South Sudan marks 4th anniversary with more than 2.25 million displaced
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda
As of today, more 730,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries and some 1.5 million people have become internally displaced. In addition, South Sudan continues to receive refugees from neighbouring Sudan.
In South Sudan, which on Thursday this week will mark its 4th anniversary of independence, refugee and internally displaced numbers have continued to rise. As of today, more 730,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries and some 1.5 million people have become internally displaced. In addition, South Sudan continues to receive refugees from neighbouring Sudan - almost 250,000 people, mostly from Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
South Sudan’s civil war and violence started in mid-December 2013. Political efforts so far have failed to bring an end to the conflict, and the outlook for the affected populations remains grim. Recent weeks have seen an escalation in violence in Unity and Upper Nile states, with heavy fighting forcing tens of thousands of people to flee to the bush and swamplands, to areas that are difficult to reach. This and a volatile and insecure situation prevent humanitarian access. Ongoing hostilities and a reported increase in human rights violations and abuses have contributed to additional displacement. Despite the rising numbers, the neighbouring countries of asylum have kept their borders open. Some 90 per cent of the new arrivals in these countries are women and children.
In Ethiopia, on average, every day, some 180 South Sudanese refugees arrive through four border crossing into the Gambella region. Ethiopia hosts over 275,000 South Sudanese, in addition to some 425,000 refugees of other nationalities. Capacity to accommodate and assist refugees from South Sudan and further new arrivals is set to improve with the recent allocation of new land for the construction of a sixth camp, near the existing Pugnido refugee camp.
Sudan has seen the highest arrival rate this year, with more than 38,000 South Sudanese entering the country in June alone. This has brought the total number of South Sudanese there to nearly 188,000. The refugees are arriving daily in White Nile, Khartoum, South and West Kordofan states, joining a population of about 350,000 South Sudanese who remained in Sudan after secession.
In Uganda, more than 155,000 refugees have arrived since December 2013, joining the 22,000 South Sudanese who had decided to remain in Uganda following their country’s independence.
In Kenya , the refugee camps at Kakuma, have received 46,000 South Sudanese refugees, bringing the total camp population to 185,000, far beyond its capacity of 125,000. This has led to congestion and impacted assistance.
Refugee assistance programmes across the region are severely underfunded. UNHCR and 38 partners are requesting US$810 million to protect and assist up to 821,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. To date this inter-agency appeal is only funded at 13 per cent ($US102 million). With refugees still arriving en masse, life-saving assistance including shelter and basic services are being prioritized. Resources remain insufficient to provide adequate food rations and health services, to prevent and treat acute malnutrition, to provide adequate potable water, and to construct latrines. Critically, about 60 per cent of refugee children are without access to quality primary education while only 15 per cent of adolescents are enrolled in school. Key barriers to quality education are expected to grow, such as overcrowding in classrooms, a lack of trained teachers, and a lack of recreational activities to support constructive social engagement.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
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Latest Global Emergency Overview highlights humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria
Source: Assessment Capacities Project
Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen
The weekly Global Overview aggregates information from a range of sources and provides the latest updates on and a ranking of current humanitarian crises.
Snapshot 1–7 July 2015
Syria: Civilian deaths made up 81% of the total death toll in June, which was 2,137, bringing the total number of people killed so far in 2015 to 11,000. 705,000 people have been displaced in the first five months of this year: 439,000 were internally displaced, and the vast majority of the rest fled to Turkey.
Liberia: Two confirmed cases and one suspected case of Ebola have been reported since 29 June. Nearly 200 contacts are being traced from the first case. Liberia had been declared Ebola-free on 9 May. Sierra Leone and Guinea continue to report several cases each week.
Iraq: IS has intensified attacks in northern and western Iraq since June, especially in Anbar, Kirkuk, and Salah al Din. More than 20,400 people were displaced in Salah al Din 14–27 June. Measles cases in Iraq have almost doubled in 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, to reach 949 cases.
Nigeria: Boko Haram attacks on villages in Borno state killed around 200 people in the first three days of July. Another 50 people were killed in Jos. Humanitarian access in the northeast is deteriorating and 27% of registered IDPs are not receiving any assistance.
Updated: 07/07/2015. Next update 14/07/2015.
Global Emergency Overview Web Interface
Preparing for the monsoon in earthquake-affected areas
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
Plan includes prepositioning of stocks, building response capacities and ensuring coordination. The funding gaps (CHF 38 million) are mainly related to recovery interventions in shelter, healt and WASH.
A. Summary of the response
Two months into the relief emergency operation, the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Movement partners remain proactive in ensuring that the affected population, particularly those in remote areas or most vulnerable, are provided with relevant humanitarian assistance in timely and efficient manner. The relief and recovery strategy takes into consideration the upcoming seasonal monsoon floods during which some target districts are likely to be inaccessible. A monsoon preparedness plan for the earthquake affected areas, including prepositioning of stocks, building response capacities and ensuring Movement coordination, provides guidance for continuity of operation.
NRCS, IFRC and partners have commenced the planning process for the recovery phase. On 12-13 June, Movement partners met in a Movement planning meeting to confirm their commitment to promote a one vision, one plan, one team approach to recovery, and to set up a framework and modalities developing a Movement-wide recovery framework and plan of action. Furthermore, IFRC and Movement partners are preparing the exit/transition strategies to ensure smooth out of relief phase process.
The IFRC revised Appeal is 48.7 per cent covered in hard and soft pledges as of 20 June 2015. The current funding gaps (approximately CHF 38 million) are mainly related to recovery interventions in shelter, health, water and sanitation, livelihoods, community preparedness, disaster risk reduction, and National Society institutional development. These interventions are crucial to ensure that affected populations are supported to recover and rebuild their lives as well as better prepare for future disasters. IFRC will continue to explore funding opportunities to meet the humanitarian needs of affected population outlined in the Appeal. IFRC, on behalf of NRCS, would like to thank the partners and donors for their generous contributions.
WHO: Ebola recovery in West Africa impossible unless health systems rebuilt
Source: World Health Organization
Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone
To rebuild their health systems and provide services from now through the end of December 2017, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone need to collectively raise $696.2 million.
| Recovery in West Africa needs more urgency as the region’s battered systems have limited capacity to reactivate essential health services |
NEW YORK/GENEVA/BRAZZAVILLE (06 July, 2015) — In the lead-up to a major fundraising conference for Ebola recovery, the World Health Organization (WHO) called the rebuilding of the national health systems in West Africa a critical priority. While the countries are still working to get to zero Ebola cases, staying at zero is inconceivable unless rebuilding of the health systems begins now.
“Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone entered the Ebola epidemic with severely underfunded health systems,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “After a year of handling far too many severely ill patients, the surviving staff need support, better protection, compensation, and reinforcements. The existing facilities need a complete overhaul, and many new structures need to be built. If another outbreak strikes, the toll would be far worse.”
“Outbreaks of contagious diseases can flare up anywhere,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation. “But the size of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is directly related to the lack of resilience of the national health systems. In West Africa, the governments did not have the tools or resources to identify the initial cases or control the outbreak that resulted.”
“National pride will not stop a viral outbreak on its own,” said Dr. Philip Ireland, an emergency medicine physician at John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. “But it provides a strong foundation for building a new health system; the one we had collapsed under the weight of Ebola. The hiring of well-trained doctors and technicians, nurses and physician assistants should be our nation’s number one priority.”
According to a WHO report released in May, Ebola took an exceptional toll on health workers. They were 20-30 times more likely to contract the disease than the general public, given the number of patients they saw and treated. More than 800 contracted Ebola, and more than 400 died—with the outcome of almost one quarter of the cases unknown.
The health systems of all three countries need an exceptional infusion of funding and other resources, the focus of the United Nations Secretary-General’s International Ebola Recovery Conference (9-10 July 2015). To rebuild their health systems and provide services through the end of December, 2017:
To rebuild their health systems and provide services from now through the end of December, 2017:
Guinea has budgeted $1.176 billion and still needs to raise $386.5 million;
Liberia has budgeted $550 million and still needs to raise $169.7 million; and
Sierra Leone budgeted $361 million and still needs to raise an estimated amount of $140 million.
A sizable investment in the health systems would be a profound change of course for the region. As with other low-income countries, the governments of all three countries have not spent enough money on health care to provide basic services, and the life expectancy of the populations has suffered greatly as a result. In 2013:
Guinea spent $7 per person on health services and the life expectancy was 52 years;
Liberia spent $14 per person and the life expectancy was 56 years;
Sierra Leone spent $11 and the life expectancy was 49 years; and
In contrast, Norway spent $7160 per person and the life expectancy was 81 years.
“In this interconnected world of international travel and porous borders,” added Dr Kieny, “no one is immune from disease outbreaks. This is the lesson the West African Ebola outbreak has taught us. We need to ensure health systems everywhere can detect and treat emerging diseases and still keep their routine healthcare services up and running.”
“When people think global health security they think disease surveillance,” said Dr. Moeti. “Nobody wants to see the Ebola outbreak start in West Africa and spread around the world. But disease surveillance cannot happen in a vacuum. Emerging diseases cannot be detected and controlled if there are no laboratories, hospitals and health personnel.”
For more information, please contact:
Collins Boakye-Agyemang, Boakyeagyemangc@who.int; Tel +47-241-39420, | Cel: +242 06 614 2401
Daniela Bagozzi at firstname.lastname@example.org +4179603 7281
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EU support to West Africa reaches €1.1 billion
Source: European Union
Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
A new regional programme will focus on peace, security and regional stability; economic integration and trade; and sustainable development of natural resources and biodiversity.
Summary: 6 July 2015, Brussels - Today, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, co-signed new regional funding for cooperation with representatives of regional organisations from West Africa, covering the time until 2020. The so-called Regional Indicative Programme under the 11th European Development Fund amounts to a total of €1.15 billion.
Commissioner Mimica commented: “Regional integration in West Africa is already bearing impressive fruits and today’s signing is the ambitious starting point for preparing new, concrete projects that will benefit the region and its countries. Having almost doubled our support from the last programming period, we will work with a wide range of partners to tackle the challenges that remain in West Africa, such as peace and security, economic integration and trade, as well as sustainable development.”
The West Africa Regional Indicative Programme was co-signed by President Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and President Cheikhe Hadjibou Soumaré of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
The Programme focuses on three areas of cooperation:
- Peace, security and regional Stability, including support to ECOWAS in its regional peace and security mandate and funding for peace and security initiatives, including migration.
- Regional economic integration and trade, to strengthen trade, the private sector and regional integration and support infrastructure
- Sustainable Development of natural resources and biodiversity, which covers support to resilience, food security and nutrition as well as environmental protection, biodiversity and climate change.
The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for EU aid for development cooperation with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries (ACP) and is funded with contributions from the EU Member States. Regional Indicative Programmesrepresent an important step in the programming of EU aid under the EDF, complementing the National Indicative Programmes concluded with national governments of ACP states. Preparations are done in close cooperation with the regional organisations so as to ensure that the programmes support their priorities where the EU has a value added.
16 Countries benefit from the EU-West Africa Regional Indicative programme: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme (2008-2013) for West Africa had a budget of €595 million.
For more information
Website of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/home_en
Website of Commissioner Neven Mimica: http://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/mimica_en
Philippines: the plight of internally displaced people in Mindanao
Source: Peace Direct
The conflict in the southern Philippines – where some groups have been struggling for autonomy for the past 30 years – is the catalyst for much of the displacement in the archipelago.
With rates of internal displacement in South Asia reaching over 3 million, Sara Woodward discusses the plight of IDPs in the Philippines and efforts to tackle their problems.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) defines internal displacement as the movement of individuals seeking sanctuary within the confines of their own home countries.
Because of natural disasters and armed conflict, the global number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has been increasing. As of the end of 2013, the UNHCR estimated the worldwide population of IDPs to be 33.3 million. These people are unique to migration studies in that – unlike refugees who cross state borders to seek safety – IDPs remain under the nominal legal protection of their own government. This is crucial, in light of the fact that governments sometimes cause their flight in the first place.
The Philippines in context: under-development and independence movements
In South Asia in particular, there were an estimated 3.2 million IDPs by the end of 2013. Their displacement tends to be caused by conflict between governments and religious, ethnic, or clan-affiliated non-state rebel groups. They are often competing for political power, resources, land, and economic opportunity.
The conflict in the southern portion of the Philippines – where some groups have been struggling for autonomy for the past 30 years – is the catalyst for much of the displacement in the archipelago. General under-development in the region, and an unequal distribution of wealth, have helped fuel the fighting. In September 2013, Human Rights Watch reported that militants had attacked Zamboanga, a mostly Christian city in the south. The resulting encounter between the militants and government forces resulted in 120,000 people, mostly Muslims, to be displaced.
At least 71,800 people were newly displaced in the Philippines during 2014. As in previous years, they were largely concentrated in Mindanao and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. In late 2014, many of these IDPs remained in evacuation camps, and by March of this year, armed clashes in central Mindanao were reported to have displaced almost another 100,000 people.
They are unable to return home because of continuing violence and insecurity. Some have been displaced more than once, and the ethnic minorities caught in the middle of the conflict can be denied access to funds and government support.
Counting the cost: no exact figures on Filipino displacement
While there is no exact number of IDPs in the Philippines, which is telling on its own, estimates suggest that most of these people remain displaced. This is nonetheless down from the height of the conflict, in 2008-2009, when the number was around 700,000.
Some IDPs began to return home in 2011, largely because of a fledgling peace process. But natural disasters and a resurgence of violence have recently led to a new wave of displacement. This displacement caused by conflict often affects the same communities repeatedly, undermining societal resilience and pushing already poor people into poverty.
While the media often highlights the conflict and displacement of Muslim citizens, there is less focus on the effects of conflict on the indigenous Lumad people. Lumads, a term used by the indigenous peoples of Mindanao to describe themselves, are regularly displaced not only by the violence itself, but also because of the politics related to it.
Reports have highlighted the devastating social and economic impact of the conflict on indigenous communities, and noted that the Lumads often refuse to join local defence militias, which leads to suspicions of them being communist sympathisers. This leads to arrests, more persecution and greater violence and abuse.
Progress in sight? Taking account of IDPs
Efforts to address these issues within the Philippines have been set in motion. In August 2014, the Philippines House of Representatives approved the ‘Internal Displacement Act of 2014’, which seeks to recognise the rights of all IDPs and provide protection and assistance, no matter the cause of their displacement.
Crucially, the bill recognises the importance of preventing displacement and, where possible, attempting to stop activities responsible for it and providing compensation for those who are displaced. While this is a positive step, questions arise when considering responses to possible state-generated displacement. The Senate was still discussing the bill in early 2015. Once both chambers agree on a draft, it will be sent to the president to sign into law.
In addition, since the end of 2010, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process has overseen a programme intended to address peacebuilding and reconstruction, that incorporates IDP assistance.The Programme for Communities in Conflict-Affected Areas (known by the Tagalog acronym, PAMANA) is intended to support community-based development and provide a method of bottom-up as well as top-down post-conflict reconstruction.
While efforts have been made towards promoting peace and reconstruction in the Philippines, dealing with the displacement and exclusion of minorities must be addressed. Research on the relationship between underdevelopment, conflict and migration, as well as focused, continued action on the part of policymakers, indigenous advocates and local governments, can help support peacebuilding and assist in creating the structures necessary to provide for those affected by conflict.
One year after Gaza war, 100,000 people still homeless
Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
Country: occupied Palestinian territory
At the current rate that materials are entering Gaza, it will take more than half a century to meet housing needs. None of the 12,600 houses destroyed a year ago has been rebuilt.
At the current rate that materials are entering Gaza, it will take over half a century to meet housing needs
One year since the beginning of the last war on Gaza, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians, tens of thousands of people are still homeless, waiting for reconstruction to begin in the blockaded enclave.
None of the 12,600 houses destroyed a year ago has been rebuilt, leaving up to 100,000 people still displaced, with many of them living in makeshift tents or struggling to earn enough to pay rent in an economy shattered by 8 years under blockade. An extra 83,977 housing units are still waiting for repair assistance and people continue to live in homes that bare gaping holes from the bombardment.
While much has been made of mechanisms to bring in construction materials which the blockade would otherwise prevent, the problem goes deeper than merely providing building materials. At present Gaza is getting just 7.5 per cent of daily construction materials needed to cover the housing demand, but even where materials are available, the people lack the finances to start reconstruction in an area with the highest unemployment rate in the world. Large swathes of rubble are still waiting to be cleared – some still containing unexploded ordnance from the war – the water network has suffered severe damage and electricity only comes intermittently. All these obstacles must be addressed as a precursor to the reconstruction process.
“The utter destruction left a year ago is keeping thousands of people in misery, on top of an already crippling blockade that limits everything coming in and out of the Gaza Strip,” said Norwegian Refugee Council’s Secretary General Jan Egeland. “This is the third time the people of Gaza have had to rebuild in less than a decade, each time in more dire circumstances. If the people of Gaza are to have any chance to truly recover, the international community must ensure that the reconstruction happens urgently.”
NRC is calling upon the international community to support the development of a holistic plan for all aspects of the reconstruction process, however, in the interim, urgent funding is also needed for temporary shelter solutions for the tens of thousands of displaced persons.
“A clear plan for reconstruction is essential, but we also cannot lose sight of the root causes of this conflict. Peace cannot be built on this rubble,” Egeland added. “Unless the blockade and occupation of Palestine are addressed, we are bound to see this senseless cycle of destruction and reconstruction happening all over again, as we have seen over the last seven years, with catastrophic consequences for Palestinians and Israelis. A seven-year-old child in Gaza has already witnessed three wars in their lifetime. This is unacceptable and international donors and governments must demand that Israel commits to protecting civilian infrastructure – particularly water infrastructure, schools and medical facilities –and that the blockade of Gaza is lifted.”
NRC is today releasing a fact sheet about the reconstruction situation in Gaza, one year since the start of the last war. Download the fact sheet here.
Sahar Issawi, Media and Communications Officer: +972 54 920 4583
Karl Schembri, Regional Media Advisor: +972 5959 41292 or +962 7902 20159
Latest humanitarian snapshot highlights flooding in India, Bangladesh and China
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Bangladesh, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Solomon Islands
Continuing rainfall is impeding relief efforts as the NDRF attempts to carry out rescue efforts; there is a shortage of food and safe drinking water in the affected areas of West Bengal, India.
Heavy rainfall across West Bengal caused landslides killing an estimated 40 people with many still missing.
Continuing rainfall is impeding relief efforts as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) attempts to carry out rescue efforts.
There is a shortage of food and safe drinking water in the affected areas.
40 people dead
The NDRF is working alongside national disaster teams at the landslide sites. Heavy rainfall is expected to continue up to 9 Jul.
According to the Government’s Emergency Operation Centre, the flood situation affecting Rakhine State, Tanintharyi Region, Kayin State, Ayeyarwaddy Region and Bago, is improving.
The Government has led the emergency response, including the distribution of relief items and provision of medical care. As of 4 Jul, the Relief and Resettlement Department reported 7 deaths and over 14,000 people affected across the country. Rakhine State is the most seriously affected with 114 homes destroyed in Ann Township. In other townships, people who were temporarily displaced by the floods have returned home.
Following recent flash floods and landslides in the south east the Government provided support to affected families with the distribution of rice and cash. A Core Assessment Group will lead a Joint Needs Assessment from 29 Jun to 15 Jul in 8 upazillas in Cox's Bazar, Bandarban and Chittagong districts.
Existing agency field presence will collect data to complement information gathered from the Government.
DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLUC OF KOREA
A long period of abnormally dry weather has led to lower agricultural production, reduced access to water for drinking and irrigation, leading to a deterioration of health, nutrition and sanitary conditions
At least four people were killed and more than 48 injured by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in China's Xinjiang region, according to state media. The US Geological Survey reports the quake struck at a depth of 20km near Hotan city and followed by a series of aftershocks. Officials report over 3,000 houses and buildings were damaged. Media reports that Government will send 1,000 tents and other relief.
3,000 houses damaged
Moderate to heavy rains caused by an Intertropical Convergence Zone affected over 122,000 people in six provinces of Mindanao. As of 2 Jul five people have died, eight injured and over 65 houses damaged.
NORTH WEST PACIFIC
A series of weather systems are affecting the north west Pacific.
Tropical Storm Nangka passed close to the Marshall Islands brought high swells, dislodged roofs and caused power outages to Majuro. Unconfirmed reports from IOM indicate around 200 people were displaced in Wotje atoll and moved into schools.
Forecasts predict Tropical Cyclone Chan-Hom will reach the coastal areas of eastern China on Jul 10. The China Meteorological Authority suggested preparedness measures by local authorities.
Tropical Storm Linfa produced heavy rainfall over the northern Philippines. No major damage is reported. Linfa will creep slowly northward toward Taiwan, bringing more heavy rain this week
Tropical Cyclone Raquel passed over the Solomon Islands on 5-6 Jul bringing heavy rain and landslides.
The storm damaged at least 80 houses and washed away bridges. The National Disaster Management Authority is managing the response. Damage assessments are now underway.
In the next three months, there is an extremely high chance of below normal rainfall in Indonesia and Malaysia. Papua New Guinea and western India are also likely to receive less rainfall than average. Meanwhile above average rainfall is likely across the Pacifc, in particular Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu.
Cholera risks high across world, but deadly disease can be controlled
Source: World Health Organization
Country: Malawi, Nepal, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen
The WHO-led Global Task Force aims to end cholera deaths by strengthening international collaboration and increasing coordination to prevent the 3 situations where cholera usually occurs.
6 July, 2015 ¦ GENEVA: From Tanzania to South Sudan, and Nepal to Yemen, cholera – and the threat of a cholera outbreak – is a major public health concern for governments and the international health community. Use of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) is proving to be an efficient tool to effectively control cholera outbreaks. New outbreaks are ongoing in South Sudan and Tanzania fanned by insecurity and displacement. Intensive control efforts are ongoing, and vaccination programmes have been rolled out to target communities at risk. In conflict-wracked Yemen and earthquake-ravaged Nepal, WHO has been working with national authorities and partners on the ground to prepare for any outbreak of cholera, as well as acute water diarrhoea.
What is cholera?
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, from less than one day to five days, and produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, watery diarrhoea; vomiting also occurs in most patients. Cholera can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death without prompt treatment.
Effectively controlling cholera
WHO and its partners are responding to outbreaks to effectively control the deadly water-borne disease through improved water and sanitation practices, use of oral cholera vaccines, better surveillance, and greater awareness among communities as to how to control it. The WHO-led Global Task Force on Cholera Control (1) aims to end cholera deaths by strengthening international collaboration and increasing coordination among partners in 3 of the main situations where cholera circulates:
in endemic conditions, where the disease is entrenched in communities, such as regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
in sudden outbreaks, where an instant vaccination response is deemed most effective, such as in Guinea and Malawi; and
as a consequence of a humanitarian crisis, such as the late 2013 outbreak in South Sudan, or current outbreak in Tanzania when thousands of people displaced by fighting in neighbouring Burundi were successfully vaccinated against the disease.
Effectively controlling a disease means reducing new cases in defined locations to zero through targeted efforts. In the case of cholera, these include the use of oral cholera vaccine, improving water and sanitation practices, engaging the community in implementation of control measures, and sustaining control efforts to prevent its re-emergence.
Using the cholera vaccine to stop outbreaks
A global stockpile, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), the Margaret A Cargill Foundation and the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, initially made 2 million doses of the vaccine available. In 2015, with funding from the GAVI Alliance, the number of doses available for use in both endemic hotspots and emergency situations is expected to rise to around 3 million.
The oral cholera vaccine is an important tool in fighting cholera. Its use must be both supported by local authorities and used hand-in-hand with focused, sustainable water and sanitation actions in targeted communities.
Since the establishment of the stockpile in 2013, close to 2 million doses of OCV were distributed. As this equals the number of vaccines used in 15 years before 2013, it is clear that, by increasing the supply of OCV, the stockpile mechanism was successful in developing the demand for cholera vaccines which is one of its main objectives.
There are several examples where the vaccine has stopped cholera outbreaks in their tracks, such as in South Sudan in 2014 when, before the occurrence of the outbreak, thousands of displaced people who had found shelter in makeshift camps at UN sites were given the vaccine. This action almost certainly averted increased illness and death amongst the vulnerable camp inhabitants who had been at high-risk of the disease.
More information: The Global Task Force on Cholera Control http://www.who.int/cholera/task_force/en/
New report urges commitment to education in emergencies
Source: Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children
Save The Children and NRC's report highlights that despite increased attention and recognition, education in emergencies remains the most underfunded of all humanitarian sectors.
In their new joint report “Walk the talk”, Save The Children and the Norwegian Refugee Council urge governments and the humanitarian community "to walk the talk by realizing their commitment to education in emergencies”.
The new report, which was launched in Geneva Tuesday this week, highlights that despite increased attention and recognition, education in emergencies remains the most underfunded of all humanitarian sectors.
“Words must be turned into action. For too long we have heard world leaders speak about the importance of education without taking the necessary steps to ensure all children their right to education. It is time to walk the talk,” said Silje Skeie, Education Adviser in Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
“We have a responsibility to ensure that every single child is learning, no matter how hard or costly it is to reach them”, said Secretary General of Save The Children Norway, Tove Wang.
“It will not be easy and it may not be cheap, but it is possible. With strong commitments from the highest levels, I believe we can make a real difference to children’s lives”, says Wang.
Decrease in funding
The report, which is a review of some of the largest donors’ humanitarian policies on education, shows that despite increased recognition of the important role that education may play for children and young people affected by crisis, education remains the most underfunded of all humanitarian sectors.
“Despite broader understanding that education is important in times of crisis, few donors fund education in emergencies”, explained Skeie.
In 2012 the Global Education First Initiative called for doubling the share of total humanitarian aid earmarked for education to at least 4 percent. However, still education receives less than 2 percent of the funds from the humanitarian appeals.
28,5 million conflict hit children out of school
The consequences are fatal for millions of the most vulnerable children. While there has been tremendous progress in getting children into school over the past fifteen years, an increasing number of conflict affected children are not benefitting from this development.
While 30 percent of children in conflict affected countries were out of school in year 2000, 36 percent of all children in conflict are now denied their right to education. In total, 28,5 million of the 58 million children who are still out of school in the world today live in conflict and crisis affected areas.
Lack of donor policies and data
The report also points out how lack of clear donor policies on education results in lack of funding of education, since the decision on whether to fund education or not is not institutionalised. “Donors need to put in place policies where they commit to increase funding for education in emergencies drastically and ensure that the funding reaches its destination”, the report conclude.
Another barrier to funding is lack of proper data on education needs in emergencies and crises.
“The humanitarian community needs to recognize that education is an essential part of a humanitarian response and give it a higher priority. We must commit to doing better needs assessments, and education must be included in all assessments”, said Silje Skeie.
ABOUT THE REPORT
The report was commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Save the Children to better understand the landscape of donors’ humanitarian policies on education and the role such policies play in influencing education in emergencies practice.
The sample of donors analysed for this review included Australia, Canada, Denmark, European Union (EU)/European Commission (EC), Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US).