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Ethiopia: Reaching the unreached: ENGAGE TB initiative

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 7 min ago
Source: Citizen News Service Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS

Photograph is online at: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/996009_633086303402054_1048253147_n.jpg?oh=f799fbd18971f7b436120982e128c8ab&oe=54DABB2E&__gda__=1427086941_902f88507642f611ef4e46b50941a0fb

(CNS): Despite great strides made in TB care and control over the last few years, the latest data shows that 1/3 of all TB cases are still either not detected or not reported to public health systems. These are people who either seek treatment in the private sector and are not notified to the National TB programmes (NTPs) or have not been diagnosed at all. Some of them would die and all of them would continue to spread TB to others, unless treated. Communities affected by TB are often marginalized--poor people, migrants, injecting drug users, prisoners, refugees, sex workers—and face challenges in securing TB services from public healthcare facilities. Then there are women and children, for whom also it is not easy to access healthcare.

Thomas Joseph of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Global Tuberculosis Programme, told Citizen News Service (CNS) that: "We have to find these missing people by reaching out to them as they are not coming to us on their own for a variety of reasons. We have to get them diagnosed and put on treatment. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can do this best as they are already working with these target groups. So it is easy for them to reach out to this missing population of neglected communities through community health workers and volunteers."

"But the tragedy is that, even though many NGOs may be working on HIV, they are not working on TB. We know that a large number of deaths (one in four) in people living with HIV (PLHIV) are due to TB, which is treatable and curable and not because of HIV, which is not curable. If NGOs working with PLHIV can integrate TB care and control in their existing programmes, it will dramatically reduce these unnecessary deaths” said Thomas.

He added: "Another neglected population is that of women. TB affects the health of the mother and the unborn child. In case of pregnant women, TB doubles the risk of low birth weight of infants, which is predictive of a host of other health problems in later life. It also doubles the risk of premature birth, increases 10-fold the risk of fetal death, and doubles the risk of vaginal bleeding. Pregnant women living with HIV have more than 10-fold higher risk of developing active TB than HIV-negative pregnant women. Ignoring TB in women has ghastly results."

Thomas insisted that, as a matter of policy, government programmes should screen all pregnant women for TB symptoms (like night sweats, fever, cough, weight loss). All NGOs working on maternal and child health should integrate TB in their programmes. Likewise they must screen PLHIV for TB symptoms and accordingly refer them for diagnosis. If they have TB, they should be put on TB treatment, and if they test negative for TB, they should be put on TB prevention treatment.

He informed: "The ENGAGE-TB operational guidance from the WHO Global TB Programme, provides guidance to (i) NGOs on how they can integrate TB in their programmes and (ii) National TB programmes (NTPs) on how they can collaborate and work together with NGOs and other CSOs working on community-based TB activities. This collaborative approach is built in an enabling environment based on mutual understanding and respect between NGOs and Governments. Through supportive policies and simple procedures, it aims that NGOs/ CSOs provide a broad range of TB services."

A few examples of successful application of this model were shared at the recently held 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona:-

Kenya

Despite a gradual decline of approximately 2% annually, TB has remained a major public health challenge in Kenya. About 21% of all estimated new TB cases are still unreached and hence undiagnosed. Kenya also has a high dual TB-HIV burden. The ENGAGE-TB approach was launched in Kenya in 2012. The initiative aimed to enhance collaboration between CSOs and the government for purpose of better TB control and services at the community level. Before this, due to lack of a clear mechanism of their engagement, most NGOs/CSOs remained unengaged in TB control activities. The national NGO Coordination Body was formed in May 2012 and a steering was team was established representing both urban and rural CSOs.

Role of CSOs in community-based TB includes early case finding and facilitating referrals for diagnosis and treatment of TB; prevention of treatment interruptions & retrieval of those who interrupt; socioeconomic support and home based care activities related to TB care; advocacy on reduction of stigma; and social mobilization.

Key achievements of this initiative (2012-2014) were:
(i) Development of operational guidelines for CSO Engagement in TB Control
(ii) Launch and dissemination of Operational guidelines for CSO engagement in TB control
(iii) Identification of CSOs that would engage on Community TB/HIV Control
(iv) Development of CSO code of conduct

Myanmar

Population Services International (PSI) has integrated TB in most of their HIV programmes in high burden TB countries using private-public model in TB care by partnering with NTPs. In Myanmar and Kenya, PSI has also integrated TB services with family planning and maternal and child health services to reach out to women who may not be seeking care for TB symptoms.

Sun Quality Health (SQH), a social franchise network of PSI, working in urban areas of Myanmar, has included TB screening, diagnosis and treatment in its activities. Sun Primary Health (SPH), works in rural areas of Myanmar through a network of community workers that provide TB services, along with other healthcare services for malaria, pediatric pneumonia, diarrhoea and family planning. The main functions of SPH community health workers are community sensitization and case finding; referral- mainly to SQH clinics and other public health sectors; DOTS support; contact tracing and sputum collection; and follow-up on treatment-interrupted cases.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, a high TB/HIV burden country has also shown positive results for reaching the unreached through new CSO initiatives integrating community-based TB activities. For creating common consensus a high level discussion was held between WHO, Ministry of Health (MoH), NGOs and CSOs and integration of TB services was done in three existing projects—(i)HIV and maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) – Save the Children; (ii) MNCH and water and sanitation- AMREF; (iii) Cancer screening/HIV- CUAMM.

WHO coordinated and facilitated initiation of projects through capacity building of the NGOs; supporting the establishment of National Coordinating Body; monitoring quality of project implementation; and facilitation of experience sharing among the implementing partners and with NTP.

The ENGAGE-TB approach is now included in the revised National community TB care guidelines of Ethiopia. Engagement of NGO/CSOs has been included in the newly revised Strategic Plan for TB. The two core WHO-recommended indicators have been included in the newly revised Health Management Information System.

Lessons learnt

All these examples show that ‘partnership between Government and NGOs in TB control interventions’ is practical and a critical factor for positive outcomes. However NGOs might need financial support to help integrate TB services into their work, and so increase in resource allocation for community based TB interventions is important.

Commitment from the MoH and local healthcare personnel is essential too. There is need to train CHWs in various health areas, refresh their trainings, develop new tools, and streamline the system so as to reach the grass roots community level. There must also be enough motivation (monetary and otherwise) for CHWs to remain in the programme and not opt out.

Good data collection is critical to demonstrate that community-based TB integration activities have a greater impact than using health centres as point of entry to care and information; and also that multiple services when integrated work better than those working in silos.

Thus, by leveraging existing networks and services, we can reach out to the so-called hidden population at the community level to facilitate early case detection and enhance TB prevention efforts. The strength of NGOs is their reach, spread and ability to engage communities. When NTPs engage NGOs to integrate community-based TB activities into their work, TB outcomes improve, wherein lies the success of the ENGAGE-TB programme.

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service (CNS)

(The author is the Managing Editor of Citizen News Service - CNS. She is supported by the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme to report from the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, Spain. Email: shobha@citizen-news.org, website: www.citizen-news.org)

Ethiopia: Reaching the unreached: ENGAGE TB initiative

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 7 min ago
Source: Citizen News Service Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS

Photograph is online at: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/996009_633086303402054_1048253147_n.jpg?oh=f799fbd18971f7b436120982e128c8ab&oe=54DABB2E&__gda__=1427086941_902f88507642f611ef4e46b50941a0fb

(CNS): Despite great strides made in TB care and control over the last few years, the latest data shows that 1/3 of all TB cases are still either not detected or not reported to public health systems. These are people who either seek treatment in the private sector and are not notified to the National TB programmes (NTPs) or have not been diagnosed at all. Some of them would die and all of them would continue to spread TB to others, unless treated. Communities affected by TB are often marginalized--poor people, migrants, injecting drug users, prisoners, refugees, sex workers—and face challenges in securing TB services from public healthcare facilities. Then there are women and children, for whom also it is not easy to access healthcare.

Thomas Joseph of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Global Tuberculosis Programme, told Citizen News Service (CNS) that: "We have to find these missing people by reaching out to them as they are not coming to us on their own for a variety of reasons. We have to get them diagnosed and put on treatment. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can do this best as they are already working with these target groups. So it is easy for them to reach out to this missing population of neglected communities through community health workers and volunteers."

"But the tragedy is that, even though many NGOs may be working on HIV, they are not working on TB. We know that a large number of deaths (one in four) in people living with HIV (PLHIV) are due to TB, which is treatable and curable and not because of HIV, which is not curable. If NGOs working with PLHIV can integrate TB care and control in their existing programmes, it will dramatically reduce these unnecessary deaths” said Thomas.

He added: "Another neglected population is that of women. TB affects the health of the mother and the unborn child. In case of pregnant women, TB doubles the risk of low birth weight of infants, which is predictive of a host of other health problems in later life. It also doubles the risk of premature birth, increases 10-fold the risk of fetal death, and doubles the risk of vaginal bleeding. Pregnant women living with HIV have more than 10-fold higher risk of developing active TB than HIV-negative pregnant women. Ignoring TB in women has ghastly results."

Thomas insisted that, as a matter of policy, government programmes should screen all pregnant women for TB symptoms (like night sweats, fever, cough, weight loss). All NGOs working on maternal and child health should integrate TB in their programmes. Likewise they must screen PLHIV for TB symptoms and accordingly refer them for diagnosis. If they have TB, they should be put on TB treatment, and if they test negative for TB, they should be put on TB prevention treatment.

He informed: "The ENGAGE-TB operational guidance from the WHO Global TB Programme, provides guidance to (i) NGOs on how they can integrate TB in their programmes and (ii) National TB programmes (NTPs) on how they can collaborate and work together with NGOs and other CSOs working on community-based TB activities. This collaborative approach is built in an enabling environment based on mutual understanding and respect between NGOs and Governments. Through supportive policies and simple procedures, it aims that NGOs/ CSOs provide a broad range of TB services."

A few examples of successful application of this model were shared at the recently held 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona:-

Kenya

Despite a gradual decline of approximately 2% annually, TB has remained a major public health challenge in Kenya. About 21% of all estimated new TB cases are still unreached and hence undiagnosed. Kenya also has a high dual TB-HIV burden. The ENGAGE-TB approach was launched in Kenya in 2012. The initiative aimed to enhance collaboration between CSOs and the government for purpose of better TB control and services at the community level. Before this, due to lack of a clear mechanism of their engagement, most NGOs/CSOs remained unengaged in TB control activities. The national NGO Coordination Body was formed in May 2012 and a steering was team was established representing both urban and rural CSOs.

Role of CSOs in community-based TB includes early case finding and facilitating referrals for diagnosis and treatment of TB; prevention of treatment interruptions & retrieval of those who interrupt; socioeconomic support and home based care activities related to TB care; advocacy on reduction of stigma; and social mobilization.

Key achievements of this initiative (2012-2014) were:
(i) Development of operational guidelines for CSO Engagement in TB Control
(ii) Launch and dissemination of Operational guidelines for CSO engagement in TB control
(iii) Identification of CSOs that would engage on Community TB/HIV Control
(iv) Development of CSO code of conduct

Myanmar

Population Services International (PSI) has integrated TB in most of their HIV programmes in high burden TB countries using private-public model in TB care by partnering with NTPs. In Myanmar and Kenya, PSI has also integrated TB services with family planning and maternal and child health services to reach out to women who may not be seeking care for TB symptoms.

Sun Quality Health (SQH), a social franchise network of PSI, working in urban areas of Myanmar, has included TB screening, diagnosis and treatment in its activities. Sun Primary Health (SPH), works in rural areas of Myanmar through a network of community workers that provide TB services, along with other healthcare services for malaria, pediatric pneumonia, diarrhoea and family planning. The main functions of SPH community health workers are community sensitization and case finding; referral- mainly to SQH clinics and other public health sectors; DOTS support; contact tracing and sputum collection; and follow-up on treatment-interrupted cases.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, a high TB/HIV burden country has also shown positive results for reaching the unreached through new CSO initiatives integrating community-based TB activities. For creating common consensus a high level discussion was held between WHO, Ministry of Health (MoH), NGOs and CSOs and integration of TB services was done in three existing projects—(i)HIV and maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) – Save the Children; (ii) MNCH and water and sanitation- AMREF; (iii) Cancer screening/HIV- CUAMM.

WHO coordinated and facilitated initiation of projects through capacity building of the NGOs; supporting the establishment of National Coordinating Body; monitoring quality of project implementation; and facilitation of experience sharing among the implementing partners and with NTP.

The ENGAGE-TB approach is now included in the revised National community TB care guidelines of Ethiopia. Engagement of NGO/CSOs has been included in the newly revised Strategic Plan for TB. The two core WHO-recommended indicators have been included in the newly revised Health Management Information System.

Lessons learnt

All these examples show that ‘partnership between Government and NGOs in TB control interventions’ is practical and a critical factor for positive outcomes. However NGOs might need financial support to help integrate TB services into their work, and so increase in resource allocation for community based TB interventions is important.

Commitment from the MoH and local healthcare personnel is essential too. There is need to train CHWs in various health areas, refresh their trainings, develop new tools, and streamline the system so as to reach the grass roots community level. There must also be enough motivation (monetary and otherwise) for CHWs to remain in the programme and not opt out.

Good data collection is critical to demonstrate that community-based TB integration activities have a greater impact than using health centres as point of entry to care and information; and also that multiple services when integrated work better than those working in silos.

Thus, by leveraging existing networks and services, we can reach out to the so-called hidden population at the community level to facilitate early case detection and enhance TB prevention efforts. The strength of NGOs is their reach, spread and ability to engage communities. When NTPs engage NGOs to integrate community-based TB activities into their work, TB outcomes improve, wherein lies the success of the ENGAGE-TB programme.

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service (CNS)

(The author is the Managing Editor of Citizen News Service - CNS. She is supported by the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme to report from the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, Spain. Email: shobha@citizen-news.org, website: www.citizen-news.org)

Ethiopia: Reaching the unreached: ENGAGE TB initiative

Ethiopia - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 7 min ago
Source: Citizen News Service Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS

Photograph is online at: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/996009_633086303402054_1048253147_n.jpg?oh=f799fbd18971f7b436120982e128c8ab&oe=54DABB2E&__gda__=1427086941_902f88507642f611ef4e46b50941a0fb

(CNS): Despite great strides made in TB care and control over the last few years, the latest data shows that 1/3 of all TB cases are still either not detected or not reported to public health systems. These are people who either seek treatment in the private sector and are not notified to the National TB programmes (NTPs) or have not been diagnosed at all. Some of them would die and all of them would continue to spread TB to others, unless treated. Communities affected by TB are often marginalized--poor people, migrants, injecting drug users, prisoners, refugees, sex workers—and face challenges in securing TB services from public healthcare facilities. Then there are women and children, for whom also it is not easy to access healthcare.

Thomas Joseph of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Global Tuberculosis Programme, told Citizen News Service (CNS) that: "We have to find these missing people by reaching out to them as they are not coming to us on their own for a variety of reasons. We have to get them diagnosed and put on treatment. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can do this best as they are already working with these target groups. So it is easy for them to reach out to this missing population of neglected communities through community health workers and volunteers."

"But the tragedy is that, even though many NGOs may be working on HIV, they are not working on TB. We know that a large number of deaths (one in four) in people living with HIV (PLHIV) are due to TB, which is treatable and curable and not because of HIV, which is not curable. If NGOs working with PLHIV can integrate TB care and control in their existing programmes, it will dramatically reduce these unnecessary deaths” said Thomas.

He added: "Another neglected population is that of women. TB affects the health of the mother and the unborn child. In case of pregnant women, TB doubles the risk of low birth weight of infants, which is predictive of a host of other health problems in later life. It also doubles the risk of premature birth, increases 10-fold the risk of fetal death, and doubles the risk of vaginal bleeding. Pregnant women living with HIV have more than 10-fold higher risk of developing active TB than HIV-negative pregnant women. Ignoring TB in women has ghastly results."

Thomas insisted that, as a matter of policy, government programmes should screen all pregnant women for TB symptoms (like night sweats, fever, cough, weight loss). All NGOs working on maternal and child health should integrate TB in their programmes. Likewise they must screen PLHIV for TB symptoms and accordingly refer them for diagnosis. If they have TB, they should be put on TB treatment, and if they test negative for TB, they should be put on TB prevention treatment.

He informed: "The ENGAGE-TB operational guidance from the WHO Global TB Programme, provides guidance to (i) NGOs on how they can integrate TB in their programmes and (ii) National TB programmes (NTPs) on how they can collaborate and work together with NGOs and other CSOs working on community-based TB activities. This collaborative approach is built in an enabling environment based on mutual understanding and respect between NGOs and Governments. Through supportive policies and simple procedures, it aims that NGOs/ CSOs provide a broad range of TB services."

A few examples of successful application of this model were shared at the recently held 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona:-

Kenya

Despite a gradual decline of approximately 2% annually, TB has remained a major public health challenge in Kenya. About 21% of all estimated new TB cases are still unreached and hence undiagnosed. Kenya also has a high dual TB-HIV burden. The ENGAGE-TB approach was launched in Kenya in 2012. The initiative aimed to enhance collaboration between CSOs and the government for purpose of better TB control and services at the community level. Before this, due to lack of a clear mechanism of their engagement, most NGOs/CSOs remained unengaged in TB control activities. The national NGO Coordination Body was formed in May 2012 and a steering was team was established representing both urban and rural CSOs.

Role of CSOs in community-based TB includes early case finding and facilitating referrals for diagnosis and treatment of TB; prevention of treatment interruptions & retrieval of those who interrupt; socioeconomic support and home based care activities related to TB care; advocacy on reduction of stigma; and social mobilization.

Key achievements of this initiative (2012-2014) were:
(i) Development of operational guidelines for CSO Engagement in TB Control
(ii) Launch and dissemination of Operational guidelines for CSO engagement in TB control
(iii) Identification of CSOs that would engage on Community TB/HIV Control
(iv) Development of CSO code of conduct

Myanmar

Population Services International (PSI) has integrated TB in most of their HIV programmes in high burden TB countries using private-public model in TB care by partnering with NTPs. In Myanmar and Kenya, PSI has also integrated TB services with family planning and maternal and child health services to reach out to women who may not be seeking care for TB symptoms.

Sun Quality Health (SQH), a social franchise network of PSI, working in urban areas of Myanmar, has included TB screening, diagnosis and treatment in its activities. Sun Primary Health (SPH), works in rural areas of Myanmar through a network of community workers that provide TB services, along with other healthcare services for malaria, pediatric pneumonia, diarrhoea and family planning. The main functions of SPH community health workers are community sensitization and case finding; referral- mainly to SQH clinics and other public health sectors; DOTS support; contact tracing and sputum collection; and follow-up on treatment-interrupted cases.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, a high TB/HIV burden country has also shown positive results for reaching the unreached through new CSO initiatives integrating community-based TB activities. For creating common consensus a high level discussion was held between WHO, Ministry of Health (MoH), NGOs and CSOs and integration of TB services was done in three existing projects—(i)HIV and maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) – Save the Children; (ii) MNCH and water and sanitation- AMREF; (iii) Cancer screening/HIV- CUAMM.

WHO coordinated and facilitated initiation of projects through capacity building of the NGOs; supporting the establishment of National Coordinating Body; monitoring quality of project implementation; and facilitation of experience sharing among the implementing partners and with NTP.

The ENGAGE-TB approach is now included in the revised National community TB care guidelines of Ethiopia. Engagement of NGO/CSOs has been included in the newly revised Strategic Plan for TB. The two core WHO-recommended indicators have been included in the newly revised Health Management Information System.

Lessons learnt

All these examples show that ‘partnership between Government and NGOs in TB control interventions’ is practical and a critical factor for positive outcomes. However NGOs might need financial support to help integrate TB services into their work, and so increase in resource allocation for community based TB interventions is important.

Commitment from the MoH and local healthcare personnel is essential too. There is need to train CHWs in various health areas, refresh their trainings, develop new tools, and streamline the system so as to reach the grass roots community level. There must also be enough motivation (monetary and otherwise) for CHWs to remain in the programme and not opt out.

Good data collection is critical to demonstrate that community-based TB integration activities have a greater impact than using health centres as point of entry to care and information; and also that multiple services when integrated work better than those working in silos.

Thus, by leveraging existing networks and services, we can reach out to the so-called hidden population at the community level to facilitate early case detection and enhance TB prevention efforts. The strength of NGOs is their reach, spread and ability to engage communities. When NTPs engage NGOs to integrate community-based TB activities into their work, TB outcomes improve, wherein lies the success of the ENGAGE-TB programme.

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service (CNS)

(The author is the Managing Editor of Citizen News Service - CNS. She is supported by the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme to report from the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, Spain. Email: shobha@citizen-news.org, website: www.citizen-news.org)

Philippines: DENR: Gov’t measures to counter climate change in place

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 19 min ago
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Nov. 24 -- The Aquino administration has put in place adequate, long-term measures to counter the effects of climate change, which benefits can come well beyond 2016, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in a statement said.

“We have very focused anti-climate change programs being implemented by the government such as the nationwide geohazard mapping and the massive restoration of watersheds that serve as the country’s natural defense against environmental impacts caused by climate change,” Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said.

He said that geohazard maps, which indicate areas susceptible to landslide and floods, could spare the government further losses and expensive rehabilitation works that may be brought about by natural disasters and poor geologic planning.

“One of the biggest costs the government faces right now is rehabilitation. Why are we doing rehab? Because we have damaged facilities,” Paje pointed out.

“But if we have good plans, we need not invest in areas which will be affected by landslide. Remember Guinsaugon? Had we have a good plan at the time, we would have not built school in the area, which will be covered by landslide and cause 300 casualties,” he added.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through its Mines and Geosciences Bureau, is close to completing more detailed geohazard maps at a scale of 1:10,000, replacing the previous maps with 1:50,000 scale.

Paje said the government is also enhancing climate change resilience in watershed areas all over the country.

“Basically, this is part of a bigger program of restoring the integrity of our natural ecosystem because watershed is our Number One natural defense from the onslaught of climate change,” Paje said.

He added: “We really have to restore it because we have to improve what we call the natural water-holding capacity and we also have to fortify our natural defenses.”

Paje said restoring the country’s natural defense involves two-pronged approach: protection of the remaining forests and rehabilitation of damaged areas.

“We are doing it two ways. One is we have to rehabilitate the damaged areas. We have more than eight million hectares of open denuded and degraded forests. And, we are also implementing a total log ban in the natural forests to protect the remaining,” he said.(DENR)

Pakistan: Two more polio cases reported in Balochistan

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 11:59pm
Source: Frontier Post Country: Pakistan

QUETTA: Two more polio cases were reported in Balochistan on Saturday, taking the number of polio victims to 14.

According to health officials, polio virus was detected in an 18-month-old girl Bibi Amina who is a resident of Killi Tarkha, Quetta.

The second case was confirmed in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district.

Shah Zaman, a resident of Chandni Chowk in Khuzdar, fell prey to the virus even though he was administered polio drops, according to health officials.

The crippling disease continues to spread despite tall claims on the part of the government regarding its eradication. Majority of the cases that have been reported are found in Quetta and Killi Abdullah districts of Balochistan.

Earlier on Wednesday, a child in Killa Abdullah was reported to have the virus despite being administered polio drops.

Balochistan remained polio-free for almost more than two years before the first polio case was reported in July this year from Maizai Addah area of district Killa Abdullah.

Philippines: NDDRMC Update Sitrep No. 69 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 11:38pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. ALERT STATUS OF MAVON VOLCANO

A. Alert Level 3 is still in effect as of 8:00 AM, 24 November 2014. At this present stage, potentially eruptible magma has already been intruded and continues to be intruded beneath the edifice. At any given time in the following weeks to months, this magma can eventually be erupted quietly as lava flows or explosively as vertical eruption columns and pyroclastic flows or both. Mayon Volcano's seismic network did not detect any volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hour, consistent with overall slow, magma intrusion at depth that has characterized this year's activity.

Emission of white steam plumes was of moderate volume that drifted west-northwest. Crater glow was observed at intensity I last night, while while sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted at the crater averaged 106 tonnes/day on 09 November 2014, which is below the baseline level during normal periods. The visual and gas parameters may denote either poor magma degassing or the generally low gas content of intruding subsurface magma. Seismicity, visual and gas parameters, however, may suddenly change within a few hours or days should magma breach the surface in an eventual eruption. Mayon Volcano's current condition remains unstable due to slow but sustained ground deformation of the edifice caused by the movement of subsurface magma since the start of unrest this year. Ground deformation data based on precise leveling surveys made from November 18 - 21 showed slight inflation at the base of the edifice relative to November 9 - 13 surveys and also relative to baseline measurements beginning 2010. Electronic tilt data from the continuous network on the northwest flank similarly indicate continuing inflation of the edifice since August 2014, succeeding a previous inflation event in June to July 2014, The inflation events correspond to batches of magma (approximately 107 cubic meters) that have been slowly intruded at depth but that have yet to be erupted at the crater, and therefore posing threat of eventual hazardous eruption at an unknown time in the near future.

Sri Lanka: Daily Situation Report - Sri Lanka, 23 November 2014 at 1800 hrs

Sri Lanka - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 11:32pm
Source: Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka Country: Sri Lanka

Philippines: ASEAN Monthly Disaster Outlook Vol. 11 October 2014

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 11:14pm
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam

General Overview

Natural disaster reports were regularly recorded in the ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADInet) www.adinet.ahacentre.org

Only significant disasters that satisfy the following criteria will be recorded in ADInet:

  1. More than 100 people affected, and
  2. Involving more than 1 subdistrict,

In total, 16 disasters were recorded during October 2014, with at least 306,000 people affected and exposed to it. Additionally, more than 48,000 people were reportedly displaced. In this month, flood is the most dominant disaster despite of drought was still experienced in part of Indonesia and Thailand as a result of potentially emerging El Nino. Flooding was recorded occurred in some parts of Philippines, Viet Nam, Indonesia and Thailand due to high precepitation. Strong wind happened scatteredly in several areas in Indonesia but the impact is local.

The number of casualties in this month is relatively low, compared with ast year impact within the same month. In 2013, The region experienced heavy flooding in Thailand and earthquake in Bohol, Philippines that affected million of people. In total, over 5 million people were exposed to disaster in October 2013 compare to this year‘s 306 thousands.

Facts

In this month, flood dominated the disaster occurance with 75% out of the total 16 incidents. Flood is still the main threat for region, despite the El Nino that supposed to bring drier condition in some parts of the Region.

Philippines: ASEAN Monthly Disaster Outlook Vol. 11 October 2014

Indonesia - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 11:14pm
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam

General Overview

Natural disaster reports were regularly recorded in the ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADInet) www.adinet.ahacentre.org

Only significant disasters that satisfy the following criteria will be recorded in ADInet:

  1. More than 100 people affected, and
  2. Involving more than 1 subdistrict,

In total, 16 disasters were recorded during October 2014, with at least 306,000 people affected and exposed to it. Additionally, more than 48,000 people were reportedly displaced. In this month, flood is the most dominant disaster despite of drought was still experienced in part of Indonesia and Thailand as a result of potentially emerging El Nino. Flooding was recorded occurred in some parts of Philippines, Viet Nam, Indonesia and Thailand due to high precepitation. Strong wind happened scatteredly in several areas in Indonesia but the impact is local.

The number of casualties in this month is relatively low, compared with ast year impact within the same month. In 2013, The region experienced heavy flooding in Thailand and earthquake in Bohol, Philippines that affected million of people. In total, over 5 million people were exposed to disaster in October 2013 compare to this year‘s 306 thousands.

Facts

In this month, flood dominated the disaster occurance with 75% out of the total 16 incidents. Flood is still the main threat for region, despite the El Nino that supposed to bring drier condition in some parts of the Region.

Afghanistan: More midwifes graduated in Samangan

Afghanistan - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 11:04pm
Source: Swedish Committee for Afghanistan Country: Afghanistan

In a graduation Ceremony Swedish Committee for Afghanistan certified 21 new midwifes on successful completion of two years midwifery education in Samangan. New midwifes were swearing the oath of loyalty to the midwifery profession and providing qualitative and equal health services to women. This was the fourth batch of graduated midwifes in Samangan province.

“Before midwifery schools were established, pregnant mothers had to travel to the city hospital for delivery, which often caused death of mother and child. Now the newly educated midwifes are providing the same services at the community clinics, so maternal mortality rate in Samangan is decreased to 90 percent.” says Suhayaa Shareef, teacher of the community midwifery education school, who studied in Nengarhar Institute of Midwifery Higher Education and worked as a midwife in Samangan provincial hospital for 20 years.

In this Community Midwifery Education School, all subjects are taught by four teachers with the cooperation of one clinic teacher who is facilitating student’s daily visit to clinics. Midwifes also study English language and computer in this school.

At the beginning, students of the community midwifery education study theories of midwifery profession for three months, while after three months, students go to the clinics for practical studies besides studying theories.

Razeema Qaderi is one of the newly graduated midwifes. When I was asking about the graduation ceremony, she was very excited and said that it is a very big day in her life and she is very happy.

“Now I am confident that I will do successful deliveries of pregnant mothers,” says Razeema

Razeema is belonging to an educated family of Samangan. Her father is working with Agency for Assistance and Development of Afghanistan (AADA) as a doctor, and he encouraged Razeema to join SCA’s Midwifery School.

Graduated midwifes will be hired in district clinics by Agency for Assistance and Development of Afghanistan. Students also were gifted with first aid boxes.

“We request parents to stick on their commitments and allow their daughters to work in those clinics that they committed, before their admission.” Says Director of Public Health in Samangan.

The graduation ceremony was attended by Representative of Samangan governor Sher Aqaa Khan, director of Public Health Department Dr. Abdul Ameer, Director of AADA Dr. Mirwais Sidiqi, parents of newly graduated midwifes, and SCA staff.

Humaira Ghani
SCA Senior Information Officer

World: A Major Breakthrough against Polio

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 10:53pm
Source: Rotary Country: Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, World

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are approaching a significant milestone: the eradication of type 3 wild poliovirus.

The last case of polio caused by the type 3 virus was reported in Yobe, Nigeria, on 10 November 2012.

"We may have eradicated a second of three; that's a major milestone," said Dr. Stephen Cochi, a senior adviser at the Center for Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking to the BBC.

Rotary has played an important role in bringing type 3 polio close to extinction. PolioPlus grants have provided key funding for surveillance, operational support, social mobilization, and technical assistance in the fight to eradicate polio, including type 3. And Rotary members have worked to change the minds of community leaders and parents who once refused to let children be immunized, including in the three remaining polio-endemic countries, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The absence of type 3 polio in Nigeria reflects the country's tremendous progress toward becoming polio-free. It has also reduced the number of type 1 cases to just six so far this year, compared with 51 for the same period in 2013.

The breakthrough against type 3 comes as promising news for Pakistan, where type 3 was last reported in April 2012, in Khyber Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Pakistan has reported about 85 percent of the world's polio cases this year, 246, compared with 63 for the same period in 2013. Militants halted polio immunization in some areas for about two years, but Pakistan's military operations have made it possible for immunizations to resume. Over 700,000 people, including half a million children, have been vaccinated in the past few months.

Type 2 polio was eradicated in 1999. The elimination of type 3 polio, once confirmed, would leave only type 1 to contend with. However, type 3 causes fewer cases of illness than does type 1, which means the virus can be transmitted more widely and longer without being detected.

Nevertheless, the fact that type 3 polio hasn't been detected globally for more than two years is "extremely encouraging news" and "a reminder that the eradication of polio is achievable," says the GPEI.

"It's been a tough, sometimes uphill climb to get this far in the fight to finish off polio," says Michael McGovern, vice chair of The Rotary Foundation Trustees and chair of the International PolioPlus Committee. "But the tenacity and resources of Rotary and its partners have kept the global effort moving forward. Let's make sure type 3 is down for the count, keep pushing ahead to wipe out type 1, and free the world of this devastating disease forever."

Find more at endpolio.org
Give to End Polio Now
Advocate for a polio-free world
Learn about the polio endgame strategic plan

By Dan Nixon

Rotary News

21-NOV-2014

World: A Major Breakthrough against Polio

Afghanistan - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 10:53pm
Source: Rotary Country: Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, World

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are approaching a significant milestone: the eradication of type 3 wild poliovirus.

The last case of polio caused by the type 3 virus was reported in Yobe, Nigeria, on 10 November 2012.

"We may have eradicated a second of three; that's a major milestone," said Dr. Stephen Cochi, a senior adviser at the Center for Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking to the BBC.

Rotary has played an important role in bringing type 3 polio close to extinction. PolioPlus grants have provided key funding for surveillance, operational support, social mobilization, and technical assistance in the fight to eradicate polio, including type 3. And Rotary members have worked to change the minds of community leaders and parents who once refused to let children be immunized, including in the three remaining polio-endemic countries, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The absence of type 3 polio in Nigeria reflects the country's tremendous progress toward becoming polio-free. It has also reduced the number of type 1 cases to just six so far this year, compared with 51 for the same period in 2013.

The breakthrough against type 3 comes as promising news for Pakistan, where type 3 was last reported in April 2012, in Khyber Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Pakistan has reported about 85 percent of the world's polio cases this year, 246, compared with 63 for the same period in 2013. Militants halted polio immunization in some areas for about two years, but Pakistan's military operations have made it possible for immunizations to resume. Over 700,000 people, including half a million children, have been vaccinated in the past few months.

Type 2 polio was eradicated in 1999. The elimination of type 3 polio, once confirmed, would leave only type 1 to contend with. However, type 3 causes fewer cases of illness than does type 1, which means the virus can be transmitted more widely and longer without being detected.

Nevertheless, the fact that type 3 polio hasn't been detected globally for more than two years is "extremely encouraging news" and "a reminder that the eradication of polio is achievable," says the GPEI.

"It's been a tough, sometimes uphill climb to get this far in the fight to finish off polio," says Michael McGovern, vice chair of The Rotary Foundation Trustees and chair of the International PolioPlus Committee. "But the tenacity and resources of Rotary and its partners have kept the global effort moving forward. Let's make sure type 3 is down for the count, keep pushing ahead to wipe out type 1, and free the world of this devastating disease forever."

Find more at endpolio.org
Give to End Polio Now
Advocate for a polio-free world
Learn about the polio endgame strategic plan

By Dan Nixon

Rotary News

21-NOV-2014

Myanmar: Conflict and candlelight: Myanmar's energy conundrum

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 10:50pm
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

11/24/2014 - 03:34 GMT

by Nan Tin HTWE

When a village in the conflict-torn hills of eastern Myanmar was asked to pay authorities more than $10,000 to plug into an electricity grid, families put themselves in debt to find the cash.

Ten months later children there are still squinting over their homework by candlelight and dinners are cooked on open fires as the work to connect their homes to power lies unfinished, beset by delays and bureaucracy.

Roughly 70 percent of Myanmar's population still does not have access to power, so the once pariah state, which already relies on hydropower to generate half of its electricity, is again turning to its rivers in new plans to harness energy from dams.

But as it rushes to plug the power gap, activists warn of worsening tensions in ethnic minority border areas, where such projects have long brought bloodshed and upheaval -- but little energy.

Back in Saw La Yar Koo village, eastern Kayah state, residents are losing patience. Sitting under the soot-blacked ceiling of her living room in the faltering glow of the cooking fire, 24-year-old Pi Rar feels cheated.

"If we had electricity, we could cook with it, could use computers and the children could study at night. I attended a computer course but I couldn't practise at home without power," she said.

On the dusty track outside her house, where farmers drive bullock carts past simple wooden stilt homes, a gleaming transformer sits idly after villagers say cash-strapped authorities asked each family to stump up another $350 to install electricity.

"I had to borrow half of the 80,000 kyats (the initial payment of $80) from a moneylender... They (local authorities) say we have to pay more to connect the cables to the houses," Pi Rar told AFP.

The costs are likely to push this corn farming village into further debt just as it hopes to reap the rewards of a tentative peace deal in the state after years of bloody civil war. 

'Conflict multipliers'

Myanmar has promised access to electricity for 50 percent of its population by 2020 and for all by 2030, as it clambers to reduce poverty and remain viable for the businesses piling into the former junta-ruled land.

Hydropower looks set to dominate. A string of major dams is planned along the Salween River, which courses from China down through the mountainous territories of eastern Myanmar's many ethnic minorities.

But reliance on dams is deeply controversial as many projects stand in areas wracked by ethnic conflict where troops and landmines have often been deployed to guard large infrastructure projects against rebel attack.

Kayah activists fear Lawpita, Myanmar's first hydropower project, could be the bloody blue-print for the country's future dams.  

Thousands were displaced by the project, which now provides around a quarter of the country's hydropower capacity, and activists say a spike in soldiers stirred conflict and incidents of forced labour, land confiscation and sexual violence.

Dams are "conflict multipliers, which are not very helpful" as the country struggles to negotiate an end to more than half a century of civil wars in its ethnic borderlands, said Elliot Brennan, research fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy.

He said planned projects, including one in Kayah and a massive dam upstream in southern Shan state by the Chinese Three Gorges company, largely feed the demand for energy in China's Yunnan province. 

What electricity does stay in Myanmar has long been unevenly distributed. 

Energy is routinely siphoned from resource rich minority areas to power the cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw in the heartland of Myanmar's Bamar majority.

This has caused deep resentment.

"What we have in our state -- we should have a share. But electricity from Kayah goes to other places. Most government projects are like that," said Burma Rivers Network researcher Mi Reh.

Rising energy demand

In a surprise snub to long-term ally Beijing, President Thein Sein suspended the Chinese-backed $3.6 billion Myitsone dam in northern Kachin state in 2011 after strong environmental concerns from the public, as clashes also broke out with local rebels over the project, ending a 17-year ceasefire. 

Yet Beijing and Myanmar recently agreed to establish an electricity cooperation committee to keep future projects on track, as part of deals from China worth around $7.8 billion. 

For now even Myanmar's main cities are beset by power cuts, prompting several waves of candle-lit street protests since the end of military rule in 2011.

In Kayah much of the energy comes from Lawpita, but local electricity authorities admit that while the dam provides 210 megawatts to the national grid, it gets just 15MW. 

Unsurprisingly, torches and solar panels are still hot sellers at Demoso market, where people from the hilly region near Pi Rar's village flock to shop. 

Teens in punk rock t-shirts swagger past the statuesque women of the Padaung tribe, their necks ringed with tall brass coils, as Nay Soe sells his solar panels for up to 100,000 kyat ($100).

He has noticed a slight slowdown in sales as reforms in recent years brought an uptick in energy access, but does not believe new state schemes will put him out of business any time soon.

"It won't be within the next 20 years," he said.

nan/klm/pj/lto/st

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Iraq: Reaching displaced families in Al-Khaser camp

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 10:28pm
Source: Islamic Relief Country: Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic

Hundreds of displaced families have received life-saving aid through Islamic Relief’s emergency response to the increasingly complex crisis in Iraq and the wider region.

Earlier this year, violence erupted in the northern province of Ninewa. About 500,000 people are thought to have fled their homes, swelling the ranks of people displaced by continued conflict in western Iraq and those fleeing fighting in neighbouring Syria.

“We got out of Mosul at night,” said Zainab Abdul Aziz Mohammed, who is now with her family in a camp for displaced people. “We had no car so we rode on the back of our neighbour’s truck. No-one from my family has stayed in Mosul, we all left.”

Reaching those suffering in the complex conflict

Islamic Relief, which has worked in Iraq since 1996, is delivering a wide-reaching emergency response aiming to save lives and ease suffering. Our work in Al-Khaser camp, in the north of Ninewa province, meant food, water, and other much-needed items for displaced families.

Over 100 of the most vulnerable families received food parcels, enabling them to meet their basic needs for up to 12 days – until more sustainable support could be set up. They also received blankets, pillows and mattresses. In addition, more than 500 families benefitted as we distributed in excess of 3,000 litres of drinking water.

Islamic Relief coordinates with a range of humanitarian actors and local authorities to maximise the impact of our work for those that most need our help.

People in Iraq are facing one of the most grave humanitarian crises in the world today. Islamic Relief is working on the ground and Iraq and elsewhere in the region to provide life-saving aid. Support our work: donate to our Iraq emergency appeal today.

occupied Palestinian territory: In Palestine, specialized prosecutors ensure women survivors’ access to justice survivors access to justice

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 10:28pm
Source: UN Women Country: occupied Palestinian territory

UN Women is working with the Attorney General’s Office in Palestine on a human-rights-based approach to handling cases of domestic and gender-based violence, by training public prosecutors in line with international standards and supporting the development of special operating procedures.

When Zahara* divorced her second husband her family locked her in an abandoned house for more than four years before police, acting on anonymous information, found and freed her.

“The [Palestinian Civil Police Family Protection Unit] advised me to press charges against my family, but I did not want to increase shame. My brother signed a pledge not to harm me. I trusted them and thought the situation would change. It did not.”

Zahara’s story is not unique. A 2011 survey of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that one-third of women experiencing violence remain silent or seek help from family. Few turn to specialized institutions, and even less to security and justice services.

“All the people of the village blamed me for putting shame on my family after the police intervened. They never questioned my treatment by the family,” remembered Zahara.

A societal culture of shame, the patriarchal nature of Palestinian society, and pressure from family and the community in cases of gender-based violence, make it difficult for women to reveal their plight. Inadequate laws, lack of protection services, and low confidence in justice and security institutions further hamper opportunities for women to seek redress.1 As a result, most violence cases are not reported and never enter the justice system.

“Professional knowledge and expertise in dealing specifically with cases of women and girls victims of violence is needed,” says Dareen Salheyeh, Chief Prosecutor. “Dealing with these cases requires sensitivity to the issue, including awareness and willingness.”

From January to March 2014, Dareen was one of 20 prosecutors who attended UN Women workshops for public prosecutors on handling cases of gender-based violence. The workshops focused specifically on the use and application of laws, including international women’s rights conventions, for the benefit of women and girl survivors of violence. It is one of several activities targeted for justice and security professionals under a three-year UN Women-executed project funded by the UK Department for International Development. The project aims to train and establish specialized core groups of justice and security professionals for equitable access to justice for women survivors of violence.

Following a set of workshops and assessment roundtables, in April the Attorney General’s Office established the first-ever pool of 15 specialized prosecutors to handle cases of domestic violence across the West Bank. Participants in the training were nominated as specialized prosecutors and later on she was named gender focal point for the Attorney General’s Office.

“The specialized prosecutors are based in each district and are the only competent authority to deal with cases of violence against women and girls. The specialization guarantees speed in procedures, professionalism, and decision-making processes,” says Dareen, “which responds to a number of impediments to women’s access to justice and reinforces confidence.”

Prosecutors’ reports are considered the most important pieces of evidence by judges so the way prosecutors consider a case has an impact on the outcome of the judicial process for women survivors of violence.

In Palestine, many laws are outdated or do not address current issues around domestic violence, but the Palestinian Legislative Council has been paralyzed since 2007 following the general elections and the ensuing factional split between Fatah and Hamas, so changes haven’t been possible.

“If we apply the law literally and insert our own personal beliefs, society will not change,” says Dareen. “The workshops and various meetings we attended gave us the tools to apply the spirit of the law in treating these cases to protect the victim and hold perpetrators accountable.”

The nomination of specialized prosecutors opens concrete opportunities to fulfil the human right of access to justice for girls and women survivors of violence. For Dareen, the current development of Standard Operating Procedures, under the UN Women Access to Justice project, will enhance the ability of the public prosecutors to adequately address cases of violence against women and girls and enhance coordination with other institutions, sectors and service providers.

“Women withhold a lot of information by not understanding their rights and obligations and the procedures,” explains Dareen. “We’ve started mapping organizations providing psychosocial and legal support to women for referrals. These institutions can convince the woman to talk, support her through different procedures, such as forensic examination, and their reports can be used as evidence in courts.”

These institutions also provide crucial support after the investigation, to heal trauma and stigma and reintegrate survivors. For Zahara, the Mehwar Centre supported her to rebuild her life, notably through training, helping her find a job, and liaising with family and community to reintegrate her into society. “Without being sheltered at Mehwar and the support of its staff, I would have never been able to go through the process of getting back on my feet to demand my rights,” says Zahara. “Having gender-sensitive justice, security and social services is crucial for women survivors to demand their rights.”

*Name changed to protect her identity

[1] UN Women research (of 2013 press coverage) on Palestinian women’s access to justice in the West Bank revealed that justice service providers lack professional knowledge and expertise in dealing with female survivors of violence.

For more information on UN Women's efforts to end violence against women, check out our In Focus package for 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Sudan: Peace forum in early December for East Darfur's warring tribes

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 10:04pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

ED DAEIN(23 Nov.) -

The Ma’aliya and Rizeigat tribes in East Darfur will hold a reconciliation conference in Marawi, Sudan’s Northern state, on 5 December, the East Darfur state Govenrnor announced.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Governor Col. El Tayeb Ahmed Abdelkarim said that the initiative came from the reconciliation commission of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), following consultations among the chieftains of both tribes.

“All the preparations for the conference have been completed to end the tribes’ differences,” Abdelkarim said. He stressed that the security measures taken by the state, the declaration of a State of Emergency, and the deployment of buffer troops have helped to establish security and paved the way for the peace conference.

The Governor called via Radio Dabanga upon both Rizeigat and Ma'aliya tribes to exercise self-restraint, resort to the voice of reason and make efforts to repair the social fabric and the state’s development.

At least 47 tribesmen were killed in fighting that broke out between Ma’aliya and Rizeigat in Um Rakuba on 16 August. Government troops were deployed as buffer forces, to no avail, as three days later fierce clashes erupted in the area of Um Rakuba in Abu Karinka locality, reportedly after an attack by Rizeigat on Ma’aliya citizens in the area. Hundreds of people were killed.

Sudan: China extends 13 million dollars for rehabilitation of Friendship Vocational Training Center

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 10:01pm
Source: Sudanese News Agency Country: China, Sudan

Khartoum, Nov. 23 (SUNA) The Minister of Labor and Administrative Reform, Ishraqa Sayed Mahmoud, has appreciated the support of 13 million dollars provided by China for the rehabilitation of the Friendship Vocational Training Center in Umdorman city.

This came during her visit to the center, in the presence of Engineer Salih Imam Al-Awad, the Director of the Chinese Center in Sudan and Engineer Jin Shu Ha, the Senior Maintenance Engineer, who they briefed the minister in details on the progress of work in the center that was completed by 73%.

The Chinese Senior Maintenenance Engineer noted that the new equipments and machineries due to be received by the center are of the latest technologies and will be installed in August next year.

The Labor Minister also visited the German Vocational Training Center in Khartoum (2) and got informed on progress of work in the center.

Syrian Arab Republic: The crisis in Yarmouk Camp, 20 November 2014

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 9:33pm
Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

20 NOVEMBER 2014

Our spokesperson Chris Gunness has the following to say on the situation in Yarmouk Camp

"UNRWA was cleared to distribute humanitarian assistance in Yarmouk today, 20 November, for the first time this week. UNRWA distributed a total of 200 food parcels, 200 hygiene kits and provided primary health services to 54 civilians over the course of the day. The team arrived at the distribution point at 10:45, commencing distribution at 12:25 and finishing at 14:35.

"UNRWA welcomes the opportunity to distribute vital humanitarian relief to some of Yarmouk’s 18,000 trapped civilians but remains concerned that for the past four months there has been a noticeable decline in the quantity of relief items reaching this community. It is acknowledged that in several instances, the distribution of aid in Yarmouk has been interrupted or proved impossible on account of exchanges of gunfire and insecurity. However, these instances do not account for the low number of civilians UNRWA is presently permitted to support inside Yarmouk.

"With the facilitation and support of the relevant authorities, UNRWA has proved capable of distributing up to 1,000 food parcels per day in response to the humanitarian needs of civilians in Yarmouk. UNRWA will continue to draw attention to the suffering of refugees trapped in the area and to persist in its demand for full, safe and sustained humanitarian access to Yarmouk."

World: New Partnership to Help Bring Clean Cooking to 100 Million Households by 2020

Uganda - ReliefWeb News - 23 November 2014 - 9:16pm
Source: World Bank Country: Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, World

NEW YORK CITY, November 21, 2014 - A major new partnership between the World Bank Group and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves will work to spur a transition to clean cooking for 100 million households, which still use inefficient cookstoves and solid fuels for cooking.

The new, five-year Efficient Clean Cooking and Heating Partnership was announced today at the Cookstoves Future Summit in New York – a gathering of leaders from across the international community focused on new efforts to speed up the adoption of clean cooking and end household air pollution from traditional cooking, which takes 4.3 million lives a year in developing countries. The partnership will support in-country programs undertaken by both the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance) and the World Bank Group, and will be managed by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).

“This new initiative builds on years of learning and experience by the World Bank Group, the Alliance, and our partners,” said Anita George, Senior Director of the World Bank’s Energy and Extractives Global Practice. “We will focus our efforts and resources on the tough issues: improved technology, better affordability, supply chain development, and consumer behavior.”

Globally, 3.1 billion people use inefficient cookstoves and traditional biomass fuels for cooking. Besides the burden of disease from air pollution, traditional cooking also comes at a high economic cost for developing countries, including household spending on poor-quality fuel and time lost to fuel collection. Efforts to change this picture have often been hampered by weak markets and distribution systems for improved stoves and fuels, as well as a lack of uptake by consumers.

The new partnership – for which the World Bank commits to mobilize $60 million – is designed to support the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstove’s stated goal of 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020, as well as the global Sustainable Energy for All goal of universal access to modern energy services by 2030.

Work will be undertaken at three levels: 1) in countries, through improved national policies, standards and testing for cleaner cooking technologies; 2) in the supply chain, providing technical know-how for manufacturers and distributors; and 3) among consumers, through awareness-raising and education about the benefits of clean cooking. New remote data-gathering technologies will be used to highlight which of the range of clean cooking technologies are most popular and will help ensure programs are continually monitored and improved as needed.

“This partnership formalizes the ongoing collaboration that has been underway for some time between the World Bank and the Alliance, and affirms the importance of the market-based approach,” said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Our work together will support the growth of entrepreneurs in the sector, scale up the availability of cleaner cookstoves and fuels, and further the development of standards and testing procedures to provide more certainty to donors, investors, and consumers alike.”

A key role in the partnership will be undertaken by IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector. IFC will create and support investment and project development vehicles that can catalyze the sector and bring in greater private sector involvement in this space.

In the initial stage, the partnership will support activities in 12 countries where the World Bank Group and the Alliance are active in clean cooking programs, including the eight Alliance focus countries – Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, India, Nigeria, and Uganda.

The Alliance, launched in 2010, has over 1000 partners around the world, including national governments, civil society, academia, UN agencies, investors, and private sector companies. Its accomplishments include ground-breaking research to build the evidence base for clean cooking’s impacts on health, environment, gender, and livelihoods; and work with governments in key countries to drive national policies and identify cost-effective clean cooking programs to achieve improvements in access, health, and the environment.

The World Bank Group has over 20 years of experience in working to scale up clean cooking in client countries, with on-going engagements in East Asia, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America. These include the Africa Clean Cooking Energy Solutions program, the East Asia and Pacific Clean Stove Initiative, and the Central America Clean Cooking Initiative.

For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org/energy

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