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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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More than 85 governments, civil society and international groups vow to tackle statelessness

In a historic moment in the global fight against statelessness, more than 85 governments, civil society and international and regional organizations have this week pledged hundreds of new commitments to end statelessness, a major cause of human rights deprivations for millions of people worldwide. More than 300 pledges were received at a meeting in Geneva hosted by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The meeting, known as the High-Level Segment on Statelessness, was part of UNHCRs annual gathering of its governing Executive Committee. The sheer number of pledges is unprecedented for a single occasion. Among them over 220 were commitments by more than 55 states to accede to or ratify the UN statelessness conventions, facilitate naturalization of stateless people, prevent statelessness by ending gender discrimination in nationality laws, ensure universal birth registration, provide protection to stateless people and enhance or initiate data collection on stateless populations. “We are reach..

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Global Efforts Needed to Free Detained Children

UN Study Finds at Least 1.5 Million Locked Up Each Year (New York) – A new global study on children deprived of their liberty should prompt United Nations member countries to take steps to dramatically decrease the number of children detained and confined, a group of 170 nongovernmental organizations said today. Manfred Nowak, a UN independent expert, will present the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty to the UN General Assembly in New York on October 8, 2019. He found that approximately 1.5 million children are deprived of their liberty each year. “Children are often detained illegally, unnecessarily, and at great cost to their health and future,” said Alex Kamarotos, director of Defence for Children International and co-chair of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. “The Global Study should prompt every country to adopt new policies and practices to dramatically decrease the number of children who are locked up.” The study examined the s..

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees warns of risks to the fight against statelessness

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned today that recent advances in the battle to end statelessness – a leading cause of human rights deprivation for millions of people worldwide – were being imperiled by a rise in damaging forms of nationalism. In Geneva ahead of the opening on Monday of UNHCRs annual Executive Committee meeting Grandi said that the growing number of countries taking action against statelessness meant the international community was nearing a point of critical mass in its efforts to stamp out statelessness for good. “As recently as five years ago, public awareness of statelessness, and the harm it causes, was still negligible. That is changing, and today the prospect of ending statelessness entirely has never been closer,” said Grandi. “And yet the progress is far from assured: damaging forms of nationalism, and the manipulation of anti-refugee and migrant sentiment – these are powerful currents internationally that risk putting progress into reve..

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Over 51 million children reached in National Immunization campaigns

Abuja, 4 October, 2019 – In a bid to bolster immunity of eligible children, the Federal Government of Nigeria supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners immunized over 51 million children during the annual national immunization campaigns. The intervention, conducted in phases, from 30 July-30 August 2019, reached 51,151,924 eligible children across 36 Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The campaign was integrated with Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) and fractional Inactivated Polio Vaccine (fIPV). While 0-59 months children received bOPV only in selected local Government Areas (LGA) of 15 Nigerian states, namely, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara States, a total of 12,020,045 children 14 weeks to 59 months were given both fIPV and bOPV. “To make this campaign a success, we engaged house to house vaccination teams comprising mainly women, mobilisers and town ann..

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New “game-changing” financing mechanism to end cholera launched at UN General Assembly

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today unveiled a major new initiative to combat cholera and other diarrheal diseases in 29 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Announced at the UNGA Financing for Development Dialogues by H.E. The Honorable Minister of Economy, Malaysia, Mohamed Azmin, the One WASH Fund will attempt to cut cholera deaths by 90 per cent and improve the lives of 5 million people in 29 cholera affected OIC member countries. The One WASH Fund is a scalable outcome fund model that uses an innovative financing mechanism designed to attract new philanthropic and private investor capital by combining Islamic social finance contributions with traditional humanitarian donor financing. This Fund structure will then be pre-funded through the issuance of an Islamic bond (Sukuk) enabling it to operate at multi-million-dollar scale. With the establishment of the fund, I..

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The global climate in 2015–2019

Executive summary Compared to the previous five-year assessment period 2011–2015, the current five-year period 2015–2019 has seen a continued increase in carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions and an accelerated increase in the atmospheric concentration of major greenhouse gases (GHGs), with growth rates nearly 20% higher. The increase in the oceanic CO2 concentration has increased the oceans acidity. The five-year period 2015–20191 is likely to be the warmest of any equivalent period on record globally, with a 1.1 °C global temperature increase since the pre-industrial period and a 0.2 °C increase compared to the previous five-year period. Continuing and accelerated trends have also predominated among other key climate indicators, including an acceleration of rising sea levels, a continued decline in the Arctic sea-ice extent, an abrupt decrease in Antarctic sea ice, continued ice mass loss in the glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and the clear downward trend in the nor..

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