DONS – Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC – Ebola

DONS – Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
21 March 2019
[Excerpts; Editor’s text bolding]
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces has recently shown an increase in the number of cases reported by week, after many weeks of overall decline… This rise is not unexpected and, in part, likely a result of the increased security challenges, including the recent direct attacks on treatment centers, and pockets of community mistrust, which slowed some response activities in affected areas for a few days…

… Since the beginning of the outbreak to 19 March 2019, 980 EVD cases1 (915 confirmed and 65 probable) have been reported, of which 57% (554) were female and 30% (293) were children aged less than 18 years. Cumulatively, cases have been reported from 130 of 339 health areas across 21 health zones of the North Kivu and Ituri provinces (Table 1). Overall, 610 deaths (case fatality ratio: 62%) have been reported, and 317 patients have been discharged after treatment in ETCs….

WHO risk assessment
WHO continuously monitors changes to the epidemiological situation and context of the outbreak to ensure that support to the response is adapted to the evolving circumstances. The last assessment concluded that the national and regional risk levels remain very high, while global risk levels remain low. Attacks on ETCs in Katwa and Butembo represented the first large-scale and organized attacks targeted directly at the Ebola response, and were of a different order of magnitude to episodes of mistrust in communities or dangers of being caught in crossfire between fighting parties. In addition, the persistence of pockets of community resistance and mistrust, exacerbated by political tensions and insecurity, have resulted in recurrent temporary suspension and delays of case investigation and response activities in affected areas; reducing the overall effectiveness of interventions. The high proportion of community deaths reported among confirmed cases, persistent delays in detection and isolation in ETCs, challenges in the timely reporting and response to probable cases, collectively increase the likelihood of further chains of transmission in affected communities and increased risk of geographical spread within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to neighbouring countries. As do the risk of increased population movement anticipated during periods of heightened insecurity…



Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 20 March 2019
:: Following cyclone Idai’s landfall in Mozambique, accessibility in many areas remains a challenge, particularly Beira City. However, outside of Beira, polio outbreak response is ongoing in Zambezia.

Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Afghanistan—five wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)-positive environmental samples;
:: Pakistan – seven WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Nigeria— one circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) case and seven cVDPV2-positive environmental samples;
:: Niger—five cVDPV2-positive community contact samples;
:: Indonesia—one cVDPV1-positive isolate from a healthy community contact


 Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 23 Mar 2019]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: DONS – Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo  21 March 2019

Syrian Arab Republic
:: Health situation – Al-Hol camp  16 March 2019

South Sudan
::  WHO and partners assess and respond to the health needs of over 5000 internally displaced population in Dulamaya, South Sudan  18 March 2019

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new digest announcements identified  
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified  
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified  
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified  


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 23 Mar 2019]

:: Ethiopia sets to strengthen its capacity to detect, prevent and respond to public health emergencies
Addis Ababa, 15 March 2019 | The Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia launched the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) 2019 – 2023…

occupied Palestinian territory 
:: WHO appeals for US$ 5.3 million to respond to trauma and emergency care needs in Gaza
18 March 2019

:: Sudan set to protect over 8 million people with its largest ever yellow fever vaccination drive  20 March 2019

:: WHO sending urgent health assistance after Cyclone Idai displaces thousands of people in Southern Africa
Brazzaville, 20 March 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) is providing urgent assistance to meet the health needs of thousands of people impacted by flooding in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The floods were triggered by Tropical Cyclone Idai, which swept through the region last week…

Brazil (in Portugese) – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon  – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new digest announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified  
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified

WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 23 Mar 2019]
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Namibia – viral hepatitis
Philippines – Tyhpoon Mangkhut


 WHO AFRO – Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin – Week 10/2019
Week 11: 11- 17 March 2019
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 65 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
:: Flooding in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
“” Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Measles in Chad
:: Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo.


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   – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified


UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
:: Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue #5 | 4-17 March 2019

Somalia  – No new digest announcements identified

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 16 March 2019

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 16 Mar 2019

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

UN welcomes $7 billion donor pledge for Syrians and the region in 2019


UN Welcomes $7 billion donor pledge for Syrians and the region in 2019
(Brussels, 14 March 2019) – International donors today pledged a record US$6.97 billion to support millions of people in need of humanitarian aid in Syria as well as to refugees and host communities in the neighbouring countries. Part of the overall pledge, $2.5 billion, is for the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey this year.

In 2017, donors pledged $6 billion in Brussels and in 2018, $4.4 billion. Total fundraising for 2018 reached just over $6 billion by the end of the year.

“I am pleased with this important signal of the international community’s solidarity with the people in Syria and with Syria’s neighbours who are hosting huge numbers of refugees, and feeling the strain of their generosity,” UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said…

Human Rights and Drug Policy

Human Rights – Drug Policy

Human Rights and Drug Policy
Posted on March 15, 2019
Vienna – A coalition of UN Member States, UN entities and leading human rights experts meeting at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs launched today, a landmark set of international legal standards to transform and reshape global responses to the world drug problem.

The International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy introduces a comprehensive catalogue of human rights standards. Grounded in decades of evidence, they are a guide for governments to develop human rights compliant drug policies, covering the spectrum of cultivation to consumption. Harnessing the universal nature of human rights, the document covers a range of policy areas from development to criminal justice to public health.

The guidelines come at an important moment when high-level government representatives are convening at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to shape a new global strategy on drugs. Under the mounting weight of evidence that shows the systemic failures of the dominant punitive paradigm, including widespread human rights violations, governments are facing growing calls to shift course.

“Drug control policies intersect with much of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the pledge by Member States to leave no one behind. Approaches that violate human rights and fail to curb the illicit drug trade are leaving a trail of human suffering,” said Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Group. “For countries who are ready to place human dignity and sustainable development at the heart of their drug control policy, these guidelines offer valuable guidance to promote more effective and humane drug control policy.”

Seeking to promote the rule of law, the guidelines feature recommendations across the administration of justice—from discriminatory policing practices, to arbitrary arrest and detention, to decriminalisation of drugs for personal use—the guidelines articulate the global state of human rights law in relation to drug policy, which includes ending the death penalty for drug-related offenses.

At least 25 national governments – from Argentina to South Africa – have scrapped criminal penalties for possession of drugs for personal, non-medical use, either in law or practice, setting an example for others to follow. The United Nations system has jointly called for decriminalization as an alternative to conviction and punishment in appropriate cases…

Leading Humanitarian, Development, and Global Health Organizations Urge U.S. Congress to Reject Cuts to Foreign Assistance

U.S. Budgetary Allocations

Leading Humanitarian, Development, and Global Health Organizations Urge Congress to Reject Cuts to Foreign Assistance
March 11, 2019
Leading humanitarian, development, and global health organizations Bread for the World, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, InterAction, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, ONE, Oxfam, PATH, Save the Children, and World Vision, are calling on Members of Congress to protect the International Affairs budget in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) despite the Administration’s proposed 24 percent cuts. American leadership is critical in the face of daunting global challenges, from conflict to mass displacement, from food insecurity to global health crises.

More than 132 million people are projected to need humanitarian assistance in 2019 given an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises. Natural disasters, atrocities, gender-based violence, and protracted armed conflict have resulted in more than 68 million displaced persons, including more than 25 million refugees. Now is not the time to slash effective, life-saving programs that help create a safer and more secure world.

In addition, the Administration’s proposal to significantly modify and repeal the refugee mandate and resources of the Department of State’s humanitarian bureau, coupled with a 34 percent cut to humanitarian assistance, is unwise, especially given historic levels of displacement.

Foreign assistance funding is fundamental to America’s global leadership and essential to shaping a world where our national interests will thrive. The International Affairs budget is roughly 1% of the federal budget, and an even smaller portion is dedicated to achieving humanitarian, development, and health outcomes for the world’s most marginalized children, women and men. This small portion of our budget is molding the face of our world’s future and building a better and more stable world with prospering economies. Cuts will have life-and-death consequences for the poorest people in the world and will reduce the life-saving and economic impacts that we see every day.

The organizations, which together operate in nearly every country across the globe, often work in partnership with the U.S. government and have produced important and demonstrable results. From providing education, health, good governance and economic assistance that forms the building blocks of many growing nations, to addressing humanitarian disasters, preventing conflict and containing deadly pandemics – aid delivers. The budget’s proposed cuts of 23 percent to development assistance and economic assistance and 28 percent to global health flies in the face of these facts.

Time and time again, Congress has acted in a bipartisan and bicameral manner to support smart American global engagement through programs, budgets and policies that demonstrate American values while advancing our national interest. Leading humanitarian, development, and global health organizations urge Congress to support no less than $60 billion for the International Affairs Budget in FY20.

To ensure U.S. leadership, Congress must reject any proposed cuts to these vital programs and fight against removing crucial tools from our foreign policy toolkit when they are needed more than ever.


March 11, 2019
Fiscal Year 2020 Development and Humanitarian Assistance Budget Request
Fact Sheet
The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget Request for USAID continues to advance our efforts to strengthen U.S. national security through strategic investments that promote the Journey to Self-Reliance. The Budget envisions the day when USAID’s development assistance is no longer needed. USAID supports governments, civil society, and the private sector in partner countries to build self-reliance, defined as the ability of a country to plan, finance, and implement solutions to its own development challenges. The FY 2020 Budget also upholds the President’s commitment to serve the needs of American citizens, ensure their safety, and defend their values, as outlined in the President’s National Security Strategy. The Budget includes significant investments to reduce the reach of conflict; prevent the spread of pandemic disease; and counteract the drivers of violence, instability, transnational crime, and other security threats.

U.S. – International Criminal Court [Visa Restrictions]

U.S. – International Criminal Court

Remarks to the Press [referencing the International Criminal Court]
Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
Press Briefing Room, Washington, DC
March 15, 2019
… Since 1998, the United States has declined to join the ICC because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers and the threat it poses to American national sovereignty. We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation. We feared that the court could eventually pursue politically motivated prosecutions of Americans, and our fears were warranted.

November of 2017, the ICC prosecutor requested approval to initiate investigation into, quote, “the situation in Afghanistan,” end of quote. That could illegitimately target American personnel for prosecutions and sentencing. In September of 2018, the Trump administration warned the ICC that if it tried to pursue an investigation of Americans there would be consequences. I understand that the prosecutor’s request for an investigation remains pending.

Thus today, persistent to existing legal authority to post visa restrictions on any alien, quote, “whose entry or proposed activities in the United States would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences,” end of quote, I’m announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel. This includes persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation. These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent. Implementation of this policy has already begun. Under U.S. law, individual visa records are confidential, so I will not provide details as to who has been affected and who will be affected.

But you should know if you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of U.S. personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you will still have or will get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States. The United States will implement these measures consistent with applicable law, including our obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement. These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts. We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the ICC does not change its course…


Statement by the President of the Assembly, O-Gon Kwon, reiterating strong support for the ICC
Press Release : 15 March 2019
In relation to the statement made today by the United States Secretary of State regarding the International Criminal Court (ICC), I would like to reiterate that the Court has the strong support of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute.

The Assembly is comprised of over 120 States Parties. At its seventeenth session in December 2018, the States Parties reconfirmed their unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution, and reiterated their commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any threats against the Court, its officials and those cooperating with it. This unwavering support continues today.

The Assembly also renewed its resolve to stand united against impunity. The International Criminal Court is an independent and impartial judicial institution crucial for ensuring accountability for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

The Court is non-political and acts strictly within the legal framework of the Rome Statute, its founding treaty. One of the cornerstones of the Rome Statute system is that it recognizes the primary jurisdiction of States to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes. The jurisdiction of the Court is complementary to domestic jurisdictions.

The Assembly of States Parties is the management oversight and legislative body of the ICC. It is comprised of representatives of States that have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute. President Kwon was elected President of the Assembly for a three year mandate in December 2017.