therapeutics Accelerator-funded trials, pharmaceutical industry partners, the national BREATHE health data research hub in the United Kingdom, SAIL Databank and others to be confirmed in the coming months. The Workbench, developed by Aridhia Informatics, will enable the discovery of data relevant for answering priority questions from its own repository and federated repositories, and will provide a secure location where analysts can work collectively on a target research hypothesis. Data access and use will be conducted in accordance with the governance requirements of individual data controllers from countries around the world, in a transparent and ethical manner. Authorized users will be able to bring their data to the Workbench and collaborate with others in a secure environment. The Workbench will be designed to encourage and enable responsible data use, including transparency, ethical review, privacy, and data protection…

EMERGENCIES: Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

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

WHO – Situation report – 158
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
26 June 2020
Confirmed cases :: 9 653 048
Confirmed deaths :: 491 128
Countries, areas or territories with cases :: 216

Highlights
:: On 25 June, Health Minister Jens Spahn of Germany, and Solidarity and Health Minister Olivier Veran of France, visited WHO headquarters. During a press briefing they expressed their solidarity and additional support to both COVID-19 response and WHO’s core programmes.

Yesterday the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was declared over after nearly two years. The WHO Regional Office for Africa and partners are now building on the Ebola response to tackle COVID-19 in the country. Additionally, WHO is supporting other countries in Africa as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates in the region.

:: In a press briefing yesterday, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, spoke about COVID-19 in the region and how digital technology and artificial intelligence can empower people and play a leading role in optimizing efforts to control transmission of the disease.

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Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

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

Final Statement on the 8th meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005)
26 June 2020 Statement
Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu) on 26 June 2020
…Conclusions and Advice
The Committee agreed that the current situation in the Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu provinces no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
The Committee emphasized the importance of continued donors’ funding and human resources to operationalize the 90-day day national response plan.
The Committee provided the following advice to the Director-General for his issuance as revised Temporary Recommendations, in accordance with Article 15(1) of the IHR (2005) “…Temporary Recommendations may be modified or extended as appropriate, including after it has been determined that a public health emergency of international concern has ended, at which time other temporary recommendations may be issued as necessary for the purpose of preventing or promptly detecting its recurrence […] These Temporary Recommendations shall automatically expire three months after their issuance.” …

…Based on this advice, the report made by the affected State Party and the currently available information, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on 26 June 2020 declared the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for this event…

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25 June 2020 News release
10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared over; vigilance against flare-ups and support for survivors must continue
Today marks the end of the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This long, complex and difficult outbreak has been overcome due to the leadership and commitment of the Government of the DRC, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), a multitude of partners, donors, and above all, the efforts of the communities affected by the virus.

WHO congratulates all those involved in the arduous and often dangerous work required to end the outbreak, but stresses the need for vigilance. Continuing to support survivors and maintaining strong surveillance and response systems in order to contain potential flare-ups is critical in the months to come.

“The outbreak took so much from all of us, especially from the people of DRC, but we came out of it with valuable lessons, and valuable tools. The world is now better-equipped to respond to Ebola. A vaccine has been licensed, and effective treatments identified,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We should celebrate this moment, but we must resist complacency. Viruses do not take breaks. Ultimately, the best defence against any outbreak is investing in a stronger health system as the foundation for universal health coverage.”

The outbreak, declared in North Kivu on 1 August 2018, was the second largest in the world, and was particularly challenging as it took place an active conflict zone. There were 3470 cases, 2287 deaths and 1171 survivors.

Led by the DRC Government and the Ministry of Health and supported by WHO and partners, the more than 22-month-long response involved training thousands of health workers, registering 250 000 contacts, testing 220 000 samples, providing patients with equitable access to advanced therapeutics, vaccinating over 303 000 people with the highly effective rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine, and offering care for all survivors after their recovery.

The response was bolstered by the engagement and leadership of the affected communities. Thanks to their efforts, this outbreak did not spread globally. More than 16 000 local frontline responders worked alongside the more than 1500 people deployed by WHO. Support from donors was essential, as was the work of UN partner agencies, national and international NGOs, research networks, and partners deployed through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. Hard work to build up preparedness capacities in neighbouring countries also limited the risk of the outbreak expanding…

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Ebola Outbreak in DRC 98: 23 June 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
In Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, no new confirmed cases of EVD have been reported since 27 April 2020…

Conclusion
Tuesday 23 June 2020 marks 41 days with no new cases of EVD since the Ministry of Health began its 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of the EVD outbreak in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu. Maintaining a robust surveillance system in order to detect, isolate, test and treat new suspected cases as early as possible will remain crucial for this response even after the declaration of the end of the outbreak, as will be coordination, among partners, authorities and communities and EVD survivor advocacy .

POLIO :: WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 24 June 2020
:: Dr Fiona Braka, Immunization Team Lead for WHO Nigeria, speaks about fighting polio outbreaks and toppling gender barriers.

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: three WPV1 cases, two WPV1 positive environmental samples and fourcVDPV2 cases
:: Pakistan: two WPV1 cases, and five WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Cameroon: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Chad: 23 cVDPV2 cases
:: Côte d’Ivoire: eight cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
:: Togo: two cVDPV2 cases

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 27 June 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 98: 23 June 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

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

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 27 June 2020]
Burkina Faso [in French]
:: L’OMS appuie la construction des unités de triage des patients dans la lutte contre le COVID 19 21 juin 2020

Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – 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
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 27 June 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. 16 – As of 26 June 2020

Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
::  26 June 2020 Zimbabwe Situation Report, 26 June 2020

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

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