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

Governance – Global Procurement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 : Children

COVID-19 : Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 : Refugees-Migrants

COVID-19 : Refugees-Migrants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EMERGENCIES – Coronavirus [COVID-19]


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

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


Situation report – 60 [WHO]

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
20 March 2020
234,073 confirmed (24 247)
9840 deaths (1061)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Global Level – Very High

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:: ICC encourages its members to support their country’s national response efforts and to contribute to the global response efforts coordinated by the WHO through

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

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


Emergencies – Ebola


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

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 84: 17 March 2020
Situation Update
There have been no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported since 17 February 2020. On 3 March 2020, the only person confirmed to have EVD in the last 21 days (Figure 1) was discharged from an Ebola Treatment Centre after recovering and testing negative twice for the virus. On 9 March, the last 46 contacts finished their follow-up. These are important milestones in the outbreak. However, there is still a high risk of re-emergence of EVD, and a critical need to maintain response operations to rapidly detect and respond to any new cases, to prioritize ongoing support and health monitoring for survivors – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak….

Given the long duration and large magnitude of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a high risk of re-emergence of the virus during the lead up to the declaration of the end of the outbreak, and for several months following that declaration. These risks are exacerbated by potential limitations (e.g. shortages funding, access to communities, competing health emergencies) imposed on the response. To mitigate the risk of re-emergence, it is critical to maintain surveillance and rapid response capacities, and to prioritize survivor care and the maintenance of cooperative relationships with survivors’ associations during and well beyond the 42 days lead up to the end of outbreak declaration.


Emergencies :: Polio – WHO – OCHA


Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 18 March 2020
:: The COVID -19 pandemic response requires worldwide solidarity and an urgent global effort. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), with thousands of polio workers, and an extensive laboratory and surveillance network, has a moral imperative to ensure that these resources are used to support countries in their preparedness and response. [See below]

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Pakistan: five WPV1 cases, three WPV1 positive environmental samples and 13 cVDPV2 cases
:: Angola: one cVDPV2 case
:: Chad: two cVDPV2 cases
:: Côte d’Ivoire: one cVDPV2 case and one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
:: Malaysia: one cVDPV1 case


GPEI statement on COVID-19
A moral imperative to stand together
The COVID -19 pandemic response requires worldwide solidarity and an urgent global effort. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), with thousands of polio workers, and an extensive laboratory and surveillance network, has a moral imperative to ensure that these resources are used to support countries in their preparedness and response.

In Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio personnel and assets have a significant footprint, workers from all GPEI partners are pitching in with COVID-19 surveillance, health worker training, contact tracing, risk communications and more. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a core GPEI partner, has deployed Stop Transmission of Polio programme (STOP) volunteers already working on polio eradication in 13 countries, to COVID-19 preparations and response.

We recognise that the COVID-19 emergency means that some aspects of polio eradication programme will be affected. GPEI is currently finalising operational guidelines and contingency plans for the polio eradication programme to determine what assets can be deployed to COVID-19 preparedness and response and to identify which critical activities must continue if polio eradication is not to lose ground.  We will continue to communicate on plans as they evolve.

In solidarity with the most vulnerable, the polio programme will share its assets to ensure this new epidemic is defeated as quickly as possible. Our commitment to eradication is firm; our commitment to stand together against COVID-19 is now.


WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 21 Mar 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 84: 17 March 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Mozambique floods – 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 21 Mar 2020]
:: WHO technical mission visits Iraq to step up COVID-19 detection and response activities
Baghdad, Iraq, 15 March 2020 – A high-level technical mission from the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded a visit to Iraq to support the Iraqi Ministry of Health response to COVID-19 prevention and containment measures.

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Iran – No new digest announcements identified
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


WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 21 Mar 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified


UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic – 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.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
14 Mar 2020
Mozambique: One year after Cyclone Idai, humanitarian assistance is still urgent

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified