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Global effort to strengthen early warning systems expands

Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States benefit from better weather and climate information A global initiative to strengthen early warning systems and climate resilience in the most vulnerable countries continues to gain momentum with a new injection of Euro 10 million contribution from Germany. The Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative, set up in 2015, has invested USD 42 million in projects in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States and has mobilized an additional USD 130 million from public funds of other development partners. Thus, Fiji now has an early warning system for flash floods. Advisories are issued for sand storms in Burkina Faso, which is also now generating seasonal forecasts and informing small scale farmers through local radio stations on when to plant their crops. Papua New Guinea issued its first seasonal forecast this year thanks to cooperation with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The latest counti..

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New Zealand to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region

Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles. “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. New Zealand has collaborated with UNICEF and WHO to identify regional vulnerabilities and opportunities for early interventions to prevent further outbreaks,” Minister Peters said. “This plan offers immediate preventative action. It allows for the flexibility to respond to additional requests from other Pacific nations and offers an efficient way of working regionally.” Activities under the plan include targeted vaccination for children up to the age of 5 years of age, supplementary vaccine doses for new mothers and their families to protect babies too young to be vaccinated and increased measles surveillance, public health and epidemiology sup..

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Secretary-General calls on donors to boost emergency response fund pledges as number of conflicts, extreme weather events rises

SG/SM/19902 Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres remarks at the high‑level pledging conference for the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, in New York today: It is always a pleasure to celebrate a success story. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is one of the most effective investments, probably it is the most effective investment you can make in humanitarian action. I was High Commissioner for Refugees for 10 years so I believe I am in a very good position to testify that the CERF was a precious instrument for our work. It was quick, non-bureaucratic, sometimes the only available resource to trigger an emergency response because others would come too late to be effective. It was also the instrument that would allow us to act in forgotten crises that had very little attractiveness for donor funding and it was a very important tool to bring the system together. To be entirely frank, one of the obstacles for the reforms we have been introducing at ..

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Up to 17.8 million people internally displaced because of conflict, disasters in Africa

Although forced displacement is a global phenomenon, it is more pronounced in Africa. Africa hosts over one-third of the global forced displacement population. As at 31 December 2018, the continent hosted some 17.8 million internally displaced persons. In response, across the continent, various stakeholders – including governments, civil society organisations and regional bodies – are stepping up their efforts to address the structural factors that trigger forced displacement. This explains, in part, why the Africa Union declared 2019 as The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement. The Africa Report on Internal Displacement represents a timely and relevant contribution to the discussion on internal displacement and its links with governance, peace and socio-economic development in Africa. It provides reliable and up-to-date evidence about the drivers, scale and consequences of internal displacement on the continent..

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IFRC puts climate change at centre of new 10-year strategy

Geneva, 5 December 2019 – Climate related shocks and hazards are amongst the major humanitarian emergencies confronting humanity today, according to a new decade-long strategy adopted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today in Geneva. Climate change emerged as a growing concern through an exhaustive two-year consultation with the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent network that led to the design of the new Strategy 2030. The process highlighted how climate change is a growing concern for nearly every single one of the 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Speaking at IFRCs 22nd General Assembly, which is currently underway in Geneva, IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, said: “The message from our members and from our millions of volunteers couldnt be clearer: climate change is an existential threat that is already completely altering the work we do, and the lives of the people we support. “Tackling climate change will be our majo..

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Sahel region – Food insecurity (DG ECHO) (ECHO Daily Flash of 3 December 2019)

Results from the regional analysis (Cadre Harmonisé) of the food security situation in west and central Africa show an alarming deterioration of food security in the 9 Sahel countries for the 2020 lean season. A combination of conflict, insecurity, forced displacement, implementation of state of emergency measures and climatic shocks will leave an estimated 14.9 million people in need of emergency food assistance (phase 3 to 5) in the Sahel region, between June and August 2020. This translates to a continuous and sharp increase in food insecurity in the last five years across the Sahel. In Northern Nigeria, at least 6.2 million people will require emergency food assistance, while part of the estimated 1.2 million people living in hard-to-reach areas may be at risk of famine. Compared to the 2019 lean season, 2020 food insecurity figures will increase by +100% in Mali and Burkina Faso, +74% in Chad and by +65% in Niger (+80% increase for the G5 countries combined). Mauritania is facing ..

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Millions of children at risk as governments fail to protect their rights, leading agencies warn

The lives of millions of vulnerable children are at risk because the majority of the worlds nations have failed to renew their commitment to childrens rights, six leading international child rights organisations have warned. The agencies, represented by a coalition – Joining Forces – expressed dismay that only a handful of countries have made concrete commitments to advance childrens rights to mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November. Less than half of all countries have so far adopted the “For every child, every right” global pledge to redouble action for children, at the invitation of UNICEF and the United Nations. Worse still, less than 50 countries have submitted national pledges and almost none of the countries with the highest rates of child poverty and deprivation have made any commitments. CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND “There are millions of children who have been left behind,” said Meg Gardinier, secretary general of ChildFund Allian..

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WHO prequalifies Ebola vaccine, paving way for use in high-risk countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) today prequalified an Ebola vaccine for the first time, a critical step that will help speed up its licensing, access and roll-out in countries most at risk of Ebola outbreaks. This is the fastest vaccine prequalification process ever conducted by WHO. Prequalification means that the vaccine meets WHO standards for quality, safety and efficacy. United Nations agencies and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, can procure the vaccine for at-risk countries based on this WHO recommendation. “This is a historic step towards ensuring the people who most need it are able to access this life-saving vaccine,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Five years ago, we had no vaccine and no therapeutics for Ebola. With a prequalified vaccine and experimental therapeutics, Ebola is now preventable and treatable.” The injectable Ebola vaccine, Ervebo, is manufactured by Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada). It has been shown to be effective..

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Access constraints gravely impede humanitarian assistance in 60 countries

Introduction ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview provides a snapshot of the contexts where humanitarian action faces the biggest constraints ACAPS analysts scored each context on nine variables in order to rank and compare humanitarian access worldwide. Crisis affected populations in about 60 countries are not getting the humanitarian assistance they need due to access constraints. Eight new countries were included in the ranking since the last ACAPS Humanitarian Access report released in May 2019. Among the indicators, Physical constraints and Restrictions and obstruction to services and assistance are the most common challenges. This report presents the score boards for all the countries assessed. Narratives are provided only for countries with high, very high, or extreme constraints. Methodology Our methodology groups 9 indicators under 3 dimensions: Access of people in need to humanitarian aid comprised of 2 indicators:• Denial of humanitarian needs • Restriction of access to..

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One in nine face hunger: Inequality drives global figure to 10-year high, says UN expert

NEW YORK (24 October 2019) – For the third year in a row, hunger and malnutrition are on the rise, back to levels last seen nearly 10 years ago, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food told the General Assembly. Today, Hilal Elver said, one in nine people face hunger and 2 billion people are food insecure. This lack of progress in the realization of the right of everyone to food confirms that states have struggled to fulfil their promise to “leave no one behind,” as embedded in the 2030 Agenda. Yet the SDGs do provide a roadmap for adopting policy reforms and expand social and legal protections for the most vulnerable groups. “The Sustainable Development Goals, are a potentially transformative tool to advance the realization of the right to food, as well as other economic, social and cultural rights,” the expert said. Accomplishing the goals first and foremost requires tackling the inequalities that have undermined the right to food and left too many behind. “A human rights ..

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