Daily Archives: July 17, 2015

Some Good News on Global Vaccine Coverage

The new data also shows a marked increase in the percentage of children covered in India. The number of countries reaching and sustaining 90% coverage of children with routine life-saving vaccinations has doubled since 2000. Updated data on the status of immunization worldwide in 2014 reveal that 129 countries, 6 more than in 2013, now immunize at least 90% of their children with the required 3 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis containing vaccines (DTP3).” (WHO http://bit.ly/1fNieRO)

Ebola “Resurgence” in Liberia...A resurgence of Ebola in Liberia is likely to have originated in a survivor still carrying the virus, scientists said as the country announced a second death in the new outbreak. ( Yahoo http://yhoo.it/1I5A9NY)

Study of the Day: From the Natural Resources Defense Council:  “Bringing coal use to a peak by 2020 could save China billions of dollars in environmental costs, slash water consumption by nearly 30 percent and prevent tens of thousands of deaths from coal-related illnesses.” (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1I5Abp5)

Africa

European timber companies have helped fund the conflict in the Central African Republic by doing business with logging firms that have paid millions of dollars to rebels, according to a watchdog group report. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1RBjLLt)

Africa is likely to benefit from weak global growth by attracting more investment that will drive its development, experts said at a financing conference in Ethiopia. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Ogwmyf)

Desmond Tutu will remain in hospital for several more days to fight a persistent infection that is not related to his prostate cancer, his daughter Mpho said on Thursday. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1fNg192)

The NBA is holding an exhibition game in Johannesburg in which first and second generation African players square off against players from the rest of the world. (Yahoo http://yhoo.it/1fNhoob)

The fight against extremists in northern Mali has shifted from full-on combat to a phase of hide-and-seek with jihadists, who are outnumbered and avoid direct contact with French troops, the forces say. (ABC http://abcn.ws/1fNhHzi)

MENA

Around 2,700 migrants were rescued from 13 boats near the coast of Libya on Wednesday, Italy’s coastguard said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Ogwlu9)

Egypt’s cabinet has amended a draft counter-terrorism law so that journalists would be fined, rather than jailed, for contradicting the authorities’ version of any terrorist attack, the state news agency reported. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1RBjKHv)

A draft U.N. resolution on the Iran nuclear deal that says U.N. sanctions would “snap back” if Iran fails to meet its obligations also contains a surprise: The crucial mechanism will end in 10 years. (AP http://yhoo.it/1I5A9h6)

In the wake of the nuclear agreement with Iran, President Barack Obama will meet Friday with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, a White House official said. (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1Loojzv)

Asia

U.N. human rights investigators demanded an end to a Chinese crackdown on lawyers on Thursday after more than 100 people were detained, intimidated or went missing over the past week. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TEJosz)

The United States has launched a campaign to get U.N. accreditation for the non-profit organization Freedom Now, which works to free prisoners of conscience around the world, but the effort is facing opposition, especially from China. (VOA http://bit.ly/1HAi9rv)

India and Pakistan have traded blame for a series of firefights and shelling over the past two days along their border in the disputed Kashmir region that killed five civilians and wounded nine people. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1fNgkkc)

The Americas

The United States is set to remove Cuba from the bottom tier on its list of worst human trafficking centers, U.S. sources said, in what will be another step in the historic rapprochement between the former Cold War foes. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TEJpg6)

…and the rest

Angela Merkel has come under criticism for her awkward treatment of a young refugee girl brought to tears by the German chancellor’s comments on asylum. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TEJmRm)

A fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia to stem the flow of migrants and refugees will be complete by Nov. 30, the Hungarian defense minister said Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1I5AcJV)

Scientists are reporting progress in the fight against a parasite that’s a major cause of diarrheal disease in the developing world. (NPR http://n.pr/1Ogw2Q8)

Two Russian bloggers say they faced threats and violence when they walked through Moscow streets holding hands to gauge attitudes toward gays. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TEJosm)

Opinion/Blogs

The IAEA and Iran: How Inspections Work (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1DiWGS8 )

What if I told you every country on the planet just agreed to finance the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030–and do so in an environmentally sustainable way? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1Md2ZP7)

Americans and Middle Easterners are scared of the same thing after all (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1JjPG9r)

Development finance summit: milestone or millstone for the world’s poor? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1I5zOer)

Think Beyond Microfinance When Talking About Businesswomen (Africa Renewal http://bit.ly/1HAhUwp)

What Will It Take to Bring a Second Green Revolution to India? (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1Ogwgqn)

How best to measure child poverty? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1TEJ64W)

Why peace won’t be enough in Colombia (IRIN http://bit.ly/1fLLTLl)

Hunting in Africa – to Ban or Not to Ban? (The Conversation Africa http://bit.ly/1V71B3r)

Microfinance – Good for the Poor? (Africa Renewal http://bit.ly/1HAi6vE)

Discussion

comments…

IRIN’s Top Picks: Beyond aid, transparency and development finance

DUBAI, 17 July 2015 (IRIN) – Welcome to IRIN’s reading list. Every week our global network of specialist correspondents share their top picks of recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. We also highlight key upcoming conferences, book releases and policy debates.

Five to read:

When losing track means losing lives: Lessons in accountability from the Ebola crisis

Anti-poverty group the ONE Campaign calls out the lack of transparency around aid flows to the Ebola crisis. Through its own online, interactive tracker, the NGO set about trying to map money movement from different donors to the affected countries. But it concludes: “We faced limitations that inhibited our ability to get a comprehensive, clear picture, and to answer basic questions about the world’s response or even on a significant subset of donors.” Issues included: discrepancies between pledges and final contributions; multiple and confusing records; and a reliance on donor self-reporting.

For Human Dignity

Oxfam presents a rousing call to action ahead of next year’s World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), calling for the word’s governments to be held to account for their role in “injustices” that lead to humanitarian crises and for more to be done to prevent and prepare for natural disasters. In her foreword, executive director Winnie Byanyima notes: “A successful humanitarian response begins before a crisis hits. We need to tackle the structural causes of crisis, not simply to mop up its tragic human consequences afterward”. The paper also makes a call for the aid sector itself to change how it works, urging “more funds onto the ground, where aid actually happens” and a minimization of “money lost in the UN and international NGOs”.

Why all development finance should be risk-informed

Published to coincide with the Third UN Financing for Development (FFD3) conference in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, this paper highlights the low investment in “disaster risk management”, despite the high risks in countries where the bulk of development aid is spent. The report, co-authored by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) notes: “All development planning should integrate appropriate disaster resilience measures … Investing in disaster risk management (DRM) yields multiple benefits. It helps avoid losses when disasters strike, unlocks development potential and produces economic, social, and environmental co-benefits.”

Terrorists beware

If you are a terrorist working for a US government-funded project in Kenya, Guatemala, Lebanon, the Philippines or Ukraine – beware. The New York Times reports there is a new federal screening programme designed to ferret you out. All non-profits taking USAID money will be required to collect detailed personal data — including biographical information and bank account numbers — on “each officer, board member and vital employee”, which will then be shared with the US government. Not surprisingly, aid groups, reliant on local employees – who may not want their names on a government intelligence database – have condemned the move.

Aid transparency: ‘It’s better to self-report on your own failures than have others do it for you’

Following on from an online Q and A on aid transparency, the Guardian compiles a list of 16 ways to boost accountability in the sector from experts. Tips include: keeping the pressure on large donors; presenting data in a way that is useful to people; and using creative ways to share your message. Vijaya Ramachandran, a senior fellow at the Centre for Global Development in Washington, also urges NGOs not to be afraid of “bad press”. Citing the recent reporting on the American Red Cross in Haiti, he says: “Being honest about shortcomings and failures can lead to negative press reports and a decrease in funding. But in the end, it’s better to be open and transparent about what has worked, what has failed and how much money has been spent.”

One to listen to:

Has Africa Outgrown Development Aid?

Recorded in London but timed to coincide with the FFD3 event in Addis Ababa, the latest BBC Africa Debate asks whether the continent needs to move on from aid. Panel members Andrew Mitchell, a former UK secretary of state for international development, Ghanian Tutu Agyare, the managing director of a London-base asset management firm and Giles Bolton, author of “Aid and Other Dirty Business” were joined by an invited audience of 300 development specialists, politicians, academics, philanthropists and students.

From IRIN:

Mapped: 15 years of aid worker attacks

In 2014, more than 300 aid workers were killed, wounded or kidnapped, the second-worst year on record, after 2013. Using data from Humanitarian Outcomes, IRIN has mapped every single aid worker attack around the world since the year 2000. You can search our interactive data-visualisation by country, type of incident, context and organisation. As well as a poignant reminder of lost lives, the data also throws up interesting questions about risk appetite within the sector and the use of local versus national staff.

See also:
 

Memento Mori

Fewer aid worker attacks. That’s good right?

lr/oa