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

COVID-19 – Global Financial Recovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

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

Last WHO Situation Report published 23 June 2020

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

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Polio; WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

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

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

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 18 July 2020]

Somalia
:: Strengthening laboratory capacity in Somalia 17 July 2020

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

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 18 July 2020]
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – No new digest announcements identified:
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 18 July 2020]

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

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Recent Developments in Northwest Syria – Situation Report No. 17 – As of 13 July 2020

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

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
East Africa Locust Infestation
:: Desert Locust situation update – 13 July 2020

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

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The Sentinel

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

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

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDFThe Sentinel_ period ending 11 July 2020

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

UNESCO statement on Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Heritage Stewardship

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 – Falsified Medicines

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 pandemic exposes repression of free expression and right to information worldwide, UN expert says

COVID-19 – Expression; Right to Information

COVID-19 pandemic exposes repression of free expression and right to information worldwide, UN expert says
GENEVA (10 July 2020) – Governments around the world must take action to protect and promote freedom of expression during the COVID-19 pandemic, which many States have exploited to crack down on journalism and silence criticism, a UN expert said today.

Presenting his latest report on freedom of expression and disease pandemics to the Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, raised serious concern over new measures restricting and punishing the free flow of information.

“People have died because governments have lied, hidden information, detained reporters, failed to level with people about the nature of the threat, and criminalised individuals under the guise of ‘spreading false information’,” the Special Rapporteur said. “People have suffered because some governments would rather protect themselves from criticism than allow people to share information, learn about the outbreak, know what officials are or are not doing to protect them.

“In the past three months, numerous governments have used the COVID-pandemic to repress expression in violation of their obligations under human rights law,” Kaye said. “Since the earliest days of the pandemic, I have raised concerns about repression of expression that has a direct impact on public health information, including Belarus, Cambodia, China, Iran, Egypt, India, Myanmar, and Turkey.”

The Special Rapporteur urged governments to address five challenges in particular:
:: Reinforce access to information and share as much as possible about the course of the disease and the tools people should use to protect themselves and their communities.

:: End the practice of internet shutdowns and other limitations on access to the internet.

:: Refrain from all attacks on the media and release all journalists detained, whether during or before the pandemic, especially given the health risks they face.

:: Do not treat the so-called infodemic as a problem that criminalisation will solve. Penalties limit the willingness of people to share valuable information and they are often subject to abuse. Government should work with social media companies, where much disinformation takes place, to ensure that they are transparent enough for governments to take meaningful steps to promote and protect public health.

:: Ensure that any public health surveillance measures are consistent with fundamental legal standards of necessity and proportionality and are transparent, non-discriminatory, limited in duration and scope, subject to oversight, and never be used to criminalise individuals.

“I am further concerned about efforts to repress disinformation using tools of criminal law, which are likely to hamper the free flow of information, such as in Brazil and Malaysia,” the Special Rapporteur said.

The pandemic has underscored how the freedom of expression reinforces public health initiatives. Governments must ensure that their laws, policies and practices meet their obligations in order to promote human rights and public health, the Special Rapporteur said.

Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission Report – UNEP

Health – Zoonotic Diseases

Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission
Report – United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
2020 PDF: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/32316/ZP.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Key Messages
This evidence-based scientific assessment has identified the following key messages for decision-makers:
1. DE-RISKING FOOD SYSTEMS
Many new science-based policy reports continue to focus on the global public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, following the fast spread of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus of zoonotic origin. We need more evidence-based scientific assessments, such as this one, to examine the environmental and zoonotic context of the current pandemic, as well as the risk of future zoonotic disease outbreaks.
2. URGENCY
Diseases are emerging more frequently from animals. Rapid action is necessary to fill the science gap and fast-track the development of knowledge and tools to help national governments, businesses, the
health sector, local communities and other stakeholders – especially those with limited resources – to reduce the risk of future pandemics.
3. REPORT AUDIENCE
To help fill this gap, a scientific assessment was conducted to explore the role of wild and domesticated animals in emerging zoonotic infectious diseases. This rapid assessment is designed for decision-makers in government, business and civil society at all levels and in all regions.
4. SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM
About 60 per cent of human infections are estimated to have an animal origin. Of all new and emerging human infectious diseases, some 75 per cent “jump species” from other animals to people. Most
described zoonoses happen indirectly, e.g. via the food system.
5. OUTBREAK FREQUENCY AND PREDICTABILITY
The frequency of pathogenic microorganisms jumping from other animals to people is increasing due to unsustainable human activities. Pandemics such as the COVID-19 outbreak are a predictable and predicted outcome of how people source and grow food, trade and consume animals, and alter environments.
6. CONNECTIVITY AND COMPLEXITY
The links among the wider environment, biodiversity and emerging infectious diseases are complex. While wildlife are the most common source of emerging human disease, domesticated animals may be
original sources, transmission pathways, or amplifiers of zoonotic disease. Such linkages – as well as the interconnectedness with issues such as air and water quality, food security and nutrition, and mental and physical health – should inform policies that address the challenges posed by current and future emerging infectious diseases, including zoonoses.
7. DISEASE DRIVERS
Seven human-mediated factors are most likely driving the emergence of zoonotic diseases: 1) increasing human demand for animal protein; 2) unsustainable agricultural intensification; 3) increased use and exploitation of wildlife; 4) unsustainable utilization of natural resources accelerated by urbanization, land use change and extractive industries; 5) increased travel and transportation; 6) changes in food supply; and 7) climate change.
8. IMPACT AND COST
Emerging zoonotic diseases threaten human and animal health, economic development and the environment. The greatest burden of zoonotic disease is borne by poor people, but emerging infectious diseases impact everyone, with monetary losses of emerging infectious disease much greater in high-income countries. Given that a single zoonotic outbreak can incur trillions of US dollars in costs across the globe, prevention is significantly more cost-effective than response.
9. POLICY OPTIONS
This assessment recommends ten policy response options to reduce the risk of future zoonotic pandemics and to ‘build back better’: (i) raise awareness of health and environment risks and prevention; (ii) improve health governance, including by engaging environmental stakeholders; (iii) expand scientific inquiry into the environmental dimensions of zoonotic diseases; (iv) ensure full-cost financial accounting of the societal impacts of disease; (v) enhance monitoring and regulation of food systems using risk-based approaches; (vi) phase out unsustainable agricultural practices; (vii) develop and implement stronger biosecurity measures; (viii) strengthen animal health (including wildlife health services); (ix) build capacity among health stakeholders to incorporate environmental dimensions of health; and (x) mainstream and implement One Health approaches. These policy options are discussed in detail in Section Five of this report.
10. ONE HEALTH
This report confirms and builds on the conclusions of the FAO-OIE-WHO Tripartite Alliance and many other expert groups that a One Health approach is the optimal method for preventing as well as responding to zoonotic disease outbreaks and pandemics. Adopting a One Health approach, which unites medical, veterinary and environmental expertise, will help governments, businesses and civil society achieve enduring health for people, animals and environments alike.

 

Press release
Unite human, animal and environmental health to prevent the next pandemic – UN Report
:: COVID-19 is just one example of the rising trend of diseases – from Ebola to MERS to West Nile and Rift Valley fevers – caused by viruses that have jumped from animal hosts into the human population.
:: A new assessment offers ten recommendations, and identifies One Health as the optimal way to prevent and respond to future pandemics.
:: The rising trend in zoonotic diseases is driven by the degradation of our natural environment – through land degradation, wildlife exploitation, resource extraction, climate change, and other stresses.
Nairobi, 6 July 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take lives and disrupt economies across the world, a new report warns that further outbreaks will emerge unless governments take active measures to prevent other zoonotic diseases from crossing into the human population, and sets out ten recommendations to prevent future pandemics.

The report, Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission, is a joint effort by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

It identifies seven trends driving the increasing emergence of zoonotic diseases, including increased demand for animal protein; a rise in intense and unsustainable farming; the increased use and exploitation of wildlife; and the climate crisis. The report finds that Africa in particular, which has experienced and responded to a number of zoonotic epidemics including most recently, to Ebola outbreaks, could be a source of important solutions to quell future outbreaks.

“The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect to see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead,” said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen. “Pandemics are devastating to our lives and our economies, and as we have seen over the past months, it is the poorest and the most vulnerable who suffer the most. To prevent future outbreaks, we must become much more deliberate about protecting our natural environment.”

A “zoonotic disease” or “zoonosis” is a disease that has passed into the human population from an animal source. COVID-19, which has already caused more than half a million deaths around the world, most likely originated in bats. But COVID-19 is only the latest in a growing number of diseases – including Ebola, MERS, West Nile fever and Rift Valley fever – whose spread from animal hosts into human populations has been intensified by anthropogenic pressures.

Every year, some two million people, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, die from neglected zoonotic diseases. The same outbreaks can cause severe illness, deaths, and productivity losses among livestock populations in the developing world, a major problem that keeps hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers in severe poverty. In the last two decades alone, zoonotic diseases have caused economic losses of more than $100 billion, not including the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to reach $9 trillion over the next few years…

Independent evaluation of global COVID-19 response announced – WHO

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

Independent evaluation of global COVID-19 response announced – WHO
9 July 2020 News release Geneva, Switzerland
WHO Director-General today announced the initiation of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In remarks to WHO Member States, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Panel will be co-chaired by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Prime Minister Clark went to on lead the United Nations Development Programme and President Sirleaf is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Operating independently, they will choose other Panel members as well as members of an independent secretariat to provide support.

“Prime Minister Clark and President Sirleaf were selected through a process of broad consultation with Member States and world experts. I cannot imagine two more strong-minded, independent leaders to help guide us through this critical learning process.” said Dr. Tedros in his speech.

At the historic 73rd World Health Assembly in May, Member States adopted a landmark resolution that called on WHO to initiate an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the lessons learned from the international health response to COVID-19.

“This is a time for self-reflection, to look at the world we live in and to find ways to strengthen our collaboration as we work together to save lives and bring this pandemic under control,” said Dr Tedros. “The magnitude of this pandemic, which has touched virtually everyone in the world, clearly deserves a commensurate evaluation.”

Dr Tedros proposed that a Special Session of the Executive Board be called in September to discuss the Panel’s progress. In November the Panel will present an interim report at the resumption of the World Health Assembly.

In January 2021, the Executive Board will hold its regular session, where the Panel’s work will be further discussed; and in May of next year, at the World Health Assembly, the panel will present its substantive report.

The Director-General noted that the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme will also continue its existing work.

“Even as we fight this pandemic, we must be readying ourselves for future global outbreaks and the many other challenges of our time such as antimicrobial resistance, inequality and the climate crisis,” said Dr Tedros. “COVID-19 has taken so much from us. But it is also giving us an opportunity to break with the past and build back better.”

The Lancet – Editorial :: COVID-19: the worst may be yet to come

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

The Lancet
Jul 11, 2020, Volume 396 Number 10244 p71-142, e1
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Editorial
COVID-19: the worst may be yet to come
The Lancet
As much of western Europe begins to ease countrywide lockdowns, globally the pandemic may still be in its infancy, with more than 160 000 new cases reported each day since June 25. Individual countries count cases differently, so direct comparisons are difficult, but the numbers illustrate a worrying pattern. At a subnational level the picture is nuanced, with local hotspots, but at a country level the picture is clear—the world is facing a worsening multipolar pandemic.

The USA, Brazil, and India each logged more than 100 000 new cases from June 26 to July 3. But the pandemic also rages in Russia, forming a belt of infection that tracks through central Asia and into the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Increasing COVID-19 cases in South Africa mean that the pandemic has a strong foothold in sub-Saharan Africa, which is particularly alarming as parts of Africa consider resuming internal air travel later this month. Despite President Trump’s July 4 claims that “99% of cases are harmless” and of a “strategy that is moving along well”, the USA has the most new cases worldwide—53 213 on July 4, and a total of 128 481 deaths, almost a quarter of the total deaths globally. These beacons of infection show the fragility of any progress.

During the first days of July, 2020, Kazakhstan recorded the second highest number of new cases within Europe after Russia. Reporting in the largely authoritarian central Asian states has been unreliable. Turkmenistan has yet to report a single case of COVID-19 and Tajikistan has yet to provide breakdowns to WHO. Regardless, the health and economic outlook for the region is bleak. These countries have some of the highest ratios of out-of-pocket health-care spending to total health expenditure in the world, with women in particular having very poor access to health care, further obscuring the true numbers of COVID-19 cases. At the beginning of the pandemic, 2·7 million to 4·2 million central Asian labour migrant workers were estimated to be residing in Russia. Many remain stranded in areas with a high infection risk, meaning reintroduction of the virus might become a problem after the initial wave.

At the end of June, the Eastern Mediterranean region reached 1 million cases of COVID-19. Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia continue to report the highest number of infections. Most countries grapple with the challenging balance of suppressing the virus while trying to prevent the estimated 66% of the population who are either classified as poor or vulnerable to poverty being pushed into further destitution. The Gulf states are outliers. Saudi Arabia has implemented an essentially unlimited budget, expanding intensive care unit bed capacity and opening hundreds of so-called fever clinics to allow free access for patients with symptoms, and health-care workers are being retrained virtually. Meanwhile, neighbouring Iraq is struggling with oxygen shortages and Yemen faces the human catastrophe of COVID-19 in an unstable conflict zone.

In India, after relaxation of a 3-month lockdown, cases are surging. Maharashtra, Delhi, and Gujarat are among the worst hit states, with the army needed to help overwhelmed health-care centres. But some of the larger Indian states have yet to witness a substantial rise in COVID-19 cases, so the country is braced for further rapid transmission of the virus. Unfortunately, although the lockdown bought time, it was not used effectively to increase capacity in the health-care system in India. There has not been a systematic restructuring of medical provision or redeployment of health-care staff. With less than eight doctors per 10 000 population, using these resources efficiently will be crucial in the coming months.

In Central and South America, Brazil steals the headlines for the highest number of COVID-19 cases, but Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina also have cases in the thousands, forming a clear pattern of transmission across Latin America. A letter published in The Lancet describes the Pan American Health Organization as on the brink of closure because of member states’ non-payment. Never has a coordinating regional health body been more important.

Two seroprevalence studies from Spain and Geneva published in The Lancet reveal an estimated seroprevalence of 5% nationally (10% in urban areas) and 10·8%, respectively. Even if antibodies confer immunity, most of the global population remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. 5 months after WHO declared the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak a global health emergency, the virus continues to beat a concerning and complex path. For much of the globe, the worst may be yet to come.

EMERGENCIES :: Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

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

WHO – Situation report – 173
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
11 July 2020

Confirmed cases :: 12 322 395
Confirmed deaths :: 556 335

Highlights
:: Yesterday, WHO launched the Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco, which aims to help the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users quit during the pandemic. Smoking kills eight million people a year and smokers are more vulnerable to developing a severe case of COVID-19. WHO received its first-ever donation of nicotine replacement therapies for the project from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. The Initiative also enlists the help of WHO’s – and the world’s – first ever virtual health worker, Florence. You can speak with Florence, to dispel myths around COVID-19 and smoking, and to help develop a personalized plan to quit tobacco. WHO is in the final stages of adding more partners and encourages pharmaceutical and technology companies to join this initiative.

:: WHO has published guidance on maintaining a safe and adequate blood supply during the coronavirus disease pandemic.

:: Last Thursday WHO Director-General Dr Tedros announced the establishment of the Independent panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is a time for self-reflection, to look at the world we live in and to find ways to strengthen our collaboration as we work together to save lives and bring this pandemic under control” said Dr Tedros.

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Emergencies :: POLIO/Ebola/WHO/OCHA

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Editor’s Note:
The regular “Polio: This Week” report was not active on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative website.

06/07/2020
Polio eradication expertise backs Africa’s COVID-19 response
Significant polio programme resources are being used to fight the pandemic.

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

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

Last Situation Report published 23 June 2020

::::::
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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 11 July 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 98: 23 June 2020 [latest/?last Ebola Situation Report]

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

::::::

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 11 July 2020]
Burkina Faso [in French]
:: Riposte au Covid-19 : des influenceurs, blogueurs et activistes mis à contribution à…
07 juillet 2020
:: Le Burkina Faso reprend les campagnes de vaccination contre la polio en appliquant d…
06 juillet 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
HIV in Pakistan
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017)
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 11 July 2020]

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

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COID-19 Update No. 14 – 10 July 2020
HIGHLIGHTS
:: Number of people confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to have COVID-19: 394 (16 fatalities, 126 recovered).
:: Areas of concern: Densely populated areas, notably Damascus/Rural Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, and those living in camps and informal settlements in NES, collective shelters throughout the country, as well as other areas including Deir-Ez-Zor, and where hostilities may be ongoing making sample collection more challenging.
:: Populations of concern: All groups are susceptible to the virus. However, the elderly (those 60 years and above) and people with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk; as are vulnerable refugee and IDP populations and healthcare workers with inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
:: As of 8 July, approximately 9,331 COVID-19 tests have been performed in laboratories in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Lattakia governorates.
:: Socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, notably in food security and livelihoods, are likely to exacerbate existing substantial humanitarian needs across the country.
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Response Update No. 07 – 5 July 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.
East Africa Locust Infestation
:: Desert Locust situation update – 3 July 2020
The unprecedented Desert Locust threat to food security and livelihoods persists in the Horn of Africa and is increasing in southwest Asia.
In the Horn of Africa, second-generation spring swarms are present in northwest Kenya, eastern Ethiopia, and parts of Somalia. Breeding continues in eastern and northern Ethiopia and in central and northern Somalia where hopper bands are present. Most of the swarms in northwest Kenya will migrate northwards and cross South Sudan to Sudan while other swarms will migrate to Ethiopia. A few swarms could transit northeast Uganda. Swarms that concentrate in northern Somalia are likely to move east to the Indo-Pakistan summer breeding areas…

COVID-19
:: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 35: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 9 July 2020, information for period: 5 March – 9 July 2020

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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.”…